Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Irish Hiking Cable Cowl, + Fingerless Mitts

Pattern: Irish Hiking Cable Cowl
Yarn: 'Dolly' by Laines du Nord (140 m/ball x 2) Stash Buster!
Needles: 3.75 mm

Note: as I used DK weight instead of Aran, I added 2 extra repeats to the pattern, making it about 10" across when it was finished.

My hubby works from home and has been feeling quite a chill in his office, likely due to the fact that he has a large, outside wall and it has been freezing cold and even snowing. "Can't you make me something I can wear around my neck to keep me warm", he queried? I have NEVER had a request from him for something knitted. He's not a 'cable guy', so I was a bit hesitant to show him this pattern, but he seemed to 'warm' up to the idea when I pointed out the ribbed portion, which he loves. I have been wanting to knit a cowl for some time, but knew I would never wear one that didn't have a button -- you know, the whole hair-do thing! Anyway, this one fits perfectly!

Pattern: My own
Yarn: 'Dolly' by Laines du Nord (140 m/ball x 2)
Needles: 3.75 mm

Then, "my fingers are so cold I can hardly type" was the next cry. To the rescue with my own pattern for fingerless mitts, featuring his beloved ribbing. He also requested that they come up to his second knuckle, which is a bit longer than I would normally have made them. I kept having him slip them on so we could get the length to his liking. These are perfect, as they give him the warmth he needs, without impeding his typing or 'blackberrying' capability.

Such an accommodating model! You're probably sick of seeing all the patterns lately for mitts, but if anyone is interested in the pattern for these mitts, let me know and I'll try to remember what I did and put it in a future post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Here's what we woke up to last Tuesday ... freak snowfall! We had about 3-4" which was totally gone 2 days later, when things warmed up again.

And here I am today, 1 week later, in my finished Garter Yoke Cardi, outside in the beautiful warm sunshine -- hence the squinting :)

Working it ...

Trying not to smile lopsidedly, considering my mouth was still frozen from having had a new crown installed an hour prior -- that's another story, for another day :P***
Photos courtesy of hubby ...

Wanted to know if he should get a shot of the cool 'bumpy' stuff at the top ... I'm assuming he was referring to the garter stitch yoke ... :) !

Pretty darn pleased with myself! It's been a long time since I finished something that actually fit me! The colour is perfect, the yarn is fabulous -- too bad they've discontinued it :P***


Pattern: The Garter Rib Cardi from Fall/Winter 2008 Knit 1 magazine
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran Shade #557 (Aubergine) 13+ balls @ 87 m each
Buttons: 11, pewter coloured/carved (purchased from Ram Wools in Winnipeg)

Because I'm a 'curvy pear' with small shoulders, this style works really well for me -- I especially loved the top down styling, as I detest finishing. All that sewing and weaving in of ends is simply not my favorite thing to do! I made a smaller size for the top, and then after the shaping, where the increasing begins for the hips, I simply kept increasing until I had the next size up. If I had known it would block out bigger, I would have started with an even smaller top and then increased as before on the hip portion. It was quite snug, as I wanted a fitted look, so I was a bit concerned that it might be too small, but it grew a bit in the blocking process.

I made the sleeves the length called for (15.5") which ends up full length for me on my short, Scottish arms. Bracelet length makes my arms look even shorter, so I opted for full length. The sleeves naturally 'bell', so no shaping was required from the armhole down. Easy, peasy!

Another change I made, was to go a bit longer so therefore needed 11 buttons, rather than the 10 called for in the pattern. I made a buttonhole every 16 row (8 garter ridges), but when I got to the bottom, I knew that I wanted the button in the middle of the edging, rather than above it, as shown in the pattern. I didn't want it to split open after the last button. After the 10th button hole, I did 12 more rows of garter stitch on the button band. Then the pattern goes into the garter edging. I simply did 4 rows of the edging, then made a button hole, and then did 4 more rows of edging and cast off. Worked out perfectly!

A new technique for me, that I have read extensively about in other blogs, is the 'spit splice'. Previously, if I knew I was going to run out of yarn, instead of making a join in the middle of my project, I would simply join in a new ball at the beginning of a row. This time I decided to try the splice. While I didn't enjoy hauling excess bits of fluff out of my mouth for several minutes after, I must admit, it was a very effective and invisible way to join in yarn. I was concerned that everything would come undone in the wet blocking process, but it held up well. I know others have tried it on various yarns, but I would have to say that I would be a little leery about doing this procedure with anything but 100% wool.

I would definitely make this pattern again, although not for awhile -- it was a LOT of knitting. Just an aside ... have you ever noticed that the bloggers who manage to pump out a pullover or cardi every other week, are all size XS ?????