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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Sleeve is Born!

Jih 
I'm knitting the first sleeve of my Jih pullover.  Round and round and round I go!  At least I have a plan when I get to the cuff!

Thanks for all the kind comments about the edgings on this sweater.  I wish I could pass it around to all of you so you could feel how light and soft it is.  I can't wait for it to get cool enough to wear!  (Once I give it two sleeves of course.)

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We've Passed the Halfway Point!

Rose gold 
I've started the fourth shade of the gradients!  There are a total of six shades in each gradient, so I'm more than halfway through the shawl.  I'm also to the point where I'm watching my stitch count because I'm getting fairly close to the fancy edging action.  I don't know if the edging will begin in these colors or in the fifth shade, but I hope to begin it later this week!  My gradients each have 100 yards more than the yardage required by the pattern, so I plan to just knit until I'm out of yarn.
Rose gold
This project feels like it's moving along pretty quickly.  When I began it, I really figured I'd be working on it all summer, but now I think I'll be finishing it up next month!

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Monday, June 26, 2017

This Blog Post Is Going To Look Really Familiar

Jih 
I know this is going to look a lot like Friday's post, but it's actually very different!  On Friday I showed you sort of what was going on and how I was planning to fix it.  Over the weekend I undid everything I had attempted and after several more attempts, I figured it out!
Jih
I decided to go with the shell edging, but instead of making shells with double crochet (Friday) I tried half double crochet shells (this made them a little smaller) and that worked.  I also took apart the lower edge and changed to smaller hooks to keep it from flaring.  I worked the same shell edging there as well.
Jih
Finally, I gave it a bit of a blocking, focusing on the edgings to make sure they were going to do what they were supposed to and now I'm ready to begin the sleeves!

In case you want specific details, I added notes on the Ravelry project page so I could do this again someday and (obviously sooner than that) get the sleeve cuffs finished when I get to them.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Crochet Edgings Take One

Jih 
I've finished the knitting on the body of my Jih pullover.  I bound off the knitting (to add stability at the lower edge) and proceeded to work some crochet for the edgings.  On the lower edge I worked three rounds of single crochet and then worked the tiny picot edging that I've worked on my Babette blanket and the Isobel's Antique Lace shawl.
Jih
Here is what it looks like.  The picots just kind of melted into the single crochet rows and disappeared.  I tried a couple of different variations but nothing really worked better.  After putting it on Fifi, I can tell it's a little too loose compared to the knitting, so I'll probably undo what I have and redo it on a smaller hook.  I'm hoping that will make the picots pop better because I think it's a combination of a too-big hook and soft, squishy fine yarn.
Jih
For some reason I decided to go ahead and start on the neckline too last night so after working a round of single crochet I started working the edging I had picked out.  Unfortunately, it was coming out too open and floppy again (for probably the same reasons as the lower hem issues).  I tried a couple of other things and I do like this scalloped edge, but again, it's too big for the edge.  I will be undoing this and trying again with a smaller hook over the weekend.  I need it to be just barely smaller than the neck opening so that it lies nicely and doesn't flip around.

So I'm basically going to be redoing all the crochet I've got on the sweater so far, but I'm hoping that a smaller hook will work better.  It's possible that the lace weight yarn, even doubled, is just too soft and floppy to hold a nice edge in crochet.  If anyone has any ideas, I'd be happy to hear them - just leave me a comment!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Almost There!

image 
I'm only an inch away from the edging on my Jih pullover!  In fact, since I still hadn't picked an edging, I had to stop knitting and decide what to do so I didn't knit too far.  So I pulled out everything in my crochet library that might have an edging and started looking.

I think I've figured out what I'm going to do and I'm pretty sure I'm actually going to use two different edgings: a simple one for the sleeve cuffs and hem and a more complex one for the neckline.  Edges take the most wear on any garment and cuffs and hems need to be sturdy.  The neckline should be fine with something a little more delicate and intricate.  Now that I have a plan, I can get back to work on it!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rose Gold

Rose gold 
I've started getting darker on my Rose Gold brioche shawl!  I've completed the first two tones of each gradient and I'm on the third now (working from light to dark).  Both the pink (Canis Major gradient) and the gray (Beachcomber gradient) tones change at the same time.  I've just been tying my ends off on the edges and I'll weave them in later.  I do need to find out how to weave in ends nicely in brioche because I'm not sure what the best way to do that is.  I kind of just winged it on my Meandering shawl and counted on the fuzz from the Kid Silk Night to cover up any issues (and it did), but there will be a lot more ends on this project and there's no fuzz for cover.  I'm sure that between the brioche book and the Craftsy class, there are directions for weaving in ends.

Can I just say how much fun it is to work with these gradient yarns?  I love watching the colors get darker and the tiny little skeins are just adorable!  (Each skein in each gradient is 133 yards.)  I definitely want to do more with more gradients.  Actually, I kind of want to collect them all, just to look at and squeeze!  I don't really need them all, so I'm trying to show some restraint.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Progress

Jih 
I'm still working along on the body of my Jih pullover.  I actually got a good shot of the star in this photo.  If you look just above the front neckline, you can see a star in the center back neck.  It's very subtle, but it's such a fun detail to this sweater.  I kind of want to try a little bird on another one of these (yes, I'm planning on knitting more), but you could put all sorts of little designs in this space.

I am getting far enough that I will need to start thinking about how I'm going to do the edges of this project.  I still haven't completely decided, but in a few more inches (I haven't tried it on yet to check length) I'll need a plan.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I'm Back!

