Monday, March 31, 2008

G is for...Design progress

The pattern is written for that red thing, in one size only so far. Things were slow at work, so I started the pattern on my laptop. I wanted to use Aran Paint for the cable chart, but don't have it on that computer. It took a while to find out where the charts are filed on the desktop in a form that can be imported into MS word. That's done. Then I remembered that I needed a key to the symbols. That's done too. Now to put in the numbers for the larger sizes. The sample is in size 2. The body is finished, including the neckline. Sleeve #1 is almost done. This is the snails part of the design.

G is for garter stitch and glass needles

My DH won one glass needle at a TKGA convention in Oakland CA. It was door prize that was a teaser. I bought the other needle. Sheila Ernst makes them. They're Pyrex, so not easy to break. I picked them by the flower at the nob part, not caring what size they were. They're size 8 and very nice to work with.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Spring, Happy Easter

Spring arrived in NE Ohio in the usual manner.

The TV weather gurus say that we've had almost 20" more snow than usual. We know which weekend that snow fell. This stuff is pretty, and it melted away rather quickly. We did get 6" more, which makes dog walking difficult where the walks aren't cleared.

I'm working on a design for Oasis Yarns using their Aussie Sock yarn, but not for socks.
We had Easter dinner with much of the family in Erie PA, hosted by DD the quilter. The littlest grandkids were there, as well as the littlest great grandkids (by marriage).
Both of these girls are 3 years old. We also had some of the older grandchildren.We have three generations of "men" watching basketball before dinner.A good time, with lots of food was had by all. We're at a point where our daughters are good cooks and love to host family dinners. The holidays rotate between houses, or in one case a backyard where the house is small. It was a great day for knitting, mostly on the red "thing".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

F is for Fair Isle and Finished

F is for Fair Isle
Brown from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush
Grey and Purple from Knitting on the Road


Coverlet sweater by Krisitin Nicholas from Knitting the New Classics

My own design from house sale wool.

Dale of Norway Salt Lake City Olypmics (2002) knit during 2006 Olympics as part of the Yarn Harlot dare.

The Ethnic Knits Norwegian Sweater is finished, but I had a problem.

The sleeves were too long. Wednesday was spent in sleeve surgery.

The surgery went as follows. Working in the sleeve section where there are no increases, separate sleeve putting stitches on a circular needle. Luckily I worked the increases every 4 rows, and then worked straight until I had the length I thought I needed.

Separation almost complete.

Just cut the yarn and frog until two rows before the pin. The pin is on a lice row. I'm keeping the one row above it.

The stitches just wait to be picked up on the sleeve needle. Shetland type yarn doesn't run easily.

About 2" was frogged. I did measure carefully! Some of this is due to stretching. I wore the sweater for a day before surgery. That helped me decide how much to remove.

Grafting commenced. 160 stitches per sleeve. The first sleeve is almost finished here. The second was finished before I went to bed. I even wove in a few yarn ends at the wrist of the second sleeve, as well as the yarn ends caused by the surgery.

Doesn't this look better?

Finished and wearable. Of course, the dog had to get in the picture. We had snow on the first day of Spring, but I'll show pictures next time.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bands, the knitting sort

