2008 is the year of the Knitter :)!!Â
Enjoy a safe and happy evening and a great New Year’s Day tomorrow.Â
2008 is the year of the Knitter :)!!Â
Enjoy a safe and happy evening and a great New Year’s Day tomorrow.Â
First let me congratulate Surly on a fabulous FO.Â Her Cats and Mice Blankie is absolutely adorable!Â She does such a wonderful job on her fair isle knitting.Â I’m sure she will write a post soon with the answers to your questions about the pattern/yarn source, etc.Â And she better include a picture of the lil mousie on the back ;)!
As for me, I hit an exciting milestone on my Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie last night — I finished the fair isle band :):
Okay, that’s the good news — I was really pleased with the way the band turned out.Â As you can see from the bottom couple of inches that show, I changed the look of my Roslin and did the same garter rib that is on the bottom of the Tangled Yoke Cardi/Pullover.Â It is a cute concept and looks great on all the Tangled Yokes that I have seen.Â
Yes, there is a “but.”Â The garter ribbing looks cute on the bottom of the Roslin fair Isle Hoodie, but it does not look good on me.Â I was living in an ancient, bygone fantasy world when I had a waist.Â Yes, THAT old story again!!Â In my deluded brain, I HAVE a waist, and I continue to hope that my delusions become a reality — however, they have not (and after my holiday indulging, it is even less likely :().
So now I will dismantle the bottom of the sweater, re-knit the body, and graft it to the fair isle band — I have no intention of re-knitting THAT (my wrists still hurt — I finished the band in 2 days, which is a lot of knitting for me).Â That is the minor set back I have encountered with my Roslin — all self induced, so don’t pity me and my fat tummy!Â Yes,Â I could diet away the fat tummy, but it is more reasonable in the short term to reknit the sweater –Â I guess I can still do the dieting later :(.
Yes, as I am sure many of you suspected, my stealth Christmas knitting was the Cats & Mice Baby Blanket: a gift for
my little assistant my daughter.
As usual, my assistant was always ready to help.
Inspired by our longtime reader, Kim, I chose to use a facing on the inside of the blanket to cover the steeks. (Because the blanket is knit in the round, and then cut, there are steeks on the long sides of the blanket.) I decided to repeat the “line and square” motif in the blanket in the facing, and so I knit the facing in the round. First, I picked it up through the same stitch I used to pick up the border. I picked it up this way because after doing some experimenting, I knew that I would get the flattest facing; the facing stitches would naturally turn in the direction I wanted them to.
I used two steeks to “jump” the gap between the short sides of the blanket (the top and bottom) where there were no steeks I needed to hide.
The way that I picked up the stitches meant that the right side was facing the wrong way — it was going to be on the inner, stitched down side of the facing. So, I reversed knitting direction in the middle of the first steek after picking up all of the stitches so that my knitting was going the direction I wanted it to. I then had to be careful when I sewed the facing down. I just “caught” the floats instead of sewing the facing to the actual fabric so that there would be no line on the right side of the blanket. (For more information on this topic, see Susan’s post here.
See the facing design? Isn’t it cute? On the other side, I knitted in the words “Christmas 2007.” There’s also a mouse in the corner. I can’t take a picture of that part of the facing right now because “someone” is sleeping on it.
Just for fun, and because I enjoy photography, I took some “artsy” pictures of the blanket. The first one shows the colors as they are. The second and third are black and white, except for one color tone in each. I think they’re kind of fun.
I really enjoyed knitting this blanket, at least until I got to the border. (It was a bit slow and tedious.) The recipient is happy; I would knit this again for someone special.
Oh! For those who like to see the stranding:
In anticipation of Sally’s ‘Christmas stealth knitting reveal’ (later today or tomorrow) I thought I would share the buttons I found for Kauni. No, they are not square! I like the look of square buttons, but do not like using them.
I loved these buttons (purchased at Skeins in Minnetonka, MN). I did not want to get too gaudy by having too much going on with the buttons. I need to reblock Kauni and gain 2″ in length, but otherwise, put a fork in it! 😉
I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Truer words would never spoken as when I described our trip to Grandpa’s as a feeding frenzy! I ate from the moment we arrived til the moment we left: non-stop!! Those who know me know that this is entirely possible. I love food and I’m not afraid to show it!
I received some good books for Christmas, so that will cut into knitting time — but well worth it. I am progressing on Roslin and will share pictures in a day or two.
I’ve been in a bit of a “Bah, Humbug” funk this year, but my Santa mantel always gets me in the holiday spirit.Â
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Fabulous Festivus to all!Â Whatever your belief system prefers!!Â Here is wishing you a wonderful few days with family and friends.Â Please remember not to work too hard at it — allow yourself some time to relax and actually enjoy the holiday.
We will spend Christmas day with my father-in-law and family — they do all the work!Â We drive down and eat like lil oinkers.Â It’s great!Â And the guilt wears off much more quickly than the calories!
I am so excited — I started my own Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie!Â I have been working on a fourth Hemlock Ring Throw (how many of those do you need ;)), so my “start” is just baby steps at the moment.
Not much to show yet!
