Monday, August 18, 2008

The closest thing to actually going to Hong Kong?

Well, hey, look what's in the newest issue of The Inside Loop:

Mongkok Cardigan
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic, 7 balls
Needles: 4.0mm
Pattern: my own! Available here at The Inside Loop

Background: I actually knit this last year during the last months in Dublin. I wrote up the pattern, but was having lots of trouble with grading the waffle brioche pattern on the bib for different sizes. The math just didn't want to cooperate, which is rare for me. But I really liked the bib detail and wanted to put it into a pattern.

That's how the Pintuck T-shirt came about. Mindful of the math-wrestling, I chose a simple twisted rib for the bib in the t-shirt, and managed to work through the sizing with few problems.

After that was done, I went back and took a fresh look at the Mongkok Cardigan. I tried a different way of knitting the bib, and found that the math came a teeny bit easier with that change. While I was at it, I re-wrote several other major parts of the pattern.

Have you ever tried to reconstruct a knit six months after you knit it? There was lots and lots of swatching. So much so that I could probably have just knit another cardi.

Notes: This will make a great, versatile cardigan for chillier weather. It's cozily fuzzy in this mohair, but plain wool would give a lovely, classic look. If you want a really fancy, evening-appropriate cover-up, this would be unbeatable in silk.

Like nearly all my knits, this piece is an exercise in short rows. Armscye, back and front necklines are done in short rows, so no extra finishing on those edges.

Edges are hemmed to give a clean, finished look. Unlike the Pintuck T-shirt, the bib here is knit as you go on the cardigan fronts. There's no bind-off then picking up of stitches to work the bib later.

I really like this cardi, and I'm so happy I have the chance to share it through The Inside Loop.

This is why I don't buy from the internet

Well, not really the internet, but mail order, anyway.

Last week, I found myself in need of a large amount of a certain yarn, and fairly quickly. I asked around, then bought from a place where I'd bought in person before. I called them to order on Monday and they said it should be with me by the end of the week. Well, it's now a week.

Where's my yarn?!

The thing is, it's not like a week is very long to wait when you order something. But in this case, I need to get this project knitted by early September. Even if that were not the case, once I've bought something, I want it now.

I could have bought similar yarn in London or Southampton. It would have cost probably twice as much. So now I'm left to wonder...would that extra money have been worth it to have had the extra week to knit it?

As someone said: You can have good and fast, or fast and cheap, or good and cheap, but not all three.

I want my fecking yarn!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Knitting to come

The problem with secret knitting is -duh- that I can't blog about it. The other big problem with it is that it is normally deadline knitting, so I don't even have time to knit other things that I *can* blog about. Thank goodness for the long train commute, I tell you.

Finally, though, finally!, one of the projects I've been working on will see the light of day, with the impending publication of the third issue of The Inside Loop.

If you don't know about it, or haven't browsed through their first couple of issues, go do it now. You'll dig it. Take my word for it. Lovely patterns, knit with yarns available in the UK- so you don't have to trawl t'internet and order it from overseas, collecting carbon miles. (Not to mention playing the postal service lottery and HM Customs obstacle course.)

I'm so happy that knitters in this corner of the world have more options for patterns and knitting information. And I'm so excited that I can contribute to it.

But I won't tell you what it is. You'll have to stalk the site until Issue 3 is published in a week or so.