Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cables? Again?

As much as I hate knitting cables due to the pain they cause my hands, I seem drawn to patterns that envolve them. Witness my latest project, theBlackberry Cabled Cardigan.The yarn I chose for this sweater doesn't help either. It is a cotton blend from Lanas Stop. Cotton hurts my hands when I knit it (not so much when I crochet with it, oddly enough.) Add in cables and I am just asking for a knitting injury.

In spite of the drawbacks, this has been an enjoyable knit. The cables look great and the sweater fits well. On top of that, it is machine washable! This sweater was modified from its original design. I removed the Blackberry stitch from the front and back of the cardigan. I did this to make it easier to add in the shaping I wanted. Using principles from Amy Herzog’s Craftsy class, Knit toFlatter, I added waist shaping toward the center of the garment instead of on the side as the pattern is written. I used vertical bust darts instead of horizontal bust darts. Having used both types of bust darts, I much prefer the vertical kind. They can be added into almost any design and look better on the wearer. Other than making sure that the cables on the sleeves were straight out of the ribbing, I knit it as written. Setting up the sweater involved a lot of math, but once I got to knitting, all the setup paid off.

I learned a new technique from the most unlikely place, the KnitPrincess cartoon. The technique is knitting cables without a cable needle. This technique from the outside looks daunting, but is actually fairly easy once you get the hang of it. The technique requires the dropping of some stitches and then picking them back up in a different order. For example, crossing a cable with four stitches would look like this:

Insert needle into back of stitches 3 & 4 on the left needle. Slide stitches 1-4 off the left needle. Stitches 3&4 should be on the right needle and 1&2 should be hanging from work. Use left needle to pick up 1&2 and then slide 3&4 back onto left needle from the right. Sounds complicated, right? It is much easier when you have pictures in front of you. So here is a video showing you how. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6DB6WhAKvY
Next time on Knit and Learn, I will be talking about my other project, Elijah. Stay tuned and keep on knitting and learning.

Edited to include link for the Knit Princess cartoon.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Where have you been?!?

Wow, it has been some time since my last post. In that time, I have been to the States and back. My trip went well and I am now settling back into my routine here in Portugal. Since my return, I have been thinking about how I want to structure my blog. I have decided to change a few things in my format. Instead of telling you about all the projects I have on my needles, I have decided to choose one or two to follow. This way I can go into more detail about the projects and hopefully be more regular about posting. We will see.

For now, I have chosen two projects with which to start. First is my yearly birthday project. Three years ago, I finished a project in time for my birthday and it sparked an idea for a birthday project every year. Last year's was the Argonath stole by Susan Pandorf. Remember when I walked into my LYS and saw that gorgeous yarn that screamed at me until I bought it? The stole turned out beautifully. 

This year I chose to knit the Blackberry Cabled Cardigan for my birthday. I also entered it into the kal for the Must Stash Podcast May/June Sweater Kal. I chose a Jade green yarn from Lanas Stop. It is a cotton/acrylic blend. When I first picked the yarn up, I thought it would be murder to knit with. Especially since the sweater I chose has cables. (I am sensing a birthday theme here, cables last year and cables this year. Hmmm!) My experience with cotton has never been good. However, the acrylic keeps the yarn from killing my hands. I am happy with the results. Because the yarn is a cable plied yarn, the stitch definition on the cables is amazing. 

The second project I chose to follow is actually a Christmas present for my youngest niece. I am making the Elijah Elephant by Ysolda Teague. The yarn I will be using is one I have worked with a lot I the past, Baby from BGM affinitas, ltd. Every time I knit something for a baby I usually use this yarn. It is a sport weight acrylic that is machine washable and soft to the touch. The color is a light gray, of course. I have not started it yet but it is next up for casting on. 

As we follow these two projects, I hope you can learn along with me. Until next time, keep knitting and learning.