Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Foliage, Part 2 and a Birthday

I wanted to thank you guys for your support in my quest for a physician who'll work with me on this shoulder thing. Sorry for the vitriol of the post itself, but I'm not sorry about the hat that came out of it! Speaking of my version of Foliage, a number of you asked for details so here we go.

The original pattern for worsted weight yarn calls for you to knit the crown using size 7 US dpns. I used size 8. I then worked rounds 1 - 19, per pattern.

Once the crown is complete, you are instructed to work 3 repeats of the 12-round leaf pattern on size 7US circular needles, whereas I used size 9US. I knit one leaf pattern repeat in the variegated yarn, then 12 rounds of stockinette, alternating variegated and solid yarn, then one last leaf repeat in the solid. The change in needle size is why my version bells out slightly from the crown.

The last change I made was to eliminate all but one row of the p1, k1 ribbing. I used it as the bind-off row in the variegated yarn.

FO: Foliage Hat Modifications
Lastly, I lightly fulled the hat in the kitchen sink with a bit of Soak, hot water and scrunching to get the finished product.

Birthday Boy
The other thing I forgot about in all my righteous indignation was my baby Nikita's birthday. He looks pretty good for an 11 year old, doesn't he? That's my tabby boy, my buddy, Nik.

Nikita, reclining in shadow

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Monday, October 29, 2007

FO: Felted Foliage

It came as a surprise, this latest finished object. I'd just started "Foliage" from Fall '07 Knitty when it was no sooner finished. And felted. I even have about twelve inches of a matching, triangular scarf / shawl thing trailing off my size 13US straights, which should use up the remaining Malabrigo "Little Lovely (variegated)" and "Geranio (solid)." What's come over me? Let's start with the knitting first.

I had every intention of knitting Foliage as written but things veered seriously off-course when I found that I did not have the correct size (nor length) for either dpns or circular needles. I went up to size 8US dpns and size 9US circular. I'm no fan of the short-cable circular, thus I only own two in my entire collection. Although the worsted weight yarn is well-matched with needles in the 7 to 9US range, the pattern ended up rather larger than intended - and that was even prior to adding the ribbing as called for in the pattern. That's why it was ixnay on the ibbing-ray.

FO: Foliage Hat
Exhibit A

After careful consideration cursing my stupidity, I figured that a bit of bath in mild soap and hot water might just save my bee-hind. This is, after all, one of the gifts on my holiday list. Some manual agitation, a good rinse and a roll in a fresh towel yielded a slightly smaller, fuzzier bucket hat, which I've got to say I actually like just as well!

FO: Felted Foliage Hat
Exhibit B

Now I will answer the question as to, "Why the knitting frenzy?" I saw a new specialist on Friday who refused to even acknowledge what the MRI shows about my right shoulder because my pain doesn't fit within his experience of that particular diagnosis. He is the second doctor to refuse to fix my shoulder. He is the second doctor to pat me on the head and send me off to pain management and physical therapy so that I can learn to live with my limitations.

If you know me at all, this treatment is tantamount to throwing a lit firecracker at my feet. I get highly agitated. Not because I want surgery from which it could take up to a year to fully recover, but because I want someone to flippin' take me seriously. I need to feel as though the physician is my ally in diagnosis and recovery. I'm doing my part, with physical therapy and research. Work with me, is all I ask.

That's why I made short work of this hat. My frustration needed an outlet and I've given up all but one of my deleterious habits. What am I left with? Sticks and string, baby. Sticks and string.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bathed, Blocked and Ready to Go

It took longer than expected, but I finished the mini-messenger bag in time for delivery to its 11-year-old recipient later today. I kind of blew past the actual birthday by a few days, though I suspect she'll forgive me.

Felted messenger bagSpecs:
(2) 138 yard skeins of Manos del Uruguay in 'Agate'
(1.5) 135 yard skeins of Malabrigo bulky handspun in 'Pagoda' (discontinued color)
Size 10 US circular needles for the body of the bag
Size 8 US dpns for the strap
4 stitch markers
2 jumbo nylon snaps as closures

The pattern (my own) begins by casting on 60 stitches for the rectangular base, knitting for 40 rows, then picking up stitches along all sides of the piece. I knit in the round for 4 inches then added a thick cable set off by purl stitches up the center front of the bag. I placed stitch markers at each of the corners so that the decrease rounds near the top would align with the 3" sides. This also left a convenient way to ensure consistency in the number of stitches, as well as placement of those stitches once the body of the bag was complete.

Pre-felting measurements: 18" wide by 20" tall with a 36" strap
Post-felting measurements: 16" wide by 13" tall with a 32" strap

Other notes:
Although the cable is not very distinctly apparent, there is a bit of texture to the bag which I like. I originally intended to do buttons and loops to hold the flap closed. I sewed on clear jumbo snaps instead so the look of the front is uninterrupted. Lastly, blocking was made so very easy with the help of a box roughly desired size of the finished product. I covered the box with a plastic bag, placed it inside the wet felt, pinned everything into shape and let it dry overnight.

Now, to finish a sock before I begin the next birthday gift...

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