My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

Houston, We Have Sleevage

I’ve finished the sleeves on my Rebecca Wrap Cardi.

(Aside: I wish Rebecca would name their designs — I’m tired of calling it “my
Rebecca Wrap Cardi”)

Anyhow, here are the finished sleeves.

rebecca030305 Houston, We Have Sleevage

I have done the crocheted edging (slowly and painfully as I suck at crochet) on them — see?

rebecca030305a Houston, We Have Sleevage

I have also put the body together at the shoulders by doing a three-needle bind-off. Tonight I will pick up the stitches on the lo-o-ong neck edge — up one side, around the back neck, and down the other side.

rebecca030305b Houston, We Have Sleevage

What remains after that is to set in the sleeves, sew up the side seams, and knit the ties. The pattern directs you to knit each tie and sew it on to the sweater. I’m toying with the idea of picking up stitches along the edge where you are directed to sew each tie and knitting them on. Can’t really think of a reason not to, ya know?

Another Question . . .

. . . that crops up in the comments from time to time. How much time do I spend knitting per day?

On a normal weekday I’ll get in two to three hours of knitting time. Usually more on weekends.

Stash Enhancement

Last weekend I bought this at Knit Happens:

yarn030305 Houston, We Have Sleevage

Blue Sky Organic Cotton, in the colorway “nut.” I understand that the Organic Cotton colors are all natural shades, not dyed. Cool, huh?

Yep, 100% cotton. Twelve skeins of it purchased by a — well, if not a cotton-hater, at least someone who is not overly fond of cotton.

This yarn is lovely, though. It’s very very soft and the color is beautiful. I’ve got a couple of ideas for it swimming around in my fevered brain.

Lucy Sez

lucy030305 Houston, We Have Sleevage

“Action shot? Ha! Now go away and let me take a nap.”

Q&A Day!

About Needles

Susan asked (about my Brittany birch 5″ dpns):
Does Lucy chew on the points? I got smart and started buying two sets at a time, as my fur balls like to chomp on those little pointy ends.

I too bought two sets of them, and it’s a good thing I did. I refer you to the tale of woe in this blog entry.

Marcia asked:
Have you tried the “Magic Loop” You can knit your sock pattern on 1 longer circular needle.

I experimented with it once. I don’t like it. I also don’t like the idea of manipulating the cable on my circular needle like that. I live in fear that my circs will separate at the cable (and some have done so, just through the wear and tear of normal use) and this seems like something that would add further stress to the needle cable.

And I can knit faster on dpns than this way, or on two circs, so it’s dpns for me.

Gabby asked:
Where do you buy your wooden circs? I’ve looked all over and I’m never
able to find any.

I buy mine at my LYS, Knit Happens. They carry my favorite brand of bamboo circs: Addi Natura.

About Row Gauge

Stinkerbell asked:
No you aren’t alone I am in that boat of tighter row gauge, but my
question to the knitting goddess is this:

Obviously this will mean that you need more yarn for your project non??
therefore how do you determine how much more you might want to get, if
you are say trying to buy all your yarn at once?

Actually, I said that I have looser row gauge — I knit fewer rows than required. But that would lead one to the opposite question: Shouldn’t I need less yarn for a project?

Someone who is knitting at a looser row gauge than stated for the pattern is using more yarn per stitch. The person knitting at a tighter row gauge is using less yarn per stitch. I’m thinking the differences in amounts of yarn needed are negligible, unless your row gauge is way off.

But that would be an interesting experiment: have two people who have the same stitch gauge but differing row gauges knit swatches that measure the same, rip ’em out, and see how much yarn each used.

About the Rebecca Cardi

Anne asked:
What do you normally do about shoulder seaming? I notice on the Rebecca cardigan you are keeping the stitches live until the making-up stage . Do you usually use a three-needle bind off or grafting technique?

I do a three-needle bind-off whenever possible, and will do so on this cardi.

Speaking of which, I finished the right side front.

rebecca030205 Q&A Day!

And I’m working on a sleeve.

rebecca030205a Q&A Day!

About Kinsale

Laureen asked:
I love how your Kinsale turned out! Did you alter the pattern at all? It is more fitted than the model (or are the models just anorexic?) I’m tired of knitting big, boxy sweaters and really like the fit on you.

