Sunday, August 2, 2020

sorry to leave you hanging....

We are having the summer of a lifetime! The hottest it’s been since 1921! Too hot to knit most days and I’ve been having to get out real early to get my 8 km walk/hike in before the day really heats up but it’s going to cool a bit for August so I’ll be back at it! Took a couple of days to sew some more masks – they are mandatory for public indoor places here (the kids need them for back-to-school) and I like to do my bit to help others! Just finished reading William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace – I laughed, I cried, my heart hurt and I didn’t want it to end! If it was for myself, I would never have told you the story of Vickie’s tank. Would’ve put it together and held my head high as I walked away but for some reason, I can’t do that for a gift. I almost had enough yarn to remake the Back again but did unravel half of it and reuse – I wanted to save part as evidence that I did re-do! Think Vickie will be pretty happy with this, walking back or forward! Stay safe, smile and do your part! P.S. just one more excuse...blogger has made some changes I'm not exactly happy with but I'm trying ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

space cadet...

lace stitch pattern
Squared Off
That’s me too, totally out of touch with reality! The success of that new trim went to my head, what can I say? In such a hurry to get on with knitting, again, not looking, examining and checking, I blithely picked number five off my PE1, thinking it looked like the 1RT (one-row-tuck)  that I had used for Squared Off from Knitwords #50 and just started knitting away. I was halfway up the back before I realized it wasn’t a true 1RT. And how did I finally come to that conclusion? Well, a real 1Rt has a plain row and then a tucked row and you can hear the difference as you knit but for some reason I was in ‘power-knit’ mode which isn’t really my style. I was decreasing one stitch every 20 rows and at the beginning of the pattern, the tuck row was on the to-the-left pass so I was doing the decrease when the carriage was on the right because there would (should) be a plain row with no
one-row-tuck stitch pattern
tucks every time you’re on the right, right? Wrong…like I said, at about row 100, I was going to do the decrease and there were tucks. What the?? I looked closer and realized I chose the wrong stitch pattern. This one was from that black lace cardigan,, Becca, I did last year but it was also the same one I used for that purple tank with the lace motif  from just a few weeks ago – boy! short-term memory loss!

Now, in my defense, the window on the PE1 shows only 10 rows by a single width repeat at a time so it is sort of easy to make a mistake like this. Anyway, the purl side of the fabric looked fine on the machine as I was knitting it, so I finished off the Back.
Then, I did some research, found the right stitch pattern and for some strange reason decided to use it for the Front. Do you think she’ll notice?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

half cocked...

that’s me! Hot off the success of the denim tunic, I quickly moved into my next one, for friend, Vickie. She has just moved into new digs so this will be like a little house-warming thing. I say quickly because it would be the same size and yarn as the denim one, so no extra figuring or anything, just choosing a new trim for the hem and another 1RT pattern. I had in mind to use #10, Triangles of Lace, the beige one  from Knitting on the EDGE, but adding the picot knot to the cast on row instead of the double chained lines. Again, without stopping to check, thinking it was a 12-st repeat, chained on with the picot knot on every 12th needle, which I didn’t even have to mark because I have it already on my number strip! Paused to grab the orange book and what the?? Rats! It’s a 20-stitch repeat! Oh well, you know how I hate ripping out or admitting a mistake! I’ll use a 12 st-repeat – kind of obvious, right? That cute little one I used on the poussin/lemony tank will do!
I found I really dislike doing that reformed garter stitch continuously , so I'll change it into something not so labour-intersive. Here’s what I did:

Chain with picot knot, hand transferred lace scallop with tuck rib. 12 stitch repeat, side away is right side.
1.     Cast-on waste yarn, ravel cord. Mark every 12th needle, starting with #1 right. RC000. CAR. Measure out MC 6X width of ns in work, plus 8-10 inches. Double it over on itself to have 2 strands together. This will make a long-enough double strand for the chain cast-on with 3 st-knots. Bring ns to D/E. 

