Block party

blocking-2

Yesterday was a good day for a little bit of blocking. I’ve got the Ellybob Cardigan on my Knit Picks foam blocking boards, and Ishbel on my larger board from WEBS and blocking wires on the straight edge. I’m pleased to be at this stage on both.

I feel like my edge elephants on the Ellybob could have been a little neater. Their trunks seem a little out of sorts, even with blocking, and I think my tension was a bit tight overall on the Fair Isle portion of the pattern, but it’s not extremely apparent, so I’ll call it good enough and move on. I found some cute little square buttons at my LYS that match the elephants pretty well.
blockingAs soon as these were secured to the blocking boards, I picked up Matt’s cardigan and began shaping the sleeve caps. I hope to block that today or tomorrow. It will have to be blocked and sewn before I can add the shawl collar.

Hmmm…what shall I cast on next?

 

 

March of the elephants

I love these little elephants, or Ellybobs, as they are called in the pattern. It’s nice to have some contrast color making an entrance because I was getting a little bored with just the dark Velvet Olive Jitterbug. The Shibui Sock elephants make a nice little pop of color.

ellybob

According to the label, the color number for the Shibui Sock is 5677, but I can’t find this color number associated with any of their current colors. It looks nearly identical to the Wasabi colorway (7495). I’m guessing the color I have was discontinued. I purchased it back in 2007 at ImagiKnit in San Francisco.

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After re-learning how to weave the floats and getting comfortable with the tension, the Ellybobs have gone pretty smoothly. I’ve made little arrows on the charts to help me remember which direction I’m going for each row. Anything that takes some of the thinking out of the chart is fine by me. Fair Isle is so fun when you get going.

This is my first time doing Fair Isle on a knit and a purl side. I’ve only done it in the round prior to this. It’s not so bad on the purl rows. It’s definitely slower, as purling is for me, and I have to pay more attention to my tension. That has been my primary concern, but I think weaving the floats in helps me pay attention to this. If you want to know more about weaving in floats when working Fair Isle patterns, I put together a little tutorial to help. I first learned about weaving floats from this post, but that post only addressed Fair Isle when knitting. For the Ellybob Cardigan you need to weave floats on both the knit and purl side.

Back to the knitting!

Weaving those floats!

I am back to the Ellybob Cardigan and I’m to the fun part…the Fair Isle! This is my first time working Fair Isle on a purl side. For this project it is necessary to weave in some of the long stranded floats when you are working the other color. The pattern suggests this, but doesn’t explain exactly how to do it. I thought I would share this process with some pictures. I usually weave in a strand about every 4 stitches or so.

This post shows you how to weave in floats in Fair Isle if you are knitting with one strand in each hand. I knit Continental style most of the time, so I keep my main color (MC), the dark green in this example, in my left hand. The contrast color (CC) stays in my right hand. I tried to write these instructions so that it doesn’t matter which way you normally knit, as long as you know how to do both. This post is not meant to teach you how to knit in either Continental or English style or how to knit Fair Isle. There are great videos on YouTube and KnittingHelp for each of those methods.

This first set shows how to weave your left-hand yarn (dark green here) when you are working Fair Isle on the knit sidek-weaving left color_-2Insert your needle into the stitch as you would normally. Lay the left-hand yarn (dark green here) across the needle inserted into the stitch from right to left as shown above.

k-weaving left color_-3Wrap your right-hand yarn (light green here) around the right needle as you would when knitting English style.

k-weaving left color_-4Finish knitting the stitch. The left-hand yarn float has been woven.

The next set shows how to weave the right-hand yarn (light green) when knitting.

k-weaving right color_-2Insert the right needle into your stitch. Wrap the right-hand yarn (light green here) around the needle in a counter-clockwise fashion.

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Lay the left-hand (dark green here) yarn from left to right across the needle as you would when knitting Continental style. This might be more like a “picking” action involving a spiral action of the right hand needle around the yarn when knitting Continental style.

k-weaving right color_-4Lift the right-hand yarn (light green here) and

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swoop it under the right needle, crossing the left-hand (dark green) yarn.

k-weaving right color_-6Finish knitting the stitch.

