Sunday, July 6, 2014

Irokata Tee


Pattern:  Irokata Tee
Yarn:  Shibui Knits Linen in Suit Navy for the front and Graphite for the back

This is a quick knit and an insanely clever design!

The Shibui Linen is actually nice to work with, just not as squishy as wool.  The fit is perfect!  The fabric is cool, loose, and drapey.

There's only one downside...the fabric is rather sheer, as in NSFW as I can see my navel and every detail on my bra through it...

This sheerness actually stikes me as odd, as I used the exact same yarn called for in the pattern (perhaps, slightly different colors) at gauge and the orginal pictures of project from the designer do not even suggest any see-through-ability of the fabric.  Curious, no?

Any thoughts?

UPDATE:  Now that I am studying the above picture, it appears she is actually wearing a tank shirt underneath the tee.  You can see the outline of it just below the neckline.  Additionally, the fabric at her shoulders is sheer...  Without the under garment, you can get an idea of how sheer it is on this project page.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Putting MadKim to bed

She is done!

Pattern:  Kim by Perl Grey

Yarn:  The pattern called for aran weight, but I used two strands of fingering: Wool Candy Meringue Merino Sock in MadHatter and Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sock in Roasted Pumpkin

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Snatching a small victory from the massive jaws of defeat

In other words, I managed to snap out of my snit...

As reported in the prior post, I was ready to cut up, drive over, and burn the MadKim project, but after a few days of fuming, I looked at the yarn and fell in love with it all over again.  The yarn is simply beautiful!

So, I ripped out the sleeve, un-seamed the collar from the back, and gingerly unpicked the kitchener closing of the collar. The last feat was something I had not before undertaken, and it wasn't that bad...relatively speaking. After all, I have had a root canal.

In any event, I committed anew to the project and with the visual aides of several of the other well photographed and finished projects on Ravelry, I finally figured out the construction, re-seamed the collar (with a three-needle bind-off this time), seamed the back, and picked up stitches for the first sleeve.

 While I am still not convinced about the design, I just so love how these yarns have come together!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Switching Gears

When we last visited, I was deep into the wools; however, as mistake as to construction on the Mad Kim, threw an unpleasant kink* in my plans, so I cast on for something new.

Throughout my knitterly life, I have been in search of the perfect top-down vee-neck sweater.  I have made dozens of them, but they have never fit quite right, particularly with raglan sleeve construction.

I tried again with Sablier, but two days in, I realized there was a problem with numbers for the size I was making.  Assuming the issue was with me, I spent several afternoon hours graphing the increases and decreases, then sat down for a couple of more hours with a good knitting friend (who happens to be an engineer with a degree from MIT), to go over the pattern and my numbers, when we realized, the issue was not with me.  So, I chalked the wasted hours on Sablier to a knitting mis-adventure, to be re-written and re-caluculated on another day, even though, the prospect of a non-raglan sleeve, top-down vee-neck was quite enchanting.

For those who are counting, this equals two knitting failures:  Mad Kim was all my mistake.  Sablier...not so much.

So, back to the stash I dived and came up with several cones of the lovely Habu Tsumugi silk lace in a wine color. Holding two strands together, I swatched from size US 3 needles up to size US 8 needles.  I washed the swatch, let it dry, then examined the different fabrics achieved by the different gauges. Armed with that information, I perused my queue and came up with yet another top-down vee-neck with raglan sleeves; however, this one was slightly different, as the pattern appeared to contain some thoughtful shaping without the standard increases every other row until the bust was complete.

Having learned my lesson with Sablier, I spent some time graphing the increases and doing the math to ensure the pattern numbers were correct.  They were spot on!

The original pattern called for fingering weight wool; however, my lace weight silk knitted up perfectly to gauge with US 5 needles.

Two days of knitting resulted in this:

Not too bad.

The fit was good on the mannequin and on me; however, I was a bit concerned with how deep the vee was.

As soon as I got the end of my first set of cones and before I added a second pair of cones to knit from, I decided to pick up the stitches and finish out the collar to see if that would draw up the deepness of the vee.


Although, I have to admit, instead of picking up 61 stitches along each side of the front vee as directed, I only picked up 51, but the vee is much more modest now.

So, I again have miles of stockinette ahead of me, but I am well pleased with how this one is going.  It's a good thing, too, for a brief period there, I actually thought I was going to have to give up was becoming far too stressful.

*Said unpleasant kink resulted from my managing to seam the collar together, then to the back, and picking up stitches for one sleeve and knitting for a few hours before realizing there was no twist in the collar and no way for it to be worn as pictured.  The personal disgust at my own stupidity means that this mass of knitting is sitting in time-out until such time as I manage to scrape up enough care not to drive over it with my car, or burn it, but to actually rip out, pick out, reseam and what-the-hell-else it requires.  Likelihood of ever being completed:  Zilch.  Yeah, I am that pissed off.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I heart wool!

