Thursday, November 29, 2007

The sweater it wanted to be

Before I show you how my cardigan turned out, let's review.

This yarn began its life intended for the Origami Cardi from IK Summer '07, but I was having Gauge Issues and decided that I didn't want something that weird and boxy and bobbled after all.

In this post I showed you how the back, which was supposed to be one Liz wide, turned out to be nearly one Liz long. So it got frogged and I started turning it into the Equestrian Blazer. I'm still too traumatized by all the problems I had there, so I won't recap in too much detail, but all the entries are here.

So I started working on a version of Glampyre's Minisweater and modified it almost into oblivion. I didn't post much about the knitting because it wasn't nearly as interesting as the other stuff I've been working on.

I finished knitting it the Monday before Thanksgiving and washed and blocked it right away so that I'd be able to wear it in my future BIL's freezing house in Oklahoma. But when it was time to leave on Tuesday, it still wasn't dry! What to do?

Bring the blocking with you, of course.

The sweater, pinned to the blocking board, resting in the back seat of my car. (I really hate how the picture came out so blurry but you can still see all those dings in my door!)

I'd bought some nice metal buttons but they were too big for the button holes, so Wednesday morning before Dave and I left his apartment for his brother's house I stopped at Hobby Lobby and found some buttons that made my geeky heart sing for joy.

Having done some checking, this turns out to be a pretty inaccurate reproduction of several different German coins, but heck, I'm a historian, not a coin collector. The Vereinsthaler was the coin used by the German trade confederation in the 1850s and 1860s, and after the birth of the German empire in 1871 (see the year on the coin?) it was used to represent three marks, or so Wikipedia tells me. "Ein Pfund Fein" means "one pound exactly."

At FBIL's, when the sweater was finally dry and I sat down to sew on the buttons, I realized that I'd left the yarn at home, so I made due and sewed them on with some of the green sock yarn, which is probably not going to last very long as the knots keep slipping. You can actually see a bit peeking out from behind that button.

With the buttons on and everything finally ready, the yarn had finally become the sweater it wanted to be. I love it so!

The Specs
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Spruce
Pattern: Minisweater/Boobholder
Mods: I think the only thing I didn't change was the cast on numbers and the raglan increases. I changed the rate of neckline increases and made it a full-sized sweater with waist shaping and 3/4 sleeves. Oh, and as a somewhat tall girl, these are my first ever actual 3/4 length sleeves: they actually hit where they're supposed to, instead of right at the elbow! I love knitting.

It may not be too obvious in these pictures, but I knit the garter edging at the hems on sideways rather than normally. I think it's a nice touch.

I heart my new sweater!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tiny sweater: with pattern!

This will take you a bit longer than the little sock, but the sweater is rather charming. As always, if you knit this and find any errors or weirdness in the pattern, please tell me!

(updated 12/15, and I'll continue to fix problems as people report them to me, so check back and make sure you've got the best version before casting on!)

CO 24 sts and join to knit in the round. Knit 2 rows in k1, p1 ribbing. Knit 10 rows in st st and set aside.

Sleeves: CO 10 sts and join to knit in the round. Knit 1 row in k1, p1 ribbing. Knit 14 rows in st st.

Now, since I knit my sweaters on 2 circs I think of the front and back of the sweater as separate entities. Each round starts on one "shoulder" and the midway point is opposite that on the other shoulder.

Choose a sleeve to start with, and knit the first four stitches. Knit the next stitch together with a body stitch. Knit 10 body stitches, knit the last body stitch together tbl with the first stitch of the other sleeve, knit the remaining 4 sleeve stitches. Repeat for the other side of the sweater: k4, k2tog, k10, k2tog tbl, k4.

