Thursday, October 25, 2012


It's late and I'm doing some last minute packing for Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago. I'm so excited to see my knitting camp buddy, Stephanie. I'm looking forward to lots of shopping at market and my class with Ysolda Teague all day Saturday, "Beyond the Raglan".

Back on Monday with lots of fun to share.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


My blocking trials with Pole continued. I didn't pay enough attention to making sure that the sides of Pole were absolutely even (it's hard to do with a circular knit - at least that's my excuse), so once it was done blocking and I tried it on one side hung lower than the other. At the yarn store they said it was hardly noticeable but you know how it is when there is something wrong with your knitting, it's going to drive you nuts. So I folded the sweater circle in half and then you could see where one side was bigger than the other, then I steamed the shorter side to match the longer side. (hope I'm making sense here).

The others at the yarn store said that it was fixed but I still think it's a little off. The real fix would be to reblock the piece but I may try resteaming it first as it's just a hair off. Besides I want to wear it this weekend.

I really like how it turned out otherwise and the color is perfect. The pictures were taken indoors at the yarn store as outside was not cooperating. The fog was so thick that I thought I was on the movie set of "The Others".

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blocking Trials and Honey Cowl

I got to work last night blocking my Pole Cardigan which is knit in Madelinetosh Vintage in Tart. I put it in the water and instantly the water turned red. Not pinkish or a reddish tinge, I mean RED. So, I rinsed out the water, rinsing off the sweater hoping to get some of the color out and tried again hoping for a lesser shade of red. Nope, still RED. I kept trying rinsing and soaking eventually the water started fading but I still couldn't get it to stop running or turning quite red. This went on for hours I should tell you. So, what did I do? I turned to my trusty friend Jessica who is knowledgeable on all things Knitteth. She suggested that I try adding vinegar to the water. Which I tried and it worked wonderfully.

Now, it's laid out to dry. Hopefully it will be dry before this weekend as I want to take it away with me this weekend to Chicago.

I wove in the ends today on a Honey Cowl knit with Madelinetosh Tosh Light in Amber Trinket. I knit this as an early Christmas present for my friend Deb. This is the third Honey Cowl I've knit and I'm done knitting them. I love how they look, but I was bored knitting it this time. I love the colorway though. The picture doesn't do it justice. I held the yarn doubled and used all but about two feet of it. It's only 9" wide, which is as wide as I knit the other Honey Cowls and they have worked perfectly. With the yarn held doubled, the cowl is so thick and squishy. 

I had a moment of Startitis take over me while at the yarn store the other day. Never good to go in there without a project. I really should know better. I grabbed the nearest yarn to me and started a cowl. The yarn was Classic Elite's Mountaintop Chalet and the cowl is knit like a scarf then joined. Urgh! I'm basically knitting a scarf. I'm two thirds completed and will hurry and get it complete in the next day or so, as I'm eager to get something more interesting on the needles. Am I the only one who ever casts on without thinking the project through and regrets it later. 

I always think there is too much fun knitting out there to be knitting on something you don't enjoy. However, I'm determined to not add to the list of UFO's that are hanging around this house, as I've been trying really hard to reduce them. So knit on with the scarf/cowl I will.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weave and Block

Sounds like I'm talking about boxing but I have a quick question .... I need to block my Pole sweater. Do I weave ends then block or block then weave ends? Remembering that this is a circular sweater that is reversible in areas and would be best served by ends being woven on the edges and is going to be heavily blocked.

Any suggestions, advice or tips greatly appreciated.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rebecca and Lightweight Pullover

I got around to steaming two projects today. Yes, that's right! Kim, the finisher, has been at it again. What?! Surely you expected nothing less from me these days.

First up is Rebecca which is a pattern by Beth Paustian of Black Purl. This is knit in the wonderful Fiber Company's Organik. Great yarn that I'm thinking of knitting a Rocky Coast Cardigan in. I knit this back in 08/09 but then let it sit, per usual, until I finally seamed it at knitting camp a couple years back. I wore it a couple of times but was not quite pleased with the length of the sleeves and how it hung. All it needed was a good steam, which I finally took care of today. Now, it will get plenty of wear. I'm still wishing the sleeves were longer but the steaming helped a lot. Me and my monkey arms will just have to deal.

