Friday, July 08, 2016

Quick Knit?

I've talked before about listening to your yarn and your project.  Knowing when to keep going and when to throw in the towel.  It's not easy to decide sometimes.

I waited so long to get a ribber for my bulky SK155 knitting machine.  I imagined knitting up lots of projects with my hand knitting yarns in my stash.  Going through all my KnitWords and other machine knitting magazines though, I could find only ONE pattern that really used the ribber to it's full potential.  Most used it just for the ribbing edges.  And there were no patterns for knitting circularly.  I know I can adapt hand knitting patterns, but I just don't want to sometimes.

I tried a yarn for that one pattern, and it didn't meet gauge close enough to even consider and due to the unusual construction, it would take a bit of paper work to figure it out.  So I shelved it, and thought perhaps a baby pattern would be a good place to start.  I found one in Machine Knitting Monthly that used a very similar weight yarn to one I had.  I didn't even swatch.  I just plunged in.

And started scratching my head.  The pattern is written with so many "Repeat from * as for sweater" (I was doing the cardigan) and "Follow chart for your size" but there were so many charts for the different pieces of the sweater and cardigan, different sizes had different many abbreviations.  The cast on was different than anything I've done before so I ditched it and then found out the pattern uses the ribber for only FOUR rows of ribbing.  The texture in the sweater was done by converting stitches.

I decided I wasn't going to convert all those stitches (especially ones on the edges), and opted to keep the ribber in use.  However, every TWO rows, I had to transfer stitches back and forth between beds.  And keep track of shaping, button holes, etc.   I got the back done (with a few holes), and both fronts.  It was NOT fun. I got busy with other things while I pondered how badly I wanted the texture on the sleeves.  Maybe they could be just stockinette.

My oldest daughter's teacher's wife had a baby boy towards the end of school.  She didn't really like the teacher (though because of his high standards she really had to push herself--she's quite capable but has been coasting along for a few years, getting away with minimal work for decent marks.  Because of this I think she's going to be much better prepared for high school next fall!), and we hadn't really planned to get him a year end gift, but she thought something for his baby would be a good idea and not make her look ....ungrateful?  I thought maybe I could finish up this sweater.  But when I looked at the pattern again, and the machine...I just knew I couldn't finish.

I opted for the "All in One" pattern.  I've made it before. I used the gauge I had gotten on the first sweater attempt and got going.  The nice thing about this pattern is that the way it's done, the lower part is all one piece so striping yarns end up matching at the opening.  The two thing most people don't like is the seaming across the chest (I kitchener stitched and you can't see it at all--casted on and off with waste yarn instead of e wraps), and the width/shortness of the sleeves.

 I tried a couple things to finish off the sleeves.  I wasn't thrilled with any of them, although my final attempt was okay.  This one seemed really long and narrow in the body, and very short and wide sleeves.  I suspect my gauge ratio was just not a good one for this pattern.  I steamed the sleeves to pull them longer.  The bottom is 2x2 ribbing.

I knew I had to finish off the neck somehow.  I picked up around the neck, and down to almost the first button hole.  Then I did short rows, taking up the length of the straight section.  I think I started with knitting three stitches more (at the top of the button band), twice on each side, then doing one more stitch each row, each side since it wasn't growing fast enough.  Then a row or two over all stitches to finish it off.  Amazingly, it worked on the very first attempt, though I highly doubt I can ever recreate it!!
The buttons are from my button bin.  They were on a very old looking card and luckily weren't "too red".

The shoes are a hybrid of and  I had made the Stardust ones before, and didn't like how the back is folded over to make the casing.  The other pattern, I didn't like the pattern pieces but liked how she did the heel.  I did heavy iron on interfacing for the back piece (one side only) because I thought that would make them easier to get on, but wasn't necessary.  And medium weight on the toe portions.  I don't think I did any on the sole, they're just two layers of thick twill.  I did use the serger, but next time, I would stitch the toe and heels on with the sewing machine and then go around the whole piece with the serger.  I didnt' want any fraying on the inside to catch on toes.  I had a hard time finding boy fabrics in my stash.  At least, boy fabrics that went with this sweater and make it look like a set.  I even tried a couple different attempts at doing a hat, but time was running out.  That's why the pictures are a little dull--I took them after we came home from Lucy's grade 8 grad ceremony LOL.

My kids have grown up on this blog.  It'll be 10 years this August.  I didn't have too many pictures of Lucy and Hugh in the early months though, and my computer just froze up so I won't try to find one. But here she is on grad night:

So pretty!

Yarn In: 1586gr
Yarn Out: 160gr +  4470gr = 4360gr
Balance:  2774gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $74.87/190 days = $0.39/day

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