What I did on my summer vacation

I doubt that anyone wants to hear the whole list, so I won’t inflict that on you. I greatly enjoyed the alarm-less morning wakeups and mostly unscheduled days! I got quite a few of my projects started, and some of them finished. I love my new kitchen faucet, and also enjoy the automatic watering system (phase I) in the rabbit barn! The drum carder project is still in the works. While I didn’t get the back steps built, I did get the lumber out. Does that count? I haven’t finished making arrangements for all the storm damage repair, either. Funny how I couldn’t seem to find the time to make some of those phone calls… But I did find time to hang out with my daughters (individually) and my grandson!

I had a discussion with my younger daughter the other day about why I enjoy tinkering / fixing / building / solving things. I suspect that it’s a combination of inheritance and early example, not through any effort of my own. My mother was very independent and capable, and my father was an inventor and machinist, as is my brother. I didn’t fully realize until my twenties that not everyone can do mental rotation, and found that it seems to be much less common in females than in males. It’s like built-in CAD (computer aided design), where you take a 3-D image and rotate it to see all sides – but in your head. I think all of those things help with knitting design, too. I will try all kinds of ideas in knitting, but generally run through them in my head before spending hands-on time, discarding ideas that don’t make it past my mind’s eye.

The down side of it is that now I have two more sweater designs in various stages in my head! One is mostly finished and ready to start putting on paper; the other is based on a color progression, but its shape is still vague. And I already had plenty of projects waiting in the wings, not to mention the ones that are currently in progress. *sigh*

I did get some knitting done, but not as much as you might expect. Still, Ithilien is rolling right along, considering the amount of time it takes per round. I’m now working on shaping above the waist. Based on measurements from my duct-taped self (with pictures like those on the web, I figure I’m pretty blackmail-proof), I know how much I need to increase. The brocade leaf pattern definitely does not lend itself to short-row shaping, so all the increases are done at the side ‘seam’ – a column of single purl stitches that disappears into the fabric.

Increases on both sides of the side 'seam'

Increases on both sides of the 'seam'

The rate of increase on the front sides is greater than on the back sides. In the photo above, the gold markers on the needle are, from left to right, the back side increases, the side ‘seam’, and the front side increases. The difference will be decreased on the fronts after the armhole bind-off, so front and back will be the same width at the shoulder seams. This would probably end up looking rather awkward in woven fabric, but should work fine in knitted fabric. Another advantage to this kind of shaping is that it leaves the center front and back straight, where the leaf pattern meets the cabled columns.

I don’t recall ever having run across this shaping method, so if anyone is aware of patterns that use it, I’d appreciate that information! It seems to be working well (so far). Here’s the progress to date, laid out to show the effect of the increases.

The effect of increasing above the waist

The effect of increasing above the waist

I also got fed up with the messy-looking bottom edge – see this one and this one, and stopped to knit the hem in blues/greens/blues. Of course, it hasn’t been sewn down yet, so is currently waiting in a neat self-storing roll until finishing time, with the live stitches slipped onto purple yarn.

The hem, temporarily unrolled

The hem, momentarily unrolled

It is mitered at the front edges, where it will eventually meet the matching front facings. The size 1 needles made the knitting nice and trim, and enough smaller than the body to lie smoothly on the inside without adding much bulk. The color changes were not only for appearance’s sake – they also kept me from going loony on the mind-numbing 9 stitches-per-inch rows!

So it’s back to work. I can’t say that I’m ready for the vacation to be over, but I am perfectly willing to re-introduce myself to all the really nice people I work with.

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One Response to What I did on my summer vacation

  1. heidi says:

    the pattern is really coming along beautfully!

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