Archives for posts with tag: cardigan

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan (rav link/pdf link)

Size made: don’t harsh my mellow, man, that’s not the way I roll

Yarn used: Elann Peru Soft in color 801 (pale gray), 5.5 skeins (539 yards). This was a limited edition yarn, so it’s long gone from the Elann website, but it was really nice–45% Acrylic, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Wool, 15% Kid Mohair, a singles with a nice natural feel despite the high acrylic content, next-to-skin soft, and I think I actually got this whole bag of 10 skeins/980 yds on sale for $18 + shipping. So the yarn cost for this was about $10 for a long-sleeved cardigan. Not bad!

Needles used: US 10.5/6.5 mm

Date started: June 28, 2010

Date completed: July 29, 2010

Mods/Notes: The Shalom Cardigan comes in only one size, and it’s not quite my size. My gauge was also not quite right (I didn’t swatch, either, just cast on and started knitting). I ignored all this and kept knitting. Sometimes you just really do not want to do math. I am ashamed to say that I also only tried this on after completing the yoke–the rest of the body of the cardigan was fudged, which is why it doesn’t really fit around any part of my torso except the yoke. I kept trying on half the cardigan and saying “hey, it fits” but never did the Right Thing, which would have been to put it on a piece of waste yarn and try it on around my WHOLE BODY instead of just the left half. (Or to actually take gauge measurements and compare the stitch counts and gauge to my own actual body.)

My gauge was about 13 sts/4” (the suggested stitch gauge” but 16 rows/4” (way off from the suggested 20 rows/4”). I ended up doing 6 rows in each tier of ribbing, then 5 or 6 garter rows (3 ridges) at the end of the yoke before putting the stitches on waste yarn for the sleeves.

I cast on 10 sts under each arm for gussets, but quickly realized that was probably way too much. I worked k2tog on all the gusset stitches on the next RS row, then worked ssk/k1/k2tog at the underarm seamline for the next few RS rows until I had decreased out all the extra underarm gusset stitches. I also altered the ratio of stitches to more or less reflect the ratios of my body: 25 sts each front, 34 sts each arm, 51 sts back.

Buttonholes went in once about every 6 garter ridges at first, then every 8 ridges.

I decided to do another pair of decreases at the side seams every inch, three times, to shape the waist. (I shouldn’t have, and would have realized that if I had tried the sweater on in progress!) Increased every other RS row after passing the waistline, to get it back up to hip measurements.

After casting off the body, I found that it didn’t quite fit me except in the yoke, even after a severe wet-blocking and stretching. So while I sewed on buttons to match the buttonholes all the way down, only the top three buttons can be closed without crazy gaping and stretching. Here is the embarrassing photo for proof–see how the nice straight | at the buttonband in the yoke area quickly changes to ZSZSZS in the rest of the body?

I added long sleeves to the cardigan to make it more useful–picked up the held stitches for the sleeves and picked up/decreased the underarm gusset stitches as well, knit to elbow length and then decreased in pairs every inch or so to shape the sleeves, ending in garter stitch. The sleeves are skintight–I should have left a bit more ease.

It came out cute despite the sizing issues… I really like the combination of the vintage blue glass buttons and the pale gray yarn. The buttons are from General Bead in San Francisco, and I’ve been holding onto them for a while, waiting for the right project. (I think the only buttons I’m still hoarding for the right sweater now are a set of small, adorable sushi buttons that call for a fine-gauge plain cardi.)

Though it might appear from this photo like I’ve been wired to spy on the mob, the lump on my back is actually from the waist ties on the sundress I’m wearing.


I think it will be a nice cardigan for the fall, especially if I can manage to stretch it out a bit more with wear. Or if I happen to suddenly lose about 30 pounds in the next couple of months. I’m a little nervous about the pilling potential for this yarn because it’s so softly spun, but we’ll see how it goes. (If this one ends up being unusable, I would even consider making another cardigan from this pattern, but I’d do it properly next time.)

If I decide to continue the quick-knit cardigans trend, I’m thinking of doing a short-sleeved, wide-necked Liesl with two skeins of fingering weight yarn held together. (From what I hear, it should take me only a few days to complete…) I was also eyeing a couple of Drops patterns, like this cable-yoke one or this one with a lacy yoke. Or Loppem, which has been in my queue forever.

