Well, that’s embarrassing….

After 3 years of knitting, I found out that I SSK incorrectly: who knew? When by itself without a decrease on the purl side, my SSK always looked as it should and pulls the stitches the correct way, but put a decrease on the wrong side of the fabric and SURPRISE! (The bottom two lace repeats have the incorrect stitch in them, but it’s corrected after that. Susan asked on my last post if I thought it would block out, and I can safely answer, “no.” But even if messy, the decreases pull the correct direction and it doesn’t affect the overall look too much, so it really doesn’t bother me. I tend to like keeping some imperfections in my knits as a visual reminder of what I learned on the project.)

Thanks to figuring this out, I’ve found some enthusiasm for my Honeybee and am making very good progress. The portion of the body under the armpits is finished, and I cast on for the sleeves last night. If all goes well, I’ll be joining the two shortly and should have a finished sweater before the end of the month. Yay!

WIP it Wednesday

Man.

Kittens, I do not know what to say about this knit, other then it is causing me a boatload of minor irritations…that have now added up to a mountain of GAH! The yarn has been in stash so long that I’m no longer in the honeymoon-esque, “It’s the most perfect yarn that has ever existed!” mode. My first cast on was unsuccessful, due to increasing needle size to get more spi. Yeah. Then, thanks to how I read patterns, I had some serious confusion starting the lace, because of what I deem a redundancy in how it was written.
And now?
The sloppy SSK/p2tog tbl stitches are upsetting me; they are not biasing properly like the k2tog/p2tog are*. As far as I can tell, I am doing all of the stitches correctly, but I’m going to try a slightly different method for the p2tog tbl stitches on the third repeat. If I can not neaten them up, this is going to the frog pond and I think I’ll be doubling this yarn and using it for a fast knit.
GAH.
*For those that can not read knitting, the sloppy side is the left set of decreases. The pretty ones are on the right. It’s not the best photo. I couldn’t bring myself to take it until 10:30PM, so no natural lighting for this one.

FO Friday

On occasion, I do fully finish things and take pictures. Honest.

Pattern: Improvised, 64 stitch toe-up sock with afterthought heel
Needles: US 2.5
6 of 5. I like these so much more then 5 of 5. They are plush and snuggly, squishy and soft. My feet, cozy. I love looking at them and admiring the striping pattern. They are everything a homemade sock should be.
Unlike some other sock yarns in their line (I’m looking at you, Essential-now-known-as-Stroll), Felici is soft and agreeable to work with and the end result is great. A fine example of an inexpensive yarn not being cheap and a waste of your money. The colors are lovely–and let’s face it, KP is not exactly known for having fab colorways, though they are getting better these past few seasons. The striping pattern is predictable. For lovers of self-striping yarn but not the price of indie-dyed ones, this is a great alternative. Right now, they are clearing out some of the summer-ish colorways in both the fingering and sport lines, and I suspect new ones will be arriving in the near future. I have very few complaints or items to nitpick–even though the list will look long, they’re rather minor complaints.
However. I am Ms. Knitpicky, so of course, I have to give the negatives/faults as I see them.
There is a problem mentioned on the Ravelry page for this yarn, and I have to confirm it: the spin and plying on this is loose. It made casting on and getting set up a bit difficult, but after a few rounds, it wasn’t so bad and was easy to control. Past the first 3/4″ or so of knitting, I forgot about the loose plying and it became a non-issue.
There is an intensity difference between the two socks, even though the yarn is from the same dyelot and in the skein, they looked identical. Even in the picture I used today, it’s pretty obvious that one of the socks has more contrast between the darkest and lightest colors then the other. This is not advertised as a hand painted yarn, so I have to assume that it was machine painted. Related to this, the less-intense skein was perfect, but the more intense one had a few spots where the green dye had dripped or splattered onto the pink, so 2 stitches would be the wrong color in a row here or there. (Thankfully, they all fell on the same side of the sock and became the bottom of the foot.) This issue was pretty minor, but for a perfectionist, it may not be tolerable.
This yarn is called a sport weight, though my experience has it pegged as a fingering weight…maybe a heavy fingering if one were to be generous about it. (Across the board, the yarn reviews on Ravelry agree on this.) I knit these on 2.5s, which may sound large for a fingering weight yarn, but I get the same gauge other knitters get on 1s or 0s when working with 2.5s. At this gauge, the fabric is wonderfully squishy and dense. I suspect had I gone up a half size or full size, it would still render a lovely fabric with a bit less sqooushiness. Had I knit this at the recommended gauge, for socks…? No. The fabric would have been very drapey and loose; I doubt it would wear well at all. This leads into my other observation….
Even though this is given as a wool/nylon blend, it is linty and reminiscent of a tencel blend. Some knitters love tencel; I do not happen to be one of them. Paired with wool, it was tolerable, but these socks have a rather distinctive fuzziness to them that gives them a slightly worn-in look. These socks will never have that crisp just-been-knit look to them. The fuzzing did make me a little batty at times, but it was not enough to deter me from finishing the project, nor would it prevent me from purchasing this yarn in the future. It didn’t steal too much from my overall enjoyment of this project. (It could be the aforementioned loose plying that is causing this and not the fiber components.)
So, unlike the last inexpensive yarn, this one gets a thumbs up. I would never give up my indie-dyed self-stripies and knit exclusively with this (Seriously, not enough colorways to even consider it!), but for what it is, it’s enjoyable. It’s also good to know that for the price of a single skein of one of my indie-dyes, I can purchase 6 balls of Felici and get three rather tall pair of socks out of them. Even with my large calves, I was able to use all but 26 yards of yarn and have socks that reach pretty far up my leg.

