Tuesday, 18 January 2011

How Did That Happen?

I swatched on 3.25mm needles (KnitPro Harmony tips) and got 6 sts/inch
I swatched on 3.00mm needles (KnitPro Harmony tips) and got 6.5 sts/inch

So, I cast on for a cardigan using some heavy-ish (more sport-weight than 4-ply) yarn from Fyberspates, using 3mm needles for a moss stitch bottom band.  From my 3.25mm swatch (the needles I was planning on using for the body), 253 stitches, take away 13 stitches for the overlap on a wide button band = 240 stitches, which equals a width around of 40", which gives me 2-3" ease around the bust (depending on hormone levels and what I've been eating/drinking).

So, how come, when I measured the bottom band of which I'd knitted 16 rows on 3.00mm needles (because, with my years of knitting experience, I expected the moss stitch to be more or less the same tension as stocking stitch on 3.25mm needles), it came out at 45 inches?  I know that moss stitch (or seed stitch if you're in the US) can be a strange beast, but 5 inches bigger? 

The yarn's now back in balls (and I've glared at it and had words with it, so it knows I'm displeased) and tomorrow I shall swatch it on 3.5mm and 3.75mm tips and see how it looks (I think 4mm will be a bit too floppy), before doing some maths to work out which size from my basic "school cardigan" Sirdar pattern I should use (it really is a school cardigan pattern - I've used it several times for DD1).

I've also got to decide if I'm going to live with button and buttonhole bands striping obviously (the yarn's variegated and I'm going to alternate balls every couple of rows) or use dpns in a smaller size and knit them as I go.

Did someone say that knitting's a relaxing hobby?

I'm now going to do a bit more of my Granny Stripe crochet blanket.  At least I know where I am with that.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Volna - finished and blocked

I think I mentioned that the PDC darts championship had allowed me lots of evening knitting time while hubby gave all his attention to the 'sport' on TV.  Well, last week, once the girls were back at school, I left Volna soaking in the upstairs sink while I got on with some Things That Must Be Done Every Day such as dealing with the dishwasher and putting a load of laundry in the washing machine, then did the wrapping in a towel then stamping on it thing before sorting out my foam alphabet mats and about a bazillion pins and started blocking.

I've always had a slightly lackadaisical attitude to blocking and have often got to the point where I've thought "that'll do" and left the shawl or scarf to dry.  This time though, I was determined that special yarn + special pattern = careful blocking.  So, I first pinned out my tape measure and then lay the damp scarf next to it.  Each point of the scarf was pinned out 2cm away from the previous one.  Once one side was done, I stretched the scarf widthways until I was happy with how it looked, then pinned out the tape measure again, making sure it was parallel to the other side and then did the same one point every 2cm before dealing with the ends, which are slanted.  I'm very pleased with this.  So pleased, in fact, that I don't want to wear it in case I spoil it (I broke my Summer Sampler Stole by catching it on the zip of my work jacket, so now it's got holes that aren't the result of yarn-overs).

Here it is

Here's a picture of my finished EZ percentage sweater as well.  Colourway MC03, I wanted something very casual, so didn't put ribbing on the bottom, sleeve cuffs or neckline, but just let the fabric curl.  I'm very pleased with this and have been wearing it a lot.  It gets popped into the washing machine on a 30C or 40C low spin cycle and then laid out on a slatted shelf in the airing cupboard to dry overnight.  It could probably be tumble dried on a lower heat setting, but I think it would get static!

I'm now knitting a pair of socks using some black-with-magenta-splashes yarn from Laughing Yaffle which I've had in my stash for about 18 months (possibly longer).  Loving the yarn, which is quite high twist.  I was going to cast on for something else, but then got holes in two pairs of my hand-knit socks, so needs must and all that.

Until next time, take care and happy knitting :)