Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sleeve Problem

Last night I thought I would start on a sleeve, because it's more portable then all the fair isle, and it always takes me forever to knit sleeves, and when I cast on I thought I had way to many stitches. So, I looked at the schematic, and it has my size knitting 10 1/4" around the cuff. My wrist is only 6" around! In the pictures it looks like a normal sleeve; is there something I don't understand here? I can figure out how to fix it to fit, but it just seemed so wrong, I thought I must be missing something. Does anyone know?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fair Isle Progress!

I've been working steadily on my Mirepoix Bodice, and I finally have something to post about it! I have a little more than seven inches of the fair isle completed. I've established the neck and armhole steeks; they are about three inches long, and my shaping is almost done.

I'm still really happy with the color substitutions I made on this project. I had a difficult time getting an accurate picture of the colors (for one thing, the orange looks much more garish here than it does in person). I'm also really pleased with how the fair isle looks. I haven't done this technique before, and I was nervous about how it might look. I started off a little loose, but I've gotten a little better at regulating my tension, and now it looks really good.

The alpaca is also behaving better then I had thought it would. It's not sticking together like shetland or anything, but it is felting a little. I'm still going to sew my steeks before I cut, of course, but it gives me a little piece of mind knowing it will hold a bit on its own. I think it's at least as nice for fair isle as superwash wool.

I have to say, this is one of the most satisfying sweaters I've worked on in a while. I'm surprised at how much I like doing fair isle; I guess I can quit avoiding it now! It looks very pretty. I can't wait to get finished and wear it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Steek Stall

Well, I have now completed knitting the bodice part of sweater, but I still have yet to cut the steeks. I don't own a sewing machine, nor have I used one in years, so I plan to persuade my mom to sew the steeks for me on her machine when I visit in a few weeks.

So in the meantime, there won't be much progress on that front, which is a shame, because I really am anxious to see how it turns out. I just started on the sleeves, but there is not much to see yet. I suppose I took my time getting started on those because I knew I wasn't going to be sewing them in before November.

It's getting close to completion, and yet there are still a few more things to do, like the neckline, and weaving in tons of ends.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Started the Fair Isle Section!

I started the fair isle section on Mirepoix - as this is a pretty small gauge and none of the floats are carried over more than 4 stitches, I haven't been doing anything special to strand them and I think it looks a little loose on the wrong side but still OK. I guess that is better than being too tight and puckering on the right side.

102107 001

102107 002

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Help Please....

Update ~ thx to everyone for your suggestions. I'm still don't see a suitable choice for me and I don't have the time or energy to do a lot of searching so I will postpone this til November. I'll be around checking out everyone's progress so when I'm ready I've got some examples. Thx again. ;D

ok ~ I was all set to make mine but now have a dilemna. I went to my LYS to p/u my yarn but it wasn't in yet. Then I was informed that the yarn I choose is too heavy. Then I realized that I hadn't ordered enough since the Takhi Cotton is 106yd a skein and I need 225 yd. Help!!

I really am not interested in the KnitPicks Telemark but that is comparable in cost. I don't have the funds for the Louet but I really want to make this lovely item. Any suggestions would be appreciated so that I can get started.

Thx ~ talk w/you later.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Started Mirepoix - Finally!

I cast on for Mirepoix yesterday and I have about an inch of the ribbing done (SO not worth posting a picture of - LOL.) My question is, for those of you that are using the Louet - any tricks or tips to stop the yarn from constantly twisting up on itself? I've tried setting the ball farther away from me and that helps a little, but not that much. Any other ideas?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Established Steeks

After discovering my steek mistake, I wound up just ripping back the 2 or 3 rows I had completed and then binding off the last BO stitch and starting the steeks again. I actually had two different colors connected to the sleeve edge, and I just felt that it was easier to do it right than to try to salvage a few rows.

I've completed all of the decreases, and since I'm a tight knitter and making the smallest size, I'm finding that I almost wish I had a smaller circ for this part--I'm having to push and pull my work over a lot since there are barely enough stitches for it to be workable on these needles. On the plus side, all the pulling on stitches is actually having the one side benefit of somehow evening out my tension!

I've completed about 4", so only 3 1/2" more to go! While I got stitch gauge, I'm finding that I didn't quite end up with row gauge, so that, combined with knittting an additional 1" before establishing the steeks to make sure I wound up with a true empire waist and not bisected boobs like Interweave's model, means that I'm ending up with more repeats of the pattern than I would otherwise.

I'm so close, and can't wait to finish this beautiful sweater! Below is a picture of my progress since establishing the steeks:

I cut my steeks!!

