Thursday, July 14, 2016

Finishes and Fixes

Well. I discovered where I made my mistake when I dyed my yarn in rhubarb leaf and then madder. I forgot that I needed to finish up with an alkaline modifier. Perhaps it might have behooved me to dig out my notes and check procedures before diving in! The memory she ain't what she used to be. Last time I tried this dye recipe was 2010. That was awhile, no? Anyway, the samples are:
On the right is what I had in mind and on the left is what I got. Never mind. I like it anyway of course. I mean, orange! Flaming orange at that. I've also been naughty and started the Intersect sweater:
Perfect gauge. Yay. This is the most convoluted knit ever! This little strip goes horizontally across the upper back to which you next pick up a small number of stitches in the centre and knit perpendicular to this piece for the collar stand. Each piece grows out of the rest of the knitting and there's a lot of picking up stitches and sewing parts together. The sleeves are knit separately in the round and set in but several clever knitters have already figured out how to pick up and knit them top-down. I know how to do that but I'll decide which way to go when I get there. I may just continue to follow the excellent instructions as written. 
As with all of Brooklyn Tweed's patterns, the format, diagrams, charts and tech editing are second to none. 18 pages worth! I mean, how many books or especially magazines will devote that much space to one pattern? And you get to peruse the lookbook free and if you fall in love with a design you pay just for that single one, download the PDF and go to town right away. No trees have to die either unless you prefer a hard copy. In the last couple of years I've bought pretty much all my knitting patterns one at a time through Ravelry. I've only bought one single knitting book (for the technique more than the individual patterns) and gave up on the magazines entirely. I take a few out of the library electronically if I feel a need to read them. Saves me a bundle. I used to have a hardcore addiction to books and magazines but this method has helped me to curb it right back to nearly nothing. Besides I'm running out of bookshelf space! I'm thinking I need to start culling the duds and the not-so-useful some day soon.
But meanwhile I'm still struggling along on my Hiking Bag. It's completely over-engineered and there's a gazillion pieces to figure out how to put together, including main fabric, lining, 2 weights of interfacing, two kinds of fleece, Timtex scraps and fusible web. I currently have assembled a lining with divider and pocket, a top flap, and a water bottle pocket, and all the straps, buckles, rings and toggles are stitched onto the main body pieces. Now I just have to put the sides on, pop in the lining and add the flap. Yeah, another day at least!  Urm...I hope my water bottle actually fits in the pocket.
In other news, I f you'll remember the Knitting Caddy I finished a few weeks ago, I had issues with it. The sides kept folding up and actually got worse as time went on. Things were falling out of the upper tier of pockets as they sagged. I needed some Viagra for it! Thom to the rescue. He cut me two 1/4" strips of  Lexan scraps. It's a clear plastic like Plexiglass only more flexible and nearly unbreakable. We use it over several vulnerable windows in our house. Better than iron grills!
Anyway, the strips did the trick!
See? Nice and straight but still with enough flex to avoid being totally rigid. I picked out a few stitches from the end of my binding and just slid the piece right in, stitched up the binding again, repeat and done. Now it works the way I originally envisioned. Saved. Whew.
Oh yeah, I nearly forgot my latest FO! This is the Falklands Flare pullover:    
Excellent pattern by Veera Välimäki. I only had to lengthen the body a couple of inches to achieve perfection with my handspun tweedy yarn. Yes, I know I took the photo on Debbie again. Otherwise you'd still be waiting to see it. Instead I have to wait until the weather cools off enough to wear it. Not like it hasn't been doing the June Gloom thing right into July...  


Melanie said...

Wow, I can't believe you forgot the alkaline modifier. Hahaha, you know I'm joking, right? You stun with your knowledge! And I love the orange colour you achieved. The Intersect sweater is going to be a beauty. And I suspect if you had air-conditioning you'd crank it right up so you can wear your Falklands Flare pullover in true comfort and luxury. Stunning. Finally, I'm glad Thom came to the rescue - excellent fix to a vexing problem.

Sharon in Surrey said...

I gave up on all that 'natural' dyeing when I discovered Kool-aid did the same thing with a lot less fuss. It's pretty hard to get Menopause Purple & Glow-in-the-Dark Green with fungus, grasses & blossoms anyway!! But, Good on You for keeping the Dream alive - you done good!!! Love your bag - amazing what a handy husband can come up with, isn't it??? And your sweater is looking good too. I hope you're proud of yourself. All I've been doing in knitting Frankensocks.

Louisa said...

What? That fiery orange isn't bright enough for you, Sharon? Whew.

Heather said...

The orange sweater is going to be so gorgeous!!

Louisa said...

I sure hope so! Thanks, Heather.