Advertisements

…for knitting big gray sweaters.

Here is the first one I have to show off:

Pattern: DROPS 103-1 Jacket in Eskimo or Silke-Alpaca with A-shape –the chunky-weight version.

Here’s what DROPS has to say about it: ” – Wind, rain and falling leaves… Leave dreary days behind and dress up super elegant and classy, and still high fashion this fall !”

Size made: Small (33″)

Yarn used: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky in 550 Damp, a dark gray with blue, green, and white tweed flecks. I used a little over 5 skeins (600 yards).

Needles used: US size 11/8.0 mm

Date started: January 5, 2010

Date completed: June 23, 2010

Mods/Notes:
I knit on this at a pretty good clip until I got to the sleeves and finishing–I think the sleeves took about a month each and the finishing took another two. (Real time = maybe 2 hours, but it sat in a basket waiting for buttons, blocking, and sewing for a loooong time.)

I decided to knit the sleeves from the top down, two at a time, magic loop, to make them the same length and avoid extra finishing work, but this backfired because I got really tired of dragging out this enormous pile of wool and turning it around and around in my lap every time I wanted to work on this sweater. It felt like it weighed about 10 pounds by that time and it just seemed like such an unpleasant task. In the end, if I had just knit the sleeves the normal way, I think it would have saved me a lot of time and trouble.

The other thing about doing the sleeves this way is that I suck at picking up stitches nicely, so I found after a few inches that there were big holes all around the armscye where I had picked up from the wrong part of the stitch or something. I had to go back and sew these shut at the end–so I didn’t even save myself the trouble of setting in sleeves! It was exactly the same amount of sewing as if I’d knit them separately and set them in afterwards.

If I find my more detailed notes, I will edit this later, but to the best of my recollection, this is what I did for the top-down sleeves: I sewed the shoulder seam and picked up 60 stitches at an even rate around the armhole, placed markers for the top 1/3 of the stitches on either shoulder, and short rowed back and forth, going past the wraps 2 stitches each time, until I had a sleeve cap. Went back to pick up all wraps and knit both sleeves in the round, two at a time, until a bit above elbow length. Decreased 2 stitches every 2″ (working the sleeve shaping backwards, in effect) until I had 50 stitches. Worked the sleeve edging in double moss stitch and bound off. You can see the sleeves are sort of saggy under the arms/balloony in shape, but it’s not too bad.

I bought some big green buttons at Jo-Ann Fabrics to match the green tweed flecks. I only put on two in the end–they looked a little crowded with the third one on there. I’m not terribly satisfied with the way the bottom of the left lapel kind of sags down in front–a product of the double-breastedness of this jacket, and no interior snap or button to hold that side up. It might be worth putting something in to keep it up. I noticed the same thing, though to a somewhat lesser extent, with the shrug I made for Casey from this same pattern (well, kinda sorta the same. Similar.).

The back looks really surprisingly nice, nicer than the front, actually, though now that I’m looking at it I wonder what I did with the “A-shape” of this sweater, as it just looks like it hugs my shape instead of flaring out properly:

Here is a slightly closer view where you can see the weird sleeve caps, saggy underarms, two buttons, and collar fold in all their glory:

When I was mournfully knitting those Sisyphean sleeves for months and months, I was thinking I wouldn’t be very happy with the end product and that I should just give it away at Christmas. Now that it’s done and blocked, though, I like it quite a bit more and might hold onto it. It has a bit more ease than many of my sweaters, so it’s surprisingly comfy, and less heavy than I thought it would be. However, I still don’t love it as much as the other ones I’ve seen that first inspired me to add this to my queue–e.g., the Flintknits olive green version–maybe I just need to try knitting yet another one? Or style it with dark skinny jeans instead of a summer sundress.

Let there be much rejoicing: I have a Finished Object!

Pattern: Flicca, by Anna Bell

Size made: Small

Yarn used: RYC Soft Tweed, color 005 Twig, approximately 14.5 skeins

Needles used: US size 10.5/6.5 mm

Date started: September 28, 2008

Date finished: November 19, 2008

Mods:

  • Knit about 2 extra rows on collar before starting short rows; knit another 4 rows or so after completing short rows.
  • Lengthened the ribbed buttonbands to match the deeper collar
  • Knit longer in 3×1 rib than I should have (15″ instead of 12″) and knit the 2×1 rib section to 22″ instead of 24″.
  • Crocheted along the back neck and partway around the armholes for stability, rather than sewing in a ribbon
  • Made the sleeves narrower by starting with 2×1 rib instead of 3×1 rib.

