Sunday, October 5, 2014

Freyja uncut

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Finished and happy….

The yarn was worth the experiment. What was quite odd. was that the light coloured yarn was much softer and easier to break than the blue yarn, which was quite sturdy in comparison. For the stranded knitting at the to it meant that I had to work quite carefully and it took a bit longer. I added 4 sets of short rows, 3 below and 1 above the stranded knitted band. For the closure bands, I picked up and knitted stitches and used simple garter, 4 ridges. Nice rustic wooden buttons for the finish.

If only the patter had been a bit more consistent, I would probably have sung its graces, as it is, no...

Now of course we are in the middle of an Indian Summer, so it will be a while before I truly can appreciate its warmth….

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Curiosity

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Ever since reading Elizabeth Zimmerman I have been intrigued by unspun icelandic wool. For some reason or another I never did anything about it, but as things go, there is a moment that curiosity takes over and one dives in. I bought some plötulopi to make a warm cardigan for myself now the autumn is there. When reading the yarn page for plötulopi on Ravelry, I got a bot concerned, best to knit with continental style, very loose tension required… I am an “English knitter" with a very average tension, which is very nice as I come often very close to what recommended gauge is on the skein-band, so continental with loose tension would require some learning, and while I am all for learning (that’s part of my job after all), sometimes it is also difficult to obtain new tricks. So I thought, well why not simply try with my own method, and as it is, it is fine :-) 

Yes I have broken the yarn a couple of times, but this is the easiest yarn to reconnect as well, so it is not a big problem. The fabric is nice and airy, it is not "next to the skin wear” wool, as it is a bit prickly. But not too much either and with  T-shirt it will be absolutely fine. It has very nice drape and the colour is great, blue with a hint of black, lovely and lively.

I am knitting Freya, but I am knitting the cardigan “flat”. I all will not do the crocheted button bands, they look very wobbly in many of the projects and I think normal knitted bands in garter will be nicer. The pattern is a bit oddly written, overly descriptive in some parts and absolutely no information in other places, so I am going my own way here.

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One thing this project isn’t, is portable. An that is mainly due to the unspun yarn. You need to thread it with some care, mainly in how you pull the yarn from the wheel. The slightest friction then, and it breaks, so I put the yarn so it is unobstructed and wind it of carefully, not something you do in a bus or car.And as I like to knit on my 2 x 45 minutes commutes everyday, I need a portable project. 

So I started Warble, a nice cowl/shawl which is going to be very useful in my sometimes draughty house. For this project, the fact that I am a crystallographer, very aware of symmetry, kicks in. I had to make the pattern more symmetric, so I changed the direction of the cables ad the twisted stitches in one half of the pattern, so there is mirror symmetry… I couldn’t help it….just had to be done.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

When things don't work

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Last year I had bought some lovely organic cotton (Alba from BC garn) that I felt could really work with a nice little short-sleeved  cardigan that I had spotted on Ravelry. Since I always think I can knit much more than I actually do, the yarn had simmered in my stash until August when I really thought, one more summer project before the dark part of the year starts… So I downloaded the (free) pattern and started it. It was an usual construction that just didn’t work. I should have browsed the project pages on Ravelry a bit more thorough since more people had this problem and in the end I just gave up. Just a very nice idea but a yielding garment with wrong dimensions….

But i still wanted to knit something and the year crept forward and it rained and rained and then some, so I got in the mood for a cardigan with long sleeves instead and it was also clear it did need to have pockets. I ordered some more yarn, with a contrast colour too. I like stripes in garter stitch and got an idea of having the pockets behind a very deep border of garter stitch strips. 

So that is how this one came about, it is knitted top-down, with raglan sleeves. No shaping in the body for a loose fit, finished with striped garter button bands going along the whole front and neck

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I am practising though as I think I would like to make this one again, but in a DK wool just a bit more fitted for the winter. I do have the yarn already, so I think later this autumn...

But practise is good of course….

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Squishy

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Sometimes one just has luck. S wanted a sweater in yellow with a bit of texture and after a browse through Ravelry, Bedford was chosen. Now sometimes I can write  lot about a pattern or the wool, but this one was straight-forward. No changes to the pattern, a simple super wash wool (Cascade 220 super wash) and voila, a good sweater for a teenager. Just one thing, the stitch pattern makes this lovely squishy fabric, when knitting it I kept squeezing it as it was so nice and bouncy. Which is of course good, as winter is coming, autumn is almost here…. And S remarked, oh I hope it is going to get cold soon as this is one warm sweater, butt for me, it can stay warm for just a wee while longer…...

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Not about

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Next week school will start again… It has been a long holiday for them (I have been back at work for a bit more than 2 weeks now), so it is kind of mixed feelings. On the whole I think both of them are ready to start again, S will have her last year at ground-school, so she needs to make “decisions” this year…what Gymnasium and what line to choose… M will start middle school officially, unofficially she already has been doing quite some topics at middle school level, but it is still a bit different

Just these last weekends of the holidays have been spent by both of them, sewing… M made her first dress. I helped a bit but she did a lot of the work. She also choose the pattern and the fabric, so hamming it up is allowed:

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S made a cosplay costume, a “Captain America” inspired  "school uniform”. There is a “con” next weekend in the town we live, so that’s what it is for. We bought a pattern book while in Japan and the blouse is based on a pattern from that book. Japanese craft books are just so great. As they contain so many schemes one can actually recreate things even if one cannot read the language. I have a number of knitting books that I really like, but the sewing books are maybe even better. I think it is also the styling that really works for me. In any case, S could figure it out, so that was very nice indeed. The skirt is “own” design.

 Good work for both of them, me thinks!

 

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

and it worked

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I am so happy that I did frog that first attempt at making Perkins cove. The new attempt, with modifying it into a cardigan is so  much more me… I used the smalls size, redid the neckline, made it into a cardigan and that’s it… No shaping either, I felt that the drape of the fibre would be enough for shaping this cardigan and it is. It is meant as a throw over a summer dress or skirt on a not that warm day, and I think that is what it does now. so happy me, starting again can be so very worthwhile! I guess it just shows that it is good to know what one likes and would wear, since even though I knit fast, I still rather make things I wear than ones that are nice but not worn.

II finished the edges at the bottom again with an i-cord, such a good bind-off for linen. Also for the neckline I used an i-cord, for the edges at the front, a bit of garter was used knitted with smaller needles to get a good solid edge. Small black shaft buttons finish it of.

 

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rip it up and start again

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Just like most people I do not like to undo knitting. So when I make a mistake I always try to see whether a) is it really bad and would I be bothered by it and b) is there a fix. I have learned however that if I am bothered by it, it is much much better to face it and work back to the mistake and redo it. Fixes can be things like a dropped stitch which can be amended with the help of a crochet hook, a cable can be reknitted and so on. But the real bad ones are those where you realise that you have to go back a long long way…. Strangeley enough I rather rip than tink back, but that is just me I guess.   And that was what I did with the pullover above. It is a Perkins Cove Pullover and I do like the dropped stitch pattern with the linen very much. However allready when I was casting on I had my doubts about the fit. On the project pages of Ravelry for this design, somebody mentioned that this pattern runs big, and yes running big is what it does. I thought well, that can be nice, a big slouchy linen pullover can be a good thing a bit of shaping maybe and it will work fine. But after knitting about half of it, I realised that it is really not me. So Rip it Up and Start Again it is… I am remaking it as a cardigan in a smaller size….