Wednesday, August 21, 2013

perfect pockets

You can call me anal (not really); you can call me a perfectionist… (ha! ha! I’ve already fessed up to too many screw-ups for that to apply!)
As you can see, I got the back done as planned – got the bands done too – I’m loving this!
Now, the pockets. I decided that I’d like the pockets to be the same pattern (white background) as the back – that way, from the front you can see all three patterns – makes sense to me anyway so that’s what I’m doing.
Now, I have to say, I’m so glad there’s this blog to look back at because my memory is not what it used to be. Remember (you probably don't) those great patch pockets I did way back when (March 4, 2011) where I used a chained cast-on to make a perfect edge – I’m thinking that’s going to work here too and I know where to find it almost immediately!
So, yes it did work, but darn, I don’t like those 2 extra rows at the top (the one on the top right) that don’t give a complete pattern repeat. Answer, just stop 2 rows earlier! And, there must be some way to get rid of those little pokey white stitches at the edges… I tried just wrapping the second colour on the end needle instead of bringing it out which causes the end needle to knit in the second (black) colour…wrong answer - that was just too much extra work and same thing happened! Third try, nailed it!
Sonofagun, all I did was ‘edit’ my swatch for the stitch pattern and make sure every end stitch was black – two reasons: first when you’re hanging the chain, it’s black, so the end stitch that you’re putting in behind should be black, right? and when knitting fairisle on the Silver Reed we are used to pulling out the end needle at the beginning of the row so both colours go right to the edge, so by making the edge stitch black, it will knit back in black anyway and eliminate those little white half stitches!!!
You could just call me dumb…after all, it took me three try’s – I prefer to think of it as persistent but, you know, this is my boondoggle – what else do I have to do?
P.S. If you don’t have DAK, just pull both end needles out every row which will have the same effect! And, one last thing, I’ll wash and dry the garment and the pockets and then block everything and then stitch the pockets in place…

Friday, August 16, 2013

fingers crossed...

I know the suspense is killing you - 2 fronts done! 3.7 oz white remaining - I think I might just make it and even get the pockets done - but my new backup plan if necessary - make back yoke from self coloured 1X1 black fairisle - that way the thickness will be the same throughout...

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I just love that word, but what does it mean? As a noun: work of little or no value merely to appear busy. As a verb, do work for the purpose of appearing busy…
oh my! how long has it been since I knit fairisle? talk about jumping in at the deep end…I decided to start with a sleeve – no big surprise – that has been my modus operandi for quite some time for lots of reasons – I know I am going to suffer running-out-of-yarn anxiety. I have 7.5 oz of the off-white WCD and tons of black, no problem there. I’ve checked back on other WCD fairisles (No 52, ‘Herringbone’ and No 46, ‘Print It’) They were both similar in length and size to what I’m attempting to make now and according to my notes, I can expect to need a minimum of 8 oz of the second colour but, going with the 3/4 sleeve, I hope, will save me. And making the sleeve first tests out a lot of stuff and will give me a better idea of how far the yarn will go. The sleeve stitch pattern has a background of black and uses slightly more black. The design I am going to use  for the front is a variation of the herringbone tweed, which is a more balanced pattern with equal stitches of black and white. The back, as shown in the stolen design is more white so I’ll leave the back to last and my ‘back-up’ plan - change to the ‘coffin’ version – the back in plain black – I’ll just stand against the wall a lot and make sure I’m the last to leave the room!
Confession, I didn’t waste any on the swatch – used an ivory mini dina for that which is close in colour and weight/thickness, just to get the right idea and test out the stitch pattern. The gauge from the other two projects – one was 36 sts and 43 rows and the other, 36 sts and 40 rows so I can use that as a guideline for the sleeve – I’m going with 36 sts and 42 rows, so I need to make a ‘cheat swatch’ as I’m knitting the sleeve.
Of course, one of my favourite features of this design is the little slits in the bottom of the sleeve – nice detail, so I can’t leave that out – it means knitting the small section at one side to say row 24 and then casting on the other portion of the sleeve and knitting it to row 24 and then putting everything back in work and getting it to all match up…so here’s something I don’t believe that I’ve really wrote about before – I am using Designaknit knit-from-screen for the stitch pattern on the SilverReed/Studio standard gauge electronic machine and the KR11 knit contour for my shape.
One of the quirks of the SilverReed electronic (any gauge) is mis-patterning on the initial rows. When I first got my SK580 way back in the early ‘90s, as part of dealer training, we were told to ‘read the pattern’ with 2 to 4 free passes of the carriage and doing this virtually eliminated any mis-patterning at the beginning or when any time you were re-setting the pattern. So, how to do this with DAK and KFS? I set my stitch pattern to begin 2 rows before I really want it to, to give me 2 free passes before the actual row 1 that I want (if you want more info on this, email me privately so we don’t bore the others).
So, anyway, as you might imagine, there are a lot of things to remember to get this little sleeve going, but I do love a challenge – thank heaven I’m not writing a pattern for this! That would take all the fun out of it! maybe I’m just boondoggling…or, is this my boondoggle?...
There’s something so satisfying about pressing out a sleeve and the gauge - nailed it!
I’ve had these buttons since 1995…

