October 03, 2004

Cabaret closing

I finished this Tuesday night, but I just didn’t manage to get a picture of it until today — and I’ve even worn it twice, but I didn’t get a photo of that, either! So for now I’ll make do with this picture of the completed Cabaret Raglan:

cabaretdone.jpg

I love it, to put it simply. I think it’s fairly flattering, and it’s a nice, simple, elegant top that I can wear on many occasions — which is exactly what I wanted.

I did wear it both Wednesday and last night, and I’m glad I did. I’m even toying with the idea of making it again, in blue… we’ll see!

Last night was, of course, the book launch for Knit Wit down at Lettuce Knit. It was a great party, and I met several people whom I’d only known through blogs before, which was fabulous. The book is great — I especially like the fancy construction, that allows it to stand up and act as its own easel. Good job all around!

I’ve started a pair of mittens for Mark to match this hat and scarf (the scarf is a Gryffindor scarf that around 10’ long — boy did that take forever to knit!). I’m thinking of doing a second pair and thrumming it, since that hat and scarf are very, very warm, and deserve a pair of mittens that are, in the immortal words of the Harlot, “freakishly warm”. So that’s on the horizon, but for now I’m just making plain mittens. Pictures soon — I’m too lazy to go get the camera now. And I have to spread out my photos, since I think the projects I’ll be doing for the next little while won’t be very exciting. I’ve decided I really need to work through some of the projects I’ve already got yarn for, to make myself happier. I get edgy and unhappy if I have too many things on the “to-do list”, and that makes me stressed, which is not what knitting is for! So it’s time to clear out the backlog, and then I can start acquiring stuff again.

Posted by Aven at 12:24 PM | Comments (4)

September 28, 2004

Feeling better

Ok, I think that second sleeve was cursed, but I’ve finally wrestled it into submission. After deciding that I would go ahead and do it “wrong” to match the first sleeve, I managed to mess various bits of the pattern up at least three times, each time being forced to rip out at least 8 or 10 rows. And I had already knit this sleeve pattern twice! I don’t know what was wrong with me / it … but I persevered, and last night I finished the sleeve and blocked it, so tonight I’m hoping to do the seaming and the collar, and then I’ll be done! I want to wear it to the SnB tomorrow… except that I also want to wear it to the Knit Wit launch party on Saturday… is it gauche to wear the same thing twice in front of the same people in one week? (Remember, I don’t go out much anymore, I’ve forgotten basic rules of socialising!)

Thanks for all the sympathy and encouragement, everyone. That’s what makes blogging so satisfying, the support from others, even when it’s all the fault of my own stupidity!

Oh, and thanks to my frustrations about Cabaret the second sock that I’ve been working on forever has reached the point of turning the heel, so I may yet actually finish this pair!

Posted by Aven at 05:37 PM | Comments (6)

September 25, 2004

Now I'm annoyed

Oh, I had grand plans for this weekend. Grand plans, I tell ya. Not to do with going out, socialising, or finishing a chapter of my thesis, of course — to do with knitting. I was going to finish the second sleeve of Cabaret tonight, block it overnight, and sew the sweater together Sunday night, resulting in a complete, beautiful work of art on Monday.

Or not. It turns out I’m having some issues with needle sizes. You see, the pattern calls for 4.5mm needles for the garter detail at the cuff, and then switches to 5.5mm for the main knitting. And I swatched, and got gauge, surprisingly enough, with the 5.5mm. Great! I picked up some Addi Turbos in that size at the SnB the week before last and got going. I even checked my gauge a couple of times — spot on, amazingly enough.

And then, today, I’m approaching the end of the second sleeve and I make a small mistake with the final shaping, so I rip back several rows, and to confirm where I am when I pick up the stitches again I compare this sleeve with the first one. And they don’t match. The one I’m knitting tonight is an inch or two longer than the first one.

Hmm. See, I know I knit the same number of rows for each, so they should be the same length, right? I check the gauge — the first sleeve is at a tighter gauge than the second. Ominously, it’s also at a tighter gauge than the body… oh dear. I start to get the feeling that I messed up the needle sizes, so I pull out the other two sets of Addis I have, to check them. (I only have three sets — shouldn’t be too hard to keep straight, hmm? Well, yes, apparently). It turns out that I don’t actually own any 4.5mm Addis, just 4mm, 5mm, and the 5.5mm I’m using on the sleeve. And, if you recall from the beginning of this already overly long saga, I was supposed to knit the garter bands with a 4.5mm needle. So what the heck was I doing all along? I was using Addis… I must have been using the 4mm, I guess, unless of course I used the 5mm. I see no way to tell, really. And that still doesn’t explain why the sleeves are different — I think I must have switched from the 4mm to the 5mm instead of the 5.5mm, for no particular reason.

