Friday, May 26, 2006

Gaps and more

All you sock experts out there do not make ladders anymore I'm sure, but this is a late knitting bloomer here, which kind of explains why I need to give encouraging pats on these shoulders everytime I lean back to admire the sleeve I'm knitting.

I've recently managed to get rid of two most irritating imperfections I always find in my projects, 'M1' gaps and ladders from using DPNs / 2 Circulars.

A tip from EZ's 'Knitting Without Tears' on using the backward loop to M1 solved the gap problem. Maybe I'm fussy or neurotic but I will notice even the tiniest gap made when knitting into back and front of stitch or into the loop between stitches.

I've shied from knitting socks and mittens because I hate ladders. Two circulars are definitely better than DPNs since there's lesser joints. Transferring several stitches to the next needle every few rows hides the ladders somewhat. But that is just spreading the ladders further along the rows and doesn't solve anything. (oh! dear, why can't I just sit and enjoy my craft without thinking of them as project issues and resolutions??).

Also, my tugging tighter on every first stitch on the needle makes no difference. In fact, I learnt from a forum doing so on the first makes it worst!. It's the second stitch that must be tugged it seems.

I tried that on the Weekend Shrug and it worked!!! Nothing! no visible ladders and there was no need to transfer stitches at all. Of course I had to make sure and did some now and again. For added measure, I made a gentler tug on the 3rd stitch too, just in case!

I'm now ready for socks and am grabbing Mona's Opal yarns.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Weekend Shrug

Not very imaginative I know, but it started off as my 'Drops Design cream jumper' and I can't think of a catchy project name just yet.
The Cleckheaton Natural wool has loosely weaved black inclusions that drop off so easily as I knit and I'm certain there won't be any left on the jumper after a few washes. Pointless really, but for now it's got this interesting earthy rustic look.
I'm rather pleased with how the jumper is turning out and the garter rows give an interesting touch to the ribbing and subsequent stockinette section. I've started on another ribbing section just before attaching sleeves that I shall start on soon...barring any distraction to another project!.

The black inclusions look so much like Dottie's (our 4 yr old Basset Golden Retriever mix) hair on the floor that you can't tell the difference! She gets to come into the sitting room especially at weekends and loves to sit by my easy chair while I knit.

She's one of 10 puppies and mum's the Basset whom she takes after with her long sausage like body, short legs and soulful eyes. The smaller ears, playfulness and boundless energy from dad with none of the Basset clumsiness.

Plymouth Fantasy Naturale arrived on Friday and my daughter couldn't wait for her shrug to be started. So a slight detour and here's Weekend Shrug waiting to be cast-off and the underarms sewn up. The pattern is adapted from Shimmer. Knitting it is easy and the raglan decreasings progressed very fast. I like the colourway and worsted silky cotton texture so much, I've put in an order for some plain Aqua shade for myself.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Stash busting

It was somewhere along the 2nd row of Smarties' neckline when that sinking feeling crept in...horror of horrors! I thought I noticed something. Uh way, no way, and it was total denial the next 20 mins or so. It can't be, and I continued knitting but couldn't resist taking a few peeks now and again.
Sigh.., there they were, without a doubt, 3 'fatter' cables, not even loosely twisted as I had hoped, so obvious, right side of the V-neck. How can that be??! I had been so careful, checking after every repeat making sure the cables were alright!
In between the collar separation, armhole decreases and knitting both sides at the same time, I had twisted for the left and forgotten the right till 2 rows later.

The inevitable question, "can I live with it?". By then I had lost interest in the neckline anyway, so into the frog pond it went and wasn't out till 3 evenings later. Here it is blocking to a smaller size as it's now mine and not JS' since we all agree it looks better on mum.

yarn: Sirdar Donegal Tweed DK
colour : mink
Finished size: 36"

45% wool 25% acrylic 30% polyester
5.5 balls x 50 gms x 132 yds
Needles : 3.25 mm & 4.0 mm

Pattern : Veste Everest by Veronik Avery- IK Fall 2005

The 2 packs (20 balls) of Cleckheaton from Melbourne's Spotlight, almost a year ago, have been calling out to be destashed and if I hurry, just might manage to knit this jumper up by 3rd week of June.

So I'm going to put off casting on my blue cotton top until I get a little bored with the jumper, then a quick switch over before coming back to the sleeves and yoke.

Adult Pattern : Drops Design 70-21

Mothering Sunday

Happy Mother's Day and an e-bouquet to all!!

A Mother

When you're a child she walks before you

To set an example

When you're a teenager she walks behind you

To be there should you need her

When you're an adult she walks beside you

So that as two friends you can enjoy life together.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Back to normal

Our modem and PC got fried during last week's thunderstorm which wrecked havoc across KL and other parts of the country.
The PC motherboard is covered by our 3 yrs parts and labour warranty with Dell while the small monetary lost to replace a splitter and modem is nothing compared to some families who lost their loved ones in the fires. There was no surfing, online chatting and blogging for several days which gave the household a quiet peace while I knitted blissfully in front of the idiot box.

My latest WIP, a cable vest, saw much progress over the May Day long weekend.

Veste Everest by Veronik Avery- IK Fall 2005, is knitted with Sirdar Donegal Tweed in Mink.

It's a size 41.5" with 22 cable columns in the round and a 14-row repeat. An additional 2 repeats are added since it's for JS, my son.

The tweedy specks remind me of a handful of chocolate sweeties, hence the Smarties vest. Actually, the photo below doesn't do justice to the spectrum of vibrant colours interweaved into the yarn, I shall try again in daylight later.

The latest survey of my stash revealed 5 lots of yarn in the same colour range, baby blue, lilac, deep purple and a darker french blue. So, it's bye bye browns...