Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What I've been doing instead of grading papers.

Exhibit A:

An unblocked sock. The second in my set of socks for Sarah for Christmas. This one is top-down, eye of partridge heel, very standard-issue -- but not for me, because it is only the second pair of socks I've ever made.

Nicely kitchenered toe.

Hello, world. Hello, sock.

Exhibit B:

The sleeve of my long-neglected fair isle yoke cardigan. This one has been long neglected for two very good -- and one medium good -- reasons. The medium good one is that it has a tiny gauge. The two very good ones are first, that I started knitting it before realizing that I was twisting my purl rows, and since learning this I've become a much faster knitter when doing it correctly, and it's irksome to have to keep knitting this the old (wrong) way; and second, that I made the armholes too big when I was knitting the body, and I didn't know what to do to fix this problem. I didn't want just to rapidly decrease as I started knitting them, because that would make them have a funny shape, and in my opinion the most crucial part of a sleeve is the part where it hits your shoulder -- it can make your arm look either fat or skinny. So I came up with this ingenious scheme, which I think worked awesomely. The pit:

(for some reason, this seems like an obscene angle from which to take a picture). I ascertained that there were about 10 stitches too many in the arms as I picked them up to start knitting down, so I kitchenered together four stitches from each side of the arm, leaving the last extra stitch on each side for selvedge when sewing the arms up. Here's a closer detail shot:

That kitchener stitch is executed very poorly, but it's an armpit, for cripe's sake.

Exhibit C:
A gorgeous chevron beret that is, alas, too small, I fear. This is a mid-blocking shot, and I was only able to squeeze it onto a medium-sized dinner plate -- about an inch in diameter smaller than the one on which I blocked the first chevron beret. I have plenty of Imagination yarn left over, so I can just knit a new one if it is too small, but it's a disappointment nonetheless.

Exhibit D:

The beginnings of a February Lady Sweater for my grandmother. Despite my manifold qualms, I am knitting this in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Yes, it is already beginning to pill, but she is very picky about softness. It may not be evident in this picture, but I decided to make the yoke circular as in the original, and to start the lace pattern early instead of knitting garter to an inch before separating for the arms, because I'm knitting this as a bed jacket for her and I think that the circular, shorter yoke looks more like old-fashioned bed jackets.

Exhibit E:

I reorganized my yarn stash. I was beginning to fear moths, so I packaged it all up neatly in Ikea boxes and zipper bags and put it neatly in the bottom of one of my new bookshelves.

Pretty nice, eh? This project renders relatively obsolete my old system of organization:

I may have gotten a little obsessed in the process of putting everything in zipper bags. Here's my basket of UFOs:

All neatly piled in order of what's next to work on.

Yes, I really, really did not want to grade those papers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Officially Fall...

... and officially finished! The first pair in my Socks for Sarah project, that is. These are in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colorway Gold Hill. 64 stitches around, toe-up, short row heel, double eyelet rib and double rib leg.

Lookin' good, for a first pair of socks. Things I learned: work more rows plain after the heel before beginning leg patterning. Work tubular bind-off LOOOOOOSELY!

Here they are on my fat, fat feet:

And I've cast on for my second pair. Top-down, this time, still 64 stitches around. These are in Knitpicks Felici in colorway Schooner. I'm going to try a different heel this time too.

Meanwhile, in other knitting news, the body of my mom's Radcliffe Cardigan is finished and blocked, with button bands and everything, and ... it's too small. I've got to rip it out halfway and increase under the armpits. And take out the waist shaping -- it is my style, but not my mom's.

Lessons learned with this project: while aiming on the small side for superwash projects is the way to go, non-superwash yarn does not grow nearly as much in blocking. I measured my swatch ruthlessly, but I should have rounded up instead of down, because a difference of a tenth of an inch a stitch can make a difference of an inch or more in the final product. Oh well -- at least the gauge on this one is big, so it won't take too long.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New and improved!

I did a little math and resized the Peach Blossom jacket pattern for children sizes 2-10. You can get the pdf file here. Coming soon: babies' sizes from 6-18 months.