Friday, June 30, 2006

Lotus Blossom Tank is done!

Well, as I said in the Lotus Blossom Tank (LBT) knitalong, I still need to block this thing. I think my neck and armhole finishings look like crap since I had such a hard time w/the SWTC Bamboo at the end. Probably because I was using the Boyes interchangeables, the yarn was splitty as heck, but the only bamboo needles I have are all straights. Wonder if I need to put bamboo interchangeable needles on my to-buy list. They're not cheap though.

So, quickie recap of what I did w/the LBT:
size: 39"
SWTC Bamboo in Cobalt Blue - yarn called for in the pattern, but not in the same color
needle size to get stitch gauge: 7
row gauge w/size 7 needles: 7 rows/in as oppposed to the pattern's 9 rows/in
added 1.5" to the section between the lace and armhole. Since my row gauge was longer than the pattern gauge, I felt I didn't need to add another lace pattern repeat or another 0.5" to the the St st portion between the lace & the armhole.

Both pics are of the LBT unblocked. (Don't ya just love my self-timed modelled pic? Not!) I'm hoping that blocking will minimize the more egregious portions of the fnishing stitches on the armholes and the neck. If not, I'll have to re-knit those and they will be a PITA.

As for shape, the lace portion is very drapey. Not sure if it's too drapey or not. However, if I had knitted the smallest size (33.5"), I would've had to do some major revisions to the top portion fitwise. And speaking of fit, I think the top part is okay. I definitely need a good supportive bra underneath and need to keep my posture correct so the front doesn't sag. Then again, my Old Navy layering tank underneath also likes to sag, so it may be that pushing on the LBT.

All and all, this was a nice challenge for me. I love the pattern and initially had fun with the Bamboo yarn, but in the end I wasn't enjoying knitting w/it. It may have been just project and wrist fatigue too as I was pushing myself to finish by the end of this week. I was inexplicably afraid that if I had stopped to take a break from this, I would've not finished it. Then again, if I did take a little break I wonder if I wouldn't have felt such an aversion to the yarn at the end.

As it is, I still have 2 whole skeins of the Bamboo leftover plus the remainder of the 3rd skein used for the LBT. I think there's maybe about a 1/3 left, definitely not half though.

As for other knitting stuff, I e-mailed Interweave Press if there was an editing error in Kate Gilbert's Pea Pod hat 'cause I saw another very pretty white one that had the same error as mine (lace pattern not centered between the crown decreases). They replied that there was indeed an error. Yay! I don't feel like such an idiot. So IK says the directions should be corrected thus:

from this:
Next rnd: Work Row 1 of Leaf Lace Set-up chart over first 15 sts (1 st inc'd), k2 (4, 8), pm, [k18 (20, 24), pm] 3 times--72 (80, 96) sts.

to this:
Next rnd: K1 (2, 4), work Row 1 of Leaf Lace Set-up chart over next 15 sts (1 st inc'd), k1 (2, 4), pm, [k18 (20, 24), pm] 3 times--72 (80, 96) sts.>

And course, I so want to make another Pea Pod hat and the matching jacket, especially since has the Debbie Bliss cashmere cotton on sale. I know I initially didn't like knitting w/it, but I was using bamboo dpn's so it may be nice on aluminum needles. And I also have a DB ballet wrap pattern from Junior Knits I want to make for monkey1 that calls for DB cotton cashmere. Oh, decisions, decisions!

Now I need to get back to the gift scarf that I've been neglecting this week. Oops!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Short progress post

Done w/the back finally! Now on to the shoulder shaping.

And because my wrists need a break from the bamboo, here's a progress shot of monkey1's booga bag after 1 hank of the Mango Moon wooly plus a couple rows of the second hank. It's coming out cute. I think the first hank was just a bad one. When I wound up the second hank I don't think I felt any knots (well, maybe one?) and haven't had any breakages so far. Hope the rest of the hanks (got 3 more) are not like the bad 1st one.

Monday, June 26, 2006

No wonder I prefer knitting for the kids

This is a slow knit for me. Man, I'd hate to find out how I feel once I start knitting my Kyoto sweater. I'm roughly done w/half the back before I get to the shoulder shaping so I think I'll finish this by this upcoming holiday weekend. So far it fits, but I'm still wondering at the proportionality of not knitting the 5th round of alien heads. Which is probably why I still haven't pulled out my 2 lifelines. Paranoid much?

But I also think my slow progress has a lot to do w/the lack of give in this bamboo yarn. I've also been knitting monkey1's bag and I've already finished the 1 hank of Mango Moon and started the 2nd. I may even finish her bag this upcoming weekend as well.

