Sunday, August 27, 2006

there is knitting...

at my house but no pics. Hopefully tomorrow.

There were longer hours on-the-job most days last week and there was work (at work) on Saturday. This is cutting into my knitting time.

The sweater has been getting it's one ball of knitting per day and two balls of knitting Saturday so it got a break today. Or I got a break from sweater knitting. However you want to look at it.

Current sweater status:

back is done -- 5 balls
one sleeve is done -- 3 balls
other sleeve is 1 ball up from the cuff
one front is ready for its pocket lining join. That's just almost one ball.
the other front has it's pocket line joined on. It's at one full ball.

In today's non-sweater knitting, I tried a slip stitch pattern that might be useful on a dishcloth or bib. This test piece is not sure what it wants to be, until it gets a bib strap. The slip stitch pattern did not work out (or maybe the yarn colors/variegation didn't work out with the pattern) the way I hoped it would so it's an odd border to another slip stitch pattern I wanted to try out. We'll call it a design feature...

Then I started some slippers for nephew #3. He just started at OSU so they're black and orange. Well the orange is subtle and used only for the inner sole. I use the fiber trend's clog pattern which is very well written. There is some counting and paying attention though I have some tricks to minimize the counting. With a high contrast inner sole, I stop the contrast color after row 5 so it doesn't jump out around the edges when the outer sole is joined. Made lots of them last winter and have plans for a few more for Christmas or birthdays or just because. This pair has the two inner soles and one slipper is knit halfway up the toe/instep and the other is starting the toe shaping. I have a feeling there's not enough black in the stash. So I'm trying to keep them even with what I have and will work in another skein as needed.

more later,

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

5+2+2 -2 +2

I think I got behind on my one ball a day goal on this sweater. That formula in the title means I had five balls done on Saturday, then did two more Sunday and I had two sleeve bottoms:

Then on Monday I frogged two sleeve bottoms:

Then Monday I knit another sleeve bottom, two stitches wider. And another one this evening. So we're back to two sleeve bottoms.

So after eight days, I've knit nine balls, but my net knitting is seven. Oh, well, pretty good.

In other knitting news, the monthly dishcloth mid-month KAL is done. I really like this pattern. Join the monthly dishcloth yahoo group and you can get the pattern. My knit night friend Eclectichick with a new blog and I think it would be even better if the accent color was not included in the side borders but I haven't come up with an easy way to leave it out.

more later,

Sunday, August 20, 2006

another monthly KAL dishcloth

Now you didn't think I was knitting monogomously on the sweater, did you?
Well, I almost am, but it's mid-month and time for the monthly dishcloth KAL. Here is where I am after day 4. Days 1-3 were my lunchtime knitting this week Wed-Fri.

The instructions called for a variegated and a solid but in the reverse positions from where you see them in my pic. Sometimes I don't follow instructions very well, but you may have already known that. My knitting rebel coming out when I picked these yarns, I guess.

I do like how this one is knitting up. It reminds me of the ball-band warshrag with the slip stitches, but they're handled differently. And it's more stockinette based than reverse stockinette. As I knit it, I ask myself how the patt would work in a sock. And I do think it would work. There would be just two rows of purling every 10 rows, I think, though I haven't tested it out in the round.

The yarns:
Sugar and Cream Butter Cream Ombre
Peaches and Creme Lt Sage

Knitted on a size 7 circ that makes it very portable and worry free when jamming it in the bag and dragging it out.

Pattern: mid-August 2006 KAL from the monthly dishcloth group at yahoogroups. Here's their blog address.

One more note: I have found that generally when combining a solid and a variegated, it's best if the variegated not contain the selected solid as one of the colors (in the many colors of the variegated.) Hope that makes sense. Otherwise, the two blend together here and there where the like colors touch. At least this is one of my personal knitting "rules" I use when mixing yarns for dishcloths.

more later,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

five balls

Yes, for those of you who have been following along, we skipped right by ball 4. I did pause for a pic after knitting ball 4 then pulled out another ball and knit a few more rows. Next thing I knew, I'm up too late, finishing ball 5, well, except for about 4 yards (the bit of yarn you see at the upper right). The other yarns you see sticking out here and there show where each ball knitted to. So now the back is finished. Yea!!

