11.25.2011

Afloat with Knitters

It turns out I am not the only knitter on board.  We have at least two more and a crochet-er.  Meet Christie one of our undergrads on this trip.  She came to ask a little advice about working cables after she had to rip out several inches.  After this cowl is finished, we are going to sit down and talk mitts.

11.24.2011

Into the Yoke, Of Hallows and Horcruxes

This is one and a half repeats into my yoke.  I'm now two repeats in.  The color work continues to be lumpy and bumpy, but I'm happy.  There are three rows of increases in each 20 row repeat and the rows are taking longer and longer to knit.  I am comforting myself with the thought that eventually, I will be separating the arms from the main body and it will get smaller again.  I forgot to knit a row in the first repeat and added it at the end of the chart so  my yarn was all on the right side.  I'm not too worried about how it looks. I dont' really feel like the pattern is cohesive enough to matter.

11.18.2011

Hallows Grows and Knits in the Wild

I made my friend, co-worker and roommate Steve a hat.  It is with Jared Flood's yarn Shelter.

It's three colors with some fair isle patterning.  I knit most of it when I was home sick from work one day, laying on the couch.
Knitting with shelter was not what I expected.  I didn't love it.  It pulls apart really easy, wasn't as soft as I thought it would be.  It's like scratchy held together with air.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the scads of skeins I bought at Churchmouse this year.

I am however pleased that Steve is wearing it frequently (our lab is COLD, hence all the ugly sweater wearing).  It seems to fit well and doesn't migrate off like hats that are too tight does but it doesn't fall off like hats that are too big.
Hallows continues to grow and I have started on the yoke section of the sweater.  For my first round of increases I went with a knit 1, knit into the stitch below it method and I'm not sure I like how it looks.  I thought it might be easier than trying to make one from the bar between stitches with the color work, but that might be a better method.  I have rows before I decrease again, so I'll probably switch it up there.
Another gratuitous sexy yoke close up.
So far I'm so happy.  I'm curious about this yoke business, if I have the right number of stitches, if I planned my decreases appropriately, if my gauge is going to go nuts-o in the color work.  But we'll see.  So far, satisfactory knitting.  Now that all the math is worked out.

I am kind of wishing I had chosen different, less neutral colors.  But I'm not gonna let that bug me.  This will be a utilitarian knit.

11.17.2011

Sunshine, Grass and Ewe

I have been spinning too!  I'm spinning 4oz of falkland wool in the colorway Sunshine, Grass and Ewe from the Etsy shop At Knits End Yarns.

(the orange is actually just a little more orange)

(a little more true to color, from the Etsy Listing)

I'm spinning it a little thicker than usual, plying on the fly and I'm getting super smooshy.  Like "ZOMG THIS IS SOFT!" kind of smooshy.  I'm almost 2 oz in and I love it.  I can't wait to start knitting with it. What? I have no idea, probably just enough for a large, bulky hat.

11.15.2011

Hooded, Of Hallows and Horcruxes

I had to cast on the hood twice after I made a mistake in my I-Cord edging.  I'm glad I did because I discovered the hood was going to be HUGE.  I ended up casting on 120 instead (+3 on each edge for the I-cord).
About 45 rows in I decided to seam it together at the top to give it the shape it would be assuming later.  I like to see my projects take shape and it helps motivate me a lot.  This is after 56 (of 76) rows and nearly 2 balls of Dove Heather, Knit Picks: Wool of the Andes, worsted.

You might notice this looks a lot like my Ugly Sweater, same color and to the untrained eye, similar gauge.  I was knitting it at my table the other day while wearing the Ugly Sweater and more than one person stopped to ask if I was knitting the sweater I was wearing. I blew everyone's mind.

11.11.2011

I am Wearing an Ugly Sweater.

I am wearing an ugly sweater.  It's true, it's ugly.  It was home made by me and even I cannot appreciate the homemade awesomeness.

I would like to discuss all the ways that this sweater is hideous.
  1. Let's start at the neckline.  It took me 5 minutes of fussing to make the neckline look this good.  I really needed some ribbing.  Or better shaping.  Better shaping would include a lower front and a higher back.
  2. How about the extra room in the bust? It gives me some kind of saggy boob syndrome that I do not suffer from. I'm wearing a brand new, super lift-y bra.  You wouldn't know it from this sweater, but they are practically in my chin.
  3. The arms are too short and too wide. 
  4. Those acrylic buttons do not belong.

 I made this sweater years ago from a recycled sweater. Then a year or so later I steeked it into a cardigan with buttons I hate because they were the only buttons available at the time of the right size for my buttons holes.

So why I am I wearing it? It's loose, it's warm and I don't care how I look sitting in my lab.  It was the third sweater I ever made for myself, with no pattern.  I still love you Ugly Sweater.

11.06.2011

Of Hallows and Horcruxes, swatch

I swatched on size 8s and it is unblocked.  I'm really uncomfortable with how uneven my color work is (yes I know it isn't blocked) but I think it is a function of two things, 1- two color knitting is always a little wonkier for me, I need more practice and 2 - purling two colors.

It is also a little looser in general than I would like.  I am going to try swatching again on size 7s.  I think I could use the color work practice as well as I might like the fabric tightened up a little, especially on the solid color sections.

Now here is a question, I might need to recover the yarn from my swatch.  Do I cut the ends to make it easier to knit a new swatch or leave the swatches attached so I can rip them all out in a continuous strand?

Underway Again

Our current cruise is keeping up a blog and you can find it here on the Kutztown webpage.

I brought with me an entire box of Knit Picks: Wool of the Andes to try knitting a Of Hallows and Horcruxes sweater on this cruise.  All of my Christmas knitting is done, so why not spend the next two months knitting something for me?  I'm working on it as a knit a long with a few friends of mine.

I started a swatch for the color worked yoke and ran across some issues.  The sweater is knit flat, but I found on row 6 that the two yarns I needed were on opposite sides of the swatch. I fixed it with some finagling, but came across a similar problem later.  So I made a comment on the pattern page asking about it and the designer answered without answering my question at all.

Last night I sat down with grid paper and mapped it out and it is impossible to do without cutting and re-attaching the yarn.  So I added an extra solid color row to fix this at row 9.  I think that this will work out much better as I have planned to modify the sweater into a circular yoke instead of the raglan style yoke in the original and this gives me another solid color row that makes evenly spacing my increases easier.

Other modifications I have planned are to forgo the cabled button band and use an I-cord edging and probably sew in a zipper.

Now if I can successfully complete a swatch and get some kind of gauge I'm happy with.  I'm feeling like the size 8 needles are producing a more open fabric than I'm liking.  I am probably knitting ridiculously loose thanks to trying to keep even tension in the color work.  I wonder if my gauge will change from the color pattern to the solid pattern. I might have to knit both into the swatch.