The model was wearing a larger size and she, no doubt, weighs about 80 pounds. I made the smallest size and knitted it at a slightly tighter gauge than recommended. I also made it about an inch shorter. It looks really long on the model in the book, so she must be a really tiny person!

About Lucy

Sharon asked:
She’s the cutest thing. I thought she was a Siamese seal-point at first, but was surprised to hear she’s a Ragdoll. I know this is unrelated to knitting, but how hard is to groom? I used to have a Himalayan (seal-point) and she matted so easily. I’ve been wanting to get a Ragdoll – I hear they are the sweetiest kitties!

I can’t speak for all Ragdolls, but Lucy has an extremely sweet personality. She is very dog-like — always wants to be with me, comes when I call her, and loves to play fetch. She is extremely affectionate and seems to love everyone she meets.

Ragdoll fur is characterized as being like bunny fur. I have only once ever seen a mat in Lucy’s fur, and that was when I first got her. She had one mat in her “mane,” which I carefully snipped out. We brush her 3 or 4 times a week and she hasn’t had a mat since. Surprisingly low-maintenance for a long haired kitty.

lucy030205 Q&A Day!

Row Gauge

I’ve had a couple of questions lately about row gauge.

While I’m pretty good about getting stitch gauge all the time, I usually don’t get row gauge — usually I have fewer rows per inch than the pattern specifies. I’m not alone in this, apparently.

So . . . what do you do about it?

Most of the time it’s not a big deal, particularly if you’re only slightly off. If your pattern tells you to knit until you’ve reached “x” number of inches, you do just that, and don’t worry about how many rows you take.

But if there’s shaping involved, you have to take row gauge into consideration. Like on sleeves.

If you are knitting a sleeve from the cuff up, and your pattern directs you to increase 1 stitch at each end of every fifth row until you have “x” number of stitches, and then knit until the sleeve is “x” inches long, and your row gauge is off, you need to take this into consideration and recalculate your increases. If your gauge is fewer rows per inch, you might reach “x” number of inches long before you’ve completed your increases.

In this case, you’ll need to do your increases more frequently, say on every fourth row instead of every fifth row, in order to get all the increases in before you’ve reached your proper sleeve length.

Same principal for a sweater with waist shaping — you need to adjust your decreases and increases so you don’t dramatically change the shape of the sweater because of your different row gauge.

Rebecca Wrap Cardi

I’ve got the left side front done.

rebecca030105 Row Gauge

And a nice chunk of the right side front as well.

rebecca030105a Row Gauge

Becky asked about the wrap cardi:

Have you already decided how you’re going to accessorize that number? It’s gonna look HOT!

Clearly, great minds think alike, because I’ve been giving that very matter a lot of thought since I started knitting the cardi. I’ve got two sleeveless black dresses — one short linen one and one mid-calf cotton/wool blend one. I think they’ll both look great with this. And I remembered last night that I’ve got a long skirt that’s a white and pale green print — I need to dig that out and see if the green matches. If so, it’ll look great with the cardi and a white tank.

I did set it aside last night so I could knit on my cashmere scarf. I hauled the scarf out so I could photograph it on its lovely Lantern Moon ebony needles, and then just had to knit on it.

scarf030105 Row Gauge

And I finished it this evening.

Speaking of Needles

A couple of questions about my dpn preferences. My favorite dpns for socks are the really short (5 inches I think?) Brittany birch dpns. I’ve got a bunch of Pony Pearls as well, and I used them for socks for quite a while before switching to the Brittany birch needles. I really dislike metal dpns, but for the really small sizes, that’s all you can find.

Socks on two circulars? Tried it. Didn’t like it. I’m a dpn girl.

The Club

No, not the thingy you use in your car to deter auto theft. The Debbie Bliss Club! I got my username and password emailed to me this morning, as did other members, so the discussion forum has been buzzing!

And there’s a beautiful “members only” pattern available too.

Wanna join? All the cool kids are, you know. Look here for information!

And just so you’ll know what a horrible typist I am, when I first typed “beautiful” two sentences up, it came out “beuaitufl.” Huh? It’s a wonder any of this is readable.

Lucy

lucy030105 Row Gauge

Lucy would like you to know that she does get up and walk around from time to time. But because she is, after all, a Ragdoll, she feels an obligation to pose in Ragdoll poses for the blog.