Thursday, November 27, 2014

And a Child is Born, My Little Thanksgiving Turkey

Shortly after midnight last night, Little Farmer made his appearance.  Just over two weeks early officially, but with all the threats he made to come early, I was pretty sure he would be here before December.  Cow Girl was supposed to go back to work one day yet, tomorrow.   She had to cancel, needless to say.
I posted some pictures earlier on Facebook so I will just show a few from our visit.
Little Farmer was clocked in at 12:27am today, Thanksgiving Nov 27, 2014, 6 pounds, 5.3 ounces and 18 inches long.  Hubby and I arrived just as Older Son (Daddy) and Lil' Farm Gal were leaving.  He had to take her to meet her dad for the second half of Thanksgiving.  Lil'Farm Gal was not happy to be leaving her baby brother either. 
But, with them leaving, that left Grandpa and Grammy free rein to cuddle baby.
Just the right size for snuggles. And even Grandpa got into the act.
Oops, his face is covered a bit.
There that is better.
Grammy has to work on her selfies. Darn short arms anyway.
While Cow Girl is in the hospital for a few more days, and Little Farmers works on his breathing, I will be staying with Lil' Farm Gal tomorrow.  We are going to hit up some stores locally, to avoid the big crowds.  And just probably a visit to see Little Farmer will be on the schedule as well. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Or if not steps, at least inches.
After measuring the three inches I had knit of the seed stitch bottom band, I spread out on the needle and measured.  Using my before washing gauge, I realized that I was knitting too loose.  Drat. As I knit, I thought I may be knitting too tight and was constantly telling myself, loosen up.  So I took a deep breath and......
Ribbit.  I frogged back over 2 inches.
Then I put the Green Flowy Cardigan away for a while.
But when I pick it back up, I will knit tighter, you may be sure.

Monday, November 24, 2014

And We Are Good to Go

After sketching, measuring, calculating, and designing, I think I am finally ready to take on the Green Flowy Cardigan.

This isn't a regular sweater knitting adventure. For one thing there is no pattern for me to tweak. I am using the basic outline for my gauge from the book shown above right. But I am adding wide front overlaps that will hang open. That is the "flowy" part. My rough sketches and schematic measurements for the sweater are on left.

I found a cable in another book. The chart was pretty tiny so I had to enlarge it. Actually I used some charting software to chart the knit and purl stitches. However the software didn't have the size cable icons I needed. So I printed off the basic chart and sketched in the cables myself. That is shown pictured above in the middle, with my swatching information below on a sticky note.

Then came calculating stitch counts. And that is where the rubber meets the road. Luckily I checked the gauge of my swatch before and after washing because there was quite a big difference. After washing the stitches per inch were less, but the rows per inch were more. Hmmm? Maybe that is why people (including me sometimes) think gauge lies. So I am basing my stitch and row counts on the "after washing" gauge. I'll finish the back and wash that and see if it is the right size then. Hopefully, gauge and the good Lord willing, it will be fine.

And here I am, ten rows of seed stitch so far for the back. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Waiting and Waiting

While I have nor shortages of items to knit on hand, I am anxiously waiting for my swatch to dry for the Green Flowy Cardigan.  The swatch was finished, washed, and spread out.  I am waiting for it to dry to take final measurments of the gauge.  It will probably be tomorrow before that happens.
Granted, not as long as the swatch I made for my Blue Blood Red Cardi.  But I was able to get several "before" readings of stitch gauge and row gauge.  Let's see how much it varies when it is dry.
Once that stage is reached, I can actually figure out how many stitches I need for front, back, and the overlap which is extra long and when unfastened, becomes the "flowy" part of the sweater.
I also need to draw the cables on the chart I made.  The software was able to chart the knits and purls, but the icons for the cables didn't work. I guess I will need to draw in the cables. I hope to finish that this evening. Then tomorrow, actually pattern recipe writing will begin.
I say recipe because mostly I knit by guess and by gosh.  I have guidelines to follow, but almost all my knitting, especially for me, ends up an adaptation of gauge and size.  I have to calculate the dimensions needed, and figure out the number of stitches involved.  Ann Budd's book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns is a great guideline for a basic sweater.  The cable, hood, and overlap are all up to me to add.
Math.  It's what's for knitters.

Oh, and after yesterday's post, I was told the yarn specifics.  The yarn used is Brown Sheep Lanaloft, in worsted weight.  The color is called Scottish Hillside.  Great name, and great yarn.  I love wool. Did you know that?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Off the Needles and Back on Again

I cast off the Green and White Jacket this afternoon. I love how it changes from this:

to this with just a couple folds. That Elizabeth Zimmermann was an amazing knitter and designer.

Of course I need to sew the shoulder seams and there are a bunch of loose ends that have to be woven in. But I am pretty happy with it.

Which leaves me with the Gray Spiral Blankie to knit, and my Blue Blood Cardigan to sew up and work the collar and front bands. And, my next project.

The former so-called commissioned project, henceforth to be known as Green Flowy Cardigan is almost ready to begin. I am not sure of the yarn as it was delivered in two one-pound cakes. But it is a medium shade of yellowish green in a single ply. I love it. It was pictured a couple days (with fat small dog for scale). I have sketched out the schematic. All I need now is the swatch, knit, washed and dried.

Swatching, of course, has commenced. I love working with wool.