Dove Knits

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Lookie what I finally swatched for!

That's right, it's my dad's custom-designed DNA vest. I think the DNA isn't really obvious, but that might not be a bad thing. Subtle isn't a bad thing on clothes for my dad.

Anyway, I armed myself with this huge swatch (knit mock in the round with strands in the back, AND washed AND blocked!), a generic V-neck vest pattern, and Knitting Workshop by Zimmerman, and set to work.

My swatch measures 18.5 stitches per 4 inches on stockinette. The DNA panel, knit over 20 stitches, is 3.5 inches wide.

I want the chest to measure 43 inches around (my mom measured my dad's favorite vest, and that's what she got). If I were knitting in stockinette, then, I would cast on (43/4)*18.5 = 198.9 stitches, or 200 stitches for the same of ease. (I am planning on working this in the round up to the armholes, then back and forth to shape the armholes and neck.)


There is the DNA panel, which will be front and center and framed by a four-stitch cable on either side. It pulls in alot more than stockingette -- I get 20 st/3.5 inches = 5.7 stitches per inch in the DNA pattern, and 18.5 st/4 inches = 4.6 stitches per inch in stockinette. That means that my vest will pull in quite a bit in the center, so casting on 200 will not be enough.

So. The chest is 43"/2 - 21.5". Of that, approximately 7 inches will be taken up by the cable panel. (This I figured because on either side of the DNA panel I will have k2, p, 4 stitches of cable, p1, k2, p1, return to stockinette. That's 11 stitches per side, or 22 stitches total, in cabling, which, I'm assuming, will pull in almost as much as the 20 stitches of the DNA panel. So 7 inches total.)

Those 7 cabled inches will comprise 42 stitches (22 for side cables, 20 for DNA). That leaves me with 21.5-7 = 14.5 inches to be worked in stockinette.

(14.5"/4)*18.5 = 68 stitches of stockinette for the chest.

68+42 = 110 stitches for the front. The back, however, will not have the cable pattern, and so will need only (21.5/4)*18.5 = 100 stitches. That's 210 stitches total, which is not divisible by 4, so I dropped two stitches to make it 208.

So, I have cast on 208 stitches and am working the ribbing on size 7 needles. Once that measures about 3 inches, I will switch to size 8s, place all kinds of markers, and go to work.

Erm. I think I just confused myself with the math. Am I doing this right? I guess we'll find out. Once I get about halfway up the back, I'll try it on The Husband for fit. He's not too much bigger than Dad, so I'll be able to gauge it from there and frog if need be.

Also, before shaping the armholes, I'm going to lay that sucker flat and see where the side-most stitches are. If they leave 100 stitches for the back and 108 for the front, as I predicted, great, but if not, I'll be able to adjust that before I start working the armholes. Yay for knitting in the round!

UPDATE: Since pre-publishing this post, I decided I didn't like the side cable pattern, and changed it to k2, p2, cable 4, p2, k2, p2, giving me 14 inches. I had the body of the vest all cast on, so I was working with those 108 stitches for the front. That meant that the sides of the front became 30 stitches instead of 33. That goes against my math a bit, but we'll see how it works out. The ribbing around the cables will give me some leeway in terms of size, I think.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007


This thing has been going around lately. I musta caught it.

There are, of course, many weird things about me, but here are the six that everyone else has been posting:

1. I cannot drink coffee in the afternoon, even one cup, because I get sick. I can drink coffee in the morning, and tons of it, and I'll be fine. I can have caffeine in the afternoon in the form of cola or tea, and be fine. I cannot have coffee in the afternoon -- even if I had no caffeine at all in the morning. The exception is if I'm really, really exhausted.

2. Even though I've been vegetarian for most of my adult life, I am not at all a picky eater. I will not, however, eat buckwheat. I hate it. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I can't swallow it, even, and it makes me gag. I will tolerate it IN stuff, as long as I cannot taste it, but other than that, nope. This doesn't sound like a huge issue to y'all, but my family is Russian, and buckwheat is eaten by itself as a side dish, or with milk and sugar as cereal. Ugh.

3. I am, however, a picky sleeper, and will not fall asleep unless I'm arranged very specifically. Namely, I roll myself up in a blanket and sleep more or less on my stomach with a pillow under my belly. Because of this, my husband and I don't share covers. Personally, I think that's good in a marriage ;)

4. I still hate to step on cracks in the sidewalk.

5. Whenever I pass by a wrought iron fence with the points sticking up at the top, I invariably wig myself out by imagining myself being impaled on the points. By my eye sockets. Doesn't matter if the fence is a foot taller than I am and I'd need to be prolpelled into the air in order for this to happen.

6. I hate the feeling of lotion, especially on my hands, and will avoid putting it on as much as possible. In the winter, then, my hands get really, really, really bad.

Ok, now for some crafty content:

Knitting: No real progress here. I've been knitting, but I'm just working on another daisy dress for Baby Niece, and it's pretty boring blogging material. I've completed the back and am currently high enough up the front to have done half the daisy, so hopefully I'll finish this weekend.

