Sunday, April 15, 2007

Full Cycle

I have finished most of my winter projects that have been on the needle -- a little bit out of season, but since the weather also has been uncooperative, it has been fine. First up are Eunny's Endpaper Mitts, which are absolutely lovely. I did have some modifications to the pattern. Since my thumbs are surprisingly large, I increased every other row for the thumb gusset, instead of every third row. I also (accidentally) shortened the repeat at the fingertips, leaving out a half-repeat of the pattern. It still works for me, though. I tried out a tubular cast-on for the first time and really like it. The colorwork was so fun -- I'm sure I'll try some more again soon. Maybe the Arch-Shaped Stockings from Vogue Knitting Fall 2006.

Here are the mitts unblocked. Some of the stitches look pretty wonky because my tension was off. They are still cute, but look very "homemade".

These are the washed and blocked mitts. The irregularity has gone, and the wool is forgiving. If you look closely, you can still see gauge problems right down the middle, where my dpns met. I'm fairly sure that will disappear, too, after a few washings.

I also have finished my Central Park Hoodie and am wearing it right now. After I began the pattern, I realized that the back cables weren't carried up the hood, and I thought that would be a nice alteration. The hood wasn't fitted in the back, either, and I wanted to taper it down. I looked at several other patterns for hoods, (here and here, to start). I ended up incorporating decreases at either side of the cable pattern, at an increasing rate, until the hood was long enough. Then I took the cable pattern and attached it to the rest of the hood so it became perpendicular. After that, I still had to take the side cables and bring them up to meet in the middle of the center cable pattern. Surprisingly, I finished all this maneuvering close to midnight and it all worked! (I'm the opposite of a night owl).
I wasn't convinced that my hood modifications would work out because it didn't seem to be shaped right, even after blocking. I kept going, hoping that the front ribbing would fix all problems. It turns out that it did. The sides really are much more shapely, and the hood looks perfect to me now. If I were doing it again, I might do some research on methods of knitting on something horizontally (I just guessed my way through and its fine, but I think there must be a better way to do it). I'm thinking about getting some toggles to close the hoodie. I keep on finding myself trying to pull it closed, and toggles would fit best with its style.

On the needles now:

Isabella in Knitpicks CotLin This is also unwashed. I'm beginning to get annoyed at my inconsistent tension in stockinette. I was working on making my purl stitches tighter, and that seemed to help. Believe it or not, this is also my very first experience with the traditional long-tail cast-on, and I really do like it. I have always used a variation of this cast-on, and was not really motivated to try it before.

February Baby Sweater in Knitpicks ShineSport
Two projects in cotton, which I almost never use! I actually like the feel of both of them, though -- especially on the smaller needles. I'm waiting for my swatch for Isabella to be washed and dried to determine my final gauge. I'm just knitting the baby sweater, and have managed to get gauge (prior to washing) on the first shot. I have had to rip out several times because I had trouble with the yoke increases. It's really amazing how difficult a make 1 increase is to spot. I'm almost to the point where I begin working on the sleeves. I think I am going to run out of yarn and will have to order more. This is such a luscious shade of green that I can't wait to finish it in this color.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Swallowtail Shawl is blocked.

Unblocked Lace

Swallowtail Shawl before blocking.

Pattern: Interweave Knits, Fall 2006, by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: School Product's Handdyed Laceweight Merino, less than 1 skein (about 400 yards) in beautiful variations of sage
Needles: Inox 4s from Halcyon Yarn
Begun and completed in March, 2007.

Detail of the lily of the valley border pattern (with nupps).

I've also been busy on the train. The weather has warmed up and look what I've been doing:

The first Endpaper Mitt from Eunny! It's knit in Dale Baby Ull from Kool Knits in Naperville, Illinois. I did make some modifications on this one -- I didn't use the Italian tubular cast-on because I became impatient. I also increased more rapidly (every 2 rows instead of every 3) for the thumb gusset. I haven't cast on for the second one yet, but can't wait.
And next to it you can see the sleeves for the Central Park Hoodie. It's a bit lighter in real life than in the picture. I've figured out how to edit my photos for quality, so the rest of the colors are close to where they should be.
I just discovered while I was looking up the link to Kool Knits that the store has closed. What a shame. It had such a great selection of yarns -- from novelty to the classics. They do still have an ebay store up, which I'm going to check out as soon as I'm done with this. I'm shocked that they have closed. I know yarn shops have lots of competition with all the websites, but I've seen them advertised in all the magazines recently, so I assumed they were still healthily in business. I'm sad to see them go. I might make a visit to my local yarn shop today to do my part to keep them open.
I'm off to block Swallowtail.