Linen and Threads SAL 2018

April band of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL – am I glad that it’s a small section, the smallest so far? I sure am, I’d still be toiling away on the project otherwise.

L&T SAL - April finish

I started this section later than I would’ve liked, but I knew it’d be fine because I’d still finish it quickly. Back stitches were a surprise addition in this section, since they hadn’t shown up in earlier sections, but well, this is a sampler SAL, so I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised. I saw some cross-stitchers in the SAL group change the back stitches into compatible cross stitch motifs, but I liked the back stitching. I’m happy with how this band looks, and I also think this project (or to be more specific – my take on the project) is finally beginning to grow on me, which is good.

L&T SAL - April closeup

Remember I’d skipped stitching the border stitches in my March section because I wanted to use long armed cross stitch if April has a border? Yeah, that was a good decision because as you can see, April does have a border, and I did use long armed cross stitch for it. I just had to quickly finish the March section by stitching one column of regular cross stitches on each side, right?

Wrong! I mean, I did have to stitch the columns, but it also turned out I hadn’t skipped the stitches from the bottom row of March. Gah! I don’t know how that happened. This bottom row would end up touching the top border of April, and no other row of any non-band section in my version so far (and in the future, I’m sure) touches a border.

You know what comes next!

I frogged March’s bottom row. It was easy on one side because I’d stitched that area row-wise, but the other side – turns out I’d stitched column-wise! On each column, I’d to carefully snip the bottommost stitch, undo a bunch of stitches, and secure them. Then I’d to redo all those frogged stitches. It took a while, but it was totally worth it. Not only can you not tell which side was the problem side, but my peace of mind is now intact when it comes to personal spaces of sections. πŸ˜‰

There, that was my April adventure! Was it fun? πŸ˜‰ Now to get back to the knitting before May shows its face.

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Pullover ft. Entrelac – progress

Entrelac strip – done! In order to prevent pesky tangles, I used three balls of yarn – one for the darker entrelac color, and one each with the lighter body color for the triangles along the two sides. (Of course, very little of the light colored yarn got used for the strip.) I’m now knitting the pullover body, and joining it on the go with the entrelac triangles, like so –

Pullover with a Splash of Entrelac - progress

I’m on the fence regarding this one. I like the idea I had for this design, but not the execution.

Firstly, I don’t like that I got the darker blocks to break away by interspersing entrelac blocks of lighter color. I’d have liked the lighter color to remain stockinette stitch. I can accomplish this by knitting the darker ‘breakaway’ rectangles separately, switching to lighter-color stockinette when I’m at the breaking-away point, and joining the breakaway rectangles while decreasing / increasing lighter color at the touch points as required. But that seems like too much crazy work.

Secondly, I’d thought of making the strip go from shoulder to hip, with a square neck for the sweater body. But due to various compatibility issues with sweater width and strip width, I ended up making it more of a V-neck; I had to join the entrelac strip to the body quite a distance away from the shoulder, but still in the neck curve. I don’t like how that looks. I’d like the strip to go higher, or, as a less preferable choice, stop before it reaches the chest.

Thirdly, the joins at the entrelac edges look super-wonky, and I don’t think blocking will help here. I checked out mattress stitch based joins on a small section of an edge, but the join is more prominent there, if anything.

You can see where I’m going with this. (Ribbit!) I already have non-entrelac-based execution ideas swimming in my head. I’ll give it a few more days before I decide what to do with this project. Or maybe a few months, because it’s neither sweater weather nor sweater-knitting weather here – it’s boiling hot. I’d really hate to frog this one – it looked pretty promising – but I’d probably hate it more if I don’t like how it turns out. Wouldn’t you agree?

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

I finished the February section of the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL, and love how it turned out. This section was nowhere as tedious as last month’s, because it has repeating patterns, which means I wasn’t looking at the chart every few stitches. (I still ended up frogging a few stitches here and there though. Has that ever not happened to anyone? πŸ˜‰ )

L&T SAL - February finish

L&T SAL – February finish. Eagerly waiting for March!

I especially like the texture of the long-armed cross stitch. It feels almost embossed to the touch because of the extra thread from the longer arm.

Long-armed cross stitch - closeup

As for knitting, I couldn’t come up with anything better than design #3 for my entrelac-featuring pullover, and when I drew up a colored picture of how I’d want to ‘break away’ the rectangles, I found I like the entrelac strip better if I incorporate two colors from the start. So I’ve frogged and restarted the strip now, and I hope I’ll have made some progress when I post next.

