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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Annie's Kerchief Scarf

Third time's a charm:
Annie's Kerchief with notes
Again, this is a modification of Joelle Hoverson's Kerchief Scarf from her book Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

Mark the center stitch. I like to use two markers, one on either side:
Annie's Kerchief in progress

A little over halfway through (and continuing the edge shaping of the original pattern):
*Work short rows on the right half of the scarf, beginning with the st next to center marker, and then every 5 sts.
*Likewise, work short rows on the left half of the scarf.
*Work 12 rows straight.
*Work another set of short rows on each side, this time beginning with the 10th st from center marker.
*Work 12 rows straight.
*Finally, work a single short row on each side, wrapping the 10th st from center marker.
*Work 5-10 more rows.
*Bind off.

This modification is especially good if you don't have quite enough yarn required for the pattern.

The final product:
Annie's Kerchief with Vintage Pin

What could it be?
For me?  Yay!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Knitter's Shame & Gift Mania

I hate it when my husband buys a scarf! I think, "But I knit! I'll make you a scarf. Another scarf. What color do you want?" I hate buying sweaters for myself because I know I could make it myself. Better.

But, seriously, how much time is there? Not enough. Not nearly enough to knit up all the things I imagine in my mind. Which is why I own enough yarn to open a franchise of shops across the North American Continent.

To combat what I call "Knitter's Shame", I've been on a knitting binge this past month. (Of course this hasn't stopped me from actually purchasing yarn...) Working one major project: The Big Cable Coat; AND several smaller projects: Birthday Gifts. More specifically: Joelle Hoverson's Kerchief Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a project that claims to take less than two hours, but which really takes at least four or five. Unless you knit with super-human speed.

I've made two Kerchief Scarves this week for two different birthday girls:


Kelly's scarf is knit with Handmaiden's 4-ply cashmere.

and Christine

Christine's scarf is knit with The Fibre Company's Terra in Sea Holly.

And I have one to go (for Annie). I have now learned enough about the pattern to know I like to modify it with short row shaping which you can see in Christine's scarf. I think the bulky nature of a knitted kerchief lays better if shaped. ALSO since Annie's party is tomorrow, I have more than six hours to knit! (I was late to the first two parties because I was frantically knitting.)

The Kerchief Scarf is a great last minute gift, don't get me wrong. I just recommend that you allow a full afternoon or evening so you don't cramp out your hands.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So close and yet...

It looks great on the hanger, but I do think I need to add some cable columns to the front, so that the drape will be softer. I do not want this sweater coat to be "form fitting".

My plan is to add two full columns to each side of the front. Once that's done, I'll see how that effects the placement of the armholes, and if need be, I'll just frog down to the empire waistline and redo the top. No biggie.

Body, Baby!

So, I've completed the main body of the coat. Yay! Thank you, Brutus, for modeling.

Of course, even after all of my careful preparation and measuring:

...I discovered the armholes are WAY too deep. That's probably at least partially due to the weight of the coat being so heavy. Anyway, I am frogging down the shoulder seams at least one cable length, and I'll see where that gets me...

...and after some examination...SIGH. Well, after all that work to make the coat smaller, I realize that I'm going to like the drape better if I add more cable columns to the front. Otherwise, it's going to hug my hips and butt in an unattractive way.

I wish now that I had kept the 4 purl sts between each cable instead of decreasing them to 2. But I was just following the pattern.

Hey, you know what? It's all good.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Progress Report

I've been knitting almost non-stop (aside from sleeping and eating) mainly because I'm glued to CNN watching all the debates and stump speeches. Exciting stuff, any way you look at it!

Anyway, I am pleased with the body of the coat so far:
I tried the diminished cable directions from the VK pattern, but first I had to adjust it since my cables are half the size. And then I realized that I preferred doing it a different way, namely rather than crossing 5 sts over 5 sts, I crossed them, but then knit them together. Hard to describe, but I'll try: If you number each stitch 1 through 10, then I knit st #1 together with st #6, #2 with #7, #3 with #8 and so on. It looks just like all the other cable cross-overs, but you end up with 5 sts rather than 10. After that I decreased 2 sts per cable every other row until that particular cable was gone. I eliminated two cables from each side:

Here's a detail:

Also, I chose to use the tubular cast-on method, and to begin knitting the body first. Then I went back and picked up the selvedge sts with size 10.5 circular needles, increasing a st every 7 sts. Then I knit the rib down 3 inches. I did this because I prefer the cast-off edge to the cast-on edge:

Big Cable Coat

Big Cable Coat by Vladimir Teriokhin
Vogue Knitting Magazine ~ Holiday Issue 2006

I want to make this coat, but am disappointed that the directions are only for size small/medium, which seems to be more medium than small:

*lower edge (closed) 52”
*bust (closed) 40”
*length 38½”
*upper arm 13”

I think these measurements are going to be a little wide for me. I want to use a different yarn and a different cable pattern anyway, so it looks like the original pattern will just be a guideline.

I’ve decided that to convert the pattern, I need to use 87.5% of all vertical measurements.

I have a stash of Rowan’s Polar yarn in Fizzle that I’m going to use, and in knitting up the swatch, I’m thinking that 10 skeins may not be enough. The swatch used an entire skein. This yarn is discontinued, but there do seem to be some skeins left out there on the web for purchase.

Any hizzle, I knit a swatch 56 sts by 58 rows. It’s pretty big:

I started to make the gigantic cables specified in the pattern, but with the Polar, the cables just seemed ridiculously cumbersome. So, I’m using smaller cables – literally half the size. They are 10 sts wide, crossing every 12th row, with 4 sts between each cable.

Here’s my gauge, using size 11 needles:

46 sts = 10.5” 41 rows = 9.5”
17.5 sts = 4” 17.25 rows = 4”
4.38 sts = 1” 4.32 rows = 1”

Here are two other versions of this coat, one made by Disco Princess and featured on www.craftster.org and the other by Alexander McQueen, virtually identical to the one in VK(on model):

I’m noticing that the shaping is made by eliminating four cables entirely – two on the front and two on the back. I’m not sure if Disco Princess’s coat is made from the VK pattern, but I think it may be.