Tuesday, June 26, 2012


So I usually just mark a project as 100% when it's off the needles. Larch is definitely off the needles. Problem is that I have yet to pin, and seam the arms to the body, so I can't really say it's done, even though it's practically for all intents and purposes off the needles.

So, while I brew/stew up enough courage to pin and seam, I swatched for something new.

Lacewing, a short-sleeve top with a lace bottom, and picot edge, and mirrored lace cap sleeves. The yarn is Verdant Gryphon Bugga in Crimson Dropwing. I cast-on and knit the picot edge on a US8, following the pattern's intention to go up 2 needle sizes, but it was too big, so I've frogged it back.  The pattern calls for Corntastic but no ease, so I'm taking into account the stretch of the bugga yarn, and making allowances for that. To re-start with the US7, I need to take back a needle, so the Blue Morpho Shawl is getting bound-off. Turns out with all of the stockinette that I did in the middle to prep it for the columns shawl, I ended up knitting almost past where I knit the Brass and Steam, so it's pretty close in size to the other shawl. I'm binding that off now.

I had swatched for two new projects - a cardi wrap called Pas de Valse in Blue Lobster Bugga, and Gavotte a pullover with Satin Green Forester.  Neither of these are calling to me right now, as I'm looking for a cheerier colour.

My Sweet Fiber Yarn Club arrived today - it's a lovely grey wtih teal and brown, and some cute stitch markers, which I really love. I guess she includes one set with each 3-month subscription, so this is the month for that - yay!

...oh, and they changed the name of Ravelympics to Ravellenics due to the Greek influence.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Waiting to seam and swatching

waiting to seam and doing some swatching...

While I'm waiting..doing some interesting reading - apparently the last few days there has been an uproar within Ravelry - the USOC sent a nasty letter described here,
with a follow-up apology here.

Articles from Adrian Chen here, here, and apology  here.

-and we made news in Businessweek here, and on it goes..france.

earlier news from the Uk here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Larch: Bound-off

I bound-off the fronts and collar yesterday and today. It was a looong collar. Now, I've pinned and am blocking the armholes and sleeve caps, so I can seam. I debated about blocking the whole thing, but I think this will work for now, I don't want to risk stretching until I've got the arms in.

Here's an earlier pic -


I tried it on briefly and I think it's going to be a good fit.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Larch: Collar and Button Band revisited

My neck is much better today, I was able to roll out of bed without wincing this morning.
Maybe the pain in my neck that I'm feeling is my inability to finish this collar.

yep, I'm still on the collar. It's starting to seem like the pattern isn't as well-written as I thought.
I zoomed through the body, zoomed through the sleeves, and the collar, is well, challenging, and as other people have states on their project notes, the pattern assumes you know what you're doing.

Either the designer is left-handed, or I am not "getting" what she is saying. I finally picked up enough stitches for the collar in the twisted rib, to fill in the collar dip section. Next, I'm supposed to pick up the button band from the RS, but along left front edge, collar, and right front edge. These instructions usually refer to the left front edge of the collar garment. from the perspective of the person wearing the cardigan, not facing on the sweater. So, either the lady is left-handed, or I can't get how she is doing this. I picked up right front edge of the cardigan, collar, and left front edge, and by this, I mean pick up and knit as stated in the pattern.  To tighten the stitches, I wanted to pick up and knit tbl, which ended up twisting the stitches, closing the holes.  I ended up with at least one row which is knit prior to doing the twisted rib, which looks awful. So, 2 hours of pick up and knit and begin the rib at knit night, and I pulled it out in the last 10 minutes of knit night. Fun. Fun. I tried to pick up and knit /purl the rib in twisted rib pattern, but it still looks odd.

I'm going to try my original plan, even though it veers from the instructions (sorry Amy), and try picking up WS with purls so that the edge of the rib attempts to match the other parts where the rib has been attached. I'll see if this works, if not, I'll be ripping again.

2 weeks to knit the body, 3 weeks to knit the sleeves with an adjustment to the pattern as written to make the top of the cap look symmetrical; Now, 3 weeks and counting on the collar alone to get it to sit the way I like, and to interpret the designer's plans. 

Overall, I'm feeling less anxious about seaming since I've talked to a half dozen people about it and they've told me to pin and over pin the parts of the sleeves, and to seam loosely, beware of tightening and pulling too tight too quickly, start at the top of the sleeve and work downwards. I'm also seriously thinking of at least blocking the top of the sleeve, and the armhole, since it's been curling something fierce.

Here's hoping I'll be finished soon as I'm already dreaming about starting some other projects.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

interesting times

interesting times these days - lots to do and challenges popping up all over.  it's deja vue of january when my arm was out of commission, but it's my neck this time. hope I will be back to normal soon.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Larch Collar Notes

Picking up the neck:
Round 1, I picked up the neck under the bound-off edge. After knitting a few rows, I found that the collar part was bending backward almost flat, and when pulled up, threatened to buckle. After looking at other people's projects on Rav, I realized that almost everyone had picked up that way, which for a normal collar, might be fine, because you want the WS to show on the outside, but for this one, seemed like it bent awkwardly at the neck join, so it wasn't smooth or flat. I tried to take a pic below, but it's darker at the bend.
Larch Cardi Collar Pickup KnitSide buckle

So, I ripped back to the bound-off edge:
Larch Cardi Collar Pickup Purlside0 Start

and tried picking up the neck from the WS, below the bound-off edge, by picking up and purling the back edge bumps. The following pic, shows the top of the bound-off braid:

Larch Cardi Collar Pickup Purlside1

This next pic shows the braid from the side. So, the top most purl bump is actually the edge of the  bind-off braid. I picked up the purl bump directly below that and purled, to pick up the stitch.

