Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Henley Perfected

Having really enjoyed making, and now wearing, Connie Chang Chinchio's Apr├Ęs Surf Hoodie, I decided to make her Henley Perfected. The yarn is 50:50 alpaca:silk, Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, and I got it for a decent price and in a wonderful colour.

As ever, my tension is not quite the same as Connie's and I ended up shelling out for 2mm Addi Turbo Lace circulars, which are fine enough to be bloody annoying challenging.

The Henley Perfected has a lot of stocking stitch to start with, with means it comes along pretty quickly. Just as you're getting bored with alternating rows of plain and purl (yawn) along comes the lace pattern. Trying to make all increases and decreases within the pattern rather than at the very ends of rows is also challenging bloody annoying, but the result's not bad.

The only part I take issue with is the button band. Unless I got the directions wrong, which, let's face it, is pretty likely, you cast off two stitches for the underside of each buttonhole but cast on three stitches for the upper side, leaving more stitches on the needle after making the buttonholes than you had before.

I gamely did this and even I-cord cast off, sewed everything together, blocked the neck and wore the thing, but I still think it's wrong. So wrong I will probably have to undo the stitching, frog back to the button holes and re-do the damned thing. If only I were this much of a perfectionist in almost any other part of my life, but no, I save it all up for handicrafts. Bah!

And of course, the cat had to help. When I blocked the back, on a very damp towel, he insisted on settling on it. There is no way that was comfortable, he was just being a typical feline.

Knitting Pusher

My colleague with the long, skinny feet, who was able to take my unexpectedly long socks off me, has joined the tribe of the obsessed.

First of all she made a headband in garter stitch that her roommate now wears, then she used the rest of the original ball of yarn to make a scarf. Now she has used multi-colour wool to make a really long scarf. Isn't that an impressive early effort?

The next stage of the process of turning her into a fully-fledged knitter is to teach her to purl. With knit and purl mastered you can do everything. Everything is just a variation on those two stitches, or combination of them. Ribbing? Alternating knit and purl on the same row. Stocking stitch/stockinette? Alternating rows of knit and purl. Cables? Hold some stitches to the front or the back while you knit others, then knit the held stitches. And so on, and so on ...