Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First Felted FO!

I felted my squatty sidekick purse last Friday! At first it was a little nerve racking, but it took almost an hour to felt, so by the end I was getting pretty comfortable with it. I felted it in a lingerie bag in a front-loader machine with some towels in it for friction and just a teeny-tiny bit of soap. Here are some before and after pics:



All I need now is a button to finish her up, then I'll post a proper FO post.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

More Math for Bluebell...

All of this math is hurting my brain. I haven't taken a math class in 6 years. Nevertheless, Stephanie Japel insists it must be done if you want to create a fitted knit.

Here are my pattern notes:

Since I did 18 increase rows in the yolk instead of the pattern's 17 increase rows I ended up with 4 more stitches in my body section, so I have to adjust the waist shaping to accommodate those extra stitches. I spent about an hour and a half this morning figuring out how to do this, which was probably way more time than I needed to spend if I didn't "think so hard." But I think it was an hour and a half well spent because it really helped me understand how to adjust a pattern. (I made charts and everything!) Anyway here is what I came up with:

RD 1: K14, SSK, K44, K2tog, K to 4 st bf sm, SSK, K4, K to end

RD 3: K 12, SSK, K46, K2tog, K to 4 st bf sm, SSK, K4, K2tog, K to end

RD 5: K10, SSK, K48, K2tog, K to 4 st bf sm, SSK, K4, K2tog, K to end

RD 7: K8, SSK, K50, K2tog, K to end

RD 9: K6, SSK, K52, K2tog, K to 4 st bf sm, SSK, K4, K2tog, K to end
.... so, here is how I could have saved an hour: if I had read the pattern a little more closely rather than jumping right into the math, I would have noticed that for all the sizes Japel keeps all of the instructions the same except she adjusts the 3rd instruction (K44, K 46, etc...) depending no what size you are knitting. So I could have just figured that I had four more stitches that the smallest size calls for, so I just need to add 2 stitches to that stretch of knitting in the third instruction. (The second of the four extra stitches will obviously be added to the second decrease which is covered in the "K to end" instruction). Sigh. Live and learn. Sometimes it's nice to take the scenic route.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Math Mystery Solved!

I solved my math problem regarding the bust size of my bluebell, and I'm ready to separate the sleeves. Hooray! Here is a pic of my progress:

So, here is a recap of my math blunders:

Problem #1

The pattern for a 33'' bust calls for 17 increase rows with 8 stitches increased per row, for a total of 136 increased rows. So I divided 136 stitches by my gauge of 4.75 stitches per inch and came up with a bust measurement of 28.6''... well that can't be right, can it? My gauge isn't that off. So I test with her recommended gauge: 136/4.5= 30.2'' Nope, it's not my gauge, it must be the pattern. I will check errata. Errata check reveals there are no pattern errors on the bust. It is my math.

Problem #2
This time when I pick up the pattern I see that at the end of 17 increases I will have 244 stitches on the needle. So I divide 244 by 4.75 and get... a 51.4'' bust. OK, at this point I am getting really frustrated. I put my math away.

Solution:
After I cleared my head I picked up the pattern again and I realized that my first calculation neglected the 108 stitches I already had on the needle before I increased. My second calculation included these cast on stitches, but it also included the stitches I am separating for the sleeve. Here is my "duh" moment: I only count the body stitches to calculate my bust measurement. I will be pulling out 48 stitches on either side for my sleeve leaving 148 stitches left on the needle. 148/4.75= 31.15'' (Double check using pattern gauge: 148/4.5= 32.8'' Yes!) And now we are working with realistic numbers.

Since a 31'' bust is too small for me (thank god) I decided to do 18 increase rows which will add 8 stitches to my body stitch count, making 156/4.75= 32.8'' This is a number I can live with, considering the following:

I pulled out my knit check and read the gauge on my actual project with is coming out to 20X25 over 4'' instead of my swatch gauge of 19x25. This gives me 5 stitches per inch instead of 4.75.

Conclusion: 156/5= 31.2'' ... and the truth I have been hiding is that I don't actually have a 32'' bust.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Errata

Just checked the fitted knits errata and there is nothing in there about the strange bust measurement problem I'm having. So, back to the math, I suppose.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Knitting on the Plane

As usual, I had absolutely no problem taking my knitting on the plane - including scissors and my entire interchangeable needle set complete with 4 cords. Thank god the TSA doesn't think knitters are terrorists.

So, I worked on the Bluebell and ended up frogging three times. But I'm completely error-free now and I'm right back to the point I was in my last update (just placed my sleeve markers). I need to check the book errata before I go any further because I think there may be a mistake in the pattern - the pattern is for a 33 inch bust but when I calculate out the gauge it only measures a 29 inch bust - and when I try to alter it to a 32 bust it ends up being 28. I don't want to end up with a 28 inch busted sweater. Even my chest isn't that small.

As I predicted, it is waaaaay to hot too knit wool in Boston.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Update on Blue Bell and the sidekick

drumroll...... I cast on for blue bell last night. I knitted the garter stitch neckline and marker placement row.

Two small mistakes I made: first, I cast onto 29'' circulars which was pretty tight and I ended up with about a 1/2'' stretch at the point where I joined the rounds. On round three I decided the circ was still too tight so I switched to a 24'' which was a lot better. But now I still have that stretch at the join point which leaves a big, but not immediately noticeable loop at the top of the collar in that one spot. Second mistake: when I got to the point where I added my markers I ended up being one stitch short. I'm positive I cast on the 108 stitches, but I think I may have dropped the first stitch when I was trying to fix the gap at the join. So I just kfb'ed at the very end to add that stitch and placed the marker.