 Larch Cardi Collar Pickup Purlside3

This resulted in a nice clean pick-up with a flat edge (Round 2), which looks the same as the sleeve and the hem of the cardigan:

Larch Cardi Collar pickup4

Starting the short-row collar:
Before starting the collar, read over the instructions, and write down the number of stitches you expect to have at the end of each paired set of RS/WS or WS/RS rows, so you can make this section as painless as possible and knit the ribbing checking the add-ons at the end of each row, and just verifying by counting the stitches in the row.

You are adding stitches at the end of each row. I started on the WS row, so I added 6 purl side, then, 6 knit side. The increases are paired so your collar is always even at the end of each set.

Since I picked up my stitches purl side, and I'm making the 35" size, my cheat sheet looked like this, with 41 stitches being the neck stitches (I'm making the 35" size), and the other numbers being the pick-up stitches at the end of the row.:

6 + 41 + 6
6 + 53 + 6
6 + 65 + 6

which taking into account the errata, was the 41 stitch pick-up at the neck, adding 6 on each end; and Repeating 2 times more.

The next round is 4 stitches at each end, so I wrote

85 93 101 109 113 117 121 125


129 133 137 141

for 2 stitches at each end for 16 rows adds 32 stitches for a total count of 141 stitches on the collar.

Tips for the collar:
How you know if you've missed picking up stitches, your work will have a taller column of stitches, and there will be a seemingly large gap between the height of the stitches you have and the stitches you need to pick up. This happens if you finish the row and continue ribbing the next row without picking up stitches to close the gap.

For example - this is before the pickup (WS for me):

Larch Cardi collar WS start1

After pick-up, the picked up stitches seemingly close the gap (far left of the pic - end of my WS row), so the collar stitches tapered down at the end of the row:

Larch Cardi Collar WS start2 after pickup

This is the view of the other end of the row, which will be the end of the next RS row (the 2nd row of my set - WS/RS), showing the larger gap where the stitches haven't been picked up yet - this is normal:

Larch Cardi Collar WS gap3 RS not picked up yet

If I didn't pick up the stitches as expected on the RS, and just did the ribbing back, the next time I was on the RS, my column of stitches at the end of the row would be 2 stitches higher. If I picked up at that time, I would get a hole, because the height of the stitches would be too tall to close the gap.

This was a pic of the first round of my collar with the nicely picked up edge:

Larch Cardi Collar Neck Flat

Unfortunately, I realized after I reached 109 stitches that I was no longer adding my pair WS/RS, but had switched RS/WS. I went back and found a hole in my work where I had "fudged" the height of the hole, by casting-on sw. I put the neck join sections together and realized, I had 4 stitches more on one side than the other, and it wasn't the side that I expected (the 2nd set). This is why the collar looks so tall. In reality, when you pick up each row, the collar is much shorter.

Larch Cardi Collar front

I really had 4 stitches more on one side. So, I ripped back to the second row of 6 stitches added on to each side, and re- knit.

Well, I ended up ripping back to the cast-on edge. I just wasn't happy with it.

After re-knitting and re-counting, I realized that the collar is not a steep increase the way it looked when I tooked that earlier picture. I had 2 little balls leftover - one from the body, and one from the second sleeve. These I zoomed through. I ended up using a Russian join to  hook the remainder of my yarn in the collar to a new ball. So far, I have used 3 skeins of bugga. I started a fourth well-matched skein today from Verdant Gryphon. The russian join has proved to be more blended than when I used the magic knot. Since the collar is a twisted rib, there are too many holes, where the yarn wants to push through. So far, it's looking pretty smooth.

So, I've knit to 141 stitches, and my collar is 3-1/4" high at the back of the neck. I've still to knit 16 rows of twisted rib, so that will add another 2" to the height of the collar, plenty to turn over as a collar.

Then to seaming..

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Another dyeing miracle

Another dyeing miracle from Em -

This - 4 skeins of SG Zaftig, bought post-open house as mystery skeins from the custom zaftig colorways. Colorway - Fiery Searcher Beetle.

A seemingly lovely brown indoors,

SG Zaftig Custom Leftovers Brown Blue
when taken outdoors into sunlight -- yikes! -  takes on a yellowy-olive-cast -

Seriously - does it look like poo to you?

Zaftig Fiery Searcher Beetle close

Luckily, she was able to redunk these in some reddish and pink, and hot pink, to turn the puke yellow into a lovely mahogany-chestnut colour - so, brown with red tones - much nicer.
My camera likes to show the skeins in sun as being either really red, or bordering on purple, shown below with a sample snip of the old
SG Zaftig FSB Overdye Old Sample

and shown below next to the colorway Cowkiller (shown on the left), which is a definite red-based brown; the pics turned out surprisingly accurate:
SG Zaftig Cowkiller FSB Overdye Pairs

and below with Cowkiller in the centre flanked by the new overdye on either side: SG Zaftig Cowkiller FSB Overdye Family Hooray - Em saved the day - well, at least, my yarn.
I was going to put a superhero pic here but instead found this - Create your own Super hero.

black friday

I've updated the sale page with some key sales for Black Friday. I'm not doing a lot of yarn buying these days, so these are the on...