2.     With mid gauge latch tool, chain loosely from left to right,
      to 3 ns past 1st marked needle.
3.     Make knot: Hold loop on tool. Remove chain from last 3 ns (draw ns back to drop chain, but not ravel cord st behind) and return ns to D/E. Put loop from tool into hook of last needle(the marked stitch) with chain on and knit loop through. Take that loop off needle and put back on tool, to resume chaining.
4.   Take tool with loop to right of marked needle and strands of MC on left, chain 16X. This should be 3 ns past the next marked stitch.
5.     Repeat #2-3 to end of row.
6.     Anchor last loop on end needle. Close latches. Single strand, MT+1, knit 2 rows.
7.     Using 5-prong tool, transfer as in chart, starting with#1 right as the centre with 3 stitches together. Knit 2 rows.  RC004.
8.     Transfer as in chart to RC012 – leave the tuck rib business until this row – because the stitch drops down and is reformed on every other row, it can be done in one operation, instead of every other row!
9.     T10, knit 1 row. RC013, CAL. Take yarn out of feeder.
10.   Leaving sts in hooks, carefully bring ns out and single strand, with std gauge latch tool, chain across loosely behind work.
11.   Push ns back to WP, pulling the chain knit through the sts.
12.   MT, K1R. Continue as desired!


Monday, July 13, 2020

that knot...

In the original instructions for that #34 ‘chained picot knot’, there were 2 extra needles chained over and dropped to make the ‘knot’. Looking at my original swatch, because this top is more of a tunic, I thought it might look nicer with a bigger knot, so added an extra needle/stitch to the mix and I like it. Be sure to add a little extra to the amount pulled off for the double-stranded chain – you really wouldn’t want to run out of that extra strand before the end on this one! Notice I also added that chained line above the transferred stitches that make the scallop, to divide the trim from the tuck pattern – I think of this as a row of top-stitching to add an extra defining detail and so happy with that too!
Oh man, I’m such a greedy little thing! Joined the shoulders, finished the neck and slipped it on and this is too cute! So what if it’s a little big? An oversized sleeveless tunic is perfect for this way-too-hot weather! And I love the colour! Quickly decide she would prefer a short sleeve, work those up and get them on before I can really fall in love with this!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

getting my money's worth...

out of that 8-stitch repeat envelope!
I found another trim that is an 8 stitch repeat! #34 in Band Practise, the pink book. It’s got a double-stranded chained cast-on with a picot knot, corresponding with a hand-transferred lace scallop.
Let me start again. My next top is for Thunder Bay sister, Bridget, and with the success of Marnie’s (ivory 1RT with short sleeve) I’m feeling more confident going into a larger size so using the 1RT technique again and I want a hem that will complement that, be wide enough for the tuck fabric, add a little jazz to the top and keep me busy!
Gather up the swatches and debate with myself what will look best – so glad I have all these samples – much nicer than looking at the photos!
Happy 4th, eh?

Friday, June 26, 2020

the trouble with cones...

there are so many different sizes and weights! I only save the cones that narrow to a point because they work with my Silver Needles Electric Winder
and I mark the weight (mostly 22 to 26g) on the cone so when doing socks, I know exactly where I am. I never really thought about it but the other cones that have the bigger opening at the top – like Panama is wound on, are 40 to 44g! No wonder I was thinking I’d have enough yarn!
So, not enough yarn, or hardly any…what to do? Just need to finish the armholes and neckline. I definitely do not have enough of the purple to make the doubled stockinette bands that I’ve been using on most of the tank tops. My first thought was to use the ivory Panama, but I would hate that. The denim colour Panama might go but I’d hate that too. To me, it would scream, ‘she ran out of yarn!’
I do have a mostly-cotton sock yarn that has some purple shades in it, along with gray, navy and black but you know with sock yarn, can’t really tell what it will look like until you knit it and I haven't used this one yet. I could stop and knit a pair of socks just to see, or, I could make an armband, attach it and see if it goes okay. If it doesn't go, taking it off would be no big deal because you’re adding it to the selvedge edge so removing it won’t cause any grief or lost stitches and you’d be able to tell before getting into the neckline/open stitches whether to use it or not.
But then, I remembered those nice little crochet-look edges that I used for the armholes on the mother/daughter olive garden tops