The yoke decreases will work like this: every row will contain four decreases, one at each side of each armpit. On even rows, the decreases will “eat” body stitches, and on odd rows, the decreases will eat sleeve stitches. Still with me?
Yoke row 2: knit 4 sleeve sts, ssk, knit 8 body stitches, k2tog, knit 4 sleeve sts, repeat for other side
Yoke row 3: knit 3 sleeve sts, k2tog, knit 8 body stitches, ssk, knit 3 sleeve sts, repeat for other side
Yoke row 4: knit 3 sleeve sts, ssk, knit 6 body stitches, k2tog, knit 3 sleeve sts, repeat for other side

(you may want to pause here to sew up the underarms before the neck hole gets too small)

Yoke row 5: knit 2 sleeve sts, k2tog, knit 6 body stitches, ssk, knit 2 sleeve sts, repeat for other side
Yoke row 6: knit 2 sleeve sts, ssk, knit 4 body stitches, k2tog, knit 2 sleeve sts, repeat for other side
Yoke row 7: knit 1 sleeve st, k2tog, knit 4 body stitches, ssk, knit 1 sleeve st, repeat for other side

Collar: 1x1 rib for 1 row, BO in patt. Weave in all ends.

I'm making these from sock yarn on US 1s, and as you can see the latest one has about a 4" wingspan.

In order to get stuff all lined up on Ravelry they want me to give them my real last name. But it's a secret! What to do?

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

The madness continues

I can't stop. And I've branched out a little.

Meet Banjo the Wood Boy, my drawing figure. He's holding the three socks from last post on his left arm and two new socks on his right arm. And I made him a Santa hat.

Yes, in fact, I have become a little obsessed with tiny things. Why do you ask?

Check out the improved version of the mini sweater. I decided to leave the letter off because the attitude really says it all. (The truth is, I pinned that arm down because the arms were just sticking out way too far. I'll have to figure out a way to improve on that for the later versions.)

The bad thing is, I'm running out of sock yarn. I could have a tree full of identical ornaments, but the color palette is neither Christmasy enough nor random enough. So I have a proposal for those of you reading this who go to my SnB. Can I have some of your leftovers? If you bring me some on Thursday, I'll make two socks--one for you, and one for my tree. If I can. If not I will probably fill the void left by your lack of a tiny sock with some chocolate or maybe a candy cane. Sound like a deal?


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rockin' the macro setting

Having finally discovered the macro setting, I have a lot of tiny things to show you! (And a pattern at the end!)

I made this Little Coriolis sock like a month ago but never took a picture. It's really cute, and I can't wait to try the pattern on a human-sized sock.

I will be hanging this Mini Weasley Sweater from Charmed Knits on my tree. The M is for "Macro Setting." Not really, Dave and I both have last names starting with M so I can either keep it for us or give it to my parents.

I would like to take a moment to say that while I think this sweater is seriously adorable, this is probably the stupidest pattern I've ever knit. I probably brought a little of the grief upon myself by doing it in sock yarn and 1s instead of DK weight yarn and 5s, but still. This tiny sweater ornament is constructed in exactly the same way as the real Weasley sweater: knit a back, knit a front with neck shaping, pick up stitches for a flat sleeve on either side, sew side seams, pick up and knit collar stitches, embroider the M. It was a lot of work for something I won't even see the inside of again. I did tiny mattress stitch! I kind of like the result, but if I decide to make any more they will be seamless raglans. I spent an hour doing one sleeve and sleeve/side seam. Life's too short.


This trio of tiny socks is the start of my Christmas ornaments for the year. The goal is to fill up my entire tree with tiny socks, and then give them away. Regular readers may note that generally I have been giving them away *before* putting them on the tree. But I think these three will stick around until Christmas.

I've been promising to post the pattern for a while, so here goes.

Cast on 16 stitches, leaving a generous tail (6" at least). Divide stitches onto two circular needles and join for knitting in the round. Knit three rows in 1x1 ribbing. Switch to st st and knit about 12 rows.

I like to have my heel centered over the back "seam" (it makes the CO tail in just the right place for hanging), so knit the next four stitches and transfer these four, plus the four just before them, onto one needle. Leave the other 8 on a separate needle. The two striped socks have slip stitch heels, but I've decided I don't like that as much, so knit 8 rows in st st, ending with a RS row. Are you ready for the fastest heel turn ever?

