Sunday, April 06, 2008

Plugging Away

I took a week off of homework to just *be*. Okay, that isn't true - you know I have to keep busy.

I am feeling back to my old self again. Yay! I so appreciate the times I feel normal because I have been to the harder, more challenging side of life recently. Maybe the trip to Hawaii coming up is helping too!

Sweet Amy(I didn't call her this because her latest post is on Trophy Cupcake) made me a very cheery gift! I love it! My iPhone cover is perfect. The colors are cheery and who wouldn't want one of these?

Here is my homework progress. Before I go through each one I must point out that each one has its own set of challenges. What do I mean by challenges? Read on and you will understand!

Here is the V-neck pullover. I love this - the fit is great and the yarn is comfy. I am very pleased with how well the V turned out!

The learning/challenge part is this yarn grew in length. I talked about it a couple entries ago. If using Berroco Ultra Alpaca you must make a large swatch, a very large swatch. So my challenge is 1)It is too long and I want to cut some length off. Right now it is a tad bit long for my taste in a finished garment(even without the ribbing).

The "ribbing" is 2X2, as is much of the design. To continue the 2X2 ribbing below the cable, I want to cut off about 8 cm. Even though this project should be complete, I want to check with Jean first before I snip.

I'm nervous about snipping because I have never done it but I'm sure I can figure it out - I'm just nervous about snipping the cable part. I'm sure I'll get over it once I get going.

The second challenge with this is I will have to graft this 2X2 ribbing to the sleeves and bottom. I can't just cast off - they all have a provisional cast-on. Now if I would have known that grafting this 2X2 rib would have been such a headache because it will be 1/2 a stitch off if I were to take the provisional cast-off off and start knitting down. I have to actually graft the ribbing on. Had I known this(or thought about it more completely) I would have done an invisible cast-ON to begin with. Long and short of it, I will learn a lot about all the things one must consider in a custom design. The good thing in dragging my feet is Melinda has some wonderful posts on how she grafted her ribbing which I will refer to when I get there.

Next challenge. Round-Neck Cardigan. Here are the blocked front and back pieces.

This isn't so much a challenge, technically. I take that back. At the side seams I have some YO's before the selvedge stitch. I cannot sew this up using the method Jean has shown us. She needs to show me how to seam with the Yarn Over next to the selvedge. Good excuse to not have this sewn up..

Honesly, basically, I am sick of knitting this pattern. I have one sleeve about 1/2 way done and one full sleeve left to do. It is killing me. It is almost like I need the coordinating pink Pepto Bismol to combat my nausea with this project. It is really pretty but...for some reason I am really ready for this to be DONE! [I know. It is sport weight yarn. Takes WAY longer - see next project]

V-Neck Cardigan. I cast-on for the back yesterday. I took my drawing out and had to modify the ease. Because the pattern repeat is 12 stitches in a worsted weight yarn, in order for the pattern to fit my front/back measurements I had to decrease my ease by 1cm. I had to re-draw the sleeve cap because the armhole was being decreased by the 1cm.

This is what I did yesterday. I cast-on about noon and was done with the back up to the armhole by dinnertime. Yes. I am taking the approach for the next projects - bigger needles and bigger yarn. I can whip this out in a flash.

As is the trend with ALL my projects...I always have some small *problem* with each and every one of them.

What is my problem on this? Well...its a bit of a long and circuitous explanation. When I started this class, I did a provisional cast on crocheting stitches ON to a needle. Most students crochet a chain and then knit into the bump on the chain. I couldn't ever *see* this bump so I learned this alternate method(before this class).

When you do it the way I do it, it is a bit different and there are different rules than if you knit into the bump on the crochet chain. So the last couple projects I learned how to read the crochet(a needed skill for the crochet project, don't you think?) because some of the instructions she gives us assumes you do the provisional the way she does. Well I purled into the bump as I was knitting onto the chain. This is wrong I realize. I just thought that when I do my first pattern row I'll be on the right side and can start my pattern.

As I was knitting away SOMEHOW(I blame it on Chase who was bugging me) and provisional cast-on started coming off!!! Yikes! I didn't realize it right away but when I did, it was not pretty.

So, when I put the "live" stitches on the needles, it looks very funky and some don't seem "live". I'm going to need help with this. I can't sweat it too much because I'm not starting over.

See, the more bone-headed you are, the more you learn!

While I was taking my week off from homework I took a book and learned something on my own. I took 2-at-a-Time Socks and learned how to do this. First I started with two circular needles(since this is how I knit socks before) rather than the one 40 inch she recommends. I quickly learned why using a 40 inch is better. You don't confused at which direction, what end, you are on. With a single 40 inch needle, there is only one direction you can go.

I thank Rebecca for getting me to try this. Melinda and I were talking about this at lunch the other day. She related a story about a time she knit some mittens and they came out different sizes purely because of how her guage was changing. I frequently have this problem and knitting two socks at time will help ensure they come out the same size!

I have also been doing some spinning in little 15 minute spurts. I have about 14oz of some BFL I bought at Madrona. Ellen and I are spinning some yarn up so we can both make the Wool Peddler Shawl from Folk Shawls. Slowly but surely I'm getting my spinning done. I have done about 4.5 ounces so far.

I just keep plugging away!


Angela said...

A big hug to you Naomi!

Can I entice you up to Vancouver with Greg for a visit in the fall.

Tell Ellen I am thinking of running an Indigo vat one of these days! (Right after I dye her that rainbow)

YarnSnob said...

where do you find the time to do such fabulous knitting and also spinning!!! Im looking forward to seeing you model them :)