Archives for posts with tag: ribbed

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.

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Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here…
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(check out my fabulous peacock tights!)
Here comes the sun
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Here comes the sun
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And I say
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It’s alright
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Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo (is that the right number of “doo”s?)

To celebrate the arrival of spring and the melting of the icebound lakes in Madison, here is my newest pattern, Here Comes the Sun (link: buy now or go to the hat or scarf Ravelry pages.)

Like Latitude and Longitude, it’s an accessory set, so although I’ve listed the pieces separately in Ravelry, the pattern includes instructions for both the hat and the scarf. The slouchy ribbed beret is knit with one skein of Malabrigo Twist, the reversible wavy scarf with two (both shown in the gorgeous sunny golden semi-solid Sunset). Just the thing to cheer you up on a gray day, or add a pop of color to a drab outfit.

I picked up a skein of Twist a while back from The Knitting Tree after admiring my friend Liz’s slouchy green beret, and resolved to make one of my own. A bit of experimentation and I came up with the hat; after wearing it for a bit and knitting a second one in blue to work out the pattern, I made the matching scarf with yarn I picked up at Stitches West.

With the help of speedy tech editor Dawn Catanzaro, I released the pattern for the Malabrigo March design contest being held on the Malabrigo Junkies forum on Ravelry. The contest is closed for judging now and we should all hear back in a couple of weeks–there were some great contenders, so I doubt I’ll win, but it was a great kick in the ass to have the deadline to work towards for finalizing the pattern, and nice to participate in the community event–I tend to mostly lurk on the boards and seldom participate in actual knitalongs (I’d kind of wanted to do the Bodhi Mittens KAL for MM, but couldn’t commit the time and psychic energy… anyway, it’s in my queue, and looks like a pretty quick knit, so I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.)

Go check out the other MM design contest patterns if you have a Rav account–my favorites are the Wild Growth mitts and the versatile whatchamacallit accessory called Verse.

I’ve been tagged for two memes–I’ll do Kristen’s first, because I’ve been thinking about it for a bit.

Both these memes are meant to be about me. I find it much more difficult to write about myself than to write about external things like books or knitting… perhaps because I find it stressful to be the center of attention, or perhaps for the same reason I’ve found it hard to answer when people say “what’s X person like?” or “what was it like to live in X place?” For complex subjects I know well, I don’t construct a simple narrative about them the same way I do for simple subjects or people/places I know only in passing. I should practice coming up with “elevator speeches” if I think I’ll be asked about something, but honestly, I never think about it until the question drops and I’m left stymied and stammering and going into far more detail than the person asking really wanted.

Anyway, here’s the six-word memoir I decided to write.

Searching for happiness. Is happiness enough?

Growing up, whenever I blew out the candles on my birthday cake, or blew dandelion fluff clean away, I always closed my eyes and simply wished to be happy. I didn’t ask for particular things to happen or for particular items. I wished for a state of mind. Mostly, as an adult, I’ve been successful in that. But–the essence of my quarterlife crisis–

Is happiness enough?

I went to Quaker church last Sunday with Rahul. The church is non-hierarchical, so you sit in silence in the meeting of Friends, and when someone feels moved to speak by the Holy Spirit, they stand up and say their piece. Best church I’ve ever been to, though being more spiritual than religious, I don’t know that I really believe in the Holy Spirit or a personified God. Anyway, someone stood up at church and talked about a successful lawyer who had been moved to drop his career and move down to Nicaragua to live in a shack.

“What would the world be like,” the speaker said, “if all Christians felt like it was their Christian duty to be poor?”

Now, I don’t think that has to mean moving to Nicaragua and living in a shack. Studies have shown that money does buy happiness, up to a certain point, once your basic needs are met and you don’t feel afraid about where your next meal will come from. But what if we actively aspired to stop wanting at that point? Not passively, with the “camel through the eye of a needle” proverb in the back of the mind, or with alms or tithing as a sort of duty separate from ourselves, but actively, as a pillar of faith. What if we tried, like Buddhists (and not the kind of consumerist Buddhism that comes from buying prayer flags and wearing yoga pants) to let our desires fall away and ignore the I want mindset? If we stopped asking for more money, promotions, power, stopped buying stuff except when we needed it? What if we focused on love and simplicity and the things that please us?

What if we didn’t need more? Could it be enough to be happy?

I think we tend to give lip service to this idea, but in practice, without thinking about it, we value money, objects, status, and achievement more. We secretly look down on people who reach a certain point in their careers, not too high up the ladder, and then stop advancing, calling these “dead-end careers.” But is it always better to be at the top? You get more money and more status, but (depending on your particular position) you may trade off free time and your level of stress may skyrocket. There was some movie about this a few years back, where a very happy temp worker got hired full-time and his life went to hell.

I don’t mean to advocate selfishness, of course, or hedonism to the detriment of the greater good, and I’m all in favor of making enough money to take care of yourself both now and in the future. And it makes life so much easier to have lots of money, no question. But there’s a feeling in personal lives analogous to our ideas about the economy that more is better, growth is necessary, but what if it’s not only unnecessary but harmful? I read this interesting story in the Atlantic Monthly called Fear of fallowing: the specter of a no-growth world (abstract here) that goes into these ideas a bit, on an economic/societal scale rather than a strictly personal one–Collapse, by Jared Diamond, does as well, but then Diamond is a successful author and professor and doesn’t really need to worry about his place in the world.

So, without going too far into the details, and without addressing consumerism (I have a wee problem with loving and acquiring stuff, though I’ve gotten much better about it in recent years) my current crisis is that despite sometimes feeling like I’ve never been happier, I get this vague itchy feeling like I ought to be doing more, achieving more, or making more money. But what if I already have enough? What if I could, but I don’t want to, and what if that’s enough? (Maybe I should move to Bhutan, where they measure and deeply value their Gross National Happiness.)

