Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I am very impressed with how you fixed your tension issue. Isn't it funny how you carried all your tension in your unassuming pinky!

So sorry for the loss of your loved one -- it sounds like you were a big help to his family. Here's hoping you guys stay in touch.

By Blogger Mary, at 11:32 PM  

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Saturday, October 21, 2006  

There is much that I can praise about this'> KipFee sweater. The yarn has a nice hand to it and knits into a very cushy crushy squeezey fabric with a soft enough surface to please me. The yarn comes in a very bright palette. I can see that some folk wouldn’t like it while other’s would. Think of Classic Craola Colors. I imagine this being exactly the garment you’d choose on any of those bleak grey days that fall between Christmas and the blowing of the Chinook. The color changes are frequent enough that the knitting stays interesting and the patterns are simple enough that, for all but the set-up rows, you can instantly tell if you’ve miscounted. I accepted from the outset that there would be many ends to fiddle with. Happily, they are all in the steek and will only need to be tightened. If you do your color changes half way through the steek - you’ll be cutting there anyway so you don’t have to weave those ends in.

I knit continental/combination, tensioning both colors over my left index finger. The color I want to pop out sits to the left of the color that I want to recede, which is furthered tensioned by slipping it between index and middle finger. That yarn becomes the yarn “brought up from behind”. I push a bunch of stitches to be knit up into my left palm and then just pick pick pick the colors off my left index finger with the tip of my right needle. Every so many stitches, I slide my right hand down the knitting on that needle, stretching the knitting to make sure neither yarn has been pulled or knit too tightly. It’s a pleasant swift process and produces a very good knitted fabric - loose enough to stretch but not sloppy looking, with no long floats across the back and no puckers in the front. With fine gauge yarn this goes swiftly, for I can usually push about 20 or 30 stitches into my left palm.

I have avoided doing much fine gauge knitting in the past because there are just so durn many stitches going around even the smaller adult bodies - which I do not have anyway! 330 stitches is a whole lotta knitting and it’s not just the number of stitches ... what about all those many rows!!! Still - I wanted to give this sweater a try and in 3 weeks I have covered a lot of ground. 111 rounds. 36,630 stitches! Man. That is a LOT of knitting. I am about 1/2 way done - maybe a little further. I’ve 2 sleeves and the shoulder area to go. Not bad, actually.

Though I’ve made the odd error here and there - things which required tinking back a goodly number of stitches, I’ve had to rip out only once - and then, only 2 rows, back to a solid color band - not too difficult to pick up accurately. Last night I was knitting away while we listened to some Beethoven (the Tower Record store in Richmond is closing and BD has been filling some gaps in our collection at 15-20% off). For some reason, the ring finger on my right hand was cramping on me. It does this now and then and though you might think it ought not to matter - who uses her ring finger to knit with?!? - in my contortioning attempts to ease the cramp I evidently lost all control over the tension. There is a big patch of purple stitches that are just huge - loose enough to see through! They look like they were knit with a size 7 needle! This morning, looking at them, I knew I was going to have to fix those loose stitches.


Ripping out is not my method of choice - this is smack in the middle of a color strand pattern. The chances of dropping a stitch are too great. So I am using my least favorite method of fixing loose stitches. Stitch by stitch, using a soft Bryspun needle with a gentle tip, I’m snugging up all that excess yarn. Pulling thin yarn through knitted fabric 240 times is not just tedious - it puts a lot of wear and tear on the yarn. But I am being very gentle. I am on dial up anyway so I have a lot of waiting to do as my friends’ graphically packed blog sites S -O-W-L-Y load onto the screen.

Although there were only maybe 20 or 30 stitches that were too loose - seriously too loose - I must tighten up all the way around, for each snugging of one stitch increases the yarn in the next stitch. As the loop of yarn that needs to be drawn around my needle increases, it also twists back onto itself, kinking and curling.

And now, an interrupted hour later, I have snugged up every purple stitch on my needles. The excess yarn forms a 34 inch loop. Whew. It’s good to be done.

This is the sort of repair that can turn a project into a UFO. It’s the type of thing you think about before casting on 40 inches of knitting on size 3 needles. If the error had occurred further down the sweater- around my hips, say - I probably wouldn’t have bothered to fix it. But I’m almost 14 inches up the sweater body - a very visible place. So I have dutifully adjusted the tension and am ready now to start knitting away. I’ll knit another inch or so and the set it aside to begin the sleeves. I’m thinking of starting the sleeves with 2 inches of ribbing then doing that first checkerboard pattern of red and blue in straight stockinette. It’s bad enough to have the hem curling the way it does. I’m going to have to knit a facing/hem for this sweater as it is. And the ribbing will give me just the extra inches I’ll need to make the sleeve stripes and the body stripes line up nicely.

Ooooo. This means I’ll be starting the sleeves this weekend! Oooo. Fun!

I had ment to write a tender post about the funeral of Joe Pollard. He was the last of the grandchildren, born between 1883 and 1913, of the Hoskins sisters. It was a very emotional day, so awash with love and memory and sweetness. There were wonderful photographs of him as a young navy captain. Photos of his children as toddlers and school kids. A great grandson was present - how I love a baby at a funeral. There were poignant stories and so many hugs and snuggles and sighs and tears. There was a little wobble at the thought of this last link in TheReunionChain breaking and certainly a secret prayer, on my part, that this far away branch of the family doesn’t drift away. I have email addresses, though. I can keep in touch.

Instead, I tossed all night, woke up late, and met up with BH for a long overdue jaunt to the city to do our make-up thing. I work today, my bi-monthly Saturday stint. Next week will be my first full week in the office. I wonder just how far behind I really am. Ahh well. Monday will be soon enough to find out.

In the mean time - good knitting to you all.

posted by Bess | 7:25 AM