"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

11/18/19

Welts and Cuffs

I spent the whole weekend working on Margaret Tudor. The bottom welts and cuffs are made by picking up stitches along the bottom edges. I had to calculate how many to pick up for the welts.



The number to pick up in the pattern is less than the number of stitches that were cast on. I figured out it was 25.7% less stitches. So I added up the total number I'd cast on for my increase in size and subtracted 25.7% from it. I was left with 227. That is a butt load of stitches to pick up, but we're working with fingering weight yarn, size 2 needles, and a wide frame body.

It's an interesting stitch pattern. Lots and lots of little bobbles. It's a good thing I don't mind knitting them.



I was pretty worried I'd done it wrong but when I finished that first welt, it laid perfectly. The pattern said it mustn't pull in or flay out. It lays straight down, just like it's supposed to. I'm happy with it.



I cast on the same number of stitches in the pattern for the large size cuffs when I did the sleeves, so I didn't have to do any math. Just follow the directions.

Next I'm going to sew the buttons on. I figure it's going to be easier to do it before I sew everything together.

My eye surgery is the day after tomorrow. Don't know when I'll be able to blog after that. Hopefully, in just a couple days.

Live long and prosper. \\//

11/13/19

Milo

Milo is finished.



Pattern: Milo by the Berroco Design Team

Yarn: Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy
Content: 50% Nylon/50% Acrylic, Aran weight
Color: 23 Forest

Yarn: Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy
Content: 50% Nylon/50% Acrylic, Aran weight
Color: 32 Wine

Yarn: Knitpicks Mighty Stitch
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% Wool, Worsted weight
Color: Alfalfa

YarnKnitpicks Mighty Stitch
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% Wool, Worsted weight
Color: Blue

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: September 7, 2019
Finished: November 11, 2019

Comments: This has been an interesting and fun knit. The stitch pattern is actually more challenging than it looks. One row stripes present some interesting challenges. I learned some new things while working on it. I like learning new things.



In addition to the stripes, there's texture too. It's a very nice design. I would not recommend this pattern for a beginner though. 



About the yarns I chose to make this with. Both of them feel wonderful and were nice to knit with. I chose the Dark Horse yarn because a friend offered them to me. I don't know how this is going to wear. I noticed it's pilling already. I will need to let Frank know how to deal with them. 



The Mighty Stitch is not pilling though. I love it. It's a very nice quality for the price.



The two major Christmas knitting jobs are done. I'm happy about that. I even finished them early. Now I will finish Margaret (I hope to get her done before my eye surgery) and start something new. I cast on yesterday for a pair of real Argyle socks. I've been wanting to learn how to make them for some time. 

Argyle is knit with Intarsia. I need 11 bobbins, which I've ordered cuz I can't find the bobbins I know I already own. They should be here soon. In the meantime, I'm well on my way to having the ribbing done on the first sock. I've also found some YouTube videos and web sites with tutorials and helpful information which I'll be sharing as I knit the socks.

Something wonderful has happened this week, besides finishing some knitting. A Ravelry member, who I don't know, happened to wander into my Ravelry notebook and saw all my charity knitting. She has offered to send me a box of yarn to help me. Isn't that wonderful? More layette sets and mittens are in my KnitWits future. There are some very kind people in the world.

Live long and prosper. \\//

11/12/19

Loose Neckband

Just thought I'd share something interesting I did this week concerning making the neckband on Milo.

It's a typical crew neck. It's important to me that these kinds of bands look great, so I apply something I learned from machine knitting. (Note: I have done a lot of machine knitting. I own 4 different knitting machines. I stopped using them when I had back surgery several years ago. I need to get back into it cuz it's a lot of fun.)

I started out with the recommended size 6 needles to pick up the stitches. I knit about half of the band, then I changed to size 5 needles and knit about 1/4th of the band. I changed to size 4 needles for the last 1/4th and the bind off. This technique will make a neckband lay down so nicely, usually.

I wanted to use a stretchy bind off so the band would go over the head easily. I didn't think a standard bind off with size 4 needles would be a good choice so I went online and found one to try called the Elastic Bind Off. It's very easy to do and it is very stretchy, but the edge was left looking rather waffly and stretched out looking. It didn't pull in and lay flat like it should. It was the same problem I had with the cuff bind off. I was not happy with the resulting look. So I applied the same solution which I can show you here cuz I took pictures.

I took a piece of contrasting yarn and threaded it through the edge. I went under the knit stitches and over the purls.



Then I pulled it together so the knits pleated over the purls. I tied a little bow to keep things in place.



I gently steamed it, let it dry, then removed the threaded yarn.



It lays perfectly now, and stretches nicely. It springs right back too. It's permanent because it's acrylic. Steaming does that to acrylic.



If this had been wool I am not sure doing this would have worked. I probably would have taken the bind off out and done something else. Probably the EZ Sewn Bind Off because I know it looks nice in this situation. Or maybe I'd have looked for something else.

