Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Cardigan - hanging in mid air

I finished the last cardigan, Newsom, and I've not yet done the final photo or update, small issues like end of winter and finding time. But I have been wearing it and loving the addition to the wardrobe. I've also been fielding requests for the pattern from people at work - non ravelers. Newsom is a paid pattern, so is Slanted Sleeven. I struggle with requests to share patterns, in the old days you simply loaned them the book or pamphlet once you were finished, now knowing the designer deserves the recognition I tend to buy a second copy of the pattern and print it out and give it to them - but when that happens a lot I find myself wondering why I am covering the cost and maybe I should just email the link so they can buy it themselves. The copyright dilemma aside - I'm finding cardigans useful, I know I have several cardigan amounts of yarn in my stash and I wanted to knit another.


Despite liking cardigans I find I'm quite fussy when it comes to patterns, preferring fitted, shorter designs knit in fingering weight yarns. Those patterns seem to be in the minority, and ones that work with variegated yarns even less. Recently April she will come, was released, and was free for a short time (now it's a paid pattern). I had some lovely alpaca mohair merino hand dyed in shades of purple that needed to be a cardigan. The yarn was dyed by an Indie dyer who isn't active right now, and it's beautiful.

I cast on and knit the larger size, but realized when I completed the yoke that was not the right size for me, so frogged the work and began again in a smaller size. 'April she will come' is a top down seamless raglan so easy to try on for fit as it is worked, and when I tried it on I realized I wanted to slightly raise the back neck - as the pattern has the front and back pretty much the same. I'm not sure about most people. It my front and back are different, and my clothes look better if they reflect my body shape a little. So when I cast on for the second time I adjusted the numbers and worked 8 short rows from mid shoulder to mid shoulder across the back.

The cardigan has lace motifs on the sleeves, which are only partly charted, and I'm ok with that. The placement is regular enough to easily work out how to continue the pattern. Well that was what I thought, seems I made a mistake early in the pattern. See the lace? Seems the motifs should be not so centered but spread across the sleeve more.

So I slipped the work off the needles and frogged the errant rows. I frogged back to a plain knit row - as I'm not confident enough to pick up a lace row with yarn overs and knit three togethers.


To put the stitches back on the needle I pinch the live row between my thumb and forefinger. Then I scoop up each stitch with the needle in the left hand. I don't worry about how the stitches are oriented. Just about catching them. If one drops I pick up the easiest live stitch, again I don't fuss with repairing a dropped stitch - I just catch them as they appear. Once I have all, the stitches I worked a slipped stitch row, I slip each one from left to right needle in turn - and this is where I fix any that sit funny, or were dropped or split. If I remember I also put back the markers, mostly I don't remember and I add them on the first row I knit.

Then I make sure I know what row I am on and begin knitting. And I try and avoid making the mistake that resulted in the frogging. But I'm human - and I've been known to make the same mistake several times.


So here I am, on my way to finish the yoke, the yarn is beautiful - this image probably represents the colour best.

Take care, na Stella.







Saturday, September 05, 2015


Seems that blogging has become intermittent - much like the knitting. I did finish the second pair of Rainbow mitts, and I've started and restarted a cardigan. I made a mess of the warp in then loom - suspect it was messy right from the start - and after a heroic effort to selvedge the warp I came to my senses and cut the warp off leaving the loom naked. Today it's all about the mitts, next post the cardigan with stitches off the needles.


Here is the second pair of Rainbow mitts, this time the larger size and the larger needles. I think I could make another pair - the smaller size and larger needed and they would fit even slugger around the fingers and hand. With the larger size I was able to work the standard wrist shaping. Also different this time - I didn't rib the ends of the fingers. I'm still not a fan of rolling stocking stitch edges but these don't bother me to wear as much as I thought they would. I'm beginning to think of this as the Goldilocks mitts, First too small, then too big and maybe the next will be just right. It's not the pattern, after all I didn't swatch or use the yarn specified - I just cast on and went. And with stocking stitch there is very little pattern pull in as would happen with ribbing or cables. I am beginning to wonder what would happen if I worked the palm in a rib or a heel style slip stitch, which would pull in where most needed.

After dying about 5 grams of each colour and knitting two pairs I still seem to have enough yarn to knit another pair of mitts. Really each finger must use only 2 grams or so.

I worked the same cuff hem on these mitts, picking up stitches onto a second circular needle and working the inside hem down before casting off both sets of stitches together. This time I made the cuff deeper. I do like the finish,and think it (like the iCard cast off) might become a regular technique.


This is one of the nicest details about the mitts, the thumb gusset. The decreases are not simply repeated, instead the designer has considered the way the had is shaped and adapted the decreases to fit that shape. There are four decrease points, which work as three points, one up the midline of the thumb, and one either side. It makes a subltle but intelligent detail.

And it's snowing today, so a perfect day to wear something warm and colour full like these.

Na Stella.