Notes:

(heavy sigh.) Somehow I thought the size 10.5 needles would make this knit fly by, but it turned out to be a big slog of a sweater. It took me a month and a half, including some good long blocks of marathon knitting–this is much longer than average.

Late last night, I finished seaming it all up and weaving in the ends, put on the finished sweater, and had that terrible sinking feeling that comes from realizing you have spent a month and a half lovingly handcrafting a garment with all the figure-flattering qualities of an inflatable sumo wrestler costume or caribou suit.

In its favor, it is nice and warm, light for its size, and really cozy. I haven’t blocked it yet, partly because it won’t fit in the sink and I’m going to have to fill up the washing machine to soak it, and partly because the idea of cuddling up in it and wearing it to work all day today was so appealing. I’m assuming that the messy appearance of the ribbing will improve somewhat once I’ve blocked it.

Also, despite the instructions to the contrary in the pattern, and the prospect of carrying around a gigantic pile of knitting for longer than necessary, I think I should have modified this to be as seamless as possible: the fronts and back in one piece, the sleeves in the round, raglan decreases a la Craftoholic, and the buttonbands and collar all in one piece. The seams are so bulky in this yarn that they don’t hang nicely.

The shawl collar is knit separately from the front buttonbands and seamed to them at the base of the neckline, which is nice in the sense that you never have to deal with too many stitches on the needle at once, but the problem is that the collar keeps flipping over so the seams are visible (and they are right in the middle of the chest; you can see the collar seams quite clearly in these photos). Knitting the collar in halves and seaming along the back of the neck probably would have worked better.

Given the generous sizing, I’m glad I didn’t buy toggles or buttons to fasten the front. I think the most attractive solution for keeping it closed may be to sew a button to the side, just under the bust (where I’m holding the edge in the photos) and crochet a little button loop on the opposite front.

Anyway, I’m DONE! Finally! And that means I’ve completed half my goals for NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month: I’m knitting along with the Stash and Burn groupies) and now I just have to finish one more sweater in November. Easy, right? I just have to pick something the size of a normal sweater rather than the size of a queen-size duvet.

More gory details about exactly how long each piece took me and how much yarn I used for each piece are on my Ravelry project page.


Finally, I got some pictures of Cherry so I can do my proper FO write-up!

This picture from our balcony came out the best–don’t I look self-confident/-satisfied?–but I had to crop out the bike rack and bright blue broom from the sides of this photo.


Closer up:

Closest up, here’s one with a great view of the gapey buttonbands:

Pattern: Cherry, by Anna Bell, from My Fashionable Life/Needle and Hook
Size made: Small (32″)
Finished dimensions: more or less as stated
Yarn used: Rowan Calmer in 484 Lucky, 4.5 skeins or about 790 yards. (It’s $6.25 a skein at that link! You’re welcome!)
Needles used: US size 3/3.25 mm Addi Turbos for the ribbing, US size 6/4.0 mm Options needles for the rest
Date started: August 20, 2008
Date finished: September 6, 2008
Mods:

  • Used an Italian tubular cast-on and tubular bind-off for all ribbed edges.
  • Worked both sleeves at the same time.
  • Cabled without a cable needle
  • Left a 1-stitch garter selvage on all edges to be seamed (i.e. knit the first and last stitch of every row). I have tried other selvages for seaming and just don’t like them.
  • Messed up my gauge somehow, so the sweater is a bit tighter than it was meant to be.
  • Added an extra snap or two.
  • Worked the whole body in one piece, fronts and back together, subtracting 2 sts at each seam, with decreases worked right next to each other for waist shaping, increases worked a stitch apart. This messed with the math for the neck and armhole shaping a bit, but nothing disastrous.

Notes: This really is not the easiest sweater pattern to follow–I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners, for various reasons.

I didn’t find errors in the pattern, but there’s a lot going on: you need to be able to read your knitting in order to keep the little birds pattern lined up (it’s not charted, unfortunately) as you work decreases and increases into it. It will also drive you insane unless you can figure out which row of the pattern you’re on by looking at it–I’d really hate to have to use a row counter to figure that out, because due to the shaping, the beginning of the row keeps shifting around.

