Archive for November 2007

Sorry to have been such a tease last weekend – but it *was* one of those weekends. I’m used to ripping all the time, but this was a bit much… even for me.

I finished Princess’ new sweater last week and decided to cast on for mittens next. I drew a quick chart on friday afternoon in Stitch Painter, printed it out and headed home.

That night, I cast on. I was going to double the ribbing for a more substantial effect, but decided halfway through to line it instead. I had used a provisional cast on, so this wasn’t anything to fret over.

Once I had started the body of the mitten, my troubles began:
1. Planned on an anatomical thumb, placed a little off the side. Knit a few inches. Didn’t like it. Rrrrip.
2. Maintained the shaped gusset, keeping it at the side seam. Found it messy looking. Rrrrip.
3. Had planned on using waste yarn but had one of those forehead smacking moments; I had originally charted a palm with patterning on every row. Since the front of the mitten did not have strand on all rows, I inserted little crosses in the center of each motif. But I found it too flowery, so I changed the patterning on the palm. Rrrrip.
4. Worked only three repeats along the front and framed them with white stitches. Nope, didn’t like that either. Rrrrip.

I’m finally happy. But I have to hurry up and finish the second one!

My right shoulder is killing me, so there’s been very little knitting done this week. But! I’m a little behind on email, so I’ll answer a couple of questions…

Kika asks: “I wonder if you could share the source for lettering of Colette Cat Quote please (or maybe post the chart if I’m not asking too much … )? And what would it be in French?”

here’s the chart for the quote in the hem – I didn’t make up a chart for the french version (Il n’y a pas de chat ordinaire), but it’s very easy using software like stitch painter. All I had to do was select my sentence in any text editing app in the correct point (10 pt will render a font 10 rows high, for example) and paste it into SP using ‘edit>paste special’.

Mary asks: Do you have anymore refinements to Silver Streak? Thanks again for the notes about shortening it, but did you mention something about adding a buttonhole in a previous post?

I did… and I promise I’ll get to it very soon. In the meantime, you can prepare for it as follows (insert this into the right front, just before the neckline bind off):

AT THE SAME TIME, when front band measures 18 ½(19 ¼, 20, 21 ¼)”, prepare buttonhole and shape neckline (RS): slip 2 sts without knitting them, k3 using waste yarn in a contrasting color, slip 3 sts, k3 in waste yarn (do not anchor ends of waste yarn). Slip all sts back to left needle and continue with main yarn. Work 3 rows in pattern. Bind off 13 sts at neck edge once…

Later, you’ll remove the waste yarn and graft the stitches together using kitchener stitch. It’s a little fiddly, but I think it’s worth it.

Rachel asks: I also love the wrap. Do you have any suggestions for other yarns that would be suitable? Worsted, chunky, fibers, etc?!

AV Natasha is aran weight and contains about 1800 yards a kilo (it drives me a little crazy to mix imperial and metric measurements this way, but that’s another story), so look for a yarn containing about 90 yds per 50 g ball. Something with a little halo’s nice, but not necessary.

Karma asks: It looks lovely on the model but I think I would like it to be a bit more fitted for my shape. Any thoughts?

I didn’t measure Genevieve, but I think there’s about 3-4 inches of ease there. You best bet to figure out ahead of time which size will looks best is to measure something which fits you well. If you don’t own something similar, try some on in a shop – when you find something you like, measure it across the back directly under the armholes and double that measurement.

And this isn’t strictly a reader question, but Jennie asked how Muswell turned out so here he is. Now, what do all think: should he remain ‘Muswell the featureless cat’ or should I add some eyes and whiskers?

Thank you so much, everyone: I’m very happy you like Oblique and appreciate very much all of your comments.

The beret pattern is all done, but I need to warn you that while I’m pretty sure the pattern is correct, I still wish I had a better photo(better pattern formatting wouldn’t hurt, either). The ones I have are ok, but they’re pretty bland. I might re-shoot if I get the opportunity.

The first thing you’ll notice is that a fairly small needle is called for, despite the weight of the yarn; I wanted this beret to keep its shape well, so opted for a firm fabric. I often have a hard time with hats – I wear glasses and usually find the combination goofy looking. Oona, on the other hand, can put anything on her head and look good. Must be her father’s genes.

I also found that I couldn’t quite decide which side to use as the ‘right’ one. The broken rib shows off the spiraling well, but I also love the waffle texture on the other side. So, I decided to make it reversible by adding an I-cord to the wrong side.

Anyhow, that’s pretty much all I have to say about it. I hope you like it!

(free pattern)

EDIT: pattern revised Wednesday, November 28th 2007; please download again if your copy is older… thanks!

Wow! There’s quite a bit more traffic here than usual today. Hi and, welcome! I hope you’ll take a moment to leave me a comment and browse through my past entries.

Be sure to subscribe, too – the beret pattern will be available soon and I have extra copies of the book for which I’ll hold a contest.

Ok, that’s enough shameless blog promotion. I’m so embarrassed.

No, not my own… at least, not really. This one; I bought it at a store called Rossy on St-Catherine eons ago and used it to hold up wigs and hats back when I used to sew for the stage. I’m pretty sure the day-glo orange spray paint is attributable to a production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. Are there any milliners out there who can recommend a new ‘head’? I’ve seen canvas blocks in a costume shop before, but I’ve never seen one for sale.

Anyhow… the beret’s all done, as is the pattern, which I’ll upload it in a day or two. In the meantime,you can see its details here.

My princess

My darling Oona is turning 11 today; she’s grown a lot, but she hasn’t lost that winning smile (click on her baby pic to see it today).

Love you, sweetie. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.