I opted to use a different color than the original.Â My main color is Simply Shetland Purple Heather (color #239).Â This is one of those fabulous colors that is a heathery blend of many colors.Â It is absolutely gorgeous and a color I have loved for years!Â Sally’s original Roslin is on display at The Yarnery in St. Paul because I’ll be teaching it as a class this winter.Â Â I thought I better actually make one before teaching it to others. :)Â
To the shock and amazement of my Thursday knitting peeps (NOT ;)), IÂ am doing my Roslin a little bit differently.Â I love the garter rib at the bottom of Sally’s Tangled Yoke Cardigan/Pullover, soÂ I am going to skip the kangaroo pocket and do the garter rib at the hem and sleeves.Â It is a slow go for now but should speed up once I get to the stockinette in the round.Â
This will be my ‘take a long’ project and then I will get back to Lyra for my ‘at home’ knitting.Â I have not forsaken you, Lyra!!Â Â I will get Lyra done, but because it is not an item that can be worn, I feel less urgency about it.Â With winter here, I chose to focus on sweaters for my workplace wardrobe.Â
I also pushed the snooze button on Plisse.Â It was moving along slowly, but seems more like a spring fashion, so I feel less urgency about it, too.
Last night, I did finish my Hemlock, so nowÂ I can concentrate on getting on track with Ros.Â I’m going to cheat and use an old photo — this Hemmie is identical to one that I finished!
And to top it all off, there is a lovely snow falling this morning:
It will be a White Christmas this year — something that has not always happened the last few years!Â I hope you are on track for the holidays.
It’s hard to blog when the one project I’m devoting all of my time to has to remain a secret until Christmas. So here’s a progress picture.
No out loud guessing, please.
I’m glad so many of you liked the square neck on my Kauni. I meant to include this link in my post yesterday. It describes the whole square neck process with my Kauni. I did not want to go on and on in a regular post, but figured that those who are interested could click. It is also located as a link in “Susan’s Gallery” for future reference.
Thanks for all of your fabulous comments about the Kauni. It did dry, and I did finish the inside edges. I tried it on and the neck isn’t as tight as it was before blocking, so it will be fine. It will be a wearable sweater with jeans and turtleneck (gee, that’s a new look for me!).
Here is Lettie doing the modelling. I know, I know — maybe I’ll add a picture of me in it later with buttons ;).
And the back:
Marina asked me about why I grafted the sleeves and how — here is the response I sent her:
Warning: Esoteric knitting blather ahead
The mattress stitch I tried using to sew the sleeves in just did not look right. So I decided to try grafting the sleeves in instead.
Looking at the right sleeve as the example, I ripped back to one row after the red squares (a yellow row). I picked up around the sleeve opening with red, and then used yellow for my grafting yarn. This created the second row of yellow after the red squares. When I picked up around the armhole, I used a size 5 needle instead of the 4’s I would have used for the straight knitting portion (I switched between 2 needle sizes throughout my Kauni: 4’s for the single color rounds and 5’s for the stranded rounds). I did this because the stitch was going through the fabric and I wanted the red line to be visible.
The button quest will now begin…dum de dum dum DUM!!
I am so amazed: I finished my Kauni Cardigan. I’m not amazed by the finished Kauni — what amazed me was that I allowed myself to BE FINISHED with it!
As I described to my knitting peeps on Thursday evening (at a wonderful Christmas soiree hosted by Mary!!), I had major Kauni concerns:
1) The sleeves were not going in as planned. The seaming looked like crapola. So I decided to pick up around the armholes and graft in the sleeves. This step was completed this morning. They did turn out looking better than the seams did. I should have picked up and knitted down after all :(.
Note: I chose to knit the sleeves from the cuff up so I could control the color of the cuffs. It didn’t even work out that way! I ended up with strange-colored cuffs anyway! Here’s a pic to prove it:
2) I did not like the front bands AT ALL!! I had spent 12-15 hours knitting the front and neck bands in one piece on 60″ needles (seriously!). I did not like the band for several reasons: band too wide, neck opening too small, top buttonhole not centered, blah, blah, blah; yada, yada, yada. My plan was to redo the band completely, even though many, many hours of knitting would be involved. I wanted the sweater to turn out, of course. I spent most of Saturday evening pouring over my new, improved approach to the band to “fix” all the stuff I did not like about it, but could not come up with a plan.
Drum roll, please. I decided to do nothing. I bound it off and it is blocking at this moment. I tossed in the towel. I gave up. I caved. I decided that enough was enough. AND IT FEELS FANTASTIC!!!! I did not want to spend umpteen hours re-knitting the bands when I wasn’t even sure they would look better. I decided that it was GOOD ENOUGH! I did not strive for perfection or to be the best that I could be — I didn’t care!! Woo Hoo! Susan made a breakthrough :). And, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that I ever get to perfection, but at least I do try to do my best — except for today!! [Susan is now doing her ‘happy dance’ around the room]
Here is the Good-Enough Kauni:
So I am 95% done with this bad boy! I need to do some inside finishing and find buttons (always a Ruh Roh! ;)), BUT the main part of the Kauni is behind me. I’ll post more pictures when it is off the ground!
It feels so good to be bad! 😉
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