You have to not be the kind of person who will get confused or lose track of shaping rows when you see an instruction like “dec 1 st at armhole edge of next 3 rows, then on foll 3 alt rows, and foll 4th row.” There’s a lot implied there–you have to know what “dec” means, which way it should lean and how to work it (k2tog, k3tog, p2tog, etc. are defined in the pattern abbreviations but “dec” is not); you should know that working it a stitch away from the edge will make seaming way easier; you have to know, as you’re working the piece, which side is the armhole edge.

I am apparently not the kind of person who can keep track of such things, because I happily finished the body on a Labor Day trip with Rahul and his parents to the Wisconsin Dells, but when I came home, pinned the shoulders together, and tried it on, I realized I’d misread the instructions for the back neck shaping and that the cardigan now had a deep scoop neck in the back as well as the front. After some anguish, and ridiculous thoughts of perhaps picking up stitches and knitting an inset for the back neck, I frogged it and fixed it.

Also, the sweater requires a ton of finishing work. I kept thinking “nearly there! I’m almost done!” and then remembering each of the little things I would have to do to wrap it all up. Luckily, I’m more of a product knitter than a process knitter, so I usually don’t have trouble with seaming, etc., but the sweater does require:

  • seaming side seams (which I was able to skip, happily)
  • seaming underarm seams
  • seaming fronts to back
  • setting in sleeves (I killed two birds with one stone by leaving long tails on each piece and using them to do all the seaming before weaving them in)
  • picking up and knitting two buttonbands
  • picking up and knitting neckband
  • making twisted cord for waistband (I had to do this twice because I made it too short the first time)
  • sewing on buttons
  • sewing on snaps in between the buttons
  • weaving in a minimum of 17 ends (assuming you have a big cone of yarn and don’t need to weave in any additional ends from the ends of skeins, just the starting and stopping points for the beginnings and ends of pieces)

I really love the finished product, though. It’s elegant, flattering, and so cute and wearable–not the kind of sweater where people will ask in faintly condescending tones, “oh, did you make that yourself?” (Even at the Sheep and Wool festival, no comments from strangers, which seems out of the ordinary for a fiber event.) I went with the pearly gray mother-of-pearl buttons in the end and I’m happy with them. I think it’s a good thing I did (I bought a larger size than I had originally, 5/8″) because I think the buttons would have come undone with a smaller button size (like the little owls).

Rowan Calmer, which is a soft, spongy-velvety, and elastic cotton-acrylic blend, is one of my favorite yarns–no exception on this project. I like the soft lavender color, too, even though I guess it’s been discontinued. The sweater does take up a surprisingly large amount of yarn, probably mainly due to the cables. In style, fit, and needle size, it seems pretty similar to my Green Gable sweater, and I would have guessed that they would take up a similar amount of yarn; but Cherry used almost 800 yards, while Green Gable used under 500.

I have not yet had the chance to find some Oxford Bags to wear this with, but I can report so far that it looks equally fabulous with jeans, brown cords from Steve & Barry’s, or a gray pencil skirt. Lavender + brown is a very pleasing color combination.

The main thing I don’t like about this sweater is that the buttonbands kind of stretch and gape, even over my less-than-generous assets. I think a fair number of other people have had this issue with the sweater (one of those people even sewed the front shut to make it a pullover fauxdigan instead). Perhaps I should have put grosgrain ribbon on the buttonbands? I don’t know if that would have helped. I decided to sew on one extra snap at the bottom because it originally gaped open and revealed my stomach to the world. It could probably do with a snap right where the waistband tie is, too, but so far tying the twisted cord tightly enough has taken care of holding the fronts shut.

Also, I feel a little nervous every time I fasten or undo the buttons and snaps. There are a lot of them and it takes a lot of time and care to undo them properly–I feel like a Victorian lady doing up her shoes with a buttonhook. Most of my clothes can be pulled on over my head, or at least have about half the number of fasteners on the front.

All in all, it’s one of my favorite sweaters so far. I think I probably say that about almost all the sweaters I make, but there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

In other news, our beer has stopped bubbling and I’m totally curious to look inside the big white bucket, but we have to keep the cover on it until it’s time to bottle. And I took photos of a bunch of new handspun yarns I’m very excited about, but I’ll save those for another post.

