Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday - More Sleeves!

The Red Chocolate is still coming along nicely. Getting tired of seeing in these posts yet? I know I'd be happy to post it in a FO Friday post sometime soon ;) Probably won't happen on this side of Christmas, but I'm starting to believe it might be in January :)
I'm about 20-25% through the second sleeve, and as it's just plain stockinette it should fly off my needles quickly enough. The biggest problem is that I have to increase every 3cm, so I keep having to measure it all the time. I sort of know how many rows make 3cm, but it's not a whole number, so I keep having to fudge it a bit. But it's growing, and that's the important thing :)

I've also had some time to get back on working on my Honey Cowl. I love the colours and the way they work together, but while the yarn (Vinnis Colours Serena - 100% bamboo) is gorgeous and lovely soft to work with, it's not very tightly wound and Just. Keeps. Splitting!!! So it's not quite as mindless knitting as I would have liked.
I still enjoy the way it's turning out though. It's going to be GORGEOUS once it's finished :) I'm just under half-way. I've only used half of each skein, so I need to track back through the colours again.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pattern: Summer Top by Gerd Auestad

English translation of Gerd Auestad's "Summer Top", published for free at FamilieJournalen here.

All rights belong to the designer - I'm just providing the translation. All errors are mine.

Summer Top

Sizes: (XXS) XS (S) M (L) XL (XXL).
Bust (of work): (78) 84 (89) 95 (100) 106 (112) cm.
Length: (52) 53 (55) 56 (57) 58 (60) cm.
Materials: ”Mandarin Classic” (100% cotton. 50 g = 110 meter): (5) 6 (6) 7 (7) 7 (8) skeins
(7) 7 (8) 8 (8) 9 (9) buttons
Needles: 3mm and 3.5mm or size necessary to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 22sts = 10 cm in sts on needle 3.5mm.

Charts: Found here. (See below for translations)
skpsso = slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over
k2tog = knit 2 together
yo = yarn over
pm = place marker
sm = slip marker

Chart translations:
Start = Start
Slut = End
Gtg = Repeat
Midt på ærmet = Middle of sleeve
1. omgang med int. = 1st row with decreases

Symbols, from the top down:
K on RS, P on WS
P on RS, K on WS

Back and front pieces: Cast on (190) 203 (216) 229 (242) 255 (268) sts on needle 3.0mm and knit 6 rows in garter stitch. Change to 3.5mm needle and knit pattern described in chart A until work measures 10cm.

Knit chart B (note that the number of stitches automatically decreases on the first row to (176) 188 (200) 212 (224) 236 (248) sts). Continue in pattern (Chart B) until work measures (38) 39 (40) 40 (41) 41 (42) cm.

Cast off for sleeves on the next row, knitting in pattern: Knit (40) 43 (46) 49 (52) 55 (58) sts, cast off 10 sts, knit (76) 82 (88) 94 (100) 106 (112) sts, cast off 10 sts, knit (40) 43 (46) 49 (52) 55 (58) sts.

Finish knitting each piece separately

Right front: Knit in pattern as before and begin raglan decrease from RS-row.
Row 1 (RS): Knit until there are 3 sts left, skpsso, knit 1.
Row 2 (WS): Knit in pattern.
Repeat these two rows a total of 3 times. Transfer stitches to waste yarn or stitchholder.

Left front:: Knit in pattern as before and begin raglan decrease from RS-row.
Row 1 (RS): K1, k2tog, knit to end of row.
Row 2 (WS): Knit in pattern.
Repeat these two rows a total of 3 times. Transfer stitches to waste yarn or stitchholder.

Back: Do raglan decreases in both sides a total of 3 times as on the front pieces.

Yoke: Next row (RS) cast on sts for sleeves - place marker midway through sleeves: Knit (37) 40 (43) 46 (49) 52 (55) sts (= front), pm, cast on (46) 50 (54) 58 (62) 66 (70) sts (= sleeve), pm, knit (70) 76 (82) 88 (94) 100 (106) sts (= back), pm, cast on (46) 50 (54) 58 (62) 66 (70) sts = (sleeve), pm, knit (37) 40 (43) 46 (49) 52 (55) sts (= front). (236) 256 (276) 296 (316) 336 (356) sts total.

(Use markers of a different colour for the midway point of the sleeves. These do not count when "knitting to marker" in the following).

Knit in pattern as before. Sleeves are knit using Chart C. Count from the middle of the sleeve where the pattern begins.

Continue with raglan decreases on the next RS row:
Row 1 (RS) *Knit until 2 sts before marker, sm, skpsso, k2tog* knit to end of row (8 sts decreased)
Row 2 (WS) Knit in pattern

Repeat these two rows a total of (11) 11 (12) 13 (14) 15 (16) times.

Change to smaller needle and knit 5 rows in garter stitch, continuing the raglan-decreases on every RS row.

Cast off knit-wise on WS-row

Left Button Band: Pick up sts with the smaller needle along the left front. Pick up 3 sts for every 4 rows. Knit 6 rows in garter stitch. Cast off knit-wise on WS-row.

Right Button Band: Pick up sts as for the left side. Knit 4 rows in garter stitch, then make (7) 7 (8) 8 (8) 9 (9) buttonholes evenly distributed along the front.

Buttonhole: Cast off 2 sts which are then cast on again on the next row.

Designer: Gerd Auestad

Friday, November 22, 2013

FO Fridays - Candy Affection

I finished my shawl :) Still need to block it, but since it's all garter stitch, I don't expect it to make a big difference. It does have some crinks that I hope it will straighten out though.

