savannahchik knits

May 2005

Short Rows Make Me Happy


What I hate on just about every ready to wear shirt and sweater I buy is that they ride up in the front. It’s so unflattering but it’s really hard to buy a top that’s made for someone busty.
Since I’m making my own though, I knew I’d be putting in some short rows so I get a nice straight hem.
I’ve avoiding using short rows for bust shaping for no real reason. My years of pattern making training (albeit in sewing, not knitting) told me that they’d work well. But I was afraid to go to all that trouble and have to frog it back and keep tinking until I get them right.
Not any more!
I followed the instructions for the shapely tank’s short rows and it worked like a charm. I did 12 short row rows, which she said is for a D cup. I’m definitely a DD*, but any more would have made the sweater curve down. I have the same gauge too so I’m not sure what’s causing the discrepancy. No worries though because this sweater’s edge is perfectly straight!

I wasn’t sure how many rows to do so I tried it on every few rows. Once the bottom edge went straight across my body (no more upside U shape across my chest) I stopped and knitted across all the stitches, picking up the wraps as I went. The hardest part of the whole process was digging out the wraps from all the black yarn. Definitely something to do in sunlight.
I’m very pleased about the way the body is shaping up.
The neckline? I’m not so sure. It’s definitely a tiny bit wide but I planned on doing an edge anyway. I’ll wait until I’m done with the body to see how that turns out. There’s a little nagging part of me that says I’m going to have to frog the yoke and do slower decreases on the sleeve than the body to get the properly proportioned neckline (which is what I’d do if I were to start this top again). But, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to make it fit well enough with some ribbing and a few well placed decreases to pull it in just enough.
Keep your fingers crossed for me, OK?
*I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this on the web, but some of you have emailed me asking about fitting for larger busts so I decided to share. Believe me, there’s no bragging going on here. While I do certainly love my curves, it’s definitely a love-hate relationship. They’re heavy and make buying well-fitting clothing really difficult. But, when I find something that fits really well the curves can be fun and really sexy, too.
See, there’s that love-hate thing again.

Interweave Fall Preview is Up

I saw this on Jessica’s blog. Here’s the preview.
And here’s my take on it:
Nancy Bush’s socks done in Mountain Colors Bearfoot are sure to be big on the blogs (including mine!)
The Weekend Getaway Satchel is really cool looking. But 32 skeins of Lopi Lite?!? I don’t think I can shell out that kind of cash on a bag.
The Greek Pullover is a classic shape that’s quite pretty, but I can’t help but think we’ve seen this style before (Juliet Pullover in Summer 04).
Kate Gilbert’s first Interweave design! The bell sleeves with that 2-color detail look really cool. And get this — she made the cover! What a way to debut.
The Web Project Fair Isle Gloves are pretty too. I have quite a few colors in my stash that would work for this project, although I think I’d like to try to make them out of more shades of the same color rather than greens, blues and pinks.
And then Ann Budd has a subscriber only sock pattern for a cashmere blend. Seems intriguing but it’s another one I can’t see well in the pics.
I’m a bit surprised that the staff project was a poncho. I know they have a long lead time, but haven’t we had enough of the poncho?
I’m also a bit disappointed that Kathy Zimmerman didn’t make it into this issue. I always look forward to seeing what she cooked up and fall and winter are perfect for her cabley projects.
All in all not as exciting of an issue as I had hoped for (this is Fall afterall). But, like most issues I tend to find something or other when it shows up in my mailbox and I see the projects up close and personal.
What do you all think?
added later
They’re also releasing a special issue magazine called Knitscape. It looks like they’re going for a younger crowd with quick-to-knit projects. We could get some cool modern patterns out of it.
And here’s the Fall 2005 Book Preview. No surprises here, but it did remind me that I’m really interested in seeing what kind of lace projects come out of Wrap Style.

