Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trying to use the right side of my brain

It was time for me to try and be creative and knit a sweater without using a pattern. I decided to go with a basic top-down raglan sweater, since I've done a couple of those and I know how to start them and how to do the raglan increases. I decided to put some small cables along the raglan line. I needed something on the body besides all stockinette, so I put a couple of concentric diamonds on the front. This pullover does have a slight scoop in the front, so I did not join cast-on stitches immediately. I find that the sweaters that start with a joined loop are usually too close to the throat on the neckline, which bugs me. It's going well, and it fits well so far. I just have about 11 more inches of a stockinette tube to knit. I haven't quite decided on the sleeve length but most likely it will be short. For the neckline, I'm thinking of doing this garter stitch collar with increases that folds back over the front, sort of like a mini-cowl, if there is such a thing.
The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. I see why knitters love this yarn -- it's really soft and looks great knitted.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Knitting while exercising and vice versa

Ellen over at L.A. Is My Beat got me thinking the other day. She blogged about walking for exercise and not quite figuring out to knit and walk at the same time. Walking and knitting would be quite difficult for me because I usually walk with Large Dog pulling me along. However, I realized that I could probably knit while sitting on the recumbent stationary bike at the gym. I tried it out, and it's great! I do knit a little slower, and I can only do basic stockinette or ribbing, and the yarn can't be too splitty, but that's fine by me.
I would have loved to take a photo, but I think the gym frowns upon such things as cameras in the gym. Instead, I can show you what I worked on. It's the gathered pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. The yarn is Blue Heron cotton/rayon/metallic. You can't see the bits of metalllic in the photo, but it adds that little bit of glitz.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Finished skirt

I'm very happy with this skirt. Tomokee (a.k.a. Large Dog) does not seem to care. This is the kilt skirt from Knit 2 Together, but without the kilt flap thingie. The yarn is spaghetti by Gerifil, which is springy and crunchy and should be good for a skirt because it will not result in any waggin', baggin', or saggin'.
I wanted to use a texture pattern stitch for the main body, and this texture makes the skirt narrower and stretchier. This allows it to hug my almost-non-existent rear end better, and the texture hides any lumps or bumps that do exist on the non-existent rear end.
Other customizations are just size related: I knitted 17 repeats of the bottom ruffle, 180 stitches for the body, 170 stitches for the ribbing, and 160 stitches for the waistband. I did use a 2-stitch garter stitch border at the bottom.
My texture stitch (for knitting in the round) is a multiple of 3 stitches:
row 1: *K2tog, leave on LHN, K first st again and slip both off LHN, K1, rep from *
row 2: K
row 3: *K1, K2tog and K into first stitch as for row 1, rep from *
row 4: K

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

GPS: 1 Betty: 0

This last Saturday, I argued with the GPS and lost. I was driving in San Francisco, and I figured I could do better because, after all, I am a native San Franciscan. I kept insisting on going a different route, and the GPS kept saying "recalculating" and giving me directions in a British accent. Well, my route kept me going in circles, due to one way streets and "do not enter" signs, so I eventually gave up and followed the instructions. The moral of the story is, when in S.F., don't argue with the GPS.
Anyway, my destination was the wonderful Imagiknit yarn shop in the Mission Dolores neighborhood. This is the largest yarn shop I've ever set foot into. It is piled high with yarny goodness in two big rooms and has a very nice vibe.

And of course, I had to buy something, so I got this lovely berry-colored llama/silk yarn on sale.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vine Lace Vest

This is a great pattern. It’s fun and quick to knit.
The sweater fits really well, which is amazing since it’s knit like a rectangle with no shaping.

The yarn is Cascade pima/silk, and I used about 4.5 balls.

Customizations: I tried to eliminate the rolling on the bottom of the front bands by using a 2-stitch seed stitch border. That helped some, and then I thickened it with some slip stitches on the underside. The rolling is minimal now.
I knew that I would be folding down the band at the neckline because I don’t like stuff sitting against my neck, so I widened it to a 4x5 ribbing at the top and above the shoulders so that it folds better without stretching too tightly.