Friday, August 31, 2007

More Lessons Learned

I just wanted to share a sunset with you. This is looking to the west from our front porch area last night. Perhaps it's not the best picture, but I'm still learning.

Well, I completed that sleeve last night. Finally! And then I laid it out on the floor to see how it would all look once put together. The sleeves do look short, but the directions said 18 inches and depending on where the shoulders actually lay, 18 inches should be fine. We will see.
As you can see from the picture above, I have done the seam on one shoulder using the directions from "Knitting in Plain English". They were very easy to follow and I am sure that once I do more seams they will look even more finished.
The next thing I did was to do the collar, which according to the directions in the book for the pattern, I was to pick up and knit, in garter stitch, 8 rows.
Here is what I did. The pattern said I should have a total of 82 stitches, 24 were on hold for the back, 18 on hold for the front. I ended up with 9 on each side of the back, making 42 and then 13 on each side of the front, making a total of 86. I wanted the stitches to be evenly placed, so we'll see if 4 more stitches will make that much of a difference.
Then with the size #7 needles, I did 7 rows of garter stitch. For the 8th row, I was worried about my bind off for the collar, so I switched to the size #9 needles and did row 8 with those and the bind off. For the bind off, using a suggestion from "Knitting in Plain English", I did a K1, P1 bind off in the hopes that the edge will lay flat and not roll either way.
What I learned this morning was: 1) Make sure you are using the right end of the skein before you get too far with picking up stitches. 2) I also have decided that I do not like working flat in stockinette stitch. I think the purling has alot to do with the pain in my wrists.
Well, today is Friday and it is my busiest day of the week. I need to get my non-knitting part of my day started and finished before I can get back to finishing up the seams and trying on the sweater.
Until next time!
(PS for some reason the returns are not showing up in this post and I am sorry if it is hard to read)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stop and admire your work

In "Knitting in Plain English" by Maggie Righetti (and one day I will figure out how to do links and then I can link to the book. See she talks about being sure to stop and admire your work as you go. Don't be so hell bent on getting it done, but look at it to be sure that there are no mistakes, no grease spots or stains, no loose stitches, lost stitches. You get the idea.

Well, yesterday I was so proud of myself. I finished the first sleeve to my sweater. I even called my Aunt and told her "I have a sleeve." on her answering machine. Only one who knits could understand the statement and right now, she is the only person I know who knits. I called her when I completed my first sock and told her "I have a sock!".

Anyway, I finished my sleeve and began the next,,,,,, three times! I was working along on the ribbing and into the increases and stopped to look at my work, after about an hour or so, and saw that I had made a dreadful mistake at the beginning of the patterning row of ribbing... Now, this ribbing is my favorite part and I thought to myself I could live with it. This is just my learning sweater. So I knit for a while more. Stopped and looked at it again, and there staring at me is that "mistake". After a great amount of looking and sighing I decided to rip back all the work I had done because I knew it would bother me.

So, I begin again. This time, I stop and admire my work more often, to be sure there are no mistakes. I am learning the "blind stockinette stitch increase" for the purl increases. Instead of lifting the between stitch with the right needle from the back and place it on the left needle, you pick it up with the right needle from the front. THEN you don't get that little hole. So I am stopping and admiring my increases and thinking to myself that it looks good.

Then, then I take the time to look at my needles! They are the start needles. The size 7 that I was supposed to change when I got done with the ribbing! Hours! I had worked about three hours by now.

I had to rip it all back again! I wanted to cry. But I didn't. This isn't the first time I have done this or rather picked up the wrong size needle. With that pair of socks it was definitely a learning experience about measuring your bamboo size double pointed needles, BEFORE you begin to be sure you picked up the right set. sigh....

So, I went back to the ribbing, again and that is where I am starting from this morning.

I also decided last night, that for my next sweater, the raglan top down, I am going to use the Patons La Laine Superwash Merino Wool in color 6261, which is a blue/grey heather, that I picked up probably three or four years ago at "the Crabbe Reader" in Seymour, WI. Nice shop. Sure wish I had one like that here. Mrs. Crabbe is wonderful with her help choosing a yarn, knitting and with her selection of Used Books.

Anyway, I had purchased that yarn and had planned, back then, to use it for this sweater, so I will use it when I make it. I am not sure about the total ounces/yards though. I am fairly certain there will be enough to finish, but I also purchased a skein of the same brand, in color 6202, which is more of a blue, because I couldn't get anymore of the other. They were on close out. So I thought I could use the blue for the cuffs and the bottom ribbing if I need to. I imagine that is what is so wonderful about knitting from the top down. If you run out, you have options.

I looked at tons of blogs last night. It just amazes me how much information you can find when you read them. I'll learn this too, with time.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Knitting in Plain English"

This is a book written by Maggie Righetti that I picked up this week to help me with my knitting. As I mentioned, my Aunt taught me the basics a few years ago, and I do talk with her frequently while working on a project. I like to have a book handy to help me out though. This is a good reference book that I feel I will use in the future to help me with my projects.

I am working on my first sweater. It is a tunic from "25 Gorgeous Sweaters for the Brand New Knitter" by Catherine Ham. My Aunt gave this to me. I have shortened the tunic by about 3 inches, as I am short. And I have completed the back and the front, using circular needles to hold the neck stitches. I am currently working on the arm, which I am using the technique that Maggie mentions in her book that she calls "The Blind Stockinette-Stitch Increase". It is working out nicely, however, the book only mentions using this increase with the knit stitches and the pattern calls for the increase on every third row, so I have been trying it with the purl stitches as well and I am having varied success with it. But, I consider it all learning.

The yarn I am using is by Caron, called Simply Soft Shadow, in the Soft Merino colorway. It is the first time I am using this yarn, and I like it. It is an acrylic and I thought it would be good for a first project. One thing I have learned with it, is that is has a self striping to it, and so I have had to plan the back, front and sleeves, as well as the shoulders so that they match to some degree. I am happy with the result so far.

I have included a picture of the sleeve I have done this far so you could see how it looks. I especially like this ribbing. You work 4 knit rows first and the you do a knit row, followed by a knit one, purl one row for the effect. I think for a plain sweater it helps to add to the look of it. I am hoping that my finshing will be good and that I will be able to wear it and not just have it for a learning experience.
I have already decided on my next sweater. It will be a seamless raglan sleeve knit in one piece from the top down. I am looking forward to doing this one as I have heard from different people that once you make one like this you'll never make another.
Well, I think I have figured out this post for today. I had to retype it as I erased the first one accidently.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Entry

this is my first entry into my knit blog. I have been amazed at how much information one can find out by just reading other's blogs, that I thought it was time for me to begin this journey.

I plan to keep record of my projects and my progress with them here and once I get it all figured out, I hope to put some pictures on here as well.

Wish me luck!