Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Keeping up with Changing times

In reading some of my early posts I found one where I was talking about making copies of my patterns, which I still do,  and never carry the original The advantages of doing that are I can write on the pattern without messing up my original and I have a back up copy if I loose the original.

The other problem with writing on the original is that should you ever want to knit this again and maybe not in the same size you have all these notes and circles on your pattern that make it difficult to read especially if you now want new notes and want to knit  a different size. The pattern becomes a mess.

I like to take notes. I almost never knit the pattern as written. I might make it longer, do a different rib stitch, almost always adjust the sleeve length and I especially like to save notes on the yarn I used and the needle size and gauge for reference.

I am a yarn snob and have, I admit favorites. I am also not ashamed to admit that I probably do as much ripping as knitting. As I often point out to people I work with helping them through knitting projects, I don't knit becasue I need something to wear. I knit becasue it is my passion and my hobby but in the end I want to have something that I love and not something that gets finished and shoved away never to be seen again. To that end I often choose the same yarn for a new project in a different color and I find it helpful to remember what needle size I used, and my personal gauge which often is exactly what is recommended on the band since all knitters do not knit the same.

As I read this old post two other things came to mind. One is the improvement of our smart phones and while I can't address the Android phones on my iPhone i have something called iBooks. I can scan and save my pattern as a PDF and save it in iBooks, and I can then read my pattern on my phone so no need to carry a pattern at all. I can make notes regarding my WIP in the notes section. Form this I can also transfer my notes to my computer.  I know this may sound as if I am a bit compulsive but I really do not want to "swatch" again if I want to use the same yarn. Swatching is necessary but let's face it no one like doing it. Any not matter how many years you have been knitting and at what level you would put your knitting skills you still have to make that swatch.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

WIP Button Side Sweater Using German Short Rows

As I follow up on my button side sweater I am coming to close to finishing. Not so easy since I started three projects at the same time.

First of all I just love the yarn. I am knitting the sweater with Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool
 45%Wool, 35%Silk, 20%Nylon Yardage: 192, Stitches: 5.5 = 1 inch
So naturally I am a happy camper. This is one of my favorite yarns. The wool gives it stability, the silk gives it drape and the bit of nylon helps it hold it's shape.  It feels soft and squishy to the touch and my hands are so happy holding it.  I also love the color range.  I need to go down a needle size with this and many yarns because I am a loose knitter and in order to get the fabric I want that is not to tight, not too loose, but just right I often need to use a smaller needle than stated.

I love the color I choose. I went out of my comfort zone and picked a Cinnamon color that I don;t often choose for my wardrobe and I like it a lot. A bit of orange and a bit of brown but very neutral and a departure from my usual grey and black.

The sweater construction is interesting because you knit the curved band bottom together with the body. The sweater uses German Short Rows which are no my favorite. I have always don the wrap and turn and not matter how I tried I could always see the small hole from the turn. For what ever reason this method seems to give a totally invisible turn. From knitting this sweater I now feel quite proficient in this method.

I did, as I always do deviate from the pattern a bit. I decided even though I am not tall that I wanted a longer body so I knit about 16 extra rows which also resulted in one more button on each side.. The pattern calls for a Kitchener Stitch join where the band meets but after doing this I wan;t happy and instead did a three needle bind off which some what matched the pattern on the band and I felt looked better.

And I changed the sleeve. I did not like the few rows of garter stitch for the cuff. To me it did not go with the sweater so I did the modified rib patter that is used on the shoulder saddle and I personally like it better for me.  I think it adds a nice detail.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What's On Your Needles

As the weather gets warmer and I start to think about outdoor concerts, days at the pool and travel I start to think about what my knitting projects will be.

I always like to have knitting with me and small projects that are light and easy to carry work well for this purpose. Socks naturally and my favorite one skein shawls.

Checking on there are wonderful people who have designed and shared their pattern for free.  If you are like me I try to take advantage of their generosity.

If you check on Revelry frequently and click on "Patterns" a small box drops down with the most looked at patterns for that day. This is constantly changing although several will keep appearing.

Down at the bottom it will offer the top 20 and if you click on that you will get small thumbnails of the patterns.  You can also do an advanced sort and then put in specific detail for your search like how many yards (put in 450 for a one skein as a starting point), what type of project (shawl) sort by free.

My recent search gave me Reyna 
a triangle shawl with some open work areas that looked like a good choice for a carry along project because there was some detail but looked like it would be easily memorized and therefore okay to work on if there were other people around .  

I remember that I had started a shawl (KAL) knit along back in December and the design became too tedious for me since it required  watching every row. I need to go back to my abandoned project and I think the yarn may just want to be a Reyna shawl.

Happy Knitting


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Just Couldn't Wait to Start

Every once in a while, well okay really often, I come across something I can't wait to cast on my needles. The minute I saw the book Knitting Short Rows I knew I needle to  knit the cover sweater called Buttonside Sweater.

The book interested me because it has  patterns that use different techniques for  knitting short rows. If you have ever knit short rows you may or may not know that each technique gives you a slightly different look. Often I look at books and there is only one sweater that I want to knit and in that case I check out to see if I can purchase an individual pattern but when I looked at this book there were several patterns I loved so I knew I needed the book.

I was also happy to see that the sweater was knit in one of my personal favorite yarns, Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool. The yarn has a particular twist that gives a crape appearance to the knit fabric.  Since I tend to knit loose I went down a size needle and I am working on a #4 instead of the size called for in the pattern but I am right on gauge

In checking the pattern size I decided that I was happy with the width but I think I want my sweater longer. I added a few rows to the armhole and I think I will add some rows to the body before I start the curved shaping to give me more lengths by added multiple of the 4 rows that make up the button bands.  I am using locking marker to keep exact count of the rows I am knitting to that when I pick up for the front it will match the back.

The sweater construction is interesting since it starts with should saddles and then stitches are pick up and knit down.  I read ahead and the side panels curve around and meet in the middle with an interesting join. It is a really fun knit.

To make this more fun I decided to challenge a friend to knit along with me.  It is an inspiration to keep knitting and will ensure that we will both finish.

Here are some more pictures of my progress

Does anyone else want to join us?  Would love to see a bunch of these WIP's up on the Patchwork Frog Facebook page.

Happy Knitting!