April 25, 2005

FO: Elena Cardigan

alt_herenona enjoys writing her knitting blog for many reasons.  For one, it helps me finish my knitting projects -- you know, so nona has something to blog about.  Tonight was a perfect case in point.  I really wanted to blog about finishing my Elena Cardigan for nona-niece-the-hip, but how could I if the darn thing was not done?  Can you say "carrot"?  So, I seamed, wove in ends and did those various finishing things we don't like to do -- let alone talk about.  As a result, nona has a nice little FO to send off tomorrow. 

nona models nona-niece-the-hip's cardigan. 
I'm sure it will look much hipper on nona-niece!

Nona, what did you like about this project?

Overall, this was a very enjoyable project -- once I got over my no schematic pet peeve!  I loved working with this yummy yarn and was surprised that I did not tire of the p3yo3 stitch pattern.  I learned several valuable lessons:

  • When seaming a collar that folds out, remember to put the seam on the right side of the fabric since the wrong side is the public side.  Remembering this subtle point will save you from seaming, ripping, and then seaming again.
  • Short rows is a wonderful way to accommodate different row gauges for patterns worked side by side.

Nona, what would you do differently next time?

I made the smaller of the two possible sizes because I was worried that the cardigan might be too baggy for nona-niece.  However, since the fabric does not have as much give as stockinette stitch, I'm afraid it might not be as "comfy" as nona-niece desires.  Lesson learned -- consider the drape and stretch of the fabric when choosing sizes.

April 25, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (12)

April 19, 2005

Sleeve Cap MCS

nona's hanging out tonight having a good ol' MCS, and loving every minute of it!  After tweaking the sleeve caps for the Elena cardigan, I was quite interested -- okay, paranoid -- to see if the sleeve cap would truly fit into the armhole.  Since the back and one front were finished, I sewed one of the sleeves in place followed by its side and sleeve seems.  Voila, all the pieces fit beautifully -- nona warned you she was having an MCS didn't she! 

One more front to finish and the Elena cardigan will be off to nona-niece-the-hip, just in time for summer -- who said the world was perfect?!

April 19, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (6)

April 17, 2005

A Suggestion to the Intelligent

Please remember, my friends, that a pattern is merely a suggestion to the intelligent.  nona urges you to use your common sense and personal knitting heuristics when following a pattern.  I find patterns to be a bit dicey when it comes to fitting sleeve caps into shaped armholes.  A small deviation in gauge or measurements -- even unintentionally -- can result in a mismatch. 

Why, you wonder, is nona contemplating mismatched sleeve caps and armholes?  Well, I'm at that point in my Elena cardigan for nona-niece-the-hip.   I've worked the sleeves up to the middle of the cap shaping and its time to pause and tweak the pattern -- if necessary -- to ensure an even fit.  At this point in the game, the knitting can tell me more than the pattern itself.  In fact, the partially knit sleeve cap is screaming, "I'm not big enough".  So, I'm going to listen to my knitting and add a few extra rows to increase the height of the cap.

Whatever project you're working on, pause every now and again to ensure what the pattern says matches what you, and your knitting, want -- the pattern is only a suggestion, at least to nona.

nona follows her knitting, not the pattern, when working the top of a sleeve cap. 

April 17, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 20, 2005

Joys of Short Rows

nona loves short rows -- short rows to shape shoulders, short rows to shape necklines, short rows to shape a sleeve cap from the top down, and today, short rows to compensate for different row gauges.  Excuse me nona dear, why are you spouting on about short rows?  Well, my friend, perhaps the  story of my day will help clarify things...

nona woke this morning to the sound of raindrops, happy at the prospect of staying inside all day watching NCAA basketball -- 'Ray Bucknell -- and knitting my Elena cardigan for nona-niece-the-hip.    After working about 20 rows of the left front -- which includes a 5 stitch garter stitch border -- I was horrified to see the garter stitch border pulling up.   Another knitter might have panicked, but not nona who knows the Number 1 Rule in knitting is "Don't Panic".  Instead, I had a nice little conversation with myself:

nona: Why-Oh-Why is this happening? 

myself: The garter stitch border is pulling up because the garter stitch has a different row gauge from the p3yo3 pattern stitch -- it takes more garter stitch rows then p3yo3 pattern rows to fill the same length.

nona:  Okay, that makes sense, but how the heck can I fix it? 

myself:  Easy, just work a few extra short rows of the garter stitch border every now and again -- every 12 rows as it turned out.

