26 June 2016

Block 3 - Cables in Pink

Normally I adore doing cables and working them. This was really no exception except for one part - the pattern has 8 distinct cable pattern parts but only listed directions for 6.  So one part of my cable looks a bit wonky, but I figured it out .. eventually LOL

It really helped that they included written pattern AND chart pattern for all the blocks.  It made it easier to figure out what the missing pattern stitches were for - now whether they were to be knitted or purled is anyone's guess, but I knit it and it seems to have worked out.

This skein of yarn really is awful - it's one of those Love Knit No Dye Lot skeins I got somewhere or from someone.  it's rough and scratchy and sort of tricky to knit with,  This piece sort of feels like knitted kevlar LOL  I'm glad I've decided to take all these orphan skeins and put them to use finally.  I'm looking forward to seeing how all these work together.  I'm trying to figure out how I add a gallery page to my blog without changing the whole layout.  Either I'll figure it out or I won't.

I do like it - it's pretty, and I'm looking forward to finishing the pink part of this blanket.  Just one more block :D

24 June 2016

A Good Start

These blocks so far are a nice challenge - and the most important - not frustrating LOL. I changed needle sizes as I found K2togbl to be tricky at best and hard on my hands, but I found a trick and frogged the block for a second time, and I found that things were a lot easier

So far I've 1 whole block done and another half way, This is another one of those where I knit enough to have 4 blocks done and only have 1 1/2
done, but it's a learning process and I am learning a few new tricks which is always in

This block was a bit tricky as it was done as a circle on circulars or DPNs, I had a few issues with stitches dropping off and not discovering them until rows later - with all the KTOG and PTOG in multiple stitches it was pretty tricky to do the drop stitch method to fix. Tinking back was more trouble than it was worth so - ripped it apart and started again. Since it's a small piece it's not that hard of a task :)

So far, I've done almost 3 of the 4 blocks, but I don't have a finished first block anymore as that was the one I frogged as it was done in US8 needless instead of the US7 I decided on

I rather wish I was doing this with a wool or natural fibre blend as acrylic doesn't block well and tends to hold a funky shape if I held it weird while knitting it.  The block done in the round is still rather roundish and normally I could hope to block it into square shape, but acrylic doesn't place nice like that.  I'm sure it'll wiggle into shape when it's put into the blanket and used :)

19 June 2016

KAL Blanket up next

It was an awesome day today! My dad turned 80 on the 11th of June and with it being Father's Day tomorrow, a family gathering was in the offing! My brother, his girlfriend, my nephew, the kid and of course Dad headed out to lunch in Detroit near Michigan and Trumbull (which is a place near and dear to all our hearts) and had a great brunch and even greater times.  Dad looked so happy to have his family around him.  I think that was the best present he could ever have.  The contented look on his face said it all :)

I spent half the afternoon after that trying to find a tank / tunic pattern for the 2 skeins of teal that I've got.  Finally settled on one and was doing the swatch when I decided that I really didn't want to do the tank right then, so it's shelved for now.  Instead I decided that a project I could pick up and put down at will (instead of totally losing my spot and train of thought on it)  This way I can do a pair of socks if I feel the need.

It's a KAL that was published by WEBS and calls for 2 100g skeins of 9 colours.  Yes that's a lot of yarn, but I've the stash for it.  My stash is very frustrating as I've a LOT of yarn, but not enough for larger projects, so it sits and does nothing but mock me when I browse through patterns I want to make.  I'm really trying to be good and not buy more yarn unless it's specially for a project. No more impulse skeins unless it's sock yarn.  So this KAL is custom made for me.  I've enough worsted yarn to make this blanket and then some LOL.

I took all my worsted yarn and dumped it on the floor.  Just then the kid decided to come upstairs and sees me sitting in the midst of yarn everywhere!  Looked like a sheep exploded in my loft LOL  Apparently me sitting on the floor buried in fabric or yarn is enough of a thing in this house that all he did was shake his head and keep talking LOL.  So I picked out my yarns and grouped them together and ended up with this.  I'm still not sure of the blue or red for this, but I do have extras that as long as I get one block out of a ball of yarn, I'll be happy with it.  I like scrappy quilts, so why not a scrappy knitted blanket?  As you can see some of these colours are close, but not the same - the 4 balls off to the right are in case I change my mind about the reds and blues.

It's going to be fun putting all the blocks together - almost like quilting which I truly miss.  I'll get to decide on colour groupings, or light to dark groupings or random placements it'll all depend on my mood,, but I'm OCD enough to want the colours grouped - just not sure if light to dark or blended or  or or or LOL  see .. it's gonna be fun!!

Ravelry Link - KAL Stash Killer

18 June 2016

Pros and Cons .. Do I like it?

