May 9th, 2006

(no subject)

this may seem like an outrageous question....

but if you were knitting a scarf for a cat/smallish dog/bunny how many stitchs would you CO? maybe 12? i'm having a hard time visualizing this though for some reason, maybe not enough caffeine!

-yes i plan to knit a small scarf for my friend's bunny!

Swatching Advice/Thoughts

I have been knitting for years but I must admit that I don't always swatch. If the size matters, I'll do a half-hearted swatch in which I cast on enough stitches for a swatch of approximately 5 inches wide, knit three rows in garter stitch and then keep a few stitches on each edge in garter and knit the middle in stockinette. I do this for as many rows as it takes to get 2 inches in height and then, without washing/blocking or even taking the swatch off the needles, I measure. If I'm close enough, I go for it.

However, I have recently begun making things where the size is much more important and swatching is becoming a crucial step to enjoying the knitting process and liking my finished products. I just purchased yarn to make Knitty's Devan, and it will be my first set-in-sleeves project (I think that is what you call this sleeve style, but I admit I'm not sure). I'm nervous about everything fitting together just-so and would like to ensure that I swatch properly.

I've googled and read several articles on the web (including this article from Knitty) and that has been helpful in terms of why to swatch and providing the basic information on how, but I'm hoping to add some personal experience stories to my bank of knowledge.

I'm not sure I'll take the step of washing/blocking a swatch for yarns I've used before and have a feel for how they work, but I am thinking about becoming a bit more diligent about my swatching.

When you swatch, do you measure at all before washing/blocking or finishing the swatch or do you wait until you've completely finished? Do you always knit a full swatch, including ending with a few garter rows and binding off?

With respect to washing/blocking the swatch, I need to follow the same washing methods that the finished garment would be subject to, correct? Is it okay to toss a swatch in with a regular load of laundry? Alternatively, could I just vigorously hand-wash the swatch to try to simulate machine washing? I hate to run a wash cycle just for a swatch but I do worry somewhat about colours bleeding.

If you do measure before casting off, and you suspect you are not getting the correct gauge, would you switch needles mid-swatch and work a bit further with that needle to see if you are closer to getting gauge?

What method do you prefer for swatching in the round (bringing long strands across the back, clipping the yarn at the end of each row, magic-loop technique if the needle is large enough, or a proper full-size in-the-round swatch?

Thank you in advance for responding and I look forward to seeing how others swatch!

Yarn Stores in Montreal

A few months ago I was here and saw a post about yarn stores in Montreal. Of course, now that my vacation is a few days away, I can't find it ;D

Can anyone recommend any decent yarn stores in Montreal? Thanks in advance.

Gauge question

I'm just starting to work on the Man's Raglan Pullover from the fall/winter issue of Knit1 magazine, and have a question about gauge. Using size 13 needles, 11 sts/14 rows should give me the right gauge - but I hit it with size 11s. Now, the other needle size used in the pattern is 7. Is it fairly safe to assume that I should go down two needle sizes here too, and use 5s? Logic tells me yes, but if not, I'm not sure what to do, since they don't give a gauge for the size 7s. Thanks - and sorry if it's a silly question!
Cowboy Hat

Got Tiny? or, How Do I Fix This?

So I cast on for the Broad Street Mittens, using Opal Magic. It says to cast on 48 stitches on size 3 needles (the pattern calls for size 2s). Am I making these for a Barbie doll? There is exactly zero chance that these would come anywhere near fitting me, and I really don't have big hands. My store-bought fingerless gloves are women's mediums (yes, I'm a guy.)

How, pray tell, my fellow knitterati, do I fix this so that it fits me, and then again to make them bigger when I make them for my partner, who's got even bigger hands than me? I feel just completely DEE DEE DEE about all this. It should be easier than this, really. Do I just add more stitches? And if that's the case, how do I adapt the pattern to fit?

Knitted art exhibit, performance art and an auction!

Last fall our local university's art museum had a show by Chicago fiber artist Lindsay Obermeyer. I heard about it, called the curator and arranged for the charity knitting program I run as part of my job to participate.

The title of the exhibit, "The Red Thread: Visible and Invisible" was based on this chinese proverb:

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break."

The university recruited people to knit hundreds of hats and the artist knitted a very VERY long red i-cord. The hats were sewn at intervals along the i-cord. A few days before the exhibit opened, the i-cord was laid out near the gallery and people were recruited to come wear the hats at the same time on the same day. They had us do dances and other movements together with the hats on. The next day i-cord with the hats still on it was hung in the gallery with the rest of the show. At the end of the exhibit, several local charities, including mine, got the hats.

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You can see more pictures on the artist's website. Check out her other projects too, especially "The Attachment Project" and "Woman's Work".

Our knitting program is auctioning off a few more things we can't use - mostly wool yarn and some circular needles. You can see the auctions here.

Vogue Knitting 2005/2006 - two covers?

Someone recently gave me a few issues of Vogue Knitting, one of which claims to be Winter 2005/2006. I haven't been able to thumb through them yet; they're at my mom's for now. Anyway, the Winter 2005/2006 was the one in which I was most interested, and I asked my mom to tell me what the cover looked like, to be sure it was the right one. After she described it to me, I asked her to send me a picture, because in no way did the cover resemble those I've seen in stores/online. Did VK release this issue under two different covers, or is this issue marked incorrectly? She says it does say it is "Winter 2005/2006." I've googled, and I can't find any other issues with this cover.

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What issue is this, if it is not the one I thought it was?

Short Rows

I'm making something that requires short rows and I think that I have got the wrap and turn part of it down okay but the pattern says that I need to hide my wraps as I go along. That's the part that I'm having problems with. I think I'm picking up my wrapped stitches the wrong way.
I've googled it and haven't been able to find much useful information. I checked in Memories too and I did see the tutorial in there. That's been the most helpful information I've found so far.
I guess what I need are tips on how to make it come out nicely or maybe a little video or something. Does anyone know where I might be able to get some help?
Time, where does it go?

Yarn substitution and supplier

Does anybody have any suggestions for:

- a supplier of Butterfly Super 10 yarn (ordering online for delivery in New York etc.)
- or a good substitute for Butterfly Super 10 yarn

On searching the archive, I see that someone suggested this yarn as a substitute for tahki cotton classic so I'm thinking I might go with that, but the last time I substituted I made such a complete mess of the gauge change (I still can't work out why) that I'd rather stick with the original yarn called for this time round due to the time constraint involved which is going to make false starts highly inconvenient. I want to make Daisy from Knitty for a friend of mine who's baby is due next month.

I did actually order the yarn from, whom I found by googling, in February, but have not received anything from them despite several requests in the intervening period asking when I might expect to receive my order. I've reached the point now where I just want to get some yarn and get the project started, hence turning to suggestions of alternatives.

Any suggestions, advice or thoughts would be much appreciated, thanks!