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.

Unobtainables

I got an interesting book to review in the mail this week:

Cover091417 180x240 Unobtainables

This is Unobtainables: Fake Elements, Real Knits by Allison Sarnoff & Heatherly Walker. The book contains 25 patterns that were inspired by fictional chemical elements.

The table of contents is a periodic table of the fictional chemical elements:

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Note that they are nicely color-coded to identify projects that are lace, texture, beaded, colorwork, or cabled.

You can view all 25 patterns here on Ravelry. The majority of the patterns are for socks, but there are also fingerless mitts/wristwarmers, shawls and scarves, and a cowl.

Some of my favorites:

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This is Uru — socks worked from fingering weight yarn (the yarn used for the same is The Periwinkle Sheep Sock Dream). Uru was the element used to create Thor’s hammer ,so i can only imagine that these socks will wear like iron!

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Trinium is a pretty cabled cowl, worked from String Theory Caper Sock fingering weight yarn. The element trinium is an incredibly strong and lightweight alloy.

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Adamantium is a pattern for some nicely cabled fingerless mitts, and it is also the metal alloy that coats Wolverine’s skeleton. These mitts are worked from Indigodragonfly Merino Nylon Sock yarn.

The majority of the designs in the book are knit with fingering weight yarn (one is in laceweight and one in sportweight). The patterns are clearly written and charts are nice and big.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in a drawing to win my copy of Unobtainables: Fake Elements, Real Knits, please leave a comment on this post by noon Eastern time on Wednesday September 20, 2017. A winner will be chosen at random from the posted comments.

In other news, Loki made a new friend.

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Moth Continues

I’m nearing completion of the first half of my Moth Cardigan. I ought to be able to finish the piece tonight.

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It’s kind of hard to picture it from that photo, isn’t it? It’s the right side of the cardigan, and the enter front is the long straight edge at the left of the photo.

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I’ve folded it down the way it will be sewn together. You can see that it forms a sleeve on the right side of the photo. What remains to be knit is a lot of short rows with deceases on the side seam side so that the piece will be long enough to sew the side seam, the bottom edge will be the bound off stitches, and the live stitches will be put on a holder to make a center back seam.

I’m sorry to say that I have zero confidence in the pattern. As you can see in the first photo, I have put a locking marker at strategic points along the side edge. The green markers are on the front of the cardi and the pink markers are on the back. Then you can fold the piece and line up the markers and sew the seams. Unfortunately following the pattern as written, there is no way one could line up the markers without doing some serious stretching of the piece. As written, the back is much shorter than the front. I’ve had to add some rows to each back section to make it match its corresponding front. For most sections it was just a few rows, but for the underarm slope, from the sleeve opening to the next marker, I had to add 20 rows to the back section.

So you can see why I have no confidence in the pattern. Luckily I read some of the comments in Ravelry from others who are knitting this, so I was on guard from the start. When I knit the left side, I’ll be able to match it to what I did for the right side since I kept notes about how many rows I added to each section.

But I have to wonder how it is possible that the pattern is so out of whack. And this is after a correction was issued to add some rows to the section that is so far off. It was even worse before the correction!

But I do love the look of the cardigan so I’m hoping when it is done that it bears at least a passing resemblance to the cardi pictured on the pattern!

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Moth Cardigan

Here is my progress for the week on my Moth Cardigan.

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It’s an odd construction: you knit each side separately and join the center back seam. It’s a bit of a leap of faith to knit as I can’t figure out too far in advance what’s going on. It’s a new pattern as well, with very few projects on Ravelry, and a couple of comments saying that things don’t seem to match u. But there was a pattern update correcting an error in number of rows in a part of the pattern, so I am hopeful.

Besides, I have my little helper at my side.

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Yakity-yak

I finished my top secret stealth project, so can now start knitting purely for fun. So here we go!

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This is a cardigan called Moth, designed by Amy Christoffers. Kind of a loose “cocoon” kind of shape. I’m using a very cool yarn!

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This is Rowan Softyak DK in the “Plain” colorway. It’s 76% cotton, 9% nylon . . . and 15% yak. The addition of yak makes it very soft. The construction is sort of chain-like.

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While it is DK weight and the pattern calls for sportweight, I’m getting exact gauge with the needles called for in the pattern — U.S. size 5.

The design is worked in fisherman rib — a soft squishy stitch that has a very compressed row gauge — it’s 38 rows to 4″!

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But it’s a fun knit, and I’m not in any hurry.

Loki is just chilling!

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Lila

I actually finished my Lila Cardigan last Sunday night.

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The Lila Cardigan is a design by Sarah Hatton, the the pattern is free from Rowan. I used Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton in the Mediterranean colorway. This was my August Camp Loopy project.

After my last blog post on this project there were some comments on how neatly I picked up the stitches for the front bands. Thank you for all your nice comments!

In order to pick up stitches neatly, I carefully steamed all the knitted pieces. I then divided up the area where I was picking up stitches into shorter segments of equal length, separated by locking stitch markers, That way I could be sure to pick up the same number of stitches in each segment so the results would look even.

At this point, my best tip is to use the number of stitches to be picked up directed by the pattern as a guideline only. I made my cardigan longer than the pattern directed, and my gauge was not identical to that of the pattern, so my pick-up number was different from the start.

How many stitches to pick up? Whatever looks good. Kind of a vague lame answer, but you just have to follow your gut on this. I’ve been knitting forever, so I have a pretty good feel for this. But even now, I’ll pick up stitches, look at it, and see that I’m off: ether too many, too few, or gaps. Don’t feel bad about pulling out what you have done and starting over. That’s the secret to getting a perfect pick-up — re-doing it until it looks perfect.

The other secret to a perfect pick-up is to make sure you are picking up the stitches in the same spot on each row. I usually move in one or one and a half stitches from the edge to ensure I get a perfect line of stitches. In my experience, if you only move in a half a stitch from the edge, you are going to have a hard time picking up the stitches and it’s not going to look as neat as it would if you moved in a half or a whole stitch. The last stitch on each side of a piece is going to look a little wonky no matter what, so you don’t want half of that wonky stitch showing on your finished piece and ruining the look of your finished piece!

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I’m working on a secret project where the picking up of stitches is quite a challenge due to . . . well, that’s another story for another time and place.

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