November 18, 2003

Now I know why I don't knit shawls.

C'est looooooooooooong...

I'm very busy lately, but I've got lots of knitting progress to share! How about we start with my sister's poncho? The poncho has become my knitting in the evening project because other than increases at every row, knitting is just straight stockinette so I can keep my eyes on the t.v. while knitting.

The only thing is that it's getting slow. Increases are at nearly every row, so now I have more stitches on the needle than I can count and am obligated to use a long Addi Turbo needle that looks like a whip. Point protectors are a fun thing to have, but we ever use them? I rarely do. But for the poncho I have to use point protectors whenever I put my work down in order to keep the stitches from falling off the needle. Yep, those endless increases are making the poncho start to go slooooooooowly. Now as I go work each row I am reminded of the scene from Como Agua Para Chocolate where Tita knits a blanket that goes for miles and miles. Next time I admire a shawl kit I'll remember the poncho and think of Tita.

I should also mention that my manner of knitting is different with the poncho. The yarn used for the poncho is Phil Ruban, a flat cotton yarn. When I swatched for the poncho I noticed that the knit stitches looked "thinner" than the purl stitches, so there was a marked difference between the knit rows and the purl rows even though my tension was even. This was happening because working the knit stitches from front to back was distorting the flat yarn, thus making my knit rows look "thin" in comparison to my purl rows. So I decided to work all my knit stitches through the back loop, and then untwist them on the wrong side by wrapping the yarn under my purl stitches. It worked! The knitting evened out and there's no difference between my knit rows and my purl rows.

I've got more to share but dinner's a-callin' and I've got some project organizing to do. This afternoon I was poking through the yarn stash in my closet and was surprised to find hidden treasures - 3 ziploc bags full of yarn for planned but forgotten projects. One of them was this lot of Phildar Legende and Phil Peluche to make this sweater for my kid [pattern is from last winter's Tricotez Calin - it's a back issue so it is no longer available at Phildar's site]. I was going to make the sweater last fall, but in my excitement over doing the tweedy jacket first the bag got shoved to the bottom of the stash pile and promptly forgotten. Oops! Finding it now felt strangely like discovering a forgotten 20 euro note in my jacket pocket.

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19 comments to this entry:

Poncho looks great! Super tip about altering the wrap on the stitches. After using a similar method to try to even out my funny ribbing, I was wondering if the same technique could be use to correct other imperfections. And what do you know, it can!

I remember that orange sweater. That'll make for fun knitting. Have you missed working with the Legende yarn? I'm loving it (again!).

How did you ever figure out that's what you had to do??!?!? I can't believe you've only been knitting for 3 years. You have the soul of an old wise knitting granny.....

Your poncho looks great. That yarn is shiny and poncho is a big lump of wool. Blecch.

I love the chocolate color of the poncho, it's sooo rich and luscious! I want to lick it...yes, I'll that mention that to the shrink...

Knitting question: Do you knit continental, or do you throw the yarn? I find some twisted stitch techniques are difficult for continental knitters.

What an adorable sweater! Do you ever find designs for kids that you wish you could make for yourself? I have. Debbie Bliss ones, esp.

How's the toe? I am knitting a triangle shawl. The first part just flew and takes so long to knit a single row....Keep up the great work!

I was looking through that phildar book the other day, i always liked the sweater you are going to make. And legende, yummy. It hasn't been discontinued has it? Because if not my bag is definitely going to contain some on the way back next month!

I love finding surprises in stash, its like Christmas come early.

Yummy chocolate color!!! I just bought some gorgeous chocolate brown velvet and some beautiful "Tiffany" blue silk to make a scarf for my sister for the holidays. She can't wear wool around her neck - so I will be sewing up a gift instead. I also found some funky trim to finish it up! Love it!
That is just an adorable sweater!! Your little one must be the warmest, best dressed kid on the playground!!
I am impressed that you were able to figure out that twisting technique!!!
A we would say in Beantown - you are sooo "wicked" smaaaart!!!

i am feeling the same way on my mom's shawl. so it decreases 2 stitches every other row. so what. that's a slow ass long time of decreasing when you start at 401. i did ONE yes just one row on sunday and i think it took me 20 minutes to get all the way across. and that was one of the easy rows w/ no fancy stitches. yeah that'll be done by christmas, definitely. yeah right. good luck to you and may your poncho end faster than my shawl.

