Archive for June 2012

The kindness of strangers, part three

The last of 2011’s yarn miscalculations was rectified early last month when I completed my woodland capelet. Unlike Matt’s scarf, I only slightly miscalculated how much yarn was needed for this project and like Matt’s scarf, it was a fellow knitter on Ravelry who helped me out.

Woodland Capelet, front

Woodland Capelet by Susan Mills
200g(ish) Bendigo Woollen Mills Allegro, Scarlet
5.00mm needles
Started: September 2011
Finished: May 2012
Ravelryed: here

It wasn’t finished in time for Capril nor the last of the warm weather, but I’m glad it’s finished all the same. It’s an easy pattern, but constant increasing and decreasing meant that I had to be paying at least a little bit of attention while knitting it. I think the scalloped edge turned out really well and the ties look quite good in garter stitch. The only reservation I have with the pattern is the shaping around the shoulders. The method used to create the darts was a bit fiddly, and resulted in it looking a bit lumpy at the top of the capelet. It is still an entirely wearable garment, but I can’t help but think there must be a better way to incorporate shaping into an item knit from side to side. I doubt that short rows would really work in this instance, so what that better way is, I don’t know.

Woodland Capelet, back

This yarn was a problem child in my stash. It was an undersized ball of yarn purchased from the Bendigo Woollen Mills, and was going to be used for contrast heels and toes. Then it was going to be a pair of knee high Kalajokis. Finally, it ended up as this capelet. Even though it had a tendency to split from the get go, it held up remarkably well to being frogged and reknit many times.

The colourway I used, Scarlet, had a few strands of red-orange mixed in with the red. When it was knit up, the contrasting orange meant the fabric had very subtle variations in colour which I think worked well. If memory serves me right, all the colourways in the second edition of Allegro had darker contrast colours, which wasn’t as subtle and a little less to my liking. All of this is more or less useless trivia, as Allegro was one of Bendigo Woollen Mills’ limited edition yarns and it appears to be sold out.

With the exception of Pickadilly, which is coming along quite well, my backlog of 2011 WIPs has now been cleared. This means I need to start thinking about an appropriate celebration when the backlog has been properly cleared. At the moment, I think a tickertape parade through the middle of Melbourne would suffice…

Pickadilly update

There are a few things I mentioned in previous posts that require updates. One is ginger beer, the other is Pickadilly. The only impediments to me posting updates have been time and light. Time, or lack thereof, is a common ailment, as is light at this time of year. The days are shorter and the light levels have been hovering around ‘miserable’. In some ways the light situation has been a blessing, as it allows me to make some real proper progress on my craft projects. This is definitely the case for Pickadilly.

Pickadilly sleeve, again

Almost as soon as I posted about being off my knitting, I started working on Pickadilly again. In between my last post about Pickadilly and now, I did the following:

  • Ripped the sleeve and body back to the yoke
  • Shortened the yoke by a few rows, making the armhole a little bit smaller and reducing the amount of fabric underneath my arm
  • Started the decreases for the sleeves earlier, and added more decreases in total

As a result, my Pickadilly now comes with a fully functional sleeve. I cannot lie, it was a battle getting the sleeve to a point where I was happy with the shaping. However, once it was actually done, it felt like a victory rather than just being another completed part of the project. The shaping isn’t perfect by any means. There’s probably still a bit of excess fabric under the the arm, but I still feel it’s an improvement on previous attempts. In other words, I will not be attempting the sleeve again. Now that the sleeve shaping issues have been solved (more or less), I hope that my fixation with the amount of fabric under my arms will end. It’s a bit disturbing.

The second sleeve is now underway and, predictably, it feels like it’s working up a lot faster than the first. I have started and finished the decreases and it’s well past the elbow. Something that has helped the progress of the sleeve is cold nights combined with TV. In particular, I’ve started watching Friday Night Lights after reading lots of positive bits and pieces on twitter and on DrK’s blog. It’s one of those shows that I could quite happily watch episode after episode, but Matt is rationing it out. This is probably to stop my eyes from going square. Even with the rationing, it’s provided a good amount of uninterrupted knitting time.

Although it’s been a relief to be making good progress on Pickadilly, it feels strange to be working on something modern. Since mentioning the year of vintage knits last month, my knitterly thoughts have been largely taken up by mental notes and plans for next year. I’ve started looking through my pattern collection and pairing patterns with stash, and started thinking about yarn I might need to buy for particular patterns. I’m not sure how many FOs I’ll end up with next year, but I’m looking forward to the process. It’s going to be fun.