One Skein Down

131 yards (or one skein) in and it’s starting to look like….well the bottom of a vest I suppose. I’m following the 42″ instructions, which should make for a 46″ inch bust according to my trusty gauge swatch. It’s mostly plain stockinette stitch, but the cable panel at the back is keeping things interesting without being too challenging.

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So far I’ve gotten through 10 rows of ribbing and then one repeat of the cable pattern. I was worried before starting that this yarn wouldn’t give enough stitch definition to show the cables well, but it seems my fears were misplaced – the cables are looking good so far:

IMG_20141108_112447I’m really enjoying working with this yarn, despite the fact that after a few rounds my hands start to get mildly itchy, probably due to the yarn having mohair in it. I’m not full-blown allergic to it, but I think at this point I can’t deny that it irritates my skin. But the yarn is pretty and the pattern is working up fast so I’m going to keep knitting away.

Possibly wearing gloves if I have to.

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Aggressive Blocking

I’m in a rather love/hate relationship with theses fingerless gloves. On the love side, the yarn is pretty and I managed to make the pair in less than 48 hours.

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

On the hate side is that fact that they don’t really fit my hands at all.

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I blame (a) having large hands, (b) the lack of a thumb gusset, and (c) gauge off…probably…knowing me.

I’m a big fan of the picot bind off that is both stretchy and kind of adorable looking… at least it would BE adorable looking if it bloody lay flat. Every time I’d smooth it out, it crumples right back up again. The bottom isn’t doing much better – the first eight rows have basically folded in on themselves.

I’m not particularly sure how well they are going to block with only a 30% wool content, which has lead to some drastic measures. After soaking them completely they’re able to be pulled flat momentarily. So I have drenched them in cold water, lain them out on a towel, and piled my four heftiest textbooks on them.

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Molecular Cell Biology, Biology of Microorganisms, Organic Chemistry and, of course the very foundation of my learning: Stewart’s Calculus (6th Edition). All very dense and loaded with knowledge. Also, just straight up dense. Putting my education to good use…

We shall see what happens when they dry. I’m going to leave them for 24 hours to contemplate their future. A perfectly flat and well behaved future, if they know what’s good for them.

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A Return to Double Pointed Needles

Every week there is a little raffle at my choir rehearsal (a means of completely un-surreptitiously raising more money for ourselves) and next week is my turn to provide the item to be raffled. Being low on funds and heavy on time, I thought I’d knit up something to offer. I settled on fingerless gloves. It is getting cold, and if someone doesn’t like them for themselves, well Christmas is just around the corner. I decided to take the easiest route I could and go with the most popular fingerless glove pattern on Ravelry: Fetching.

This was perhaps a little too daring. I haven’t been using double pointed needles since my hand tremors started, let alone any needles smaller than six mm and these require 4 mm’s. But I cast on anyways and started to knit.

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Those cables at the bottom? Hell. On. Earth. Though I confess a proper cable needle may have helped some.

The yarn is an acrylic/wool blend, which is not usually my favourite to work with, but it was soft, washable and a nice colour, (and who am I kidding, it was also on sale) so I decided to try it. So far I heartily approve. I’ve dropped many many stitches with this and it seems to hold itself together decently while I fumble to pick them up.

This is a pattern that is knitting up quick once I got past the finicky first three cables, which is probably why I haven’t thrown in the towel yet. That, and without them I’d have to make something else for the raffle.

And when I say it’s knitting up quick…I mean like…really quick:

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Elapse time: twenty odd minutes.

The bottom is rolling pretty badly, but that may be fixed with some blocking. I’m not sure how well 70% acrylic, 30 % wool blocks exactly, but we will find out soon enough.

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Eight days…

I finished my last high school exam today! It was my physics exam and it went very well. I managed to finish every questions in under three hours. I was at somewhat of a loss afterward, I mean, I had a whole afternoon and nothing to study! Preposterous. And perhaps a sign that school took over my life a little bit at the end there…

Faced with nothing to learn I went down to the book store to buy a book on sign language and began learning new signs. Cassie got me interested in sign language a few years ago and she taught me enough so that we could “talk” while listening backstage at choir concerts. I don’t remember much… signs for “song” and “good” and “popcorn” (I don’t know why but I never ever forgot popcorn.)

Anyhow on to what we actually care about here- the dress. The dress that I have exactly… eight days to finish knitting, blocking and sewing. Hold on EIGHT days??? What’s today? The 18th? When did that happen? What the-

Oh. Exams. Right. Nevermind.

Soooo the skirt lace is going well. I’m a little nervous because my swatch didn’t help me much and I’m kinda working blind. Flying by the seat of my pants if you will. I’m increasing as a go inbetween the panels every 4 or 6 rows.

This is what the (unblocked) skirt pattern looks like:

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It’s dayflower lace originally by Barbra Walker. I’m using the dayflower scarf chart written by Cheryl Fuller and posted on her blog Jung at Heart. I didn’t include the beads but the chart is awesome.

Here’s the whole thing…

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I’ve put the underdress underneath it so the lace can been seen. It’s sort of bunched up on the bottom because it’s still on the needles but you get the picture.  I’m very pleased with it and I think (cross your fingers) that it will be done in time. Wish me luck!

