Monday, October 12, 2009


Usually I wait until I’ve got some knitting progress before posting, but there’s no actual news of that kind right now. I do have some interesting things to talk about though.

Important items first: Thank you to Suzanne and both Susan’s who left me such encouraging comments about PaintKnits TM!

Also important: I had a new question from Stephanie on the Mermaid Fingerless Gloves Part 1 post. She wanted to know how to do the gusset on the left glove. (I went through the detailed steps for the right glove only.) I’m not sure where you’re stuck, Stephanie, so I’ll note a few points that change and maybe it will get you through. Comment on this posting if you’re still stuck. (A return email address will get you a quicker answer if you’re in a hurry. I’m pretty sure there’s a way to show it just to me on a comment.)

The first thing that changes would be where to start the gusset. I’d suggest placing the started glove on your left hand with the knot at the middle underside of your wrist. You should then be able to identify which pattern group needs to become the gusset. In that block you’re once again going to omit all of the tog stitches just like for the right glove. That means you’ll need to replace all of the increasing stitches with the closest stitch type in a single stitch version.

Here’s another change. On row thirteen add the M1 following the eleven mirrored K tbl ribs instead of before. I’d suggest putting it before the existing purl stitch for perfect symmetry.

Those are the only differences I can see so I think that should cover it. Send some detail on where you run into trouble if I haven’t clarified it for you.


Now on to my knittingless knitting news. Let’s start with excuses. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been consumed with working on the PaintKnits website. The possibilities are really exciting and the more I do the more I think of that I want to do. Of course that all makes the thing more expensive, so once again I’m focused on doing as much as I can myself in a feeble attempt to keep the cost down. I have to admit though that my motivations could be more pure. I’m really just having fun.

I did spend some time on the double knit vest pattern. As you might remember I’m locked into a vertical dimension in order to get the pooling I want, (20.35 inches). In addition I expect the fabric to be fairly stiff with the double knitting in heavyweight sock yarn, so the dimension around must be just right. Too large will hang around me like a weird shell and too tight will just pull on the buttons or not close at all.

I pulled a bunch of vests out of my closet to judge the best fit in the length I’m using. I want to pick a circumference that will look right in that length. Currently I’m in trouble because the length is shorter than I was imagining so I have to decide whether to add a bottom border and if so, how long. So here are some vests of widely different fabric and styling:

First vest, my own design. Love the yarn, hate the vest shaping. I should frog it from the bottom and knit it back in a new stitch. Anyways it’s 21.5 inches and probably about the same stiffness as I expect from the double knitting.

Second vest, also my own design. It’s extremely flattering and one of my favorite garments, handknit or not. The length in the back is 20.4 inches, but it doesn’t work nearly as well with the front points rolled under. Also it’s very soft, flowy, and tight. Not what I expect from the double knit fabric.
Third vest, not my own work product. It’s a Woolrich garment but has stiffness and styling close to what I imagined for my double knit vest project. This one’s 22.8 inches.
Fourth vest, Shy Sheep Vest by Shelridge Farms. The long length is flattering, but works because the fabric is the softest and flowiest of the bunch. Fit is a little loose, but again it works because the soft fabric finds one’s figure. (I’ve actually knit this project twice. My mom liked it and wanted one too.) Note that it’s a shadow knit pattern of scattered sheep which you can only see from a side view.
Based on the above I’m thinking that I’ll match the design to the Woolrich circumference, (38 inches), and length. My PaintKnits pattern is at 38.34 inches and the row height is .15 inches from the PaintKnits gage info, so I’ll need to delete two rows from the width. (It’s knit from side to side.)

The length will need to be extended by about 2.5 inches. I’ll now need to decide whether to use the contrasting color, matching color, or color patterning for a bottom border. It's going to be hard to like the added edging when I’m so happy with the pattern as I’ve sketched it. That just means more sketching to be done. Oh well.


That’s a lot of mental work for me at the moment. I’m facing a group of personal challenges which have me a little overwhelmed. My cancer metrics aren’t looking so great so I’m totally stressing over the possibility of adding a new chemo on top of what I'm taking now. My dad’s in the hospital with a ruptured Achilles tendon. My job took this past Saturday from me for a trip to NYC for the AES conference, (well worth it though). And I’m frantically trying to pull myself together for the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival this coming week. It's just too much.

Still I’m looking forward to the Fest. I always do. 363 days a year actually. As usual I’ll be hanging out with my knitting mentor, Susan from WormSoup. We’re signed up for a Lily Chin class on diagonally knit pattern elements. You could guess that the topic intrigues me if you’ve looked closely at the Rhythm of Surf cardigan. By the way, the second vest, my favorite in the pictures above, was the result of a class I took with Lily some years ago about finding design inspiration. I’m very excited to be able to take a class with her again.

So I apologize for a total lack of loops through loops. And I’ll warn you now that the next post has a really good chance of being filled with Fest pictures instead loops!!