Sunday, January 31, 2010

Almost finished

I finished chart 4 of Icarus tonight. Just 4 rows of edging! I figure I can work at least 2 of those before bedtime tonight, the other 2 tomorrow, bind-off and wash/block on Tuesday. At the latest. Yay!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Icarus progress

I haven't blogged much about Icarus, but I've been posting occasional updates on Ravelry. I decided I needed at least one WIP post about the project, though, so here it is.

I just finished knitting row 8 of chart 3. That means I'm halfway through the chart. I have 8 more rows, then one more 24-row chart, then 4 rows of edging. Then I'll be done.

I cut out two repeats of the first chart. You are supposed to work the entire chart, then repeat the last 24 rows 5 times more. I only repeated those rows three additional times. This is a huge shawl. As written, the pattern makes a shawl that's 72" wide, which is way too big for a 4'10" girl. And my shawl got big fast. I was aiming for around 60" wide, and I think I overshot that. Even without the two extra repeats.

I guess we'll see once I finish it.

Reference pictures for those who may not have Ravelry or be familiar with the pattern can be found here and here as the book cover.

And mine, as of tonight, looks like this in crappy pictures taken with my webcam because I can't seem to find the real camera:

Close-up of the feathery portion:

I have to say, these rows are taking forever to knit now, but I am really enjoying the project overall. I love seeing the pattern emerge. I check it every other row to see if it's changed. And I can't wait to get it finished and wash and block it so I can move on to my next beautiful, exciting pattern.

I think it has finally happened, folks. I, product knitter extraordinaire, have been transformed. Now I knit more for process than product.

I probably won't even wear Icarus more than once, if even that. But that isn't the point, really. I love the way it looks!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just an update

Jess and I are both working on the Icarus shawl as a mini KAL. I started first, but she's catching up quickly. As of yesterday, she was almost finished with her 3rd repeat. As of right now, I've just started my 5th repeat. I'm almost positive I'll be stopping and moving on after 5 full repeats (unless I change my mind when I get to the end). I'm not sure about her, but I think she'll probably end up cutting out one repeat as well, to conserve yarn.

I don't feel like hunting down my WIP photos to post them here, but I'll post photos later. In the meantime, we both have project pages on Ravelry (mine; hers)with all the pertinent details.

I will say that I'm impressed at how quickly this shawl is going. It's a laceweight shawl on size 3 needles. Every other row has 4 stitches more than the previous ones, so it grows pretty quickly. I'm already up to 400-something stitches per row, I think. But I just started on ... Jan. 11? And I feel like I'm nearing the end. I just have to finish this repeat, do one more partial repeat and work the edging. Granted, the edging is pretty big, but I still feel like the end is near.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Mom's Printed Silk Cardigan is finally finished. It's been presented and photographed and here's the evidence?

I am really happy with how it turned out. It looks better in person than it looks in the picture, not that it looks terrible in the picture. It just needed to be adjusted slightly in the shoulders and the ribbing needed to be tugged down an inch or so. It does fit, it just needed some adjustment. But Mom hates pictures and was trying to run away, so I had to take the picture quickly.

Anyway, she's really happy with it. I'm pretty proud of it, and I think it looks really good on her. The style is very flattering to her body, and Mom looks good in that deep orange color. She also happens to love that color, so that works out well.

And there's another thing that makes this sweater kind of special. When I was in the preliminary planning phase of this project, I enlisted my stepdad's help with some reconnaissance, basically. I checked her bra size to make sure I was correct about her measurements. Together, we also measured the bra strap from hook to loop, just for additional peace of mind about how big her underbust area is. And then, I found a similarly-shaped shirt in her closet that I knew fit her very well, and we measured that.

So in a way, it was a joint effort. He didn't help with the actual knitting, but he contributed what he could to the sweater. Considering the circumstances, that makes the sweater just that much more special for Mom. And for me. He always helped me arrange surprises and gifts for Mom. This was our last "covert operation" together. I'd intended to get his opinion on the buttons and stuff, too, but by the time I got to that point, he was too far gone. I don't doubt that he'd approve, though.

The sweater got put on hold several times, and I had a few setbacks, but I'm happy with the overall project.

