Tuesday, October 7, 2008

bambigi- Part 2

woohoo! swatching is over and actual garment knitting has begun on my gigi!! thank god, i don't think i could take much more of that swatching- i think my final count was around 15 knitted, washed and measured swatches! and don't tell anybody but.... i still didn't make gauge!! i was almost exact on the stitch gauge, but almost an inch off the row gauge. i wouldn't normally be okay with that but i read the pattern thoroughly and didn't see anything that called for a specific number of rows to be knit- it's mostly "continue until piece measures 5 inches*. but if i run into a problem, i'll just recalculate the length based on my gauge.

the cover up is knit from the bottom up and is made up of pretty simple shapes. the back is knit first, followed by the two fronts. i'm pretty happy with the knitting so far. it's very easy to separate the strands of the yarn while knitting it, but i swatched so much that i'm used to it! it still happens, but i pay more attention to make sure that it doesn't. my only other gripe with the yarn is that it has way too many knots in it! it's so annoying to find a knot in the yarn on something with such long rows that you have to rip out an entire row to take the knot out!

the 2x2 ribbing at the bottom of the cardigan is really nice in the bamboo yarn. even though the fabric is pretty open and drapey in stockinette stitch, the ribbing is a nice medium weight and still extremely stretchy!

some strange knitting phenomenon did happen above the ribbing though. i'm still at a loss, but i think it had more to do with the yarn than the knitting. there's an elevated band about an inch and half tall across the entire back.... and it looks king of ugly. not only does it look like an entirely different gauge than the rest of it, but the yarn looks kind of gnarly! like a cat chewed it up or something!! and i don't have any cats. i'm pretty mad about this and i contemplated ripping it out, but i was too far along when i noticed it, so i kept on going. my fingers are crossed that it comes out in the washing and blocking. but even if it doesn't, i'll still love it. after all, that's what makes a misfit knit!

unfortunately, this piece is creeping along at a snail's pace. the rows are so long and i had to go up a size since my measurements weren't included in the pattern- making the rows even longer!! oh well. my patience hasn't run out yet, so i'm just trying to stay positive. and since all the separate pieces are knit flat, i'm able to get more practice on my knitting backwards! when i started knitting i was doing the standard "knit one row, purl one row" but when i got to the stockinette portion, i got bored very quickly. so i decided i'd knit a few rows using the knitting backwards and if i saw any changes in my gauge i'd just them. i was quite shocked that my knitting only changed in one way- the over-all fabric was noticeably more even and smooth!! so i'll continue to use it for the rest of my pieces and probably for everything in the future.

on a completely different note- i'd like to announce that after an inexcusable amount of time i have a finished object to share- 2 swiffer cloths! isn't it pathetic how rare that is for me?!?! if only knitting was my full time job! these pictures were taken right after i finished knitting the second one, so there are still ends to be woven and buttons to sew on, but you get the idea!

i knit the cloth on the left first to test out the pattern. *which is why it was knit with left overs.... that didn't exactly match!*

if you'd like to knit one of these for yourself, i have made a few notes that will help you out! *for those of you who aren't interested in the pattern details, you probably won't enjoy reading this!!* you can find the pattern on this page, but be warned: the link for the stitch pattern on her blog is out of date!! the instructions i used can be found here (also note: this is a link to a pattern for a dish cloth, but you cast on the same number of stitches and follow the entire pattern for you swiffer cloth). once you've done 3 repeats of the textured slip stitch, refer back to green mountain mama's pattern and the directions are crystal clear from there!

and last but not least, i've been going through a painful spinning drought lately!! it's not like i don't have anything fiber to spin, it's just that i like to have a rough idea of what i'm going to spin before i start and once i start spinning, if the direction changes and the fiber wants to do something else, i'll let it, but i don't just randomly grab fiber and start spinning. but lately, i don't even have any "rough" ideas coming through! BUT, on it's way to my doorstep is a box of unknown fiber in an unknown quantity for commission spinning. so please please please send some creative vibes my way!! i'm imagining that it will happen something like this: *the box arrives and upon opening i am instantly struck with inspiration by all the beautiful fibers and colors and head straight to my wheel!!*. but how it plays out in my imagination is not how it usually happens in real life!

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