Queue Check — January 2018

Queue Check — January 2018

It’s been my goal for my blue Bellows that I would knit it start to finish (other than the partial sleeve-swatch) within the month of January. For two reasons: 1) I’d like to wear it. I have a bad habit of finishing sweaters just as it becomes too warm for them, and have to immediately put them away for next year. And 2) my sister and her family are going on a ski trip in March, and at Christmas I offered to knit them each a hat. In order to have any hope of having all four hats done on time, I’ve set myself a firm start date of Feb 1. Meanwhile, the cardigan is in jeopardy.

I was on track to have the back piece finished and bound off on Friday night, soaked and onto the blocking board before I went to bed, so it’d be dry and ready for next steps by Sunday morning. The collar on Bellows is a project unto itself, so it was imperative that I take advantage of a little window of opportunity Sunday morning to (at minimum) get the shoulders seamed and the collar stitches picked up, so I could knit that over the ensuing couple of evenings and be done on schedule. ALAS, at the last minute, I realized I should have been listening to the voice in my head that had been saying all night “this seems like a lot of fabric.” I am often smart enough to check stuff before bind-offs, and so just for good measure I spread the back out next to me on the couch and popped the unblocked front piece on top of it. And yup, I had gotten carried away the night before. I’d been dutifully pinning a marker on every 10th row, knowing the fronts were 60 rows from ribbing to underarm and thus that my sixth marker would mean I was ready to begin shaping. (Ref: Count, don’t measure.) And yet I’d knitted 70 rows. Did you know that marking your rows for easy tracking only works if you actually count your marks?

So I lost half of my Saturday to removing the bottom ribbing and first ten rows, and getting it back onto the needles before re-knitting the ribbing downwards. I thought this would be faster than ripping back 44 rows at the top and reknitting them on Saturday night, but that would have been the wiser move. Rookie mistake: I didn’t realize knit-purl rows aren’t so easy to rip upwards. In the end, fixing it this way took just as long and cost me a bunch of aggravation and a fair chunk of yarn. During which I also realized I might not have enough yarn for the collar anyway! So it’s not currently where I wanted it to be, and is now vulnerable to being shunted aside while I turn to the four-hats project.

Meanwhile, one of the hats is actually started — ostensibly the quickest one. It’s Lancet in charcoal-colored Quarry, and I say “ostensibly” because it’s a sort of annoying chart — wide and fussy and not predictable or memorizable — which could slow me down. But still, chunky gauge.

I’ll tell you about the whole set of four hats when I haven’t already gone on for three paragraphs about my 10 extra Bellows rows! And the other thing that has magically appeared during my time on my mini-stepper this month is most of another pair of my log cabin mitts, this time in cherished Hole & Sons leftovers from my vintage waistcoat a few years back. Mitts pattern imminent …

Unless any of the four hats prove conducive to mini-stepper knitting, the log cabin-while-exercising will continue into Feb.

Bellows pattern by Michele Wang in limited-edition yarn from Harrisville Designsall Bellows posts
• Lancet by Jared Flood in Quarry color Slate
• Log cabin mitts in Hole & Sons (no longer available, but see its cousin, Isle Yarns)
Lykke Driftwood needles from Fringe Supply Co.

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: December 2017

21 thoughts on “Queue Check — January 2018

  1. I feel your pain. It sounds like this is a good time to put the sweater in time out and work on those hats. You will forget how irritated you were and can enjoy finishing it later.

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  2. Well that’s frustrating but at least you caught it! I’ve been hitting a knitting road block and slowing down a bit. But I have been knitting hats like crazy to get better at two color brioche and stranded colorwork and then randomly giving them to friends. Maybe I need to knit your family hats for you with all the hat knitting I’ve been doing LOL

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    • Hats are so satisfying. Other than dreading this particular cable chart — which I’m sure will clarify in my brain once the shapes start to appear in the knitting — I’m really looking forward to these.

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  3. I hate the “did I really buy enough yarn” pressure game. The worst. Wishing you well!

    Knitting on the mini-stepper is too funny. And enviable! Our only indoor exercise machine is a bike trainer that attaches to my road bike, and the posture is too leaned-forward to knit.

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  4. I think no knitting will rip out from the cast on edge, no matter the stitch. To fix from that direction you have to mark your row at the desired length and then just cut the lower part off with scissors. Then you can save the yarn by ripping the cut off piece from the top. Otherwise it’s just pick and snip and it takes forever. There is a reason I know about this…..

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    • I’ve only done it once, with stockinette — and the stockinette rows on this would rip, but not the knit-purl rows. I just didn’t realize. And for some reason in the midst of the frustration, I placed my needle in the row I was ripping to but cut into the work farther away from it than I would have had I realized it was never going to rip. So I lost more yarn than I needed to, between the cut row and the needle placement, if you see what I mean. I made a hash of it! Unnecessarily.

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      • Gee, that never happens to any of the rest of us! (yeah….)
        Last time that happened to me I ended up working on it for hours, and then throwing the whole thing out and buying more yarn. Would have been shrieking if it wouldn’t have scared the cats.

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  5. i seriously was just debating on a mini stepper. normally i don’t feel like i get a winter chub but i am feeling it this year and thought that would be a great way to work and exercise all at once.

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  6. oh I feel the pain ripping back on a sweater piece you think is done is horrid. and ripping back from the cast on edge is a messy dilemma. next time think of your sweater the same way you would if you were cutting for an after thought heel. pick the row where you would like the ribbing to start and then cut and unravel the row picking up sts. then once you have all the sts on your needles you can easily frog the rest while you knit the new ribbing.
    this also works for adding pockets to a finished sweater. simply try on the sweater and find where you want the pockets and cut in the middle of where you want the pocket and unravel picking up sts knit and sew it up.

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    • Yeah, I put the target row back onto a needle for safety and just cut farther away from it than I should have, so wasted time and yarn trying to get it to rip from there. Big mess, but lesson learned.

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  7. BTW, I have a stack of mostly (never worn) generic hats that I have knit over the years. You know I would love to give them to Carla and her wonderful family for their ski trip…..that’s if you run out of time!!! Plus I deliver……

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    • Oh, you’re so sweet, but part of the gift was picking out the pattern and yarn with each of them, so it’s exactly what they want. But if I don’t get them done (or they don’t fit!) I’ll come knocking!!

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  8. Argh – I hate when I miscalculate like that. Sorry abotuhte frogging, ZI hope you have more yarn than you think because it is a beautiful sweater. And if you are short, don’t forget to scavenge in the magical mystery of “other people’s stashes” on Ravelry. An angel could save you.

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  9. I ripped out two (or three if you don’t count a hat/mitts set as one) projects this week, things that had been shunted off for various reasons. I was happy to reclaim some Rowan felted tweed and Malabrigo, but ripping out sucks! Top that off with the discovery that I’d knit the back of my ladyfriend’s sweater with two different sized needles. Hah! I’m with you on the pain! Luckily the ladyfriend likes the way the back looks so I’m continuing with the two mismatched needles.

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  10. Pingback: The February hats project (2018 FO-3) | Fringe Association

  11. Pingback: Queue Check — March 2018 | Fringe Association

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