Friday, February 27, 2015

Fixed object

When my SO first brought me his injured Fibonacci vest, I thought he had snagged it on something. On further inspection, I realized that the damage occurred where the individual rounds of the button/neck/bottom band began and ended. Did I do a lazy job of weaving in ends? Did the fact I skipped blocking the vest allow the ends to work their way loose? Was this just too stressful a spot to begin and end the rounds (upper right shoulder)? No one - least of all me - knows.

I was slow to repair this, primarily because I was not sure how without completely removing the band, something I was prepared to do if necessary, but I really did not want it to be necessary. Eventually, I undid the bind off and tinked back two rounds (which saved me from having to remove buttons and redo button holes). Then I tied together the ends of rounds that were still intact, added a "patch" to the mostly still intact round, then reknit two rounds and the bind off. (Fortunately, I had made a note in Ravelry about the bind off, as I had done a yarn-over bind off around the bottom.) I carefully wove in the ends and blocked the thing to help weld those ends to the fabric.

Were I to knit this vest again - or if I had to remove the entire band - I would do one (or more) of the following:
  • Knit the band in one color instead of changing colors each round
  • Start the rounds at a less stressed spot, like somewhere around the bottom
It's still cold here (-4 F when I got up this morning), so the vest is now doing its job of keeping my SO warm. He says it feels like a big hug.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Not fashion forward

I guess one could call this a "grandpa vest". Nothing special, just an exercise in top-down knitting. I also used up the last of the Wool-Ease Chunky left over from this project.

Pattern: Sleeveless Sweater by Barbara G. Walker
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, colorway 115 'Bay Harbor'
Needles: US11
Modifications: Stuck with a plain vanilla design, for simplicity's sake and to avoid running out of yarn.

This project was quite the learning experience. For one thing, I started with a different pattern and different needles before settling on the final ones. I struggled with gauge. I learned how to do an invisible cast on (eventually) and how to get the arm hole borders to lay flat by the armpits. Using a store-bought vest to help me with things like width, arm hole size, etc., I sized the knitted vest to the external dimensions of the store-bought vest, forgetting that the chunky yarn would subtract from the internal dimensions, so the fit is a bit snug. I redid the bind off for the neck and arms multiple times, finally settling on EZ's sewn bind off, and the arms are still a bit binding.

BUT. It is comfortable and warm, if rather plain and dowdy, perfect for wearing around the house or under a jacket.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Mystery hat solved

In an incredible stroke of foresight, I actually wrote down the name of the pattern for the hat project that was languishing in the car: Graham. It's a slouchy hat that has already been claimed by my daughter, since for some reason she has been hatless this winter.

Pattern: Graham, by Jennifer Adams
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, colorway 520 (dark gray)
Needles: US7 and US9
Modifications: none

Graham is a super easy knit with easy to follow instructions. And instead of abandoning the knitter to "continue in pattern", Ms. Adams provides explicit directions for the crown. If you need a quick, stylish hat, this is the one to knit.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

What a diva

It looks like I forgot to post about Tuckernuck, probably because this sweater just about killed me provided me with many learning opportunities. Cascade 220 Superwash is a perfectly serviceable yarn, but almost every time I picked up the project, I found myself wishing I had held out for the recommended Karabella. Getting gauge was nearly impossible, and going up needles sizes resulted in a rather loose fabric. The instructions definitely could have been more detailed, especially regarding the sleeves, which was compounded by this being my first time with capped set-in sleeves. In the end, I had to block it twice, to get the width to work, then also had to reinforce the buttonholes to keep the buttons from sliding out. I am extremely happy... to see the last of this sweater.

Pattern: Tuckernuck, by Elinor Brown
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, colorway 1949
Needles: US7 and US9
Modifications: None that I can think of

My g'daughter is frequently contrary when it comes to modeling knitwear, but today she put on a show.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Looks like handknit

Being a knitter, I am not shy about asking perfect strangers if they knit the scarf, hat, mittens they are wearing. Were I to run into Wendell Berry, I would ask him point blank, Who knit your sweater? Doesn't it look comfortable and warm?

Source: Inside Higher Ed

I don't know Berry personally, but sometimes I feel like I do, having witnessed a debate in the '70's between him and Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, plus I am a fan of his writing and his causes. I first spotted him with this sweater in the author photo on the jacket of his latest release, A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership. If you are so inclined, I recommend this book as one to savor for the lyrical prose, the depth of characterization, and the portraits of the residents so lovingly described.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FO - boot socks for me

After knitting "boot" socks for everyone else who is "sock-worthy" in my family, I finally knit a pair for myself. What makes these boot socks is the yarn is DK weight and I make the tops taller than usual.

Pattern: None to speak of, just your basic toe-up socks.
Yarn: Online Supersocke 6-fach Milano color, colorway 1620
Needles: US3
Details: Turkish cast on (12 stitches, increased to 56 stitches), stockinette for foot, gusset heel, stockinette for leg, 1x1 ribbing for cuff, Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off

I have one more skein of this DK yarn, and my crystal ball says they will become another pair for ME. The only question is, will that be sooner or later? Since we still have the month of February to get through, I'm thinking sooner.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Getting a head

I finally purchased a Styrofoam head, at Joann, for about $2.50 (with coupon). It's not quite adult size, but will suit my purposes.

I'm guessing someday my g'daughter will get hold of it and apply "makeup".