Sunday, April 24, 2011


I feel like I’m starting anew on my knitting, perhaps finally climbing out of what appears to be my annual spring knitting slump. Easter seems an appropriate day for it.

I’ve been working on the button band for the Kerouac Sweater. It’s knitted separately, and when it’s about 3/4 done, it’s sewn on. Then, buttonholes are added as it’s sewn so that you can get them in the right position. I’m a little nervous about that, but I’m getting a pretty consistent row gauge of 8 rows to the inch, so I should be able to estimate when the time comes. It was fast to knit – kind of like a very skinny ribbed scarf – but I just haven’t been able to get excited about sewing it on. I got started this morning. I’ve already put it down, but at least it’s a start. When it’s in the 90s outside, I don’t feel much of a sense of urgency in finishing a wool sweater.

And, because I needed something a bit more portable and less fussy to knit on away from home, I finally started back on the Woodland Winter Mittens. Well, they’re still fussy, but at least they’re more portable. I finished the Right February mitten, and I’ve begun on the left. This one won’t be as complicated and should go by pretty quickly. I was surprised at how quickly I remembered all the little things about the increases and patterning, despite not having touched this project for over a month.

I don’t know what it is about spring, but there’s always so much that takes me away from knitting – lots of yard work, extra chorus rehearsals for our spring concert, big projects to wrap up at work before the end of the semester. After this week, things should start settling down so that I can get back at it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sit on a Cushion

This weekend, I managed to sew a fine seam, but it wasn’t all strawberries, sugar and cream.

I managed to seam up the second sleeve, and I did much better than the first. On the first, I had to do a bit of 2-to-3 seaming at the end to make everything come out right, due to earlier sloppiness. But I managed to get the second one to come out perfectly. If you look at the two edge stitches that got tucked into the seam, you can see that either my first or last stitch of each row is way tidier than the other. I’ve never noticed that before. However, the seam looks quite nice from the wrong side. These sleeves are rather slender and much more fitted than I’m used to, but they’re sure to keep me warm in my chilly wintry library. That’s the plan, anyway.

But sleeves don’t really work unless they’re attached to the sweater (with the possible exception of the look rocked by Brittany of Glee), so I still had some seaming to do. This was slightly more problematic. Despite some good advice I received, I still had an issue because the sleeve cap shifts from a selvedge edge to a cast-off edge. The sleeve caps were sewn into the body sides which are all selvedge edge. At some point. I had to shift seaming strategies, and there’s a little bump where there this shift occurred. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to minimize it with a bit of judicious steam blocking.

I got started on the very strange (to me) button band last night. That shouldn’t take much time at al to knit. But it’s sewn on, so there is another seam in my future. Here’s hoping I can manage to sew it finely.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Pup With Pups

Henry 17Henry, the boy for whom I made the three Pile-able Pups back at the beginning of the year, made his debut about a month ago. Recently, Meg, photographer extraordinaire, took some pictures of Henry surrounded by and/or wearing the lovely hand-knits he hauled in at his shower. They turned out great and both Meg and Kristin (now known as  “Henry’s Mom”) gave me their blessing to post one of them here.

This little dude is a doll. I got to hold him a few weeks ago and he was just the proverbial bundle of joy. All stretchy and jerky and squirmy and sleepy and sighing and whimpering and all those things that little babies do. He’s definitely made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Although he’s already grown noticeably, right now the Pile-able Pups are almost as big as he is. But he’ll be in charge soon enough.

Welcome to the world, Henry! It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Slow Going

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but then, I haven’t gotten much knitting done in the past few weeks. When it comes to extracurricular activities, I’m either reading or knitting. I hit a perfect storm of books that came up on my request list at the public library, so I needed to do a lot of reading in a short amount of time. I’m caught up, though; you can see what I’ve been up to literarily in the sidebar. So I’m back to knitting.

I’ve managed to finish both sleeves, and now I’m in the sewing phase. I’ve sewn up the shoulder seams. The number of stitches didn’t match on the two sides, but I made do. I was tired of reading the sleeve cap instructions and wondering whether I was getting them right. They might be a bit off, but they are at least symmetrical. There was no way I was going to re-do them.

This morning, I sewed up one of the sleeves. I need to sew up the other one and then attach the sleeves to the body. So far, it seems that the fit is going to be good. I’m looking forward to knitting the button band and collar, which is knit in a long strip along 15 stitches. I think I’m going to try and see if I can remember how to knit backwards so I don’t have to do a lot of sliding stitches and needle flipping.