Here is the promised picture of my Oak Trail hat, atop my noggin (which is hopefully hard at work on my comps while you read this). I’m allowing myself a small break from my week of exams to post once more. Though I don’t relish working on my exams, I remembered that I get to call myself a doctoral candidate when they’re through, and that is pretty awesome. I wish the exams were half as absorbing and intuitive as writing about knitting, but some parts are definitely very engaging.
Me and Z. Just a couple of knitted hat wearers.
I had just enough of the skein left to make a pair of 70 Yard Mitts, a project that flew off the needles. I tried to make them a little longer than the pattern called for, because I have fairly large hands, and I was definitely going to run out, so I ripped back my extra rows and continued as the pattern specified. I’m glad to have a sweet little pair of hand warmers to match my hat. I don’t often have matching sets of accessories. If I pair these with this Ishbel I can pretend like the whole thing was planned.
Both of these projects are made from Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted (color 104), a delightfully springy and soft yarn with intense colors. I did find one knot in the skein and grumbled a bit, but I still enjoyed knitting with it very much.
I loved knitting both of these patterns. I can get away with reading while working on the mitts.
Aside from the exams, I’m still working on Matt’s cardigan. I’m up to the shoulder and neck decreases, so I’ll see if my math is as astute as I hope. I’ve really enjoyed knitting the cable and quickly got to a point where I could tell exactly what row I’m on without looking. I’ve only had to rip back a few rows here and there when I got to absorbed in House of Cards last week. If you’re entranced by political dramas, check it out.
Back to the grind!
I love this cardigan. The pattern is Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau. I’ve been reading Laura’s blog for quite some time. This is the first pattern of hers I’ve put to yarn, though I have purchased and look forward to making this awesome cowl sometime in the future.
As I mentioned in a previous post I had some issues with the sizing. I think this is mostly about the yarn, the Ella Rae Lace Merino (color 136), and less about the pattern, but it might have been some of both. Ella Rae stretches and grows when blocked more than any other yarn I’ve used. It feels delightful to knit with, and comes in a lovely array of colors. You should beware drastic changes in color even in the same dye lot, and you may want to alternate rows with multiple balls of yarn to avoid stark color changes. I did not do this on this cardigan, though I reknit the sleeves a couple of times to get the colors to be close. I started out making them two at a time (who wouldn’t?) and ended up ripping one and using the same ball for both, pulling from the outside in both cases, because even the inside and outside of the ball had a pretty decent difference in color.
The pattern is well-written overall. I had a small issue understanding something in the shoulder area, but I wrote Laura and she got back to me swiftly with clarification. I made a very minor change to the left shoulder. One the front of the shoulder I purled an additional row to make the yarn end up in the middle of the shoulder and so that the total number of shoulder rows on the right and left sides would match. I realize this is complete gibberish if you’re not knitting the pattern, but if you are and you are persnickety about details like I am sometimes, you might appreciate knowing this. When you’re making the shoulders on one side of the front you’ll have an extra row on one side, and the opposite on the back. This isn’t something that I think I’ll ever notice on the pattern, but I did obsessively look at shoulders on Ravelry pages for awhile.
I made the 33 inch size, though my current bust is nowhere near that size. I’m tellin’ ya, this yarn really stretches. The lace pattern itself is pretty stretchy too. I did not purposely make the sleeves longer than the pattern calls for, but they grew to that during blocking, and I’m totally ok with that.
I’m pretty fond of this little bee.
I’ve been distracted by the growing colors of the Pinwheel Baby Blanket, so the Honeybee Cardigan has been lounging until today.
The lace is intuitive after one or two repeats, so this actually goes much faster that it would seem. I’m at the shoulder decreases. I put her down several times for less brainy projects, but I think I’m ready to get back to work.
I know this looks child-sized, but believe me, that lace stretches quite a bit. This is the second time I’ve knit this particular project. I started out with the 34.5 inch size, since the pattern recommends going below, rather than above, your chest measurement so the lace can shine. After I had knitted to the armpits and put it on yarn for a holder to start the sleeves, then started the sleeves. The sleeves seemed to be coming out to wide, so I decided to try on the chest piece. When I wrapped it around my chest, I realized it was going to be much too large when I added the button band. I was making gauge in the 34.5 size, yet it still seemed too big. After looking around on Ravelry, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. I ripped all, made the smallest size sleeves, and started the 33 inch size after I finished the sleeves.
I really didn’t mind. I’d much rather rip things out and make them right. I used this yarn (Ella Rae Lace Merino) for my Still Light Tunic and it GROWS, so erring on the slightly smaller side is for the best. I do try to learn…
The Pinwheel colors are captivating. I can’t wait until this is finished and I can post it. I’m about halfway through the 1200 yards I plan to use in just one week! I feel like a knitting goddess.
This is a sneak peek at the beginning of my Pinwheel Baby Blanket. I let myself cast on last night as soon as I finished the collar of my Curve Hem Top. I haven’t seamed the top yet, but I’m not cheating on it since it’s still drying on the blocking board. Here is my evidence:
The light is a bit low in that room since I took the picture in the 7 o’clock hour this morning, but it is solid evidence, so there. I blocked it at about 11 last night. I was a bit confused by the diagrams in the pattern, but I bet it’s just me. I did my best and moved on. At first, I realized I was about to block the short rows in the front into a straight line, destroying the curve. Luckily, in my half-sleep state I realized something was up and fixed it. The pattern recommends blocking under some wet towels that you allow to try on top. I’ve never actually used that method. Most of the time I just get the whole thing wet with some baby shampoo and block to size. Sometimes I steam the object. My steamer is on the fritz, so I pinned the top to size and just sprayed it down with some water. It seemed like a good compromise, and it was mostly dry this morning, so I should be able to seam it tonight!
I love the color of this Pinwheel. It’s really not that accurate in these shots. I fiddled with the colors in Lightroom this morning, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on which adjustment to make to make it perfect. I like the color better in person. This is accurate enough for now. I’ll have to play with different lighting times and/or locations to try to represent it better with the finished product. I’ve got another “mindless” knit happening with this blanket, and I get to make a second thing for the future Princess Mozzarella. I promise I won’t neglect my Honeybee Cardigan much longer. I need to finish it to make sure it’s safe to exchange an untouched skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino for another of this Knitosophy Princess yarn and pretend that I’m not just adding stuff to my stash…