Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Practically Anything

I dyed this yarn at The Unique Sheep Retreat this past April.  I decided to try an experiment.  I wanted saturated colors and simple changes, so I dyed a solid yellow, a yellow-green, a green, a green-blue, a blue and a blue-purple.  We'll see how it turns out.  The yarn is Wild Thing, a worsted weight silk-wool blend that I first used on the Lothlorien Cape.  It is very nice to work with.

For a pattern I picked the Practically Vest, a pattern which I've knit before.  I wanted something top-down so I could use all of my yarn, and simple.

Pattern:  Practically by Kelly Herdrich
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Wild Thing
Needles:  US 6 (4.0 mm)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Corfu - One Sleeve Done

I finished up the first sleeve just before noon today.  I was worried that I would have to join another skein of yarn before I got to the bind off, but ended with about 4 feet of yarn left.  I picked up every other stitch around the armhole, except under the arm.  Once I started working in the round I went up a needle size, knowing that I always knit in the round tighter, especially when I'm working on short cables.

Pattern:  Lilium by Amy Herzog
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in Corfu
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm) and US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Corfu - Front Edge Done

For the front edge I picked up 272 stitches, this is actually less than any of the pattern sizes called for, but that is because I didn't make my cardigan as long as any of the pattern sizes called for.  I wanted this to stop at the top of my hips.  I worked 7 rows of garter stitch, and then bound off a little loose, keeping my stitches relaxed so the bind off wouldn't distort things.  Next up the sleeves.

Pattern:  Lilium by Amy Herzog
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in Corfu
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Corfu - Body Done

Despite the craziness at work this past week, including a 12 hour day on Wednesday, I managed to get the body done, finishing up the right shoulder this morning.  As I was working the top sections of the body separately I was glad that I hadn't combined all the charts.  The only ones that it might have been worthwhile combining were the three charts used for the back.  Between the charts and the separate counters available in knitCompanion it was pretty easy to keep track of what I was doing and also be consistent between the sections.  One thing that I did modify was the spacing on the decreases along the front neck edge.  The pattern has you alternate between every 2nd row and every 3rd row, which I frankly found confusing.  I went with every 3rd row, which also had the advantage of ending the shaping on row 57, which was close to where I ended the knitting on the sections - row 63 - so I ended up with a nice line along the front going into the back neck.

Next I will pick up stitches for the front edging.  I'll pick up 2 stitches for every 3 rows along the front edges, and 1 stitch for every stitch along the back neck.  Then I'll work the sleeves.  I'll do those top down and probably make them longer then the pattern calls for.  The pattern has them ending just below the elbow.  I'll go at to at least 3/4 sleeves.

Pattern:  Lilium by Amy Herzog
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in Corfu
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Camp Loopy 2016 - Project 3 - Take 2 - Corfu

I finished up Neptune, my Short-Row Vest, which was supposed to be my August Camp Loopy project, but came up short on the yardage, so last Saturday I went back through my pattern library and found another pattern that should meet the yardage requirements easily and ordered more yarn.  The pattern that I selected, Lilium, by Amy Herzog calls for Catherine Lowe yarn, which I don't have easy access to, so I had to do a yarn substitution.  I ended up buying Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in the color Corfu - in keeping with the exotic locale theme of the third challenge.
Of course I did a gauge swatch.  The yarn band recommends a US 6 (4 mm) needle, but when I started swatching with that needle it was obvious to me that the gauge was too open.  I raveled that false start and pulled a US 4 (3.5 mm) needle out.  I liked the fabric that I got and the gauge was close to that called for by the pattern.  My gauge is 21 stitches and 31 rows in 4 inches, while the pattern calls for 24 stitches and 32 rows.  Taking my gauge I looked at the pattern and picked the size that would get me the right measurements.  I ended up going with the 31 1/2" bust size, which with my gauge will give me a finished bust of 37" and a couple of inches of ease.  I don't like tight cardigans.

The pattern calls for knitting the back and fronts separately and joining, but of course I am knitting the body as one.  I left off 2 stitches from the cast-on count from the back, and 1 stitch from each of the sides to account for the fact that I don't need to seam mine.  I use markers to mark the sides, but otherwise don't use them.  The front edges have a braided cable design, and there is also a lace panel flanked by the braided cable design in the center of the back.  There are only two charts, but the way the pattern is written you start out on different rows of the braided cable design depending on where you are at.  Once I got it all figured out I copied the braided cable chart in knitCompanion and ordered the charts in the order that I need to knit them.  If I had felt like taking the time I could also have recharted the whole set and just had one chart to work from, but I kind of like the way I am doing it because I can use which chart I am currently working to remind me of which section of the cardigan I should be on.
Here is a shot of my knitCompanion screen.  I am using my old iPad, instead of my new iPad Pro because I really don't need the screen size of my Pro.

Pattern:  Lilium by Amy Herzog
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in Corfu
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Watermelon Paintbox Shawl

After finishing up my Gazania Zebra I grabbed another Paintbox set off of my yarn tree in the front hall and cast on the Biscotte Paintbox Shawl, cause you should always have a dead simple knitting project on the needles for those days your brain can't handle the more complicated projects you are working on.  I have several Paintbox sets.  This one is Watermelon.