Potential froggings and possible breaks

Bamboo eyelet cardigan - progressUntil a couple of weeks ago, my bamboo eyelet cardigan was coming along nicely, when suddenly, I started to not really like how it was shaping up. I don’t have a reason for why I don’t like it — I just don’t. I don’t feel like continuing to work on it, but I don’t feel like frogging it either. I do appreciate the effort I put in to make sure the left and right front pieces mirror each other.

I thought giving it a break and working on something else might help, but I haven’t felt like working on anything yarn-related. I’ve been trying out jewelry stuff, though. Maybe it’s not the cardigan, maybe it’s just that I’m not in the mood for yarny things, and need a break from knitting.

So for now, I’m gonna just throw this project into my UFO basket (only figuratively… I don’t really have a UFO basket) and decide its fate later, when this phase of mine is over.

Waves – WIP

Waves - WIP

I posted this picture a few days ago on my Instagram account, and what can I say, the project still looks mostly the same. After all, it’s a cardigan with a repeating pattern. πŸ˜‰ While I crawl ahead row by row, I’m enjoying working with my handmade stitch markers. πŸ™‚

I’m knitting this sweater for my mom, and have had to rip out a few rows because she changed her mind about how she’d like her cardigan. She’s a dear that way. πŸ™‚ I’ve become quite good at inserting lifelines now, though πŸ˜› so I just added one into an appropriate row, and the undo wasn’t much hassle at all. I’ve already reknit all the rows that I un-knit, and then some.

Now to make some progress for today…

Lost

I own this top that has lace for the upper part (neck to chest.) To my horror, even with the gentlest of rinsing, the lace tore at places. I didn’t want to replace it with more lace, and instead, thought I’ll make something of my own.

I went with crochet, and thought of keeping it hole-y (I don’t wanna say lace, because it’s not πŸ˜€ ) at the neck and getting more solid as it progresses. This is where I am so far.

Lost with lace

And now, I’m lost. I don’t want to continue with the solid section, because the piece is becoming thicker than I like. To make it thinner, I’ll have to add more airy stitches, and I don’t want that. I’ve also made some bad increases that results in some frills. I don’t feel that keeping on moving ahead will help.

Yup, I’m lost, and I think I’m gonna undo the whole thing and start over. Maybe with knitting this time, so it’s light and yet solid. I really had my heart set on crochet, though. Such a conundrum, isn’t it!

An old sweater to the frog pond

First cabled sweater

I think this was my first cabled sweater? I’m not entirely sure if it was the very first, but it was definitely one of the early sweaters I knit — cable or no cable. I’ve ended up unraveling it now. (Gulp!) I know the sweater looks fine at first glance, but it had scarcely been worn due to many small problems.

  • The neck was pretty small. Yes, of course I can fit my head through there, but I better not have combed my hair beforehand, or I’ll end up having to comb the resulting destroyed mess again. And don’t get me started on static hair… πŸ˜‰
  • The stitches were really loose. I knit loosely, and I compensate with smaller needle sizes now, but I didn’t know then. (Do I need to say that I was alien to the concept of swatching as well? πŸ™‚ )
  • The stitches may have been loose, but the sweater itself had negative ease. That’s right, lack of swatching, probably some measurement / stitch-count miscalculations too. And I asked myself every time I wore it — are those stitches or holes! πŸ˜‰
  • Put loose knitting and no tension management together, and boom! We have asymmetrical left- and right-twisting cables.
  • The raglan shaping was not all that great, and it practically had no shoulders at all. I know, it looks okay, but appearances can be very deceiving! (Blame Praise the clothes hanger! πŸ˜‰ )

I kept the sweater around for a long time due to sentimental reasons. In hindsight, it was really not that bad for a beginner sweater (look at that neck shaping!) Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a whole lot of small problems and nothing major. But I didn’t love it when I wore it, and that’s just so unfair to the sweater, right? Right? So…

Rrrrrriippppp!

The yarn has now had a nice soak-and-dry to remove the kinks, and has turned into cozy little balls. I’m happy that it’s still in pretty good condition. I’m gonna knit the same sweater again with it — (cough) maybe with a modification or two (cough) πŸ˜‰ A new and improved Version 2! πŸ˜€

Of course, this’ll happen after I’m done with KG’s sweater, which is still in progress. It’s a lot of knitting. I’m not a super-fast knitter, I don’t get a lot of knitting time, and I usually have more than one WIP going. This time has been an exception. So to break the monotonousness of working on a single project and keep me motivated, I did some pattern searching on Ravelry and started a shawl for my mom so I could improve my understanding of lace. (No pictures clicked yet!) I’m now back on KG’s sweater, and have started knitting the sleeves. We have a long weekend coming up, and it turns out I’m not doing anything big then, so I’ll have more time to knit and hopefully finish KG’s sweater in time for her upcoming vacation. Fingers crossed!