Gotta Love Long Weekends


This sweater is coming together quickly!
The most challenging part thus far has been coming up with the right number of stitches to cast on. The typical raglan stitch count proportion is that the front/back stitch count should be roughly 3 times the sleeve stitch count. But that didn’t work for me. I want a square neckline, but I want it lower. So I cast on almost the same number of stitches for the sleeve as for a front or back. I mapped out how many stitches I’d need when I’m at the armhole and it looked like it would work.
So, I’ve been knitting away hoping that this wasn’t going to create baggy sleeves, and so far so good. I’ve taken this off the needles 3 times already just to try in on. Fit as you knit — gotta love it.
All this on and off the needles has taken a lot of time, so this last time around I threaded through 3 circular needles (instead of threading some waste yarn). This was much easier and even helped with the curling too. I don’t have to unthread them, I just knit off of the different needles for 1 round and I’m back to normal. I’ve also been steaming it a bit so the neck wouldn’t curl either.
I’m 4 repeats away from what I thought I’d want to knit and I still think that’s going to be a good stopping point. These rows are getting really long! The rows have gone from 170 to 282 stitches each.
I also gave some thought to the raglan increases. I took out Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top and she showed 10 different increases. I finally went with Increase #4.

Knit to the seam stitch (meaning, the seam stitch is still on the left needle). Knit into the back of the seam stitch in the row below by slipping the right needle from top down into the purl bump. Then, knit into the back of the seam stitch. Slip marker. Then, with the left needle draw up the loop of the same stitch one row below (it’s now actually 2 rows below since you knit the seam stitch) and knit into the back of it (so it’s twisted).
It sounds more complicated than it is. It’s making a nice tight raglan seam that has no holes and looks symmetrical. I love it!

Too Much Inspiration


Now that work has slowed down a bit I’ve been able to think about knitting a little more. All these projects are mulling in my brain! Last night, one seemed to pop out more than others though, and I’m starting on it this morning.
This idea is truly inspired by blog reading. If it were not for these blogs I would not have decided to make this sweater.
First, Colleen made a sweater modeled after her favorite shirt. You can read all about it here, and a pic of the inspiration T is here.
She did a great job of translating her T shirt measurements into a really well-fitting sweater. I loved the idea the moment she blogged about it. Doesn’t everyone have a favorite top that they’d love to clone?
Then, Obsession du jour finished up her hourglass sweater. All I can say is WOW! It’s gorgeous. The shaping and fit is perfect. It’s my favorite hourglass I’ve seen so far.
And finally, Grumperina finished her Tivoli t-shirt. The wider neck is a lot closer to my favorite T and the short sleeves are better for a project that should be quick (since I hear it’s almost summer, if only I could turn off my heat). And do I need to mention the perfect fit?
Are you following me yet?
I’m going to mimic my favorite T’s shaping, inspired by the hourglass’s finishing and Grumperina’s short sleeves and top-down approach.
Truly a sweater from the blogs. Thanks, ladies, for some wonderful inspiration!

Girly Socks

In what’s turning out to be the status quo for this sock, I ripped out the first few rows of foot patterning last night to try something different. I didn’t really like the way the 4 rows of K1, P1 alternating with P1, K1 was looking. It felt too hard and structured for a girly pink sock with hearts on it.
While I was at it, I realized that the hearts in the Regia pattern that inspired my socks were 24 stitches wide. That’s half the stitches of my entire sock! So I needed to rework the heart anyway.
This is my attempt to start the heart patterning on the foot. See the half-hearts on each side? To make up the space in the middle I put in some little diamonds. What do you think? I really like it. Plus, those diamonds will come in really handy when I get to the calf increase section.
This Louet Gems at 6 spi knits up really fast. By the time I finished charting and recharting the cables it was close to 10 o’clock, yet I still got in a good few inches of foot before going to bed a little after 11.
This’ll come in really handy when I knit on what I’m sure will feel like the neverending calf.