Next is my Lightweight Pullover by Hannah Fettig knit in Sunday Knits Nirvana 3 ply which is pure heaven. I love her yarns, they are a delight to knit with. I knit this up this summer pretty fast considering the mind numbingly boring stocking stitch, but it was worth it. It's not the fanciest of sweaters or one that will turn heads, but it definitely is one that will be a go to sweater and will be worn a lot. It's lightweight (no pun intended) yet provides a nice layer of warmth for our chilly Wisconsin weather. 

Now to see what else I can dig out of the bottomless knitting closet.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I'm sad to say that this sweater was four years in the making. Well, to be honest it was knit in a month then sat in my closet for four years waiting to be sewn together. Finally, I pulled it out and took it to Beth at Black Purl and had her sew it together for me while I worked on Pole and when she returned it I picked up and knit the button bands and collar in a day or two and Voila! Done! It really wasn't that hard. I'm so annoyed at myself for waiting that long when this is clearly what will be a "go to" cardigan. It's big and comfy and great with a pair of jeans.

After being shoved in a bag in the closet it's looking a little crumpled so I think I'm going to steam it a little, but I'm a bit hesitant because of the very long sleeves. I'll have to be careful to not let them grow. It was a common problem I noted on Ravelry (after I knitted it) that the sleeves were coming out two inches too long. Now, I like long sleeves, but I'm pretty sure that these could grow too much which is why I'm going to be very careful in steaming it.

I'd also recommend making the buttonholes bigger as they came out rather small and proportionally it seems a little off with such small buttons on such a big sweater, but I can live with it because half the time I won't have it buttoned up anyway.

The other problem I had with the pattern was with the collar band. Veronik tells you to pick up 4 out of 5 stitches up the neckline to get 56 stitches. I ended up picking 2 out of 3 (which looked good) and still got 62 stitches, which was the XL size so I went by that stitch count. I still ended up having to calculate myself the initial row with short rows as the totals in the pattern were completely off causing the pattern to be written incorrectly for that size.

Also, the yardage is so far off base, I used at least one and a half times what the pattern called for, which was also the common theme on Ravelry. I was frustrated to see that even though this pattern is five years old that there has been no errata published anywhere for the pattern. So knitters are still struggling through these same issues if they haven't read through other knitters posts. Now, I'm a big fan of Veronik Avery but even though Knitty doesn't pay very well, you would think that the designer would take some pride in her design and update some errata at least with yardage.

That's just my little rant.

Bottom line though is that it's a lovely pattern, lovely sweater and we're going to live a long and happy life together.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Braided Join

While working on my Pole cardigan I had a little dilemma when I ran out of yarn mid-wedge. The outside circle of Pole can be worn reversed so I didn't want ends to weave in and Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage is a superwash yarn so spit/splicing was out of the question. I really didn't want to frog back a bunch of rows to an area where I could weave ends in less conspicuously without giving something else a try first. So after researching Ravelry and the Madelinetosh board, I came across two alternatives, the Russian Join and the Braided Join. I thought I'd give the Braided Join a try.

First I separated one end of the yarn into two plies about six inches (as I was knitting on large needles and wanted the join to cover a few stitches). Then, I took the new end of yarn and overlapped it in the middle of unseparated yarn and secured it with a hair clip.

Then I braided the yarn together and when finished removed the hair clip. The join is very secure. I gave it a good tug to be sure. There are ends that will be left at the back and cut off once the piece has been blocked.

Then you knit as normal with the braided yarn. Here you can see that it blends pretty well except for the one stitch where I had braided the yarn too tightly and it had twisted and become too thick. (sorry for the sideways pics - computer issues today)
I did find it helpful to have an extra pair of hands to hold the hair clip when braiding.

Overall it worked in a pinch. I think it might be more successful with other types of yarn. It is supposed to work with everything from cotton to wool, including Superwash, bulky to thinner yarns. To be honest, next time I'll just plan my join a little more carefully unless I'm running low on yarn and trying to use every last scrap.