|KEC>CmR+++>$ Exp+++ SPM++ Syn+ Nov- Cot Wool+ Lux+++ Stash+ Scale++ Fin Ent-- FI+ Int Tex++ Lace++ Felt Flat+ Circ++ DPN+ ML+ Swatch@ KIP+++ Blog++ FO++ WIP+++ AltX+SwSp-|
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Many pairs of small things
(Almost done getting caught up on talking about my projects after months of blogless knitting)
So in my last catch-up post, I promised to talk this time about small projects I've been working on that come in pairs. There have been many of them!
For Mother's Day this year, I got two balls of "Darling" sock yarn, from Katia, in a really nice colourway:
I turned it into socks for me!
DH got a pair of socks for his birthday, made from my ol' reliable Hat Heel pattern:
I used the same pattern in a smaller size for DD3, using the leftovers from my Viking Socks:
(She loves them.)
They were also for me. I adore them.
These are destined to be a Christmas present for my oldest BIL.
At his request (he saw this pattern over my shoulder one day and went nuts for it), I recharted the right mitten so it would say "PLOW" instead of "POW". (He drives the zamboni at work, which is also referred to as "the plow".)
Except it's just really tough mentally to wade through. Not the instructions, I mean; just the knitting of the sock itself. For some reason, for me personally, it just drags and I've been finding all kinds of excuses not to work on it. Sorry, socks. And sorry, Dad.
(Sorry about hurting your eyes there.)
Michaels was having a sale on "Serenity Sock Weight Prints" by Premier Yarns, so I bought two balls and used my Hat Heel pattern again to make socks for my two oldest daughters. DD2 got a purple pair:
And DD1 got a cheerful multicoloured pair:
DD1 gives this yarn a big thumbs-up; she says it's not itchy at all, and she's quite sensitive to that sort of thing (I get complaints about the itchiness of her other socks a lot.)
DD2 needed a new pair of mittens this winter, so I sized down the needles on my own Minaret Mittens pattern and produced some:
In June, I started making another pair of Hat Heels for DD3 out of the leftovers from DD1's Double Heelixes:
...But I pretty much ran out of yarn after finishing the foot. I started using another yarn for the legs, but I ran out of that, too, so now I'm not sure what to do and it's been languishing for so long DD3's feet might be too big for it now! But every now and then she reminds me about them so I think I need to finish them soon or I'll be in trouble. :)
Wow...that's a lot, huh? Next post will hopefully be the last catchup one, and I'll talk about all the remaining projects I've been working on that are not small pairs of things!
Labels: absinthe, circinus, dd1socks6, dd2minaret, dd2socks4, dd3socks, dd3socks2, dhbdaysocks, doubleheelix, fightinwords, janebennet, naniboujou, nemesis, ornette, stitchsurfer, vikingsocks, waterforelephants
2:22 pm 0 comments
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
A hopefully helpful tutorial for chart beginners
My stitch night pal Arielle asked for help recently to "translate" a chart because she didn't know how to read them. I whipped up a tutorial and sent it over to her, but then figured I should put it on my blog in case it could help anybody else. So here it is.
The pattern she was making is the XOXO Headband by Amy O'Neill Houck. It's a free pattern, and I have rewritten the chart and chart-related instructions for this tutorial, so I'm neither undercutting her sales nor violating her copyright. (In case anyone was wondering. :) I do quote one small snippet of text from her pattern, but it's fair use for illustrative purposes.
So here we go!
What is a chart? And why should I care?
A chart is a way to communicate instructions to a knitter in a way that gives you a sort of visual “preview” of what the knitting is going to look like when it's viewed from the right side of the work. So let’s look at the specific chart we're dealing with:
It's not as complicated as it initially seems if you break it down:
You will notice that the rows are numbered, to help you keep track. You’ll also notice that odd-numbered rows have their numbers on the RIGHT side, whereas even-numbered rows have their numbers on the LEFT side. This is to help you remember which side to start reading your row from.
