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23 October 2010

Nibs & nobs

I've had a window open for more than a week now, preparing to write another post at I Looked for Love.  Don't know why i've struggled so to write this one.   Have two other windows open for a couple of days now, planning to write an info article for Hawkes' Health on what i've learned about Manuka honey.  Not written much here, either.  So what have i been doing?  Not a lot.  I've mostly been looking at knitting patterns.  My favorite place to look is Knitting Pattern Central.  They have tons & tons of links to so many different patterns.  The problem is they only have the link, so i have to open each link to see if it is anything i'm interested in making.  That takes a lot of time.

I have a beautiful, fluffy, cream-colored yarn i fell in love with & purchased a number of skeins.  It is nylon & acrylic.  I can't often do fluffy yarn as they generally are alpaca, cashmere, or the like, & i'm allergic to them.  I'm allergic to wool, also, although i tried once to knit with it.  Because it was soft & wouldn't be on "sensitive skin" (my hands seem rather immune to most of my allergies), i thought i could still knit with it (for a gift for someone else).  But my eyes itched all the time & i gave up & gave the yarn away.  

Anyhow, i have been looking for a pattern to use to knit a pullover sweater.  I've honestly never knit from a pattern.  Well, the first time i ever made a feather & fan baby blanket, that was from a pattern.  But it was just a square of the repeat of one row of a lace pattern, over & over.  I've never followed a pattern to create something that would tell me when to decrease, increase or anything else.  Now, i have made sweaters (about 4 or 5 in my memory).  But i created my own design from a lace pattern.  I think it is time to learn how to really read a pattern & use it.  (Pics of the last sweater i made are here, at the bottom of the post.  It turned out a bit too big.  My own pattern/design with an established lace pattern.)

This is the pattern i decided on.  It is called Bunny Hop.  (Link to pattern.)  It is called Bunny Hop because that is the name of the yarn they used.  The problem is, they don't tell you what the yarn actually IS.  I don't know the number of yards in the skein, nor the weight of the yarn.  I never could get my gauge to turn out as they recommend, even using much smaller needles.  And much smaller needles will mess up the fluffiness of my yarn.  And make it more difficult to knit this particular pattern.  

According to the yarn chart i found, 20 stitches for 4 inches is "medium weight yarn" (i.e., like worsted).  I only needed 15 stitches to make 4 inches, making my yarn "bulky" although, the actual weight & the fact that it has only 2 strands puts it into the "light" or even "fine" category for me.  So i've adjusted the pattern to accommodate fewer stitches.  Which means that really, i'm only using the pattern as a "suggestion."  Well, & i'm planning to add sleeves to this pattern too, either short sleeves or 3/4 length, we'll see.  So, who knows how this will actually turn out.  One of these days i'll have to choose a pattern, buy the exact yarn planned for the pattern, & follow the pattern exactly.  One day.

I've never, ever done cables before.  I've also spent the last couple of days practicing with some cotton yarn (& the cable practice will become cleaning cloths).  They aren't hard.  I was told they are not.  I've been doing lace patterns for years, but this is my first cable item.

I'm already about 4 inches into the front of the sweater.  What i found interesting is that i'm going to have to use 2 different counters, because the cable pattern repeats every 8 rows, but the lace panel in the center repeats every 12 rows.  Using 2 counters is new for me!  It is going to be a light sweater, not knitted dense at all.  Meaning it will need a camisole or something under it. 

This is another pattern (Tatania) i really like (the look of it, not the yarn used in baby-puke brown/green).  I would like to try this one, tho i know i'm already planning to adjust it by adding a cable each side of the center pattern.  I don't know if i will ever be able to do just what is printed in a pattern.  

I'm so happy to have more energy, but still have to really monitor & limit myself.  I did much, much, much too much on Monday (making Christmas gifts & sitting in an awkward position while doing so) & thus was totally exhausted when we had to come down the hill on Tuesday.  But i'm recovering faster, too.  Did 2 massages yesterday up here, which is the first i'd done since last January or February.  

Dear friend Cindy said something wise to me this week.  When speaking of energy & the frustration with still having to limit what i do, she said, "But if you just have the energy to do what you currently push yourself to do but without having to be so exhausted, that will be a great gain."  Well, i think that is a paraphrase, but the gist of what i took away.  I have to spend so much time recovering from what i do down the hill, if i don't have to have so much recovery time, that will be a great gain.  I do know myself well enough, however, that if i'm not down for that "recovery time" that i'll be pushing myself to do more.  

I also was blessed this week to be able to visit with dear friends Jessica & Jerry.  We met at Mother's Market for lunch. 

This is what happened at home this week while we were gone.  It is not my pic, of course.  It came from the Facebook Big Bear fan page.  This was all melted by when we got home.  Yesterday was sunny with blue skies, & so was this morning.  It is overcast again this afternoon.  It has been a particularly rainy October.  Most of the fall colors are past their best now, although many of the trees still have leaves.  



That corgi :) said...

I think it is neat you are so creative! I bet the new sweater will come out looking great; years ago I made a sweater that had cable in it and I remember it wasn't too complicated

I think that was a good wise comment your friend said about your energy.

I hope you have a good Sunday :)


Meadowlark said...

I'd be lost without a pattern. That's quite the talent you have!

PS... are we friends on Ravelry? If not, we need to be!

WannabeMommy said...

Hi Kathryn! Thanks for stopping by my blog! My, you are so talented... wish I could knit (i can barely tie my shoelaces). I was wondering... could your fatigue have anything to do with altitude changes going up/down the mountain?

Kathi said...

I would be lost without a pattern too, but, what drives me nuts is when the pattern is incorrect. I'm making a pair of sock slippers and the decreasing in the gusset and toe is incorrect. I've had to figure it out myself, which is ok, but, you'd think it should be right!

This gal has a video on making cables, if you're interested...

I do like the sweaters. I haven't had the nerve or the money to try one yet. But, my nephew and his wife are having a baby and I'm thinking of making a baby kimono sweater for them. I figure it would be a good start and it's small.

Kathryn said...

Hi Betty, thanks. :) Cables are new to me, but i'm not finding them hard. The front is now about 70% done, & while the cable & lace are not as tightly knit as in this pic, i think they are coming out well.

Meadowlark, i'm kind of new to Ravelry. A friend mentioned it to me, & to my surprise i found i'd signed up last December (probably looking for knitting patterns) but never did anything with it. Maybe you can help me navigate, 'cause i'm kind of clueless with it. ;)

Hello WBM, so glad you are back in the blogging world. I don't think fatigue is due to the altitude change, tho i could be wrong. This predates our move to the mountains, & got worse during an illness after we moved here. I actually seem to feel better at altitude than at sea level, tho this could be simply because i like being home best!

BTW, i love making baby blankets. Be happy to send you one when God blesses you with that gift. :)

Hi Kathi - i guess because i'm largely "self taught" in knitting, i find a "whole pattern" rather than just the pattern of lace & repeats that i figure myself to be more challenging.

Thanks for the link. Interesting to watch her do that. I've several cable stitch needles that i've had for a while. After playing with them, i think i like the fish hooks the best.

I think it is funny that i wouldn't try socks on a bet, but find sweaters fairly easy. You seem to be the opposite. Good luck with the baby kimono.