Friday, March 17, 2017

Look a blog post!

So blocking linen is apparently different to blocking wool based yarns, everything thing I know about line says it softens with washing and aging. So when I read on multiple places to block linen by throwing it into the washing machine and then the drier I thought that was the way to block linen. I suppose it is .... but only if the ends are very very secure.



Here is my blocked rippled linen cardigan, lovely and soft rather than crisp. Although I feel it will crisp up with a little steam press. I'm rather pleased with the entire thing, the pattern was written to work flat but I rejigged it to be worked seamlessly. My first top down picked up and knit sleeves, kinda short row as per Barbara Walker, with ideas adapted from my knowledge of flat pattern drafting for cut and sewn garments, and around the internet. Photos of it being worn will be posted soon. Pattern is Rippled, by Kirsten Singer. Yarn is Quince and Co Sparrow in 100% linen.

This is were the blocking went awry. One lower corner of the front band ravelled a teeny tiny bit. Nothing to dramatic except it needs fixing beyond the temporary holding fix of a stitch marker.

I thought, like other delicate garments, it would be best to do up the buttons and wash / dry it inside out. Turns out that created stress points, and a rather nice drawn out front hem as well as the ravelling.


I am liking the simple lace either side of the front - after dithering about what would work in linen I'm pleased with this. The buttons are hand made by Benji. I have several other sets all coordinated to match cardigan batches of yarn. These buttons are based on a William Morris design.


The set in sleeves, seamless worked well, I used twin stitches as detailed in the FLH pattern, aka Fish Lips Heel. They have become my favourite short row solution. I also added some increases to shape the sleeves a little more like a sewn set in sleeve. I like these, and will work more sleeves this way.


The v-neck shaping is also a great surprise, the v is pretty much perfect with a dress or tee shirt, and sits nicely on the body. Of course a good press and it will be even better.



With the linen cardigan out of the way - I have begun the next one, a sweater in ALB Lino, 85% wool and 15% linen, by Schoppel. The pattern is Holstein by Annestrick. I've admired her style of patterns for years - and finally found a yarn and pattern combo that I like. The pattern swatch is 22 stitches in 10 cm - my unwashed gauge was 25.25 so I am waiting to see if the swatch relaxed with blocking.

Na Stella - or look a blog post.


Sunday, January 01, 2017

Frog me once, frog me twice, and frog a third time lucky?

Ok, so the knit knit frog bit in the title - it's happening again, only this time it seems more like knit frog, frog. I'm knitting a cardigan, a simple one - or at least I'm trying to knit one. The yarn is linen - which has its own challenges, crisper with no elastic, so trickier to work lace in. The colour is lovely, my favorite soft blue grey green, the pattern is Rippled by Kirsten Singer. The yarn is 100%linen, Quince&Co, a fingering weight (4ply in 'old money') called Sparrow, in Blue Spruce, I'm knitting this in the round rather than flat, because I don't want seams where there need no be any. The cardigan is knit hem up, so I cast on enough stitches for both fronts and the back and worked the rib. The lace is a simple one - worked on right side and wrong side rows. So simple that it threw me, I thought I had the rhythm, but appers I did not.

Christmas Day I set out the freshly knit work and admired it, but something wasn't right, the lace didn't quite line up. I didn't take close up photos because I was embarrassed. The lace is a simple *k2 yo k2tog*, it to work required careful lining up. I didn't take too much care of the alignment of the right side and wrong side rows, and I was mashing up the instructions for the right, back and left sides all at once. The it that I didn't think through was the selvedge stiches, and the way the lace was spaced 2 stiches in from each side seam. So I frogged for the first time, well the first official time as I had several goes at knitting the ribbing, I've not knit much with linen and seemed to need a bit of practice to get the hang of it.

Just as I nearly finished the first skein of yarn, one side looked good, each column of lace had nice single yarn threads twisted into ladder type bars.

The other side didn't look so good, there were lumpy bits in my lace. Frog time, frog number two.

So while away on our post Christmas holiday in Invercargil - I frogged, not all the way but back to the ribbing and began again. I counted carefully and placed side seam markers to guide me in where the lace should go. And ...

This time the lace is perfect, each column is a nice neat row of twisted ladders. But ...

Somewhere, somehow it seems I can't count to 44 reliably twice as the number is stitches spare on the right and left sides between the lace and the front edge is different. Frog number three....

I will frog tonight and try try again. Counting and re counting as I set the side seam stitch markers. Or maybe I will spin and put this project in time out for a wee while.

Na Stella