The poncho is looking smashing! I have been stash diving as I, too, have put myself on a yarn diet like Wendy and the others have been doing. (I do have an order from coming and LYS just got my cro-needle that I have been waiting two months for.. And well, I also have an order of J&S coming from England... Tee hee!) You know it's bad when you have every bushel basket from your local Joann's full of yarn!!!

The sweater is so cute and I hope you will make it up soon. CD would look fabulous in that!

Working on my second Bucket-o-Chic for the Diva (Galway worsted wool with Ingenua mohair in Chinese red). Found the "fur" for my hat too!!! Could I post the photos on your blog? (I know, I know, I need to blog....) ;-)

P.S. Like Water for Chocolate is one of my all time favorite movie/book!!!

Alison, this technique is great. I use it all the time - to tighten up the purl stitches after cables, on some selvedges, etc. I'm always wrapping the yarn different ways to improve the fabric - my knitting style would probably look whacky to some people, but it works for me :-)

Silvia, I'm a THROWER, bay-bee! I tried continental, but didn't find it to be more efficient. I'm ambidextrous, so I use both hands equally when I knit anyway. I keep my right hand steady, and use my left hand to maneuver the knitting. This leaves my right index finger free to throw the yarn. Knowing how to knit continental does come in handy, though. The few times I did fair isle I used both hands to throw the different yarns.

Carolyn, I think we're both at that stage in the knitting where it's seems endless because the rows are so loooooooooong. It's gotten to the point where I'll work two or three rows, and be excited over having advanced half an inch in 20 mins. Hehe.

Rose, please send me your bucket hat photos! I'd be honored to post them up here. That goes for anyone else who doesn't have a blog, but would like to participate in this knitalong and show photos of their bucket hat. Feel free, please :-)

P.S. to Kerrie: Legende is still alive and kicking. Bring empty suitcases!

Hot Chocolate for everyone -- that poncho looks just delicious! I like your clever solution to the stitch twisting. I'll have to file that one away.

As a continental knitter (I was taught that way, I'm a very right hand dominant person normally, but for knitting it's almost hard for me to knit English), I haven't run into too many things that I can't do, although I admit that anything that involves purling can be a little more complicated...

What kind of stitch twisting is supposedly difficult under Continental style? I'd be happy to try it and give a full report!

Como Agua Para Chocolate - one of my favourite books & the film was pretty good too.
The poncho au chocolat will be worth the effort & tedium - the yarn alone looks good enough to eat!

You're AMBIDEXTROUS too! Yikes, you got the good brain wiring! Are your feet ambi too? Can you surf/snowboard goofy and regular? I guess this explains why you are both intellectual and artistic, your left and right brains are wrestling it out...

I agree - you're a knitting guru, all right. I would NEVER have thought to twist the stitch like that, although it makes sense. And how's your toe? Poor thing.... And your bucket o'chic is my fave so far - so french, so perfect (now one for you!)

I saw that film in a Spanish class, and I remember the blanket! Super super long! Imagine how wide the poncho would be if it got that long?! I bet it feels like a real effort knit at the moment - but it's looking great. How far to go now? Wow - stash surprises are great, it's like you bought new yarn without actually buying any!

I guess one should of started the poncho the other way around. Ending a project with decreases seems so much nicer... ;) About the forgotten yarn... Hope you're not thinking about going on a "yarn diet" like many other knitbloggers! Bisous.

I love the pink tank, it is such a wonderful colour. I finished my bucket-o-chic by the way, though I haven't blocked it yet.

Umm ... that young man, dancing, in that ADORABLE tweedy coat, with that look on his face, is, I am quite certain, the CUTEST F*CKING THING I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.

Pardon my language, but Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick, Rabbit. That boy is so cute he makes my heart hurt.

And the coat is fabulous, by the way.

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