2 sleeves done - 6.1 oz remaining...
oh, one more reason to make the sleeves first - I'm still mulling over the bottom band and I can do a few practises on the sleeves and still change my mind for the other pieces!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

inspiration or stealing?

it’s always interesting to find new inspiration – I have gone to retail shops and looked at ready-to-wear, saw what's happening there and come away usually filled with what I thought were good ideas to work on. There were the catalogues, like Chico’s and Coldwater Creek that would never fail to inspire something.  Now, the internet is full of shops and ideas – I used to look regularly at J Jill and Net-a-Porter but my new go-to is – I love those clothes! Why? I guess they appeal to who I wish I was – much taller, much slimmer and younger! There you go, it’s all about fantasy, obviously, because I am never going to be any of those things, but it’s nice to look and wish.
The website is kind of fun because people who have bought, log in and give reviews and comments on the garment after they get it which tells you much more than the actual description. I find it really interesting to see what they have to say and I often am thinking, where did they get that idea? (if they were unhappy) What where they looking at when they saw the photo and how did it translate to what they are saying?
Now, some of the people are shopping in their local store and are giving an opinion which is great for those who would be shopping on-line and it’s kind of cool that they give their height, weight, bust size and usually age…but I digress…
Anyway, the other day I found one cardigan that I just seem to have become obsessed with – it’s called ‘Tralee Cardigan’ (I don’t know how to put a link to it from here, so you’ll have go look for yourself and type that into the search bar).  It is originally shown in a bright yellow and white with black trim – the description says ‘we love the subtle mixed pattern pockets on this super- soft cotton intarsia (this really kills me when they get the description wrong, it’s very obviously a double jacquard or fairisle) - and it’s f-ugly – but click on the next colour button and it comes up on a real person in black and white and OMG, I love it! Of course, I’m not going to pay $148 even if it did come in my size. I found myself revisiting the page a few times last week and then over the weekend I sort of forgot about it. On Monday I couldn’t find it – almost panicked and then somehow I managed to stumble across it – I don’t know how to add or save something to my favourites – so I figured I’d better do something to save the ideas – can you believe it? I first grabbed some graph paper and started to block in squares of the stitch pattern and then – whack/coulda had a V-8 - there I am with a DesignAKnit window open and the website photo in the background – OMG! this is too easy – got the stitch pattern done and then realized there would be too many long floats for the fairisle, because in my head, I’m already knitting this in WCD (wool crepe deluxe in fairisle,  and I don’t want any float longer that 3 stitches – here, proof – I’ve already redesigned and knocked off a temporary swatch…I can use a portion of  my ‘Herringbone’ stitch pattern from No 52 for the front – I’m so excited! I’ll keep you posted, I promise!
(next thing you know, I’ll be learning how to use Pinterest – please don’t tell me!)