Pattern:  Biscotte Paintbox Shawl by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Biscotte Bis-Sock, Watermelon Paintbox
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Neptune - Front Done

I finished up most of the wedges yesterday, and finished up the last one this morning and joined the short row section to the right shoulder using a thee needle bind off.  Now I just need to work I-Cord edgings on the neck and top part of the short row section and both arm holes.  I did some yarn usage calculations this morning, though, and realized that I am not going to make the yarn usage requirement for the August Camp Loopy project.  I've only used 590 yards, and the requirement is 800 yards.  I don't think that I-cord will make up that difference.  I had some concerns regarding the yarn usage after I finished up the back, and as I started working the wedges I did some quick calculations and realized I was in trouble, so I did another pattern search, limiting the results to patterns that I already own and found another project, Lilium, by Amy Herzog, from the Spring/Summer 2013 Twist Collective.  I've bought a lot of Twist Collective patterns, but haven't made any yet.  I picked Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in the color Corfu.  The irony is that both of my other Camp Loopy projects used a lot more yarn than required.

If I make it with another project, I make it.  I'm not going to get stressed about it.  If it hadn't been for Camp Loopy I might not have found this cool vest, or used Shalimar Yarns Enzo Sport - a very nice yarn to work with.

Pattern:  Short-Row Vest by Carol Feller
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Enzo Sport in Neptune and Glacier
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Neptune - Back Done

I've been working pretty steadily on my final Camp Loopy project.  I didn't do as many garter stitch rows at the bottom as the pattern called for because my row gauge is different.  I knit the body to a length that works for me - about 10 inches and then split for the upper body shaping.  I noticed that the pattern didn't have much in the way of shaping for the armholes, so I added that as well.  I worked 8 1/4 inches for the armhole length before I did the short row shaping for the shoulders.
After finishing the body I did a 3-needle bind off to join the left shoulder and then picked up stitches to start working the short rows.  I ended up picking up 48 stitches along the right edge.  I worked 1 row and then on the next right side row I cast on the stitches for the armhole.  I ended up casting on 43 stitches, which should give me the right length for the armhole.  My total stitch count came out pretty close to the stitch count for the third size (91 compared to 93) so those are the directions I am using for the short rows.  I've finished one wedge and have started the second.

Pattern:  Short-Row Vest by Carol Feller
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Enzo Sport in Neptune and Glacier
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Gazania Zebra - Finished!

I finished my Gazania Zebra this past Saturday while waiting up for Bruce to get back from Tennessee.  I had some second thoughts while I was finishing it up and the first time I did the bind off I did a regular bind off, which was too tight, so I undid it and worked a lace bind off.  The real unknown was how far I should join the edges to make the sleeves.  I wanted the shawl to open up in the back so you could see all the colors.
I had already divided the solid colors of yarn into two cakes so I wouldn't have to worry about weighing while working each side. I then divided the remains from each side equally and joined them.  When I got to the yellow section I left the yarn attached, but cut half off.  I worked short rows, knitting to just shy of the center of the shawl and then working 10 less stitches on each consecutive short row until I almost ran out of yarn.  When I got to the blue I worked across all of the short rows in the section back to where I had started.  Once I had finished one side, I placed all of those stitches onto a spare needle and secured the tips so the stitches wouldn't get away.

After I finished the second side I joined the edges for 60 stitches. Instead of working a 3-needle bind off I wove the loops together by picking up the first loop on one needle, then the first loop on the second needle and pulling it through the first loop I picked up.  I kept doing this, alternating between the two needles until I got to the last stitch.  I placed this last stitch on the knitting needle to be worked with the rest of the stitches when I worked the opening.
Here are the sleeves.
I used the leftover Gazania yarn to work a few knit rounds on the opening and then bound off using a lace bind off to keep things loose.
I think it looks a bit like a deflated seed pod, but in really crazy colors.  I didn't do anything special when I blocked it, just lay it out.  I didn't want a crease in the striped section, so I laid it out so the fold would be where there was a color change.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Neptune - Camp Loopy 2016 - Project 3

I finally cast on my third Camp Loopy project yesterday.  I almost dropped out of Camp Loopy last month after becoming very disenchanted with my second Camp Loopy project, but managed to revitalize myself with a project change to the Raspberry Blaze Cape.  Shortly after I found that project the third project was announced and I found one that I liked - the Short-Row Vest by Carol Feller.  The pattern was published in knit.wear Spring/Summer 2014, which I happened to have.  The theme this month is Faraway Lands - so your project has to  incorporate a different country by using a pattern by a designer who lives in a different country, or you picking a pattern named for (or celebrating) something in a different country, or can picking a color that reminds you of a place in a different country.  I decided to go for Ireland and started a pattern search and came up with this pattern.  The designer lives in Cork, Ireland, which, coincidentally, is where my Uncle John (my mother's brother) spent the last years of his life.  I chose Shalimar Yarns Enzo Sport, a yarn that I have not knit with before, and picked as my two colors - Neptune and Glacier.  The picture above is the Glacier.  I did my swatch in Neptune (below).
I picked the colors because their names also evoked faraway lands. Does Neptune have Glaciers?  I don't know, but it sounds romantic.  Of course I did a swatch.  When I looked at the pattern I saw that the gauge was 19 sts and 28 rows = 4 inches.  The pattern also called for a US 6 (4 mm) needle.  The yarn I chose called for a US 4 (3.5 mm) needle and has a recommended gauge of 6 sts per inch.  For my gauge swatch I cast on 28 stitches (24 for the 4 inches and 4 extra stitches for the garter stitch edge - 2 per side).  I worked 33 rows, just to make it easier to work my garter stitch edge before casting off.  My gauge ended up being 22 sts and 32 rows = 4 inches.  From a size perspective, I want to knit the second size (34 inch bust).  This size calls for casting on 108 stitches.  But for my gauge I would need to case on 108(22/19) = 125 stitches.  This falls between two sizes, the third size with 122 stitches cast on and the fourth size with 136 stitches cast on.  After looking at the schematic and noting that the model is shown with 2 inches of positive ease, I'm going to go with the fourth size.

Pattern:  Short-Row Vest by Carol Feller
Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Enzo Sport in Neptune and Glacier
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)