Friday, April 20, 2007

Almost there...

My hoodie is almost done! All it needs is a bath (blocking) and a zipper. I've never installed a zipper before, so I'll admit I'm a little worried, but the desire to wear this (even though the weather is getting much, much warmer here in Boston) is overriding my fears.

I'm very, very happy with how it's turning out. As long as it doesn't grow 5 sizes in the wash, I expect to wear this constantly.

More comments and pics on my blog.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

She's done

I finished "her" this morning.
(Now the photos could be better, but it was a bit of a fight keeping the cats away)

There is nothing quite like canceled classes and unexpected time off.

I am not quite sure if the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed was the perfect choice.
To me it is very close to perfect, even if the wool/silk/cotton/viscose blend probably lacks some of the firmness of the 100% cotton.
And the colours reminded me of the photos of the first Elfin in the forest setting.

And I love it.
And I love the softness of it (and so do the cats).

Towards the end I realized that I have done the sl2-k1-psso's wrong. I have carefully slipped one stitch, then a second stitch, knit one, then passed one stitch and a second stitch - and this doesn't give that clean line of the right way. Instead it gives a slightly leafy look, which I am quite fond of, in particular in this yarn.
But with my next, white cotton Elfin, I will do it the right way.
I will.

And I may have been a bit too eager and careful with my wrapped stitches and so I do not have that clear line marking the front and back panels.
But I really do like it like this.
Maybe I should not have knitted the wraps as well?

And ..... once I got to the neckline it was a bit unclear to me where to end the short rows to start with. At this point I had the Center front and the Neck foundation row.
The pattern says k to and including wrapped stitch from prev row. And I had no wrapped stitches from previous row. And I could not quite see that I should have a wrapped stitch from the previous row, and looking at the progress photos didn't make me any wiser, so I just decided that the first wrapped stitch would be the last stitch of the Center front.
And it works, and it fits like a dream.
But I'm not sure if it's right.

I had not quite understood the point of putting the last five stitches of the Lower fronts on hold for grafting rather than just binding them off - until they were actually grafted.

And while spending a good half hour weaving in ends and checking everything I realized that I had never done grafting before, or mattress stitch, or a picot edge, or increased in lace (which is done so brilliantly, and works so wonderfully, I just wonder why it's not done more).
I had met short rows before, but not to this extent.
So most of it is my "first meeting".

And now she's actually done.
And she's the first sweaterly thing I've started AND finished.
And now I can properly concentrate on those exam papers without "her" distracting me.
And I like to think of "her" as my good exam luck charm in all her green, soft, comfortable and rather complicated knittedness.
Unfortunately I've banned myself from starting my white Elfin until post-exams.
(So I may work a bit on the City Coat)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Elfin Bridesmaid?

Hmmm, I'm not too sure about this. I'm now working on the second sleeve (having left the first one dangling halfway down the arm) and I'm not too sure about how it's going. I'm using 100% cotton mercerised yarn and maybe it wasn't the best choice. Or maybe it's ok. I don't know. But it seems very looonnng and baggy so far. So my question for those of you who are ahead of me is, does it pull in a bit when you pick up the stitches for the back or am I just making it too big? Or is it the yarn? I usually love the way mercerised cotton knits up but in this case I'm a bit uneasy about the way the pattern has a larger gauge than usual for the yarn.

What I'm trying to do is knit the sleeves in XL as I don't want them too tight but I like the very fitted body so that will be a size (or two) smaller. So maybe I should choose a yarn with a bit more give. Any thoughts?

I did notice some very helpful updates on the Domiknitrix site, where she recommends Louisa Harding Grace Wool Silk as a good yarn choice. And it is available in my lovely local LYS. I saw it a while back and thought about using it for Ivy, but used stash yarn instead.

So could be time to cut my losses and start again. I do like the cotton yarn so I'd be happy to use it for something else.

And, also regarding the site updates, I notice that Ms. Domiknitrix has explained why she changed the pattern from a jacket to a sweater. Very good explanation and, although I did think it would be nicer as a jacket, I may have been convinced to go with the sweater. If I ever get to the point where I have to make that decision ;-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tailfeathers for the third time

I don't know exactly what's wrong with me, but I seem to be pattern-reading challenged.
I have now knit the center back and the lovely tailfeathers for the third time.
And I have started the Left side Back to front for the second time.
Somehow I have managed to get myself into some kind of autopilot state of not paying attention at all (with or without red wine) - and I have not figured out how to rewrap unwrapped wrapped stitches. Prettily.
But it seems that the third time is a charm, or maybe I've just learned my lesson.
I still love the pattern, and still think it's incredibly well written, and once this green one is done I want one in crisp white cotton.
Post exams, though.
It is a strangely addictive piece of knitting.
Tailfeathers and wrapped stitches and short rows and all.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Documenting progress

I could not wrap my mind around rewrapping the unwrapped stitches after my knitting under the influence.
And so I frogged.
And reknit.
And now we have once again the finished tailfeathers.
And while the cats think they are always and forever the center of the universe - and also the sole focus of attention and camera lenses - the to-be-Elfin is nonetheless visible.

I plan to knit the sides tonight.
With some green tea.
(As you can see, I too am letting the sleeves wait for their completion)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Hello all,

I just joined the knitalong and will be making the L'il Red Riding Hoodie. I'm about 7 inches into the body at this point -- it's moving pretty quickly. No pics, as the only camera available to me right now is the iSight on my work computer, and I can't get a good shot...

The stockinette panels for the fronts are curling pretty fiercely at the cast-on edge, but I have faith that the addition of the pockets and zipper bands (and maybe some blocking in addition to that) will put a stop to it when the sweater is put together.

I'm not using the Karabella Bulky called for in the pattern, but Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky, which is discontinued (I think) and on clearance at Webs. I'm using US size 10 needles (instead of 10.5), and have stitch gauge, but my row gauge is slightly off. I'm using black, but for those who may be interested in that yarn and want a red, the "Red Ink" shade is gorgeous (I ordered a couple balls in case I wanted to put a design on the back of the hoodie -- I don't think I will, though). More of a true red or blue-red than the tomato red on Webs' website. At any rate, the yarn is fabulous -- squishy, soft, and has incredible stitch definition.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Elfin progress

In between the five exam papers and projects I try to keep ahead of, I have managed to squeeze in a bit of Elfin knitting.
Not as much as I would like but enough to have finished the tail feathers.
And I love the tail feathers.
My home-modem is a bit burned out these days, and have been for a few weeks, but I will post photos of progress once I get a new one.
I have now moved on to the left side, which is very interesting, especially as I managed to thoroughly mess up the first attempt, quite possibly due to red wine, and thus I spent the morning very carefully frogging it.
Frogging shortrow knitting and wrapped stitches is something I hope to never have to do again. Ever.
Especially not with the assistance of the very helpful cats.
When I left for work, all stitches were there, but those that were once wrapped are now quite unwrapped and I'll try to figure out how to solve that.

And while I'm a bit slow, Arlene most certainly is not.
She has finished her beautiful Elfin.
Very impressive. And so very beautiful.