Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Drat the double center decrease

I decided to make the Ariel Tee Shirt from the June 2010 Knit & Style. I wasn't going to buy this magazine...God knows I have enough patterns to drool over in the other billion magazines and books that I have. However, this particular pattern tempted me because it is a bottom up, seamless, tee shirt with lace details. Plus I had a 40% off coupon from the local craft store...How could I resist?

I am using the Rowan Purelife in Brazilwood that I bought from my FLYS last year. I had originally bought this yarn for the lace poncho from Knitting Pure and Simple. I soon realized that I HATE knitting on size 15 needles. It's like knitting with tree thank you!!!

The pattern calls for a gauge of 20 sts per 4 inches...a light worsted. Hmmmm, could I really use the Purelife, which is a DK weight? I figured I could try. I went back to my FLYS with high hopes that she still had at least 2 more skeins of the color. I called her earlier that day and it didn't sound like she did...but what can I say, I am an optimist. I thank God that I did go in and check, because way in the back of the bin, hidden from view were 2 full skeins of the exact color that I needed. I was even more happy when she told me that this particular color was discontinued. I felt the heavens opening, and the sun shining on me at that very moment. I knew that somewhere, someone was telling me to make this pattern, and it was all meant to be......okay, not really. But how lucky did I feel? Very lucky indeed.

So I reworked the stitch numbers...again. Why do I do this to myself? Probably because I have too much yarn and I need to knit it all up. Anyway, I am hoping and praying that I will have just enough to finish the lace tee shirt (that, incidentally, I have decided is one cool pattern). I am learning another method to seamless apparel - bottom up in the round to the armpits, knitting the sleeves separately, and then attaching the sleeves to the body for the yoke. Happy day.

First problem I ran into was the lace detail. I know how to read charts; in fact, I prefer them to the pattern written out. Maybe I should have looked over the pattern before I started knitting. Hah-I assumed too much. First frog.

Second problem I ran into was I didn't make the double decrease correctly. Instead of slipping 2 stitches knitwise, I slipped them purlwise. What a difference it makes:

This is what the stitch looks like with the 2 stitches slipped purlwise.

This is what the double center decrease is supposed to look like. You will notice as you continue knitting that this decrease is virtually invisible, while the previous (wrong) decrease looks like a left slanting decrease. You don't want that...

I didn't pay attention to this tiny detail until I was 20 rows into the darn pattern! The decrease is supposed to look like a normal knit stitch. Don't make the same mistake I did. Look at your knitting before you continue and make sure it looks right. Otherwise, you will have funny looking leaves in your lace. Second frog.

Now I am knitting the pattern for the 3rd time and so far so good. I was watching LOST last night...and I made a little mistake, but not big enough to make me want to frog it AGAIN. At least the lace looks like leaves this time :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sleeve of the Husbeast Hoodie

Aaaargh. My husband's Fair Isle Hoodie is taking forever to finish. I bound off the body last week. Now I am working on the first sleeve. The good thing is, there are decreases, so it is not pure stockinette for rows and rows with no end in sight. Gah!

I suppose I should be thankful that at least it is a project I can work on while LOST is on...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Glad I didn't Shrug it off

Last year I charted Barbara Walker's Candlelight Stitch pattern. I was determined to make a shawl out of the Karabella Breeze that I bought from my FLYS and I was going to use this pattern. Because it is a lace pattern, it was not a quick and easy project and was taking longer than I thought it would. I let the shawl hibernate...and I even considered frogging it to make something different. I even (gasp!) gave one of the balls of Breeze to a swap partner because I didn't think that I would need it. Note to self: Never never never ever give away something that you may use, no matter how remotely. Wish I had that one ball now.

Anyway, I took the shawl out. Now that it is getting warmer, I am wanting to do lace projects. My husbeast's hoodie is taking life and breath out of me (okay not literally, but each of the sleeves are taking me a week to do. I found the chart of the lace pattern and I felt happy that I actually did (all by myself, and correctly - yay for me!). Frog or not to frog...a quick decision. I decided to finish the last pattern repeat that I was doing and construct it into a shrug.

After it was blocked, I looked at it again on both sides and admired the fact that it truly is a reversible pattern. I thought that it was a shame to put sleeve seams in it, forcing me to wear it with one side always showing. Then I remembered the Convertible Shrug that I made when we went to Oregon. This particular shrug used buttons instead of seams. I opened my box of buttons and pulled out my jewelry tools and before I knew it, voila! I made a Convertible (and Reversible) Shrug.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finished! Entrelac Shrug

Finally seamed the blocked shrug. I think it came out pretty well! Now I want to make another one with DK yarn and with short sleeves. Truth be told, I want to use the Malabrigo Silky that I bought last year in the colorway Indeicita and I only managed to claim 5. Ugh. I can do it I can do it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Entrelac Shrug

I love the look of Entrelac...addictive and fun, especially with self striping yarn like Noro. For my project, I used Noro Silk Garden and Cash Iroha. The pattern is Dramatic Datewear from Ponchos and Wraps (a Knitter's collection). It was an easy knit. Some people slip the first stitch of each row if they know they have to pick up stitches. At first, I did not, and when it came time to pick up the stitches for the next tier, I just picked up every other stitch. Then I slipped the first stitch of each row to make it a little easier to pick up the stitches. However, I noticed that the latter technique made holes where the stitches were picked up. Not big ones and barely noticeable. But the former techinique left no holes. When I discovered this, I returned to the former method.

For the cuffs, I picked up 36 stitches, instead of the 50+ stitches stated in the pattern (I knit the size small). I used a 2x2 knit/purl rib for 2 inches. What can I say, I don't like knitting rib.

I didn't block it at first; I usually think this is just an extra unnecessary step. Boy, was I wrong. I seamed the arms and tried the shrug on. The arms were tighter than I expected, which wouldn't have been such a big deal, if the back part of the shrug didn't look so short. I ripped out the seaming and steam blocked it on my kids' playmats. Now I am just waiting for it to dry and will seam it later today.