Knitty Winter 2016 Review

:taps mike: Is this thing on?

If I’m getting back on the horse I might as well do the thing properly, right?

Duvet by Heather Desserud: Lovely stranded color mittens.  My only problem is that I, like someone on a bboard I read, don’t like afterthought thumbs.  My thumbs are on the sides of my hands, not on my palms below my index fingers.  But the pattern’s great and the color choices appropriately wintry.

Fiddlers Three by Amy O’Neill Houck:  Why in the name of all that’s holy would you knit gloves in worsted at less than 5spi?  The decorative touches that are supposed to be part of the pattern’s appeal look clumsy at that scale.  Also I don’t understand why anyone would do crochet cast-on by crocheting the chain alone and then picking up; it’s both easier and faster to crochet directly onto the needle where you don’t have to worry about picking up the right bumps.  Fine idea, terrible execution.

Anqut by Laura Bryant: The good old sontag in modern form, beautifully executed in a set of gradient yarns.  Those yarns are in fact the only quibble I have; apparently the set of eight colors used is on the order of $150US.  Which is not completely out of line for 1,500 yards of hand-dyed laceweight, but it’s a bit of sticker shock.

Farrand by Audrey Knight: At first glance I thought this cowl was crocheted; the pattern used looks from a distance like some relative of the old reliable granny square.  But it’s not, and the color choices are quite nice.  “CO 200 with long-tail” is…sigh, but it’s not the designer’s fault that long-tail is a pain in the arse.

Erin Goes to College by Grace Akhrem: Holy gigantic stitches, Batman!  But for a nifty scarf, that’s not a bad thing, and the construction here is interesting enough to be worth the knitting.  As I don’t really wear scarves I’m not sure how practical it is, but it sure looks cool.  Maybe in a slightly less dull color, though.

Snowberry by Amy Christoffers: OK, I know I said big stitches were OK, but I think 2spi is where I start drawing the line.  Also, white pompoms on a winter outer garment seem like they’re just begging to get dingy, and why are you bothering with brioche in only one color?  Go with Erin instead, this one is bleh (and would it have killed them to get a pic in which it didn’t look like the thing’s trying to strangle the model?)

Ashwood by Callista Yoo: I love the cables on this, but I admit I don’t see the logic in pairing that huge cowl-neck with short sleeves.  Either it’s cold enough for the neck or warm enough for the sleeves; you can’t have it both ways.  Worn over a long-sleeved t-shirt might work, I guess, but the model’s just got her bare arms hanging out.  And look, designers of the world: it’s a valid choice to do a rolled edge, OK, but it has to look like you meant it to be a rolled edge, not like you just didn’t know how to stop stockinette from curling like that.  Especially given that the edges of the sleeves thus completely fail to match the hems on the main body.  This is not a total fail of a pattern, but it would need some serious tweaking.

Liberty by Sarah Louise Greer: Nice solid basic sweater with fun-to-work cables.  I never argue with waist shaping and having neckline options is a great touch.

Colorado by Benjamin Krudwig: I really want to like this for the interesting details, but it honestly looks to me like the example garment doesn’t fit the model.  It’s in danger of falling off his shoulders while simultaneously pulling at the buttons, not all of which appear to actually button–like the sweater was meant for someone 6 inches taller and 40 pounds lighter.  (Speaking of buttons, why is one a totally different color?)  It’s impressively difficult to screw up a classic raglan this badly.

Crockerdile by DH Morris: Tying with Pantashrooms and the very last pattern for “Most Knitty-Like Pattern In This Issue”, this one’s adorable.  I’d never wear it myself, but for people of the correct bent it’s hilariously cool, and I really quite like the thumb-loops to make the sleeves into semi-mitts at will.

Cooped Up by Pam Sluter: Classic yoke sweater, though those chickens are a little less chicken-like than they’d be in my ideal world.  Still, a perfectly competent, quirky interpretation of a wardrobe staple.  One note: when you’re twisting yarns at the back to avoid long floats, don’t do it between the same two stitches every row or you end up with a little column of the contrast color showing through.  It’ll probably work out with time and washing but it’s easier to just avoid the issue altogether.

Variations on Chart 429 by Merri Fromm: For all the source of the patterns is said to be “old”, this looks very modern and I’m very fond of the tailored neatness of the hems and other edges.  There are, again, some visibility issues with catching long floats, but overall this is a great pattern.

