Monday, January 7, 2013

Progress Report (Day 2)

After writing my last progress report, I worked on the bulky cable vest. I figured out the length issue and ended up taking out a few rows of the front, but not much. I joined the back and front at the shoulder seam with a three needle bind off.

Once they were joined, I continued knitting the two side cables, attaching them to the stitches I left live on the back neck edge. At the end of each row I knit or purled the last stitch together with the stitch from the back. It got pretty awkward at the center back, but still manageable.

Once all the stitches were picked up, I grafted the two ends of the cable trim together. It happened to fall on a cable row so I exchanged the position of the stitches on the needle and then grafted as normal.
It's too bad it looks a little clunky where the cable twist changes direction at the center back, but there's not much you can do about that if you want the twists to be a mirror image on the front.

Once that was done, I picked up stitches around the armhole, but didn't start to knit them.
I paused here because I want to try it on and see how it's going. And that also pretty much finished my night. Football was done and it was time for some sleep. (BTW, it looks like I will have plenty of yarn for this. You don't need to stay up at night worrying about it any longer. Not that I was...)

The next day in the car, I started with the lace coat. I started chart 2 and got the first repeat done (24 rows):
You can see the left side is "longer" than the right side.
It will form the ruffle at the hem.
Only nine more repeats to go!

Right now it's a lot of work because I am consulting the chart on almost every stitch. But after the first repeat of the chart, I'm starting to recognize some patterns. It's sort of like starting to write. At first someone tells you to make a line from top to bottom and then to draw a circle beside it but just touching the line. You follow the instructions piece by piece, and when you're done you look at what you made and recognize a "b." But with a little repetition, you start to recognize that the "b" falls into a whole family of letters with circles and lines, like "a," "d," "p," and even "g" if you just add a hook at the bottom. That's about where I am with this pattern, just recognizing the patterns between the different parts.

Once the pattern is learned, it's easier to knit without constantly looking at the chart. You can "read" your knitting and know what comes next. You can see that you're working on the leaf, and what part of it you're on. Do you need to make it bigger or smaller at that point?, etc.

I'm not sure I'll get to the point where I will be able to knit this lace pattern without the chart, but I can already tell that it's getting easier. For now, it will not be something to work on during football games, I can tell you that!

About the time I finished the chart, it was getting dark enough to make chart reading more difficult, so I pulled out the sock I had packed. In the hotel the night before, I had tried it on and decided it was long enough to start the cuff. I cut the black/white yarn, joined the red, and knit one row (so there wouldn't be any colour blips) to set it up for the next day.
In the car I started a 1x1 rib and got this much done before my hands were tired from the small needle work and it was getting dark enough to make it hard to see the stitches.
Do you think I made it long enough?? Ha ha. It really shortens a lot when I put it on because it has to stretch around my calves. I'll do a good 3" of cuff, I think, and they will be just right for knee socks. (That's 3" when I'm wearing them. That might be as much as 5" unstretched.)

Then I still did not stop knitting because I don't need to see much to work on the bias scarf, so I did a few sections of that. Then it was truly dark and my hands/body were tired enough to want to stop. Troy drove the whole way again, so I had plenty of time to knit, knit, knit!

Once home, unpacked, and settled in for some Downton Abbey, I picked up a new project. While in Guelph, we stopped at Len's Mill, a general merchandise store that carries tonnes of yarn and fabric. I walked through the aisles and couldn't believe the sheer quantity of yarn that they carried! A lot of it was acrylic so fortunately I could just skim those aisles.

I did pick up a couple balls of crochet cotton, and then I saw the Phentex. What a blast from the past. I've never seen it in the States, but it's a completely horrible fake yarn that feels a lot like plastic twine. But it is what we all used for slippers growing up. And many still do. Well, my own slippers have been taken down by the latest round of home improvement, so I picked up a couple of bright cheery colours and started on a replacement pair:

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