Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1 in hand = 2 in bush?

What have I been doing since I finished Tempest?

Bird in Hand Mitten, #1
I'm working on Kate Gilbert's delightful Bird in Hand mittens.

I'm knitting them from Cascade Venezia yarn, a mostly wool with some silk blend that I bought at Knitty Gritty Yarn in Richland.

Unfortunately, I didn't test wash a swatch -- actually, I didn't swatch at all. . . The mittens are turning out fine (one bird in hand, one on needles) EXCEPT that this red yarn bleeds.

My daughter, an honest critic, tells me that the recipient will never know they aren't meant to be red & pale pink mittens. My husband, on pain meds, said "You didn't WASH them?!" in a horrified voice.

Bird in Hand Mitten, #1

The bird on the thumb.

Ironically, the photos look fine.

They're a gift for a friend who gave me a wonderful, hand-made gift. Photos of that in an upcoming post.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Day Tempest

I managed to please myself and amuse my family by finishing Tempest on the way to our annual New Year's Day dinner. I cut the thread on the last of the 14 buttons in the parking lot of the school gym where we meet.
The color is truest in the outdoor shots, but I'm including this one to show how it fits.
Tempest, from Knitty, Spring '08, designed by Weaverknits.
Knit with Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester 2/8, Blue Lagoon (the darker shade) and Ocean, purchased from Little Knits.
Knit on size 6 needles in size "E", with "H" tendencies. I did not alter the sleeve length, I just have short arms.
La Mode buttons from Joann's Fabric (50% off!) and "classic" buttons from my button box.
Other than casting on for the size of my hips and decreasing for the size that fits my waist & bust, I followed the pattern as written.
The hem and unfinished, rolled sleeve edge. I had thought I'd finish the sleeve with a hem or something, but ended up liking this as designed. The hem ended up fine -- using a long tail cast on, and then beginning with a right side row, left a little row of purl bumps to use to pick up for the hem. In a sense this formed a "turning row" which was very nice. However, I might just start with the hem, a provisional cast on, and knit a turning row if I ever knit this again.
The buttons, which my daughter said reminded her of seashells. I think the colors (and variety) have a sea-glass feeling. I used different buttons (only three kinds, really) because I like them, but also because Joann's seems to only order 5 sets of each button, so there were not 14 of ANY of the buttons I liked in the store.

My gauge seemed to relax as I knit through this sweater (also I changed needles after the dog chewed up the bamboo one I was using). Even though I'd washed & blocked my swatches, it still relaxed a bit more than I had expected, and is a tad larger than I'd planned. I like how it looks, though.

I'd heartily recommend making this sweater to fit -- It worked well for me to cast on the stitches I needed for my hips, which are large in proportion to my waist (or maybe my waist is . . .). If I did this rapid decrease again, I wouldn't do all my decreases at the sides, but maybe do another set about 3 inches in on each side (like darts) on the same row as the "regularly scheduled" decreases.

I wouldn't however, do the slip stitch edge for the front center edge & then pick up one stitch for each slipped loop again. This one stitch for every two row ratio makes the button band a little too "stretched". I'd prefer to knit this to the actual ratio, which is likely 2 stitches to 3 rows or so. I'd also practice the tension on my sewn bind-off before starting on the front bands of the sweater.
Tempest in the wild
Here's the only picture of me wearing the sweater at our party. I got lots of compliments on it, and my aunts laughed to think of me finishing it on the drive (I had an hour).
One last look.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Knitting

2008 in Knitting
Only 4 projects completed. Not an impressive quantity knitting wise -- but 3 great sweaters for me, and a beautiful afghan for my son.
Sweaters: From Chicknits -- Beryl and CeCe
Tempest, from Weaverknits and Knitty.
Counting Pane Afghan, from Woolly Thoughts.

Happy New Year!

Pictures of Tempest -- maybe tomorrow.