Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday's WIPs

I am almost finished with the Hecate shawl that I've been working on in the Fall Behind. I have a couple of contrast rows to do (you can see that I've started them), and then the picot bind off. Of course, I'll also have to block the shawl, but I have plans on how to get that accomplished. I will admit that the original plan was to beg one of my knitting friends to do it for me (well, she did say that she likes to block projects!), but I think I will be able to use an empty classroom in the church to lay it out. I'm getting excited to have this project finished. I really love working with my handspun, and I'm looking forward to wearing the shawl to show it off.

I wasn't going to cast on the next project until the shawl was finished, but I changed my mind. The Summer Tea Shirt KAL started in my Wednesday night group, and I didn't want this KAL (Knit A-Long) to turn into another Fall Behind for me. Unfortunately, it looks like it's going to be a Fall-Behind even though I cast on with the group, just because I'm having some problems.

My first attempt of casting on was using a pair of size 6-29" circulars. The circulars were just too long, and it was stretching out the cast-on stitches, making it very uncomfortable to knit. So I frogged it and tried again.

For my second attempt I used size 6 dpns. I prefer dpns, so this was good - except that I was getting some horrible ladders where the needles met each other. So I frogged again.

My third attempt was on again on the size 6 dpns, but this time I arranged the stitches differently. I had each section of the sweater (left back, sleeve, front, sleeve, right back) on a different needle. This helped me prevent the dreaded ladders, but it meant that each dpn started and ended with a yarn over. Yarn overs at the end of needles is not fun knitting, in my book. So I frogged.

My fourth attempt was back on circular needles. I went out and bought size 6 circulars, in a 16" length. This worked like a dream - and was actually what the designer recommends in her pattern. Go figure! I was able to make quite a bit of progress. Enough progress to realize that I didn't like the way the material was draping. It was just too loose, even though I had perfect gauge for the pattern, and I wasn't happy. So after a bit of debating, I frogged again!

The bottom sweater is on the size 6 needles, with perfect gauge.
The top sweater is using a smaller needle (size 5). I don't have gauge, but I'm much happier!
 I cast on a fifth time, using a size 5 circular. Now, I wish I could say that I had learned something from all of my earlier attempts. Unfortunately, I decided that since I didn't have a shorter size 5 circular, the 29" would work this time. It didn't. I frogged.

At least I skipped trying to do it on the dpns, instead opting to go ahead and buy yet another knitting needle. And the sixth time is a charm, because the sweater is coming out beautiful! Another two or three rows, and I can separate for the sleeves. 

 I really want to try it on, so I've ordered some Try-It On Tubing from Machine Knitting to Dye For. This is a narrow tube that is designed to easily slip through your stitches so that you can try on a project. Since the tubing is 2 yards long (it also comes in a shorter 1 yard amount), you don't have to worry about dropping any stitches off your circular needle. I hope it comes soon so that I can see how this sweater is going to fit! (Wouldn't it be horrible to have to frog it a 6th time because I made the wrong size?)

 I did start one more project. I picked up a couple of new tatting shuttles (I still can't find my tatting box anywhere!), and I'm working on a bookmark as a thank you gift for one of my church ladies.

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