Confused yet? The upshot is I have one finished sleeve the wrong size, which I think I’m just going to keep the way it is, and one almost-finished sleeve that I’ve now frogged completely. Arrgh! I have to reknit that sleeve, hoping that I’m right about using the 5mm needle, because if I’m not then the sleeves still won’t match and I’ll have to rip out the other sleeve and reknit it! I certainly won’t be getting this sweater done this weekend. And now I’m irritated and confused, which is not what knitting is supposed to do!

But I do feel better now that I’ve shared my pain at great and very boring length. It’s so nice to be able to rant… sorry to inflict it on you!

Tomorrow I’ll restart the sleeve. For tonight, some sock knitting seems in order, to calm my frazzled nerves.

Posted by Aven at 11:09 PM | Comments (9)

September 24, 2004

Pictures

Ok, here’s a picture of the front of Cabaret:

cabaretfront.jpg

And a close-up of the detail at the neck, showing the rather subtle mini-cabling… subtler here than in the model sweater, but that’s ok.

cabaretfrontclose.jpg

All the pictures I’ve posted so far have been rather washed out in colour — the camera doesn’t seem to want to capture the true colour of the purple. Except, it turns out, when there’s something else in the frame — namely Tigger, who of course came by to see me as soon as I went outside to do the photo shoot:

cabaretfronttigger.jpg

This is a much truer version of the colour, at least on my monitor. Thanks, Tig!

Posted by Aven at 02:32 PM | Comments (2)

September 23, 2004

Progress

Another exceedingly enjoyable SnB last night at Lettuce Knits — I know I don’t really have time to spend a whole evening knitting and chatting, but I do have such a great time, and I’m very happy to get to know the other knitters who attend — they’re such interesting and friendly people!

In the course of last night’s stitchin’ I finished the front of the Cabaret Raglan. It doesn’t have as good stitch definition as the yarn called for in the pattern, so the cables don’t show up terribly well, but I still like the way it turned out. I’d show a picture, but it’s currently blocking on a black garbage bag and every picture I take is full of the glare of the flash or is too blurry to show the detail. I’ll wait until it’s dry and try to take a reasonable picture then.

I’ve started the first sleeve, which shouldn’t take long. I’m really looking forward to having this top to wear, especially since I think it will be exactly the right weight for the fall. Must knit faster…

Thanks, everyone, for your compliments on Mark’s sweater. I really appreciate it when people comment, and I always love praise, of course! It adds so much enjoyment to my knitting to know that other people understand how great it is to finish a project and be happy with the result. What fun this all is!

Posted by Aven at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

Another one done

Done!

ridgeddone.jpg

I really like how this one turned out. It fits Mark well, and the pattern and colour suit him. He likes it, too — which is rather crucial! Here’s a view of it flat, for completeness’s sake. (Please excuse the poor framing and my sock in the lower right corner — it’s not easy trying to get a photo of the whole of a large men’s sweater!)

I feel that this sweater helped me progress a little with my finishing skills. Because of the pattern, with its horizontal and vertical lines, it was both very necessary and fairly easy to make the seams completely straight, since any deviation was very obvious. I’m rather proud of my mattress-stitch seams on this sweater, especially the attachment of the sleeve to the body, which I always find difficult. Just because I’m pleased with them, here’s the outside and the inside of the armhole sleeve.

This was my first time trying a pattern from Knitware, a sweater design programme, and I think it worked well. I’ll definitely be using it again, especially for Mark’s sweaters.

When I got to the point of doing the finishing work on this one, I must admit that I started a new project before I was done. I didn’t want to bring fiddly sewing to the SnB, so I cast on for my new project, the Cabaret Raglan from Interweave Knits Summer 2004 edition. I looked through all my magazines for a good project to use some more of my Turino Silk from Elann, and this seemed perfect. I’m really happy with the way it’s working up so far; this is the back:

cabaretback.jpg

Here’s a closer shot of the fabric, with the garter detail at the bottom:

cabaretclose.jpg

The colour was named “Grape” and I love it… all the little tweedy flecks of red and blue give it lots of depth, I think.

So now I’m working on the front, and at this rate I’ll soon be done and ready to start the next cycle — probably with something else for Mark, either another sweater or a pair of socks.

Oh, if you’re interested, details about the recent FOs and current WIPs are in the sidebar.

Posted by Aven at 04:05 PM | Comments (9)