Sewing: I discovered sewing patterns. Because, see, I needed another craft to blow money on. Thankfully, right now, sewing is pretty cheap for me because I have a very good fabric stash, mostly
given to me by my mom. She bought it years ago in Russia, so alot of this fabric is my age or maybe just a tad younger. I love the prints.

So to deplete the stash, I bought patterns. I had several, but, well, you can never have too many, right? So I broke my crafting diet rule and bought patterns (in my defense, I had a gift certificate). I love the New Look patterns, because they're alot of bang for the buck, and have some really cute stuff.

Currently, I am sewing the white skirt from this pattern in the navy-and-white-flower print that you can see in the above link. I have completed the top two tiers, and need to hem the bottom tier, put lace on it, attach it, make the elastic casing and put in the elastic and drawstring, and add lace along the tier seams. So, yeah, almost done ;)

I'm thinking of using the super-bright print to make the wrap dress, and this fabric (my favorite) to make the turquoise number here.

Oh, and I'm sure you all are wondering about the results of my vote. I'm gonna keep you in suspense just a bit more!

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Friday, February 09, 2007


Ok, I promised you you'd be able to vote on what sweater I make for myself next, and I'm keeping that promise!

First, the yarn: I have 8 skeins (each with about 223 yds) of Paton's Classic Merino in rich red. I bought it on our honeymoon to make Knitty's Mariah, but quickly decided that I didn't need another hoodie.

I decided that I do want to make a sweater, rather than several smaller objects.

However, narrowing down what sweater to make has been a challenge, and here's where you come in. I am presenting you with contestants. Leave your vote in a comment, along with a reason for going with this sweater (or for not going with another sweater). Feel free to vote for more than one, or against any of them. Write-in votes are welcomed!

EDIT: Thank you to everyone who has brought up this very important point: yardage. What I forgot to tell you was that part of the reason these specific designs were chosen is that I've done the math for all of these, and I either have enough yarn in my 8 skeins, or would need to buy one more skein. I am more than willing to buy another skein, and this yarn is rather ubiquitous, so that won't be a problem. (For reference, I have a total of 1784 yards of this yarn, and a 36" bust. I like my sweaters snug, too, so I'd be making the sweaters right around my chest circumference.)

In no particular order, the contestants are:

1. From September (or October?) 2005 issue of Sandra Magazine.


From Vogue Knitting Fall '06

3. Supernova Pullover from Fall'06 IK

4. From the same issue, Weekend pullover. Twig, I remember you had problems with this one?

5. From the same issue (hey, it was a good issue!), the Breton jacket

6. A classic cabled pullover, such as this one.

See? Indecisive.

Oh, and I also made a scarf for Big Niece:

It's Plymouth Baby Grand alpaca. The pattern doesn't really show, but it's a purled ripple. And it's very soft.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sunshine and daisies

Right now, Chicago has neither sunshine nor daisies.

Nor do we have any degrees Fahrenheit. It's currently around 0F (-17C), and that's the warmest morning we've had since Friday.

So, thankfully, I finished my FIRST FO of 2007: the daisy dress for my big niece.

And a better shot of the colors:

I wove in the ends last night, and was too excited to finally have some knittyness to show y'all that I posted without blocking. It does need a bit of a block, especially the intarsia.

Anyway, the specs:

Pattern: Daisy dress from Adorable Knits for Tots, of course.
Yarn: Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet size 3 mercerized cotton thread (approximately equivalent to sports weight yarn; chosen because I had a gift certificate to Joann's and Paton's Glace didn't have fun enough colors
Needles: My grandmother's old needles, around US size 2. Very long and pokey
Notes: I followed the stitch directions for the smallest size to get the 1-2 year size. Row directions were followed for the 1-2 year size. It's a biiit too small for the 1-2 year size, but it's close enough that a block could stretch it. Yes, I should have blocked before seaming. I used a crochet edging on the neck and sleeves rather than a knit one, and may redo one of the armholes because it's not very tidy.

What a boring knit. Lots and lots of st st, on small needles, in stiff yarn. Actually, I liked this cotton thread -- it's shiny and lustrous, and produces a nice, even fabric. But cotton + size 2 needles = ow. The needles tore a hole in my yarn-guiding left index finger, and the threat was a bit rough on my fingers. Of course, now I'm making a matching dress for my baby niece. This one will be green, with turquoise trimming. I'm making up the stitch numbers as I go along to make it approximately 6-month-old-sized.

The intarsia, though, was fun. It was my first time using intarsia on a garment, and my second time using it, period. I like it! It's a mess, though, and there were lots of ends to weave in. But since it's just a tiny little area, this was a good beginner intarsia pattern, I think.

Anyway, hopefully I'll have the other dress to show you soon, and quite possibly a sewing FO, too!

Oh, and check out the results of my closet deconstruction. After making the skirt from pants, I just couldn't stop, so I resized two baggy tees and cut up two shrunken, felted sweaters into shrugs.

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