Friday, June 29, 2007

Let's Try This Again

My Sonata yarn for Fifi arrived Wednesday afternoon (a day early!). Here was my progress over the last two days. After finishing round 43 last night, I tried it on for size and determined that I had to frog it and start again: it was too wide across the front to stretch tightly at the neckline. The sleeves looked fine, but the width of the front and back were too gapey and and the neckline was much too high. I hadn't even gotten to round 51 yet which is the official place to stop and try on the size M that I was making. I know from making Green Gable, another top-down raglan, that negative ease is mandatory to help prevent the neckline from rolling outward, even if that means making a smaller size and adding short rows. I should've known better! All the pattern sizes use either a 120- or 140-st CO with varying numbers for the sleeves and front/back sections. Then, it's just a matter of continuing the raglan seam until the sleeves fit under the arms. I CO 140 sts for the size M/37.5" which uses 25 sts for the sleeves and 45 sts for the front/back sections. Due to my narrow shoulders and need for a shorter seam, I should've CO for a smaller size than my chest circumference determines (i.e., the S or XS). The S and XS use 25 sts for the sleeves and 35 sts for the front/back sections.

Here's what I've done and plan to do:

Instead of using size 7's, I used size 5's to CO 120 sts. Due to the smaller gauge, I had to use 16" circulars to be able to join in the round --wow! Then I did the first 5 rounds using the size 5's. Next, I plan on using size 6's for a few rounds and then switch to size 7's. When I get to the trying-on rounds, if everything looks fine I'll continue on and add short rows as needed. If the front and back are still too gapey at the point where the sleeves fit, I plan on frogging again and trying a 35-st CO for the sleeves to allow a shorter raglan seam and lower beginning neckline. If for some reason this doesn't work, I'll resort to a 35-st CO for the sleeves with a 25 st CO for the front and back. Sounds crazy, I know! But hey, whatever works to achieve the best fit.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My Next Project: Fifi

Well, I joined a new knitalong and ordered my yarn for Fifi. I'd been waiting to order CotLin from Knit Picks for Blaze. But, the availability has been pushed back until 7/11/07. Who knows when CotLin will actually be available, so I decided to go ahead with Fifi. I won't be able to wear this top until the end of September at earliest. But, that's OK because it should still be warm outside.

The yarn I ordered for Fifi is Sonata. It was super hard to choose a color! I finally decided on Burgundy Rose (3919). Sonata is a DK yarn that I'm substituting for the more expensive Rowan Calmer for which the pattern calls. Calmer appears to have a chainette construction, while Sonata has a cable construction. Good enough for me! I've heard many people say that Sonata is very similar to Tahki Cotton Classic. I loved using Cotton Classic on my Green Gable. So, I don't think I'll have a problem paying $1.98/skein on a yarn similar to one I really like.

What am I working on now? The same as last time: Trellis (finishing) and Jaywalker (currently on the heel of 2nd sock). I still haven't posted a pic of the baby blanket I finished. Sometime, I'll remember to do it!

Before I forget... I discovered a neat little trick while reading Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles: to avoid "donkey ears" at the edges of the Kitchener stitch toe, you "slip the outermost stitch on each end of each needle over its nearest neighbor, eliminating four stitches which might have gone boxy on you." My 1st Jaywalker sock has donkey ears, so this would've come in handy! Now I'll know what to do on the toe of the 2nd sock.

Friday, June 15, 2007

One Jaywalker Done

Wow, it's late! Anyway, here's my just-finished first Jaywalker sock. I thought I'd post it now since there isn't anyone else still up to interrupt me. I also finished my baby blanket a few days ago. When I get the chance I'll post pics of that, too. Besides, the second sock, all I have left to do is sew up Trellis.
I've been starting to think about what sweater to knit next. There are a few patterns that would do well for fall, and I'm really taken with Fifi by Here are two pics, the original in green and a blogger's FO in sangria red:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Latest WIPs

This is what I've been working on (not including my almost-finished baby blanket)!

Many people will recognize the Jaywalkers by Grumperina and, for those who like, you'll recognize the baby sweater as Trellis. I'm knitting the Jaywalkers in Regia Bamboo, color 1072. This yarn is so soft! It's 45% bamboo/40% superwash wool/15% polyamide. I almost bought the fingering weight Panda Cotton sock yarn in Chocolate Almonds. That will be my next yarn for socks if the Jaywalkers turn out. I've tried to knit socks before using all methods but didn't really enjoy it like I do when knitting sweaters (sweaters rule!). However, I did end up learning how to use my knowledge of knitting on two circulars to knit seamless sleeves. So, my efforts haven't been totally wasted! I also got experience working on dpns which work out quite nicely when working seamless short sleeves. Actually, I've never used true sock yarn before or tried making a pair of socks for myself. So, maybe this time will work out -- let's hope so! Trellis is being knit in Svale (Dale of Norway) in Jade (7432). It's a cotton/viscose/silk yarn that's very comfortable with nice stitch definition. The color reminds me of the turquoise SWTC Bamboo I knit Lotus Blossom Tank with last summer. The pattern has been fun to knit -- the combination of cables and twists make it fun.

Time to knit!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Latest FOs

Finally, some pictures to show! The cardigan was meant to be a Christmas present for my dad. But, it took a lot longer to make than I thought. Those cables might be the cause! Since my last post, I frogged the terracotta top -- it was too big. Casting on the second time, I decided to start from scratch. I did a provisional CO below the bust and worked upward from there. Then I worked downward, adding some short rows to make the front longer like other maternity tops. When the front and back were finished, I grafted the shoulders together with Kitchener Stitch. This was tricky to do when I got to the seed stitch at the neckline since seed stitch alternates from a knit stitch to a purl stitch! I resorted to sliding out both knitting needles in my left hand to see the live stitches as I grafted. Even though I washed it, you can still see where I did the three sets of short rows. I tried using the yarnover variety of short rows for kicks. For the sleeves, I picked up stitches around the armhole and went from there, adding short rows and some decreases before doing three rows of reverse garter stitch, the last row being a BO in purl.