Tomorrow I'm moving on to the sleeves. I have to ponder the pocket placement and construction so I'm not up to knitting the fronts just yet. Well, I may do the ribbing and a few inches of stockin. up to the pocket point, then put the front(s) on hold.

Extrapolating, if the fronts take 3 balls each, which is generous since a front is basically half a back, and the sleeves take 2 balls each, then maybe a ball or two for the hood, and a ball for the belt, I have plenty of yarn. [I started with 22. 21 as called for in the pattern, plus a spare.]

more later,


Friday, August 18, 2006

three balls

Sorry to be a boring blogger but we're now three balls into this sweater and 15 inches up the back-of-the-sweater. Not worth a pic. Tomorrow we reach the armpits on ball 4 and start the sleeve shaping. Maybe a pic then.

more later,

Thursday, August 17, 2006

two balls

Two evenings of knitting. Two balls of yarn. About 9 1/2 inches of back-of-sweater. And I thought blogger pics were again not cooperating. But then there it was. So now you can see it:

There's just a bit of decreasing going on. At both ends of each row every 20 rows. The yarn marker method helps me count. Actually, I'm letting it count just the knit rows so when it gets to 9, the next knit row is a decrease row. But mostly, it's knit a row, purl a row.

In other news, it's another woohoo day. We have passed 2000 blog hits for soapquiltknit. Thanks for reading my knitting.

more later,

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

one balls worth

Here imagine a picture of 4 1/2 inches of back-of-a-sweater knitting, composed of 2 inches of ribbing followed by stockinette. Blogger is not cooperating and I gave him two chances to upload a picture.

One evening of knitting and one ball of yarn. Just a few details -- I knit the ribbing on 10s and the stockinette on 10 1/2s, just like the pattern says.

I'm afraid this sweater and this pattern won't make for very interesting blogging. I find nothing in the pattern, yet, that seems to need fixing.

Hoping blogger will cooperate tomorrow,

Monday, August 14, 2006

new yarn distractions

There was a box on the porch when I got home this evening. 22 balls of Muench Goa for dd's sweater. The Michael Kors hooded jacket from the Spring/Summer 2006 Vogue Knitting.

And new yarn always distracts me. So we had to pull out the needles and knit some swatch. The patt calls for 10 1/2's so that's where we start. Theoretical gauge is 13 spi, 19 rpi. I normally do about a 20 stitch or 4 inch swatch with a couple or three stitches of garter border all around. However, this sweater has pockets (and I've never done pockets before) and CO for the pocket is 18. So the swatch is 18 and gets no garter. If all turns out well, the swatch is the pocket. Sounds good to me.

So I knit it up and I'm real close to gauge. Real, real close. So the swatch went for a swim and is pictured on it's towel where it is currently drying under a ceiling fan. Dry fast little swatch so you can go to knit night tomorrow.

Then some picking up and rib knitting (k2 p2) on the shrug. I picked up 118 stitches because that's what seemed right. It's more than what the pattern called for. We'll hope it works out ok. And have another go at it, if it doesn't. Actually half or more of those stitches weren't pick-ups but held stitches that took their place on the needle. I'm ribbing on a size 11 circ about 36 inches long which holds all the stitches nicely with room to move around. Oh and I got rid of two stitches (k2tog or p2tog, one of each, I think) in the back area because 118 is not divisible by four. This rib will be good to knit at knit night because I don't have to think about it. And I can pick it up and put it down at any point.

Swallowtail gets to go too to show herself. And I can purl back that row that is waiting. And stitch in a lifeline because I'll be at the end of a section of chart.

more later, but not tomorrow because it's knit night,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

swallow at 8

We have progress on the swallowtail shawl. I am almost done with repeat 8 of chart 2. All that's left of this repeat is the purl back. I'm at 123 stitches. And rows are taking longer to knit. Still plenty of yarn left in ball 1.

