Friday, March 14, 2008

Low activity levels?

I have been stalled on my Silver Belle for a week and a half now, hoping that more people were going to respond to my query re blocking - thanks Lauren for being the only one to respond. And it doesn't look like anyone has responded to TK's query re the peplum (unless they did it privately).

Is the activity level on the KAL too low for us to get help? Have the majority finished their Silver Belle and now no longer visit?

I'm still trying to decide whether to start over again after 80 rows on my sleeve, or whether to persevere with my blocked/stretched first start.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

The merciless Belle is done! I have been knitting along, but haven't posted until now. Here are the details: The yarn is Luxor by Lana Grossa, purchased at LaLaine in Berlin last summer. It took 11 1/2 skeins on #6 needles. I went by the medium pattern but lengthened the skirt, sleeves, and bodice. I also did an additional stitch decrease on the skirt.

The inspiration for this project came from a visit to the Rust Kammer (Armor Museum) in Dresden, Germany, where it occurred to me that I wanted to knit some armor! The yarn looked appropriately metallic, and the pattern in the Vogue Silver Anniversary issue seemed appropriately armorial.

I loved this project. I started just after Christmas and completed it March 3. It was never boring, and I learned a lot about fixing mistakes without ripping back.

Thanks to everyone who posted comments and advice as they were knitting the Belle, and good luck to those who are still working on it.

Silver Belle Peplum Help!!

I am on the row where it says to cast off next 100 sts and I have no idea what the next instruction meant. Please can some explain it to me what that whole section mean by P2tog over center 2 sts o each cable, work until 12 sts from last bind-off for center back, bind off next 100 sts, work to end for right front buttonhole band. I can't figure out what to do here. Please help.

Thank you

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Query re blocking to size

After getting gauge on 3.25 mm needles, I have now knit four repeats of Chart E on the sleeve (80 rows). However I have been dismayed to find that the sleeve is far too tight. In part this is because I chose to knit the Small size, after reading the posts here. But when I look at the diagram, even the small is supposed to be 11 inches at the cuff. My sleeve cuff is about 2 inches smaller than that. Dismayed at the idea of starting over again, I tried pinning the sleeve out to 10 inches at the cuff, and 15.5 inches at the top (row 80) and wet blocking it. After leaving it to dry, the sleeve is remaining at this measurement and now fits. But the knitting looks rather stretched out to me, and the purl stitches are gaping around some of the extreme cable bends, so I'm kind of thinking that I shouldn't be blocking it out that wide. I'm not a particularly tight knitter, and I did get gauge, so I don't understand why my sleeve is coming out so much narrower than the pattern.

So my query is: when you knit your sleeve, was it the final measurement immediately (e.g. 11 inches at the cuff) or did you have to block it out wider?

End of february....

finished lower panel knit on right sleeve

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ready to Start My Green Belle

I've finally found some wool in the colour I had in my head, and am ready to start. Just in time for... umm... spring, but that's ok as this bulky cardigan won't fit under my winter jackets anyway!

I'm using a combination of Rowan 4 ply Scottish tweed and a plain dk alpaca, knit together to hopefully give an aran weight. My gauge is still a little loose, even with 4 mm needles, so I'm going to start on a sleeve and see how it looks after a few pattern repeats.

In terms of sizing, I will try making the smallest size (32 inch bust). I have an 86 cm (about 34 inches) bust and narrow shoulders, and from reading the other blog posts it sounds like this should be ok with some negative ease. I am also short (156 cm) so I think the length of the body and sleeves (which are short on the model) should be ok for me.

My intended modifications: I will use 3 buttons as it looks much better. I think I will make tighter cuffs, but will do this at the end so will use a provisional cast on for the sleeves. I'm not sure about the collar yet - it will probably get changed too! I am a bit scared of all that seaming so will attempt to eliminate a few - to start with I will knit the sleeves in the round.

By the way, can anybody tell me the yardage they actually used for the small size? My LYSO thought the 700g = 1260 metres as given in the pattern sounded like way too much, and convinced me to buy less (1000 metres). Now I am worried I don't have enough!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I knit and knit and knit....

The last days I knitted every free minute....and I have fun!

Monday, February 25, 2008

False start, but have gotten going now

Thanks for inviting me to join the KAL - I need all the help I can get! I saw this pattern first as the Romy Cabled Cardigan in Knitting magazine here in the UK, which doesn't have charts, so I was relieved to discover that it was also the Silver Belle and that Vogue had published charts. I am knitting it in Almerino Aran, in colour Brighton Rock 307, which is 50% Baby Alpaca and 50% Merino, but I had to drop down to a 3.25mm needle to get the stitch gauge.
I started with the sleeve and if you are wondering what the mess is at the beginning, that is my false start as I just did not twig that because it was a WS row 1, I had to read the chart left to right! I am so used to going right to left that I couldn't figure out why it was going wrong. So after 6 rows, I knit a row of waste yarn and started again. I want the live stitches as I will be adding the cable trim on the cuff. I was also a bit thrown by the symbol on Chart F for K3 tog, when really it should be P3tog, but I figured that out after comparing the written out Romy instructions. I loved the tip about colouring in the chart so I've done that and also I have highlighted all the even rows so I can pick out the different rows more easily. As suggested by others, I am starting with a small size sleeve and will increase to a medium yoke.

I only learned to knit properly a year ago, and have knit several socks, some gloves and a pair of fair isle mittens, so this will be a big challenge for me. One problem I am having is a loose stitch after I have cabled, I think it is the pull of the crossed over stitches pulling that stitch bigger than it should be. Any tips on that?

Best wishes, Wannaknit (Sharon)