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!

Friday, June 19, 2020

in the name of research...

Just wanted to let you know I’m ok! Summer finally came so it’s cutting into my production time a bit but I'm still knitting away!
Number 13 is done except for the final seaming.I was going to call this a short-sleeved T-shirt, but a little research told me it wasn’t a Tee because of the set-in sleeve. What I did was start making this for baby sister Marnie and after thinking about it while knitting the front and back, I decided she would likely prefer a short sleeve instead of the sleeveless version. No problem! I’m using that one-row-tuck technique again, mostly because I need a little extra width and guess what? MAO did a pattern, Body Basic, using the 1RT/WCD, with a short sleeve back in Knitwords 42, Autumn'07
Tuck stitch pumps up the volume. Take a thin yarn with a stockinette gauge of 9 sts per inch and add tuck to get 7.5 sts per inch and you get a much wider fabric, increasing the size range. Knit side as right side has subtle stitch pattern for a smooth fabric face. Basic fitted top, with either vee or round neck, short, set-in sleeve, circular bands. No-ribber hems also given.
And it’s sized up to a finished hip of 52 inches! What could be easier?
I only had to change it a bit - made an A-line instead of the shaped version, added some shortrows just above the hem to round out the A-line and used another variation of that 8-stitch repeat hand-transferred trim.
On the turquoise one, I did it as the book should have said, with the multi-strand ewrap and the tuck-stitch dividing line. For Thirteen, I used the chained cast-on and dividing line from #15 (mixing the 2 edges from my last post) and it looks great!
No need to get bored here!
Stay safe! Be kind! Be positive! Knit!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

my envelope trick...

I chose that #21 band  bottom, blue, in photo at right) for the last hem because it is quite like the one used on the yellow Cannelé tank. The yellow tank, using #15 (top, green in photo), had a chained cast-on, some transfers that create a pointed scallop at the bottom and then another chained line to divide the hem from the rest of the piece. When you get to know me, you might realize I like things like that dividing line – it adds a nice little detail. Looking at #21, although the cast-on is different - a multi-strand ewrap instead of the chained one - the transfers, again slightly altered, also make a pointed scallop and now we’re using a tucked technique to create the separation line. I wanted to do a comparison of the methods.
So why the envelope? well, I have a bunch leftover…they are a reasonably firm strip that is easily held and moved, doesn’t take up much space and they’re close at hand. What more can I say? Ideally, a long, narrow strip of cardboard or bristle board works too. I talked about this idea once before.
Anyway, back to this 8-stitch repeat, instead of having to count and re-count that you have 7 needles between the 8th stitch all across the needle bed, if you count the first set and mark them on the edge of the envelope, then move the envelope along, lining up the end one with the next set to select, it makes it much quicker, no need to count and sort of foolproof. And for this trim it is helpful to be able to use it for all 4 selection rows, so really cuts down on the counting!
You’re welcome!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

sock yarn for the save...

The thing about that hand-transferred lace edge, you/we/I had a 50/50 chance of getting it right or wrong! I felt I had to clarify. Besides it can get a little boring here sometimes!
The point of the turquoise top was to make a second one for Janet because I forgot the shortrowing at the hem and I just wanted to dash off a quickie, no biggie, right? Not so much. You saw I got the Back done, conscious of the fact that I wouldn’t have any extra yarn to play with, but I figured I’d at least get the two pieces knit and then worry about the neck and armbands. Made the second hem for the Front, quite pleased with myself for putting in the extra effort to make sure we were all on the same page. After the hem, I thought I’d use the lace carriage to do a little something on the yoke area, bandying ideas of a chevron single motif, similar to Laced With Diamonds from Knitwords No.6, Autumn 1998. I wouldn’t use that exact one because as fate would have it, I actually gave that top to Janet, after I’d worn it a few times.
Back to present, after the hem, I happily put on the lace carriage and proceeded to knit stockinette up to the underarm as I am aware that if I switched to the lace carriage at the underarm, the difference in the tension would show up as a line across the piece. As I neared row 100, I remembered I forgot to add in those freaking shortrows above the hem! Calmly, I dropped the piece off the machine, pulled out the knitting back to row 16, rewound the yarn without breaking it, rehung the blessed thing – have I told you lately how I rather dislike Panama as it splits and is difficult to work with hand tooling stitches? Well, it’s also quite soft and even though in my mind I’m a master at rehanging almost anything, this was quite trying. Managed it and then walked away, took a breather.

