Friday, May 30, 2008

Some Quick Info

Barb (Catbookmom) wanted to know more about sizing the BSJ. I rarely knit baby items for specific babies, so I just take whatever size it ends up. The original pattern says it's a size 3 months if you get 5 st/inch (if memory serves me right). There is a chart at if you scroll down on the home page that gives you what every gauge would turn out to be sizewise. I did start to knit one using bulky yarn, but that REALLY eats up yarn and turns out big, so I don't recommend it (again, someone though has done the math and created their own bulkyknit version that works out to a baby size. I might actually do that one next).

I have more finished stuff to post later....but once I do, there might be a dry spell for a bit, LOL, so I want to spread things out. But I am working on socks, Cleo Tank top, and a Zaftig modified to be a bit more modest and involving fabric. None of those are close to finished so I don't want to use up my finished objects long before I have something more, LOL.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not So Slow Knitting

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Sweater/Jacket is a legend. Clever construction means it's pretty hard to make it look ugly. Recently, a member of the Yahoo group Knitbabysurprise (Meg Swansen is in this group, so it's THE group to be in, LOL), converted the original garter stitch version to stockinette. This changes the ratio of the increasing/decreasing, because garter stitches are nearly square, and stockinette stitches are not. He did a super job, and if you have the original pattern and would like to try this version, email me/leave a comment, and I'll direct you to his blog where he gives his version.

I originally cast on for this in the middle of 'big project boredom' in February or so...oh, just checked....the KAL started in early January and I was determined to actually 'knit along' this time! But I came to my senses and realized I had to finish that big afghan, so this sat in my basket for awhile. When I finally got it out (early May?) I counted the sts to find out what row I was on, and nothing was adding up. So I frogged it, and started over.

It's James Brett Marble, totally acrylic, but still a very nice yarn. This little sweater took slightly less than one (100g) skein. The garter stitch version took more than one skein which is why it got matching hat and bootees. It went surprisingly quick. Baby sweaters always surprise me at how quickly they knit up, it's just the button buying that gets me down.

Just as I got to the button band, the sweater decided it would be a pullover. Okay, I said, no buttons to buy! However, I'm not sure the neck is big enough to go over a baby's head, LOL!

When I did the casting off, I was sure I had figured out how to stitch up the bottom to make it even, but something went wonky, and there's a big scallop at the front middle. Also, I'm not too sure about the section that looks like a buttonband in the middle. I knew I didn't have that result when I made the first version, but not until I got it out did I realize that I hadn't done the extension section, but to make it longer, after I grafted the front middle, I joined the bottom and worked in the round. I'd do that again next time.
(It still needs buttons on the shoulders, and I think I made this one July 2007).

As mentioned, the inc/dec sequence changes for stockinette, and you end up increasing in the same spot for three rows at a time. Usually I do a 'Make 1' by knitting in to the back of the strand, but when you do that for more than one row, it gets too tight (upper right part of the increase line). What I changed to instead was to increase (M1), yarn over, knit center st, yarn over, M1. In the next row, the increase is made in the yarn over (and you do another yarn over). This gives a little more slack for the make one on the next row. For the last inc row, and the next plain row, you don't have to do the yarn overs, as the first of the three inc rows can just use the strand between sts as normal.

I have big issues with seaming up the sleeves of these jackets. I thought, this time, because you're seaming rows to stitches, it'd be like sewing in a sleeve to the body of a regular sweater---three sts to four rows. But that didn't work out, and it ended up almost st to row. And the seam rolls (?) towards the back. But, maybe once on it's okay; I've never seen one actually on a real live baby, LOL.

I'll definately do this vesion again. It shows the colours of self striping yarns better than garter stitch (I think that's why he worked out this version). And it takes less yarn than the garter st version, LOL!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More Slow Knitting Results

According to a previous entry, I started these socks in early June (the post is June 14 2007).
This is another good example of how if I would just knit 'proper' patterns, with the 'proper' yarn, I might have more projects finished and wearable! And, considering that they've been done since March, another example of how it's not the actual knitting that's slow, it's the blog posting!

The yarn is Kroy Socks, and I wanted a 'fake Fair Isle' type of sock. However, I didn't want much on the foot, so did simple stripes (I really didn't want stranded knitting--a double layer--on my foot). Then I did the heels (these were toe up, if you didn't read the post about casting on with 'Magic Loop'). I realized that the verigated yarn had very short colour bursts, and it wasn't going to give me the look I wanted.

So, I worked on the second sock, and then stopped for awhile. Actually, I had stopped for awhile before starting the second sock too, LOL. I finally picked a motif from "1000 Great Knitting Motifs" by Juise Roberts. I made some alterations to the design. I found that I didn't want many sts together of the coloured yarn because each colour only did a stitch and a half (or two), and I felt that really made it look NOT like Fair Isle. Originally, I thought I would need longer runs of the coloured yarn so it would stand out, but that's not an issue. THe cuffs were alternating rows of the two yarns, I think, to stretch one of the yarns out as it was running short.

Yes, there is a difference in the feet. Creative license. The crazy thing is, when I set them down after being partway through the second foot, and picked them up again, I noticed that one sock had a 3mm circular needle, and the other had 5 dpn....but not all the same size! I couldn't remember what size they were supposed to be, so I never bothered to fix that, LOL (although I suppose I could have read my own blog). Really, there's not much difference between 2.75mm and 3mm. However, I do feel the section on the feet where it is a mini-checkerboard! And, they are not nearly as soft and lovely as the Step socks or the other socks I made recently.

But hey, they will wear forever, LOL. And, I bought the yarn and used it up in slightly over a year!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One Reason I Seem Slow!

Early in the spring, I decided Meg needed a new hat. Something not as warm as a winter hat, but not a sun hat either. Something to keep the wind out of her ears when we walk to the school. We tried a few hats from the 'sale/gift bin' and this one looked so cute, but a little small. It was made using a small version of Feather and Fan (like, a 8 st repeat I think), and many small bobbins of leftover acrylics in pale pinks, peaches and whites. It might have been done using the Helix method (Grumperina recently had a great series of posts on using Helix stripes for socks). I decided to go with blues, to match her coats. But it was a doomed project from the start. I couldn't get the pattern to work out. It was too small. I had brain farts when counting sts and remembering how many I was supposed to have. It's a 4 row repeat, and I was using 4 colours, which meant that the ridge row was ending up showing the same two colours each time. But that suddenly changed for some reason. Then, awhile further, I purposively changed it up again. But it still didn't have the subtle, sweetness of the pinkish hat.
Then the weather got very warm. Can we say it together "Rip-it, Rip-it, Rip-it" off to the Frog Pond it went. Then the weather got cool again. Sigh.

Not Exactly How a Knitting Machine Works....

......but still really cute and funny. I've always liked Pingu, and this video is hilarious in it's stereotypes and ignorance, LOL. I lOVE how the items come out of the machine with pom poms already attached!!!


Thanks Marie for the link. That is indeed the pattern I was looking for. Rob installed something on the computer to 'fix' Vista, and I think the bookmarks are working better now.

Now, I just have to figure out a different upper bodice and sleeves. Oh, and get measurements. Oh, and some 'free' time would be nice. Anyone know where I can get some of that?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

What Is This?

I emailed this picture to my mom, and now can't remember where I found the pattern. It might be in my long list of bookmarks, in the "Patterns" folder, but quite often the internet freezes up when we use the bookmark menu. I think the lace pattern/pattern name is something about Daylily. Does anyone recognize it? I might have found it through the Sexy Knitter's Club.