Monday, February 26, 2007

Shield your eyes

Wanna see something really awful?

Take a look at this ugly little swatch.

Fugly isn't it? Please. Allow me to explain.

I had this crazy idea that I'd like make a fair isle ski hat, but I couldn't find any patterns that I really liked. Well, not without buying a whole book. I've already made We Call Them Pirates, and wanted something a little less in your face, but using a fine gauge yarn. Long story short, I bought this pattern (which, as you can see calls for worsted weight yarn) and some rowanspun dk with the idea that I would make the Yankee Knitter sheep hat (lower left) and just add some extra repeats . Ha Ha ha!I knit a gauge swatch on size 3 needles and got 6 sts to the inch. I figured that I'd like a finished size of 21 inches for my 21.5 inch head, so that meant 126 stitches. The sheep graph has a 16 stitch repeat. The little border above and below the sheep has a 4 stitch repeat. The pattern is written to be knit flat and then seamed. Stay with me here. This is where the brain pain starts. In order to knit the hat in the round and have an equal distance between each little sheep, I had to make an 18 stitch repeat. Easily done: add some stitches here and there. The little borders would only work evenly with a 6 stitch repeat, so I changed the pattern to little hearts. This all took place between 11:30 pm and 2:00 am on Saturday/Sunday. What can I say? I was a little obsessed. Yesterday, I woke up and decided to knit up a swatch of my new graph to see how it would come out, which brings me to the ugly swatch. Here's a glimpse, just in case you forgot how bad it looks. I only wanted to see if they would still look like sheep after all that tweaking. Of course they look like sheep. Two different wonky sheep, but sheep. The one on the right is a bit scrunched and its head is bashed in. Actually, it's missing a bit of ear and has lost a row of stitches in the bum - a victim of negligent knitting. Trust me, the real thing will look much better.

After all that, I finally blocked CPH, joined the shoulder seams, and have so far finished 8 inches of the hood - 3 more to go! I think I'm going to kitchener stitch it together instead of sewing the seam. I did make a teeny error, and continued the cable pattern on the center back for 4 rows before I realized that I was supposed to stop when I picked up the hood stitches. Ooops! No one will know. By the time I finish and post photos, you will have forgotten (quick! look into my eyes @@ you will forget I ever told you about the mistake @@@@@)

And now for something completely different.

Many of the photographs in Interweave Knits are taken in Portland, Maine. My friend Lori and I like to play a little guessing game and try to figure out the settings. Well wouldn't you know that Mr. Strange's shop is in the background of the Swan Lake Cardigan photo in the new issue!! See page 58 in the magazine, or this photo from the website.
Cool huh? Now, if we could only get them to do a shoot inside his shop, and let me be there too... with a few know, just hanging around knitting in the background...

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