Monday, June 21, 2010

More On Graduation

Thanks to everyone for your congratulations on my graduation!  I really appreciate all your comments and I'm so happy that I can now say that I have a college degree!

Now that I'm back home and have more (read: a ton of) free time on my hands, I've been getting a steady amount of knitting done.

The Cubism Afghan for my brother is slowly growing, as you saw a couple posts ago.  I finished two more squares and took a picture to show you how they're going to piece together to look like an optical illusion.  I've included my dog for size reference (not intentionally, but he was there, so it worked out).  I feel a little less-than-happy with the fact that it has taken me 6 months to complete 15% of the blanket, but I think what I have knit is still a sizable chunk of knitting (it took almost 14 balls at 220 yards each), so perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

When I finished the last square you see there, I took a little break from knitting on the blanket and finished the first half of my Autumn Arbor Stole (I only needed to knit one more 40-row repeat).

Sorry, I know that's not the greatest picture.  I now have a decision to make.  This stole is knit in two halves and then grafted together in the middle.  I have been looking at finished projects on Ravelry and on the few I have seen which actually show this join, I haven't liked the way that it looks.  The issues of a tight kitchener stitch which causes the piece to pucker or the choice to use a 3-needle bind-off by others isn't what bothers me because I know those can be avoided, but I'm not sure I like the way the pattern itself lines up on the finished product.  I don't think it looks symmetrical and it makes the seaming look off center as if the two halves weren't lined up properly before grafting.

One Raveler went through the trouble of creating an alternate finish that allows one to knit the entire stole in one piece, finishing it in a way that mimics the shape of the cast-on end.  I'm tempted to knit my piece this way to avoid an unsightly seam in the middle, but I've set this shawl aside for a bit while I debate whether or not to do this.  What do you guys think?

As graduation presents, I have received a few very welcome additions to my knitting book collection and I find myself flipping through them on a daily basis.

From one sister (the Deirdre one) and her husband I received a Japanese stitch pattern book, aptly named "Knitting Patterns Book 300".

This book has an unbelievable collection of stitch pattern to use to create any knitted item you could ever want.  There are cables, lace, knit/purl pattern, bobbles, slipped stitches, twisted stitches, and countless combinations of two or more of these techniques.  Some of the patterns looks so bizarre that it blows my mind to think that someone, at some point, had to sit down and play with yarn and needles until they figured out how to do it.  Absolutely incredible.

In this gift, my sister also included a skein of Malabrigo Sock in the "Stonechat" colorway (picked out by The Brain, aka her husband).  It is absolutely gorgeous.  Thanks, D and Sir Brain!

While this present came from the West coast, another arrived from the East coast from another sister living in Maryland.

This is a pattern booklet that I have been looking for for what seems like ages.  I have never seen it in any stores, and the only time I found it for sale online was from Australia.  Well, as it turns out, my sister's boyfriend's mom is from New Zealand and my sister managed to have one of her relatives still living there find a copy in a local shop and then send it halfway around the world to me!  Thank you so much, sister!  There are 20 sweater patterns in this booklet, and I think they're all classic and great.

And, well, that model on the right?

He's a keeper.

Last, but not least, Anne Hanson was also kind enough to send me a gift!  Ok, not quite, but I did win a book from a contest on her blog.

I won a copy of the fifth Vogue Knitting Stitchionary all about lace knitting.  This is a fantastic collection of great patterns that can be used in a variety of ways.

Patterns are both written out line by line and charted, which I think makes this book more accessible to those who prefer not to knit from a chart (or from written directions).  My only complaint about this book is that the swatches are knit from a pretty thick yarn (for lace) and it's sometimes difficult to see the lace patterns because the yarn is so plump and often fills in the holes.  Other than that, it's a great addition to my growing collection and I hope it will serve as inspiration for me to possibly design a few pieces in the future.  Thanks, Anne Hanson!

