Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Knitting labels

I haven't gotten much knitting done in the past week. It's been very hot, so I did next to nothing on my Gentle Rose, since it's wool. I did a little work instead on the Dream scarf, since it's cotton and a little cooler to work with. Then I turned my ankle, took a tumble down a few stairs in the process, and jarred my wrist. At least, I assume the fall jarred my wrist, since it's been hurting since about that time. Given my condition, it could have just decided to start hurting on its own - it has done so before. At any rate, it's made knitting extremely difficult, so I've had a break for a few days.
I had decided to donate a hat I made which turned out to be too large to a fund-raiser that some friends of mine are holding. Their daughter has congenital muscular dystrophy, and is wheelchair bound. They're constantly trying to raise money to get her better equipment and things to make her life better. (If you want to check it out for yourself.) I was ready to send it out when I decided I wanted something marking it as made by me, and recalled those personalised labels you can get. A little research on the net found me 36 for £10, which seemed to be the best price going. Buying from America would have possibly been the same, but S&H would have pushed the price up. Anyway, I got them yesterday, and am thrilled with the result. You get to pick your own colours, have a choice of little icons (I chose the ball of yarn with needles sticking out, and there was another similar) and what to put on the second line. "From the Knitting needles of" comes as the template. Oh, and the script - there are about 5 to choose from. I got them at Best pleased. :)

Friday, 7 May 2010

Learning curve

I've been hard at work on my Gentle Rose, and have finished the back now. I have learned several things from what seems to be an easy bit of work: 
  • Purling can be more tricky than it appears. Sometimes, if you're not watching, the yarn will refuse to slide properly and you're left with an unworked stitch. This leads to holes. It is wise to fix these as you notice them, instead of waiting and then deciding you don't want a back full of holes and ripping out 19 rows at once.
  • Ripping is big and clever, until the yarn decides it likes sticking together. This makes ripping harder, leads to pilling, and is a pain. 
  • This yarn has a reputation for pilling. I may be picking little bits off it for the rest of the life of the cardigan. Lesson: check on the yarn you're going to use before you buy 7 skeins of it!
  • Moss stitch and seed stitch are the same thing. This stitch is also very similar to rib, so be careful you don't rib instead of moss stitch! 
  • Ribbing is not awful to knit, but undoing it a stitch at a time is. 
  • I can now "read" the row below so I know whether I need to do a knit or a purl stitch to keep the pattern right. 
  • Casting off during rib is tricky and requires writing down what exactly you've done.
Having learned all this, I plowed ahead into the front of the cardi.  There are cables going all the way up the edges of both sides of the front, and around the collar, so this is where I had to start cabling. You know, everyone who's said it's easy is right. I wouldn't want to design something with cables (at least, not yet) but they're quite easy to work. I've got a few rows under my belt now,and the pattern is beginning to look really good. You can see the moss stitch in the pattern, along with the stocking stitch that follows it (above). On the right is the cable pattern. I've put in a little stitch marker to mark where the chart kicks in for each row - it saves me counting 11 stitches each time I get near the bottom.

This isn't my first big project, but it is my first cardigan/sweater/jumper, so I'm really quite pleased with what I've done so far, and how fast it's going. I look forward to being able to wear it soon!