Thursday, January 30, 2014

CMS/colloquium knitting: the second end of the shawl

Today in CMS and Colloquium I started the second end of the lilac leaf shawl.  The way this shawl is constructed, it is knitted in two pieces: one with the border and the center, and the other with the border only, and then the two pieces are grafted together with kitchener stitch.  I've been working on the first end, the one with the middle attached, but I'm getting close to running out of the second partial skein I had left over from my shrug.  I don't want to have to guesstimate how much yarn to leave for the second end, so I decided to knit the second end (using the new interchangeable needles I got for Christmas for the first time!) and then cut the yarn and join it to the first end to finish knitting the center.  This way I can maximize the length of the shawl if it turns out I don't have enough yarn to make it as long as the pattern says, or if I have extra I'll only have one ball leftover.

I knitted 16 rows today.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

CMS knitting: Lilac Leaf Shawl

 We didn't have colloquium today, so I just knitted through CMS. Even though I only had one hour, I knitted 11 rows! I also took the picture (and am writing this post) using my tablet so that I could leave the shawl in my desk at work. I spread the shawl out on the floor of my windowless basement office -d still haven't decided if the convenience is worth the bad picture.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CMS/Colloquium knitting - first of the semester!

I worked on the lilac leaf shawl in CMS and Colloquium on Thursday.  I think I'm going to just leave this in my desk at work and try to photograph it with the camera on my Surface each week.  I'm interested to see how far I can get on it (maybe even finish it?) if I only work on it during CMS and colloquium.  This week I got over a full repeat of the center leaf lace done - the pattern calls for fifteen 20-row repeats.  I also have the other side edging (which is the same as the first side edging) to do and then graft to the main piece. 

This is a good project for knitting on while listening to math talks - it's easy!  When I was working on my first lace shawl, I never thought I would say that this kind of project is easy, but compared to my Deep in the Forest mittens, it is!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter break knitting: Mittens!

After I finished my niece's sweater, I started on these Deep in the Forest mittens.  I knitted on this first one through multiple holiday parties, movies, and a plane ride.  The pattern is written for three sizes, which are achieved by changing gauge.  I'm knitting them at the smallest of the three given gauges, and although I was initially worried that they would still be too big, the colorwork makes it pull in  a bit and it seems like they'll fit.  The pattern is written for two identical mittens, with the palm on one being the back of the hand on the other.  I want the two mittens to be different, so I am only knitting half the chart for the first mitten and will knit the second half for the second mitten.  Here's what the palm of the first one is looking like so far:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A sleeve for my Surface

 I got a new Surface Pro 1 tablet yesterday.  It is super cool.  It has a special "pen" stylus for note-taking, and it has a pretty good handwriting recognition system.  It needed a sleeve so it can come with on trips and to school.  I used this tutorial, the same one I used for Robert's kindle sleeve.
 All three of the fabrics are from Hawthorne Threads scrap packs.  I had to use the typewriter key fabric - it's so cute and perfect for a tablet case!  I lined it with these fun yellow glasses frames. 
 I quilted the exterior and floated the interior, as instructed in the tutorial.  I used my walking foot to quilt an echo of the chevrons in white thread in the middle of each white chevron.  I think it looks pretty cool.  I felt like the chevrons should be horizontal, but that was the short direction on this particular piece of fabric, so I had to piece the chevrons together.  I did a pretty good job matching the pattern!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Baby cardigan finished!

I finished this baby cardigan for my niece just in time to get it in the mail so it could arrive before Christmas (we actually live locally close, but I didn't get it finished before Robert and I left to go visit my family, so I had to mail it).  I'm so happy with the way it turned out!  

I've been wanting to stretch my colorwork knitting skills, and this was definitely a good step in that direction.  The body and sleeves of the sweater knitted up quickly (after I decided on the size and started over), and the colorwork band was pretty easy.  The scary thing about this pattern was the STEEK! (Eek!)
 In the photo above you can see it before I cut it, with rows of hand stitching reinforcing it on either side.  Since this yarn is superwash (I wouldn't want to give a baby gift that can't be machine washed) and I had never done a steek before, I was worried about it unraveling.  The pattern (Trieste Cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall 2013) doesn't give much direction on how to reinforce it.  I decided to go with store-bought double-fold bias tape in a matching color.  I think it worked well and looks professional.  I machine-stitched the bias tape encasing the raw edges immediately after I cut the steek.  Then I hand-stitched the free edge to the inside of the sweater, and then picked up and finished the button band as directed in the pattern.
 I'm not totally sold on the button-hole-band construction - it has two layers, with matched yarn-over buttonholes pretty much floating free.  I'm kind of tempted to sew the buttonholes shut and sew in some snaps.  Here's the back of the sweater:
The pattern is the Trieste Cardigan by Kelly Straub from Interweave Knits Fall 2013.  It is the 6-month size.  The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Sport (which is 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon) in Mink Heather and Blue Topaz.