But I love it! It's awesome :-D The colours look terrific together - I love how the dark colours of the Madelinetosh really make the the Candy Skein pop :) It took me exactly 2 weeks to complete - I just couldn't put it down :)
I did manage to drop a couple of stitches while binding off though! That's never happened to me before. I didn't realize until I'd finished, and as it was at the very start (of a 417'ish sts row) I wasn't about to tink back through all 400 stitches, so I ended up just using the Yarn Harlot's crotchet bind off and then sewing the last stitch closed. I think it worked well enough. Sure, I can tell where it happened, but only because I know, and only if I'm really looking, so I'm happy :)

Close-ups of the colours.

It doesn't use up nearly as much yarn as the pattern states though. I ended up using 260m MC, 194m C1, 242m C2.

Pattern: Color Affection
Yarn: MC - Madelinetosh tosh sock (Laurel). C1 - Candy Skein Savory Fingering (Rainbow Fruit Chews). C2 - Madelinetosh tosh merino light (Ink?)
Modifications: I changed the ml's to kfb and added a YO before the last stitch which I dropped on the following row. It was a recommendation from other ravellers, and I'm glad I followed it - the edging would have been REALLY tight otherwise.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Falling in Love

Red Chocolate
I finished the first sleeve!!! Wooo :) Compared to the two other parts of the sweater it just flew past! Probably because there were no cables here ;) So another two parts left to knit, and I'm ready to start seaming!
I'm getting kinda worried about the seaming though - I can't quite figure out how the different parts are supposed to go together, and don't think the drawings in the pattern are altogether clear. I'm hoping it'll all come together once I have all parts though - everything else in this pattern has! And if not, I have a mischievious plan of inviting my friend and my Mum over for dinner one day, so my friend can model and my mum can help me figure out the seaming! I've talked to my friend about it already, but this is the first Mum hears about it... Hi Mum!!! :)

Candy Affection
And here's the main reason why I've only finished the one sleeve and haven't even cast on to anything else. I started the Color Affection just over a week ago, and I love it, love it, love it! Love the yarn (Candy Skein and Madelinetosh), love the colours and love how everything works together. The only thing I don't love is that each row is now 400+ stitches long and takes forever to knit ;)
I'm kinda surprised by the amount of yarn I've used so far though. The pattern calls for just over 350 meters of each colour. I'm done with MC and C1 and only used 260 meters of MC and a mere 194 meters of C1!!! Not too sure about C2 yet. Had I known this in advance I think I would have made the shawl larger. Now I'm wondering whether to use the remains of C1 (Candy Skein Savory Fingering in the Rainbow Fruit Chews colourway) for another Color Affection, or see how much I have left of the two other colours and make a matching hat for this one!!! I think I'm currently leaning towards the latter, but we'll see :)

(I keep having to correct my own spelling! I've learned British spelling so colour... but this is an American pattern so the name is Color... I keep adding the "U" and then have to go back and correct myself.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday - It's Starting to Look a Lot Like a Sweater

I finally got around to picking the Red Chocolate up again, and - as it seems always happens - I fell in love with it all over again. It is such a cool knit! I'm ever so slightly worried about sewing it all together at the end though - as far as I can puzzle out, it's not quite as straight-forward as I would like... and I have practically NO experience with seaming up sweaters. I'll probably as my Mum for help when that time comes.

But I'm now almost half-way through! Got the back and the right front sorted, and am 66% through the first sleeve :) I love the colour of the yarn, but must admit I wouldn't have chosen the type of yarn myself - it's a tad scratchy! My friend keeps assuring me that's not a problem for her though, so I'm going to trust her judgement - it would be too, too frustrating to knit a sweater as complex as this one and then it ending up not being worn!
But I do love the way it looks - even if it does need a thorough blocking to get some of the stitches evened out.

However, the Red Chocolate currently has to compete with my Candy Colour Affection. I've been wanting to knit the Color Affection for ages, but couldn't find the proper yarn for it. But when I received Candy Skein's Rainbow Fruit Chews I knew this was it! ... At least, if I could find some properly subdued contrasting colours to use with it. Madelinetosh came to the rescue (and now I totally understand the hype about Madelinetosh - it knits up SO lovely!) and I'm speeding through the short rows. Still got a while to go yet, but I couldn't be happier with the way it knits up, the way the colours work together and the Rainbow Fruit Chews pools, and how squishy it's going to end up being. A love affair from the word go :)

This baby is all mine! Can't wait to use it! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Minions!

I've been knitting a lot of different things this past week, but only two things that have shown any real progress, so I'll limit myself to those two :)

Say hello to Bruce, the Despicable Minion :)
Sorry about the shadow - it's getting too dark to take photos in the mornings these days. I'm just under half-way through the second arm... then I have the eyes left to knit, and the top of the overalls to stitch on. Still awhile to go, and I keep putting this aside for other WIPs, but I finally got some real progress on this.

This second WIP is my first real attempt at making something without a pattern. It's starting to get real cold biking in the mornings, and I can't find any of my gloves from last year (I'm just like a child - loosing one or both constantly. I only ever buy the cheap ones, because I go through 2-3 pairs a year), so I figured I'd knit myself a pair. Couldn't be bothered with gloves though, so I've stuck with mittens, and got the first one done while in London :)
It looks a bit odd, but it fits me well, so that's the most important part :) I've knit it top down so I could try it on as I went along. It's knit on 2.5mm rather than the 3 or 3.5mm needles the yarn calls for in order to make it as dense and warm as possible. I haven't cast on for the second one yet, but am planning to do so tonight :)