I'm sitting there trying to think of a quick quip regarding my Lace Tank Project and I'm drawing a blank,  This project covered the gamut of experience; frustration, tribulation and creative thinking.  LOL  I'm not even sure I feel relief - I'm just numb - I think.  But .. it is FINALLY done - I thought it would have been finished 1 or 2 days ago - but yet again, it mocked me

The last issue I had was the neck and arm hole edgings,  The pattern called for picking up then binding off the next row - gave a neat look cause you bind off knitwise on a purl row - the pattern called for this to be done on smaller needles, but it was to tight  - so i tried a crochet border - that didn't work so well, so bumped up to my original needles, added a row then bind (bound?  binded off??) off normal.

All the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair did pay off :)  It fits well, a wee bit short, but not so bad I won't wear it.  I am pleased with it - not sure bout the yarn but that could be just cause I'm tired of it now - but I did use all of it, had to dig into my stash for a few filler bits :)

I'm glad I didn't do the ribbed bodice as I think it would be binding / snug - and looked more like a little girls dress, than a top for an adult woman LOL

I was spot on with casting on the front as my sides match and with invisible seaming you can't tell it wasn't done in the round.

Okay sitting here and listing off the good things about this top and seeing how it actually fits in the picture (which I had to contort a bit to take), I've decided I'm pleased, but won't be doing this top again LOL  it was a true PITA

I am looking at making another tank / but more likely a tunic.  I just have to decide what one to do and what colour.  I've some Mary Maxim Mellowspun4 in teal and some Bernant Baby Sport in white - and can't forget all the socks I keep eyeballing to look at - lace patterns are speaking to me, but I really want to do one that spells out each step and bloody well makes sense LOL  I'm due for an easy pattern 

08 June 2016

Yay - Improvement bound!

With the decision made to do stockinette stitch, the bodice went much faster.  It actually looks like a top now, instead of a dress for a little girl.  LOL  All I have to do for the back piece is binding off the neckline and the left strap - not sure it's long enough, but I can adapt on the front.  I know - famous last words.  The thought that's been on my mind is hoping to God that I can start the front piece in the same relative place so my stripes aren't totally wonky.  I'm hoping that I can line up the colours on the yarn - From my lips to God's ear I can only hope it works out close enough.  This top has enough character as it is.  What with the modifications I've made and all - and the bit of different yarn that I had to use. On a good note, I do like it now - well so far I do - but that can change real quick with this project.

If you look, you can see that this yarn is shot with through with a metallic thread - makes the yarn stiffer and am hoping it's not going to itch like mad - not worked with metallic yarn before so I'm not sure of what to expect - the advantages of this is that it was in my stash and is the same weight and WPI as the yarn I'm using.  Maybe with washing it'll soften up.  While it's obvious it's not the same yarn, with it being at the top of the strap, my hair will cover it up for the most part - I hope

And speaking of hair - on a totally unrelated topic - I had 8" cut off today.  It feels so much better now and will be way easier to take care of!  I got some excellent girl time with my hair goddess too - so that was an added bonus as far as I'm concerned.  Another great added bonus is that i don't have to worry bout mussing with my hair for my license and Health Card renewal pictures as that's already been done :)  Yeah me!

My hair goddess has the sweetest St. Bernard on the planet and it's just not a complete visit if I don't get love from her  which includes dog hair, wet nose bumps and an attention hog.  I don't have an issue with it one bit.  My hound Zeppy had to give me a total, complete sniff over when I got home LOL  As you can see by the picture blur, he was sniffing at mach one - from the time I walked in the door, walked up the stairs and sat down - his nose was glued to some part of me!   LOL  Gotta love the pups.

06 June 2016

Awful .. Just Awful

The tunic part of this tank top is just adorable! I truly do love it. The bodice on the other hand .. it's AWFUL and I hate it.  This is supposed to be for a finished bust size of 43.5" I'm not to sure about that.  The fact it's all in ribbing prolly has a lot to do with it, although I honestly thought that it would fit better.

The straps are to short, that is likely due to me not trusting the measurements the pattern gave - I misjudged just how long the strap instructions were for - even might have read them wrong too.  The one thing that truly troubles me is how narrow the neck opening is  I think that I could've adapted for just about anything other than that itty bitty opening.  So a bit of work / rethinking needs to go into that.

I must have looked at dozens of sleeveless tops, tunic and tank top patterns to find a pattern I could easily blend into this one without doing a ton of math or restructuring my entire life LOL  There was this one I found called the Lillian Tank Top   The hardest part for converting it, is it's done in the round, and I'm knitting this one flat.  Stitches where different too, but I'm thinking I can adjust a bit for it

Armhole shaping for pattern I'm working:
Keeping to pattern, cast off 7 sts at beg of next 2 rows -  97 sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next 7 rows, then on foll  6 alt rows -  71 sts.