I’m binding off the neckband of Cherry now (tubularly!)–just have to set in the sleeves and weave in the ends after that, and sew on the buttons and snaps. Here are various buttons I’m considering:
All of them together:

Gray pearly buttons and a Beatrix Potter cat:

The adorable owl buttons I posted about last time, some more Beatrix Potter buttons, and awesome sushi buttons from Reprodepot:

More Beatrix Potter–I’m not really so serious about these on this cardigan, but I just happen to have a stash of them–and a pearly white shirt button

A closer view of the adorable owl:

What do you think? Which buttons look best?

I’ve been laid out flat by the flu for the last half a week or so, with the result that I ended up missing nearly all the things I had been looking forward to this weekend… knitting night (I was going to wear the beard hat!), working at the business school, drinks and fresh-baked cookies with friends, the farmer’s market, dinner at the new Ethiopian restaurant with a friend I haven’t seen in months, a Prince party (does my sunflower beret count as raspberry-colored?), and an ice cream-themed birthday party. No, instead, I spent my whole damn weekend lying in bed, all achy and coughing and feverish. I’m still not feeling well, but at least the hacking cough is nearly gone.

The weekend did have a few upsides.

I got to watch parts of various movies–I got bored of Flicka, and my DVD player refused to cooperate with more than 15 minutes of Winged Migration, but I managed to make it through Cat Ballou, and that was fun. I saw the Oscars. I liked the part about the Batsuit.  Helen Mirren looked stunning, just like last year. And I’ve sort of met Glen Hansard (the guy who won the Oscar for Best Song). He’s a friend of a friend, so I made it into his company after a concert–but if I remember correctly, there was just about a minute of quick chatter between the two of them before he had to dash off somewhere, and I never actually got introduced. In any case, it was definitely interesting seeing someone I know (if not directly, at least within a degree) win an Oscar on TV.

I was determined to make it out to the new yarn shop, In a Yarn Basket. Bloomington Ravelers have been waiting with bated breath and much discussion for it to open for months, since I spotted the Under Construction sign while dropping off a package at UPS in the same strip mall. So perhaps ill-advisedly (since this short trip wiped me out for the rest of the evening) after I dropped Rahul off at his band practice on Saturday, I decided to go down to the yarn shop.

I looked through the window. People were inside, peacefully browsing. I tried to open the door–and it was locked. I looked at my watch: 3:30. I rattled the door again. The woman came and opened it and said “We’re closed. We close at 4 on Saturdays.”

“But it’s only 3:30.” I showed her my watch.

She looked up at the wall. “It’s 4:20.”

My watch had stopped and in my feverish, cough syrup-addled state, I had no idea!

I looked in anguish at the people inside and she took pity on me and said I could come in if I didn’t take long. True to my word, I took a quick walk around the store. I took note of the price of Cascade 220 as a benchmark ($6.60, and they have tons of colors, and superwash). Then I picked up a hank of Cascade Eco Wool, one of my favorites, and nearly dropped it. $7.50 a skein. For 478 yards! The normal selling price is $15, and it’s a bargain at that price, since it’s soft, sturdy, fairly heavy weight (though I’d call it aran, not chunky as the label suggests) and I haven’t run into a single knot so far in any of the 3 478-yard skeins of it I’ve wound.

I checked a few skeins, just to be sure the price gun hadn’t misfired. They all said $7.50. So I picked up a couple of skeins in white and bought them. (I should have bought more–but I was trying to restrain myself, thinking I could always come back and get more.) I remarked on what a great price it was at the register, and to my surprise they didn’t look at it and immediately say “Oh, this is a mistake!” They just smiled and said “Yes, isn’t it great!”

But then, wouldn’t you know it, it was too good to be true. Someone else on Ravelry went in the next day and bought some and found them repricing all the skeins. They had made a mistake. They sold her the skeins she’d picked out at the cheaper price anyway, so I don’t feel too bad about holding onto the ones I bought, but alas–the permanent price of $7.50 for local Eco Wool was not to be. (Deep sigh…) At least the store has a different selection from Yarns Unlimited, and they seem to be very reasonably priced, so I look forward to going back to browse when I’m less sick and have more time. Oh, and they were giving away reusable fabric shopping bags rather than disposable plastic. I don’t know if that’s a permanent thing or not, but I appreciated it.

