Double double toil and trouble…

Stitches dropped and cat in trouble. Saturday I wetblocked several pieces that had been languishing in my (k)nitting “basket” and, as I am wont to do, had left the ends to be woven when I block.  One of them was TTL Mystery Shawl KAL now called Algiers. I started weaving and discovered that Izzy had chewed one of the ends down to the quick. BAD BAD KITTY!!!! I barely had enough to knot with a crochet hook. After all the end weaving was finished, I soaked the pieces and started threading blocking wires through Algiers only to find two–not one but two–holes that were the result of dropped stitches when making double decreases. I hastily grabbed crochet hook, darning needle and a bit of yarn and repaired as best I could. I have in past had trouble with catching all 3 stitches when making double decreases on lace pieces but since have acquired lace tip needles and thought the problem resolved. NOT! Before lace tip needles, I made double decreases in two or three steps slipping stitches and passing them over and making sure that the decreases leaned in the suggested direction. This takes a few seconds longer but works for me.  Based on all the toil and trouble, I’ve now reinstated two of southparknitter’s rules. Ends will be woven immediately when the piece is bound off or during the working of the piece when possible. Double decreases will be worked in steps so that no stitches are dropped.

My first Zuzu’s Petals is just (k)nits bound off. I used Cascade Tangiers in Beach and US size 6 needles and was dead on the suggested large gauge. So I planned to use the large gauge pattern. When I reached the joining row, the neck opening wasn’t large enough so I worked the suggested rows for the small gauge.2014-08-22 07.37.32 This also necessitated using the small gauge chart. I also used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off with the result that I was about 2 yards short and had to use the bit I had left from Gothic Lace Cowl. I really like this piece. It was a quick easy knit so I just (k)nits cast on and bound off  the second Zuzu’s Petals. I’m used Malabrigo Rios in Jupiter and US size 8 needles. Using a slightly larger gauge than the pattern suggested I was able to use the large gauge pattern which makes this a really quick knit. I may even make some of these for Christmas gifts. The Rios makes  a soft neck piece and the larger needle size/gauge gave the fabric a much better drape.Sorry the picture is pre-blocking and I’ll try to remember to post pictures when blocked.

Shaken or Stirred is also just (k)nits bound off. and all ends are woven. I was a bit disappointed in the amount of ease. I will either use a larger gauge or a larger size next time I knit this. I’m also hoping that the fabric will “bloom” when I soak and block the piece. I will still wear it but would enjoy it more if I had a couple of 2014-08-21 16.13.31-1more inches of ease.In the past I’ve made a larger size but felt that sometimes I had too much ease. My personal preference on ease is that extra is better than not enough.  I ordered the buttons from Fastenation Studio. Hannah makes high quality polymer clay buttons and gives super fast service which was far better than my previous button source.  My buttons were here within a week. I’m pretty sure she offers the same service for custom work (1 to 3 days). I  have already placed a second order.

I cast on Undersized Unicorn in GnomeAcres Squishy Gnome in Luna Lovegood colorway on US size 5 needles. This is a just (k)nits for others project and will be gifted along with Maggie the Mama Owl or Owl Puff (I still a bit burned out on owls so don’t hold me to it) in Squishy Gnome Bertie Botts colorway to my new friend, Dannie. Dannie was born last week and she’s a cutie!2014-08-22 07.38.24

I also just (k)nits cast on my just (k)nits for fun which is my second February Lady Sweater in Cascade 220 using US size 8 needles. I didn’t take a picture because I had only worked one row at photo session time. I had planned to use paired make one increases and worked as far as the first set and realized that I was having a minor fail with remembering to knit a stitch between the increases so will be using yarn over increases as I did with my first one.I ordered buttons for this from Fastenation Studio as well.  I’m hoping to finish the FLS by September 30 so I can enter it as an FO in Fastenation’s Button It Up KAL.

Once the unicorn and owl are finished. I plan to finish at least two pairs of socks that are currently cast on and sleeping before casting on any other small, work-in-public, or night (k)nitting projects.

Till next time, no frogs, no tinks, just (k)nits.

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