keeping a promise

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Pattern: Carla - Rowan “It’s A Tape Thing”
Yarn: Rowan Cotton Tape in colourway “Hazy”
Needles: 8 & 9mm Crystal Palace Bamboo Circulars

Inspecting Carla's sleevesCarla's sleeve up close

Carla close up

Carla raglan seams
The seaming was as painful as I expected it to be, and it’s not perfect, but I was reasonably happy in the end. It didn’t help that knitting combined style causes weird selvages. I need to try and sort this out before kniting anything else flat - like the hood of Isabelle’s poncho.

A cuddle with IsabelleIsabelle dancing for the camera

Isabelle hates being on this side of the camera as much as I do - unless you try pointing it at someone else that is.

while we were gone

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

As well as all the walking, while we were away I :

  1. Finished Carla. I know I promised more today, but there are issues. Firstly the weather, it sucks. Secondly the sweater, it’s stretched. Carla needs to be washed and semi blocked into shape again before I take more photos. I am quite pleased with how Carla turned out, this is my first adult sized sweater with sleeves and I have already worn it out in public (well in the bush). However (didn’t you just know there was a “but” coming?) this stitch pattern is super stretchy so, despite the fact that I knit the size for exactly my bust measurements, if I were to do it again I would knit it at least one, if not two sizes smaller. That said, the Raglan armholes fit me perfectly and the sleeves fit pretty well too, so I would actually have to do something tricky with the sizing to get a better fit. Also the sweater seems to get shorter and wider with wear. The wider part I accept as being a fact of life with 100% cotton, but the shorter part I was not expecting. I suspect I will wear this sweater as often as I can allowing for the fact that I may need to wash/wet it between every wearing. Finally, such a loose knit pattern is SNAGGY. Obviously bush walking is not the most sensible place for a hand knit but the worst pull so far came from walking through the doorway to Isabelle’s room this morning, which I do a whole lot more of than bush walking. On the upside the snags heal quite easily.
  2. Swatched and started knitting Isabelle’s Poncho. She is very excited and wants to wear it now RIGHT NOW, needles and all. I am going to need a fourth ball I think. 3 balls did seem a bit hopeful to me when I was buying it, but I knew i would be getting onto this one quickly and don’t expect there will be any trouble matching dye lots so soon after the initial purchase.
  3. Isabelle's Poncho at the end of the first ball

  4. Bought yarn to make a Stonington Shetland Shawl from Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmerman. There are babies on the way all around me at the moment, which is a fine excuse to knit a shawl or two if you ask me.
  5. Heirloom Easy Care 5 ply for Stonington Shetland Shawl

  6. Was given Incredible Quilts for Kids of All Ages. This book has a number of cute animal quilts and an incredibly sweet set of Big Sister/Little Sister or Big Brother/Little Brother quilts which can obviously be mix and matched to make Big Brother/Little Sister or Big Sister/Little Brother. Should we ever manage to produce a sibling for Isabelle I will be sorely tempted to make a pair of these quilts.
  7. Borrowed Quick Quilts to Make in a Weekend. There are three quilts in here that I really like. One of them that I am absolutely in love with.
Incredible Quilts for Kids of All AgesQuick Quilts to Make in a Weekend

It was really quite a packed weekend.

I forgot to mention…

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

…that we were going away this Easter. It was an absolutely divine weekend.

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Blue Moutnains Easter 2005

Why yes, that is a finished Carla you see! More about that tomorrow.

un-knitting is hell

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Un-knitting has never been my style. My I like to pull out the needle, rip to my hearts content and pick up what’s left with a smaller needle. This is not an approach that works with Carla, a fact that I have twice now proven by dropping a stitch while trying to un-knit. One measly dropped stitch. Dropped only one row. Who would have though this could be a half hour problem requiring tea, chocolate and a great deal of mumbling under the breath? I guess I will finish the sleeve some time this century…

back, front and half a sleeve

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Carla is coming along nicely, very nicely. I cast on the first sleeve the other day using the larger needle size that I used for the second body piece and decided it was too loose. So last night I tried again with the smaller size called for in the pattern and it was just right… I am now a bit over halfway through the sleeve and already thinking about my next project.

Winter is coming, in fact winter has popped in for an early visit. I have to knit Isabelle some warm things and I need to do it FAST. I am tossing up between knitting the Debbie Bliss Jacket with Moss Stitch Bands that I have yarn for in my stash and getting yarn for a poncho. I plan to make both for her this winter, the trick is to figure out which order of presentation is most likely to ensure that both get worn.