I switched to some nylon circs about 10 rows back. The circs are antiques or nearly so. No join to give you trouble as there is no join. The cable and needles are molded as one. The shawl was still fitting on the little bamboo needles fine, but I couldn't spread the stitches out well to count them. And I couldn't spread the shawl out to have a look at it.

more later,

Saturday, August 12, 2006

swallowtail shawl

I got my new fall 06 Interweave Knits including the new Evelyn Clark Swallowtail Shawl pattern. I had seen the shawl in the online preview. And I had seen the mag last Tuesday at knit night. And I had my yarn on hand [knitpicks gloss, wool and silk fingering weight yarn marketed as a sock yarn]. All other projects are on a temporary break.

I wound a ball of yarn and cast-on. I had to work today (yes, on Saturday, I told you there would be lots of work time for a while) but I knit most of the evening. The pattern/charts are well written. There was a bit of tinking but much progress. I have finished the third repeat of chart 2.

I'm knitting it on 6's (4.25mm) and the gauge feels right. I can't tell whether I'm getting pattern gauge or not. I'd guess not since I'm using a heavier yarn than lace weight and larger needles than called for. But it's my shawl and I like it so that's what counts. On my book. I got three skeins so I have 660 yards. And the pattern calls for 400-some so I'm hoping I have plenty. And if I come to understand the transition between chart 2 and chart 3 I may add an extra repeat or two depending on how big it seems at the end of chart 2 repeats, and how much yarn I have.

Those green strings are my lifelines. I'm putting them in after each repeat of chart 2.

I've finished 3 repeats of chart 2. Of 14. So there's lots more to go. And each row gets longer. I ran some calculations to confirm the pattern stitch counts. And calculated the stitch counts at the end of each repeat of chart 2. I don't want to not get to 195 (at the end of the 14th repeat of chart 2, I'm a bit hung up on 14 repeats, huh? I'm just sayin' that I progressed so quickly from chart 1 to chart 2, then...) and then if I don't have 195, I'll wonder where I went wrong. So here are the chart 2 stitch count numbers, in case they'll be useful to anyone else. The first number is the chart 2 repeat number, the second number is the stitch count at the end of that repeat.

1 39
2 51
3 63
4 75
5 87
6 99
7 111
8 123
9 135
10 147
11 159
12 171
13 183
14 195 jdb 8/12/06

Meanwhile the shrug cuffs are (were) coming along. Here's a pic of the too loose cuff knit on those lovely Brittany Birch 15s. It was frogged and started again on an 16 inch 11us circ but it was a wrestling match to work the cuff around the 16 inch circ so more needle digging yielded two long 11us circs. I think they're both 36 inchers which is too long imho but works. And fortunately though they match pretty well, the tips are different colors (one silver and one light metallic green) which saves me from knitting onto the wrong needle. I'm using a technique which is like what I think some people use to knit two socks on two circs but, of course, I'm doing cuffs. Well, one cuff at a time.

It's late so... more later,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

hat 1 for the homeless

Just a quick post before work. My hours may be long for the next few weeks so my posts (and my knitting time) may be short.

For my shrug, I thought I needed some 15 dpns for the sleeve ribbing. At least, that's what the pattern says. But you know all about what I do with what patterns say.

My sister of the wool Lynn came through with 15s. I let out the provisional cast-on at knit night and proceed to rib for a couple of inches. Well, I'm disappointed with the rib, because I really liked knitting with Lynn's brittany birch 15s. But the ribbing on 15s is not airy, it's so loose, it's floppy, almost sloppy. So I need a plan b for the shrug rib.

But I really liked the dpns:

so I decided to use them for a hat:

The yarn is this and that, mostly worsted weight. All wool, I think. Some left from clogs last Christmas time. Some from an unraveled thrift shop sweater (that doesn't felt as well as I hoped it would). The red is from a cardigan I knit for myself last winter. Started off with 3 strands together. Ended up with 4 strands together. Cast-on 32. Join and a row of knit followed by two rows of seed then lots of knit knit knit around and around. Then standard hat decreases (in this case k2tog around 5 decrease points). The pattern is similar to a Dulaan hat pattern on the yarn harlot's blog a couple years ago. Except I knit in the round.

