I have a slight reprieve on the Tuckernuck sweater, as g'daughter's birthday will be celebrated several days after the fact. Still, I know how these projects go: you get the bulk of the knitting completed and think you are nearly done, but the finishing almost finishes you off.
There will be blocking, of course. And buttons! I hate sewing on buttons!
With my gdaughter's birthday closing in, I have devoted all my knitting time to her sweater. I finished the sleeves, more or less. They are knit in the round using DPNs, no problem there, but they are then to be set in. I have never done set in sleeves before, so this should be interesting, plus a pressing reason to get the rest of the knitting done in a timely manner, to allow for do-overs.
Originally, I started the body on circular needles, but when I had to start the body over, I switched to straights, the better to cable with. I eschew using a cable needle (using this technique - scroll down) and find it easier on straights.
The pattern is not difficult, but for some reason I cannot do anything else while knitting it - no audio books, no TV - without messing up. Consequently, this project is relegated to the home front. Needing something portable, I started gdaughter's xmas socks, using the same yarn as the ones for her mom.
And because my purse was too cramped for carrying even small knitting projects, I just had to buy a new one.
The designer is Donna Sharp. Not only are her purses attractive, they have lots of pockets inside and out. And this style has room for a bit of knitting.
The Easy as Pie blanket notwithstanding, I decided my next knitting project should be a sweater I have been dying to knit for *years*. It's not for me, but for the granddaughter, who turns four next month. Since the sizes for the pattern go up to only age 5, there is not much time left. So off I went.
The Tuckernuck Cardigan has cables, and there began my troubles. Cable stitches pull in, so how does one measure gauge? I made a halfhearted attempt at swatching, then dove in on knitting the body. There arose another problem: despite the swatching, my gauge felt too tight however it was measured, due no doubt to my still relatively new devotion to using the Irish cottage (lever) knitting technique. As I knit along, I kept telling myself the usual lies we knitters tell ourselves when something is not going quite right, one of which is "I can fix this with blocking." Then I remembered I had deliberately chosen a superwash yarn as my daughter is known to wash the bejesus out of everything, felting even the unfeltable. With this in mind, I eventually came to the conclusion I should knit looser.
So I started anew, on a sleeve (which first involved a trip to Joann - not my favorite store - for some US9 DPNs). Actually, I prefer to start sweaters with the sleeves, to avoid the dreaded one-sleeve syndrome that tends to occur oh-so-close to the end of a sweater project. I also performed an experiment on a sweater of my own, one knit in Wool-Ease. The fabric felt too loose, so I machine washed it (on the gentle cycle), then put it in the dryer. That did tighten up the fabric without sacrificing the size. I am hoping the same will occur for Tuckernuck.
A side note: I wish I had chosen the Karabella yarn the pattern called for, as it has better stitch definition than Cascade 220. My usual source for this elusive yarn no longer sells it, though, plus I was literally at Webs when I selected this lovely lavender that seems perfect for a little girl. Oh, well!
While visiting my dad in the hospital, I knitted socks. My sister-in-law gushed over them. I never know what to say when someone does this, especially when what is making the knitted item so special is not the knitting but the yarn. In this particular case, the knitting was as plain as can be, but the self-striping nature of the yarn provided a very pleasing result. All I contribute is an OCD-like persistence. At least she did not ask me to knit a pair for her (although I just might).
Pattern: None really, just Turkish cast on, 52 stitches around, gusset heel, taller than usual for wearing with boots, Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off.
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 6-ply, colorway 1617
Modifications: I did the toes on two circs, then switched to DPNs for the rest.
I didn't try to match the stripes this time other than start at the beginning of a color run so the striping at least lined up. For winter socks, these colors are surprisingly summery looking, like watermelon. Hopefully, there is enough yarn leftover for a pair for my granddaughter; then she and her mom will match.
I just could not let that orange hat get the better of me. Once I gave up trying to be clever, all went well. At least, until I was ready to turn the hem and could not find my US8 16" circs, misplaced during the remodeling. I bought new ones, finished the hat, and *then* found the missing needles. Isn't that the way it always goes?
Pattern: Basic hat pattern, by Ann Budd, hemmed edge, size large
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted, colorway 479
Needles: Started with US7 circs, switched to US8 after turning the hem.
Modifications: Cast on 112 stitches instead of 114, eliminating the first crown row which decreases by 2.
There is still a bit of a ridge that I expect will be less so once the hat has a good soak. Doing the hemmed edge has given me the idea of making ear bands with partial skeins. And now I have an FO to tide me over while I continue with this:
I am *finally* getting back to the Easy as Pie blanket. So much time has elapsed that I am having trouble remembering the difficult bits, like how to graft garter stitch. I had figured out how to do it myself, but my notes no longer made sense to me. I looked up instructions online, but they did not seem right for how the stitches were set up on the two needles. Still, I tried it "their" way, only to have the contrasting colors intermix. Then I checked the finished projects on Ravelry for a clue, testing out one of the methods recommended by several. Still wrong. And *then* I found these instructions on lethalknits.com. My situation calls for grafting reverse garter stitch, which I have never heard of but which is what I was doing in the first place! The graft just looked wrong because I pulled the stitches too tight. So now I am equipped to carry on. Huzzah!