Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for July, 2007

Two steps forward, one step back.

Posted by mtmom on July 29, 2007

I have had kilt hose on the brain this week (I wonder why? {g}).  I have ordered from Schoolhouse Press THE book on the subject by the Dowager Lady Veronica Gainford, Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings, and begun swatching for sock-gauge with a thick-ish wool (Canadian “Regal”) on small-ish needles.  Swatching for knee socks.  My first goal is to practice custom calf-shaping from measurements.  Keyboard Biologist had 2 very helpful posts on this on January 24 and 26, 2007 –search her site for “toe up knee socks”.  Decorative cuffs would come next in my self-directed-study course.

In the meantime, I continue to work on my Mad to Dance socks, Ice Cream sweater, and entrelac baby blanket.

Ice Cream Sweater.

To recap on the Ice Cream sweater (named for its resemblance to Neopolitan ice cream) I’d begun with Jacqueline Fee’s directions in The Sweater Workshop, adding a front sweatshirt-style pocket to her basic raglan sweater template.  But then I segued to Elizabeth Zimmermann’s  Knitting Without Tears, to construct saddle-shoulders.  Thought that would be more fun and easier to adapt to my personal shoulder shape which is rather angular.  Her penultimate manoever is to work 10 rounds with body-decreases to round the shoulders.  I thought I’d just reduce that to 2 rounds.  What hadn’t occurred to me in all this fiddling was that, if I eliminated 8 planned rounds of shaping at the shoulder, making them indeed more angular, I would also eliminate 8 rounds of vertical armhole depth. . . . 

In my knitting, I reached the point where I had planned to start the horizontal strips and had a moment’s doubt. . . .  I decided to slip half the stitches to a spare circular needle and try it on.  Trying on Ice Cream sweater 

I didn’t think the yoke was fully deep enough.  Close, but not quite.  So I ripped.  {urk!}  Now you see it . . .

  Pile of ripped yarn  now you don’t.

After a false re-start, I eventually ripped to a round before the shaping began, i.e. to about 1″ above the underarm join {sigh} and have resumed from that point.   A bit humbled — not a bad thing — I have decided to go back to JF’s original raglan design.

Entrelac baby blanket.

I haven’t posted about this project before now; it’s currently meant for our local Neonatal Intensize Care Unit.  Yarn is Lion Brand “Microspun” in several colors (Mango and Buttercup used so far); needles are a US size 5 (3.75 mm) bamboo circular; pattern is my own, with guidance from EZ (Spun-Out #31, originally published in 1985 as Wool Gathering #32) and Vogue Knitting magazine (Fall 2006).

Entrelac baby blanket, 2nd

For the future. . . ?

In the back of my mind, I’m looking for a project utilizing the Happiness symbol also known as St. John’s Cross.  It keeps popping up and catching my eye.  Elsebeth Lavold (Viking Patterns for Knitting) and Alice Starmore (Aran Knitting) do it with cables; Sweaters From Camp does it with colors.  Hmm…..

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Sock Tinker-ing

Posted by mtmom on July 21, 2007

Do you see that hole?hole in sock

I did my best 20-minute-mend on it, with reinforcing thread I had on hand.mended hole 

Not the best match, but pretty sound and comparably stretchy to the rest of the fabric.

But what makes this particularly cool is the utterly amazing sock the hole happened to :front view of Tinker sock front

back view of Tinker sock and side/back view.

Isn’t that the most amazing Argyle sock patterning you’ve ever seen?!  (Rox, what say ye?)

No, I didn’t make these.  A very talented gal in Portland who runs D & D Natural Fibers (no web presence?) designed these.  She — get this — custom-dyed them to match a particular version of a particular tartan, and then machine-knit them for this particular (also cool) bagpiper:  Aaron Shaw

This is Aaron Shaw of the Wicked Tinkers, out of California.  He and his band are here in Flagstaff for a U.S. School of Piping summer program and N. AZ Celtic Heritage Society’s 2007 Celtic Festival/Highland Games.  And this knitter did her best to mend his hose between sets.

The Wicked Tinkers

Jay Atwood on didgeridoo; Warren Patrick Casey on bass drum; Aaron Shaw on pipes; and Keith Jones on percussion (snare et al).  Very exciting and alot of fun!  Thanks, guys!