So just like that, a few short rows of the garter stitch border straightened the front out and kept nona's day happy -- happy that is until Bucknell lost to Wisconsin.

March 20, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (5)

March 02, 2005

Pet Peeve

nona tries to be optimistic and think positively -- you know, look on the bright side, glass half full, see the best in everyone, that kind of thing.  But I must be honest with you my friend, there are times when nona is drawn to the dark side and acquires "pet peeves", those little things that get stuck in your craw.  Yes, psychic reader, nona is about to reveal one of her pet peeves - Debbie Bliss patterns.

Now Debbie Bliss designs are beautiful and nona loves browsing through her pattern books, but when it comes to the instructions, where, oh where, is the damn schematic!  How am I supposed to know the actual shape of the beautiful garment I'm knitting?  What if I want to tweak the design to meet my personal tastes and body type or to substitute a different yarn?  I always find myself reverse engineering the schematic from the written directions and pattern gauge.  So, a note to all aspiring pattern designers out there -- keep nona happy and always include a schematic!

By-the-by: besides the missing schematic nona is having a grand time knitting Debbie Bliss's Elena cardigan.  Love that p3yo3!

Elena back, almost to the armholes!

March 2, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (9)

February 26, 2005

p3yo3 Winner

nona congratulates the two winners of my p3yo3 contestJessica wins the grand prize for correctly deciphering p3yo3 -- two skeins of Koigu yarn.  And Kat wins the creativity prize, a sheep measuring tape -- nona couldn't resist the juxtaposition of a cutesy sheep with a measuring tape coming out of its butt.

For those who haven't seen Jessica's winning translation, you may be asking yourself, "What is p3yo3".  Well, nona will tell you - p3tog, keeping the stitches on the left needles, yo, p the same 3 sts tog, and slide them off the left needle.  The Elena sweater uses p3yo3 in a 4 row stitch pattern worked over an odd number of stitches as follows:

R1 (RS): Knit
R2 (WS): k1, [p3yo3, k1] to end
R3 (RS) Knit
R4 (WS): k1, p1, k1, [p3yo3, k1] to last 2 sts, p1, k1

nona thinks this stitch pattern would make a nice scarf or pair of fingerless gloves.  What would you make?

February 26, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (3)

February 24, 2005

One Word - Yum

Look what nona tracked down today.  Yes, its my lovely purple silk alpaca yarn for nona-niece-the-hip's Elena cardigan.  nona is of the opinion that there is one, and only one word to describe today's purchase -- Yum.  It was a bit of a scavenger hunt to find the yarn -- don't worry nona likes puzzles -- which lead me back to the same yarn store where I had found the Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca pattern book last weekend.  The store, Noe Knits, recently opened in Noe Valley, a San Francisco neighborhood.  The owner is friendly, the selection is well chosen, and the atmosphere is fresh with a hint of hip.  While you're on 24th street, treat yourself to a latte at Martha & Bros. Coffee.  Yes, sympathetic reader, you can tell nona misses her old neighborhood.

Never one to dilly-dally, I've started on my gauge swatch.  The sweater is knit in an interesting texture stitch based on a "p3yo3" stitch.  Okay, here's a contest, ready, the first person to correctly decipher how you work a "p3yo3" will win something nice from my stash.  nona might even throw something in for the most creative decipher.

The "p3yo3" stitch in action.  Can you guess and win?

February 24, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink | Comments (9)

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