Tag Archives: central park hoodie

Central Park Hoodie!

Sure has been quiet around here. I’ll bet you thought I fell off the earth.

cph

Nah, I’ve just been busy. Excuse the wrinkly sleeves. I’ve been wearing this all day, because it feels good and I love it.

Central Park Hoodie, pattern by Heather Lodinsky, knit in Louet Riverstone worsted, six skeins on US size 6 and 8 needles. Started September 16, finished October 28. A fun knit!

Here’s the back. I made it a couple inches taller than the pattern specified, because I didn’t want it to flatten my hair. I continued the cable up the hood, because I liked it.

elf

Somewhere along the way, I became a hooker. The Yarn Harlot wrote a post about stretchy necklines that aren’t bound off, just like this one. Of course I read the post after knitting the hood. She recommends crocheting a slip stitch crochet line across where the bind off should be, to stabilize the stretchiness of the fabric. As you can see, it left a little line on the outside, but no more than a bind off and pick up would have left.

hook hood

Here’s what it looks like on the inside.

hooked

It took two trips to the Button Emporium to get this finished. Here are the buttons I chose first, but was swayed away by the beauty of another. When I started to sew the others on, I could see that they were too heavy, weight-wise, and would make the button band too droopy. So it was back to the Button Emporium to get the original pick. They were closed on Sunday and Monday, so it’s been a long wait to finish.

buttons

It’s hard to see the detail on the buttons; I had to underexpose the pictures because they’re so shiny!

button

Here’s the other button, actually a smaller version of it. I really love the way they look with this yarn, and I have a leftover skein that’s going to be something that needs them!

button flower

All in all, I love this sweater. I think I’m going to be wearing it a lot. The sleeves are a little long, so I’m wearing them turned them up at the cuff. In my chilly office I can uncuff them and they’re kind of like fingerless gloves, so they may get to stay that long. Or I may decide to cut them off and refinish them, and you know I can!

The Boss

That’s me. I am the boss of my knitting. I snipped a thread in the left front, between the armhole shaping and the neck shaping, ripped back 10 rows, and then grafted the two pieces back together.

graft

If I look really hard, I can tell where I did it, just above the white line.

graft line

But I think it looks pretty good! This was definitely better than ripping out the whole hood and shoulder seam.

I’ve grafted sock toes before, so I had a basic understanding of how it works. The CPH pieces were like a very big sock toe, but with 8 purl stitches amid all the stockinette. It would make sense that the purl stitches would be worked in the reverse manner of the knit stitches. If you usually start by going in as if to knit, go in as if to purl, and vice versa. Finish each stitch by doing the opposite of what you did to start. Knit goes to purl; purl goes to knit.  Mind-bender!  Woolly Wormhead has an excellent tutorial on stockinette, reverse stockinette, and garter stitch grafting. From there it was a small leap of faith to a knit and purl combination.

It’s so logical. I’m pretty pleased with myself for figuring it out.

If you ever have to do this, don’t forget that you can only rip down; you can’t rip up into the knitting. Choose your cut accordingly.

Onward!

This Old Hoodie: CPH edition

I used to watch a lot of This Old House back in the early ’90s. Bob Vila and Norm Abram would hammer (hah!) home the notion that you should measure twice, cut once. Good advice. But I think for knitting, it’s measure twice, then seam.

I finished the pieces for the Central Park Hoodie last week, steam blocked the pieces, and used a three needle bind off to join the shoulders. Beautiful. I picked up the stitches for the hood, and knit away. I decided to keep the cable going up the back of the hood, although I don’t know that I’ll ever wear the hood. I don’t wear hats because they mess up my hair!

hood

It looks really tall, and it is. I was supposed to knit for 11 inches before shaping the top, but I knit for 14 because I wanted the hood to be a bit loose and hangy, like my favorite sweatshirt hoodie.

hoodback

I like the way the cables come together at the top of the hood. I opted to do a three needle bind off at the top, instead of seaming it together later as directed. I thought about grafting the two edges together so that there would be no seam, but I hate grafting, so no go.

missing

Here’s the front, but wait. Something’s missing.

missing2

Yes, it’s the left front that you see on the side there. When I tried on the hood, something felt a little off. The left front armhole is one cable repeat longer than the right. I must have forgotten to turn the counter on the tens side somewhere in there. Carp! One repeat is 10 rows is almost 2 inches of too much fabric.

I thought about it for a while. Plan A: Ignore the whole thing, and ease the extra fabric in when I sew in the sleeve. But I would KNOW, and that would make me feel lopsided. That’s a lot of extra fabric. It would probably pooch out over my chest. One-sided poochiness would NOT be attractive.