As much as I enjoy wearing silk, linen, and hemp, there is nothing as nice as knitting with wool.

I think this is why I do not have more hot weather appropriate knitted garments.  

In the foreground is the stockinette madness that is Kim with two strands of fingering weight yarn (Wool Candy in Mad Hatter and Miss Babs in Roasted Pumpkin), which knits up to a worsted gauge on US 8 needles and MadTosh dk in Coquette in the background for Sablier, although the pattern and I are having "issues," as my numbers do not match those of the designers...more on that later.

The bonus of a ton of stitches done in stockinette is the sheer mindlessness of it. It is easy to watch the NBA playoffs (Go Spurs!) and not worry about missing a stitch or screwing up the pattern.  The total length should be 19 inches, and I am rocking along with 13 inches, so I have a way to go before anything more interesting happens in the pattern.

Mindlessless is not a bad state at the moment.  There seems to be a lot of flux in life right now, and I have just been really tired, mentally and physically.

While the knitting has slowed tremendously blog-wise, a number of designs are in the works, as I contemplate submitting a book proposal to a publisher.  At last count, there are sixteen new designs in various stages of completion and test-knitting.  YAY!

Later this month, we will be unveiling a sweet new pattern to celebrate one of my good friends and favorite dyers having been picked up by a national retailer!!

So exciting!

Friday, May 16, 2014

How could I have forgotten?

About two weeks ago, I finished the third Insouciant!

Trust me, she looks much better with arms...

Modifications:  I omitted the waist shaping. So, I took the numbers from the pattern that I should have had after the waist shaping was complete and used them as my cast-on numbers.  I also knit this in-the-round from the bottom up, until I reached the under arm holes.  

Pattern:  Insouciant by Julie Hoover
Yarn:  Two strands of Habu A-1 2/17 Tsumugi Silk in color #48

As soon as this was off the needles, I cast on for the Irokata Tee in two different colors of Shibui Linen. The dark is Suit Navy and the light is Graphite.

Yes, I know, it doesn't look like much, but I love the colors and the front is almost complete.

Summer knitting is upon us!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fair Isle OCD

It isn't enough that I already have 20 WIPs on the needles.  Really, it isn't, because the last few weeks have found me casting on for anything and everything in sight.

First, there was the properly timed and ever useful Insouciant, my third, if anyone is counting, in Habu A-1 2/17 Tsumugi Silk in #48 - purple!

Now that I am looking at it, there are two finished sleeves and the body is coming along nicely, especially, as I modified the pattern to knit-in-the-round and am doing the front and the back at the same time.

I have worn my other one almost completely out and have the fiber for, at least, four more already lined out...

There will be three in the same Habu, but in differnt colors (Hot Pink #38, Ice Green #42, and Blue Green #50).  The medium blue (colorway #3) is Araucania Chaiten 100% silk that has been sadly discontinued.  Instead of using two strands of the silk Habu, this actually swatches to the exact same gauge.  YAY!

Instead of working on the weather appropriate Habu silk and Insouciant, I decided to dive into the Wollmeise stash to make this gorgeous cardigan called Latvian Garden:

While the pattern called for two sizes of needles (US 1 and US 3) and I got gauge with US 3 for the body, it was ambiguous (as in it completely failed to note) as to which was to be used for the sleeve cuff.  Common sense told me to use the US 1 needles, so I cast on and off I went. After a couple of hours I had this:

Gorgeous, no?

The background color is Ebenholtz, the blue for the sleeve is Blue Curacao, and the bits of color in the hemmed cuff include:  Fuschia, Pesto, Ein Klien Venig Verrucht, and Versuchskaninchen.  (Say that five times really fast!)

The only problem?

There is only one set of numbers for the sleeve, indicating that for all sizes the sleeve is the same size, and the cuffed hem was a little snug for me.

So, I thought that, perhaps, the US 3 needles were to be used for the hemmed cuff and the body of the sleeve, as there was no indication in the instructions...and, I wanted to play around a little with the colors in the cuff.  

Round two found me casting on with US 3 needles...

As to the colors, I moved them around a bit and added Kornblume.  

Now, I am thrilled with the colors, but the cuff is too loose. 

Yes, I have been channeling Goldilocks.

So, I have now decided to rip out the second attempt and use US 2 needles for the hemmed cuff and call it a day.

However, I did not do that.  Instead, I went back to the Wollmeise stash and pulled out the gorgeous Compari Piccolo to knit Hepburn, because just like the Latvian Cardigan, late April, early May in South Texas is the perfect time to be contemplating a wool sweater that is knit on size US 1 and US 3 needles with cables...

I really do like how it is knitting up, though.

Well, after taking photos in the Texas heat, it is already up to 86 degrees, I have been inspired to say that I am well and truly going to finish the Insouciant.

What are you working on?  Anything for the spring and summer?