Friday, February 27, 2015

Fixed object

When my SO first brought me his injured Fibonacci vest, I thought he had snagged it on something. On further inspection, I realized that the damage occurred where the individual rounds of the button/neck/bottom band began and ended. Did I do a lazy job of weaving in ends? Did the fact I skipped blocking the vest allow the ends to work their way loose? Was this just too stressful a spot to begin and end the rounds (upper right shoulder)? No one - least of all me - knows.

I was slow to repair this, primarily because I was not sure how without completely removing the band, something I was prepared to do if necessary, but I really did not want it to be necessary. Eventually, I undid the bind off and tinked back two rounds (which saved me from having to remove buttons and redo button holes). Then I tied together the ends of rounds that were still intact, added a "patch" to the mostly still intact round, then reknit two rounds and the bind off. (Fortunately, I had made a note in Ravelry about the bind off, as I had done a yarn-over bind off around the bottom.) I carefully wove in the ends and blocked the thing to help weld those ends to the fabric.

Were I to knit this vest again - or if I had to remove the entire band - I would do one (or more) of the following:
  • Knit the band in one color instead of changing colors each round
  • Start the rounds at a less stressed spot, like somewhere around the bottom
It's still cold here (-4 F when I got up this morning), so the vest is now doing its job of keeping my SO warm. He says it feels like a big hug.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Not fashion forward

I guess one could call this a "grandpa vest". Nothing special, just an exercise in top-down knitting. I also used up the last of the Wool-Ease Chunky left over from this project.

Pattern: Sleeveless Sweater by Barbara G. Walker
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, colorway 115 'Bay Harbor'
Needles: US11
Modifications: Stuck with a plain vanilla design, for simplicity's sake and to avoid running out of yarn.

This project was quite the learning experience. For one thing, I started with a different pattern and different needles before settling on the final ones. I struggled with gauge. I learned how to do an invisible cast on (eventually) and how to get the arm hole borders to lay flat by the armpits. Using a store-bought vest to help me with things like width, arm hole size, etc., I sized the knitted vest to the external dimensions of the store-bought vest, forgetting that the chunky yarn would subtract from the internal dimensions, so the fit is a bit snug. I redid the bind off for the neck and arms multiple times, finally settling on EZ's sewn bind off, and the arms are still a bit binding.

BUT. It is comfortable and warm, if rather plain and dowdy, perfect for wearing around the house or under a jacket.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Mystery hat solved

In an incredible stroke of foresight, I actually wrote down the name of the pattern for the hat project that was languishing in the car: Graham. It's a slouchy hat that has already been claimed by my daughter, since for some reason she has been hatless this winter.

Pattern: Graham, by Jennifer Adams
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, colorway 520 (dark gray)
Needles: US7 and US9
Modifications: none

Graham is a super easy knit with easy to follow instructions. And instead of abandoning the knitter to "continue in pattern", Ms. Adams provides explicit directions for the crown. If you need a quick, stylish hat, this is the one to knit.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

What a diva

It looks like I forgot to post about Tuckernuck, probably because this sweater just about killed me provided me with many learning opportunities. Cascade 220 Superwash is a perfectly serviceable yarn, but almost every time I picked up the project, I found myself wishing I had held out for the recommended Karabella. Getting gauge was nearly impossible, and going up needles sizes resulted in a rather loose fabric. The instructions definitely could have been more detailed, especially regarding the sleeves, which was compounded by this being my first time with capped set-in sleeves. In the end, I had to block it twice, to get the width to work, then also had to reinforce the buttonholes to keep the buttons from sliding out. I am extremely happy... to see the last of this sweater.

Pattern: Tuckernuck, by Elinor Brown
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, colorway 1949
Needles: US7 and US9
Modifications: None that I can think of

My g'daughter is frequently contrary when it comes to modeling knitwear, but today she put on a show.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Looks like handknit

Being a knitter, I am not shy about asking perfect strangers if they knit the scarf, hat, mittens they are wearing. Were I to run into Wendell Berry, I would ask him point blank, Who knit your sweater? Doesn't it look comfortable and warm?

Source: Inside Higher Ed

I don't know Berry personally, but sometimes I feel like I do, having witnessed a debate in the '70's between him and Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, plus I am a fan of his writing and his causes. I first spotted him with this sweater in the author photo on the jacket of his latest release, A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership. If you are so inclined, I recommend this book as one to savor for the lyrical prose, the depth of characterization, and the portraits of the residents so lovingly described.