Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mending day

Last Saturday, I did some mending that I've been meaning to do for quite a while.  I started with Robert's kindle cover, which I originally made with a black hair tie as the closure loop,  Sewing through it didn't do the hair band much good, and the inner rubber band broke almost immediately.  I ripped out the hair tie, made a narrow fabric loop, and stitched that in.  The stitching isn't as pretty as it was before, but it's much more functional. 

Then I machine darned a hole in the sleeve of one of my hiking shirts.  I happened to have just the right color thread, and it turned out to be very easy.  I also stitched up a hole in the seam of my bright pink long-sleeved t-shirt, something I've been meaning to do since the second time I wore it.  The hole was a manufacturing defect - the edge of the fabric somehow didn't get caught in the seam.

I also felted a little flower over a hole in my striped cashmere sweater.  Still left to be mended is one of my pink socks, which unfortunately has a manufacturing defect - somehow I left a live stitch in the lace pattern. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

CMS/Colloquium knitting - cardigan: take two

I did not do all of this in CMS and colloquium on Thursday.  I frogged and restarted over the weekend, and I had already done most of the raglan increases before I got to school on Thursday.  I divided the sleeves and knitted most of the body.  Next up is the colorwork band, and then the hem and sleeves!  It's coming along nicely, and I don't think it's going to be too big.  I'm glad I started over with the larger size. 

A funny coincidence: notice that there isn't a tail to a ball of yarn in the picture.  I came to the end of the first skein just as the colloquium speaker was wrapping up his talk!

Friday, November 15, 2013

CMS/Colloquium knitting: in which I magic-loop with a 16" needle and then frog.

I worked on the Trieste cardigan for my niece in CMS and colloquium yesterday afternoon.  Somehow it didn't enter my mind that the circumference of a baby cardigan would be too small for a 16" circular needle.  I felt a bit stupid, but the magic looping worked okay, and by the end of colloquium the work was large enough to stretch around and knit normally.

Here's the good news:
I'm so excited about the steek!  I am pleasantly surprised at the way the columns of twisted stitches mark it off (you can see this clearly in the top photo).  Also, my gauge is right on (6.5 stitches/inch and 9 rows/inch - the called-for gauge is 26 stitches and 35 rows per 4").

Now comes the bad news:
The picot hem at the collar just does not look good.  The pattern said to work 6 rows stockinette, then the picot row, then 5 rows stockinette, then the knitting together.  The 5 rows and 6 rows do not match up, so the picot row is a bit toward the outside, not right at the fold.  In real life, it looks way worse than in this photo:
So that's why I'm frogging it.  I think the fix is to start with 5 rows stockinette, beginning with a purl row, then the picot row and then on with the pattern as written. But now that I'm starting over anyway,  I'm second-guessing the sizing, too.  I'm thinking the 3-month size might be too small for my niece to wear this winter.  She'll be 3 months old in mid-December, and according to the Craft Yarn Council of America website, even a 3-month baby sweater should be larger than the 3-month size of this pattern.

So the long and short is, I'm pretty sure I'm starting over with the 6-month size.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New projects!

I made a Knitpicks order last week, and it arrived on Saturday evening!  I'm so excited for these new projects.  The first one, on the bottom right, is yarn for the Trieste Cardigan from the Fall 2013 issue of Interweave Knits.  It will be a Christmas gift for my niece.  On the bottom left are two skeins of Palette to make these mittens.  I was really tempted by this kit, but I talked myself out of it.  I figure that it's not cold enough here to really need even one pair of mittens, and by the time I knit six pairs in a row I would probably be bored out of my mind.  But they are oh so beautiful ... I'm keeping it in mind for the future.  I can always knit them one pair at a time and give them away as gifts if I order it in the future.  The third project is the Lofoten pullover kit.  I'm really excited to knit it.  All three of these projects have colorwork, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and the two sweaters even have steeks ! (eeek!)  I'm a bit scared, but I'm excited to see it work. 

I've already started the Trieste cardigan!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

CMS/Colloquium knitting - a new project!

Somehow I managed to leave my sock knitting bag at church last Sunday, so I couldn't work on my Deflect socks in CMS and colloquium this week.  Naturally, that meant I had to start a new project (really, what it probably means is that I should air out some of my old UFOs that are in a bin with mothballs, but that wasn't going to happen this week).  I've had in my mind that it would be nice to use the leftover yarn from my not-wedding shrug (I used less than half of what I ordered for it) to make a lace shawl.  I got out my copy of Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia and chose the Lilac Leaf Shawl.  It is rectangular, which is what I had in mind, and it uses about the right amount of yarn.  Hopefully it will use up what I've got.  Mine will look a bit different, since my yarn is a light fingering weight instead of the lace weight the pattern calls for, but it should be lovely.

Already it's coming along nicely.  I'm happy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My second quilt - finally finished!

I started this quilt when I was in middle school - sixth grade, I think.  My mom and I were in a mother-daughter quilting group affiliated with our local guild.  I designed it myself by drawing it out on graph paper.  I chose the fabrics, and my mom helped with lots and lots of pinning.  Then for some reason, when the top was mostly done, I/we ran out of steam, the quilting group disbanded, and it sat in a box in my closet until I was finishing high school. 
I rediscovered it, finished the top, and quilted it using invisible thread in the top and blue to match the backing in the bobbin.  I used a walking foot to quilt a diagonal grid, following the diagonal four-patch lines. I used masking tape to guide my stitching, which I won't do again.  I wasn't super good about following the lines, and in several places I accidentally stitched on top of the edge of the tape instead of next to it.  There are still some places where the masking tape won't come out from under the quilting stitches, and some other places where it did come out in the wash, but the white fabric is stained from where the tape was stuck for so many years. I also stitched in the ditch around the border.  I hand-stitched the binding to the back during my first semester of college, and then it went back in a pillowcase for several more years (although I did pull it out to put on my bed in the winters when it was cold and I needed an extra quilt).  I wasn't sure what to do with the loose thread ends from quilting, so it just languished.

Last month, I finally got it out and knotted/hid/trimmed all of the thread ends (there were many).  Then it sat for another week or two waiting for a trip though the washing machine and dryer, and then for another week waiting for photographs.  But now it is done!

It is a small twin size - it pretty much exactly covers the top surface of our double bed.  I'm not sure what we'll do with it, since we don't have any twin beds.  Probably we'll just store it and maybe occasionally take it out when the weather is extra cold and extra quilts are necessary.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

CMS knitting

I finished the gusset and started on the foot of my first Deflect sock in CMS on Thursday.  I really like how this is turning out, but I've been reading ahead and I'm not sure the toe shaping instructions in the pattern are quite right.  I need to think about this and see if there are any errata to the pattern (the issue is that the rib pattern established by the cable on the foot is supposed to continue into the toe and get eaten up by the toe shaping.  The way the pattern is written, there will be three stitches between the decreases on the left side (rather than the customary two, as it is on the other side) and one of them is a purl.  I don't see how this will work out when I get to the kitchener stage.  It will be asymmetric, not to mention with a random line of purl stitches!