Friday, September 30, 2011

Dungeons and (Snap)Dragons

It's been a while since my last update and a LOT has happened: I am now a California resident (if you consider sleeping on your parents' couch residency), I said goodbye to all my friends (not to mention my income), and on a happier note I attended my first solo knitting show. I have enough to say on each of these subjects to last a lifetime, but for now I'll just say I miss the WLKA girls terribly. I also miss cool weather, NYC and having a bed. And having money. Okay, I think that's enough about that for now.

Oh Snapdragon, you silly little tam. I mentioned in my last post (I know, It's been FOREVER) that I had started the Snapdragon Tam, but alas that tam was frogged long ago (Sanguine Gryphon QED + size 6 needles + cables = something that stands up straight and barely resembles a hat). Needless to say, I decided to go with the recommended Tosh DK in Copper Penny for round 2. I think the result is a little too much color variation for the already busy stitch pattern, but oh well.

Even with the recommended yarn my pre-blocked hat stood up pretty straight.

I thought this picture showing how uneven the decreases are is pretty funny.

But after blocking it looks remarkably like a tam! I'll try to get some pictures of it actually on my head (you know, when it gets cool enough here to comfortably wear it).

Lastly, I wanted to mention that VKLive classes are kind of awesome and Julie of cocoknits is a wonderful teacher! I propose a cocoknit-along to break up all Whimsical Little Knits (I know, I know, you guys are working on Rhinebeck sweaters, but let's add this to our collective queue). Also, here are some pictures of Anna Hrachovic (Mochimochiland)'s world of mochimochi.

Oh and I almost forgot: Kendra is famous! This is a picture of the Table of Contents in the VKLive book!

And seriously my last little pictorial update: A finished Nathaniel (Hawthorne) and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Snapdragon: Problems & Design Elements

Sorry for the long radio silence! We WLKALers have been feverishly knitting our Rhinebeck sweaters, but it looks like only I've finished so far! That means it's on to the next project: Snapdragon Tam. While this pattern looks very complicated, it's super fast and easy to knit. Most of the cables are simple 1x2 or 2x2, so they're extremely easy to do without a cable needle.
Tam in Progress
I'm using the recommended yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh DK) in the new French Grey colorway. As you can see, it takes on a purple tone in certain light, but other times it's a perfectly neutral gray. I love the depth and complexity of the hue. I'm pleasantly surprised that the tonal variegation isn't disrupting the patterning. For the record, I'm knitting the medium size with size 5 (ribbing/band) and size 7 needles.

While the pattern has been flying off my needles, I have come across two little snags. The first is literal: my Hiya-Hiya interchangeable needle cable is super pointy on one side and won't stop unscrewing on the other. This has led to some major snaggage on both side. I've already replaced all 4 of my Hiya-Hiya cables due to malfunction, so I simply refuse to invest more money in this set. Thankfully, my wonderful mother is getting me a different needle set for Christmas, so I only have a few months to wait. I'll try not to complain too much.

My second problem was, as always, user error. As an advanced knitter, I often assume that I know what I'm doing without reading a pattern row completely. My knitting hubris got the best of me when I worked the first row of slip 1, knit 2, pass slipped stitch over as sk2p. I fixed this easily and then vowed to read the pattern more carefully, which I did do...until rounds 25-29. I only worked one round of this repeat, which I didn't realize until 10+ rounds later. That means that my second row of buds is shorter than my other ones. While I could have added a lifeline and ripped back, I decided that I was fine with my tiny buds. We'll call it a design element to differentiate my tam from the others.