July 20, 2007


One of the insignificant woes of empty-nesthood is the relative lack of readily available photographers.  These days I either need to be up and dressed at the crack of dawn -- the nona-hubby is an early raiser -- or still be put together by the end of the day.  I wonder what my young neighbor would think if I started showing up at her door step, digital camera in hand, clothed in a partially knit sweater, requesting a few shots?

This morning I rose early -- just for you -- to get this photo of my completed Josephine Top.  I absolutely love it and will wear it often!

Started: May 22, 2007
Finished: July 11, 2007
Pattern: Josephine Top designed by Deborah Newton.  Published in the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits
Yarn: Rowan's Cotton Glace
Needles: US 3
Modifications: None!  Since Deborah Newton is such an excellent designer with an eye for details I decided to knit the top without any modifications.  For me, I could have added 1 more inch to the upper body as the top's tie doesn't quite make it up and over the ladies.  But alas, the ladies are so diminutive only I will notice this fashion mis-hap.

July 20, 2007 in It's Done!, Project - Josephine | Permalink | Comments (25)

April 23, 2007

Worth the Re-Knit

I faught the Battle of the Bulge and won.  No, slim-and-trim reader, I did not loose 5 pounds, but I did get the edging on nona-niece-the-youngest's blanket to lie nice and flat.  It was definately -- most definately -- worth the rip and re-knit.

My first attempt at the blanket's vertical yellow borders rippled and bulged dramatically.  So much so, that I immediately frogged the darn things and set my gray-matter to work on sleuthing out the problem and a solution.   If you're curious in the results, read on...

The Problem
Ripples and bulges are a clear indication of too many picked up stitches.  In general, it takes fewer stitches than rows to fill an inch.  The difference between the stitch gauge and the row gauge is called the stitch-to-row ratio, which for stockinette stitch is typically 3-to-4 (or .75).  This is why many patterns instruct you to pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows.  When I initially worked the vertical border, I didn't think -- my first mistake -- and blindly picked up 3 stitches for every 4 rows -- about 208 stitches.  This was obviously too many stitches.

The Solution
I needed to calculate my own stitch-to-row ratio based on the stitch gauge of the 2x2 Basket Weave used for the blanket's edging and the row gauge of the 2-Color Star Stitch used for the blanket's body.  The stitch gauge -- 21 stitches in 4 inches -- divided by the row gauge -- 36 rows in 4 inches -- is the stitch-to-row ratio -- 21 / 36 = .59, which I rounded to .6 (6/10).  So, I needed to pick up 6 stitches every 10 rows or 3 stitches every 5 rows.  Following this ratio, I picked up 164 stitches and produced a well behaved, flat border.

The Moral of the Story
Different stitch patterns have different stitch-to-row ratios.  Take the time to calculate your ratio before embarking on the pick up.

April 23, 2007 in It's Done!, Knitting for the nona-nieces | Permalink | Comments (25)

February 18, 2007

A Pom-Pom is Not a Tassel

The nona-dad is an exceptional father, a very generous man, and a really nice guy.  Unfortunately my 4 crafty -- make that 3 crafty and 1 fashionable -- sisters and I have failed him as daughters.  The poor guy thinks this is a "tassel".  Here's the handsome devil wearing his Quill's Beanie knit by Quill herself when Dad was in high school. 

50 year old beanie with said tassel

Of course I had to try my hand at Quill's Beanie -- especially since my middle name is Quill.  I especially like the hat's top shaping, which is work similarly to the toe of a sock except along 3 axes instead of 2.

Move your mouse over the photo to see the top of the hat.

February 18, 2007 in It's Done! | Permalink | Comments (16)

February 05, 2007

How Did I Manage Before?

Several weeks ago, in a moment of sympathetic weakness, I took a stand in defense of the gray cardigan -- that oh-so practical wardrobe essential.  An excellent decision, if I do say so myself.  I finished my Eliza Cardigan about a week and a half ago and have worn it at least 6 times.  Yes it's non-descript.  Yes, it's gray.  Yes, it's practical.  But, it's also warm, cozy, light weight, and goes with everything.  The best part of this cardigan is the yarn -- Lana Grossa's Royal Tweed.  It felt great to knit with and even better to wear.

With each finished knitting project there are lessons to be learn.  This sweater was no exception as it taught me to appreciate and enjoy Jane Austen.  I dare say I might even be an Austen fan.  It all started with the Pride and Prejudice movie.   Since that faithful evening I've watched 5 Austen movies -- Mansfield Park was my favorite -- and have listened to 2.5 novels -- I'm currently into Sense and Sensibility.  I find listening to Austen to be the perfect knitting companion.

February 5, 2007 in It's Done!, Project - Sweaters | Permalink | Comments (30)

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