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Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Finished Cardigan

Aki cardigan 
This is the Aki Cardigan.  The designer, Ambah O'Brien, is the featured designer for the First Quarter ESK Knit-Along.  I thought it was a great little cardigan and it's the kind of thing that's perfect to toss on with jeans and a cute top.  The pattern is written for two strands of laceweight weight yarn, but notes that you could also use fingering, so I grabbed some Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Worn Denim that had been carefully preserved in my stash since the color was discontinued, and started knitting.

When I got to the point where the sleeve stitches are separated from the body stitches, I knew I had a problem.  Since the pattern was written for two strands of laceweight, the gauge was figured for two strands of laceweight.  If you substitute fingering weight, you can easily get stitch gauge, but you probably won't be getting row gauge, which is a very important part of top down raglan shaped sweaters.  Two strands of laceweight is lighter (weight wise) than fingering weight, even when knit at the same stitch gauge.  Also, singles are denser and heavier than plied yarns even when they're the same size finished yarn.  What this meant was that even though my stitches per inch was exactly right, because of the weight of the yarn, I had far fewer rows per inch.  My yoke was way too deep and since nobody wants saggy armpits, I had to frog.  Fortunately, because of the high number of rows per inch the pattern calls for, there are some plain, non-increase rounds built into the raglan shaping.  When I restarted, I did some math (gasp, faint) and figured out that things would be pretty much back on track if I eliminated these rounds.  I double checked these maths against the shaping of the Ravello pullover (which is also raglan shaping and is designed for fingering weight) and soon I was moving forward again.  Measuring carefully as I went this time.

Once I'd gotten things figured out, the sweater moved along very quickly.  I would like to note that this is not a complaint about the pattern - the pattern is written correctly as long as you knit with two strands of laceweight, as it's written.  The problem I encountered was due to the change in yarn weight which due to knitting physics caused more changes to the pattern than I originally planned for.  But in the end, I survived, I have a cute cardigan and if I ever knit this pattern again, I'll follow the directions and use two strands of laceweight!

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

I Made A Wrap!

Almina wrap 
A couple of weeks ago the Almina shawl pattern was released.  As soon as I saw it, I bought it and by the time I went to bed that evening, I had sorted my skeins and wound them.  I just loved this design - the pattern, the size, the texture, the worsted weight yarn - loved it.

I used almost four skeins of Malabrigo Rios in Aguas (which is why the skeins had to be sorted - there are more blue greens in the first skeins) and the project practically fell off the needles.  To block it I just steamed it with my iron and it's about 72 inches across the long side.  I know I could make it bigger if I throw it in the wash (superwash will relax and grow), but I haven't committed to that yet.  I might wear it a time or two and then decide.

It was a fun, fast knit and I'm really happy with the finished wrap!

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

A New Blanket

Granny goes large 
I've finished my Granny Goes Large Blanket!  It took just over a year, which is pretty quick when you take out the four months or so that I was unable to crochet due to my shoulder injury.  The pattern is free and except for adding a few more rounds (I added eight or ten rounds, I counted but I can't remember what the number was now - I crocheted until I had just enough yarn for the edging), I followed it completely.  It's made in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in the worsted weight.  Cotton Fleece is 80% Cotton and 20% Wool.  I used a 4.0mm hook.
Granny goes large
Granny squares (which is all the center of the blanket is) tend to twist and kind of rotate.  This is because of the way crochet works.  In order to keep it square, every round I swapped which side was the right side, meaning every other row actually switches direction in the way it's crocheted; and I also changed starting corners.  Doing this worked and the blanket lies flat and square - about 72 inches square when it was all finished!

I'm thrilled to have this finished as I think it's going to be great around here this Spring.  A cotton (mostly) blanket should be perfect for Texas!

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