Sunday, March 30, 2008

Proudly Presenting: Oblique

Drum roll:

I finish the cardigan on Thursday. Surprisingly, it does fit pretty perfect. The arms are slighly too long, but not so much that I want to go back and change anything. The pattern asked for roughly 1120m of yarn - I ended up using closer to 1400m (I saw at several places that the yardage was off by quite a bit) It was 13 balls of Shetland De Luxe by Cedifra (50% New wool, 25% Baby Alpaka and 25% Mohair) in the color 9202. I might have been able to finish it with just 12 balls, but I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't have to join any yarn while knitting the collar, so I used an extra ball for this.

It wears nicely, but is nothing for a windy day.

There are many, many holes ....

Some details on the buttons:

I did make some progress on the Castle Sampler, but was too lazy to take a picture today.

Instead, some flowers:

On Friday, I visited the botanical garden in Frankfurt, and as there was little to take pictures of on the outside (still too early in the year) I went to the orchids. Lovely flowers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dreaming Of A White ... Easter?

Happy Easter to everybody. Hope you had fun and found all the hidden goodies (and not that you find them by the bad smell that comes from that one corner in a few weeks time)

On Easter Sunday I had the family over (my parents, my sister plus hubby and two of my nephews) and I made lamb and nobody went home hungry.

Though we had a bit of a warmish winter this year with very little snow, Easter sure made up for that.

Snow on my balcony this morning. It's pretty much gone by now, but, really, snow at Easter? Somebody up there must be laughing his head off.
Good thing I'm off this week, so I don't need to go outside, unless I really want (or need)
This gives me a chance too to hopefully finish the cardigan in a couple of days. On the picture above is the last arm I'm knitting on. I only had to redo half of it once so far - considering how much I reworked other parts, not too bad - though, there's always the chance I'll manage to screw something else up.
But ripping parts of it, really makes a difference.

The upper error is were the arm decrease started before I took out 4 inches. The lower arrow where it is now. It's still, somehow, about an inch longer than in the pattern, but, to be honest, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!!!
(phew, sorry, had to get that off my chest)

No stitching done. Nothing at all.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The long and the short of it

Last week I worked pretty much exclusively on the cardigan and I was moving along nicely. Back and both fronts were finished (after I redid the left front once again) and I started on one of the arms. I felt confident that the wool is going to last, and that, with a little bit of luck (okay, maybe with a lot of luck) I might be done by next weekend.
Life was good.

Finished back

On Friday I thought I should try blocking the pieces I've got (I can't really do it during the week, as I'm usually spending my nights in hotel rooms on weekdays. The hotel staff might take exceptions to wet wool stretched out on their beds). I started with the front, gently washing it in mild soap, pressing the exessive water out in a towel and then lightly stretching it on my old couch, pinning it in place and waiting for it to dry. The wool, which was nice and soft to begin with, got even softer.
Again, life was good.

Right front after blocking.

Then I made the mistake of holding the blocked front against my chest, wanting to see how far down it went.
It almost hit my knees!!!
I pulled out my measuring tape and measured.

bottom to beginning of raglan.

25 inches!!!

This was suppose to be 19.5 "
How in the world did I manage to knit 5 1/2 inches more than I really should have?
I'm an engineer, I'm suppose to know how to measure.
Maybe the blocking made it longer? Did I over-block it? Is 'over-block' even a verb? Can I go back to the un-blocked state?
I measured the so far unblocked back of the cardigan. 24 inches bottom to raglan start.
How did I miss that?
Why did I not only made this mistake on the back, but on both fronts as well? (well, the last one is easy to answer, as I measured the fronts against the back and not on again the tape)
I did mention 'Aarghle!!!'

Big question now - do I accept that the cardigan will end at my knees and just plow on as if nothing happened?
Of do I accept that I seriously messed up and if I don't go back and rip everything halfway up, that I will never wear the cardigan as I can't stand a cardigan that does end at my knees?

Okay, I start ripping right away....

At least, my frustration with the cardigan lead to me picking up the Castle Sampler once again and I do have a bit of progress to show.

Hmm, looking at the farbic I've got and the amount I've still got to stitch, it looks to be a bit tight on the sides....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cardigan the First

This week I knitted

I got the back finished as well as the left side of the front. It's a lot of fun and it's moving along nicely.
Well, it was moving along nicely, until I discovered a serious mistake in the pattern. Okay, maybe not so much a mistake, but the fact that knitted as instructed, the neck will look very different from the neck line of the cardi in the pictures. So I ripped up half of the front, and started again on the neck shape, only to discover halfway through that the little mistake I made and thought I could ignore was staring my in the face like crazy and that I couldn't live with it. Rib, rib once again.

Well, now I'm happy with that bit and already moved on to the next.

I also went back to my beloved yarn store and bought two more skeins of the wool. I think there's another screw up in the pattern - I did the math and found that I would need ten skeins, but to be on the save side I decided to take twelve (I can always bring them back, right?), but after using a little over four skeins for the back and almost exactly two for one half of the front, I'm pretty sure I'll need at least one additional skein, if not two (two for the right front, two for each arm, plus some for the collar)

I got only very little stitching done, so I didn't take a picture.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Socks, socks, socks

I do have socks ...

... plenty of socks.
And even though I've took a picture of only one sock per pair, I asure you, there's a second sock to every one here shown. And those are only the socks I've kept. There are still a few more out there that ended up on the feet of other people.
This leads to the question, why knit more socks?
My answer (at least for the moment) is: I don't!
I've decided I leave the land of the sock knitters and wander over to the land of cloth knitting. Now, I'm not exactly size S (or even M, not in a long shot), so I've shyed away from the knitting of pullovers and cardigans for quite a while. A long time ago, I did knit pullovers, and some of them I loved dearly (some of them ... well, probably better not to think of those). If I remember correctly, the last pullover I've knitted was when I was in college, and I only remember something went very wrong and when I picked it up from the clothline after washing it for the first time, there were big holes all over it - moths, birds, I have no clue. Since then, I stuck mostly to socks. They also tend to get holes eventually (as I just saw in my favorite pair), but at least that's because of the wear and tear I put them through.
Well, nothing like a new start.

(I did mention I'm not a size 10, right?)
The pattern is, once again, from knitty. It is a somewhat modified version of Boogie from the spring 2004 issue. I changed the neck shape a little, making it wider. The wool is from a sale a few years back in my favorite yarn store. I originally bought is for a cardigan, but then realized that it would never be enough. For an experiment I'm not too displeased on how it turned out.

Having taken the step to this new country, I knew I couldn't just stop there. So my next project is a cardigan. And again, it's a knitty pattern: Oblique. Found some nice wool/angora/mohair mix pretty close to the one from the pattern. I've just started today after the swatch showed I'm not too far off with my gauge. I have to see how it developes ...

One last pic for today. King Tut in his frame up on the wall:

I'm still pondering if I should get the queen from the same series, so Tut is not so lonely ...