Friday, February 15, 2008

Of Hats and Sweaters

This has taken a while, but I'm pleased as could be. It's still not finished yet--sleeves, obviously, and the bit around the neckline--so I'm trying to pace myself and figure out what to do for the sleeves. I think I just want to do them without any cables, but on the other hand, where's the challenge in that? The pattern will be posted as soon as the sleeves are finished and it's been blocked. Yes, I'm actually going to block a sweater, though how I'll do that without a blocking board is still a bit of a mystery.
All the knitting has been due in part to the horrendous weather we've had lately. First there was snow. It was another case of the forecast claiming that flurries were on the way, and then we got two inches of snow. To me, two inches accumulation does not a flurry make, especially when the tail end of it includes little chips of ice among the snowflakes. The night of the flurry, there was a rainstorm even though the temperature was something like 21 degrees. This meant that the following morning everything was coated with ice and the whole county shut down for a day or two until the evil salt trucks could go out and pretzelize the roads. Ick. It was a shame because I was looking forward to driving up to Berkeley Springs for a knitting group being hosted by Ellen of Pocket Meadow Farm. She was nice enough--and certainly wise!--to push it back until next week, and we're all keeping out fingers crossed and hoping the weather stays calm.
Mom's progressed with her own knitting and now seems less inclined to throw things out the window in a fit of pique. She's made a handful of hats from "Knitting Little Luxuries" and now she's working on a kimono-style wrap from "Knitting Simple Jackets". This means that she's learning the art of maneuvering circular needles, of which she recently got her very own pair. She also made herself a nifty little knitting bag with her fearsom sewing machine--that thing hates me, I swear, though one of my friends swears it's just because I don't speak the right language when I'm addressing it.
The Lion got his hat the day before Valentine's--a Jayne Cobb hat a la "Firefly"--and apparently hasn't taken it off since then, which I find absolutely adorable. The Lion is just plain adorable anyway, with or without hats. :P Enough said.
A number of books suggest--nay, emphasize!--that knitters would be well advised to have more than one project going at once to help keep them from getting bored or losing interest in any of them. Since Evil Ambition has just the sleeves left, and since I'm doing a pair of socks on those tiny, horrible needles, I've gone ahead and cast on the yoke for the cabled tunic (pattern is from Lion Brand Yarn); that way I can switch between the three without being attacked by the ennui bug, especially because sleeves always make me feel like they go on forever and ever and ever without me actually making any headway. It's silly, because obviously I do get to the end of the sleeve and, at some point, attach it to the body of the sweater, but it just feels like it takes forever to get there.
Anyway, now that I've got the yoke started, it's requiring some serious head scratching and frowning at the pattern. For the cables, Row 2 is written wrong. It says "K1, k the knit stitches and p the purl stiches to last st, k1". If you do that--at least, this is what happened to ME--you end up with little caterpillars that look like a cross between a chenille bedspread and a bastardized basketweave texture, which is not what you're aiming for. What you're really supposed to do, and what I found out after ripping out the first three rows a couple of times, is that the reverse side of the yoke has to have reverse stockinette and stockinette in the opposite places that the front side does. My explanation is probably just as confusing as the original instructions; the bottom line is that the Row 2 instructions are badly worded and that if you follow them, things get screwed up. This, then, is what it's supposed to look like, and not what happens when you follow the instructions to the letter. Yay, me!


KC said...

Great job! Keep it up, sleeves are quick! Kathy

Rachael said...

Aww!! The Lion... in a Jayne hat!! That's too cute! Surely, you have pictures? *is hopeful*

And "Yay!" for your mom! Please tell her congratualtions from me on progressing to circular needles. She will master DPNs yet!

And "Yay!" for you with all your projects... And "Yay!" for figuring out that cable pattern. How frustrating that the instructions weren't written correctly...