Monday 26 November 2007

New home away from home

I have a new office. Nice, eh?

We, cabin fever that is, are in a warehouse, one of those storage places where people put all their extra stuff. In our space we have a small retail room and the rest is stacks of patterns and shelves with bags and bags of yarn and shipping materials and you know, all the other stuff it takes to do business. But no room for me. I have been for the most part working at home for the last 10 years, going into the shop on Wednesdays for my Drop-In class (it's like a knitters 'At Home' salon) and usually one other afternoon if I have a class going. But there have, for the last 4 years, been too many people in my house during the day and I am finding it more and more difficult to hold my thoughts together. So this lovely space is one of the garages across the hall from our shop and it is the new home for my classes and our guild meetings. It means I can sit quietly and contemplate my knitting without the phone ringing (except for any customer knitting questions), the need to answer domestic questions or tiptoe around while the 2 men in my house are sleeping since both work shifts. I don't even have to be in a good mood. How great is that.

It needs a little fixing up maybe? It now has 5 more rubber maid boxes in there and another big bin of wool and I will be filling it up with the 2 bookcases of reference books and magazines I have now at home. It's so wonderful to get this out of my teeny, tiny house. I have another sister who is going up to the cottage over Christmas and can retreive a quilt I have up there to go on one wall and maybe a room divider which my father made and my husband decorated which is beautiful and would cover some of the doorway. That will improve things a lot. And I want to get some kind of 4'x8' board to make a blocking table which will not be a table at all but go up on the wall too. I have shawls I want to pin out.

Plans, plans, this is kinda fun. Stay tuned. I didn't get much knitting done today though.


Sunday 25 November 2007

Lace Panel or All-Over Lace?

Here they are. Two socks with 2 options for "how much lace do you want to work?" Just the Lace Panel (yellow sock) or All-Over Lace (orange sock).
Let's have a closer look at what they both look like.
Look Closer.
Closer Still.
Whoa, too close.

Friday 23 November 2007

Back to the Socks

I am putting the pullover aside at the moment because I have to get these socks finished up. These are the DK version. I almost always do a DK and fingering versions because they look quite different and I love the speed of the DK socks.

I have come to a decision point once again. Do I work a lace panel up the front or switch to all over lace for the leg? These are toe up socks and I really like both socks.

I may have to wait until I write it out to see if it's not tooo complicated to put both options in. The sticking point here is that I have no idea, since they are knit from the toe up, where the knitter might be on the lace chart when they reached the heel. Makes it tricky for starting the all over lace since it would be on a second chart. Hmmm. Oh I'm sure I could work it out given some time since I do really like both socks.

From the front they both look similar.

But from the side they are different socks. I took the ballerina First Position photo with the camera upside down leaning over my feet. Not bad, eh?
So I am sock knitting this weekend. I have one lace panel fingering weight sock done. I guess I have to make an all-over lace one to compare. The pattern actually works out much better for the fingering pair (no second chart for the legs).
Enough, I must get back to my needles.

Monday 19 November 2007

Sammie (see comment on last post) cast her vote for the cardigan. But I am trying to do pullovers since I just did a whole book for cardigans (whine, whine). I'm going to go with the pullover and see how it looks and if I change my mind I can always pull out the SCISSORS !! I am not daunted by those nasty snippers.


Friday 16 November 2007

Pullover, Cardigan, Pullover??

I put several sets of circulars through my Top Down so I could spread it out and have a good look at it. The V is about 8 1/2" deep which is what I had hoped for.

The colour is closer to a burgundy/red than this pink which is showing in the photo.

But a problem has cropped up. As soon as I fold it over (like on the chair back photo) it seems to want to become a cardigan. I had a pullover in my head from the beginning but now...

I intended to put the same holey rib pattern on the cuffs and at the bottom of the pullover. If I stay with the pullover I am now envisioning a tunic style A-line where I could run increases down the sides starting about 4 or 5" below the underarm so that the bottom of the tunic would be about 4" wider than the top with about 6" of holey rib pattern on the bottom and on the 4" cuffs.

