March 17, 2010

Classic Elite KAL Wrap Up

Posted in KAL, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity tagged , , , , , , at 6:33 pm by outdoorknitter

Well I have fallen a week behind in posting for our CEY 3-button Cardi Kal.  I have added a few notes to the prior blog entry, of things worth mentioning that were missed the first time around.  At this point, once you have worked through the prior post, things should be smooth sailing.  

My reason for being a bit late…we stopped knitting for a little and made us some buttons!

I profess at being an amature a beginner at best when it comes to polymer clay play.  However, the great thing about polymer is that it can disguise a lot of mishaps.  While preparing for our Saturday’s class; Button, Button  (an introductin to polymer clay), I wanted to test the bake time for the oven we would be using, because if it’s not right then all of our creations would be for naught!  

So, I made a few buttons to match my 3-button cardi.  I didn’t intentionally make them for my cardi, and they didn’t come out as I had anticipated.  So in a sense you could say I did everything wrong.  Hence, I’ve named them my MB’s, mistake buttons.  I even made 4 so I can sew a spare on the inside.

I think everyone that attended the class had a ball, and there were some beautiful buttons made (a huge improvement over my MB’s!).  I wish I could share them with you, but we were having so much fun that I FORGOT to take a snapshot.   And I don’t think we’ll be seeing Mary for a while, she couldn’t wait to get home and play more.  As she left she was mumbling something about feeding her husband buttons for dinner!

I will say this for future reference….once everyone began to blend their colors a 2nd or 3rd time, they seemed to like the results so much more. 

We had additional distractions as well!  Last year’s KAL was the Great American Aran Afghan and a couple of the ladies that have finished (or so close you can call it finished) blessed us with a show and tell.

First Mag…

Then Marty…

And sweet Marty suggested we have a square designed by The Local Needle.  So designed around the friendships made, the love for fiber and yarns, here it is…

These ladies deserve a pat on the back a holiday weekend celebration! 

A job well done and to be admired by so many.

March 2, 2010

CEY KAL – crystal clear yet, cloudy

Posted in Classic Elite Yarns, KAL, knitting, Online KAL, Yarn, Yarn Shop activity tagged , , , , , at 9:03 am by outdoorknitter

 

Well as noted by many participating in the KAL, the 3-button Solstice jacket has an experience level of “Experienced”.  Perfect for working in a group setting, woudn’t you say? 

As we work through the top and most difficult section of the sweater, we find the instructions to be very clear and precise and yet, for some….difficult to keep their place or even to understand.   For example, it appeared that there was a missing WS row in the instructions yet once you work through the section you understand the instructions are accurate.   I thought I would list a few of the cloudy areas participants may have experienced.

Short Rows – The short rows or wrap and turns are done in each sleeve section, not in the back section.  For some reason several were not knitting to the 2nd marker before doing their wrap and turns.  I used Cat Borhdi’s style of wrap and turns (I believe this is in her book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters).  I like the way they look and I’m used to doing them that way.  *Something else I ran into (I’m making the medium size), the last round of wrap & turns took me into my yarnover area, so I actually knitted 2, then W & T instead of knitting the 4 sts the pattern calls for.

Shape Raglan area:  I found it very convenient to figure stitch counts for each increase row repeat, sort of as a map.  If I laid the project down I could count stitches and know exactly where I was.

Buttonhole Row (2nd buttonhole):  This buttonhole ends up falling into the 2nd repeat of the 4 row Shape Raglan repeat.   

For Shaping the Yoke you have to increase evenly across sections.  This is very easily done with the following formula.  # of stitches /# of increases, then take this single number and divide by two for the first and last increase.  For example, my  # of stitches is 36 and I need to increase 6 stitches evenly across the row.  36/6 = 6.  6/2 = 3, so my increases are placed 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 3 (where the commas are my increases).  5/21/10 Edited to add…that there is a comment page on Ravelry that includes the increases for each size.

Shape : After casting off for the button band, make sure you keep a 3sts ribbing along the edge and a nice edge stitch like you’ve been doingfront bands.

Eddited 5/21/10 to add a note from the designer…For dividing the sleeves and body: with similar weight scrap yarn, place two crochet chain/provisional cast ons on a straight needle for each set of underarm sts. Work to first marker, with scrap yarn, bind off the sts to the next marker and fasten off loosely, knit the underarm sts from the straight needle. Repeat for second sleeve and underarm.
I’ve always hated placing sts on scrap yarn because the sts get distorted. I also like having them not on a holder so you can try it on to adjust the body length. Picking up the sts from backwards loop cast on can look messy.  The scrap yarn keeps the sts in place and then later it is easy to take out the scrap yarn and the underarm crochet chain in order to get live sts to knit the sleeves. I also mentioned to decrease at each end of the underarm sts to close up the gap on the first round.

Once you’ve divided for the body, the muddy waters are clear and it’s all smooth sailing.  I’m loving the yarn (CEY Chesapeake) and the color!

*Divide for Body: One of the first things you do for this section is to put your sleeve stitches on a holder or waste yarn, and cast on (for under the arm area).  That makes the stitches now on your needles for the body of the sweater only, so you can continue working in the flat from right front, across the back to left front.  

*Sleeves:  After reestablishing the round on the sleeve, I found that the stitches had stretched quite considerably where the held sleeve stitches (those that were on waste yarn), and the underarm stitches (cast on in the prior step) met.   I used Charlene Schurch’s method (for no holes in a gusset of a sock – See “Sensational Knitted Socks”) to close up the hole that was created from the loose stitches. 

*content added 3/17/10.