Saturday morning we woke up and the Internet was out.  I went for a run and left Mickael to deal with rebooting the router and sorting things out.  Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple.  Not only was our Internet out, but our landline phone and our cable TV - the entire FiOS system was out at our house.  Caleb said it went out about 1:30 AM (he was still up, playing online games with his friends), so at that point he went to bed.  Long story short, we just got everything fixed yesterday afternoon, but we're up and running now!
Rose Gold shawl
I did start a new brioche project over the weekend!  This is the beginning of Rose Gold.  I fell in love with this the first time I saw the pattern.  I'm knitting it with two 2-Ply Gradient Sets from Miss Babs - Canis Major (which seems to be sold out) and Beachcomber.  I love the look of the sample in the pattern, but I just cannot wear golden tones.  I think this will work out better for my coloring.
Rose Gold shawl
I'm still on the first mini skein of each gradient set (I'm starting with the lightest tones), but I've gotten far enough that I can see the shape it will be and I have a feel for the pattern.

Last Friday, KayT of the Comments asked about brioche knitting and if the Meandering Shawl I just finished would be a good place to start.  To answer her question, yes.  The Meandering Shawl was the first two color brioche I'd ever knit.  The first time I ever did brioche knitting at all was the WestKnits MKAL this past February or March.  The Meandering Shawl is also designed by Stephen West and his directions are excellent.  I had no problem figuring out what to do as long as I took it step by step and just followed the directions.  One thing about two color brioche - it takes a few rows before you can actually see what it's doing.  I do have Nancy Marchant's Knitting Brioche book and while I haven't read the whole thing through, I can tell that it has a lot of information.  I also have her Craftsy class Explorations in Brioche Knitting, which is very similar to the book, but you can see the stitches being made and I know some people prefer to learn through videos rather than books.  The Rose Gold pattern is written by Andrea Mowry and while there are some differences in her pattern from Stephen West's (which you would expect since they're different designers and all), her directions also seem to be great.  I hope this answers Kay's question, as well as helps anyone else who was wondering the same thing!

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Friday, June 09, 2017

Good News and Bad News

Meandering shawl 
The good news is I've finished my Meandering Shawl.  The bad news is that it's pouring rain this morning so my pictures are just utter rubbish.  I tried to do some color correction and that helped, but they're still bad.  Sorry about that!
Meandering shawl
This was my first two color brioche project.  I had a little bit of brioche in the WestKnits MKAL earlier this spring, but that was one color brioche.  By the time I finished this project, I was feeling pretty comfortable with the brioche stitches.
Meandering shawl
I knit it in Rowan Kidsilk Night (color 607, which is British for Cool Creamy White with Silver Sparkles) and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Undergrowth.  I had to skip two rows of the border because I was running out of the TML and I wouldn't have had enough left to finish it with the i-cord bind off.
Meandering shawl
The finished shawl is nice and fluffy and it's reversible!  I really enjoyed knitting it and as soon as I get my yarn wound, I'm going to cast on for another two color brioche wrap.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A Little More Jih

Jih 
There is something rhythmic and meditative about plain old stockinette.  It's even better when the yarn is as soft as this.  This is a very relaxing project to work on, perfect for the end of a long day.

I've stumbled across some more laceweight sweater projects recently.  I don't know if there are more patterns coming out or if I'm just noticing them more since I'm enjoying this one so much.  I find myself picking this up even when I only have a minute or two because it's just so relaxing.  Strangely enough, I'm really looking forward to blocking this because I can't wait to see what it does when it's all finished and the edges stop rolling.  I have a little ways to go before I'm to that stage yet though.  In the meantime, I knit.

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Monday, June 05, 2017

I Made Another Dress

Mc Call's 6886 
I made another knit dress!  This is McCall's 6886 again, but I changed the neckline a bit.  The pattern has a crew neck, a scoop neck and v-neck variation and I modified the scoop neck a bit.  The first time I made it, I followed the pattern exactly (you can see the original neck in the striped dress, below).  This time I widened the scoop at the shoulders a bit and made it a little more shallow at it's lowest point.  On the back I widened the neckline and made it a little bit lower.  This sits on my shoulders better and doesn't feel too close to my neck.  It's not a huge, dramatic change, and overall it probably wouldn't be noticeable if I hadn't mentioned it, but I'm happier with the way it fits.
image
This is another Art Gallery Fabrics knit (95% cotton, 5% spandex).  I've been really happy with the feel of all the Art Gallery Fabrics I've bought.  The quilting fabric is really nice, the knits are easy to work with and feel great, and I have some voile in the stash, which feels amazing.  I have knit fabric for one more of these and that should set me up for summer!

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Friday, June 02, 2017

Still Meandering

Meandering shawl 
I'm still working on the main section of my Meandering Shawl, but I'm halfway through the final repeat and then I'll start working the edging!  I also just started the second ball of KidSilk Awesome.*  The rows are getting pretty long and obviously the needle cord is too short to let the shawl expand to its full size, but by keeping the cord short, it makes it easy to go back to the opposite end for the second half of each row.  (In two color brioche, you work each row twice, once with the dark color and once with the light color, before turning your work and beginning the next row; so there's a lot of sliding stitches back to the other end of the needles.)  Unfortunately, the short cord also makes for really bad pictures.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  We're supposed to have a rainy one here, hopefully a nice, lazy one.

*I checked the ball band and it's KidSilk Night, although it really should have been KidSilk Awesome and it really shouldn't have been discontinued if you ask me, because SPARKLES!!!

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