Since I didn’t have things like an appetite or mobility in the outside world to distract me, I also spent the weekend working on some creative projects. I got my Ravelry PDF pattern downloads working, sorta. You can download from each individual pattern page, but for some reason my store keeps saying “no PDF uploaded” when I know that’s untrue. I’ll give it a few days and try again. It’s exciting seeing people download my work–not like there’s any huge number of them, but still. Cool! I’ll add Ravelry download links to the individual pattern pages. The PDFs should print out nicely, no sidebar or comments or other browsery nonsense, and I’ve deleted most pictures from the pattern pages to make a nice copy to work from.

I also got back to work on rewriting a shawl pattern I’ve been working on for months. I think I finally have it right now–it’s a good thing I sat on it for a while, because some glaring charting errors jumped out at me when I picked it up again and started working. It’s kind of amazing how much work lies in the divide between your own scribbled notes and a product that can be used and understood by other people.

I slaved away, too, at a pattern for a little sock yarn baby sweater and a test-knit of the smallest size, only to run into various annoying pitfalls, first numerous problems having to do with getting the length right, since the front border repeats are rather long compared to the total length of the sweater, and then, as I was nearing the raglan decreases at the top, running out of sleeve stitches to decrease. AAGH! I have test knitters for the other sizes waiting for me, so I can’t let the frustration stop me, but trying to resize a sweater while your head is fogged up with germs and generic cold medicine is seriously difficult.

Here are some pictures of the prototype of the baby sweater I’m working on. I’m calling it the Botany Baby Sweater (rav link), and hoping it will be a nice sock yarn stashbuster. This version, knit at light speed in Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Mistletoe for a baby that’s due any day now, was subject to numerous terrible math errors and last-minute fudging,  and I was hoping that the new version I was working on over the weekend would be immune to the same problems. Alas, it had its own, different set of problems.

I feel like the usual 8-sts-every-other-round ratio of increase/decrease for raglan shoulders doesn’t really seem to work when it comes to babies, because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, they are apparently very squat, fat creatures. So if you want to go from a reasonable body and sleeves size to a reasonable neck size, and you decrease 8 sts every other round, it seems to me that you will end up with an extremely long and ill-fitting raglan.

Of course, this is all still a theory, since my stupid nearly-finished test knit is sitting on the dining room table looking even squattier than I had planned for, and the baby raglan patterns I’ve seen always seem to follow that same rate of increase/decrease, so it’s possible there just may be some kind of underlying fundamental problem in my calculations. Will report back later. But not tonight–I think tonight I might need to take a break, rest my brain, and work on something relaxing that won’t stand such a high chance of being ripped back after 20 hours of work.

My old friend Detergent Baby is modeling. I really need to find a more photogenic model.

The sweater’s cute, at least, isn’t it? But like I mentioned, it’s annoying trying to get all the leaves to match up with the desired lengths in the different sizes. I’m working up my new sample in Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Leaf, and if one thing kept me going nonstop on this sweater all weekend, it was the absolutely stunning look of the Jitterbug. I love the color and the softness and the bounce of it.  The body of the sweater is knit in reverse stockinette stitch and the sleeves in stockinette, and I just love the effect of the semi-solid yarn in reverse stockinette. (Plus, it hides the slight unevenness of my reverse stockinette better than the solid Wildfoote.)

The strange thing about the Jitterbug is that, like alexandrite, or maybe like Gwen the two-face in Seinfeld, it seems to look completely different in different types of light. In incandescent light, it seems like sort of an ugly, muddy brown, but in natural sunlight, it takes on a beautiful, rich, dark green color, tinged with gold.
My thought, by the way, with the Eco Wool was to make a Botany sweater sized up for adults, with pockets–but I’m really getting ahead of myself. Maybe once the pattern is in the hands of my test knitters and I’ve successfully finished at least the newborn-sized version.