Yep, when you’re working flat, you will need to read the chart starting from a different side depending on whether you’re working on the right side (RS) or the wrong side (WS). This is because when you start working a right side row, the first stitch you work is on the right. But when you start working a wrong side row, the first stitch you work is on the left, if you’re looking at the knitting from the right side. Therefore, since the chart is meant to represent the knitting as seen from the right side, you have to:
So, you can appreciate that the placement of the row numbers on the chart is a good reminder of which direction to read in.
(Also in case you were wondering: Yes, if you're working in the round, that makes chart reading less complicated because in that case, you're only ever working with the RS facing you, which means you only ever have to read the chart rows from right-to-left.)
Let’s start working the pattern!
After the initial ribbed start-up, the pattern asks you to begin the chart work. Note that on each row of the headband, you’re supposed to do some knitting work before the chart and after the chart. (This makes sense, since the chart only contains instructions for 12 stitches and you’ve got 22 stitches on your needles. You’ve got to do something with those extra 10 stitches!)
The pattern itself says:
“On RS Rows knit 3 p 2, work chart, p 2, k 3; On WS Rows, p 3, k2, purl across, k2, p last 3. Repeat until headband measures 18 inches.”
This is a very comprehensible instruction for those knitters with lots of experience with patterns and charts, but to beginners it's probably pretty murky. Here are those same instructions, translated out with more step-by-step detail:
The question now, of course, is how to follow that part of those instructions which says “work the Xth row of the chart”.
Here’s how, starting with row 1 of the chart. Let’s look at it:
Notice that the row number is on the right, so we know this means you have to read the row starting from the right. Therefore, here’s the order of the instructions you’re supposed to follow:
And that’s it for row 1 of the chart! This means that the instructions for the whole of row 1 over the entire headband (not just the chart) are:
Knit 3 stitches, purl 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches, work a right-leaning cable, work a left-leaning cable, knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches, and knit 3 stitches.
Now let’s look at the second row of the chart:
Notice that the row number is on the left, so we know this means you have to read the row starting from the LEFT. Therefore, here’s the order of instructions you’re supposed to follow:
And that’s it for row 2 of the chart! This means that the instructions for the whole of row 2 over the entire headband (not just the chart) are:
Purl 3 stitches, knit 2 stitches, purl 12 stitches, knit 2 stitches, and purl 3 stitches.
In fact, if you take a look at the chart, the instructions are the same for ALL even numbered rows, which means that the above (italicized) instructions for row 2 of the entire headband also apply to rows 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16. So it’s really just the right-side (odd-numbered) rows which get a little tricky.
Let’s move on to another one of those right-side (odd-numbered) tricky rows, then!
Next up is the third row of the chart:
Again, the row number is on the right, so we know this means you have to read the row starting from the right. Accordingly, here’s the order of the instructions you’re supposed to follow:
And that’s it for row 3 of the chart! This means that the instructions for the whole of row 1 over the entire headband (not just the chart) are:
Knit 3 stitches, purl 2 stitches, work a right-leaning cable, knit 4 stitches, work a left-leaning cable, purl 2 stitches, and knit 3 stitches.
Continuing on by yourselfI think from here you can see how you are supposed to move your way up the headband.
Be sure to pay very careful attention to the chart, because on chart row 9, you will start doing the LEFT-leaning cable first and the RIGHT-leaning cable second. (Whereas on chart rows 1, 3, 5 and 7, it was the right-leaning cable that came first.) Be sure to pay very careful attention again when you come back around to chart row 1, because you will switch again (i.e. it will no longer be the left-leaning cable being worked first but the right-leaning cable).
Once you’re finished the chart part of the headband, the pattern goes on to say how you’re supposed to finish it off
Hope this helps!
12:17 pm 0 comments
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
(Still more recapping of months of blogless knitting)
Although blogging failed to happen with any regularity since about the beginning of March, there was a lot of knitting getting done around here. Some of the knitting was very ambitious, too. And by "ambitious", I mean "big".