Plan B: I could rip out the entire hood (a week’s worth of knitting; there’s a lot of fabric there), unseam the shoulders, rip down the front, and re-work from there. Heartbreaking.

Or Plan C: I could snip the front in the armhole, pick up the stitches above, and rip down 9 rows below, and then GRAFT the whole thing back together. Did I mention that I HATE GRAFTING? But I think it’s the least painful option, so I snipped, and that’s where I am, so far. At least the error wasn’t above the neck shaping; that would be an automatic Plan B.

I figure if it doesn’t look good when I graft it back together, I can always go back to plan B. Excuse me while I go cry in my coffee. And look for a good grafting tutorial on the trusty interwebs. My Vogue Knitting book was only slightly helpful. Nothing about grafting purls!

The partial monty

Monteagle Bag, that is.

monty

I’m not sure why I want to make this, but I do. Maybe just to do something different. I started it using the method Kay Gardiner suggested, to eliminate the seam at the bottom. Worked like a charm. It became clear that I’d need two circular needles for a while, since there was no way this was going to go around my 26 inch circular yet. But I’m living in the lap of luxury: Lantern Moon ebony and Lantern Moon rosewood. Rough life, eh? I think on the next round I can make it on just the ebony needles. They’re my favorite.

The new book is lots of fun, with great patterns and great patter. Not as many square or garter stitch objects, but definitely the same sense of fun and adventure! And if you’re not ready to commit, Ann & Kay have offered the bag pattern for free, too, to celebrate the publication of the book. I’ll bet you could even make the bag out of Peaches and Creme dishcloth cotton, if you’re feeling nostalgic for the first book.

The Central Park Hoodie is coming along nicely; back, fronts, and one sleeve are finished. I took a quick picture outside late this afternoon. The lighting isn’t great, but you get the idea. The first sleeve is just peeking into the far left of the picture. I love the double cable that runs up the sleeve, just like the one in the center of the back.

pieces

Knit on!

Cables without a cable needle

I was perfectly happy making cables with a cable hook. I’ve been doing it that way for 30 years! But Saturday morning I was ready to try something new. I poked around the web and found Grumperina’s tutorial, and it worked pretty well. But there was a point in the process where it felt like it might all go kerflooey if I had a klutz moment. I figured practice would make perfect, and I successfully completed four out of four cable crosses. But I was still a bit uneasy.

When I was at OFFF, Chris Was showing me her current cabley project, and I asked her if she uses a cable needle. Nope. So she showed me the way she does it. I love it! So much that I had to take pictures of the process. Here I am, ready to make a six stitch cable, left over right (cable needle would go to the back, if I were using one). Yarn in back, since the cable will be made with knit stitches.

step1

Insert the right needle tip into the second set of three stitches.

step2

Pinch the six stitches at their base. Slide the left needle out of the six stitches. (The right needle is still in the second set of three stitches.)

step3

Insert the left needle into the first three stitches (the ones hanging out without a needle!), and then slip the three slipped stitches from the right needle back onto the left needle. (All stitches are slipped purlwise.)

step4

All positioned and ready to knit!

step5

Knit, and voila! A completed cable. I never felt like I was going to drop any stitches.

stepdone

For a cable that twists in the other direction (cable needle would be held in front), the right needle would be inserted into the second set of thee stitches from the back side of the knitting.

back cross

Again, pinch the stitches at their base, slide out the left needle. Insert the left needle into the first three stitches (the ones hanging out without a needle), and then slip the three slipped stitches from the right needle back onto the left needle. (All stitches are slipped purlwise.)

back cross 2

Easy as pie!

And as promised, here’s the shawl pin I bought from Toolman! It’s all bubinga; the light color of the leaf is from applying heat. Gorgeous, n’est-ce-pas?

shawl pin

Here’s a closeup of the leaf.

shawl pin detail

It’s for my Shetland Triangle, which you can see under it. I love it!

Knittylocks and the three starts

Once upon a time, there was a knitter named Knittylocks.  She believed fervently in the value of swatching, and dutifully made gauge swatches for each project. Except washcloths. (I mean, really.)

She decided to knit a Central Park Hoodie. She swatched a 40 stitch, multi-row swatch with US size 8 needles. (No tiny gauge swatches for her, no way. Been there, done that, paid the price.) 4 stitches per inch. Too big. She swatched with US size 7 needles. 4.25 stitches per inch. Just right. Onward!