In any case, I do need to go back to the BO scarf. I figure if I do 1-10 row lace repeat/day, I should finish the scarf by the 2nd or 3rd week of July provided I don't sidetrack myself too much with other projects. Am wanting to UEU my leftover Mission Fall 1824 cotton by making a bunch of the LMKG hats or the brilliantly simple bibs from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I also want to make at least 2 petal bibs from One Skein out of my leftover KP Shine sport since monkey1's favorite preschool teacher gave birth to twin girls.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Foibles

So, it looks like I won't be making a Ribbon Xback out of Artfibers Rosetta yarn. I mistakenly thought that the Crystal Palace Mikado Ribbon yarn I had in the stash was the Deco Ribbon sub suggested in the pattern. Wrong! So, so wrong. But before I found my error I thought that because the Rosetta ribbon yarn was close in width my Crystal Palace ribbon yarn, I'd swatch my sample up in seed stitch on the size 11 needles stated in the pattern to see what I would get. Needless to say, I got a very hole-y fabric. Not good. So the swatch has been frogged and my Rosetta yarn lemming will stay just a lemming 'til I find a pattern that will match is pretty texture.

And in the totally winging it department, I'm doing the Booga bag pattern in the purple Mango Moon Wooly yarn monkey1 picked out at the Imagiknit sale. Since the yarn is thinner than the Noro Kureyon called for in the pattern and the pattern doesn't state the pre-felting dimensions or gauge, I'm so guessing on the appropriate needle size and stitch and row conversions. The other issue is I haven't done a swatch and felted it yet simply because I'm not going to throw a 4x4" or thereabouts square into a washing machine by itself to see how it does. Not very eco friendly, not to mention I have to wait 'til we're at my m-i-l's cabin to try any felting as my Fisher-Paykel washer is not very cooperative when it comes to stopping and re-starting a wash cycle from the same point. On the plus side, it is a quick knit, though I doubt it'll take all 5 skeins we bought.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On the slow boat

BO scarf boo-boos
Originally uploaded by crochet_chick.
Still doing the St st portion of the LBT. Taking breaks with a couple other projects since knitting this portion w/the SWTC bamboo is starting to hurt my wrists. Huh. The bamboo's isn't as stiff as 100% cotton (gives the stink eye to my leftover Sky blue Mission Falls 1824 Cotton ball), so I wasn't expecting my wrists to feel any twinges. Anyway, no new progress pics of the LBT 'cause they're boring.

So I cast on monkey1's Booga Bag in the purple Mango Moon wooly. Almost gave up since the yarn kept breaking off while I was on the cast on row. I thought it all kinds of ironic that I was doing the felting/spit-splice join on the yarn when I'm going to felt the whole thing later. The only thing that kept me going and not throw the ball at a wall was that the proceeds from this yarn goes to a good cause. Sigh. Will post a progress pic of that tomorrow.

Also started back on the gift Branching Out (BO) scarf. I knew I had one boo-boo in the garter stitch area where I think I had my lifeline, but discovered last night I had another similar boo-boo not too far from it. Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhh! I'm at 10 repeats already and so do not want to frog this thing. Am wondering if I can do a duplicate stitch over these two and hide them that way. Crap. Just crap.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Apparently I suck at taking measurements

So I try the Lotus Blossom Tank (LBT) on last night and I swore it was long enough. Not quite. Luckily, it's not too wide circumference-wise, so that's good. Then again, makes me feel like a cow compared to other LBT knitters.

Evidence of how I can't measure properly. I swear I measured the 4 lace repeats to be at least 9" long yesterday. But considering how I can stretch it when it's blocked, I can see making my initial measurement true. Heh.

Yeah, yeah. I still have my 2 lifelines in there, but considering I may need to frog back to add another lace panel I may need them. Debating still if lengthening the St st portion will be enough or not.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Getting whupped

Yesterday, I was feeling excited that I was on the last lace repeat when I discover yet another knot soon after joining my second SWTC Bamboo skein. Luckily it was close to the end of round 8 and I got better at my Russian join so it wasn't too bad. Then I hit a wall on round 9. I kept making mistake after mistake and it was so frustrating! Then finally I finished the 4th repeat and was on my way to doing the decrease round.

Note to self - do not talk, eat and do a decrease round at the same time even if one is sitting in one's lunch time knitting group. I think I did this round 3 times before I got it right. Now on to the 4 rounds of the "garter" stitch portion of the pattern then it's straight on to the stockinette stitch (St st) for at least 3". Whee!

I'll probably try this puppy on when I get thru an inch of the St st as there are now a few comments and a couple posts about the pattern being a bit big. And here I was worrying about the 1" of negative ease I'd be factoring in knitting the medium size. In any case, I'm not too worried about the lace pattern portion being a bit loose (gotta get it over my oversized shoulders, ya know), but I am worried about the top part fitting right.