For example, I've made great progress on the Lestrange Cloak I started after Christmas:
(That's been put aside for the moment, though. A definite shame; I will have to get back to it soon. And I only just noticed when taking the shot that I missed knitting a whole section at the top right front. And I'm really worried about how long the sleeves are. I think when I start back in on this, there will be a lot of redoing. Joy.)
Then, I finally got off my heinie and frogged the way-too-large cabled sweater I made for my husband a number of Christmases ago:
And - in a streak of non-laziness very uncharacteristic for me when it comes to re-using frogged yarn - I have actually been soaking and re-skeining the yarn to get out the kinks!
I frogged the thing because I had made it in the large size, which turned out to be far too big because my husband is a medium-sized man. (The annoying thing is that I originally started making a medium, but then got fooled by the ribbing into thinking it was going to be too small, so I ripped it back and made a large instead.) I am now re-making it into the medium it should have been all along. Progress is excellent, although currently stalled - I have finished the front and the back and am about to start on the sleeves. Here's a shot of the back; the front is very similar except, of course, with a deeper neck:
My plan is to give this to DH for Christmas this year. Given that it's November and I haven't worked on it for months I'm not sure how much of a shot I have of hitting this goal, but we'll see.
At some point this spring, I was feeling a bit of knitting ennui and decided to spice things up with a nice sweater for myself. I had a bunch of black Stroll from Knit Picks, so I figured I could bust out a Lewis for myself. Alas, my math brain was apparently turned off the day I decided I had enough of the black Stroll, because I totally did not. (Or so I thought.) I ran out juuuust as I was about to finish off the second sleeve, with all the finishing edges (and there's quite a bit of that) still left to go:
Recently, however, not only did I buy two more balls, but I also unearthed an extra ball I didn't know I had from the depths of one of my knitting bags! So I've been doing some finishing lately - hem edging and starting to lay things out for the sleeve sewing.
Then, during the summer, one of my cousins from Australia came visiting for several days as part of a big North American holiday she was taking with her husband and children. We had an absolutely marvellous time being with her family and doing fun touristy things. The reason all this is relevant to the blog is that as a "hi, we're visiting" gift for me, she brought some really scrumptious yarn - a merino/possum/silk blend. (Sadly, the yarn is not from Australia as she had intended, but rather New Zealand - she had gotten in touch with an Aussie LYS in the hopes of finding something unique and local for me, but the shop owner was apparently very unhelpful and without any suggestions, so she ended up contacting a shop in New Zealand instead and got much more fabulous results.)
I realised that I had just about exactly enough of this to knit something that's been in my queue for ages: Jeanie, by my friend Keri, who is from New Zealand!
The whole combination seemed deliciously fortuitous to me, so I cast on almost right away. I've never used so many stitch markers in a single project in my life (and I normally dispense with stitch markers in favour of simply reading the knitting; so you gotta know that in this pattern, those markers are really important), but I'm really happy with how it's coming out:
The final big thing I've been working on is a lacy sweater for DD1. As she is constantly growing and has no older sisters to give her hand-me-downs, she is often in need of wardrobe supplementation, so a few weeks ago we went shopping. We found a really cute lacy sweater that was unfortunately a touch too small (something she totally can't get away with anymore what with her current rate of growth). She was really bummed that we couldn't buy it, so I assured her I could make her one to her exact specifications instead. (I must be crazy to promise such things, but that's what I did.)
She has since selected some yarn:
She also selected a stitch pattern, but it was unfortunately one of those kinds which "drifts" to the side as you move from repeat to repeat, which made decreasing for neck and sleeves a total b***h. After watching me struggle for a while, DD1 then suggested that I just try the Tonks' Togs lacy oversweater from The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits/Knitting Wizardry. That was a genius idea. I calculated how many fewer stitches and repeats I would need, and got going. Even with all the other projects I have on the needles, I was able to make good progress, and now I'm just finishing up the neckline:
Next up in the backlog series: Many small things! (Pairs of 'em!)
2:47 pm 0 comments