Monday, November 26, 2007

The Boy Hat

The boy has granted permission for me to post this pattern, so I figured that I would, since I know that simple as they may be, hats that boys will actually wear are few and far between.

The Boy Hat Pattern

*Thanks to The Boy for getting on the matrix and letting me have a place to put the file. It will take a couple of minutes, since there are pictures, but I figured you would want to see the hat before making it, right?*

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tilted Duster

Pattern: Tilted Duster, by Norah Gaughan, from IK autumn 2007
Size: Made the 36" size with a different gauge to get about a 40" bust
Yarn: About 5.25 skeins of Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed in Big Sky Heather
Needles: size 8 and 9 bamboo circs
Modifications: I went down a needle size for the cuffs and got creative with gauge, along with adding a hook and eye closure below the buttons, but otherwise none.
Verdict: I love it! The yarn is wonderfully squishy and next-to-the-skin soft for a great price, and I'm a sucker for light blue. It also fits like a dream, despite the high likelihood that I would screw up since the yarn knits at a larger gauge than the peruvia that is called for. Instead of a drapey sweater you get a more substantial sweater-coat cardigan, which is delicious, especially on a day like today. And the buttons?

I love the buttons.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Now is the time on Sprockets where we BLOCK!

The tilted duster, she is finished (except for buttons). The yarn is even softer after blocking, and it was plenty soft before. Like my blocking board?

Of course you do. As the boy said when I exclaimed the finished-ness "And now you can learn the alphabet!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

4 Years

I have a lot of projects going, but a week from today is a very special day, specifically 4 years from the day that the boy first asked me to have dinner with him. The fact that I was in a cold-induced haze I think makes it even special-er.

Well, the boy lost his hat, and so for our anniversary I thought I should show my love with wool and I made him one from a pattern that I made up myself. I'll write it and post it later, I think, even though it is simple. I particularly love the crown decreases:

Pattern: my own, for the boy.
Yarn: less than 1 skein Malabrigo worsted, in Vaa
Needles: Size 7 bamboo 16" circs and dpns.
Verdict: He is still wearing it, so I guess good!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Knitting for Nerds

OK, so I know full well that I have many knitting works in progress. Five, according to my ravelry queue, but I probably have more stashed away. And I have been good. So good! You should see how far I am along on the tilted duster. Its just that it is now about 10 more inches of ribbing, and it is unwieldy. And the mittens? I actually... well.. they're around here somewhere. Needless to say, I need to finish stuff. Which means not starting stuff. Which means swatching.

I know, I know. This was not one of any of the designs from the new IK that I said I liked. However, my previous caveat stands, and once I got the issue I fell in love with the sweater (I'd get rid of some of the bobbles though). I've been in a cable mood lately. I even bought enough Kathmandu Aran from WEBS (it is on sale!) to make Demi, from Rowan Vintage Knits. Anyway, back to the task at hand...

I swatched for it with some Jo Sharp silkroad tweed dk (colour autumn, if you're interested). I didn't want it to work, really. It is the wrong gauge - so very off, but it is wonderful, wonderful yarn. The colour is even perfect for a forest-inspired pullover (I'm a sucker for pattern names) and I've been wanting to use it for a while. Such a beautiful yarn shouldn't sit around in my stash. SO I want to use it. However, I really hate altering patterns unless I am very confident that I know what I am doing. I don't right now, and my brain is fried from grant proposals, so I want to make one of the sizes as written. So there is only one solution. Math!

The yarn called for is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which gets a gauge of 29 stitches to 4 inches in the rib pattern (which you see in my swatch). If you divide 29 by 4 you get 7.25 stitches per inch (for a sweater? please.) Now, I did my swatch on 18 stitches since the pattern repeat is 9 stitches, but through the power of fractions it will all be ok in the end. My swatch measured approximately 3.12 inches on size 4s, slightly stretched, giving me a gauge of 5.54 stitches to the inch (now thats more like it). The ratio of what I have to what the pattern calls for is 5.77:7.25 = 0.80

Now for the sizing. I have a 38-inch bust, but for a sweater like this (and because I would rather it be a little large than a little small, blocking aside) I would like to shoot for a bust size of about 39". Using MATH (!) all I have to do is multiply the size I want by the ratio of the gauges to get that I should make the pattern for a (39*0.80 = ) 31" bust. The smallest size is a 31" bust (yay!), so it should be great. Also, I checked and the row gauge should definitely be fine, since that is easy to take into account. And it even means I have enough yarn. Yay math!

So I have two grant proposals due this week. One is actually for money, which was submitted about 2 days ago (more than 36 hours before it was due, thankyouverymuch). I figured out a mistake I made on it this morning, but I can't do anything about it now, so I'll just hope no one notices. The second is a fake NIH proposal for a class I am taking and is due tomorrow. It is currently being proofed by my partner, so everything is cool. I also actually got a protein gel to cooperate well enough to transfer to a membrane today. All in all, everything is pretty great. Tiring and at times demoralizing, but great.

Ok all, I'm off to knit other stuff. Peace out.