Archive for July, 2009

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tutorial for the skinny-wristed

23 July 2009

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So, the July sweater: it’s Salina (rav link)¬†from Rowan Vintage Knits (thanks to Indianapolis Public Library Interlibrary Loan department for making this knit possible). I’m loving it so far because it’s a stockinette-fest and perfect for work knitting, but the shaping gives you a feeling of accomplishment every 6 or 8 rows. You see the front and back in the photo above, with Kermit’s hood providing a backdrop (I realize that by coordinating my sweater color with my car color, I am exhibiting my oddness).

When I got to the sleeves, though, I realized that a small modification would be needed. Perhaps I have strangely skinny wrists (I also narrowed the cuffs on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan), but I definitely don’t need the 14″ cuff circumference that the pattern dictated for my size! Here’s how I did it:

1. Decide how long you want the sleeves to be; in my case, that was 18″, including a 2″ cuff added later. So, I needed to do my increases over 16″ of knitting.

2. Decide how wide you want the cuffs to be; in my case, that was 7.5″ ¬†circumference, keeping in mind that they might stretch out a bit.

3. Measure your gauge! I had already knitted and blocked the front and back pieces, so this was easy. I came up with 23 stitches and 30 rows to 4″ (or 5.75 stitches and 7.5 rows to 1″).

4. Do a little math. To find the number of stitches to cast on, just multiply your stitch gauge (5.75) by the desired width of cuff (7.5″) to get your cast-on number: 43 stitches (a side note: you can account for selvedge here if you want to, although I didn’t).

5. My desired number of stitches at the beginning of the sleeve cap was 79, according to the pattern (and I could have changed that too, but I would also want to change the armscyes to match), so I needed to increase 36 stitches over 16″. At two stitches added per increase row, that is 18 increase rows.

6. So, how to distribute those evenly over the sleeve? Just find out how many rows you need to knit to get the sleeve to the desired length (in my case, 16″) by multiplying row gauge: 16″ x 7.5 rows = 120 rows total. Then divide by the number of increase rows: 120/18 = 6.6666666…. What to do?

7. Well, I can’t increase every 6 2/3 rows, so I split the difference and chose to increase like this: every 6th row 12 times (ending with 67 stitches total and 72 rows knitted) and every 8th row 6 times (79 stitches total, 120 rows knitted). You can increase every 7th row if you want, of course, but that means that some of the increase rows will be on the wrong side.

Whew! I hope that helps another skinny-wristed knitter. It isn’t a difficult process at all (it took much longer to type up the directions than to actually do it), and it’s one of my favorite things about knitting: the ability to customize a project to better suit your particular preferences or desired fit.

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finished: tangled yoke cardigan

16 July 2009

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Technically finished several weeks ago, but never before seen on an actual human.

Pattern: Tangled Yoke Cardigan, by Eunny Jang, from IK Fall 2007 (see this project on my ravelry project page)

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, color #165 (scree), 6 skeins exactly

Needles: Addi lace US 5 32″ circular, mystery US 5 circular with longer cable for magic-looping the sleeves, Addi US 4 short circular for buttonbands and collar, Addi natura US 1 circular for picking up neckband stitches (whew!)

Modifications: reduced stitch count on beginning of sleeves for better-fitting cuffs, and respaced sleeve increases accordingly; fudged something with the waist ribbing a bit, since the numbers in the pattern didn’t seem to work out perfectly for my size (wish I could be more detailed about what this was, but I honestly can’t remember)

General thoughts: Lovely design, and very well-written pattern overall. I find that I’m often reducing cuff sizes as a personal preference (it’s the same way on the July sweater; perhaps I just have oddly skinny wrists?), so that wasn’t a big deal, really. The worst part of knitting this was the discovery, two rows from the end of the cable chart, that I had miscrossed SEVEN cables about six rows back. I had to tink back two rows before I could drop down and painstakingly reconstruct each one; I don’t even want to think about how long this took to do. Worth it, though. The sweater came out beautifully, and I particularly like the double-thickness collar and three-needle bind-off. I might still sew a bit of ribbon onto the buttonbands to firm them up.

Here are a few extra shots of the sweater. I apologize for the dreadful state of my coiffure! When I called yesterday to make a haircut appointment, the scheduler told me that my regular stylist was “on sabbatical.” I was so flummoxed by the implications of this statement (who will cut my hair now? will he ever come back? and since when do stylists get “sabbaticals”??) that I was unable to make another appointment. I’ll have to try back today, clearly.

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More Felted Tweed coming for the July sweater post (hint: it’s green), and an exhaustive (exhausting?) discussion of sleeves.

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sometimes it is easy being green

7 July 2009

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Well, the past weekend was certainly eventful. The Professor and I are now the proud owners of this little Kermit:

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This car is much smarter than I am. It has so many little computers and automatic features that I’m surprised there’s no “autopilot” function. It doesn’t even have a key! There’s just this little black box that you use to open and close the car, and when you want to start it, you just push a button that says “Pwr”. No cranking, no nothing. I hear the 2011 model will have an button that sends the car to Trader Joe’s and picks up your shopping for you. We’ll have to wait on that one.

Oh, the cardigan? Well, this was the state of affairs on June 30:

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Still damp and full of pins, buttonless, but technically the knitting has been completed. I know, I know, if this were the Knitting Olympics, I would be nowhere near the podium. In this case, however (especially since I was playing with a handicap; the yarn didn’t arrive until June 11), it’s my project and I’ll cheat if I want to, cheat if I want to, cheeeeeeeeat if I want to… (you would cheat too, if it happened to you…)

Modeled shots as soon as I sew on the buttonband ribbon, and as soon as I can mentally prepare myself to slip on a wool-alpaca sweater in this heat.

And the July sweater? It’s GREEN, baby!