The Center Pull Catastrophe

How does one get along with center pull? It has never played nice with me. And after my latest tangle disaster, I’m not in a hurry to re-experiment with it anytime soon.

I’d knit the body of my current textured cardigan project till the waist, and I decided to switch to the sleeves for a much-needed change. Instead of knitting them one at a time, I thought I’d try the center-pull method “one more time” and knit one sleeve with yarn from the outside like always, and another with yarn from the center.

Textured Cardigan - progress

This is where I was a few days ago.

I’d knit only a few rounds when I noticed I just couldn’t pull the yarn from the center anymore. It had gotten tangled on the inside! I thought I could try winding the yarn from the outside into another ball until I reach the tangle, but I was wrong…

Long story short, I spent an entire afternoon untangling a horrible mess, even after I’d snipped away the yarn from the knitting. I was so irritated that I thought of just dumping it in the trash, but no, there would be no wastage, not when I’d even bought an extra skein for this project because it looked like I’d need more yarn. (And lucky me, they were able to send the new skein from the same batch as the old ones.) So I persevered. At the end of it, I wasn’t even sure if it was worth it. I’m hoping it was. πŸ™‚

After a few days of break to get over the trauma, I’m back on the project. Next time I work on two sleeves at a time, I’m just going to use two balls of yarn, even split a skein in two if it’s the last skein. I’ve concluded that for me, a center pull is just not worth the risk of bald patches on my head from all the hair-pulling. πŸ˜‰

And if you prefer center pull, a tip of my hat to you. πŸ™‚

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Textures and Mistakes

I’ve reached the armholes of the textured cardigan, and wow, was this an engaging knit or what! The continuous change in textures between the body and the cables and the sleeves made sure there was never a dull moment so far.

Engaging or not, mistakes happen, and I had to rectify them. Usually, every few rows, I eyeball the past few rows as I knit the current row, just in case I need to fix something. In this sweater, however, one mistake got away from me, and I only noticed it after 20+ rows — I’d purled a stitch instead of slipping it. It was so visible that I wondered how I’d ever missed it. (Don’t mistakes always seem that way once noticed? πŸ˜‰ )

Texturilicious Cardigan - progress

Correcting mistakes — even I can’t find the fixed stitch in one of these ribs.

Mistakes in these simple textures are nowhere as painful as, say, those while knitting lace, but undoing a long column ofΒ  slipped stitches was something new for me. New, but still familiar; it’s essentially a longer stockinette stitch, isn’t it? Come to think of it, it was probably easier, since the float at the back of the slipped stitch nudges the undone stitch forward. It’s almost like it’s eagerly waiting for you to snag it with your hook and put it back where it belongs. πŸ™‚

As for the cardigan, I debated whether to continue with the sleeves now or with the body — keeping the sleeves for the end has traditionally resulted in boring latter half of projects for me. However, right now, I’m keen on continuing the slipped stitch texture, so the body won. πŸ™‚ I’ll probably get bored of the body soon, and then I can park it and come back to the sleeves. Love the convenience of having so many textures in a single project! πŸ˜›

A Texturilicious Start!

After a successful stripey top, it’s time for a new project! The project on my needles right now is a cardigan for my sis that I started this week.

Earlier, I mentioned a delicious orange yarn that we thought of working with, but I couldn’t really come up with something that would do justice to the yarn, so we put it aside. And, ahem, we bought some new yarn for her cardigan. πŸ˜€ This is Nako Pirlanta, the same yarn that I used for a shawl for my sis, so I guess she likes this one!

Texturilicious Cardigan

The color this time is Almond, though it doesn’t remind me of any almond I’ve seen. πŸ˜› It’s still a gorgeous color, though. I’ve abandoned the vertical stripes plan for this project, and have gone with a lot of dense textures instead. The cardigan is raglan style, with simple eyelet-infused cables running along the raglan. The sleeves are seed stitch, and the body comprises of seed stitches and slipped-stitch ribs. I think I’ll have a better picture to put up when I make actual progress on it. πŸ™‚

This is supposed to be a winter project, and I’m knitting it combination style to see if I notice an increase in my speed. Even so, I’m not sure how fast I can knit it so it’s ready to wear this winter — even late winter. I’ll just do my best!

Textured Blouse

Can you believe it, my mom’s blouse is ready! I think this is the quickest I’ve ever produced a garment. πŸ™‚

While the knit itself was pretty boring because (a) simple pattern and (b) this project occupied every free moment I had, I’m satisfied with how it turned out. The texture is just awesome!

