Monday, September 25, 2006

More Argyle

First, thank you all for your kind comments about the shawl! I wore it to work once already, and it really amazed me how warm a lace shawl can be, even though it only covers your shoulders.

Now it's time to work on the vest, again. I'm just past the point where you start the arm hole steeks, and there really is a lot going on on every row. Keeping track isn't very easy, especially since I can't just follow the chart because of the different gauge. I'm about 4 pattern repeats into it:

I'm really enjoying the pattern despite not being able to simply follow the chart. I'm even thinking I need more than one of these things! But of course, let's see how this one fits first... and not to forget all the other projects that are already on my "to knit" list, some of which I already have yarn for.

Here's a close up of the neck steek:

I've never actually made anything using steeks, so this is my first time. And now I'm thinking, why didn't I do this before? It's just too smart for color work not to do it this way. So fast!

Here's also the fake side seam:

My feelings about the seam are kind of neutral. I'm not sure, if I like it or not, but if I had disliked it a lot, I would just have left it out. I don't think it's something I would use in a pattern of mine -I'm fine with no seams, if it's knitted in the round. (I feel like my hand looks very naked without my wedding band, but one of the diamonds became loose, and I had to take it to the ring doctor to be fixed!)

My blog roll was long over due for an update. It now better reflects the blogs I really read on a daily or weekly basis. There are still some missing that I like, but didn't manage to save into my bookmarks an now don't remember how I got to them, but usually I end up finding the same blogs again, so I'm not too worried. They'll pop up somewhere, I'm sure.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The finish line

I pushed myself through the finish line last night, and the modified Fina Hyrnan was born. Here she is, stretching her leafy wings on the floor, feeling all pretty:

See the part with the small leaves? That's the part I added to make the scarf bigger. Now it measures 70 cm length wise, 140 cm sideways.

It was a bit of a stressful knit because of the size issue, and then I wasn't sure how the added border was going to work. And those last few looooong rows were torture... but I like the end result, it turned out ok, I think:

Pattern: modified Fina Hyrnan from Three-cornered and Long Shawls
Needles: 3.5 mm Knitpicks circulars
Yarn: Color Your Own from Knitpicks (seems like they changed the name to "Bare")
Size: 70 cm x 140 cm

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Some Argyle

Ok, so I gave in.

I started the argyle vest before finishing the scarf... slap me on my fingers!

The colors on the vest are a dark plum that almost looks brown in some light, and an old rose-ish pink. I would have preferred even more old rose and less pink, but I couldn't find anything like that in a suitable yarn, so I went with this. The colors reminded me of something -my favorite ice cream! Look:

Blue Bunny Bordaux Cherry Chocolate. Mmmm...

I know I will have to get to a certain point on the vest, before I can put it down and do the 3 (!) finishing rows on the scarf. Three. I know, I know... but mind you, they are some very long rows! At least a half hour of knitting per row. Or maybe it was more like 15 minutes... but I know that over my lunch hour, I can only get 2 rows done, so that tells you something. It's slow going, and I don't really care for that.

Talking of speed, I had to time myself one day, when I read a couple of other bloggers' posts about knitting speed. So I took a pair of needles (chrome plated, if you must know), and some worsted weight yarn (7 Veljestä, if you insist), cast on 50 stitches, located a timer and a helper, and went to town (for my Finnish friends: "started knitting".) First try, I asked my helper to time me for 1 minute. Naah... I must be faster than that. Again. Still no improvement... So I said, let's do at least 4 minutes, and we'll reduce the measurement error considerably (the science geek that I am). I'm knitting like crazy, smoke is rising from the needles... this is going to be my record! How are we doing on time? Oh, so he forgot to push the start button. I take a deep breath and we do another retake... 4 min and 40 s later, I've got 280 stitches. Exactly the same speed as the first try, so apparently there was no measurement error working against me. Sigh. The bottom line is that I can knit 1 stich per second, no more, no matter how hard I try. And for lace and fair isle -I can't even think of how much slower that is! Quite a bit, that's all I know.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I've been so close for so long to finishing this scarf! The first time I though I was close was after I was done with the center part, before realizing it was way to small, and I had to add something to it. The second time I thought I was close was after I finished the added leaf motif, and only had the border left. And then the whole time there after. And it's _still_not_done_! My goal was to finish it this weekend and post tonight with a blocking photo. Well, as you can see, not blocking yet. I actually only have two more charted rows to go (plus the reverse side rows and the crochet bind off), but each row being well over 500 stitches, I don't think I can reach my goal. Even though the kids are already in bed, and I was going to do some TV knitting with a movie rental. I couldn't possibly stay up as late as it would take me to finish.

And then there is this. Temptation with a capital T, and I'm just ITCHING to get started! It's going to be an Argyle vest, a very necessary piece of clothing in a fashion concious girl's closet, I've decided. I went to my LYS to pick up a couple of balls of green Wildfoote that they'd ordered for me, and ended up with this bagfull of yarn. They also had more temptations -Rowans new Tapestry (this might be one of my new favorite yarns), and Malabrigo (definitely one of my favorites). It was very hard to say no to these, but I actually rarely buy yarn that is not inteded for any specific project, and I just couldn't think of what to use the beautiful Tapestry for, and I didn't think I'd need a third Malabrigo scarf... so I demonstrated incredible willpower, and walked out of the store having bought only what I went there for. With the exception of the Vogue Knitting fall edition, but that doesn't count, since it's not yarn. ;)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


It's been a hectic week, and I haven't gotten a whole lot of knitting done. There's been some changes in the family structure, I should even change the text in my profile... I'm starting to lose count of all the kids, but last I checked there's five of them that live here now. Yes, five! There's benefits to getting kids by picking them up at the airport, but I tell you folks, the benefit of being pregnant for 9 months is to be able to prepare mentally for having another kid. Even a little less than 9 months might be enough. But try 28 hours. I'll just say that it's an adjustment for all parties involved.

But I've still managed to carve out a few minutes of me-time (read: knitting time) here and there, usually late at night. A few precious minutes that help me keep my head straight in this circus. ;) The Latvian mittens didn't get thumbs yet, since all I've worked on is Fina Hyrnan.

As it turns out, I had underestimated the amount of yarn I have for the scarf by, well, a LOT. And also that Fina Hyrnan was going to be VERY small. I think the instructions say 61 cm across the middle, top to bottom, but mine didn't seem to come even close, no matter how much I'd block it. And from experience, I know this yarn pulls back some after blocking, and doesn't hold the blocked dimensions very well, so it was going to be a small scarf. A tiny scarf. So I started looking for suitable lace patterns that I could insert in between the center and the border. The border is a leaf motif, so I wanted something leafy. This is what I found:
It is by no means a perfect insertion -I'm struggling a little with making the increases look pretty and planned, not look like they somehow happened by accident. But the stitch count matches with the final border, so it should all work out. In the process I have gained even more appreciation than I had before towards people who design lace garments. I never thought it would be very easy, but now I know for sure! I only have a vague idea of how the transision from this border to the next will work, and I'm almost too scared to even put it on paper -what if it'll be a disaster? I do have some plans drawn out, but how exactly it will happen, I still have a few slow rows before I have to figure it out for real.

Here's a little more detailed picture of the inserted leaf border:

Like I said, I don't think it'll be perfect, but it will make the scarf more usable because it'll be a better size.