I might be lucky and have enough to do that for all three edgings.
Did you know that basically 3 times the width of the needles in work will be the amount used to knit one row of those stitches? The armband takes 60-0-60 stitches. You need to use the yarn triple stranded for the ewrap so I measure out that much (3X 60-0-60 ns, times 3) then another 3 times the width for the actual knitted row and then another 3 times plus a bit for the loose, cast-off row. I pulled this off carefully, folding it over on itself so it doesn’t get tangled and make a knotted mess. Don’t break the yarn, but clip one of those little clothes pin thingys on to mark the length. Do the same again to measure out for the second armhole and by now you should be able to see if you’ll have enough for the neckline which will be a slight bit more. It worked! This is so cute, if it wasn’t purple, I’d probably keep it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

purple peril...

I hope your knitting room looks like mine! The place is littered with waste yarn worms, issues of Knitwords all over, all the trims books open to certain pages, old swatches everywhere, partial and empty cones corralled! I’m in my glory, true production mode, like the good old days and I’m not cleaning up between! Nobody’s coming over to inspect or see! Why waste the time! No, I’m not showing you a photo!
I’ll admit, I felt a bit of defeat on that ‘sock-yarn-for-the-save’ top. After all, I had big plans to use the lace carriage and it’s been bugging me since then. I’m going to try it again, hoping I can pull it off. Fingers crossed.
I picked a ribber trim, #26 from the orange book, Ribbed Scallop and Eyelets. It starts out as 1X1 rib with the manual wrap cast-on, has a manual tuck stitch to make a little automatic scallop, yada, yada, yada. I just thought maybe I’d try some ribber – after all, other than that button band for Skinny, I haven’t used the ribber for anything since socks last Christmas – don’t want to get too rusty! Well, as usual I didn’t read the fine print. There are like 4 RTRs (Remove, Turn, Rehang using garter bar) in there so this really isn’t the quick and easy I envisioned. Perseverance gets me through and done. Oh, maybe I should tell you I am using a part cone of purple Panama, 284g, should be plenty. This top is a size smaller that the gold one and it weighed in at 216g finished. Now, concentrating on using the lace carriage, but only stockinette for now, I do the shortrows in the centre using the ravel cord method to reverse shortrow to round out the bottom hemline – here’s a refresher on that:
Get to the underarm. In my mind, I started the Back, but things are going fine, so who’s to know if I change this into the Front, get that lace motif going and then knit the Back plain? I had pulled out Knitwords No. 6 with Laced with Diamonds and figured seeing as how this was going to be for my Toronto sister-in-law – I don’t even know if she likes purple but what the hey? – I could do a portion of that just to satisfy myself that I could read instructions and get this done. I had the stitch pattern in my machine and all I’d need to do was turn it on! Started shortrowing the underarm shaping at the same time as the lace motif, got 24 rows done, cast off the shortrows and spotted a dropped stitch back on about row 10 of the motif. Fudge! Dropped it off, pulled out the 24 rows, rehung it, tried again. Ditto! Walked away, thinking it might be time for the hard stuff.
Next morning, shaped the underarms, cast them off and tried the motif again – who said it had to start at the bustline? Watched every row, got it done flawlessly! I felt I was on a roll, but the neckline was a little too high to be used for a Front! The second hem, we won’t talk about. Suffice it to say my third attempt worked (I did rewind each time, not taking the chance on wasting any!). Got up to the underarm and jumped right in, carefully shortrowing and lace carriage motif-ing! It worked perfectly but the remaining yarn has diminished to the point that I need plan A, B and maybe C!