P4, p2tog, p1, turn
sl1, k1, ssk, k1, turn
sl1, p2, p2tog, turn
sl1, k2, ssk

Pick up five stitches along each side of the heel flap and rearrange your needles so that the round starts at the bottom of the heel. On the next round, k5, k2tog, k8, ssk, k5. Knit one round plain. Then k4, k2tog, k8, ssk, k4. Knit another plain round. Then k3, k2tog, k8, ssk, k3. You'll have 16 stitches again.

Knit the foot plain for several rounds. I like having about 15 total rounds from gusset pickup to toe decreases. For the toe, *k2, k2tog, ssk, k2* twice. Knit a round plain. *k1, k2tog, ssk, k1* twice. Now rearrange the needles so that the top of the foot has four stitches on one needle and the sole stitches are all on the other, and knit two stitches so your yarn is in prime kitchenering position. Graft the stitches together, hide the yarn end inside the sock, and cut it so it doesn't try to pop out.

Now comes the part where you convert your tiny sock into a tiny sock ornament. Cut a length of yarn just over twice as long as your cast on tail. Using your darning needle, thread it into a stitch near the co tail. When you have the yarn about halfway through (so two equal pieces of yarn, about equal to the co tail, are also hanging off the back of the sock), braid the three strands together. When you are nearly to the end of your braid knot it, and use one of the loose pieces to sew the end of the braid into the inside of the sock, two or three rows down. Ta-da!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Life interrupts Halloween

My Halloween did not go as expected. The Plan was to wear the Luna earrings to class, then hang out for a bit showing them off and studying, and then come home to help my family with the trick or treaters (their neighborhood is quite the hub). I had a dress fitting scheduled for this morning at 10am.

First, I woke up late, but not so late that I wouldn't make it to class. I had stayed up till 3 the night before, grading and procrastinating the grading. The phone was what actually got me out of bed. It was Dad, calling from the hospital to say that Mom had appendicitis and they were going to have to operate.

And that was when I knew, Halloween was not going to be quite so awesome this year.

Class didn't go smoothly for me, the TA, but that is a slightly duller story. It involved me tripping in front of the class. I did wear the Luna earrings, with a gray sweater and a black skirt which I thought sort of resembled an undercover Hogwarts uniform.

I headed down to Galveston, where my parents live, a little before noon and got there a little before one. Mom's appendectomy started just before 11, but the hospital took its sweet time in getting her from recovery to her actual hospital bed, so she was still in the surgery area when I got there just after 2 (Dad said they didn't need me just then, so I took a nap at their house). To give a little more information, she had gone home sick on Tuesday, thinking she just had some minor intestinal issues, but it kept getting worse so after midnight she and Dad went to the ER. She works at this hospital and knows a lot of people, so she gets pretty good treatment, but they're still pretty slow. Dad's glad that her surgery was done by the day staff, though. Everyone keeps asking, so they didn't do it laproscopically, or however you spell that. The surgeon she got was highly skilled and respected, and he doesn't like it, so he just went in the normal way.

Dad and I hung out with her for a few hours, and then I stayed there and Dad went home to pick up my brother and deal with the trick or treaters. His totally sweet setup for scaring children and dispensing of candy involved a few tealights on the stoop which my brother didn't see, so he caught his enormous baggy pants on fire. I was on the phone with Dad at the time and heard Tom say "why am I on fire?" Dad put it out with his "spooky" black gloves, now also singed, and there's about a 5" hole in one leg of Tom's pants.

Mom was very sensitive to the drugs they had her on, so she pretty much slept all day yesterday. I brought her some little satyr horns so she'd have a costume, but she couldn't keep them on very well so we gave up. It was pretty funny when the nurse noticed, though. I got a bunch of knitting done.

I got home at 9. Dad had been out of candy for an hour and a half (they never, ever have enough, so I'm glad I stole some candy corn before going to the hospital). I got into costume anyway so I'd at least have some pictures. The robe is my Dad's from when he got his master's, and the "wand" is one of Mom's long cooking chopsticks.

Mom was much better today, and she'll be discharged this evening. But this recovery will not be quick. So we could use some vibes. The dress fitting went pretty well, but I have no new pictures for me. She did give me the leftover scraps including the still-intact bodice. Tomorrow when the light is better and my batteries are charged I'll try to get you a closeup of the material.

I'll close with a bit more Luna.