I'm trying to decide if I should frog and start over. Both mistakes are really minor and will probably be invisible to everyone but me and perhaps some other knitter who scrutinizes my FO. However, it's at the very top of the sweater and it would be very little work to frog at this point, and I'm afraid that by the time I get to the bottom of the sweater after hours and hours of knitting I'm going to be pissed at myself for having those mistakes at the very top and not fixed them. So I will probably frog.

Next, I have to get my math on to figure out how many increases to do before I separate the sleeves. My bust is a little smaller than the pattern, and since the book is called Fitted Knits I should probably go to the effort of actually fitting the knit. I'm leaving today for a week-long trip to Boston, so I should have lots of time to knit. It will probably be too hot to work with the wool while I'm there, but I should at least get some work done on the plane and during layovers.

SQUATTY SIDEKICK UPDATE:
I finished knitting the squatty sidekick purse early this week, but I haven't gotten around to felting it yet. This is due partially to my fear of the felt and partially to my fear of using my mom's crazy front-load washing machine without supervision. (It is crucial to get exactly the correct amount of soap in the machine or you'll have suds until Tuesday.)

Anyway, here's a pic of the bag, pre-felting:Fun fact: I used the leftover yarn from my Mrs. Darcy cardigan for this bag, and I wore the cardigan while I knitted the bag... and it was kind of freaky.

Until next week.... peace out.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Update

Spent last night working on the sidekick. I finished the body, and the handle. Now I just need to attach the handle, knit the closure tab... then FELT!

I worked on the bag while re-watching the season finale of BSG with my parents. So, is Bob Dylan a cylon? I still don't get it.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Super Secret Swap Item Revealed!

It's a teeny-tiny Jayne Hat! My swap partner loved it!

Felting on Purpose?

Last night I started working on a felted bag called the "squatty sidekick" - how cute is that? I know, I'm supposed to be working on bluebell, but my attention span has been short lately and I really need to pay attention to cast on for that one and maybe do some math.

Anyway, this looks like a quick knit and I'm using up my extra skein of Paton's Classic from Mrs. Darcy. This will be the first time I have ever felted something on purpose. I'm afraid the process will dredge up painful memories of the time I ruined my very favorite sweater... but maybe it will help me find some closure? Take back the felt!

Monday, July 2, 2007

FO: $5 in Prague

Whoo hoo! I finished up my first top-down sweater last night. A top-down raglan is really awesome to knit because there is no seaming and you can try it on as you go and increase and decrease as necessary to get a perfect fit. This is pretty much the most basic top-down pattern you can get - now that I'm comfortable with the technique, I'm ready to try my darling bluebell!





yarn details
Caron Simply Soft in 9742 Grey Heather and 9721 Victorian Rose (no dye lot)

100% acrylic

worsted weight

machine wash warm water, dry on low heat, delicate cycle

170 grams/315 yards @ $2.50


pattern details
pattern: "$5 in Paris" by Anna Peck ("knittyknitter"); free, available here: http://knitting-up-a-storm.blogspot.com/2007/04/5-in-paris.html
gauge: 17 st x 24 rows over 4'' in St. st on size 8 circs
needle size: size 7 circs for ribbing, size 8 circs for body from my Boye Needlemaster set with size 7 dpns for sleeves and size 6 dpns for ribbing on sleeves
yarn used: a little less than one skein of the pink and a little more than one skein of the grey
time: started May 20 - July 1, 2007; maybe 20 hours?
total cost: $5

notes
- modifications: I extended the body to tunic length and the sleeves to elbow length; this prompted me to rename the sweater "$5 in Prague" Why? Who knows. I've just always wanted to go to Prague.
- I incorporated waist shaping starting 3.5'' below where I joined the sleeves (which left me 5 stitches into a grey stripe); here are my notes:

GREY STRIPE 1:
6 <-- decrease (k2tog, k1, slpm, k1, ssk)
7
8
9
10 <-- decrease
11
12
13
PINK STRIPE 1:
1 <-- decrease
2
3
4
5 <-- decrease
6
7
8
9 <-- decrease
10
11
12
13 <-- decrease
GREY
STRIPE 2:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 <-- increase (work to one
stitch before pm: m1, k1, sl pm, k1, m1)
8
9
10
11
12 <--
increase
13
PINK STRIPE 2:
1
2
3
4 <-- increase
5
6
7
8
9 <-- increase
10
11
12
13
GREY
STRIPE 3:
1 <-- increase
2
3
4
5
6 <-- increase
7
8
9
10
11 <-- increase
12
13
PINK STRIPE 3:
1
2
3 <-- increase
4
5
6
7
8 <-- increase
9
10
11
12
13
GREY RIBBING: knit first row, then knit
2x2 rib for 11 rows, BO in pattern on 13th row.
- notes on my sleeve decreasing:

pick up 12 stitches at base of sleeve - giving you 56 stitches
divided evenly on 3 size 7 dpns); knit 2 rows of grey to finish off grey stripe
1)
PINK STRIPE 1:
1
2 <-- decrease (beg row: k to 3 st before pm:
ssk, k1, sl pm, k2tog, k1)
3
4
5
6 <-- decrease
7
8
9 <-- decrease
10
11
12 <-- decrease
13
GREY STRIPE 2:
1
2 <-- decrease
3
4
5 <-- decrease
6
7
8 <-- decrease
9
10
11 <-- decrease
12
13
PINK STRIPE 2:
1 <-- decrease
2
3
4 <-- decrease
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
GREY RIBBING:
Switch to size 6 dpns and knit all stitches in
first row, then continue in 2x2 rib for 7 rows, BO on 9th
row.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

raglan sweater all but "finished"

I finished knitting my raglan sweater last night, so now all I have left is the finishing - which is basically just weaving in the ends for this garment. I'll post pics and an FO post when I get a chance.