Friday, March 31, 2006

how do you solve a problem with a crichton?

Well, the good news - the steeks are all enforced, and the right armhole has been cut. I could never have done it without Eunny's amazing tutorial. I tried to figure out a crocheted steek from Sweaters From Camp and it just didn't click. I'm so grateful to Eunny for taking the time to make her tutorial.

The bad news - I am officially stuck in the instructions. I made it all the way through the Neck Opening until reaching the last sentence: "Weave shoulders stitches." Alright, fine...but where are the shoulders? They must be there, right? I've re-read all of the previous instructions and can't see where I might have gone wrong. I put in a plea to Rebekkah, and am hoping that she'll find the magical sentence that I seem to be missing. I puzzled over it for about two hours last night before deciding to go ahead with the steeks. Then I made the mistake of reading ahead to the Neck Band instructions. The pattern wants me to knit up stitches from the holder on the right front of the neck (no problem), along the right side of the neck (okay), stitches on the back holder -- what!? I don't have a back holder! - and then along the left side of the neck and from the holder on that side as well. I read through the pattern a few more times and can't find any mention of a back holder. I'm hoping that once the mystery of the shoulders is solved, this will be cleared up as well.

Oh wait - are the shoulders just the remaining stitches on the front, and the "back holder" neck stitches those in the middle that won't be used, as there are approximately 22 less stitches on the front than in the back? (Those 22 stitches are currently on the front neck holder.) This may be right. I'll have to ponder it for awhile.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 30, 2006

finished black stockinette sweater

The recipient was uncomfortable with being photographed, so I had to settle for an unmodeled picture. The sweater fits excellently though, I promise.

Materials: I used about 10 balls (1100 yards) of Debbie Bliss' Cathay (50% Cotton, 35% Viscose Microfibre, 15% silk) in color #12001, which as far as I can tell is just black. I knit on US3 needles, at a gauge of 6 stitches + 9 rows = 1 square inch.

Pattern: I took measurements off of a Gap men's sweater, size medium for the width of the body and length from the bottom hem to the underarms. The sweater is knitted entirely in the round in stockinette, with sewn hems at the cuffs, bottom and neck to prevent curling. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions for a set-in sleeve, found in Knitting Workshop - an infinitely valuable book if you can find a copy. I increased the body by one inch on each side before the underams, because otherwise I found that after grafting, the underarms were much too tight. I didn't like EZ's instructions to short-row shape the back for a "better shape", so after my sleeve decreases I merely bound off the shoulders and finished the neck. When I tried the short-row method, the sweater looked like it had been made for Quasimodo, and there were large holes in the shoulders, even though I used the wrapping method.

Thoughts: I love the way the sweater turned out, and definitely plan on knitting another, but I think I'll take a break before I start. That much stockinette would drive anybody crazy. The recipient is adamantly against any stitch patterning except for stockinette, but I think he could perhaps be convinced if I started a sweater in, say, a 3x1 rib and then informed him that it was for him. The Cathay is lovely to work with and I would definitely purchase more. If you're interested in trying it out, check Ebay first. I found it a little overpriced at full retail value.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

crichton update

Not too much visual difference, but I've finished the armhole steeks. Next I work on the neck opening. I didn't get too much knitting done on this in the past week, because I wanted to finish the black stockinette sweater. I completed it yesterday, and after it blocks I will post pictures.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I've made a lot of progress since my last post on Crichton. I completed two pattern repeats (about 15") before beginning the armholes. I'm now 20% done with the armholes, after which I continue on to the neck and then knit my sleeves down. Here's a picture of the back. (The front isn't so nice right now because the steek stitches mess up the pattern.)

I think it's pretty! Thanks to everyone who commented with anti-ripping out slogans - you were right.

Now I'm going to take some time with my black stockinette pullover. Pictures aren't really worth it because it's decidedly unphotogenic. However, I've combined the sleeves and body on one needle, and am currently decreasing it with Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions for a set-in sleeve.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

crichton, new yarn.

This is Crichton so far.
So close to one repeat, but my hands started hurting last night and I had to stop with only 2 rounds to go. I'm actually not very happy with it. (I just realized now that it's folded a little strangely, I swear it's symmetrical. It's hard to make it stay flat for a minute to take a picture.) I'm scared it might be ugly - I don't usually wear so many colors at once. My roommates and I had a conference and they both think that it's fine, and one told me that she'd wear it if I don't want to. I'm not allowed to rip it out. The exact words were actually, "If you rip it out, we rip off your neck". So I guess it stays. I'm a little happier with it now that I'm looking at it in the picture. Maybe we've just spent too much time up close and personal.
And a huge "thank you" goes to Hege, who left advice for me in my last post. I found it very helpful to stretch the stitches on the right needle while pulling the new color over. It is already so much more even looking. I think the beginning parts will block out okay, and with my new technique it should be at least technically beautiful, even if the colors are a bit much. (And I have to admit that now I'm actually having fun, and am already picking out my next project from the book.)
I didn't do much knitting today, but I did stop at a local yarn store, which is sadly closing in a few days. I'd already gone a few weeks ago and got enough Cascade in a natural white for a sweater, at 25% off. I tried my luck today and came out with masses of angora, all at half price. I got blue and tan in a brand called Yum Yum - 50% angora, 25% lambswool, 15% acrylic and 10% nylon. I'm thinking about a pattern for a lightweight sweater. I have my heart set on the brioche stitch, but we'll see if it actually looks good when I swatch. I also got a few skeins of something called "Au Bouton D'or Angora" (roughly "a bit of gold", if my French isn't too rusty). It's a pretty soft gray with, well, a bit of gold woven through it. I think it will become a scarf, or maybe just ornamental on something else. It says 70% angora, but mysteriously leaves out the other 30%. I have been thinking horrible things about what it may be. Blogger refuses to show you the picture. I'll take one another day so you can see how pretty it is.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 04, 2006

proof that I actually started Crichton.

IF YOU'RE USING BLOGLINES: This post isn't showing up right. Look at my actual journal if you'd like a less confusing version of it. Sorry! I don't know what's going on with it.

A snow day on Thursday meant that I got to spend some quality time with the Crichton cardigan. So far I really like the colors that I chose. I think the knitting itself is looking okay, but I'm scared to say anything. I don't really know all that much about fairisle knitting or what it's "supposed" to look like, so for all I know my technique is awful. I would appreciate any criticism.

On the top is my first attempt at the border. The orange yarn on top of it will be added later in the project. This attempt has since been filed away so that I can cannibalize the yarn in it later. The picture in the middle shows my current attempt. I think it's coming out pretty well. (By the way, forgive me now for the quality pictures of my hand. These needles absolutely will not go straight, and there's no other way to take a picture that shows the patterning.)

On the bottom there's a picture of the whole thing. Yay! The chart I'm working on now is pretty complicated. It's exciting to watch the progress as I knit it. I'm glad I picked some warm tones, because working on this part with just the cream, periwinkle and gray is just a little bit too dull.

Labels: , ,