25 March 2007

Slow Progress

Have been working here and there on the SKB. Had a problem where I dropped some stitches just before a marker, so it wasn't a simple matter of laddering down and then using a crochet hook to ladder back up... though I did try. Had to rip out one repeat of the yoke increases and re-do it. Luckily, the yarn I'm using isn't too slippery and the stitches held themselves together long enough for me to pick them back up with a small set of circulars.

Then I thought it was time to try on the sweater, so I counted the number of stitches on the needles, and it turns out I need one more repeat of the yoke increases before I'll be ready to slip the sleeve stitches and work on the sweater body. Don't know why I thought I should do 6 repeats instead of 7, but I guess that's why you count stitches before you stomp on through to the next instruction.

I'm almost one ball of yarn into the project at this point; I've put it down because I have to join the next ball and I'm on a purl row, and I'm trying to figure out if I'm skilled enough to knit my ends in on a purl row or not. I guess I'll just have to go for it and see.

The good news is that I think I have figured out what I want to do for short row shaping... I have two choices and I'll just try one on the first front I come to and see how it turns out. One method is to pick a vertical center point over one front section, then knit back and forth almost to the edge several times. I think this will make a narrow, football-shaped area centered over the bust point). The other method is to start the short row shaping right at the bust point, then knit some very short rows followed by increasingly-longer short rows. I think this will make a two-dimensional cone-shaped area that starts at the bust point and extends downward over the bust toward the empire line. I have no way of knowing which way will fit me better; hopefully (after all this cogitation) one way will look decent on my body.

I may get all sneaky and knit in a very thin lifeline before I start the short rows so if I need to rip back, I can do it without worrying.

13 March 2007

Combined Knitting

I have put down the SKB for now, as I am still pondering the fitting possibilites. Because I must knit, I have picked up the horribly neglected Suss Cousins cardigan wrap and its neverending k1p1 rib. I'm about a third of the way through the back now, and started my third ball of yarn tonight.

And (get ready to clap for me) I tried combination knitting for the first time. I carefully knitted so as to re-orient the legs of the stitches and—no surprise here—it's quicker and less stressful on the wrists and faster than plain continental. Go me!

06 March 2007

Partial Eureka

I dreamed short rows last night (when I wasn't dreaming about running up and down the steps of my college dorm from 20+ years ago, that is) and I think I've got the mental picture now of what those other SKB bloggers were saying.

They were making one long short-row pouch in the front, after the join, and in my head, I imagined you would do a short row section for each, um, bosom, prior to the join.

I have no knitting experience with short rows, but I'm hoping all those years of sewing and pattern fitting will guide me: either of these short row placements will add the extra length I need, but if you do two short row sections instead of one, the portion above the empire line/lace work will be more like a bra. I want the empire line to be straight and perpendicular to the center front and I want it to land where my bra band is... no riding up in front. And I want the bottom of the V to hit very close to the purl bumps, just like in the photo. On my body, it's the position of the V against the empire line that makes this design tummy slimming and chest-minimizing at the same time—visually divides that area in three.

But now at least it makes sense why these other instructions weren't making sense to me. If that makes any sense.

So now the trick is to figure out how to do what I want to do. Since I have two repeats of the increase stitches left to knit, I think I can use the first repeat to do short row shaping on each front, then use the second repeat to do the reverse short row shaping. Because there are increases involved in other parts of these same rows, I will have to use lots of markers to make sure my short row and reverse short row sections line up.

And I'm wondering if I didn't halfway figure this all out in my dream because, when you think about it, working short rows is a lot like running up and down the steps. Brains are so cool.

05 March 2007

Now I Am Stuck

I'm down to the last two increase repeats of the SKB, and this (I'm guessing) is where the short rows should be going in... but despite lots of studying here and here, I have no mental picture of how to do this. I may have to break down and run back to the LYS and beg the nice lady there to help me.

Sometimes you just have to try, I suppose, but I'm not really in the mood to rip back right now if I don't get it right. So I'm going to wait until (a) I feel more confident about the process, or (b) I get less worried about having to frog.

26 February 2007

SKB Begun

Despite the fact that I am swamped with work, children, a husband, a house, and serving as Publicity chair for the preschool auction to be held two weeks from now, I have decided that this is the optimal time to buy more yarn and cast on for Stefanie Japel's Simple Knitted Bodice. If it works out as well as the pattern reviews indicate, it will be my first adult-sized sweater.

I chose Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Oceanic Mix. I got gauge using the suggested needle sizes but then went up one size to a US 9 for the body of the sweater, because my measurements land exactly between two of the sizes. I know everyone has been saying "I wish I'd made the smaller size" but I don't think this yarn will stretch as much as the Tilli Tomas.

I'm almost to the point where I can try it on... we'll see if my gauge-and-size guesses were close to the mark.

31 January 2007

Today I was so wrapped up in finishing the last stich of the picot bind off on the last pair of Knitty Fetchings that I'm making that I completely missed my train stop.

14 December 2006

I'm Fetching

I've been knitting up a zillion and one Fetchings for winterhols gifts... for the teachers at preschool, for my kids, for my mother-in-law.

Everyone's favorite color is a variation on the red theme, except mine (which I haven't started yet). All are Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

By the third one, I figured out how to cable without a cable needle. I learned one technique from the fabulous Grumperina, but the one from Wendyknits was much easier for me to manipulate... my stitches turn out much more uniform. And being easier to manipulate means Wendy's method is faster for me to work. Christmas is coming, so I >heart< fast.

Oh. Mine? Teal.