I need a couple of new sweaters this year too, or at least that is my excuse. I bought myself a gorgeous new sweater today, from my favourite store, Jigsaw. Its a black cotton/acrylic mock turtle neck with a cabled front and 2*2 rib back and sleeves. The yarn seems quite similar to Rowan All Season Cotton, the fit is great, it is so warm and I am positively gloating over buying it at about 25% the normal price. In fact this purchase just about made my day.

Finally, my mum is visiting and she brought with her two books from my grandmother, “Knitting Workshop” by Elizabeth Zimmerman and “The Woolgatherers’ Handspun Pattern Book”. I had been asking my gran about the shawls she knit for Isabelle, they are both here and then some.

Sorry for the fractured post, my mothers visit and the crazy weather have me off balance, though not so much that I have stopped knitting!

yesterday’s news

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Carla: front and back together

This is where I was up to yesterday, or perhaps it was the day before, I am not sure any more. As of this afternoon I am halfway through the raglan shaping of the second body piece. And so far the two pieces match. It’s a simple thing, but it makes me happy. Thinking ahead I am trying to decide whether to make the sleeves one at a time or both at once. The other question on my mind is how long those sleeves should be, full length? 3/4? Bracelet? The first question is obviously more pressing at the moment. I suspect I may opt to do them one at a time. I think for this sweater doing both at once will actually be more frustrating than doing them one at at time will be boring.

just like the last one

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

While it may not be exactly true that the second front/back of Carla is exactly like the last one at this stage, the photos certainly would show it that way, which is my excuse for not taking one. What the photo would not show so clearly is that the ribbing seems to be a much more reasonable width knit on the same (larger) needles as the rest of the sweater. This time I also cast on holding a 5mm crochet hook together with the 9mm knitting needle and it was very satisfying to watch what happened when I had finished the ribbing and stretched it out to see how far it would go and how stretchy the cast on was. It was the first time I had actually paid attention the process of the big loops from casting on over two needles being pulled tighter and the gaps between them expanding to give a nice even edge. Having achieved better ribbing for the second piece the question is will I leave the ribbing of the first piece as is or will I do this?

shaping up

Monday, March 14, 2005

Last night I made it to the 37cms required to start the raglan shaping, actually I knit 40cms to make it the same length as my favourite sweater. But instead of starting the decreases I spent over an hour desperately trying to make sense of how to cast off three stitches at either end and still maintain a 2 stitch pattern. I had just about given up in disgust and decided to cast off only two stitches, allowing me to maintain the pattern but leaving me with two extra stitches when I found some excellent advice here. I am going to follow C’s method in the very last comment. In fact as you can see on the right I have already started following her advice.

Carla: ready to start the raglan shapingCarla: raglan shaping started

So far, so good, though I did have one horrible moment at the end of the second cast off row. As I knit back to where the first stitches had been cast off I found that I had exactly the right number of stitches to knit the pattern as normal (ie either one too many or one too few). After having a quiet little hissy fit in the clinic waiting room (I was waiting to be called for my morning bloodwork, yes I do have trackmarks, it’s one of the many charming things about fertility treatment), I realised that the decreases were fine, I had just dropped a stitch a few stitches after the first cast off. Thankfully I only had to unknit a little to get back to the problem, which was easily fixed.

In other news my neighbours are currently awaiting the birth of their first grandchild so I went yarn shopping today. I came home with fabric. I couldn’t really afford the yarn I wanted from my LYS, which I suspect would not have been appreciated anyway (I am sure the knitting would have been appreciated but my feeling is they would actually prefer acrylic to wool), and the yarn at the craftstore was more nasty than cheap. Instead I bought some gorgeous green and purple velour cord to make a super simple quilted blankie. I have two more babies to make gifts for this year whose parents WILL appreciate nice yarn so I will save my knitting for them.

did I say something about raglan shaping?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Perhaps tomorrow, when I have actually knit enough of the body. At least I thought to double check the pattern before casting off the underarm stitches and starting the decreases.

and then the unexpected happened

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Carla front, half done

Who would have thought it? I have made actual progress. I have half a front and I am about to start those tricky double decreases for the raglan shaping.

I do have some concerns about gauge. I reknit the ribbing thinking those loose thoughts and it still seems rather small. However, I seem to have gauge on the lace pattern when stretched out just enough to actually show the stitches off properly. So for now I am knitting and praying.

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