Here's a recap of the pertinent facts:
Pattern: Printed Silk Cardigan from Interweave Knits, Spring 2008, 34" size
Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Sport in Terra Cotta (purchased 15 skeins and used a little less than 10)
Needles: Knitpicks size 3 24" circulars
Buttons: Five JHB-brand 5/8" buttons made of coconut, purchased at Hancock Fabric in Owensboro, KY
Mods: Adjusted stitch and row count to compensate for gauge differences, customized length to compensate for body differences (and my own mistakes) and worked the sleeves in stockinette with a 3-row ribbed border to match the bottom hem of the sweater body. Also didn't do a sewn bind-off because I wanted something a little firmer and quicker to work. The neckline's big enough that the neckline ribbing doesn't need to stretch that much, anyway. So I chose a bind-off that better matches my cable cast-on. I ended up knitting 2 tog tbl, then placing the new stitch back on the left needle (after twisting, to keep it from being stretched out) and repeating the process across the rest of the row.

I definitely plan to knit another one of these. This time, though, it'll be for me. I'm thinking Shine Sport in Harbor, but I haven't decided for sure yet.

I also need to figure out what to do with the ~5.25 balls of leftover Shine from this project.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Well, crap. Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap. Crap! (Which, by the way, is not really the word I would like to say here, but oh well.)

I have slacked on blogging because life has been crazy, but I have been knitting. I am almost finished with Mom's sweater, finally. I was sewing up the first of two side seams today. Everything else is done, I just had to sew up the sides and weave in the 4 ends of the side-seam-sewing yarn and it was ready for a wash and block. (Yeah, I know, I was supposed to seam the side and the sleeve at the same time, but I went ahead and did the sleeve ... I wanted to make sure it would fit Mom.) I was a little over halfway through, up to the center ribbing, and I realized something was NOT. RIGHT. I was only at the center ribbing on the front piece. I still had about an inch and a half to go on the back before I hit the ribbing.

So I'm sitting here, pulling out all the nice little stitches. And here I thought this seam was going so well. Taking forever, but working out nicely. But oh well, I'll just go back, find where I got off track, make sure all the decreases match up properly and work in any ease from one side being stretched out or whatever the problem was. Right?

Not right.

See, when I started looking at the decreases, they actually did match up. They're off by one row. Not a problem. I can deal with one row. But wait, if all the decreases match up, then why is my seam so off ... oh. Oh no. Oh yes, folks, that's right: the back piece has six sets of decreases. (Which is the correct number.) The front piece, on the other hand, only has five.

Crap. (Did I mention that part yet? Well, I'll say it again for good measure. CRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPP.)

Counted the decreases on the other front pieces. Again, five. So here's my dilemma. I can go back and add another set of decreases (10 rows) to each one of the front pieces, or I can go back and take out one set of decreases (again, 10 rows) from the back. Technically, I was supposed to decrease 6 times, which would mean the back is the correct piece. But here's the other dilemma. The decreases are completed before the center ribbing, before the textured pattern, before any of the armhole/neckline shaping. You're telling me I have to rip all that out just to add 10 rows? To each piece? No way buddy. That's just not gonna happen. No, what I'm gonna do is cut off the bottom ribbing on the back piece, frog 10 rows and knit the ribbing back on. This may leave me with an extra set of decreases. I'm not sure how many rows I worked before starting the decreases. But I don't care. It's only 2 stitches, it's not really gonna make a difference. It'll also make the whole thing 10 rows shorter, but, hey, that's just a little over an inch. So it'll be an inch shorter. Fortunately, it was a little too long on Mom when she tried it on the other day, anyway. Plus, it's a cotton blend. It'll stretch. That 10 rows will never be missed.

But it means I have to rip out this entire seam, cut off the ribbing, rip out 10 rows, knit the ribbing back and start this seaming process all over again. It's not the end of the world, but it still makes me want to cry. Just a little.

And the kicker? I have no idea how I managed to miscount the decreases on not only one but both front pieces. My own notes clearly say to work a total of 6 sets of decreases. And I distinctly remember thinking that when I was working the fronts. I just counted wrong. In my own defense, I'm not stupid, but I knit those two pieces while my stepfather was in the hospital dying from cancer. I blame my distraction for my sudden inability to count to six.