Tag Archives: blocking

Fair Isle-ish

Lately I accumulated a lot of DK leftover yarn, and since I was craving some color work on my needles, decided to use them together. For quite some time now, I would like to practice knitting Fair Isle or at least Fair Isle-ish. I chose to knit mittens, and to add one more twist, opted for knitting them simultaneously on two circulars (in order to learn this technique and prevent running out of any of the colors on the second mitten).
Here’s my work:
P1150332

and here’s my experience:

1. Knitting with two circulars is just like knitting with magic loop, except that it’s easier in the first few rows.

2. Knitting mittens (and probably other garments that comes in pairs) simultaneously is very convenient. It was frustrating in the beginning because the progress seemed to be slower, but once I got past 50-60% and I was able to see both mittens taking shape, I realized that there’s not too much work left and once I’m done I’M DONE.

3. Using both ends of the yarns (the outer and from the middle of the skein) while knitting with multiple skeins and 2 long circulars isn’t such a good idea. Except if you are fine with untangling every 5 minutes. I wanted to save time, so instead of rewinding the skeins into two smaller ones I simply pulled out the other end from the middle of the skein. Retrospectively, I don’t think I managed to save time, in fact I probably spent more time untangling my yarns and needles.

4. I clearly have tension issues (I mean, look at the photo). While I knit I hold the yarn coiled on my left index finger and that works fine. So I coiled the main color on my index finger and the second color on my middle finger. I managed to work really fast this way, but the problem is that I tend to hold the second color much tighter which results in vertically wrinkled fabric. When I realized I have a tension problem, the damage was already done and I wasn’t sure if a redo would give better results. So I kept knitting and focused on my tension. That helped. Now I’m wondering what to do, should I finish the mittens and try to mask the problem with severe blocking (I checked, it fits even like this) or should I (not be lazy and) rip back. It’s been more than a month since I put this project aside, and still haven’t decided what to do. What would you do? (Feel free to tell me “stop being lazy”, I firmly believe in constructive criticism)

5. Knitting a color work makes increases (and probably decreases too) a bit more complicated if one doesn’t want to break the pattern. Until now, I always opted for making the thumbs on the sides, as it seems more comfortable to wear a mitten made that way. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe there’s no difference between a thumb that’s placed on the side and the thumb that’s placed on the palm. To find out the difference between the two versions of thumbs and the proper terminology, once again I turned to google and found this wonderful blog with this well written post about thumb knitting. I had no idea there’s so much options out there! Which is your favorite? I still have to find out which is mine.

In the meantime, I started yet another JC hat and knitted a hat from felted wool (an experience I want to share with you in my next post).

Cheers,
Mimi

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Blocking in progress

I finished my lace shawl a week ago, but I was lacking either time or space or both to block it till now. I’m so glad I throw out a section because even this way it turned out to bee huge. Unblocked it measured 125 cm / 49.21 inches in width and 65 cm / 25.59 inches in length. Currently it’s blocking – but even after pinning it out not severely stretched – and measures 164 x 82 cm / 64.56 x 32.28 inches. I’m not particularly happy neither with the size, neither with the lace motifs, it’s a far cry from the image I had in my head. Still, it’s not bad enough to be ripped and forgotten either.

Have a nice week end!

Cheers,
Mimi

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Blocking in progress

I managed to block my Pi! It wasn’t easy I must tell, there was a point where the Pi and me hated each other. Stretching a lace more than it wants to be stretched is hard work. From soaking to when the last pin was on it’s place passed 1.5 hours. First I cleaned the board and put it together on the balcony, then I put the shawl in warm water and with the help of my fiance stuck the pins into the board forming a regular circle. I’m so lucky he’s a civil engineer and easily could do all the calculations for me because seeing how long all that measuring takes I got pretty upset (like usually when things doesn’t happen as I imagined they would)and it would took me an eternity.

Here’s what happened after:



It looks so easy but it wasn’t. I’m a tight knitter and therefore my Pi turned out to be smaller than it should be. I haven’t even used up all the yarn I bought, in fact I used 140 m / 153 yards less than the estimated amount (by the designer). But I wanted to block the Pi to the same size the designer did…so I struggled, and struggled, and struggled till I did it. I felt so tired afterwords that I had to eat a bigger amount of fructose. My hands was shaking!

More pics:

Tulips:

Gull wings:

Vines:

Center:

Round end:

As you can see I haven’t waved in the ends before blocking.

Was all that work worth it? Yes! Would I do it again? Yes! (but not this year :-))

Cheers,
Mimi

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