In the meantime I'm lemming the Rosetta cotton tape yarn from Art Fibers in either colorway #04 or #10. Their website pics don't do the yarns justice. They're so gorgeous in person. If I ever get around to buying it (need to swatch up my wee little 10 yd sample first), I think I'll probably do the ribbon xback on knitty. I'm also lemming their Hana Silk in colorway #9 though the size US#3 needles is putting me off. That and I have no idea what I'd make from it 'cept yet another Clapotis.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Back to da grind

That's better. Finished 2 rounds of the alien head lace pattern, but didn't get too far in the 3rd repeat yesterday. As a sign of a paranoid or geeky knitter, I have the 2 lifelines in case I've royally screwed up. I hope not as the alien heads look like they're supposed to. Well, okay so the first row of alien heads look a little wonky especially since one switches needle sizes on row 10. I'm calling that row the Experiment 626 as a shout out to my family's favorite movie, Lilo & Stitch.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Back to knitting

Will need to borrow DH's digi cam, but I've finally finished 2 lace repeats and starting the 3rd. It's amazing how much quicker it's gone when I stopped working on the BO scarf and with a little parental help w/dinner. I think switching between 2 lace patterns was confusing me and definitely slowed me down. I figure I still have 2 more months, so once I'm done w/the LBT I should still have time to finish the BO scarf.

I thought I'd have to do a 5th repeat on the lace section, but I may not have to, but am still wondering if I need to add more to the upper body St st portion.

Haven't bought any yarn recently, but when I went to Costco yesterday found that they did indeed have 4 new knitting books! Ended up getting Morehouse Merino Knits, Mason-Dixon Knitting, and Big Girl Knits specifically to have a reference book on how to do short row shaping in the bust area. They also had Inspired Cables, but I figure I'll be try a swatch or an Irish Hiking scarf first before I buy a book w/all cabled patterns in it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Will probably be a non-knitting day

But before I let my feelings about that out, an update on my whole Russian join question I posted on the knitty board and on the KAL. So last night I went ahead and did a Russian join after reading everyone's comments on the knitty board and it worked out really well, much better than I thought it would considering it's my 1st ever Russian join. It feels a little thicker, but it's not really noticeable to me when I knitted it into the lace pattern. Of course, it's not blocked yet, so it may be a different story later, but it looks much better than the screwed section I have before it.

It's a bit gray this morning, so my pic is a little too dark, so I'm not sure it's sharp enough to see where I knitted the join in. And there's the issue of the screwed up section as well. I had made a mistake and in the process of trying to fix it, I over-corrected myself so I'll have one mutated lotus blossom (or Alien head as it's being called). Oh, an pardon the red thread lifeline. I ran out of floss to actually use on my teeth, so I obviously didn't have any to use as a lifeline. DH took his fishing tackle box to my mil's cabin, so no fishing line available to use. I so need to find my ancient crochet thread monkey1 "borrowed" but since it's blue too maybe I just need to bite the bullet and buy more crochet thread or more than 1 thing of dental floss. :P

In any case, I got some heart-breaking and sad news about a beloved little family member who passed away this morning, so I doubt I'll be able to see clearly enough to do any knitting, let alone try to fiddle w/the digi cam.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

In the slightly annoying category

So I'm plugging along on my Lotus Blossom Tank and get to row 10 where I switch needle sizes and get to a frickin' knot! Was too tired to deal with it so put it away. Will ask on the KAL if there are other join methods for bamboo other than the usual way of joining new yarn. Gah.

So I decide to work on my BO scarf for a little bit before I got too sleepy. Not too bad though I just noticed a boo-boo in the garter edging after my second repeat of my pattern. Drat. It's too far down for me to try to fix it w/o royally screwing up the whole thing since I'm already on my 6th repeat. Still debating if it'll be unnoticeable or not.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Progress, or lack thereof.

I haven't made much progress on my Lotus Blossom tank because I had to re-cast last night since I somehow twisted my stitches between round 4 and 6. What the...?!? I did show my St st gauge swatch to my knitting friend (guru?) and she didn't think it was too holey at all. She also told me that the original SWTC Bamboo used to be flatter and more tape-like and mused out loud as we stared at the IK cover if Sharon Shoji used the older Bamboo for the Lotus Blossom Tank as it doesn't look so mesh-like on the top part. The older tape version would certainly fill up the holes better.

So, today I decided to post pretty yarn pictures instead of my lack of progress on my tank. So, here's one of 3 hanks of Cherry Tree Hill Melange (CTH) in the Monet colorway. CTH is discontinuing Melange due to raw material reasons. Brighter than I thought it would be, but monkey1 loves it, so I'm going with it.