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and she knit and knit and knit

and knit some more

75 rows 170 stitches per row on average, there’s is some highly sophisticated waist shaping in there. and by highly sophisticated I mean I might have decreased and increased sporadically whenever I felt like it. So that give us 12 750 stitches give or take a couple hundred of straight stocking stitch.

In an effort to get this dress finished in time for my graduation I shoved all my other knitting projects into my closet so that I would not be tempted to knit them. For weeks I have knit nothing but dress.

(Okay I confess that’s not ENTIRELY true… I may have cast on the first 60 stitches of a BSJ. The next day when I realized what I’d done I ripped back the cast on and used the yarn to make stitch markers for the dress. This, in my mind, makes up for my tiny moment of weakness. Besides, it was the boring miles of stocking stitch that made me do it, did I really think that garter stitch was going to make it better??)

That one exception aside I have been working that stocking stitch for the entire month of April. No wonder I only posted once in April, everytime I took a picture of it it looked exactly the same! It would have been like this.

April 10th: as you can see I’ve gotten about halfway down the front.

April 14th: and as you can see I’m a few cm past halfway down the front

April 23rd: oh look I’ve knit a jillion more rows and it still looks like I’m halfway down the front.

ect. ect. ect. ect.

Don’t get me wrong I love stocking stitch. Not to mention it was a pleasant break after puzzling over the top lace pattern to just blissfully knit away without worrying about anything. Still, twelve thousand stitches on tiny needles with lace weight yarn? I was a little excited to move onto the skirt lace.

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April Snowstorms

Whatever happened to April showers bring May flowers?

My street looks like this:

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That is irrefutably snow. K-town got off lightly though compared to south-western Ontario that got more than 15 cm in some places.

I was not impressed and neither was Butterscotch…

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I think he really misses going outside.

Anyways moving on from the dismal forecast….
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Even in plain old stocking stitch it’s gorgeous and endlessly interesting. I should be throughly frustrated with how slow it’s going but it’s impossible to be mad at such perfect yarn. Gauge is about 36 rows for 10cm (that’s around 9 rows to 1 inch) and each round is approximately 180 stitches. I’m semi-blocking it as I go to get an idea of how it’s turning out. This is because my gauge swatch is a lying piece of scum. It made me work far too many stitches for this section twice. I had to rip back several thousand stitches each time after I put it on a lifeline, tried it on and discovered I had a few inches of extra material. After checking the math countless times I decided the swatch was to blame and decreased 50 stitches less then I thought it absolutely should be. I have no idea why fifty…I guess it seemed drastic enough. It also worked and now it fits nicely.

It is also impossible to photograph but sort of looks like this now. The colour in the above picture is much more accurate but here you get an idea of how big it is.

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And to top it all off it is actually ahead of schedule and I seem to have more yarn then I expected seeing as there is still about 1200 yards left. Things couldn’t be going better so I’m nervously anticipating some knitterly disaster that throws the whole thing into turmoil. It may just be luring me into a false sense of security so I think it’s best to keep alert. Paranoia? I think not.

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Beau Soir

It has been a productive few days.

Actually today started with migraines and smashing into walls but once we got over that little hurdle life (read: school) started to work out. I’ve done more calculus problems then I care to think about. Hopefully that means I’m really for the test tomorrow.

Anyways enough math. I finished the very top band of the dress and decided to do some light blocking to see if it was indeed going to be the right size. As of right now it looks like this:

Top

It is indeed the right size and now I need to do a little bit more planning to try and figure out how to incorporate some ribbon under the bust and sort of out the waist shaping which up until now I’ve kinda been ignoring.

The title of this post comes from the song we somehow, miraculously, pulled off at the choir concert this past weekend. It was beautiful and swirly and stunningly better than it ever was in rehearsal ever. (And hardly flat!)  No one was more surprised then ourselves when it came together when it mattered (though credit should be given to our director and the AMAZING guest conductor for pulling it out of us). If you have never heard the song before I urge you to find a recording of it and have a listen. It’s absolutely fabulous. 🙂

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Day 1 and 2

Progress:

1. Measured the swatch.

2. Measured self.

3. Did some basic math to determine how many stitches to cast on.

4. Cast on 119 stitches.

5. Knit two rounds of 2×2 ribbing. Was rather alarmed that it barely stretched the length of the circular needle.

6. Ripped back the two rounds of knitting.

7. Re-measured swatch. Realized that I included the border stitches in my original measurement. Which resulted the work being about 24 cm shorter then it should have been.

8. Re-did the math for the number of cast-on stitches.

9. Double checked the new math.

10. Triple checked the new math.

11. Cast on 145 stitches using my favorite long-tail cast on.

12. Ran out of yarn for long tail cast on about stitch 120.

13. Ripped back cast on.

14. Cast on again with longer tail.

15. Had just enough yarn by 2 inches.

16. Double checked that I did indeed cast on 145 stitches.

17. Rejoiced in the fact that I could count to 145 with the help of stitch markers.

18. Happily knit 4 round of 2×2 ribbing.

19. Gleefully started row one of the lace.

20 Got to the end of the round only to discover that I didn’t have the right number of stitches left over.

21. Found the mistake about 40 stitches back.

22. Tinked (very very carefully) back 40 stitches.

23. Re-knit to the end of the round. Still had an extra two stitches.

24. Re-checked the math

25 Decided that I cast on two more than I should have. Knit two together twice. Carried on.

My calculus is alright but my adding skills could clearly use some work.

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