Tuesday, March 29, 2016

zipped up again...

I made the manfriend hoodie in red for Nathan (my grandson who turned 12 last month!!! OMG!!!). I actually made him the small size from the girlfriend hoodie without the A-line shaping. I did have the knitting done for his groundhog day birthday but it took me this long to locate a nice, metal tooth zipper and get it sewn in.
www.zipperstop.com is my new source - you can get virtually any colour you want with either silver or brass teeth at a very reasonable price - lots of options - check it out and they ship to Canada, again very reasonable and quick service once you place your order.
I cheated on the drawstring - instead of knitting a slip cord out of the red cotton Bonita yarn - I purchased a red tubular elastic, not sure whether he was old enough to now have a drawstring that wouldn't be called dangerous - first think he did was put the hood up and yank on the ends to pull it tight! ; )

Friday, March 25, 2016

list buster...

From my to-do list: my niece is having a baby (boy, she tells me), due in August and, as she now lives in Chile, I wasn't going to leave it to the last minute. Now, I'm the first to admit that knitting for babies is not my forte and in fact, I think knitting for the modern baby is mostly a waste of time, energy and yarn, but there are exceptions. Way back in Knitwords #34 and 35 (2005), Margaret Heck had given us a pair of baby blankie patterns that I thought were wonderful, called 'Edu-Cats' and 'Edu-taining Dogs'. Back then, I actually knit one of each and gave them to friends as gifts. The cat one went to my girlfriend's granddaughter, who is now ten. My friend recently told me that girl still loves that blankie, still has it in her bedroom and it's her go-to when she isn't feeling well!
I did think the cat one was cuter, but my family are dog people so I'm making the dog version. I'm using navy for the background and I wanted bright, crayon colours for the dogs - the orange was supposed to be 'school bus orange' but my mail order came in with a paler, more coral shade, but no big deal, I'm going with it - I didn't want the hassle of trying to return it - a downside to internet shopping! I had a royal blue and purple but they were too dark with the navy - didn't have enough contrast. You only need about 100g of each of the contrast colours but I had given all of my acrylics away a few years back when I was in one of those purging modes, figuring I was done with ever wanting/needing to use them (never say never, MAO!). The colours are actually brighter, more intense than these photos show - the top green is a beautiful bold lime...
The front is knit in fairisle as a single motif. The pattern is rather ingenious, I think, because, normally a picture such as this has long, untidy floats on the back and they are pretty unmanageable, but Mar has designed it with a knitted, striped backing which not only covers and conceals the floats but she has told you how to pick up certain stitches in the corners of each dog picture to attach the backing to the front so it doesn't twist and go all out of shape, kind of like a tacked, quilting thing, and it is a pretty quick knit! The front only took an hour and a half - it's a little slow because you need to wrap the edge stitch at the beginning of each row for the single motif - because of the border, the second colour doesn't go to the end of the row. For the backing I used the colours corresponding to the front doggy colours and it was really fast, less an hour, even with the pickups. The final stage is to finish the edges by encasing them with slip cord that is attached as you knit and I've done that in little bits here and there over two days. I did change that up a bit - she recommended double stranding the yarn for the slip cord and I didn't want that bother so used 4 stitches at T4 single, instead of 3 sts at T9 doubled and it worked nicely. One more thing, add yarn marks to the outside edges on the rows where she's telling you to mark for the pickups so you can align the edges easier.
Thanks, Mar! Another list thing crossed off! I'm going to have to make a new list...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

plan B...

As I was knitting on this TLR cardi (watercolour WCD) I knew that it was going to be tight finishing up without running out of yarn. In the back of my mind, I was telling myself that it would look better anyway with a solid-coloured front band - because of the stripey-ness of the yarn, a stockinette band was going to look so much different from how the colours mixed in the tuck lace rib. Sure enough, by the time I was at the underarm of the second front (I made the sleeves first) I had to rewind that 5-inch mistake-filled back piece and that took me through the end of the last front. I weighed what I had left - 16g! not very much. I confidently knit the bands using midnight tweed WCD and attached them, still feeling good about the outcome. Pressed it lightly and kept patting it and holding it up in the mirror, trying to convince myself that it looked fine. I even squinted a bit...left it overnight, hoping it would look better in the morning - NOT! I removed the button band (8 rows times 2, plus folding row and cast-off row which shows on the outside of the garment) and weighed that - 8g!

Backup plan: with fingers crossed, re-knit the bands using the solid colour for the inside/facing - which won't show anyway - and use the watercolour for the outside/front side of the band. Ah! Complete, even the back neck band, with about 16 inches of yarn to spare! Redemption! I can hold my head up again!
One more item crossed off my to-do!