I learned something important from this. The Elastic Bind Off is not suitable for a ribbed edge. It would be great, though, for lace or any pattern that doesn't pull in like ribbing does.

I hope this was helpful to someone.

Live long and prosper. \\//

11/11/19

5x1 Rib Socks

I've finished one knitted Christmas present for this year. Socks for my oldest daughter.

A mothers job is difficult.

I had been planning to knit a special sweater for her for a couple years or so. I even bought the yarn and everything. A few weeks ago I was getting ready to cast on when I called her to ask what size she wears. I wasn't sure if it had changed since the last time I knit her a sweater. She told me she didn't want me to make her a sweater. I made her too many sweaters. Then she asked me why I don't make socks for her anymore? I answered that I stopped because she told me she didn't like them. She didn't like how they felt on her feet. She could feel the little purl bumps when she wore them and didn't like the feeling. So I stopped making socks for her. This was several years ago.

Now she has said she would like them if I made them shorter. I made them too long before. So I've made a pair of socks that have 2.5 inch legs (including the ribbing).



Pattern: Didn't use one
Size: To fit womens size 8.

Yarn: Poe by Olive & Two Ewe Studios
Content: 80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon, fingering weight
Color: Harvest

Needles: Circulars size 1

Started: November 1, 2019
Finished: November 7, 2019

Comments: I made these up as I went along. I cast on 72 sts. I did one inch of 1x1 rib, then started 5x1 rib for the main stitch pattern. 



I started the heel flap when the leg was 2.5 inches from cast on edge. I like the way the heels turned out.



By the way, I've made one sweater for her in 10 years. ONE sweater. Sigh.

Live long and prosper. \\//

11/8/19

Layette Set #41 for KnitWits

I finished it and turned it in at this weeks KnitWits meeting.



The Cardigan



PatternPleasing Plaid by Lorna Miser
Size: 6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic (no label)
Content: 100% Acrylic, Aran weight
Color: Dark Teal Green

YarnCaron Jumbo Print
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Gossamer

Needles: Circular size 6 and 8

Started: October 20, 2019
Finished: October 25, 2019

Comments: I really love this stitch pattern. It's easy to memorize, fun to knit, and looks great. This color choice went with the blanket fabric a lot better than I thought it would too. I'm relieved. This is the last layette set I'm making for KnitWits this year.



The Hat



Pattern: From my head.
Size: 6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic (no label)
Content: 100% Acrylic, Aran weight
Color: Dark Teal Green

YarnCaron Jumbo Print
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Gossamer

Needles: Circular size 8

Started: October 26, 2019
Finished: October 26, 2019

The booties



Pattern: From my head.
Size: 6 months

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic (no label)
Content: 100% Acrylic, Aran weight
Color: Dark Teal Green

YarnCaron Jumbo Print
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Gossamer

Needles: Circular size 8

Started: October 27, 2019
Finished: October 29, 2019

The blanket



PatternSpike Stitch or Blanket Stitch Edging
Size: 30 by 36 inches

Yarn: Unknown Acrylic (no label)
Content: 100% Acrylic, Aran weight
Color: Dark Teal Green

YarnCaron Jumbo Print
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Color: Gossamer

Hook: Size G

Started: October 30, 2019
Finished: October 31, 2019



I've used the last of the hedge hog fabric. Yay!



I met with the Ophthalmologist who is going to be doing my cataract surgery on Tuesday morning. Her name is Sarah Duke and she's so very young and very nice. I think I'm in good hands. Surgery is scheduled for November 20th. I'm not doing any beading or cross stitch until all this eye stuff is done. I'm hoping I'll be able to see well enough to do it after.

I am somewhat disturbed by something I learned while at the appointment. Dr. Duke went over the types of lenses available. My insurance will cover just the basic one-distance lens. I have to choose if I want far distance or close distance corrected. If I want lenses that can do both, it's $2000 bucks per eye extra and insurance won't cover it. We can not afford that so it's one distance for me. Insurance companies suck. How cruel this is. How much more does the 2-distance lens actually cost? I hate profit generated health care. Quite frankly, it's incredibly immoral.

We are having wonderful weather this week. Sunshine and temps in the low 50's.

I have almost finished my Christmas knitting. More about that later.

Live long and prosper. \\//

10/29/19

The Eye Has It. The left one, that is.

This year my eyesight has steadily been declining, not just far away vision, but the close up vision too. I'm constantly feeling like there's a big fat greasy fingerprint in the middle of the left lens of my glasses. It's the main reason I stopped beading. I can't see the darn things. I am also having a great deal of difficulty with eye strain. It doesn't take much for me to get a headache from it lately. In addition, the road signs are starting to get blurry. When that happens it's time to see the optometrist.

Unfortunately, the place where I've gotten my eyes checked for the past decade or so has gone out of business, so I had to try some place new. I visited a new to me optometrist yesterday. I like him. He knows what he's doing. He said new glasses are out for now. I have a bad cataract in my left eye. No amount of cleaning that greasy fingerprint is gonna help. I am now scheduled for surgery on November 20th. Joy joy. It's considered a bloodless surgery so I won't have to take Lovenox. HURRAY!

