Monday, December 20, 2010

Mad Dash ta Satadah*

The holidays are upon us, whether we like it or not!  I've been swamped with a full-time job and a baby and holiday commitments...  so, of course, I've started an impulse project due by this weekend:
Semi-secret sweater for a small sweetheart

I find it interesting that all of my recent projects are due this weekend and ARE NOT Christmas knitting!

Also, just for fun -- because pictures are fun, n'est-ce pas? --  a couple photos of Punkin's Let Her Soar cabled leaf blanket, made from Laura Wilson-Martos's Serenity pattern (holla, fellow Browncoats!):
eyelets, cables, blanket in-the-round, mitered corners
Yarn is 7.5 skeins of Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Squirrel Heather.  Detail shot!
I didn't block it for real; this is after machine washing and machine drying... I love superwash!

* think the title is confusing, yet intriguing?  Please visit the hilarious Allie Brosh and her Spaghatta Nadle!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Put a Bee In It

I've been dealing with the creeping crud for the past week -- hence the no-posting.  Last Saturday night I had a 103° fever and my throat hurt just a little bit.  By the next morning, the fever had broken and my voice had completely disappeared... and still hasn't fully returned.  The major problem: I'm a singer with no voice at the height of holiday concert season.  It's really, really disappointing.

The only upside: lots of sitting-around, not-talking time to finish some knitting.  I've all but blocked the gown and also...

Bonnet by DROPS Design  

I changed the particulars of the wave pattern, as previously discussed, and rather than bind off the lower bit before folding up and fastening, I used the darning needle to sew the live stitches straight to the bottom of the hat to create the casing:

I even managed to get a picture of Ms. Punkin Q. Pie modeling it in all its glory:

Sorry about the copious security measures; the internet is a scary place.

Next up: matching booties!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chart fail? Edit: Nope, my bad.

Let it be known: I don't feel comfortable knitting from charts most of the time.  Any chance for written-out instructions, I will take it, as I thought was the case for Punkin's baptismal bonnet...
Bonnet by DROPS Design

The pattern begins as follows (with all unnecessary sizing instructions removed):
LOOSELY cast on 87 sts (includes 1 edge st each side). Work 4 rows garter st. Work next row as follows from RS: 1 edge st in garter st, M.1 on the next 85 sts, and 1 edge st. Continue like this until piece measures 11 cm [4 3/8”].

Easy enough, right?  So I cast on, work the first four rows, knit the edge stitch of the fifth row, then m1 (-ahem- the increase "make one") in each stitch... for a little bit... this doesn't seem... right.  It can't be right.

Guess what?  It's not right.

Guess what (not a question): the chart for the wave pattern has been named -ahem- M.1:
Explanation to pattern diagram
=K from RS, P from WS
=P from RS, K from WS
=K2 tog
=1 YO between 2 sts

Okay, so, it's a chart!  I am able to read charts (thanks to these helpful instructions from, I just don't like it.  To read a knitting chart, one begins at the lower right corner and travels to the left of the row, then straight up to the next row and to the right -- AKA follow the arrows:
Sometimes a chart will only include the odd rows, and there will be instructions to "purl all even rows" or something like that... but in the absence of further clarification, that's how it works.

Here's my interpretation of chart M.1:
row 1 (RS): knit all stitches
row 2 (WS): knit all stitches (creating a purl ridge on RS of work)
row 3: knit all stitches
row 4: purl all stitches
row 5: k2tog three times, *yo, k1; rep from * 4 times [5 times total], yo, k2tog three times
row 6: purl all stitches
rinse, repeat.

Seems cool, right?  Well, the DROPS site also includes an instructional video about the general wave pattern that states:
1st row (RS): K2 tog 3 times, yo, K1, yo, K1, yo, K1, yo, K1, yo, K1, yo, K2 tog 3 times.
2nd row (WS: K all sts (they will be purled seen from RS)
3rd row: K all sts
4th row: P all sts

That's different!  Similar, but different!  Why is this a big deal?  Because I didn't trust my chart reading.  I started knitting the general wave from the video, not the wave specified in the pattern chart.  In fact, I started this post peeved about the chart and how incorrect it is, with its extra rows and top left-to-bottom right reading.  But NO!  It's right!  I just didn't trust myself enough to actually do it, which led me to find written instructions for something else entirely.  -sigh-  So it's my mistake.  And here I thought I was so clever.

Here's what I've got so far:
failure? or secretly genius?

The waves are clearly skinnier on my WIP.  But if I continue for the length stated in the pattern (11 cm), won't it turn out alright?  I'll just need to have more pattern repeats, since the wave I'm knitting takes up four rows instead of six.

I'm reeeeally trying to avoid ripping this out.  There's only so much white cotton I can take at this point.