Friday, October 11, 2013

Two New Knit-A-Longs

Last weekend, I finished the re-knitting of the sleeve on my Malabrigo cardigan. It fits well, and much like the other sleeve, so I don’t need to re-knit the second one.  Yea!
Next, I picked up the Botanico pullover that was started several years ago. I knit another 6 inches, or so on it before Saturday. It is back in hibernate mode, now. I like the pattern, but a combination of the small gauge and the stitch pattern that does not enable me to knit without watching carefully, makes this one go irritatingly slowly. It is now just over halfway finished, though.
On Saturday, two of us spent 6 hours knitting at Starbucks. We started by knitting swatches. Mine was off, so I started over, completing it at the right gauge.  We cast on and knit the bottom ribbing per the directions in the pattern.  When I started the pattern setup, I realized that the ribbing did not work into the cables well at all! I was very, very disappointed.  The stitch count was also off by 4, only for the size we chose to knit.  I tried, and tried to force the increases to make the ribbing line up better with the cable pattern, but was still unhappy with it. We both ripped the ribbing and started again with a slight modification of the last row of the cable chart as our ribbing pattern. Through the stockinette sections of the sweater body, we maintained the K2P2 rib that the pattern indicates for the entire bottom ribbing. I finished the ribbing and the first cable row, liking the effect much better than the designer’s original pattern.  While I was frustrated with it, at the time when I started to rip several hours’ worth of work, the final effect is lovely. When I arrived home, I sat and knit and knit and knit, until I had finished several pattern repeats! I continued to work on it all day Sunday, and finally set it aside so that I would not get too far ahead. 
On Monday, I wound a ball of yarn for a cape that was given to me as a LYS Tour 2012 pattern.  I purchased the called for yarn during the tour.  The last time all 3 of us met for knitting, another of the regular attendees, C, was starting hers.  I mentioned that it would be fun to have 2 KALs going at the same time and said I might start that pattern, too.  Since I had committed to finishing other projects until the start of the cardigan KAL, I waited until now to begin. I knit a swatch, like usual, but also because C found that in order to get gauge, she needed to go down 2 needle sizes. (I think that was her magic number.) When I was knitting my swatch, I only had 2 needles with me, thinking that I probably would not need to change…Silly me! I started the seed stitch border, which is supposed to be knit on a larger needle than the rest of the pattern, with the smaller needle (1 size smaller than called for), and then pulled out an even smaller needle when I arrived home that afternoon. Through the week, I knit through 5 pattern repeats without measuring the gauge again. Then, I remembered. It was too big! I just decided that I would drop down one more needle size from that point on, rather than ripping it out. I can do the same with the fronts, to give it a unified look and feel. I will likely will not do this with the sides and collar as the pattern would hold its shape better on the smaller needle. As far as we can tell, I am only the 3rd person on Ravelry to attempt this pattern. The pattern has not even been added to the database at this time.
The yarn is lovely, and so is the resulting fabric. So soft and fluffy. I like the stitch pattern and am happily finished with nearly 12 repeats of the pattern on the back. By my calculations, I’ll knit 14 repeats, and then begin the decreases as found in the pattern. Tomorrow, only C & I expect to attend knitting group, so I expect we’ll work together on our little KAL.