Monday, March 14, 2016

'cheater' scarf for March AIDS awareness challenge...

I was going to call this 'easy peasy' but it really was like cheating, so I'm going with that! The cable pattern didn't show up so well in my ribbon yarn, but it is there and it's the right colour!
Notes for programming English Rib in Pattern:
Punchcard: make holes for all the gray circles and leave white squares unpunched. Repeat length two times or as necessary to make card long enough to join. Add double row of holes top and bottom to join card.
SilverReed punchcard: Lock card on row 1. Read card. CAR. Unlock card. Set cam lever to tuck, side levers to triangle. Knit.
SilverReed electronic: mark mylar opposite to shown, lite #1 right is on, N1 cam at 0, point cams at edge of ns in work. Cam lever to tuck. CAR to begin tuck.
Brother punchcard: Lock on row 1, select to right, tuck buttons in, begin tuck knitting to left.
Brother electronic: enter as shown.

electronic cable pattern that I used
Machine settings: All machines, rib/front bed set to knit both ways. Tucks are on knit/back bed, end needles should be on rib/front bed. After reading/selecting pattern, set to tuck.
(for more info, see KW#38 Double Talk)
'Cheater' English Rib-in-pattern Scarf
Machine: 4.5mm  with ribber.
Yarn: lace weight or something fine, that you would stockinette knit at T3-5. I used 'Gummy' from Silk City. See last few blogposts/red scarf patterns for Aids Awareness for more details.
Finished weight: 110g
Insert close knit bar.

24 st punchcard version
Bring 36-0-36 ns to work on main bed. Set to H5 and bring ns on ribber to work so outside ns are on ribber - one more than knit bed. Cast waste yarn in zigzag, hang comb and 1 large weight. Knit several rows, ending CAR. Switch to circular for the ravel cord, K2R. Cancel circular.  Rack to H4. Main yarn, T3/3, K1R. Rack to H5, K1R. Download pattern (read punchcard or set up for pattern knitting - it should correspond with tucking in pattern as you move carriage to the left, plain row of all stitches knit when passing to right). CAR. Set for tuck on knitter). Knit 1200 rows or desired length (150 cm/5 ft) and end with  1 row T4/4 ZZ, CAL. Transfer all to main bed. Measure out 3X width of ns in work, cut yarn and backstitch cast off.
Darn in ends.  
If you need the DAK file or any help with this, please email me at knitwords@shaw.ca
Analysis: This was the quickest, easiest scarf yet - the end stitches knit perfectly and took no babysitting, there was no counting and switching back and forth between techniques - I would certainly make this again, especially if I had a cone of red Tamm Perla!
Red scarf for Aids Awareness count: 4

Friday, March 11, 2016

easy peasy...

Building on the Oxymoron scarf, I thought, 'this next [scarf] one is going to be so easy, it'll be like cheating because I'm just going to do English Rib in pattern...'
side facing/right side
'Fine Tuned' KW#38
I already have it all figured out - the cast-on and cast-off work, using the same yarn, blah-blah, blah. I did make a quick little swatch just to be sure I had the English-rib-in-pattern part down pat - I've done it many times before - the main bed is set to tuck, you program in your stitch pattern and Bob's your uncle (see KW#38, 'Double Talk - Exploring English Rib in Pattern'). 
I get this aqua swatch off the machine and, hey! that's cool! The pattern shows up on the back side of the work...I don't remember that happening before, but this is good, nicer than I expected!
When I went back to the machine, to begin knitting the actual red scarf, after casting on waste yarn, I went to switch to circular for the ravel cord, knit one row and then realized that I got a row of tuck loops on the rib bed. Fudge! uh-oh! dawns on me, I knit that swatch with the tuck on the rib bed, Ah-ha! That's why the pattern is showing on both sides! This is what separates a new design from a mistake! - so long as you know what you did and can redo it, it's a new design feature!
side away/wrong side
Well, I have been knitting since the last scarf and the last thing I was doing was the TLR cardi for my sister and I obviously forgot the ribber was set to tuck on every other row - on my Silver Reed it's an easy thing to overlook and something I don't always  check because I usually set it back to normal at the end of each piece - yes, I could keep coming up with excuses, but I'll just call this a happy mistake...
Then it dawns on me, I had both part buttons/set levers down for the swatch so it wasn't tucking on the ribber anyway...arrgh-h-h! forget what I just said about a new design...this aqua yarn just has amazing stitch definition! LOL! ;-)