Seed Stitch Textured Blouse

I used a slipped seed stitch variation for the body and sleeves, and garter stitch for all the borders. The slipped stitches give some denseness to the fabric, and I think that works well for the frogged yarn. The yarn obviously doesn’t feel the same as before, but it’s still soft and maintains a slight sheen, so that’s good.

The original seed stitch pattern is worked on the wrong side to avoid purling, but I changed it to right side since I was trying out combination knitting anyway. (I think I like combination knitting. I’ll probably use that in my next project as well.) So my 4-row pattern repeat is:

  1. [p1, sl1 wyib] to end of row. (RS)
  2. Purl.
  3. [sl1 wyib, p1] to end of row.
  4. Purl.

At the raglan seam, I used a (k1, p1, k1) on the RS and purls on the WS.

My mom has already worn it, and this time, I can tell she really likes it. Phew! (And hurrah! πŸ™‚ ) As for the design, however, I think the neck, again, needs to be even smaller for her next blouse — a tighter crew-neck, that is.

Seed Stitch Textured Blouse

I need a short break from the incessant knitting, and then, it’s time to finish those sleeves for my top!

Chill in the Air

This month is definitely colder than last month. There’s a chill in the air that’s not really noticeable when standing in the sun, but slowly seeps into your soul if you’re in the shade. The kind of cold weather that’s too hot for a sweater but perfect for a shawl! πŸ™‚

Chill in the Air shawl -- blocking

I knit this shawl for my sis — it looks like she prefers the rectangular ones. Lots of eyelets in this shawl, and I broke them up into repeating thick and thin sections between blocks of uniformly wide stockinette sections. So it’s not too warm and not too airy — it’s just right. (I’m so reminded of Goldilocks when I think that! πŸ™‚ )

The eyelets form a winding texture between them that I just love!

Chill in the Air shawl

Over some serial episodes, I added quite a few tassels and formed fringes at both ends. I’d love to see them fully frayed over time — and it looks like they’re as eager as I am to get there!

So how do you like the shawl? My sis loves it. πŸ™‚

Sunburst shawlette

The Ashton shawlette that I knit for my mom was made with some beautiful self-striping yarn. I’d originally bought the yarn to make a sweater for me, but switched to a shawl because my mom loved the colors. After the mom-project, I still had two skeins of the yarn left, so I thought I could knit a shawlette for myself, if not a sweater.

So I took short breaks from my do-over pullover, and tried knitting some stacked triangles using short rows, and…

Sunburst shawlette, everyone!

Sunburst shawlette

Sunburst shawlette

I like that it has stripes as well as some texture, and that stripes and texture don’t compete against each other — they work well together. This is just how I wanted it to turn out. I made the textured part using slipped stitches, like so:

RS: *sl, p1*

WS: *p*

Guess you can tell I’ve been practicing pattern writing… πŸ˜‰ I ended up using some irregular calculations for the triangles in this shawlette, though, so I probably won’t attempt a pattern for this. It would have been a great first pattern to practice with otherwise.

I knit the shawlette with larger gauge needles so it wouldn’t turn out super-warm. I love that it turned out light and reasonably airy after blocking. Perfect for chilly mornings or evenings!

Sunburst shawlette

I used just one skein of the yarn for this shawlette, and I still have one left! Maybe a hat?

Textured shawl inspiration

Textured Shawl

I knit this shawl inspired by the notes jotted down in the Textured Shawl pattern by Orlane Designs. I think this was the first shawl that I ever knit (but it remained on the needles for a long while.) The notes vary the number of pattern rows, whereas I kept it constant, and I introduced two plain stockinette rows after every two pattern rows. Also, my shawl has a seed stitch border.

This shawl made me realize that triangular shawls aren’t my favorite. πŸ™‚ Not because they result in way too many stitches per row as the project progresses — it’s because they grow too long without getting wide enough. I’ve tried the common method of doubling the increases on the edges (i.e. increase every row on edges, but only every right-side row at the center) but I didn’t really like the slightly curved shape that the edge takes on.Β Kristen Hanley Cardozo mentions quite a few methods of shawl-shaping in her Craftsy post, but being the experiment-crazy person that I am, I’ve now started on a shawl that is mostly triangular-shawl-like in its increases, but I’ll work a lot of short rows in so it gets wider without growing long enough to reach my knees. It uses the fingering weight yarn that I mentioned earlier, so it’s going to be a long while before it’s done. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