The second sleeve is installed. A slightly different sequence of steps was used. I cut part of the sleeve steek and bound off the shoulder stitches before inserting the sleeve.
Cut and Sew neckline. The first step is to mark the neckline desired. I had planned to steek the front neck, but got carried away when knitting the pattern. A crocheted chain marks the intended neck shaping. To the right is what I had planned if I had steeked, decreasing one stitch every other row. To the left is my final shape, decreasing every row. The neckline needs to be marked before shoulder sewing, so you know where to stop.
I machine stitched the neckline shape and cut out the extra fabric, leaving about 1/4" of seam allowance. A crochet hook was used to pick up the stitches through the fabric, trying to pick up an equal number on each side of the front neck. I can adjust the number of stitches by increasing or decreasing on the first row. The back neck was bound off for stability, and stitches were picked up from the bound off stitches. The neckband is 1" before the yo, k2tog picot.
You can see the raw edges of the neckline. The front edge has also been cut, and has rolled under.
All raw edges of the neckline are encased in the two layer band. Next is the button band. It is important to know the stitches/inch gauge and the length needed for the band. This determines the number of stitches needed for the band. I picked up at the rate of one stitch/row and decreased as I purled the next row. It seemed to be a smoother line. The buttonhole band follows. I used a one-row buttonhole. A buttonhole is needed in each layer. Total stitches were counted, length of buttonholes calculated. Stitches needed between buttonholes figured out, not forgetting the button spacing from top and bottom edges. There are 12 rows before the picot edge. Buttonholes are on the 6th and 18th rows.
When the knitting is finished, buttonholes are carefully sewn together, joining the two layers. It is important that the sweater steek not be too wide at this point, so as to lie smoothly at the buttonhole.
I joined the buttonholes before sewing the facing down on the inside. Now to sew on the buttons. Buttons need space underneath them to allow for the thickness of the band, so they are sewn on loosely and thread wrapped around between the sweater and the button. Next comes the bath. After 6 weeks of work, I'm sure that the project has picked up dirt.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

E is for...The good thing about icy rain

E is for Erin, my youngest granddaughter. She's going to hate this picture in few years. She's 3 years old now.

We have all kinds of weather here. Saturday and Sunday it got warm. I noticed this evidence of the death of the icicles. Drip, drip, drip, drip, oops, down we go.

That was followed by "a wintery mix" Freezing rain followed by snow. Last night after work it took quite a while to chip enough ice off my car to drive home. The snow came overnight and was only about 2". Tonight I walked the dog and admired the ice covered tree branches lit by street lights. You see so much more when walking as compared to driving. It's really hard to get a picture, but the yellow bits are ice lit by a sulfur street lamp.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What is a steek and how do I use one?

A steek is a reinforced area of tubular knitting, which is cut to insert a sleeve, front bands, or neckline facing. In this case, I'm inserting a sleeve. This sweater is knit from fingering weight yarn. The sleeve has 1/2" of reverse stockinette stitch at the top. You may be able to see it in the photo below. There also is an extra row of main color after the last pattern, which will serve as seam allowance.

The body is a tube. To figure armhole placement, divide the total number of stitches by 4. This sweater will be a cardigan, so the center front is an obvious steek area of 6 stitches, making determination of the center front easy. Count off 1/4 of the total stitches on either side of the center front, and mark at the top. Lay the sleeve on the body to mark the depth of the armhole. Both points are marked with pink embroidery floss. In this case, the pattern can be used to guide placement and ensure that
both sides are the same.

I am using only 2 stitches for the armhole. This means that a very narrow area of one whole stitch will be machine sewn. Both inside and outside are shown.

After sewing both sides of the center, cut between the lines of stitching.

Place the sleeve into the opening, pinning to prevent movement. You see the facing beyond the cut edge.

I chose to sew this one with an outline stitch, which has some stretch. The needle goes through the sweater one stitch from the cut edge. It goes through the sleeve where the stockinette and reverse stockinette meet. I do a 3/8" long stitch on the body side, and back up 1/8" to stitch the sleeve side. Continue around the sleeve.

Before stitching down the facing, the shoulder seam must be closed. Mark where the neck opening will start and the shoulder seam will end. I am using a crochet version of the 3 needle bind off. I put a crochet hook through the first stitch on the front and the back. Pull a loop through both stitches. Repeat and pull the loop through all three loops on the crochet hook.

Note that the yarn is wrapped clockwise when crocheting. At some point, you will need to transfer front or back stitches to another needle. The body circular will be too long. Continue working stitches from the front, back and hook until you reach the neckline marker.

When the shoulder is sewn, you can sew down the sleeve facing and cover the raw edges. Make sure that these stitches do not show on the right side.

Admire your beautiful sleeve.