Thursday, June 03, 2010

Emmaline Inspired

Pattern: Emmaline from
Needles: US6 and US8
Yarn: Malabrigo Twist in Olive and Malabrigo Worsted in Cypress

Buttons: Too many (14) - well, it felt like too many in the sewing on process, but I think it looks nice.
Pattern Modification: Lots. See comments below :)

Comments: I was looking for a quick knitting project to use up some "leftover" yarn from previous projects - Emmaline seemed to be about right for yardage, and it seems like a design that would flatter various body shapes. I tend to prefer the versatility of cardigans, and this design looked easy enough to modify - so away I went.

I did start with a gauge swatch, all the better to do math to figure out approximately what size I might correspond to in the pattern for reference purposes. Once I figured that out, I also had to make notations on stitch counts - especially since I was going to be knitting this sweater flat rather than in the round. I didn't subtract any stitches in the front to accommodate for the modest button band - I just split the neckline in half and adjusted the eyelet placement to be symmetrical on either side, while allowing for a stitch to be lost when I picked up for the button band later. When I got to the purl bump section, I tried the sweater-in-progress on, and determined that I would need to lengthen that section (to approximately 3 inches below the underarm). I moved the underbust shaping to land...well, under my bust. For the size I was knitting, the original pattern centered the decreases right at the center of the sweater.

I also wound up moving the body shaping to hit under the underbust shaping, and also changed the increases to happen in the center panels rather than in the side panels. The sleeves were decreased at a much more gradual rate to minimize poof, though if I had it to do over again, I'm not entirely sure I would add the eyelets (and resulting increase in stitches) to the sleeve caps - there is a little bit of excess material at the underarm region - I'm not sure if this was due to the increases in the body, the sleevecaps or both. Body length was shortened to hit at my hip. The trim on the hem and arm bands is done in moss stitch, while the button band is 1x1 rib. To finish the whole thing off and to stabilize the neckline, I added an i-cord trim.

Total knitting time was just over a week and included time to tear back and make various modifications.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Persephone's Socks

Pattern: Persephone's Socks by Lori Law
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Leaf
Needles: US1
Size: to fit a womens size 9.

Comments: I have no idea why these took so long to come off the needles - they are a simple and straightforward knit provided you don't do like I did and pick up way too many stitches for the gusset ;) I blame it on the fact that I typically do not knit top down socks because I always get paranoid that I'll run out of yarn.

These socks have a neat construction with a shaped arch - they fit nicely - and when laid flat, they actually look like a foot with an arch! If you're looking for something a little different in sock knitting, you should definitely give these a try :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Yarn: Spritely Goods Cliodhna, Cranberry Colorway, less than 1 skein
Needles: US5
Pattern: Bitterroot from Knitty
Size: Shawl, post blocking, mine is approximately 60" across the top, and 30" down the midline.

Comments: Up until the beadwork, this was a very fast knitting shawl - my favorite bit is the edging, which I thought was rather clever. If it hadn't have been for winter olympic knitting in the middle of February it would have been completed back then - as it was, it languished for a bit, then was bound off....but was still awaiting blocking. For those interested in knitting this, I personally found it easier to put the beads on on the purl side to be less fussy, though it required that I pay more attention to the knitting to make sure I placed them properly. The pattern charts were easy to follow - placing markers to separate repeats may be helpful to some.

The pattern is written for either a full sized shawl or a shawlette - due to yarn and gauge difference, my finished project is right in between the noted finished size on the pattern.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

And now a better photo

with buttons! These are classic leather-wrapped buttons to go along with the classic design of this cardigan. Not sure how everyone else approaches it, but my button jar is rather barren - I tend to finish a project...then I drag it into the knitting store where I can "try on" buttons or finishing accents at will :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cable Cross-Country

Knit for the 2010 Winter Knitting Olympics, this cardigan was cast on during the Opening Ceremonies, and was bound off, blocked and seamed before the beginning of the Closing Ceremonies. While there were no knitting injuries this time round, there were several false starts, and some lost time due to motion sickness. Pieces of the sweater have traveled from the desert southwest clear to Florida (where I tested my tolerance of rollercoasters and motion-simulating rides, in addition to discovering what Portugese Man of War jellyfish look like when washed up on a beach) Even with the cross-country travel and the various do-overs, I found myself parked in front of the TV seaming up the cardigan during the Canada-USA Hockey game - once finished, we set the cardigan aside until an opportune moment for the finishing photo:

Sorry all the photos are so dark - looks like I'll have to try for some new photos during daylight hours to really show this sweater off.