Arm Shaping Row 
Bind off 25 stitches, knit 66 stitches cast off 25 stitches, knit 66 stitches.
With right ride facing you k8, bind off across until there are 7 sts on your left hand needle, knit those 7 sts. Work 7 rows of stockinet stitch on these 8 stitches. Bind off.Join a new ball of yarn and work 7 rows of stockinet stitch on the other 8 stitches. Bind off.
Armhole shaping for Lillian Tank:
On the last 66 stitches that you just knit, work 54 rows of stockinet stitch.

The Lillian Tank is worked over 132 stitches, whereas mine is 121; done in the round where I'm working flat - but I'm thinking that if I take into account the extra 11 stitches then split the difference - It just might work - This also puts the neckline at the armhole shaping - which just might make a larger neck opening.  I'm going to have to think about it - I'm inclined just to do stockinette and go from there.  I'll do a bit of ribbing on the front section just above the lace to create the empire waist definition - or I can just let it drape in the front like a tunic.  There's a bit I need to think about it,, but for now - I'm going to go with the stockinette and see how that goes.

03 June 2016

New Math or I've lost my mind

Oh kay then .. Either I've lost my understanding of basic math or the designer is on crack.  The pattern reads as such with the stitches / measurements I'm following:
Next row (RS): Rib 6 3, yo, K2tog, *rib 6, yo, K2tog; rep from * to last 2 sts, rib to end.
Cont in rib patt until Back meas 15.25", ending with RS facing for next row.
Shape armholes
Keeping to pattern, cast off 7sts at beg of next 2 rows -  97 sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next 7 rows, then on foll 6 alt rows - 71) sts.
Work even
 until armhole meas  6.75" , ending with RS facing for next row.
Now at this point I've already knitted up 12" for the tnic part of the top - this has a finished length of 24"  Excuse me for just a minute here - but doesn't 12 + 15.25 equal more than 24"????

What's made me pause as I just started the bodice section and of course I read ahead and noticed the 15.25" and I'm thinking that .. whoa wait a minute . from the top of the empire waist (just under my breasts) that puts that measure to the top of my ear.

 It has just occurred to me .. "until Back meas 15.25"" means from the start of the work . ARGH .. I swear I thought I was losing my freaken noodle!!  I really wish that designers would be a bit more clear and say something like ribbing measures 3.25"  FECK    Here I was, getting out the tape measure and ready to measure armholes, neckline strap length and drafting the rest - I'll be doing that anyways to an extent to be sure it fits right, but not the extent I was going to

Oh kay then . rant over LOL.  Sometimes sharing / writing out my thoughts is what makes things clear - thank you for letting me share LOL  I'm such a twit sometimes.

Oh and on a side note - the ball of green that I found in my stash will be what I use a filler if I run out of this skein for the back and front :)  oh and also for the edging that I'll be doing later - it's a fairly close match to the lighter green through out the yarn.  I've 2 balls just like that one so I've plenty.

Update on the 'math' for this pattern:  
I feel vindicated. I was telling the kid (who is a math person whereas I'm not) about my experience with the instructions - he thought the same thing that I did!  So, I'm not a total twit then LOL

01 June 2016

Definitely happy with the lace look

So far so good. It's nice to be able to say that :)

My 'columns' are a bit off kilter, but that's okay - mistakes build character in a piece and it's own level of perfection!  The striped sections are about 1 1/2" for each colour as it goes with bits of white shot through it.  The yarn is soft and feel good to knit and is easy to knit as well.

As you can see the columns aren't quite lining up, but again, that's okay  I do know this is likely from when I had to many stitches on my needles and the pattern shifted.  I refuse to stress over this - yes I notice it, but I won't stress.  I'm going to accept that it is what it is and that it adds character :D  This is near the bottom on the back piece which measures 9" - so I'll do another blue then a green before I do the bodice area in 3 - 31/2" before I need to make any decisions about the bodice.

According to the pattern I'm short for the required yarn - but like most patterns, there's always extra listed as we can't get skeins in custom sizes.  So I could actually get lucky.  I do have a DK in baby ish blue and a white that I can use  Would prefer not to use white me thinks - IDK I have to think about it.  Blue makes sense as it follows the pattern of the yarn striping - but green is a good colour - matches my eyes.  Or again white as it's totally neutral.  I'll have to head into a LYS when I figure out my needs and go from there - I'l know maybe in 3 or so inches LOL

Yup - definitely getting excited - love the way the stitches appear to flow.  Definitely giddy here hahahaha