The next set shows how to weave the left-hand strand while purling in Fair Isle.

p-weaving left color_Insert your needle into the stitch as if to purl.

p-weaving left color_-2Lay the left-hand yarn across the stitches on your right hand needle and place behind the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving left color_-3Wrap your right-hand yarn (light green here) around the right needle in a counter-clockwise move as you would purl in English style.

p-weaving left color_-4Finish purling the stitch.

The next set shows how to weave the right-hand yarn when purling in Fair Isle.

p-weaving right color_

Insert your right needle into the stitch to purl.

p-weaving right color_-2Wrap the right-hand yarn (light green here) counter-clockwise around the right needle.

p-weaving right color_-3Wrap the left-hand yarn as you normally would when purling Continental style, counterclockwise, closer to the tip of the right needle, above the right-hand yarn.

p-weaving right color_-4Lift the right-hand yarn (light green here) and move it toward the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving right color_-5

Swing it behind the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving right color_-6Finish purling the stitch.

I hope this helps with a visual for weaving in floats. I am definitely being careful with my tension since I’m knitting and purling for Fair Isle. It’s not so bad. I just have to stay on my toes, but these little elephants might be kind of addictive.

Bring on the elephants!

ellybob-3

I was knitting my little fingers to the bone on the Ellybob Cardigan when I came upon some number issues in the pattern. I wrote to the author (Marie Mickiewicz) and it turns out that I missed two stitches in the armpits, but the final count that was printed in the pattern was still incorrect. It had 149 stitches written at that point, but should have had 154.

Well, something was still nagging at me, so I went ahead and added up the increases for the rest of the cardigan, and the numbers definitely didn’t match what was written in the pattern. I wrote her back. She came out with an updated version of the pattern within about an hour and a half. That’s pretty freaking awesome. I know I could have probably figured it out, but it’s so nice to just have the numbers written down to be able to check yourself (before you wreck yourself).

One more thing that throws me about the pattern is that the chart says it should be read from top to bottom, left to right. I will just turn them upside down to make them make sense for my brain, because I’m used to reading right to left, bottom to top for fair isle charts. It isn’t mentioned in the pattern, but since this is back and forth fair isle, rather than in the round, it will be necessary to read the charts from right to left on the purled rows (or left to right if you’re turning them upside down).

The pattern is adorable. I’m really happy about Marie’s quick response and fixes. I’ve made pattern errors myself when writing things. I think I made 3 different errors on the heel flap for Earlybird even though I made little test knit heel flaps for each size. Mistakes happen, but it’s wonderful when they’re fixed and your brain can go “Ahhhhhhhhh” again.

Back to knitting.

Off again!

I was browsing through my friend’s activity on Ravelry the other day and saw that someone had queued this stinkin’ adorable baby cardigan. I almost squealed out loud, but I was in public, so I just went “squeeeeeeee” in my head, bought the pattern, and started fantasizing about the yarn I would use.

I really really wanted to use this combo:Image

The pale grey is Classic Elite Vail, and the red is my leftover Lotus Mimi in orange. I only have one skein of the Vail, so I checked at my LYS. No more! I pouted for a bit last night at knit night because I really wanted to cast it on. My friend Jane pointed out that the yarn was probably a little impractical for a baby sweater. I suppose that’s true as well. It’s so cute in my head though!

I knew I would have plenty of other possible yarn combos in my stash at home, so I just worked on a couple of hexipuffs and waited as patiently as possible. I had to wait until this morning, because Z was fast asleep when I got home and the yarn stash lives in the same room. This morning I decided on this combo:

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It’s some Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Olive for the main color, and some Shibui Sock in Green (#5677) for the little elephants at the bottom. The Jitterbug seems a little adult and dark for a baby garment, but I think it  will be adorable in the end and the color may also hide stains.

I’m making the 12 month size so it will likely fit this spring and some in the fall. I love baby sweaters!!! Yes, Matt’s sweater, and two pairs of socks are still hanging out on needles, but I’m going to go where the energy takes me, and right now that’s an adorable baby cardigan. I hate when projects feel like have-to assignments. I resist them.

Speaking of ongoing projects, I did a few more hexipuffs. They’re pretty all together.Image

The Pull Gaspard is off the needles and blocking. Finished pic soon!