My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

Archives for August 2010

This Has Nothing To Do With Anything

But take a look at this entry at the Going Underground Blog. At the time that photograph was taken, I was living in Pinner in the U.K. Boy, does that picture bring back memories!

Also, something else I keep forgetting to mention is this:

This is Toe-Up Socks in a Box: Essential Sock Techniques and 20 Toe-Up Patterns from Wendy Knits and will be available on November 2, 2010. Just in time for holiday gift-giving. 😀

It’s a box of 20 sock patterns, taken from my two sock books. The patterns are printed on cards so that you can easily slip a card in your knitting bag. There are also cards with step-by-step instructions for techniques.

I’ve got something else knitting-related coming down the pike (she said mysteriously), the manuscript for which is due to my publisher at the end of this month, so this is a very busy week for me, as I plan to get it off my desk by the end of the week. What is it? All will be revealed in the fullness of time!

The Pi at Hand

Debbie asked in the comments if a 39″ needle will be long enough to accommodate all the stitches of the pi after the last increase. The answer is yes, it will. I have all my stitches fairly comfortably on a 32″ needle, and did so for the last pi I knit.

Karen asked:

If you were to do extra repeats in any given section, how many would you do to make it uniform to the other sections?

I’d say you could do a couple extra repeats in any section and keep the uniformity of the design.

Here is Lucy, spending quality time with her fuzzy rat.

Another Session of Qs and As

There were some good questions in yesterdays comments, so let’s address some of them here.

Debbie asked:

My question now is how do you decide when to move it to the circular needles?

This depends on the weight of the yarn you are using, needle size, and what length circular needle you are using. That’s helpful, isn’t it?

I moved my pi to a 16″ circular when I had 144 stitches, and to a 32″ circular when I had 288 stitches.

Hannah asked:

I hate to ask this, but I must. What do you do when you discover you have made a mistake or two? For example, I discovered a couple of times that I was short a stitch (probably a YO). I also discovered a couple of times that I had one stitch too many. When I got to the even rounds (all knits), I simply corrected the number of stitches I was supposed to have. Is this OK? Or are you supposed to unknit and reknit? I am wondering if you just make the correction by adding or subtracting a stitch here or there that the pattern may not look right when you are done with the entire project. I hope you tell me to just keep going and not worry!

Keep going and don’t worry! 😀

I think they way you dealt with your anomalies is a good way. Now, if you had a huge honking glaring error that jumped out at you, screaming, you might want to frog.

Barbara commented a little later:

I, like Hannah, have had a character mark or 2 and did not frog to correct since it was merely a stitch or 2 but did run into a boo-boo that was not easily fixable as I began part row 3 of the lace/part 2 so was a big girl and frogged to the start.

Yep, that’s the way to go.

And Pattie said:

Twice on row 7 of chart B I forgot a YO, didn’t find it until row 9 when I didn’t have enough sts. I dropped the sts down and knitted back up just the sections where I flubbed. I used a smaller needle and now I can’t see where the problems were.

I normally count on the plain row to be sure I have the right #-much easier to pick up the YO on the subsequent row than to do it 2-3 rows later.

For part 3 I’m using markers every 18 sts so they don’t drive me nuts!

Counting on the plain rows will keep you sane. and it’s easy to do if you are using stitch markers. Like Pattie, I am using stitch markers every 18 stitches and it is no problem to count along as I knit the plain rounds.

Jeremy said:

Usually when a stitch count is off the problem is a missed yarn over. When I come to that spot on the next round I pick up the yarn right below where the yo is supposed to be and knit it. There is a slight variation in size but not that noticeable and a lot better than frogging all the way back to the mistake.

I do this too. I do miss doing a yarn over from time to time, and it is very easy to just lift it up on the next round.

Dorothy asked:

With stitches growing in numbers and trying to keep it all straight My eyes want to give out. Where in the design is a good place to stop when you need to take a break?