If I do a cardigan I would make it shorter, about hip length, with only 3" of holey rib on the bottom border.

I think I will just leave this for now and see if tomorrow it turns back into a pullover. I'm almost positive now that it will because I would really like to see how it would look. I do love a tunic style sweater and with the added A-line swing it could be good.

- Deb

Thursday 15 November 2007

Two of the Three

I have finished the knitting of the Top Down pullovers for the tweeny set. The pattern will run from 32" to 38" finished measurement of sweater (4 sizes). I have now arranged with Dana to knit a third pullover with a stipe on the chest. This will give you 3 options for the sweater.

I am very pleased with how the ribbed cuff came out. It's always difficult to cast off at the end of the sleeve and so I am always trying any new cast off I come across to see if it would work better. This one worked very well. Not too tight or too loose and gives a nice purled edge to match the 2 purl rounds above the ribbing. Cast Off: With the wrong side facing, K1, *slip stitch on Right needle back onto the Left needle, K2tog (thru back loops); repeat from * until all sts cast off. I also used it to cast off the bottom of the pullover and am thrilled with how it looks.

I have a little more work to do on the pattern and then I will send it off to our pattern checker for a once over. Dana will be test knitting, checking the pattern again. You can't have too many checks on these patterns.

I'm also working on more pullovers. This one has a deeper V than the Button Up book V's have. I've worked out the math on it but am very excited to see if it works. I know that numbers don't lie but sometimes what you think the math is telling you does not actually work out in a sweater. It doesn't look like much at the moment. You can see the collar with the columns of YO's, below that there is a 1/2" section of ribbing so that it will flip over nicely, and then you might be able to see that I have started working some of the short rows across the back and top of the sleeves. At present I am much further along than this photo shows since I have been sneaking in the odd row or two. Tonight the short rows will be finished. I only have about 10 more Short Rows to work. It gets a little difficult to work the last couple of rows with my fingers crossed. - Deb

Monday 12 November 2007

One More FO.

One Classic pullover with rolled neck finished. Not a glamour shot of it I'm afraid.
I even tried it on (with negative ease of 1") and it feels really good on even though it's several sizes too small for me. It's going to be a pattern for tweeny sizes. This one is finished 36" around, and the pattern will have one size bigger 38" and 2 sizes smaller, down to a 32" sweater. I am finishing up the 32" ribbed neck version today, maybe not all finished today since I have 2 sleeves to do.
Here's a shot of the increasing along the shapeline. I used a symmetrical backward loop on either side of 2 shapeline stitches instead of the standard M1 and I like how it looks. I also like using the loops over my finger because they are not disruptive when I am cruising along the round. I find the standard M1 makes me stop in order to work it and it interrupts the flow. One of the backwards loops is done over my finger and the second one over my thumb, then on the second round I knit into the back or the front of the loop whichever is going to twist the loop one more time. This keeps the increase nice and tight.
When you make a pullover you have to carefully consider your increase. Imagine you are knitting around working one round with increases and a second round of knit only, the phone rings and you go and have a short conversation, on your return you pick up your knitting and .. oh no .. which round was I on the Increase round or the Knit round?? You want to pick an increase where you can tell. On the Increase round you put the backward loop on the right needle and on the Knit round you knit the loop. If there is No Loop you put a loop on (Increase round), and if there Is A Loop you knit into it (Knit round). A Yarn Over works the same way (the YO is there or it isn't) but a M1 does not give you this information without some careful scrutiny of your increase. This only applies to pullovers because cardigans have a right side where you are working your increases and a wrong side where you are working back, so you can choose any increase that turns your crank.
Lecture is finished for today. I'm going to knit my sleeves now and look at the new project I started last night but am firmly putting aside to get this ribbed neck pullover done. If I get one sleeve done today, tonight I can work on the new project (yes the carrot still works for me).