Came back fresh, put away the lace carriage – shortrowing with ravel cord for this exercise would put me over the edge. I decided to continue in stockinette and do the small hand-transferred diamond from my original, which was done with the single prong tool so how hard could that be? Had the underarm shaping underway, began the diamond transfers at RC120, finished the underarm, cast off those shortrowed stitches, finished the hand-transfers and at RC170, where I would be shaping the front neck, realized I would not have enough turquoise to complete the Front. Gosh, I could easily become an alcoholic if this keeps up!
Next day, back at it, unravelled to underarm, thinking I could do the same to the Back, throw in a wide stripe of ivory or denim-coloured Panama to make up the difference and it came to me that I had a sock yarn that might do the trick. Dug it out, Malibu Stretch,
tossed the ball on the Back, looked at it from all angles and even though it doesn’t have turquoise in it, I felt the other colours would/might complement nicely and just do the trick. I think it worked! And you know, I didn’t change the Back, just saying…
Ya know, in all that drama I forgot what I was going to tell you about the hem and the 8-stitch repeat! Later!

Friday, June 5, 2020

better late than never...

I weighed those two part cones to be sure and though the turquoise one came in at 216g, I know it’ll be tight, I’m going in with it because I really feel that Janet will appreciate the colour.
For the hem, I picked #21 from the green book (50 Ways to Love Your Knitter). I was thinking, this is going to be a cakewalk! I’m making it same as the gold one with a different hem treatment, so I don’t even really need to recalculate anything. That was my first mistake. My schematic tells me I need 86 sts on each side of 0 to start. Pause a minute and figure this out – the hem I’ve chosen is an 8-stitch repeat. Why? I mean why would I do that? The green book was written by yours truly 25 years ago. Do you think I can remember why I did something 25 years ago? I’m lucky right now to know what day it is! Anyway, do I need to apologize now? I will, just to be on the safe side. People, I’m sorry! Not for the 8-stitch thing, that’s ok, but there are some key elements missing from the destructions in this one!
First of all, in an attempt to redeem myself, check this out:
It’s a post about the needle number strip and has some good info in it!

Here’s what #21 should say:
21.  EWRAP, LACE EDGE, HAND TRANSFERRED. 8 stitch repeat, side away is right side.
1.     Cast-on waste yarn, ravel cord. RC000. CAR. Measure out MC 3X width of ns in work,
plus 8-10 inches. Double it over on itself and then one more time to have 3 strands together.
This will make a long-enough triple strand to wrap all ns.
2.     Using MC triple strand, ewrap from left to right.
3.     Single strand, MT+1, knit 2 rows.
4.     #1 right is the centre of the 8-st repeat. Beginning with #2 right, transfer this stitch to #1 right, repeat across row to have 2 sts on every other needle.  
Leave empty ns in work. Knit 2 rows.  RC004
5.     Using 3-prong tool, transfer as in chart, starting with#1 right as the centre with 3 stitches together. Knit 2 rows. RC006
6.     Transfer as in chart, using 2-prong tool. Knit 2 rows. RC008
7.     1-prong tool transfer as in chart. K2R. RC010                                                
8.     Make a tuck stitch border as follows: set to hold. Select #1 left and then bring EON to HP.
9.     Knit 2 rows.  RC012.
10.   Cancel hold. Carefully bring all ns out, making sure not to disturb the held sts. Knit 1 row. RC013. Set to MT. Continue in desired stitch. Use WY to pin scallops and steam.  Remove WY after steaming.