It's a little small for a woman's head (this woman) but will fit a 8 to 10 year old fine, I'm guessing. And will keep that girl's head nice and warm. I haven't a plan for how to distribute the hats but I brought up the idea at knit-night and some may join me in making hats.

more later,

Monday, August 07, 2006

do sweaters cure?

You might guess from my blog name that I'm also a soap maker. Well, since knitting has been taking my time, soapmaking has taken a back seat. Maybe we'll have a soap day one day soon. My point is that soap has a cure time. Well, that shrug is having some cure time. I'm pondering whether the sleeves are ok or need to be re-knit a bit bigger. I'll be taking it to Starbucks tomorrow to get some input from my sisters of the wool.

In the meantime, I've been knitting some sleeve bands on the vest. I've been meaning to post about my pick-up calculations. You might remember when the vest was freshly knit the row to stitch ratio was about .75 And the pattern recommended picking up 3 stitches for every 4 rows. Well after the vest was soaked in Eucalan and warm water, there was some shrinkage, as I expected, based on the swatch swim. [I do hope you swim your swatches.] The row to stitch ratio, post soaking and blocking, is .69 which is quite near .7 which is 7 stitches to pick up for every 10 rows. Or a pattern of 2-2-3 is the way I think of it -- pick up 2, skip 1, pick up 2, skip 1, pick up 3, skip 1.

For those who want to know more about the math details and where I got this ratio -- in a 6 inch square, on the center back of the vest, there are 29 stitches and 42 rows. 29 divided by 42 is .69

I'm almost done with sleeve band number 1. When number 2 is done, I'll post a pic. This will probably be before she gets buttons. That may take a while. I know me.

more later,

Sunday, August 06, 2006

more shrug

We've been knitting. And this shrug is a fast knit.

Witness parts:

And the main bit of body together:

Some details:

The back was knit pretty much by the pattern except I bumped the cast-on to 40 (from 38) which took the increases up to 46. Then I took the decreases down to 16. Like the pattern.

The sleeves were knit with the most “customization”. I started with a provisional crochet cast-on. 28 stitches, as per the patt though I wish I’d bumped it up a couple. I started just above the ribbing. Two reasons. I’m not sure I want 8 inches of ribbing but I don’t want to change my mind about how much ribbing after knitting the whole darn sleeve. And then take out the whole sleeve to change it. Plus with a seamed ribbing, and fold up ribbing, the seamed part shows. So, I’ll be adding on the sleeve ribbing later, knitted in the round. Just have to find some size 15 dpns or a long 15 circ with a cable suitable for magic loop. Yo, sisters of the wool?

I also changed the sleeve decreases which the re-published pattern changed from the original. The re-published pattern recognized that the sleeve decreases are asymmetrical. But on the side with minimal decreases, the re-published pattern has two decreases. On the first two right side rows. While the other side has traditional every other row (every right side row) raglan decreases. Now that’s just silly to put the only two right up front. That is not going to make a sleeve shaped like the graphic. So I did 1 decrease every 8 rows, 3 times. Yup, three. Two didn’t seem enough.

Then I seamed it up. Which went pretty quickly, considering there aren’t very many rows, per part. I used Sugar and Cream, almost natural. The natural color with little bits of color now and then. Because the solid all-natural colored Sugar and Cream is visiting my office/temporary duty location. Don’t ask.

Next comes the picking up part and I do have something to say about the recommended number of pick-up stitches. But that will come later…


Saturday, August 05, 2006

the shrug back ip

blogger is cooperating this morning so I added pics of the triangle fronts to the post from last night.

Here is the yarn we're working with:

I think this truly will be a fast knit, as I'm getting 2.5 spi on 13s.

I'm working on the back just now. I cast-on 40 (on US15s), then knit a row (on US13s) and purled back. The increase pattern as written looks reasonable so I'm going with it. Except for where I'm putting the increases. I might have done left and right leaning increases but with this yarn, I don't think you would see it, so I'm going with kfb. My increase rows look like: k1 kfb knit-a-bunch (until there are three stitches left (yes three)) kfb k2 . This makes the little bar that you see from the increases, if you could see it, two stitches in from each edge. I do the increase row every six rows, that is increase row, purl back, knit a row, purl back, knit a row, purl back. Then start the increase row-set over.

