Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Might be my favorite knit yet!

Even though I haven't bought the buttons for this, I couldn't wait to post a pic of my finished Henley Perfected! I finished it and washed it tonight. It's really soft and comfy, but my absolute favorite thing about it... the fit. I knit this sweater exactly as written, and it turned out exactly as it should! Just the right amount of ease and just the right length of sleeve and hem. That's unusual for me because I usually have to add length, shorten the sleeves, and insert bust darts. Also, I find myself inserting "better" ways of doing things in patterns. Not this one.What a well-written pattern! I can't wait to add the buttons and buy a cami for this so I can take more pics, this time modeling it.

I really enjoyed using Knit Picks CotLin yarn for this FO. It was easy on my hands, is sturdy, and came out softer after washing. BTW, my dryer's lint screen was really full after drying! I panicked for a second when I saw all the red fuzz before checking out my sweater. Not to worry, though. I dried mine inside out on low heat, and there was very little fuzz. What fuzz was left were a few remaining plant fibers. I'll definitely be using this yarn again.

Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!! Being a Buckeye fan who wears Scarlet and Gray, I'll be wearing this, with a gray cami, quite a bit this fall! I think it's my new favorite.

You know what? I still haven't posted pics of my recently completed DROPS tank top, or Fifi and Blaze for that matter. I do have pictures of my tank and Fifi, but I don't for Blaze (still trying to decide if I want to re-knit it since it turned out too large). Someday I'll get to those! Yeah, and someday I'll finally post all of my FOs on Ravelry. Ha. It's kinda hard to figure out which FOs from Flickr I haven't added to Ravelry.

One more thing to mention... I downloaded Central Park Hoodie today. I plan to knit that and one or more of the following patterns: Tubey, Tangled Yoke Cardigan, and Equinox Yoke Pullover. My hubby got me a gift certificate for Knit Picks, so I'll be stocking up on yarn for some of those patterns! Woohoo! In the meantime, I'm attempting toe-up Monkeys making two at once using magic loop. Wish me luck on that! I'm also itching to make some things for the kiddos again... Ciao!
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Garter Stitch Short Rows and Twist Collective

For my DROPS garter stitch tank top, I've been using Knit Picks Comfy, a cotton/microfiber yarn. Since any amount of sloppiness will show up using cotton yarn, I've been toying around with alternate ways to do garter stitch short rows trying to avoid loose decreases and other detractors. I made a swatch and experimented with YO short rows, Japanese short rows, and no-wrap short rows (instead of wrapping, you pull a stitch through one stitch below the one on the left needle and place on left needle, working a k2tog when later closing the gap). BTW, I didn't bother with wrapped short rows because I wanted something tight from the get-go. After playing around, tweaking the different methods to match the stitch pattern, I narrowed my choices down to YO short rows and Japanese short rows. In the descriptions below, I only mention changes to the usual way of doing these methods. Note: I used k2tog for the decreases made on the RS (front) of work.

YO variation for garter stitch short rows:
Usually, there's a backward YO at the beginning of WS of work when working stockinette stitch. I tried four possible ways of using yarnovers: no backward YOs, backward YOs for both sides, and a regular/backward combo (the original method and its reverse). I found that using no backward YOs worked best for me. Another modification I made was when closing the gaps on the WS of the work: I twisted the YO by taking the right needle and inserting tip as if to purl tbl and then knitting the twisted YO together with the next stitch tbl. Stated another way: twist the YO clockwise and do a k2tog tbl. If you do your short rows this way, you'll get little slanted dashes on each side that mirror each other fairly well.

Japanese variation for garter stitch short rows:
I found 2 variations of this method that worked well. In both variations, I purled the last stitch before the turning point on the RS of the work since this stitch will get slipped and sit next to a purl stitch. When you turn your work (to the WS) and slip the 1st stitch, slip it wyif and add a pin, then move yarn to back to resume knitting across the WS of work. When you close the gaps on the WS of work, twist the stitches by doing a k2tog tbl. Before doing so, you can set up the decrease in 2 different ways when you get to the gap. One way is to immediately place the pinned loop correctly mounted onto the left needle and k2tog tbl. The other way is to slip the first stitch after the gap p-wise, place pinned loop onto left needle, and return the slipped stitch to the left needle before k2tog tbl. I prefer the former. Lastly, you'll find some loose strands on the WS of your work that can be tightened by working them on the next RS row by working a k2tog with the stitch sitting directly above the center of the strand.

It was a close call as to which method I liked best, but I chose the YO variation and will be using it on my tank. Normally, I'm pretty picky when it comes to the slant of my decreases. But, as you can see with my variations, I chose to use a k2tog tbl on the left of the WS of the work. I really wanted my short rows to flow with the stitch pattern. It seemed that working the k2tog tbl on the WS looked the best on the RS.

For those on Ravelry who haven't seen my latest favorite patterns, I added some from the new Twist Collective. I loved Jaali, Come Together, Lily, Little Birds--all sweater patterns, and Lissajous Knee Socks, Livia, Empoisonee, and Maelstrom--all sock patterns. Check out Twist Collective if you haven't already!

Anything else? Well, yeah. I tried the macaroni and cheese recipe (the one with butternut squash) from Deceptively Delicious, and it's soooooo good! It has butternut squash mixed in with the cheddar and cream cheese. Mmmm, yummy! The sloppy joes and quesadillas recipes are also excellent. Didn't like the meatloaf, and the oatmeal raisin cookies were more like banana/zucchini bread in cookie form. I might try the meatloaf again but chill the loaf in the frig before baking as you do when making turkey burgers. My meatloaf, unchilled, fell apart and was soggy. Yuck!

I turn the big -3-5- this week!