Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Long Post... But with Pictures!

I took pictures of my most recent finished projects. Woo hoo!

First, we have the Double Wing Top that I recently completed. I have worn it twice since it came off the needles. The verdict? I'm still getting used to it. I like the way the pattern looks, however I wish the charts were written in the right order so I could have the lacy pattern at the bottom and the closed fabric on top, or all lacy pattern. I think it kinda looks a little off having the solid pattern on the bottom with the rest lacy. Since this is a more summery tank for me, I am pretty happy with the lacy-breezy feel, but it just means that I have to wear a small tank underneath. The only other thing I'm not too happy about it its length. This is my own fault however, since it is entirely the yarn I was using, but I also figure that it'll be one of the last shirts that still covers my stomach come July.
The yarn I used was Sweet Grass Wool Toe Jammies. It is a superwash wool and tencel yarn, which means that blocking is difficult. The yarn likes to soak up water and stretch as far as it can. For shawls, great! For tops, not so great. I was pre-warned (thank god) that if stretched, this will NOT spring back. So instead of proper blocking, I have used the dryer. It actually did a good job of what I would expect from blocking; more even stitches, nice fluff, soft..
You can also tell in some of the pictures where I wasn't actually doing math to figure out where to make my modification to string in the rope, but it's not too big of a deal to me. I am also VERY glad I did, since the "empire" shaping that the directions had me do were not enough and without the rope I look like a frumpy square. Thank you, insta-shaping!

Next is the Pinwheel Baby Blanket that I March 14 and finished March 22. It was knit on size US10 needles using Cascade Bollicine Maxi. The blanket went pretty quickly and was a nice brainless knit where I didn't really have to think too much about what I was doing. The only thing that was a tad bit irritating was having to start with the DPNs. Because I am not used to using them (hello, magic loop!) some of my stitches were wonky towards the center, however when I figured I had enough stitches, I moved up to the smallest circular needles I had. When the stitches got to crammed on those needles, I replaced the cable for a bigger one. THIS is where the Knit Picks Interchangable Set comes in quite handy. I decided instead of doing a plain knit cast off I would try to make a fancy edging. Also, because (as everyone knows) stockinette curls, and no amount of blocking is going to eliminate it completely. I decided to try a picot edging to see if that helped with the stitch's tension. It seems to have helped some, but of course not 100%. I'm still quite happy with it though. I also decided to start the bind off when I had a little over half a ball of yarn left, and good thing too! By the time I was finished, I had a whole 3 yards left. Whew! Yes, by the half way point I was sweating quite a bit.

And finally on the evening of March 22 I cast on for the Vine Lace Baby Hat. The only thing I remember about the yarn is that it is wool. This is a very easy pattern to memorize and knit, and I ended up finishing the next day, March 23. The only edit I made to this pattern was to add an extra panel or repeat since I wanted it to be a slightly larger size and since the yarn was smaller than gauge and I only have limited DPNs (see comment in the Pinwheel Blanket). It didn't make a difference to the decrease directions, with the exception of how many stitches I pulled the yarn through in the bind off; 10 instead of 9. I used a balloon to block the hat, which also doubled as a perfect model for pictures. I also decided to photograph the crown since I think the decreases are pretty cool looking.

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