Pattern: Cable Cardigan, from Erika Knight's Men's Knits: 20 New Classics
Yarn: Malabrigo Twist in Olive
Needles: US 10 and US10 1/2
Size: Small, with added length on sleeves.

Comments: Once I got going, this was a pleasure to knit. I opted to knit the pieces as written, with the exception of the sleeves, which I knit in the round while adding length before knitting the sleevecaps...and the collar, which I knit and attached as I went along....oh, and I grafted the collar together, instead of doing the recommended join...oh and made the 2 st cables mirror each other on each side, and opted for making 1-row buttonholes instead of how they were I guess maybe I did tweak it more than just a little ;)

One major error was found in the pattern while knitting - and that was the increase row for all pieces. As written, the increase row does not account for all stitches. It was easy enough to figure out where the stitches needed to be accounted for by referencing the next few rows -but to save folks some time, where the pattern reads [k1, inc in next st] (or [inc in next st, k1]) it should really be k2 in each of those instances in stead of k1. For the back, there are also 2 additional k1's - one before the first set of increases, and the other at the end of the last set of increases. The only other item I warn you about is that the author of this book is british - so double check your needle sizes. A US 10.5 and US11 are not the same size as english 10.5 and 11's probably best to reference the needle size in mm. I wound up using a lot less yarn than I thought I would - I don't know the reason for this, I only know that of the 10 skeins I expected to use, I only used 8.

But it still fits perfectly (again, perhaps hard to see due to the dark photo - I'll try to remedy this soon). Unlike my usual cavalier method of knitting sweaters (which involves the casting on of a sleeve and checking my gauge as I go), I actually swatched for this project...and not just swatched, but swatched, then washed, blocked and measured. Because I actually did this, I relied on math to determine total number of rows to knit to determine body and sleeve length - there were times during the course of the knitting that I was questioning this plan, but it all worked out (and it also saved me the aggravation of constantly digging out a tape measure to check progress).

Finishing was a little bit of a struggle - but mostly because I'm really rusty at seaming up projects - I tend to prefer seamless knitting when possible. The shoulders took a little bit of time because after I bound off the individual pieces, I decided a 3-needle bind off was the way to go to complete the join, so I had to pick back the bindoffs to make the appropriate stitches live again. Setting in the sleeves was actually less painful than seaming up the sides of the body - probably because I didn't keep a knitted selvedge and had moss stitch all the way out - once I started paying better attention to the columns of moss stitch, it made the seaming up go much faster. I'm very glad I devised a way to knit the collar straight onto the sweater body - partly because it reduced the final seaming, but also because it ensured that the collar was perfect length and not too long or too short - as I mentioned above, I opted to graft the 2 halves together once I got to the center of the back - it made for a much more beautiful finish, I think.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Slippers for the House Elves

Or rather, for the other House Elf :) These are a pair for my husband since the originals didn't fit.
To ensure a proper fit this time, I knitted the wide version, and knit on the foot a bit longer than recommended to accommodate felting shrinkage. They do have a fair bit of stretch to them when they are wet, so they can certainly be stretched to fit, within reason.

I should note, I did have to break into some additional yarn to finish off the toe on one of the slippers - you can't really tell in some lighting because the two colors are very similar in value - in bright light, however, it is obvious that one of the slippers sports a stripy toe.

If you're looking to bring some merriment into someone's life, I personally don't think you could go wrong with a pair of these easy to knit whimsical slippers :D

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Colorwork Cozy

Pattern: None - this was dreamed up in my head with the assistance of some chart motifs from Alice Starmore's Fair Isle book
Yarn: A variety of leftovers and sample skeins in my stash - all fingering weight. The tan yarn is a merino-possum blend, the ecru is pure merino wool, and the green is a silk blend - I just don't remember what the silk is blended with.
Needles: US0

Apparently all of my portable electronics need some sort of knitted case - and I apparently am partial to practicing my colorwork when knitting these wee things.

I selected subtle neutral tones for this one, mostly because that's what I had in my stash that went together, but also because knitting the pattern in it was almost like knitting up a secret. The motif is indeed very subtle, the lower motif is x's and the upper motif is more like o's or diamonds - they are much more readily apparent when the knitting is wet - but I hope for that to never happen while the ipod is inside! Even better, if I happened to have made a mistake in the knitting, no one will know ;) because it all blends together :D

As for the yarn, it was all lovely to work with - the merino-possum has a unique dark halo, and it's so luxuriously soft. The green has a very subtle shine due to the silk and some neat heathering that results in some additional shading.

Knitting a wee case like this is a great way (I think) to learn or practice colorwork....though I can't say I'd recommend trying the flat colorwork right's much easier completed in the round!