Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tilt - C'est finis! (picture heavy post)

It has been an extremely busy week. My quit date (smoking) actually began Tuesday night instead of Wednesday when I ran out of cigarettes. It's been 5+ days and so far things are going along pretty well. I haven't had too many cravings. My main problem is that I'm using the Commit lozenges and it takes so da-- long for these things to dissolve that I can't use anywhere near the recommended dose. If I did, I'd die of starvation or dehydration. It's takes me about 1 1/2 hours to get one of these things to melt completely and I'm supposed to use 1 every 1-2 hours. You can't drink for 15 minutes before or after, so that would leave me with absolutely no time for any type of nourishment!!!

I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures of the finished Tilt. I had hoped to get my mom to model it but she had knee surgery on Friday. I used Noro Silk Garden color 234 and this sweater took approximately 14-15 skeins with all the color matching. I also had to cut off about 3 inches on each sleeve and re-knit them down.

Several changes I made were:

1. I picked up fewer stitches than the pattern called for on the 3-needle bind off for the collar, the yoke joining of the yoke to the back and the button bands.

2. The sleeves had to be eased in significantly once the bind off at the shoulders was completed on the front and back yokes. In order to pick up the 86 stitches needed for the bind off I had to start and end further into the underarm sections. Not sure if this was me or the pattern since I completed the charts correctly.

3. The left front yoke was slightly larger that right front yoke, but I was able to eliminate the difference with blocking and the pick up for the button band.

The yarn is very light and drapey so I will have to see if it grows significantly when worn.

Tilt front

Tilt front yoke closeup

Tilt back

Tilt back closeup

Tilt button closeup

The cardigan is coming along nicely. The back and right front are finished and I've started the raglan shaping on the left front. It's nothing fancy, just me stretching my legs to see if I can do it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

To Knot or Not to Knot ...

Pardon the corruption of one of Shakespeare's most famous quotes. I've been working with Noro yarns lately and the knots are driving me crazy. I'm currently working on a hip length cardigan (changed from semi-fitted) in Noro Silver Thaw and it seems that things will be no different. I really like this yarn, but so far I've run into knots in the first 2 skeins. Each was about halfway through the 100 gm skein. This makes me wonder why didn't they just make them 50 gms and skip the knotting. That aside, I must admit that I'm really enjoying this yarn.

This yarn doesn't have the drifting apart problem that sometimes occurs with Silk Garden and even the parts that aren't spun quite as tightly maintain their integrity. It can still be a PITA if you have to frog as some of the fibers get caught on the other, but other than the aforementioned knotting I have no complaints.

The cardigan is coming along fairly well. I've worked out my problems with the back and it is now complete. I cast on the front today and was making good progress until I realized I've got and extra row or two in the ribbing portion and me being the perfectionistic person that I am will have to rip it out.

Tilt is now in the home stretch. All the main pieces are together including the sleeves which haven't been sewn together because they are way too long. I have over a six foot wing span, not that I'm overly tall it just runs in the family, and they are too long for me. The pick up and and 3-needle bind off for all the sections was headache, but it's what makes the jacket. Tonight I'll pick up the bands and maybe get the collar done.

On a personal note, I'm fast approaching my "quit date" for smoking. Am I anxious? Anxious as hell!!! I've been a smoker for about 27 years. I quit for 3 of those years which doesn't count if you start back and briefly for numerous other times. People always tell me you don't look like a smoker, but what does a smoker look like?

For this reason, I don't store my stash at home. 1) it's too big and 2) I don't want it to smell like smoke. I'm looking forward to improving my health, numerous medical issues going on here and not having to worry about the smell. It's amazing that I never paid attention to the smell until my masseur asked me if I smoked. He smelled it in my hair. So here's to positive life changes and better health in the future.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Breaking New Ground

I accomplished my goal this weekend and completed all the pieces of Tilt. It's presently on the blocking board which will take two stages. The large body sections and two of the yokes are the first pieces being blocked. I'm anxious to get it all put together. In the meantime I've started on this.

It's a semi-fitted raglan cardigan I'm designing using Noro Silver Thaw.I'm calling it the Promise of Spring because of the softly muted springtime colors. Silver Thaw is a wool/angora/nylon mix that has a most unusual feel. It feels almost papery but knits very smoothly. It is a single that is more tightly spun than the Silk Garden. The color changes are more random and the lengths of color smaller than those found in Kureyon and Silk Garden. So far, I haven't experienced any of the aggravating knots or drifting apart that can occur with some Noro yarns. This yarn comes in 100 gram/240 yd skeins, which means I grossly over bought and will definitely be making a yarn exchange.

As for the socks, I did give him a little time at the allergist's office on Friday while I was undergoing the required after shot wait. In order to appease the sock spirits that have been so very good to me (knitting socks was how I got my hand to work again after the neck ordeal last year), I'm getting ready to start on him tonight and give him his proper place on the knitting throne.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stashing with Plans (picture heavy post)

Last week I visited my favorite lys, the Hook N Needle, for their January sale. Even though my intent was to purchase only those items I was missing for planned projects, that scheme failed miserably. The odds were against me when I walked into the shop and saw the Noro and Fiesta Yarns for 40% off. Everything else in the store was 25% off. I finally purchased the yarn to make two of my dream knits.

From the Top - Handpaint Country. 8 skeins Fiesta Yarns La Boheme in Snow. This only comes in sizes XS, S, and M, so I purchased extra to make a large.

Pueblo Cape - Handpaint Country. This is the matching cape. I'm going to use La Boheme in Vanilla, 7 skeins and Snow, 3 - 290 yard skeins.

7 skeins black Indiecita Alpaca sportweight for a shawl.

12 skeins Noro Silver Thaw (project undecided)

10 skeins Noro Silk Garden ( +5 in the stash marinating) possibly for another Tilt for me.

Yes, I am a yarn addict!!!

While working on the left back of Tilt, I discovered that I had a ridge from the decreases that wasn't supposed to be there. I ripped it again and proceeded to finish it with the proper decreases only to discover that I had started back at the wrong row. It was about 4 rows too short and now that I've gone back to a recognizable starting point and things are going along smoothly. I'll still have to frog part of the right back that has the same ridge. The bad part is that I could have had all the top sections knitted and the sleeves started if I hadn't had such a brain fart!

The poor Xmas socks have been sadly neglected and have not seen any action in several days. I'm currently consumed with Tilt and will give them some much needed attention this weekend.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

De Colores has Tilted

After knitting panel after panel, De Colores had to meet an unpleasant demise. A visit to the frog pond! My choice of the main color was all wrong. I've often been told I have a great sense of color, but we all must be brought back to reality at some point in time. My head is now a couple of sizes smaller.

I am however very pleased with the latest endeavour. It's Tilt by Natalie Wilson from knitty. My mom kept saying the colors in De Colores were fine, but that was just to humor me. She's much more pleased with this sweater and even though it wasn't ready for Xmas she'll be wearing it soon. The body part is rather tedious, being all stockinette, but I'm breaking that up by working one of the upper sections after each large piece. This jacket has the neatest shaping for the yokes and is truly an inspired design.

I'm still making progress on the Pharoah's Check socks from Sensational Knitted Socks. These are my other late Xmas present for oldest brother who wears a size 13. The actual color is more of a burgundy or gamecock red.I'm glad my youngest brother who wears a size 14 and my oldest nephew who wears a size 15 don't understand the pleasure of handknit socks.