Well Lookie here…

It seems I have an FO, fresh off the needles.

Pattern: Fresh Mint (Ravel it)
Needles: US size 6 and 8
Yarn: Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK – Logwood
First off, I want to make it clear that I do like this top. I will definitely wear it and it’s soft as kitten butts. The yarn I knit this with is the most wonderful cotton I’ve ever worked with.
However.
Whether through my fault or something with the pattern and my “disproportionate torso,” this pattern gave me trouble and fit issues. I started this 3 times and in two different yarns before I even got to this point, and I’m still not 100% sure why it happened the way it did. My gauge was consistent through out and I did all of the math to make it work with the gauge I chose, so I suspect that my 45.5″ bust with a L size torso may be partially to blame. Add to the mix that I’m 5’2″ with practically no torso to speak of (seriously, breasts, a small waist indent and immediately to my hips) and vertical measurements can get tricky. [I’m always pulling 1.5-2″ out of “short” patterns and for this one with its 14″ measurement from under the arm? 3″ pulled out.]
I’ve decided to let all of the frustration and confusion go for now; the top is adorable and wearable. But next time, I’ll do the following:
  • Stretch out the lace panel when measuring armhole depth.
  • Make the lace section about 2 sizes down from the size I need to get it to look like the pattern and not stretch so wide.
  • Creatively increase to get the proper full bust measurement and still look intentional.

Otherwise, this was a very straightforward knit. And did I mention it’s cute?

FO Catch-up

I suppose I could start off October with posting some FOs, eh? I’m sure some picture posts would be more appreciated then more number ones. (Hey, I realize those numbers aren’t as interesting to anyone else as they are to me!)

Let’s see…how about from oldest project to newest today?
Needle: US size 7
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream
First, most of the work on these was completed in February of this year, but it took me until today to seam them up and then weave in the ends. I’m pretty EH about them as a whole, even though they’re pretty. The fit on them is OK, but I’m rather doubtful as to how well they’ll hold up scrubbing. Maybe after I run them through the hot wash and dryer, the fit will improve.
They’re something I’d definitely attempt again down the line, but there really isn’t much to say about these.
Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan (Ravel it)
Needle: US size 7
Yarn: Sundara Sock – Aged Oak Barrel
You may recognize this one kittens; I was blogging it not too long ago. I finally found the oomph to weave the ends in yesterday and get this one photographed. (Please forgive the irritated look. I have a hellacious sinus infection, my kids were running around being crazy, and The Husband was being goofy and attempting to cheer me up, but only succeeded in annoying me. This is the most pleasant my face got the entire time.)
To call this a Featherweight isn’t entirely correct, but even with my modifications, it’s so similar to the original that it would be hard not to call it one. I did use the cast on numbers as a guide and from there, the pattern never came out again. I knew for sure I wanted short sleeves*, but I wasn’t sure about the length. Honestly, if I were to redo this, I would have added a bit more length to the body; I hadn’t intended to cast it off so soon. The decision was made late at night, sans mirror, and I didn’t have the shoulder properly lined up with mine while doing it, so this ended up about 1.5-2″ shorter then I had intended. However, it’s not too cropped for my taste, so I let it stay as it was.
*Someday, I will have to post a wordy blog about my feelings concerning criticism of short sleeved sweaters. Clearly, I am a lover of them.

The only other major mod would be the yarn choice: instead of a single-ply lace weight, I used a plied fingering weight yarn. I prefer the fabric that way. And the lack of pills.

I’m absolutely smitten with the color of this sweater. The Aged Oak Barrel is a gorgeous, complex taupe-y gray with some flashes of a warm wood color.




Hook: H-5.0mm
Yarn: Various snobby yarns from fingering to worsted weight

This is a recent project. I cast it on 13 September and finished it on the first of this month. I worked on it very little (1 or 2 days a week) and it still finished up quickly. Some of that may have to do with the fact that it’s a car blanket for my 2 year old and 4 year old. It’s larger then a baby blanket, but not so much so that it could be mistaken for an adult one.

The rest of it may be that this was my project to work on when I didn’t feel like knitting my tank top–which is fast approaching finished, by the way, but it can be a bit of a slog because it’s a big stockinette tube–but still wanted to eat up some yardage. Namely, the 3 bajillion balls of leftovers from all of my past projects. Those add up, kittens. I have a mini tote that houses my leftovers and it was to the point that I could no longer shut it without having to man handle those cute little cakes and squish them. So I decided most of them had to go and they became a blanket for my children. I’m pretty stoked that no yarn had to be purchased to finish this project.

Someday when my leftover tote refills, I am entertaining the idea of making this blanket longer. I may put a border on it so I can widen it as well.