Thursday, June 4, 2020


Maybe but it looks totally different! And I did pull off fixing that booboo on the hem! Finished weight, 224g for finished 34 bust, 20-inch length, so Cannelé is for most, at least a two-cone project.
On the gold Panama one, aka four-letter word tank for Janet, I realize I forgot to add some shortrows to even out the A-line shaping. ;(
Oh well, she can just wear it around the house! LOL!
I guess I’ll just have to knit her another one to make up for it! :)
I won’t be doing the leaf pattern! I do have a part cone of turquoise and a partial crocus/purple. Either is a little more my idea of her colourway and I’ve already picked out an ewrap hem from the green book. I’m coming to the end of my list and I still need things to knit!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

batting a thousand...

Finally got a chance to give out some of these tank tops and see how I did! 
Sarah got hers and said:
 ‘Thank you very much for the beautiful knitted tank top! 
It fits like a glove and reminds me of when my Oma used to knit sweaters for us (although yours is much more delicate looking!) I look forward to showing it off, when we can leave the house again!!! Thank you so much for the time and care you put into it – it’s beautiful.’

Agnieszka and Rhiana put theirs on immediately and were totally happy with all the colours and the fit. They both mentioned the cutaway back armhole favourably! Nate said the colours reminded him of that salad with the cranberries!

They all look great and I’m ecstatic!!

P.S. Blogger is changing things. Ar-r-r-g-g-h! You know how I hate change...sorry for the delay while I learn something new!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

still cheating...

 Yeah, I’ve been switching it up. Expanding my horizons. When was the last time I did a chained cast-on? Who knows? Who cares? Working from the green book, I’ve chosen No 15, Hand Transferred Lace Edge with chained cast-on. You know I don’t read all my own instructions, who has time for that when they think they know what they are doing? I measure out three times the width of the needles and start chaining loosely – that’s 145 needles. Get halfway across and realize I’m going to run out of yarn. Calmly unravel it. Measure out four times, chain again and run out on the 10th needle from the right side. Heavy sigh. What the hay, I’ll see if I can fudge this. Draw down a new loop, finish the chain, loop the too-short tail over the next needle and knit the row. Looks like it could work. By the way, using Yeoman’s Cannelé, a beautiful mercerised cabled cotton – no splitting stitches here – in a pretty spring yellow, colour name is ‘poussin’ – how’s that for funny!
I‘ve been meaning to tell you about my latest Netflix binge – it’s called Wanted, a series from Australia - Spoiler alert! I was thinking it was a Thelma/Louise thing, but there are three seasons and they might do another. I’m loving it – the second season takes place around Queenstown, New Zealand – I spent almost a week there in 2017
at the end of our hike and it is so spectacular. Watching the show, I kept saying, oh, I was there! During the Australia parts, I kept saying, I never got there! Anyway, Chelsea, one of the lead characters, her secret name is Brigitte Poussin! With a French accent! Is that synchronicity? or whatever you call it. Sorry, I digress.
Back to the knitting, this cone of Cannelé is really old, it’s from back when the put-up was 250g on the large cone. They changed it to a 245g cone and put it on a short, squat cone sometime in the last decade, I think. It’s virtually mandatory to have 3 full cones of one dye lot for a garment with sleeves. I only have one full cone of this colour, probably why I still have it - it actually still had the blister wrap packaging on it, and I wouldn’t really be attempting a top for me – the anxiety of running out would do me in! This one is for Lisi, another cute, petite, wee thing so am doing finished 34 bust, fingers crossed. After the hem is done, I think, hum mm, not really sure I can hide that but if it’s in the back maybe she’ll never notice…and if I make the back first, I can check that I will have enough yarn to finish before putting all the work into the front and wasting it because I didn’t have enough to finish…