manon of the fall done, in the fall even

My Manon is done and I really like it. (Ravelry details.)

Here are a few more pictures, including one of how I did the hook and closures. Initially I sewed them directly to the knitting but then they pulled something awful when hooked so I sewed on a strip of bias tape and sewed the closures to that. I think it looks much better.

manon is done!close up of the bias tape holding on the closureslove those cables on the skirt

I enjoyed knitting the skirt of this sweater most of all. I am already looking forward to my next Norah Gaughan pattern.

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it’s all seasons cotton all the time around here

You saw that I got All Seasons Cotton for my birthday and I have been knitting Manon in All Seasons Cotton. Since I finished the knitting portion of Manon I cast on for another sweater for Niels in All Seasons Cotton. It's a cream and green striped cabled sweater with a hood and a kangaroo pocket. That's a lot of knitting. Good thing he's relatively small, and I love him lots. The back is coming along nicely. I think I need three more stripes before I'm ready to shape the underarms.

I've been sort of completely ignoring Manon. I sewed in the first sleeve and it stinks. I need to take it out and redo it. I think I need to practice more on my sewing in of set-in sleeves. Rogue worked nicely but so far I haven't found it that easy or fun to do. Bah.

I also tried to crochet a hat for my friend's daughter this week and it was enormous! I'm having an off week, other than Niels' sweater, which continues to be lovely, I think.

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fixed manon and yarn guilt

I ripped back and reknit the top of Manon.

I think it is much improved. I am so pleased that I've actually cut yarn and woven in ends. The back of the neck seam is also sewn. I've knit one sleeve but my gauge is totally off. I knit the stockinette portion of the body combination style which is different than my circular gauge, apparently. It appears to be looser because I have 4.5 st to the inch on the body but 5.5 on the sleeve. I'm reknitting the sleeve on larger needles, or rather on even larger needles. I had already gone up one needle size.

On the stash front, I finally fell down on my deal with Kristi and now owe her $5. I went into Purlescence on Thursday for a bit of knit night and Sandi and Nathania presented me with bags and bags of Panda Soy to go through. It's Crystal Palace's new sock yarn, 49% bamboo, 33% soy and 18% elastic nylon. Gorgeous colors and so incredibly soft. I thought I had a bit more leeway than I do, apparently because these three tiny balls put me over the edge. Oops.

THe color is even more gorgeous in person and I don't regret it one bit.

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two steps forward, you know the rest

Manon was progressing very quickly, the peplum was done a few days ago and I picked up the stitches and knit up. I made some changes to try to accommodate the unbalanced aspect of my bust measurement. (There's more in the front than the back.) It wasn't enough.

As you can see I got all the way to the shoulders. The loose bit on my shoulder is the back of the collar which needs a three needle bind off and to be sewn down. I didn't want to do that part, though, until I was certain that I was going to keep it as is. Right now, I am certain I am not. I took it in to Purlescence  so I could get Sandi's advice. She's given me good tips on where to change the shape of a garment before and she came through again. I have a plan now which, unfortunately, involves ripping back to the ribbing above the peplum. Here's the plan:

1. Plain st st after picking up for 0.5 inch (with the decreases I already added in at the back).
2. Then 2 inches worth of short row bust darts in the front.
3. The total heigh of the st st (aside from the bust darts) should be 3 inches.
4. Don't forget to redo the decreases of 4 st total (2 in 2 rows on each front) right before underarm bind off.

That might not make sense if you haven't knit this pattern or don't live in my head, or maybe both? If not, sorry, let me try to explain. I knit the size of the peplum (the triangles) that I thought would fit my bust. I know my bust measurement is skewed to the front so after I picked up the designated number of stitches for the back and both fronts I decreased evenly across the back so that section has the right number of stitches for one size down. Then, after knitting what I thought would be a big enough bust, I decreased four stitches in each front to make them match the backs after I knit the portion after the armhole. If I hadn't done that the armhole would have been too big and I wouldn't have had the right number at the shoulder when I got to the three needle bind off. Knitting the backs and fronts in all one piece and finishing the shoulders with a three needle bind off were things I added in to avoid more seaming and also because I'm not sure what is to be gained by having that short side seam.

So, that's what I've been doing recently. Lots and lots of Manon. In stash busting news I sold two balls of All Seasons Cotton to someone on Ravelry because she needed the dyelot I had, which brought my total used or destashed since starting my deal with Kristi to 1447 yards. I also think I have been totalling the wrong column in the stash spreadsheet Ravelry exports for me. No wonder it seems like I didn't have enough yarn! According to the most recent export I have 59,145.10 yards or 33.6 miles of yarn. That's a big difference, eh? Luckily, as soon as I'm done with Manon that will be one mile less. I'm going to have to stick to this deal for a while. What I'd really like to do is stick to it until all of my yarn fits into the four bins I had stacked in the living room and isn't expanding all over the house anymore.

Wish me luck!

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sokjes, dyeing and manon

I finished the socks for my niece. They turned out as anklets, but I think they are cute. I hope she likes them. They are the Rushing Rivulet socks from New Pathways for Sock knitters. (Ravelry details)

Last week Anabel and I had a mini dyeing party. She wanted to dye some curtains and I had some undyed Panda Cotton and Henry's Attic Soie Naturelle that I wanted to dye and some Henry's Attic Riviera that I wanted to overdye because the hanks were two different shades and I didn't like the color. Here are before pictures, notice my very cool homemade PVC niddy noddy!

PVC niddy noddybefore

And here are after pictures. The very dark purple is the Riviera and the orangey-red is the Soie Naturelle. The two two-tone hanks are Panda Cotton.

hand dyed silk, oxbloodoverdyed cotton, imperial purplehand dyed panda cotton

These aren't real after pictures because the yarn is still. Not. DRY! Right now they are spread out on a drying rack with a fan underneath and they are progressing much more quickly towards being dry. I like the purple of the Riviera (sorry, Cookie) but I'm a bit disappointed in the silk and the Panda Cotton. Both have lightened significantly as they've dried. Ah well, it's my first try. Maybe I'll get better, if I get up the nerve to try it again. The rinsing was endless.

In other news, I started a new sweater project. On Thursday evening I was talking to Anabel about my failed sweater projects. Well, failed as in I don't wear them: Tomato and Ribbi Pulli. She encouraged me to think about the projects that I've made that I do like and wear, in other words: Rogue. She asked me what it was about Rogue that I liked so much. I've decided that two of the biggest selling points about Rogue for me are that it's All Seasons Cotton, which I love knitting with, and it's a cardigan, which I find easier to wear. So after talking to her I went home and started a new cardigan in All Seasons Cotton, Norah Gaughan's Manon. So far, I love it. I hope my love continues. I think it will, I also really love this color and how the yarn looks with the cables and texture.

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