I’m feeling this crisis particularly right now because, well, I just filed my taxes and am feeling extremely poor and angry and grudgingly, selfishly in favor of this idiotic economic stimulus plan, because it will mean another $600 in my pocket. But on the other hand, I don’t really need it, I just hate having to pay the government a big chunk of money, and I know I could be making more. I can pay my rent and my bills and sock away money every month for retirement. And I have lots of free time and mental balance right now. But I can’t help thinking, sort of longingly, of the days when I had a lot more money and a lot less free time and general happiness.

I mean, springtime is finally here in Bloomington, and just look at it! Magnolias, sunshine, rainbow scarves, forsythia… would I really rather be stuck in a cubicle or in meetings in an office park until 10 PM, making a bit more money? (Um… maybe? Check back in with me in a year…)

Observe:

A star magnolia outside the public library:

Pink trees on 3rd Street:

A reversible scarf pattern I’ve been working on, called “The Water is Wide”–it will have 3 variations, and I’m working on the 3rd right now. Here are variations 1 and 2.

The main version shows wave cables on one side and a quilted “gull stitch” ribbing on the other side. It’s knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino in Indiecita, 2 skeins. I have lots of nice pictures of this that I took this weekend around the IU campus. I’ll share more later, but here are some of the outtakes I don’t plan to use in the final pattern:
Too nipply:


Shows construction in the background:

And here are some photos of version 2, a version showing quilted rib on both sides, knit with 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon and 1 skein of Plymouth Boku, all striped together. I might use some of these photos for the final pattern–I’m pleased with how they came out, but then I have a real weakness for rainbow-striped scarves, so how could I have gone wrong?
In the star magnolia:

Floating in forsythia:

TP

Close up

Far off

(Version 3 will show wave cables on both sides, but I ran out of yarn and have to wait for more to come in the mail. I hope the dyelots are similar. I love it so far–it’s luscious–but it eats yarn like crazy.)

This NPR story inspired the meme, and here are the guidelines:

Here are the guidelines, should you choose to participate in this yourself:

  • Write your own six word memoir.
  • Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
  • Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
  • Tag five more blogs with links.

I hereby tag:

  1. Goldtop, in revenge exchange for tagging me with the “seven things” meme
  2. gleek
  3. Emilee
  4. Kate
  5. Big Sister

(Apologies if you’ve been tagged before… I didn’t do a search to check. And no obligations here. It was definitely hard to figure out what to write in my 6-word bio, so totally I’ll understand if you don’t want to.)

And anyone else who wants to be tagged, please do participate and let me know!

Here’s one of the patterns eating up my stash of self-striping yarn.

These shapes and colors in these pictures remind me of Andy Goldsworthy photos.

Here’s a overhead shot of the entire scarf:

You can see what I meant about it probably looking even more effective in a yarn with fewer colors in it, right?

Here are a couple of shots of it modeled–the curves aren’t as pronounced as when it’s laid out flat:

Pattern: Kureopatora’s Snake, from String or Nothing
Yarn used: Plymouth Boku, color 5 (mixed reds), from WEBS, approximately 1.8 skeins

Needles used: Size 7/4.5 mm

Started: 11/11/07

Finished: 11/12/07

Size: 8 pattern repeats, not counting the set-up and finishing rows. 4-5″ wide, 66″ long post-blocking.

Mods: Just the length.

Notes: This is a really cool pattern–one of those few really unique scarves out there that isn’t just a stitch pattern applied to a long rectangle. It’s made up of the side triangles of entrelac worked in 1×1 rib, causing the scarf to wave back and forth in long, slow, trumpet-shaped curves.

I couldn’t get a full pattern repeat out of the last bit of yarn, so I frogged back and worked the finishing rows, ending up with quite a bit of leftover yarn–hence “1.8 skeins” instead of “2 skeins.”

I started this pattern a while ago with some Patons SWS, but got frustrated and gave up after heading the wrong way in the entrelac a couple of times. This time around, I paid careful attention as I was setting up the pattern, and only messed up once.

Here’s how I thought about the scarf pattern to keep from getting confused by the entrelac.

The stitches on the needles are divided into two sections: stitches you are actively knitting, and dormant stitches you “devour” with the decreases at the end of every other row.

For most of the scarf, look at the rows and see if you’re heading towards the center. If so, you’re on what I considered the RS, and you will need to increase at the beginning of the row, work to the split between the two sections, then ssk one stitch from the active stitches with one stitch from the dormant stitches and turn your work.

On the WS, just work p1, k1 rib (always starting with p1) across the active stitches.

The increases at the beginning of the RS rows are either (knit into the front and purl into the back) or (purl into the front and knit into the back) of the first stitch. When you’re increasing at the beginning of the row, look at the stitch you’re working into, and work the increase that starts with the opposite type stitch: for example, if it’s a knit stitch, work (purl into the front and knit into the back).

And if something looks weird in your entrelac, make sure you haven’t knit straight across the row into the dormant stitches.

Here’s a glimpse at another Boku project (colorway 7), a bicolor brioche scarf combined with leftover Northampton, looking all cheerfully chocqua and color-coordinated with my Sicily tablecloth:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Plymouth Boku > Noro Kureyon. It’s soft and evenly spun, no knots, no vegetable matter, and it has gorgeous colors. Maybe not quite as lovely as Noro colors, and it’s not as luminous as Silk Garden because it doesn’t have mohair in it, but it’s much nicer to work with than Noro. It’s cheaper, too!

Oh, and speaking of snakes, here’s the next snake I’d like to make. I’m not really big into knitted toys, but he eats the mouse! How cute/horrifying is that? A: Very! I love it!