She cast on the 94 stitches for the back of the hoodie, and knit 4 inches of ribbing on size 5 needles before switching to the 7 for the body. After 16 rows, she had an uneasy feeling. It looked small. Sure, it could be blocked severely to the required dimensions, but the fabric felt a bit stiff, too. And so she measured. 5 stitches per inch. Too small. Ouch.

US7

Undaunted, she moved up two needle sizes (because one never makes too much difference), and cast on again. After four inches of ribbing on size 7 needles, and 16 rows on size 9, she had that uneasy feeling again. The fabric looked loosey-goosey. And so she measured. 4 stitches per inch. Too big. Ouch. (There’s not even a picture of this one.)

Now Knittylocks was beginning to get crabby. She ripped out version 2, and cast on a third time. Three’s a magic number, right? Four inches of ribbing on size 6 needles, and 16 rows on size 8. 4.25 stitches per inch. Just right! And so she lived happily ever after. Or at least so far.

US8

That’s one evening’s knitting in the picture above. Think how far along Knittylocks would be if she had been on gauge the first time?

Gauge makes me crazy. It’s not just the size of the needle that makes my gauge. It’s how tight or loose I’m carrying the yarn on the needles. That can vary from day to day, or how I did the ribbing before I got to the pattern section. I think the size 7 start felt tight on the needles the whole time, tighter than the gauge swatch. And then when I started on 9′s, I was trying to be relaxed, but was too relaxed. Stitches were falling off the needles. The 8′s are the right size for a not too tight, not too loose feeling on the needles. Now why did it take so long to get there?

Here are starts 1 and 3 for comparison. Note the widths.

7and8

But all is well now. Knit on!

Weekend update

We spent last weekend at Black Butte in Central Oregon, with a couple other families. The house was spectacular; there was room for the 12 of us but could easily have accommodated more.

The back of the house overlooked a lake.

IMG_1945

Here’s the view from the hammock:

PIC-0151

It was a pretty busy weekend, biking, swimming, hiking. We stopped at the Camp Sherman general store:

IMG_1977

Picturesque and well stocked. The gas pumps are just for show; they only have three digits, and one of them is a decimal!

The headwaters of the Metolius River are here. They come from an underground spring, but they don’t look very impressive at the head. The river is known for its excellent fly fishing. We hiked from the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery to these springs, which come out of the river bank. It’s a strange and beautiful sight, a water fall without a visible stream behind it.

IMG_2031

I knit three tiny hats over the weekend:

hats

I re-strung my ankle bracelet, which was previously strung on thread but had frayed. Now it’s on wire:

anklet1

And I made a new one, which includes a shell from last month’s trip to the British Virgin Islands.

anklet2

I also started the back of my Central Park Hoodie.

cph1

Aside from my usual angst about gauge, it’s going pretty well. It’s blockable to the right size, but knowing me, I may start it again on larger needles. Even though I did make a gauge swatch. Sweater starts usually end up being my real gauge swatch!

All in all, a great weekend!

It’s all about purple…

Remember how summer was all about blue for me? Blueberries, blue February Lady sweater, blue hydrangeas? And a little pink: Josephine, and the pink February Baby sweater.

New season, new color. Now it’s all about purple. Makes sense; blue + pink = purple!

Here’s what I’ve been working on: purple plums. Or technically, Italian prunes. I picked these at Vickie’s house when I was at her block party on Saturday. Kind of blue purple, but purple nonetheless.

plums

I made them into two batches of jam. It’s funny how it’s red purple after processing, especially since the flesh of the fruit is yellow and the skin is blue! I used MCP pectin, which comes with a simpler recipe than the Sure-Jell variety. (No pre-cooking the plum mixture.) I know you can make jam without purchased pectin, but that would take a lot longer, and I’ve been using this process for years. Now I have 20 jars of plum jam, a taste of summer all winter long. And it’s great for gifts, too.

plumjam

I rode my bike over to Twisted this afternoon to buy this yarn. It’s Louet Riverstone worsted; the color is eggplant. It’s a red purple, although I tend to think of eggplant as blue purple, like the plums in the first picture.

eggplant

The yarn is for the Central Park Hoodie, which is the next knitalong at Twisted. It was my favorite out of the items up for vote, so how could I not make it? I voted for it! I admit that I may have been swayed by TurtleGirl’s CPH.

I’ll be swatching tonight at Knit Nite.

And since there’s just a bit of summer left, I’m using the leftovers from the blue February Lady sweater, and playing with the idea of a gull wing lace fingerless mitt. Besides, purple has blue in it, right? I’m transitioning!