It’s all about the process…

I spent a lot of time knitting this weekend. I don’t have a lot to show for it.
But I’m not frustrated (surprisingly!).
I’ve been really wanting to make myself a pair of knee highs from Regia Inspiration 32.
Last summer I started out making 4332, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I still like the pattern but I don’t want to knit it now.
So I picked up some Louet Gems Opal in Pink Panther from my LYS on Sunday. I picked pattern 4334 — it has hearts going up the outside of the socks. I figure if they’re going to be pink they might as well have hearts on them too.
The yarn is a heavier weight than what’s called for in the pattern so I did some math and cast on. I knit through the ribbing and tried it on. Waaaaaay too big.
So I ripped and tried again. This time I knit through the ribbing and the first 6 rows of the patterning. Tried it on again. Guess what? Still too big. Not huge though. It was big, but in a way that had me negotiating with myself. Is it really too big? What if I thread through some clear elastic thread when I’m done? Knee highs always slip down anyway.
But in the end I ripped that start too. While I was at it I decided to do them toe-up. I like toe-up so much better. I know how big the feet should be, and this way I’ll just follow EZ’s method for making knee highs (or as she refers to them — stockings). Doesn’t stockings sound more refined than knee highs? Or is it me? I hear knee high and I think grandmas in house dresses with socks rolled down to the ankles.
Hmmm, still with me?
Good. Here are a few pics then:

Pinksock2 Pinksock3_1
attempt #2
It’s so wide I have to hold it sideways across my thigh.
attempt #3
This might just be the best toe I’ve ever knitted

See that toe? Pure glory, I tell ya. I think I finally got it (rounded toes, that is). Here’s what I did:
First, you need to know roughly what gauge you’re going to get. I knew for my gauge I’d have to have 48 stitches around the foot.
So, cast on half the total stitches (in my case, 24). I use the figure 8 toe. An important note here is that I also use 2 circs. I love figure 8 with circs. I abhor figure 8 with DPNs.
Another important note is that figure 8 looks really wonky when you knit the first row. Don’t sweat it though! After I knit the whole toe I go back and work out the excess yarn toward the yarn tail.
Oh yeah, about that yarn tail. I don’t start with a slip knot. If you do you’ll have a problem working the excess out to the end. So I simply put the yarn over the needle and twist the ends around each other below the needle. Then I hold onto the free end with my right hand while I figure 8 with the left. I’m not sure if that makes sense. Should I take a pic for next time?
OK, so once I’ve cast on half the stitches I knit 1 row plain. So, still 24 stitches.
Then, I start the increases on every row. It’s the basic toe increases, but no plain rows in between. I increase 1 stitch in from the edge of each needle.
What kind of increase to use? I like the look of backward loop the best. BUT. I really don’t like struggling with knitting into the backward loops on the next rows. So recently I’ve started this. When I need to do the increase I do a plain old everyday YO in its place. Then, when I get to the point where I need to knit that YO, I knit it twisted, which creates the same kind of stitch as the backward loop method. It works better for me. If you’re fine with backward loop knitting just stick with it. Whatever works.
Now, I keep increasing on every row until I have about 85% of the total stitches needed. In this example I stopped at 40 stitches. Then, I went to the classic knit a plain row, knit an increase row. When I got to 48 I was done.
This made my nicely rounded toe. Since I was increasing faster, it also made a shallow toe, which didn’t even quite get to the base of my pinky toe. So, even though my sock foot has patterning on it I did another 4 plain rows before starting the patterning.
Once I got to that point I started my patterning, which is 4 rows of K1tbl, P1 followed by 4 rows of P1, K1tbl. I love K1tbl — so neat and tidy.
Some of you may be wondering what I’m going to be doing about those cables since the chart was written going down the leg. Those of you who know me know I won’t be putting upside down hearts on them. My theory is that if I put the chart upside down it will work. There are no special increase or decrease rows in the chart (everything is just cables or travelling stitches) so I think this will work.
And if it doesn’t? Well, it’ll just be another chapter in the neverending saga to knit a cabled knee high stocking.