Yesterday my family celebrated Father's Day with a nice get-together where I was able to see most of my siblings as well as my nephews and niece.  It was actually kind of funny - my two youngest nephews (very close in age, 28 months and 35 months) showed up wearing identical shirts, completely by accident!  What adorable little kids.

One even managed to find the fish hat I had made for my sister this past winter and became a silly fish monster.

Which then attacked me...

I hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. If you ever get tired of that Japanese stitch dictionary, don't hesitate sending it to Sweden. Seriously, what great gifts!

    Love the fish attack pictures!

  2. Peter...thoughts about your shawl dilemma: this past Winter I finished Anne Hanson's Twinings shawl. I knit it as written....two halves, joined in the middle by grafting. I used yarn from the Woolen Rabbit that was all green, but in varying shades. I was not happy with the way the join looked. The pattern matched up and it was not puckery. However, the color variation is more noticeable than I'd like. (where the color ended in the second half didn't really match up with where the color ended in the first half.) Hope this makes sense. Anyway, it was a lot of knitting to be a bit unhappy with the result. If I had it to do over again, I would just continue knitting the stole until the final length was reached. I don't believe the lack of symmetry of the two halves would bother me half as much as that join does. Anyway....good luck with your stole. I love Anne's patterns!

  3. Wonderful gifts, Peter!! Just in case I forgot, Congratulations on your achievements!!!

  4. I think you should try to mimic the cast on edge... While it may not create a "symmetrical" stole, I think that stoles I've seen that did something similar worked if there wasn't a natural scallop to the pattern, but if there was, problems arose.

  5. I love the first fish hat picture so much.
    As for the stole, I agree with the other commenters; I would just keep knitting if it were me.

    You got some wonderful gifts! I've got a skein of Worsted Stonechat that I've been dying to break into.

  6. I'm gonna vote to Ixnay the grafted technique. If you can just continue to knit and then have a nifty way to make it appear to reverse direction at the end border, I think I'd choose that. I never find that grafted halfsies technique to make me happy.


  7. What wonderful presents!

    I agree with the others. Knit it as one piece and move on. I have yet to see a wrap that's been grafted together that actually looks nice. I faked my way through the HoneyBee Stole and no one died. I know you can do the same with your wrap.


  8. Congrats on your graduation....Love all your knitting goodies and that model IS a keeper!!

  9. Oh my, that is one fine cutie there. You have excellent taste. He's got that impish look that says purity one moment and body shots the next. :P

    I'd knit the whole shawl in one piece, if it were me, especially in a non-solid yarn. And may I just say, totally jealous of both the Stonechat colorway and the Japanese stitch pattern book. Oooh yeah.

  10. Holy! That is a lot of blanket!! 14 balls already? That's just insane... Good luck with the rest of it. It is already quite an accomplishment.

    I would go with the non-joining finishing option for the Autumn Arbor Stole. I think that it'll look better that way, even if it doesn't match exactly.

    The presents are lovely. I adore Japanese pattern books! The charted patterns are nice and there are always some crazy and unexpected things to discover. I have been eying that Patons book for a while now, too. I might just have to import it... I definitely agree with your assessment of the model, btw. ;)

    The fish hat looks to be holding up well... and your nephew is adorable!

  11. You got the Jet Men's book!! Hooray! I get pattern books for two reasons...the patterns, and the eye candy.

    That was a very exciting and frightening adventure you had on the high seas. I'm glad you survived your encounter with the fish monster.

    If it helps any, I just went on a trip and got some mad knitting done on a couple projects that have been stagnant for months. I still think you're a little wild for aspiring to use so much Cascade 220 in one project.

  12. what if you just kept knitting??? Oh, I see others say the same thing. It's good advice! That Jet book DOES look interesting, on at least a couple of levels!

  13. Wow, all great gifts. That Jet Men's pattern book is awesome. The models and the patterns both :) (Ya, he's a keeper :)
    Wanted to say Grats on your Graduation too. Enjoy the free time while you can!

  14. LOL! Little X attacking you! Too cute. :)

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