I think you can take a break on any plain round. Make sure you know exactly which round you are on before putting it down.

Mary said:

I have read that superwash does not hold its shape after being blocked but bounces back to whatever it was beforehand and so is not a good choice for lace. Madeline Tosh Light is a superwash, so I am assuming that may not be true when choosing yarn for a shawl.

This is not my experience. I’ve made many shawls from superwash wool and they have all kept their shape beautifully after blocking. My swatch that I knit from the Madelinetosh Light Fingering has not changed at all in the almost two weeks since I blocked it.

Lucy is still keeping an eye on her fuzzy rat.

Deep Dish Pie

Part Three of the Shetland Pi Shawl is now available here in pdf format.

Those of you who knit the swatch before starting your Pi will find the lace pattern in Part Three familiar — it’s the same pattern I used for the swatch.

Here’s a pic of my Pi before Part Three:

Portent of Things to Come

Robin asked a good question in the comments:

I’m using several natural colors of alpaca and was wondering about pacing myself for the finish.  If the final edge is a sideways knit, I’ll need to plan for that and put enough aside.  If we round out to the end, not as critical.  Would it give too much away to give us an idea of how to prepare “same color” amounts for the border?  Thanks!

Here’s a breakdown of the parts yet to come:

Part 3 — 52 rounds over 288 stitches
Part 4 — 52 rounds over 576 stitches
Part 5 (edging) — 20 rounds over 576 stitches.Bind-off is 2 row of 1152 stitches.

You have the option of working up to 6 fewer rounds of Part 5, if you find yourself running short of yarn. If you have concerns before you reach Part Five, you could remove a repeat (8 rounds) of Part four as well.

Today Lucy has discovered multitasking. Here she is subduing her fuzzy rat by lying on it, all the while keeping a vigilant eye on her paper ball.

A kitty’s work is never done, eh?

Remember How I Said Lucy Doesn’t Mess With My Yarn?

This morning when I was getting ready for work, I noticed Lucy happily stretched out on the carpet in the living room with a skein of Tempted Lovely Grrl Yarn on either side of her. I guess she really does think that yarn is for her.

Now, I did not have time to take a photo this morning, but Lucy agreed to stage a re-enactment.

She hadn’t hurt the yarn — she just helped herself to a couple of skeins. In her defense, I did leave them out on an end table (where I put them yesterday afternoon to photograph them) so she of course thought it was okay to play with them.

Anyway, that yarn is destined to become a Wispy Cardi. One of you came close in the comments by guessing the Featherweight Cardigan. I have some Tilli Tomas Voile de la Mer in black for the Featherweight Cardigan. Gorgeous stuff!

So there are two little cardis in my future. Just my way of fighting back against sleeveless dresses. 😉

Lucy is now involved in a stand-off with her fuzzy rat.

We’ll be back on Sunday with Part Three of the Shetland Pi pattern.

Would Anyone Care for Another Piece of Pi?

It is time for Part Two of the Shetland Pi Shawl. Get your copy of Part Two (in pdf format) here.

The first thing you are going to do in Part Two is double your stitches. Then you work a couple of rounds plain before starting the Part Two pattern, which has a repeat of 9 stitches.

This part will take you a little bit longer to complete than Part One, I think, but is still a fairly quick piece, so Part Three will be posted on Sunday.

In other news, lookie here what I got (said in a greedy, gloating voice):

This is five skeins of Tempted Lovely Grrl, purchased from The Loopy Ewe. It’s a 50/50 blend of silk and merino wool, fingering weight, and it is just gorgeous. The colorway is “Renewal.” (And there is no more in this colorway at The Loopy Ewe because I bought it all. Mwha-ha-ha!)

I bought this yarn with a specific purpose in mind, and I think I’m going to start on it as soon as my pi is baked. Anyone want to hazard a guess what I’m making? I’ll give you two hints: it’s not one of my own patterns, and it is not a shawl.

Lucy sez:

“I guess that it is a yummy kitty blanket for me!”