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Latvia and Fair Isle, a la Mt. Mom

Posted by mtmom on July 17, 2007

Lorri mentions in the Comments that she’d like to see my Latvian mittens.  Well, although I have used a Latvian braid, I did not use it on a mitten. . . I used a braid at 2 places in my first sampler scarf  (pre-blog and pre-LYS-loss, around 2005).

Here’s the first braid:  first Latvian braid

The process was frustrating, but the result was stimulating.  I did another braid around the bottom edge of the tubular scarf.  The second go was easier, especially when I kept in mind the reward.  Second Latvian braid

Across the Baltic Sea from Latvia . . . Fair Isle!

In this third major swatch-band, based on the Snow Sky sweater pattern in Sweaters from Camp, I’ve moved from MC brown to red.Reds in swatch

Perhaps the original’s black & white snowflakes can be made to look like red & pink flowers . . . ?

Here’s the whole swatch so far.Fair Isle swatch

This process is supposed to help me decide on which pattern to use in a sweater and/or vest.  But it’s pretty enjoyable in itself!  (Plus being good practice on stranding technique.)

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered. . .it’s yours!

Posted by mtmom on July 14, 2007

Dulaan cap is all done!  Elastic tied & trimmed, edges grafted, ends tucked in.  My husband delivered it to their office downtown on Heritage Square.  Today and tomorrow, the F.I.R.E. folks will be sorting donations and packing them all up to ship overseas.  I pray this cap will find its way to the most appropriate head.  Here it is, modeled inside-out as well as right-side-out, by 2 likely-sized youth.

inside-out on kathy   right-side-out on cherry

I have written up a sketchy pattern, because some of the gals at Knitting Night have expressed interest.  Guess it would be best to knit from the pattern, with a locally available yarn, to see if it indeed produces a hat of realistic dimensions, with no ambiguities.  Also including the things I thought I would “do differently next time.”

Mystery Stole 3

I have been struggling with this project, but have found ways around most difficulties so far.  To help me keep my place visually as I work across a row, I have colored the inc/dec pairs either orange (right-leaning 0/) or blue (left-leaning ).  Much easier now!!

portion of colored-in chart  (not enough to give anything away. . .)

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Dulaan Deadline Descending

Posted by mtmom on July 9, 2007

[OK, so I couldn’t think of a better D-word.  😉 ]

The 14th is approaching — Have *you* posted your wooly contribution?

Being in the same town, I only have to drive over to the east side and drop mine off, some time when they’re about.  Still, I’m pushing to finish.

I slipped some of my cap’s stitches onto a second needle (of smaller tip-circumference and greater cable-length), and tried it on a handy youth  Cap on Kathy Rose . . .who declared it pleasantly snug.

Looked pretty good for depth, so I decided to begin to close it off . . . with grafting, also called tubular bind-off.  I slipped some stitches onto dpn’s, separating front/outside (dark) stitches from back/inside (light) stitches.  While I have the layers laid open so nicely, I decided to run a few lines of elastic thread through the inside as I move around the circumference.Layers separated for grafting, with elastic added

(The cap is prone to stretch-out, I fear.)  You can see the beginnings of my grafting over to the right.

Here’s another detail photo, but . . .it’s a bit blurry.  [Sorry!  I tried.]Detail of grafted edges

I like this technique.  The front stitches appear to just flow over the edge and into the light stitches of the inside surface, because I’ve Kitchnered the layer-edges together as if they were a sock-toe.

On the publishing front. . .
I am eagerly looking forward to the release of Meg Swansen’s new book, written in collaboration with camper M’lou Baber, of as-yet-unknown title.  It’ll be full of projects utilising the double-knitting techniques I’ve used in this cap.  [How’s it coming, ladies?]  I intend to post the news here when I learn of its availability.

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Dulaan and Mystery Stole

Posted by mtmom on July 7, 2007

The Dulaan cap proceeds apace.  I’ve gotten it back on a circular needle, for the convenience of not having to change needles as I go around, but this time it’s on a Boye metal needle.  I hope my gauge isn’t too much affected by the switch from bamboo to metal — that’s definitely a factor in my knitting, in general:  my stitches are tighter on the catchi-er bamboo than on the more slippery metal.