The Werewolf of Westport by Les Tricoteurs Volants: On a purely style note, someone needs to put a better eyeball on the thumbnails before posting, as this one manages to make it look like the model’s vomiting.  That said, I have mixed feelings about the pattern itself.  On the one hand, it’d be great fun to knit and it’s great for using up small lengths.  On the other, it never feels unified.  It really kinda looks like the designer just picked up whatever yarns were lying around and threw them into the mix.  A valiant effort, but I’m calling this swing and a miss.

Rock Creek Canyon by Rachel Brockman: I hate that acid green with the tonal brown-gray; instead of looking like an accent, it seems to be trying to take over.  With some other contrast color this is a good quick project.

Pantashrooms by Motoko Takahashi: Oooookay.  Look.  Quirky and whimsical are great, and if bloomers covered in vaguely-phallic mushrooms are really what you want, you do you.  But really, what?

Toilet Paper Toilet Paper Cozy by Christine Olea: I have never understood the point of cozies for anything other than teapots where you want to physically keep the thing warm (hence the name), but hey, when the designer comes out and says “I love useless things”, rock on.  It is at the very least funny.

Pattern Reworking

Here’s an update/reworking of the #45 tatted edging from Butterick’s Tatting and Netting 1896 reprint–that is to say, a tatting pattern old enough that the author seems to think working chains is a revolutionary idea that will come as a mild surprise to her readers.  The original is…weird; no two rings have the same number of stitches and the directions are wonky.  I’ve omitted the tiny little thrown ring that serves no perceptible purpose, regularized the stitch counts, and modified the center ring of the Small Clover a little.

Start with a Small Clover.  Each ring joins to the last picot of the one before.

Ring 1: 6-3-3
Ring 2: 3+3-3-3-3-3 (5 picots total)
Ring 3: 3+3-6

Reverse work and Chain 3-6-3-3-3-3-6-3 (7 picots total)

Reverse work and make a Large Clover

Ring 1: 6-3-3-3-3+to first P of R3 of Small Clover 3-3-6 (7 picots total)
Ring 2: 6+3-3-3-3-6 (5 picots total)
Ring 3: 6+3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-6 (9 picots total)
Ring 4: As Ring 2
Ring 5: As Ring 1

Reverse work and work a second chain, 3+6-3-3-3-3-6-3.  This forms the repeat of the pattern.  (For second and subsequent Small Clovers, the first picot of Ring 1 instead joins to Ring 5 of Large Clover.)

Here’s a sample in progress in Lizbeth Size 80 (color #165):
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…I Did It Anyway

know what happens when I try to make my hair curly, and yet I slept in pin curls last night.  As of quarter to 12, I’m out of the stupid-looking poofy stage and into “slightly wavy”.  By the time I get home I’ll be right back to my normal, straight-as-a-string hair.

I was inspired by a pic of gender-swapped Bilbo cosplay and I thought it’d be cool if I could get the hobbit curly hair that they all seem to have.  But no, I cannot.

Oh Woe

One of my ~10 pen pals needs to damn well write to me so I can use some of my nifty new stationery.  It can’t decide if it wants to be Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts, but since I like both artistic movements I’m quite pleased with it.  Once I get ink for the home printer I can even print it out on proper A4 paper instead of letter-sized, but the only issue is slightly wide side margins and that’s easily fixed.

Assuming Clairefontaine Triumph will take inkjet ink, which I suppose I should check before I try it, but even if it won’t I can get A4 printer paper, right?

OK, Rebooting

I’m setting a new goal: I’m gonna blog at least once a week.

We’ll see how this goes.

In the meantime, I have a pallet garden up and planted, though I did manage to scrape some skin off with bad staple gun ergonomics.  There are strawberry plants, some beans that I desperately hope are bush, not pole, and the bottom layer is sweet alyssum because there are both dogs and free-roaming cats in my neighborhood.

Stuff What Is Bad For Me

I really need to stop looking at needlework on Pinterest.  It makes me think of all the things I am not doing, which is bad for my mood.

Decoration

I have two things to put on the walls in my office now. They’re both quotes from Supernatural, printed for some reason that remains obscure to me on dictionary pages–one English, one a Portuguese English-to-Portuguese with way more pronunciation help than any English dictionary I’ve ever seen.

I put the one that says “Hey, Assbutt” in a spot where it’s not really visible, and I’ll take it down if I have to, but for now I’m very amused by Angry!Castiel glaring at me.  (The other one says “Please accept this sandwich as a sign of solidarity”, which probably shouldn’t amuse me as much as it does since I hated that whole plotline…)