Monday, September 23, 2013

FO: Annis

I finished my Annis shawlette in time for a wedding we went to last month, but it was a near thing. A "rushing the shortrows, blocking at 1:00 am the night before" kind of near thing.

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Pattern: Annis by Susanna IC
Yarn: Riverside Studio Superwash Merino Lace (Note: my skein was about half the size as the linked yarn, and I did not use the full skein.)

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Notes: This was my first crescent-shaped shawlette, and my first experience with nupps. I have admired Susanna IC's crescent patterns for a long time, and now I know I will make more of them. The shape is excellent for scarf-wise wearing - it definitely helps it stay around my neck/shoulders. I quite liked starting from the longest edge of the piece and finishing with fewer stitches, since so many things I've knit were done the other way around! Doing a backwards loop cast-on for 363 stitches as recommended nearly made me lose my mind; or rather, having to knit into the backwards loop cast-on for 363 stitches practically did me in. I might try finding a suitably stretchy but less annoying cast-on method next time.

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But, let's talk about nupps. I've heard horror stories about them, but I like to think I'm a relatively fearless knitter*, so taking the advice of my more experienced peers, I jumped right in. The main advice I came across was KEEP THEM LOOSE. So I did. I might have overdone it on the looseness, though. As a result of such loose loops, purling 7 together wasn't too difficult, but to be honest the finished nupps are a bit underwhelming. Mine definitely do not pop out as much as others I have seen on ravelry, and in fact they kind of disappear into the fabric. Hmm. Part of the disappearing could be from the variegated yarn, but I have a feeling tighter nupps would show up better. If I were to knit this pattern again, I might use beads instead of nupps, as many others have done.

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As alluded to at the beginning of this post, this project was a race to the finish. The only modification I made was to skip the last few short rows because I was running out of time. As a result, the top edge is has more stitches than is written, but I think it looks fine. I did fudge in some extra decreases before binding off. Nupps or not, I love how it turned out and have been wearing it a lot.

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It's pretty and fancy, but it works pretty well as a casual scarf, which is how I wear it most!

*More fearless about knitting than other parts of my life, anyway!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP: a real cardigan

I think every year I vow to make myself more sweaters, since there are still sweater-shaped-gaps in my wardrobe. Thus, I was annoyed to realise that this is my first sweater of 2013, and it's already September! The last sweater I made for myself was my purple classic raglan last November.

Anyway. Better late than never, a cardigan for me.

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I'm making the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos using New Lanark Pure Wool DK in "Woodland." The colour is a bit less grey than the photo shows. To me it says MEADOW. It is heathered and has an impressive depth of colour, like many New Lanark colourways. In addition to green, there is yellow, purple, blue, and even red. I can't even try to hope to capture it in a photo, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

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At the moment it is all stockinette, but I have deviated from the pattern significantly in an attempt to add shaping using Little Red in the City as a guide. A new challenge! Haha. We'll see how it turns out.

Monday, September 09, 2013

FO: Little Sister Dress

A few weeks ago I finished knitting the dress for my littlest cousin-in-law. I made the 3 month size and it turned out super cute. I'll definitely make this pattern again!

Pattern: Little Sister's Dress by Tora Froseth

Yarn: Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit

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Mods:

I made i-cord button holes instead of crochet. It was somewhat time-consuming, but I really like the way it looks. I-cord is awesome and I will definitely use it for button holes again. These two youtube videos helped me figure out what I was doing, but mostly I just winged it.

Notes:

The dress grew a tiny bit in length when I blocked it, and the purl ridges have stretched out a little, due to the inelastic properties of cotton. That said, apparently I actually like knitting with cotton! Who knew? I used leftover yarn from my Decimal cardigan from years ago. I don't really remember having strong feelings about cotton then, but I seem to have internalised the knitting world's common complaints about it. It does emphasize my uneven stockinette, but never mind. Anyway, now that I've reminded myself I don't mind cotton, I'll probably knit with it more in the future.

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One final cautionary note. Do not assume buttons are machine washable! Other than socks, I seldom machine wash my hand knits, and it had not occurred to me at all that plastic buttons might not last in the washing machine. But sure enough, as you can see from the photo above, the buttons I chose got rather scratched when I washed the dress. (The shop where I bought the buttons very kindly offered me a refund when they learned of it, though I didn't take it because I don't mind too much). In any case, I don't actually mind how it looks now, but I was a bit shocked to notice it. I sent it off without changing the buttons - does this make me a bad gifter? Haha. I hope the buttons don't disintegrate too quickly now that it is in the hands of the recipient, but oh well. Another good enough FO!