Friday 9 November 2007

Kawartha Hooks and Needles Guild

I was in Peterborough, ON last night talking about our book Button Up Your Top Down. I had 2 suitcases of samples to show and pass around and lots of information on Top Down knitting. The Peterborough knitters showed up even though it was snowing and were wonderfully friendly and asked great questions (which I love). They were a joy to talk to.

But I have failed dismally as a blogger. I took my camera but do you see a photo? No, I'm afraid not. A good looking group too. I will have to try to do better next time.

I am now on the second sleeve of my blue pullover and progressing but it's slow going at the moment. I have 2 movies lined up so that should finish the sleeve off. If it doesn't I'll have to think about changing professions or something equally drastic.

- Deb

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Progress I Think

I have to check back to see if I have made any progress at all. I have ripped out the bottom of this sleeve a couple of times but am now almost finished one sleeve. One Sleeve! Is that all!
The second sweater is much smaller and I am now working on the bottom ribbing. Could this one be short sleeved? Nah, I guess not. It's snowing here today and doesn't feel like short sleeved weather any more.
Do you have tricks to make yourself "keep on keeping on" when the interesting parts are all done and you just have to finish up? My plan is to watch a movie and ignore what I am knitting and maybe surprise myself by how much I have accomplished in 2 hours. Knitting 2 plainish sweaters at the same time is not the best idea. I am planning a cabled sweater in my head as I knit and knit and knit. Not that I hate it or anything I'm just getting a wee bit bored. My carrot is that I have lace socks to do after these 2 are finished.
Keeping my eye on the carrot,
- Deb

Monday 5 November 2007

I got this much done while watching 2 curling games on the weekend. I did miss a few shots since there was quite a bit of increasing to be done but I'm very practiced at sports spectator knitting. I'm sure quite a few of us are. It eases the stress of not being out there playing where you might actually have some control over the game. It keeps me from biting my nails and muttering to myself. Although there might be a few tense rounds of knitting in this sweater I would rather be watching with something in my hands keeping them busy. I have many sweaters that have been knit in curling rinks across southern Ontario since my daughter has been curling competitively for the last 9 years. Including the time I knit a sock with 2 heels and didn't even realize until the sock was finished. The curling was very exciting that weekend.

This week I'm just trying to get this sweater finished. Lots of plain knitting for a bit so my library book is in a book stand and I'm ready to enjoy reading and knitting round and round. After this is competed I think there is some lace in my future.


Friday 2 November 2007

Changing My Ways

If you read the last post you will note that I decided I would try to use 2 circular needles instead of double points when working the sleeve of the Top Down pullover. You may also note in the photo here that there are no circular needles in sight. Oops.
I believe in trying new ways of doing things so started with the 2 circular needles and I wish I could say I persevered since learning a new technique is not always comfortable but ... I lasted 1"/5cm. I then dug out my dpn's and even though it feels like one of them is one size smaller it's more comfortable for me than the 2 circs.
I like using dpn's. I am competent using dpn's. I like to finish one needle and switch to the next needle and feel like I'm motoring along. I don't get obvious ladders where the needles meet. Is this rationalizing big time? Yes. I tried it and if you hate double points then it's a good option but have I mentioned that I love dpn's? Enough said.

I am now working on a variation on the rolled neck pullover above. Several neck samples later (I have to do one more) I think I have it nailed down. I am going to start the real sweater today in a 32" finished measurement. This is what I would term my "boy" version and I am really liking it. It's more unisex than I thought it might be and I may work one up with the ribbed collar in my own size. We'll see what I think when I get some more done.
These two versions will be in one pattern to cover the tweeny sizes of Teen/Small Adult which have been missing in our pattern line. I have had many requests for the small adult sizes and for the 10-14 year old sizes. This is my answer to those requests. I am beginning the knitting of this version today and have to decide on the bottom edging yet so it's still in production for a bit.
I am going to have a fun weekend. I'm watching my daughter curl on Friday and going to a folk festival to listen to live music with my friends on Saturday. We'll see how much of this pullover I can get done.