Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's done, for reals this time!

Yes, I finally finished my Dark & Stormy.  No more ripping stitches out, it is officially done, hooray!  This really is a great pattern and I think I am now hooked on Baby Cocktails designs,  I had already knitted Nantucket Red by her and love it too.  The only thing I found was that to me her designs run a little small, or maybe she likes her sweaters snugger than I do mine.  Hmm, or maybe I am just lying to myself about my true measurements...

To get my Dark & Stormy right I ended up ripping out the collar to the last of the short rows and picking out the bottom hem so I could add on the needed length.  On the bottom I added 12 rows of ribbing (about an inch and a half) before binding it off again.  For the collar I used a separate piece of yarn to do the pick up rows on each side where the hem was longer before spit splicing the yarn back together at the end of the short rows and continuing on with the pattern instructions from that point.  I did need to add a fifth buttonhole, thankfully I was able to find the last button in my sewing basket!

One thing I learned is that although a sewn bind off makes a wonderfully stretchy edge that looks good it is utter misery to pick out!  In spite of the pain this was and the additional week of working on it and nothing else really, it was worth it in the end.  I am now totally happy with the sweater and foresee much wearing of it.  I certainly hope the yarn will hold up, it is so soft I fear it will start pilling if I look at it funny!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sick Girl

She's been sick for three days now, I know this isn't big news to anyone else but my child has one of those iron-clad constitutions that mean she rarely gets sick and even then not for long.  Poor thing, I hope she gets better soon because I'd really hate to keep her home from school tomorrow.  Not that I don't like having her around but if I do she won't get her perfect attendance for this year like she did last year (that said I am not sending a sick child to school, it's not worth sharing with everyone else!). 

Thankfully the vomiting stopped after Friday night, but anyone know how to get the smell out of a couch?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dark & Stormy is done...psych!

I thought it was done, then I wore it for two days straight.  However, every time I saw a mirror all I could think was 'That sweater should be about an inch or two longer'.  Sigh, so you know what I did next.  Yup, I pulled out most of the collar (I stopped at the short row part as I should be able to finagle the pickup row into looking okay on the new hem rows) and unpicked the sewn bind off on the bottom hem.

I wore it for the 2 days and LOVED it, just that length thing really bugged, so it is all back on cables now and I am working on adding another 12 rows to the bottom ribbing.  You'd think I would have learned by now to trust that intuition and really look at my gauge swatch (it only grew in stitches across not in rows, so it should have been obvious my sweater wouldn't grow that way either), but no, I didn't.  I suspect I was feeling a bit tired of working on it and just wanted it to be finished and my impatience has now bit me in the a$$. 

The upside of my current misery is that I will have a sweater I am in total love with at the end, I just need to remember to keep my patience in the future when I knit (like that'll ever happen!).  That patience will be sorely needed with the next cardigan I am working on, #49 Milk from Verena of fall 2010.  It is a nice long cardi that will take quite awhile to complete.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here's my 15 seconds...

Check it out, my Straightforward Mitts got mentioned on the WEBS blog today!  Apparently they liked them so much they asked me if they could include my picture in their feature on socks and mitts using the Valley Yarns Charlemont yarn.  They also did features on Charlemont for sweaters and for shawls over the weekend, check those posts out too for some great ideas.

I will say it is a great yarn, very soft and easy to work with.  It is a little splitty, but what yarn isn't that has silk content?  That silk content gives it a really beautiful sheen too.  After a good wash and block the yarn really softens up and develops a nice soft sproingyness (is that even a word?).  I do wish there was a greater range of colors, they are all in the dark jewel tone range and I am more of a spring colors girl.  But at 439 yards for $12.99 this is as really affordable merino/silk fingering weight yarn.

As for the mitts, a great pattern with lovely results.  It does require some concentration at first to get the angled ribbing set up but I found once I understood the pattern it was really easy to work along.  I loved having a chart to follow but the pattern is also written out for those who don't work with charts.
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