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Try On March 12, 2013

Once I got the nerve to frog a certain unlucky sample, a certain wardrobe sweater suggested itself to me.

(Now, my sample sweater wasn’t misbehaving, it just was something that was more fantasy than fiction. I ask you, would you do a 200 stitch provisional cast on?)

I had a lot of fun trying out some new short-row thingie-majiggies too but at the end of the day, the half-knit design was lounging in a box with a bunch of retired swatches, mocking me.

And it was made with yummy yarn, that was just sitting there, not earning its keep.

Now, it’s going to be one of those real-time grab’n’go goodies: nice color, comfortable size, it’s just a friendly little sweater. I really understand why those early 20th Century Suffragettes “borrowed” this from the boys.

Chic Knits Hey Girl

This is my personal Hey Girl, in oatmeal color Ultra Alpaca Lite.

I’ve joined the body section and have made my first buttonhole.
Chic Knits Hey Girl

See those neckline markers? They are what has made this type of top-down knitting sooo easy. I just hang one in every neckline increase (or raglan increase) and suddenly, it becomes simple to keep track of all that simultaneous shaping.

At the beginning of the yoke, I wrote in my pattern margin how many increases to make for my size and then just depended on the markers to Do Their Job. And all I had to do was count.

Learning how to “read” knitted fabric is something that definitely makes life so much easier. Every increase (or decrease) made has a definitive “look”: a little y-shaped stitch for a M1 or a slight little hump for a k2tog. Kfb has a little bar over a tiny hole. You can see it and you can feel it.

Even without markers, with a little practice, you can scope out the fabric landscape easily and just cruise along.

I’ve gotten requests from knitters who want me to check spreadsheets they’ve made to keep track of shaping – or who ask me to re-write a top-down pattern into line-by-line instructions to accomplish this. So complicated!

IMHO, this is much easier and intuitive (nudgies: try it, you might like it. :)

Now, I’m off to measure the circumference, check my row gauge (most likely to stray) and see if I need to make any adjustments to my body length.

Maybe I’ll reward myself with a Trip to the Button Box!

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Heavens to Heather March 8, 2013

I was walking down the street one day…

Well, actually, I was relaxing at a bus stop on the north side of Portland, enjoying the clear blue sky, a sparkling view of Mt St Helens, the spring air in my face. Hmmm.

A lady walked into the little bus shelter across from me and started unloading a paper bag into a knapsack.

Her hair was a fluffy grassy color; what she was unloading was slightly more subtle but still in tone matching: incredible green YARN!!

I could not resist and had to butt in: “Where’d ya get that yarn?!”

“Oh, at a garage sale around the corner…” (More & more skeins flying into her sack).

By this time I was standing right by her haul – don’t remember moving.

Oooh. Lovely Harrisville worsted. A lot.

And I was suddenly in the basement of a little bungalow rousting around in a big basket:

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For 10 dolla: 5 skeins Harvest Gold, 3 skeins Sky Blue, 1 Skein Marigold, and one orangey-nasturtium colored one-ply skein.


What’s even more shivering my timbers is that these colors are still being offered (in various updated *new* hipper names and lines) on their site.

It’s Friday and I’m f.i.n.e.

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March 7, 2013

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that magic moment when the failed sample is back in the saddle ready to Ride Another Prototype Day…

(frog, wash, skein, repeat)

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