Oh, but the hoops I must jump through though. Our medical insurance requires me to see my regular doctor to get a referral for the ophthalmologist. The optometrist's word is not enough. So I have to spend an extra 80 bucks for a referral from a doctor who probably knows very little about cataracts. I see a scam there, but oh well. No knitting group for me today. I'm scheduled to see him this afternoon.

Now that I know what is wrong with my vision, that cataract is really bothering me. I'm glad I'm getting something done about it quickly.

I am scheduled for consultation with the ophthalmologist next week. I have to be there at 7:50 am. Good grief! Who gets up that early? Ophthalmologists, apparently.

It's all happening very quickly though. I guess that's a good thing.

In the meantime, I knit a matching hat, then blocked, put the shoulders together, and knit up the button/neck band on the baby cardigan.



Sewing up the sleeves is next. I still haven't blocked Milo. It'll come eventually. My next cast on will be for the booties to go with this set.

Weather report. Last week was cold and rainy most of the time, though we did have one very beautiful 64 degree sunny day. The trees are gorgeous in Coeur d' alene right now. I wish I'd had my camera with me last Thursday. There are 3 maples on Northwest Blvd, south of Hw.95 exit, that are breathtaking.

Yesterday the weather did a major change over. It started out okay, in the 40's. Then in the afternoon the temperature dropped like a stone very quickly, then it snowed, winded, and when I got up at 8am this morning it was 6 degrees out. It's clear and sunny, but friggin' cold. There's a bit of snow on the ground. A northern weather front has blown down upon us. It plans to stay a few days. Its still October! Thank you Canada. Guess I will drag out the winter coat today.

Live long and prosper. \\//


10/21/19

A Cuff Problem

I finished knitting the sleeves for Milo.



Now there are sweater pieces all over the place. I need to start assembling some of this stuff.

I had quite a problem with the sleeve cuffs. I did not notice that I'd knit 1 by 1 rib on the cuff of the first sleeve until I started the cuff of the second sleeve. It's supposed to be 2 by 2 rib. ARRGH!!! These are knit from the cuff up, so there was no just undoing the bind off and re-knitting that first cuff. I would have to unravel the whole sleeve to get to the cuff. I did NOT want to do that. I ended up completely removing it by cutting the yarn where the cuff and body of the sweater meet, carefully unraveling that one row, putting the open stitches on a needle, and knitting the cuff from the top down.

Now, how do I bind off so it matches the cast on edge of the second cuff, which is the long tail cast on? It was not easy to find the technique, but I spent all day Wednesday trying all kinds of bind offs and I was finally successful. A lot of the bind offs that claim to look the same as a long tail cast on edge are not quite correct. They are very close, but not quite right. After much googling, I found this method and it's perfect. This one looks just like the long tail bind off.




Now, though this bind off is the correct one, I was still having a problem. The new cuff was sort of stretched out a bit and sloppy looking along the edge. It didn't pull in like it would if I'd started out with a cast on edge. How do I fix that?

I tried knitting the last row using a needle 2 sizes smaller before doing the bind off because I noticed the stitches of the cast on row on the second sleeves cuff are smaller. But that still wasn't quite enough. It still didn't pull in quite like it should.

I noticed that the edge looked sort of pleated on the second sleeves cuff. The edge wasn't straight and smooth. It was a zigzag. I decided to try something. I took a piece of contrasting yarn and threaded it along through the stitches of the row just below the edge of the bind off so when I pulled it the stitches sort of pleated together like the other cuff. Then I gently steamed it. It worked! Now both cuffs match exactly. After I get the ends woven in, no one will ever be able to tell that one cuff was knit the opposite direction of the other.



I felt quite accomplished by the end of the day having figured it all out. I wish I'd thought of taking pictures as I did this so I could write a tutorial, but I didn't think of it. I was completely engrossed in solving the problem.

I bound off the last stitch of the second sleeve on Saturday. I did not feel like weaving in ends and blocking things just yet on Sunday. I wanted to knit, so I got busy on the cardigan for the 41st layette set for KnitWits. I cast it on at the KnitWits meeting earlier this month, but set it aside to work on Milo. I got quite a bit done in the evening. I'm all the way up to the armhole divide and have got about halfway through the right front.



Here's a close up of the stitch pattern. The teal is much more vibrant than it appears in the photos.



Assuming something doesn't come up, I am going to block Milo on Wednesday of this week.

I did some work on the bicycle cross stitch. I'm working on page 5 of 9. It's the center of the picture. I like to start at the middle and work my way out from there. You're looking at part of the bicycle itself.



Our weather has been wet the last few days. Lots of cold rain and dark skies. Perfect knitting weather. All my trees are turning color and dropping their leaves very quickly. The flowering plum literally turned from purple to bright red in 24 hours. Winter is coming early to the Parkarosa.

Live long and prosper. \\//