So also over the weekend, I was horrified and kind of depressed to read this story about Virgin Mobile using random Flickr photos licensed under Creative Commons in their Australian ad campaign without contacting the photographers or the people pictured in the photos for permission. It made me all sad and paranoid to read people’s comments saying that a lot of people thought the 15-year-old girl in the linked story didn’t have a legal leg to stand on because the photographer (her camp counselor) had put up the photo under a Creative Commons attribution license, meaning Virgin Mobile could use it to promote their products without paying a red cent, and (according to some commenters) Australian law doesn’t require a model release for normal, everyday people who are neither celebrities nor professional models. Even if they’re not legally obligated to obtain a release or inform the photographer, it seems like the courteous, ethical thing to do–and it seems like they should have at least paid what they would have for normal stock photos. I mean, they’re Virgin, it’s not like they can’t afford it! I don’t want to watermark my photos, and it annoys me mightily when people disable right-click on their webpages out of fear of other people stealing their content, but sometimes I wonder if they have the right idea. I mean, there really are worse things to worry about, but it sucks to think of a multinational corporation grabbing your photos off Flickr and using them for their billboard ad campaigns without your explicit consent or knowledge. Especially since some of them are considerably more derogatory/defamatory than the “dump your pen friend” one.

Ravelry’s blog feed feature has been acting up (at least for me) and lately I’ve been getting new blog posts dumped into the feed in big chunks every couple of days–so it seems like everything’s quiet, then suddenly I have a huge list of blog posts to wade through. I’ll have to spend some time going back through everything I’ve missed because of the hiccups.

Pattern: Jess, from My Fashionable Life/Needle and Hook, by Anna Bell/Amelia Raitte

Size: Small (32-34)

Yarn used: 13 skeins of Queensland Collection Uruguay DK, 0.5 skeins of Peru Luxury DK, color 03 Burgundy, both bought for $2.50 a skein from Littleknits. Double-stranded. I knit this jacket earlier this year for my stepmother and used up 11.5 skeins of yarn, so I thought I was being clever by buying 13 skeins this time. I ran out of the 13th skein while finishing the second sleeve cap, and had to use the Peru Luxury DK to finish up–fortunately, the two yarns look exactly the same to me. This yarn, a many-plied merino/alpaca/silk blend, is absolutely dreamy to work with, all bouncy and squishy and shiny and and soft. I highly recommend it. It did bleed a ton when it hit water, and it turned out heavier and drapier than I would have ideally liked, but at $2.50 a skein, I’m not complaining!

Needles used: Size 11 Boye Needlemaster.

Started: 9/26/07

Finished: Let’s call it 10/14/07 (the date I finished seaming and weaving in ends). Still not quite complete because she’s missing two buttons–I bought all 4 they had at Jo-Ann and they’re still not back in stock yet.

Mods: The biggest mod was that I lengthened the sleeves to full length rather than 3/4 length. I used short row shoulder shaping with a three-needle bindoff on the shoulders and still am not convinced of its benefits. Added buttonholes every 14 rows (the pattern doesn’t specify) to end up with 6 buttonholes total. I also corrected the shoulder shaping–it seems to be reversed as written–and the basketweave stitch pattern, as noted in my initial post on this project/wrap-up post on Jess I.

Notes: This is the second time I’ve knit this jacket–I made one for my stepmom this spring, in a sage green color of the same yarn, and liked it so much I decided to make one for myself. The jacket fits really well despite the lack of shaping–I think because it’s pretty form-fitting and the simple knit/purl basketweave stitch stretches to accommodate. The full-length sleeves are kind of bell-shaped because I didn’t make them any narrower around the wrists when I lengthened them, but I think it looks nice enough. It doesn’t look that great unbuttoned, because the fabric is kind of floppy drapey; it’s really cozy and warm, but doesn’t offer much protection against cold wind if you are, say, riding your bike down a hill in November. I might knit with a slightly tighter gauge if I made this again in this yarn. It seems prone to stretching at this gauge; there were unseemly holes around the base of the neck where I picked up the collar, but I think I’ve mostly disguised them. See my other notes from Jess I and the project in progress here.

Verdict: I still love this jacket–what a great little pattern this is. I’m glad I made one for myself. It goes very quickly and makes excellent mindless knitting because of the size 11 needles, the knitting in pieces (each front was only 28 sts!), the lack of shaping, and the easy but interesting basketweave stitch pattern. It has so many pleasing little details–the turned hems, the slipped stitch edging, the buttonholes. You can see the slipped stitch edging, basketweave pattern, and seed stitch collar texture on this close-up.

Look at the cute buttons I found at Jo-Ann: they’re La Mode vintage triple flower buttons, circa 1941, model 1711, $2.99 per two.

Thanks for a great pattern, Anna, and thanks for a great deal on the yarn, Fulay!