Well, I cut my steeks. It wasn't as scary as I thought. Although I did run two lines of machine stitching, just to ease my nerves. But everything went according to plan, and I'm ready to do the neckband. There are tons more pictures at my blog, but I didn't want to overdo it here :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Yahoo Group

I thought I would mention that there's a fair isle knitting yahoo group that is pretty active (I get emails every day from it) called "fairisleknitting." There was a discussion a few days ago about steeking, specifically with alpaca, which I thought might be interesting or helpful to those who substituted an alpaca yarn.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Aah drats!

I've been MIA and now I feel lefted out. You all have started w/o me. LOL I've chosen my yarn, finally and will pick it up next week. Too busy this week to do it. I will be using Tahki Stacy Classic Cotton is some lovely colors. I don't have a camera at the moment but I'll figure out how to post the pick of the yarn. Progress is looking good for those of you who have already started. I hope mine works out great too.

Happy Knitting!
Dawn ;)

I'm zipping along

I've been zipping along on my Mirepoix bodice. I actually started knitting this before I realized the start date for the knitalong was October 1. So I'm quite a ways along. My steeks are coming along nicely, although the thought of cutting them has me a tad panicked! I had the same problem as Jennifer when I first started my steeks. The one armhome steek was attached because the instructions didn't mention the need to start the steek with a new tail of yarn. I tried to drop down two of the stitches and see if I could remedy the problem without ripping back ten rows, but no luck. I'm on the right track now, though, and have about two inches of the steeks complete. I also have knitted one of the sleeves, as I needed some mindless knitting over the weekend. Here's a glimpse of one of my steeks.
I saw one person is experimenting with color changes! Is anyone else switching colors around? I'm not brave enough for that, so I stuck with similar colors to the pattern. Although I did sub my yarn. So far I'm quite pleased with it. Can't wait to see pictures of everyone else's progress!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Steek Mystique (Mistake)

Well, my bodice is coming along nicely, I think. I also see definite improvement in the tension of my stitches as I get more practice with this fair isle. I am normally a Continental knitter, so doing English at the same time in order to do the 2-handed knitting was definitely a little slow at first.

I am now at the steeks, and had actually completed the steeks according to directions and then completed an additional 3 or 4 rows when I took a look at what I had done so far, and noticed this:

That would be a picture of the left armhole steek connected to the BO armhole by the last BO stitch. Since I'd never done steeks before, I made sure to follow the directions, and it said nothing about what to do with that last stitch (ie bind off also and start new). Even knowing nothing about steeks, I was pretty sure that this wasn't right.

I emailed another member of our KAL, Melissa, to see what she had done, as I saw on her blog that she was already past the steeks. She said she had the same problem, and had to rip back and do it over. I also decided to email the pattern author, Mary Jane, to see what she had to say about what had happened to my steek when created according to pattern and this is her reply:

"I think there is an omission in the pattern as another woman mentioned the same issue. You should bind off that last stitch, and then attach new yarn to begin the steek. You can save your work, by weaving in a longer piece on the body where it will be too short to cut, do you understand? go back 7-10 stitiches and follow along where the yarn goes, and then catch that naughty loop and weave it all in tight. Easier done than written about. It will all be in the seam anyway.In real shetland wool it wouldn't even be an issue because of it's natural felting properties. Does this help? I wish I could show you!

As an aside, I think that sometimes patterns are written or modified in an attempt to try and make them make more sense to a reader,(and to make the directions less wordy) when sometimes the knitter would actually, do it differently. I think I'd probably cast all of the armhole stitches at once, you know beginning in a previous round...but for clarity it was re-written???? or maybe I did that!"

At any rate, I am sort of glad to know that I am not the only one who made this mistake. I just wanted to post this info to ensure that no one else in our group does the same thing once they get this far. I will try to save my work using the technique Mary Jane mentioned, though if that doesn't work, at least it's only a few rows (and rows after the steeks are much shorter because of the BOs and decreases!).

Also, I just wanted to mention that I saw on Mary Jane's site that you shouldn't begin the steeks until the fair isle covers the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 of your breasts. You can try on as you go to determine this. For me, the 4" wasn't QUITE enough, so I kept going for another 1" or so.

Anyway, good luck, ladies! The KAL has now officially begun and I look forward to seeing everyone's work!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Yarn color mishap

Well this is what I get for ordering yarn online, I decided on Knitpick's Swish DK and I got most of the colors right but the "Nutmeg", and "Maple Leaf". I decided it just didn't work, so I am going to use some of my bare yarn that is the base for Swish DK and dye my own. I didn't feel like buying new yarn for my newbie mistake.