I’ve finished the hearts pattern and have changed to a stripe.  By a chart in my files, a cap that’s about 18″ around (like this one, on the inside where the head will go) should measure 6″ or more from crown-shaping down to the bottom edge.  That would mean I have about 2″ more to go.  I’m not sure how reliable my chart is — anyone out there have a good source relating hat circumference to height?

Dulaan cap  Dulaan cap so far.  Hearts outside…

Inside of Dulaan cap  . . . and inside too! 

The Mystery Stole 3 KnitALong is now closed to new members.  Clue 2 was released yesterday, Friday, but I’m not ready for that chart yet.  I have finished the first of 2 charts from last week’s Clue 1. 

Mystery Stole at end of Chart A  Chart A  completed 

I’m starting to have problems keeping my place.  I find it harder to “see” the lace pattern with its lines of O’s and decreases than to see color patterns — lining up what I want to do on the current row with what is on/just below my needles from the previous row.  Markers between the selvedge, the border, and the emerging central panel are proving very helpful, as is the re-position-able Post-It tape for my chart, but I still find myself sometimes reading the wrong row, thinking I’ve just finished the row I’m actually suppossed to do next, and moving the tape too soon.  (At least, I think that’s how it’s happening — twice so far.)  And I’m finding my dental floss lifelines frustrating to knit around on the subsequent row!   I shall press on, ‘cus I’m learning and improving, and the results are lovely; but there is a limit. . . .

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Woah!

Posted by mtmom on July 4, 2007

I’ve broken a needle!

Just take a look at this:  broken needle

This is the needle I was using for the Dulann cap.  The cable has separated from the metal needle-base!  I can work the end back in, but of course it won’t stay.  I’ve gone back to dpn’s.  {sigh}

My dh says I’ve achieved some new level of serious-knitter-ness.

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2 Legs are “Mad to Dance”.

Posted by mtmom on July 1, 2007

No, I don’t mean me — [although, actually, that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea!  “Oh, hubby, dear. . . .”]

— I mean my socks.  I’ve been working on my “Mad to Dance” socks since round 5 of Sock Madness, when the pattern was released to all current and eliminated competitors.  I’ve completed 3 repeats of the leg-pattern (I wanted a longer leg than specified in the original design) on both legs and am heading into the heel flaps.  The directions for this transition were . . . a bit less than clear to me.  I tried a few different approaches as to how to switch to back-and-forth while segueing into an all-cables (vs cables alternating with lace panels) rhythm.  On one sock, I worked all of round 25 from the main chart, then turned back to do the first (decrease) row of the heel chart on the second half of my stitches.  On the other sock, I worked only half the stitches according to the main chart, and then turned back on those first-half stitches to begin the heel chart.  So now, sock 1 has the instep stitches ready for rd 26, but sock 2 has instep ready for rd 25.  [Self:  take note!] 

Why not do both the same and avoid potential confusion when I resume full rounds?  This way, when wearing the (Lord willing!) finished socks, my end of round can be on the inner-side of my leg on both socks at the same time.  Probably this won’t matter “to the eye of the most casual observer” (as one of my math profs was fond of saying); it’s a fine detail.  But I feel rather clever figuring out how to do both possibilities, and it explains some of the ambiguities of the designer’s descriptions of this section:  she may have been allowing for both possibilities.2 legs completed

I increased my needle size on the last (bottom) inch of each leg, to allow for the relative narrownes of the upper ankle parts.  (I’m learning how to custom fit my socks — or trying to.)

Pattern by Treesa.
  Yarn is Knit Picks “Bare” merino/silk.
  Needles are HiyaHiya and Knit Picks circulars in sizes US 1 (upper leg) and 1.5 (last 10 rounds or so) — that’s 2.25 and 2.5 mm.

Here are some more progress shots: 

Dulaan cap. . .Dulaan cap progresses

3rd color-pairing (brown & yellow) in band 3 of the Fair Isle swatch. . . 3rd color trial on 3rd design band

the whole Fair Isle swatch so far. . . swatch into 3rd band  

and the Ice Cream sweater well into the yoke section. . .Ice Cream Sweater

. . . and the first 16 rows or so of Mystery Stole 3, including beads!

beginnings of Mystery Stole 3

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