It's destined to become the Garden Party sweater from Rainbow Knits for Kids for the monkeys. Will probably knit the largest size so both can wear it as they grow older:

And my totally lemminged buy came in Saturday. That was fast. So here's one of the 2 hanks of the Brooks Farm Four Play in color FP18 I bought from their semi-annual Widows & Orphans sale. The pic doesn't do the pretty, pretty and gorgeously soft yarn justice. Slated for a mini-Clapotis unless I think I can do a mini-Ella.

Just posting this pic since I couldn't load it yesterday. They're the DIY suede booties for my friend's twins. Instead of the Plush, I tried doing the fake seam in the darker Berocco suede, but I didn't like how it turned out as well as the original. Was trying to make it look more "boyish," but I suppose it kinda works. Now to figure out what to do w/the leftover Berocco suede & plush. More booties for future babies by friends? Definitely not me as I am so done.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Monkeys off my back

Tis fini!

Pinwheel blankie close-up:

Pinwheel blankie close-up 2:
Pattern: pinwheel blanket

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Twister Waters & Cascade 220 Periwinkle

Size 10 needles & H hook

CTH Twister portion - 36" diameter after blocking

Have I said recently I love this CTH Twister yarn? I still have my balled up hank of my Jewels Twister I need to knit up into a mini-clapotis, but after my Lotus Blossom tank

My so called scarf:

close-up of so-called scarf:

Pattern: My so-called scarf

Yarn: Manos Del Uruguay colorway #113 Wildflowers as in the original

size 11 needles

Had enough yarn for one more purl side row but wasn't sure how to bind off that side, so stopped short and bound off on the knit side. I just finished this at lunch so I still need to wash and block so the ends stop curling.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Procrastinating on CO for the LB Tank

So I grabbed my Cascade 220 in periwinkle (#7809) to test out the color and some crocheted edgings for the pinwheel blanket on my CTH Twister swatch. I think that the Cascade 220 color will work well for the blankie so it looks like I won't be going yarn shopping this weekend. Saves me money and gas!

So, pic on the left shows the floret edging on top, the back of the picot edging on the side, and the backside of the shell edging on the bottom. The pic on the right shows the right side of the shell edging on top and the right side of the picot edging on the side. I initially tinkered w/a size J hook, but that made the stitches too bulky and went down to a size H hook. Much better.

Not as thrilled with the floret edging as I thought I would be, but I think I still like it the best of the three. The shell edging, though pretty and always a favorite of mine, may be too much. As for the picot edging, just simply not rocking it at all. So I think the verdict will be I will be sticking to the floret edging and then I'll be done w/the pinwheel blanket. Yay!

No to get my self motivated to CO those 230 stitches for the Lotus Blossom Tank. Or should I swatch again on size 5 needles to see what kind of drape & look I'll get w/a tighter gauge? If I go that route, I may need to knit up the 44" size 'cause there's no way I'll be recalculating the lace portion for the smaller gauge.

Edited to add: On second thought, I knitted up an inch of the swatch on size 5 needles and I can see that while I'll be a 1/2 sts tighter (6 sts/in), I'm not seeing much difference in the "mesh-like" look. Oh well. Will frog the swatch and start casting on all those stitches.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm taking the plunge!

Whether it was a wise choice or not remains to be seen but I joined the Lotus Blossom Tank KAL (knitalong) yesterday. Gah, I hope I can pull it off.

So my swatch finally dried, abeit a little wonky 'cause DH moved the swatch (not very gently obviously) so it tweaked into a little parallelogram. I tried to untweak it so it's a little better, but the angle of my photo now makes it look like a trapezoid. Doh.

Given my horrible swatching experience w/my Tahki cotton classic and Butterfly Super 10, I knew there was no way I would get 5.5 st/in on the #5 needles called for in the pattern. So I first started to swatch w/#8 needles and actually found I was 1/2 stitch to big. Frogged and swatched w/#7 needles and got gauge thankfully.

Now I need to either swatch the lace portion and see what I get or just cast on the 230 stitches (ugh!) for the 39" size. I'm hoping the bamboo's got ease as the next size up, 44", would be too wide. I also need to lengthen the tank as it'll be much too short, especially at the bust line for me.
As for my other WIP's, The 2nd secret baby gift is almost done. Hope to finish it today. And I may use my Cascade 220 in periwinkle for the pinwheel blanket border but I need to do a test border on my little swatch to see if it'll work first. And to keep me on track, I started the Branching Out gift scarf over the long weekend. Got 2 repeats in. So far so good! Keeping fingers crossed I don't have a major mishap before my August deadline.