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Sleeves, with love Tuesday June 22, 2010

It seems a little funny that this second day of summer, being bare-armed and barefoot, I’m busy knitting Sleeves. It’s been the kind of muggy hot we’ve come to (secretly) relish in the cold hard northern midwest.

Typical humid, downtown garage elevator conversation, two parties, standing on top of each other, shiny and slightly glazed-looking: “Hot enough for ya? I can’t hardly stand this.” “Oh. I Love it!” “Yah, me too — I feel all peachey!”

Now that the market show is fini, I can wrap myself in some personal knitting. My very own workbasket has three outstanding projects: a new for Fall (and new for me) cardi, a 2/3’s finished TWIST made from taupe Cotton Ease, and the one I’m being most productive with, my cotton blend Cerisara.

BTW, the name of this pattern has been a little cryptically amusing — just how IS it pronounced? It is simply, sarah sarah. And Chic Knits is sheek knits. That is all ;p

It’s been raining here alot — and I’ve been taking advantage of being a little housebound to catch up on some favorite movies (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the Dark Knight, American Psycho, C. Bale film fest, nuff said) and get going enjoying some AC with my lace.

Cerisara-W-100620-9290

In the wild…
While I’ve been knitting on my second Cerisara sweater, I’ve found I have lots of fantastic company!

Traveling hither and yon on the web, here’s some wonderful pieces from some very talented knitters…

 

   
         

Knit by Kathleen/katrog(Rav)
from Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool:
Color – Blue-Green

 

Cerisara #2, Knit by Kathleen/katrog(Rav)
from E. Lavold Eucool: Color – Khaki

 

Knit by Connie/yellowcosmo(Rav)
from Malabrigo Silky Merino:
Color – Velvet Grapes

Cerisara-W-100621-9291My little taupe version would’ve looked a lot like the lovely vest in the middle, if I hadn’t flipped the coin a few days ago and went with the sleeves. I still have some Plymouth JEANNEE in a toasty brown in ze stash to make one, soon to come. The sleeve knitting is going smoothly round-and-round on one long nickel needle. The sleeves are going to be about 3/4 length, am trying on as I go :)

For some reason, the knitting went much faster during the Dark Knight – maybe because I was a little weepy during Capt. Corelli – wow! What a three-hankie fest! Or maybe it was because it was so hard to imagine the lovely P. Cruz choosing N. Cage over C. Bale (not likely). Or maybe it was because every single character (of Italian, American, or British origin) was speaking with such Bad Accents I was actually looking for subtitles to get a verbal grip!

I think I better read the book. :)

Wheels Keep on Turning Tuesday May 18, 2010

While living in the reality of multiple WIPs, one’s head can start to spin! In just a couple of weeks, Chic Knits will be traveling to the TNNA show in Columbus (wave!) and we’re just about swimming as fast as we can, getting all the stuff ready and packed and woven in and photo’d. WHEW!

So instead of a cardigan, my personal wardrobe Cerisara is looking like, well, a vest! I thought I’d have at least one sleeve done by now but Duty Calls and it’s been lanquishing…

cerisara-57-8791

However, this is the perfect time to throw it up on the mannie and have a good look-see. Not only does that help spot any problems or detours, it actually helps motivate me to get going! I want to wear this!!

The yarn (Madril DENIM) is really great for this — the medallions of the lace pop out nicely and you can see that it is barely sheer (this is a DK weight yarn knit at a worsted gauge).

MODS: I made this 1″ shorter than what the pattern calls for, wanting a more cropped look for my short torso-ed frame.

I also knit two less rows of hem ribbing, to keep it in proportion.

Third mod: since my hips are slightly larger than my bust, everytime I made a side increase, I made an increase on the front edges just inside the band, for slightly more ease in the hips.

Other plans? Three-quarter length sleeves are in the works although I haven’t decided on an actual length, but will try it on as I go and go from there.

Who knows if it is going on the road as a FO or will become the road project? I’m at the mercy of the Muse! The Cerisara pattern has a small, easy to remember lace pattern — which is my kind of YO commitment — since my knitting time, especially for personal projects is so limited, so once I get going, it should go quickly.

Notes on Working New Stitches in Pattern: This lace stitch takes advantage of something called “Mirroring”, which in the world of lace is a common convention, when the lace pattern is so small and symmetrical.

If you haven’t done this before, it helps to spread your work out and look at how the lace is worked before and after any newly cast on sts. Your goal is to continue in the small medallion patterns you’ve already established. You will be working new repeats after (and before) established repeats, in the established stitch multiples.

“Thinking in Lace” is sometimes a “forest from the trees” kind of thing. Look at the big picture, then go in and do it stitch by stitch. If you are having trouble visualizing this, find the edge of a medallion and count off the number of stitches to be worked for the next pattern multiple, then mark that area off with a stitch marker. Repeat until all your stitches are used up. Repeat going in the other direction (towards the underarm), for the other side of the side markers.

You work the chart as given up to the end of the chart (from right to left), then for the section after the marker, you read the same row of the chart from left to right, substituting a SSK every time you see a K2TOG or a K2TOG every time you see a SSP (this is called mirroring the decreases). All of the other stitches stay the same.

If you look at the chart you see where the underarm area starts. It is marked by a double red line. The stitches we are going to begin working in the lace pattern are: the underarm st (double red lined), then every stitch to the left of that. Those are the newly cast on stitches and what was previously the edge st.

Count backwards from the stitch marker and you will see that the numbers absolutely correspond. If there are not enough stitches for a full repeat of the lace pattern, those stitches are worked in Stockinette St as shown. It is the same for both underarms.

To borrow another metaphor, it’s kind of like riding a bicycle. The first time you do this, it might feel a little wobbly! That’s natural! But, everything in knitting is one stitch at a time, and once you make it through your first repeat, it is just more of the same. :)

 
 
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