I do a yarn marker (this one is red) to show me where I'm at in the increase row set:

When I do the increase row, the marker is placed after the first stitch. Then purl back, and I haven't "passed" (or knitted-by) the marker so it stays in place. One the next knit row, as I pass the marker, it moves over two (one for the purl row, and one for the knit row I'm working on) so it's now after the third stitch. It tells me, in case I put down my knitting, that I'm on the third row of the increase-row-set. Then on the next knit row, it moves over two again (to the position after stitch 5). Then the next knit row is an increase row. In the pic, the orange yarn is laid-in at the increase positions, so I (and you) can see where the increases are. Not that it matters, but if I should forget whether I've repeated the increase sequence three times, it would tell me.

more later,

ip means in-process, to me, at least

Friday, August 04, 2006

The yarn is here!

I found a box on my porch yesterday. Unfortunately, it was as I was loading mom's things into the car for a 2 1/2 hour drive. Each way. Takes some of the knit out of you, let me tell you.

I did cut the box open when I got home. And I wound a ball. Let me tell you that is one big ball o' yarn. The yarn is Knitpicks Spinnaker and comes in 200 gram skeins which is an excellent idea since it is chunky (or bulky) not sure what the technical term is, but there are 132 yards per 200 gram skein.

I am knitting the fisherman shrug which was the cover pic on Knit It magazine some months ago. The pattern is available free online because they had to rewrite it from what was published in the magazine. Google for it if you want a copy. But don't count on the republished pattern to work out too well either, as rewritten, but if you want to knit along, I'll try to give you enough details to make it work, as I get it figured out.

I knit some last night on the button bands for my vest (and I will post about these and my pick-up theory later) but tonight I just couldn't stand it and cast on for the shrug.

You may remember from an earlier post about my plans to use the front triangles for my swatch. Well, I held onto that plan. The pattern calls for a gauge of 9 stitches per 4 inches which is 2 1/4 stitches per inch on size 10.5 needles. The yarn calls for a gauge of 2 1/2 stitches per inch on size 11 needles. Size 11s it is. The cast on for the triangle fron says cast on 18. So I do. Knit a row, purl a row. Knit a row with a ssk at the front and a k2tog at the back, purl a row. Pause to look at the gauge. Hmmm, not 8 inches wide (as it should supposedly be). Offload the knitting to a smaller needle. A 7 or 8, whatever was handy. Let it rest. Pull on it a bit. Where're those 13s. Cast on again. Same sequence of knit/purl rows. Looks pretty good. Offload to a different smaller needle. Still looks good. A bit airy (hey, J3, love that description) but pretty good. Measure some gauge. Hmmm. 2 1/2 stitches per inch. Well we can work with this. Sooo pull it out... it doesn't frog too easily as the yarn is lumpy bumpy (and dh threatens to take a pic of the frogging). The next size up calls for a cast-on of 20, so that's where we've going.

Now about the decreases. The patt calls for decreasing on every knit row (after the first) in the knit 1 ssk knit a bunch k2tog knit 1 way. Then purl back Well, if you do that, and starting at 20 stitches, and going down to two (they say one, but an even number of stitches, decreasing 2 per row is never going to result in an odd number), that is 19 rows. And if you get 14 rows per inch like the gauge says (on the re-written pattern) that's going to get you maybe 6 inches, not 8 like the picture. So we need a different decrease pattern. Here's what I did.
cast on 20 (I cast onto a 15, then knitted with 13s. I almost always go up a needle size or two for the cast on)
knit a row and purl back
knit a decrease row (result 18), purl back,
knit a row (still 18), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 16), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 14), purl back,
knit a row (still 14), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 12), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 10), purl back,
knit a row (still 10), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 8), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 6), purl back,
knit a decrease row (result 4), purl back,
knit a decrease row (this row is ssk, k2tog, result 2),
purl 2 togther, pull the yarn through. [If my count is right this is 26 rows.]

Repeat the whole process. And you have 2 triangle fronts that look much like the pattern graphic. I was going to show you a pic but the upload is not cooperating.

editted to add picture of the triangle fronts:

more later,