Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Too Big (Edited).

Everyone say it with me ... 

"Gauge, shmauge!"

I didn't think gauge mattered since I was using the yarn they called for ... but I forgot that I didn't have the right needles available, so I used a size 0.25mm larger. 

It's still a fairly nice Mandola ...

So I will wear it anyways. 

I have no new cute cat pictures, so I leave you with a 1-year old boy investigating the bra rack at Macy's. 

He seemed to favor the underwire demi bras.

 Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for Finished Object Friday!

This was edited to add better pictures. Pictures that make it appear that I actually make an effort with my appearance ... ;-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Inching Along

It's a good thing I'm not in too much of a hurry!

Because my Bohus Swing Coat will not be done anytime soon! This is the back. The lighter purple is the hem. It's 12" and needs to be 17" before I take the next step, which I assume is sleeve-related.

Here's a closeup so you can see how wonky my stitches are:

Kinda warbly, aren't they?

Cascade tweed ... I think it's loverly.

And the Mandola cowl-hat is creeping along.

I've got 25 rows out of 68. My fingers are tired from typing a lot, so sometimes I just don't want to fuss with thin yarn and 3.25mm needles.

That's it for me. What WIPs are you all WIPping up for the coming winter? (Unless you're in New Zealand, of course, and starting Spring!)

Don't forget to check in with TamisAmis on Wednesday, for WIP Wednesday!

 It's not really meant for two, but Molly Cat doesn't read labels.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Importance of Being Earnest...

...about paying attention to pattern instructions.

These are my WIPs:

In the middle is the Mandola Hat Cowl, which I am not knitting in the colorwork as the pattern dictates, but with this lovely Stroll yarn instead. Around it is the bare bones of the Nicky Epstein Bohus Swing Coat, which is quite a big project and I hope to have it done by Christmas. I could, if I'd stop adding more WIPs to the pile.

Anyhow, I carefully read ahead in each pattern to make sure I understood what was required of me. I cast on the hat-cowl, the appropriate size for my giant noggin -- 22 inches -- and was promptly dismayed that 84 stitches didn't even go around my head halfway. I cast on the larger size, 94 stitches ... same thing.

I am using the right weight yarn and the right size needles--well, no, because my 2.25 mm are busy, so I'm using 2.5mm. Or vice versa. Anyway, I cast on 100+ stitches, thinking I'd just have to wing it, and had  started knitting when I finally realized there might be something in the pattern to give me a clue.

Voila. 84 stitches is half the headband. The other half is knitted separately and joined later, so that it flips up like a brim. When will I learn?!

The Bohus Yarns

Apparently never. I cast on the Bohus not long after, and was soon fretting that the hundred-something stitches for the hem would in no way go around my hips. And it called for a decrease to 78 stitches as it went up. It's Cascade 220 -- not at all bulky. I was about to rip it out and cast on the next size up (thoroughly demoralizing myself, because I am so thrilled that when I knit stuff now I use the 2nd size from the left, and not the last biggest size!), when it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe ... I should check the pattern. Before I started climbing the walls.

Me climbing the walls

Voila the second. I was knitting the back. The sides came later. To be fair, every cardigan I've knit so far was all of one piece, so I didn't immediately think of panels. But all this confusion happens despite my reading ahead. So in the future, I will never again be so prepared.

In other news, I went to my favorite craft store, Joann's ... and discovered something that helped me thread beads onto knitting projects in a fraction of the time it was taking me.

Tapestry needle threaders!

I have broken six of the regular needle threaders, and then I continue to use the tiny wires until those break. But with tapestry threaders ....



So that is my week so far! Don't forget to stop by TamisAmis  for Work In Progress Wednesday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Finished Object Friday!

The blue cardigan is officially finished!


Alas, I am really not good at taking pictures. A flash in a dim hallway facing a mirror? What could possibly go wrong? (Crikey, I had no idea those pants were so baggy)

(What do I do with my arms?! I don't know how to pose!)

I do have a "screaming button" problem ... which is not unusual in women who are built rather large on top. I'm not sure how to fix it (the gapping in the buttons). 

What do you all suggest?

Don't forget to drop by TamisAmis on Friday for Finished Object Friday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Many WIPs for Wednesday!

It only lacks the buttons, which I have at hand, but not yet sewn on!

(I rather suck at sewing anything ... I'm good at seaming, though...not that this sweater has any.)

There is a wonky decrease line on the right, as compared to the left. Not sure what happened. 

The decrease line on the left is closer to the front. How did I mess that up?!

The top-down view in the back.

I posted my blocking adventures in my last blog post, if anyone cares to see it ...

All in all, a fun, relatively fast knit. The arms *are* a little weird, though. Almost too low on the sweater. As near as I can tell, my arms are no higher or lower than anyone else's!

I am also piddling along on a Mandola Hat Cowl, a KnitPicks pattern, using their Stroll hand painted sock yarn. It is really, really pretty. And the seashell yarn sock, which has been sadly shunted aside.

 I believe the Stroll yarn color is "Make Believe."

That pop-top sound you hear is Edgar Allen Poe opening a can of whoop ass ...
Right before I took this picture, Molly (bottom cat) was swatting at Edgar Allen Poe and trying to get him off the chair. Soon as I got the camera, she lay down in her innocent-kitty-pose and pretended to be good.

Don't forget to visit TamisAmis (anyone know how to pronounce that?) for Work-in-Progress Wednesday! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What Would Macgyver Do?


Block a sweater. 16 undisturbed square feet needed for blocking mat.


Edgar Allen Poe ...

Molly .... 



All those years watching "MacGyver" have finally paid off.

The sweater isn't finished yet, but the directions said to block to proportion before knitting the last thing, which is the button bands. I'm not normally fond of blocking ...
Because there just isn't anywhere in this house where I can spread out! It's a 900+ square foot house, but it's a three bedroom rowhouse, so it's all doorways and closet doors and hallways and the walls are solid concrete, and I tried putting anchors in them to hang the blocking mats, but the wall just crumbled, because it's 60 year old concrete. The widest spot in the house is the living room, which is 15 feet square. It's 15 feet from one wall to the other ... I am never more than 7 1/2 feet from a neighbor.

If I'm blocking something long and narrow, I can set it on the futon in the spare bedroom or along the downstairs hallway. But if it's square or in any way Tetris-y shaped, I have to get creative.

I am not pleased with the sleeves. And the yoke was a bit snug across my shoulders. I had to choose between a size that was way too big, and a size that was an eensy bit too small ... since it only buttons at the top, and doesn't close at the bottom, I went with slightly too small, figuring I could block it larger.

Hopefully, by this coming weekend, I will be at my favorite LYS, All About Yarn, in beautiful Columbia, Maryland, shopping for buttons! And by the time cool weather gets here, I'll have a nice snuggly cardigan to wear to work and show off.

Before diving into the Bohus Swing Coat, which will be very challenging, I'm going to relax with something easy and hopefully fast. I have been fascinated by these cowl-hats ... you knit a tube with drawstrings, and it can be a cowl ... or you put it on your head and pull the strings tight, and it's a hat! The newest KnitPicks catalog has a pattern for a Mandola Hat Cowl, and I decided to buy the pattern. I don't mean to knit it in the lovely colorwork pattern, though ... I have a skein of Stroll Handpainted Sock Yarn I've been wanting to use, and this is just the project for it. Hopefully it will be fast and mindless. This cardigan was actually quite easy, once I got the pattern set.

In other not-so-good news ... I think I have a mouse in the house.

I haven't heard anything, or seen any signs of one ... 

I just have a sneaking suspicion.