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Drachen Is Finished!

And I love it! It is a beautiful sweater, and I just love everything about it. I love the little golden dragons flying around the bottom. They remind me of the gold dragons and the tiny little gold fire lizards in Anne McCaffrey's Pern books.

Drachen complete

Drachen by Heddi Craft; Washable Wool DK yarn by Swans Island

It isn't blocked yet; it is superwash, so I'll put it in the washer and then on my woolly board to dry, and then it will be blocked. Looks like we are going to have chilly weather for awhile, so I'll get to wear it! I can't wait!



French Riviera

Just the name evokes images of Grace Kelley, Cary Grant, and Sean Connery; of turquoise beaches, sunshine, and picturesque sails in the sunset; of people sipping cool, delicious drinks, wearing sunglasses and bikinis,  and having good figures. Ahhhh, the life.

330px-Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo   330px-Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo   330px-Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo

When I ran across this lovely shawl called French Riviera from DROPS Design, it gripped me. So lovely!

French Riviera

I queued it in Ravelry, set it to be knit with some fingering yarn that I had, and left it to stew for a few years.

Then I came back to my queue this year, saw French Riviera and remembered how much I had liked it. But then I saw the yarn requirement was for lace weight yarn. Crap. So I set it aside again.

A little while later, after I had forgotten French Riviera completely, I saw that Knitwhits Freia Fibers was having a sale on OOAK colors and colors that they didn't want to make or didn't work for some reason, and they were such a good deal that I picked up a couple of them. They were beautiful when I caked them up. I looked into what favorite patterns I had, and found French Riviera again! Wooohooo!

On Easter, I cast on, and I knit the whole stockinette section in fits and starts, and started the lace section.This pink to dark pink to dark gray to light gray was perfect for this shawl.


Then I noticed that my yarn was running a tiny bit low, and I checked the yarn requirement: it needed 874 yards of lace weight yarn, and I had but one cake of Freia Gradient Ombré Merino Lace, which didn't have any ball band as it was a OOAK (which I totally knew before I bought it; I was warned!). Ombré Merino Lace had only 712 yards.


Sigh. Well, I thought. I'll just knit as far as I can with this, and then I will decide if I should just bind off when I run out of yarn, or get more lace weight yarn in a light gray that sort of matches. So I kept knitting, and as I knit, I imagined that I had thought there was around 900 yards in the ball. It helped. As I knit, the  dark gray and the light gray seemed to magically slow down. So then I just imagined that it would be fine, just fine, I'd have enough yarn. It would be fine.

And it was!

French Riviera done back
French Riviera done back

And I even had 5 grams left over!

Bits left over

Imagination is a powerful thing. BELIEVE!



Bad Sweater, Bad Knitter. BAD.

Actually the sweater is a lovely, simple sweater and I love it; it's a great design, Drachen by Heddi Craft on Knitty issue 65, Deep Fall 2018.

The problem is there is a small error in the pattern, and I am apparently a fluffy-brained knitter who doesn't know how to read my pattern in time to stop myself from making big mistakes. I have always said (when people talk about me knitting fast) that it just means I can make bigger mistakes faster. I proved it.

I cast  on and zoomed up the body. I am using Swans Island superwash yarn, so I wanted to alternate two strands of yarn to mix the colors better. Everything was going swimmingly, and I split the front from the back at the underarm, read the directions for the next bit which said "Work even in St st for 19[21, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29] rows or until work measures approx. 9.25[9.75, 10.25, 10.25, 10.5, 11.25, 11.5] inches" and proceeded to knit for 10.25 inches.


Astute readers will have seen that 10.25 INCHES of knitting is wayyyyyy more than 23 rows. Way more. But I blew right through that part, because reading is a skill that I HAVE NOT MASTERED YET (despite having a B.S. in English), and I merrily knit along til I reached 10.25 inches. That's when I read the next part.

I realized my mistake when I read "Work even in St st until piece measures 6.75[7.25, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches".

After I got through swearing, I had to figure out how far to rip back, because although I had knit a gauge swatch and got the right number of stitches per inch, my row gauge was off by a good bit, but it didn't really matter because the shaping wasn't row dependent (probably why I ignored the rows earlier).


For my size, D and E add up to 10.25". C is 7". So the amount I should have knit to the neck shaping was actually 3.25", which meant I had to rip out seven frigging inches and there were two damn strands of yarn and it was going to tangle and I  ONLY HAVE ONE HAND.


Sooooooooo I took my trusty miniscule US size 0 needle, and threaded it through the stitches at 3.25".


I unraveled seven inches carefully, as I wanted to avoid tangling everything badly. Then I wound up the two balls, which took some time because there was a lot of moving things in and out every time they snagged. When it was ready to continue knitting forward again, I put the whole damn thing in time out for about a week, maybe more. Every time I looked at it, the dragons looked forlorn.

With a sigh, and after letting it stew for a bit, I started to knit Drachen again, knitting the right front and the left front, and started the back.

Dammit! Right off the bat, the directions say "Work even in St st until piece measures 6.75[7.25, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches". I could have made the back first and then I would not only have had to rip out only 3.25 inches, but I also wouldn't have to knit the whole back over again!  Arghhhhh! WHAT. AN. IDIOT!!!

So what has this taught me?

  1. Sometimes, even in simple patterns, there is a tiny little error.
  2. Read the pattern.

The real reason I was mad is because it was ultimately my own damn fault, not the designer or Knitty. I love the design, and it really is very simple to knit, and it is fun, too. I just am brainless. (Technically only half brainless, but oh well, whatever).


Wish I could take Pogo's advice and hide my head under my tail!

And yes. The back is almost done.





Knitting with the Fishes

Back in February (I think) I got the On the Round Signature Sock club yarn that was called Fish Bowl. I of course did not take a picture of it, but this is what is left:


I love this yarn. It's like a little ball of delight that makes me happy.

First, I made Swedish Socks  by Spillyjane (US $6.00) using On the Round's Fish Bowl and Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic's Caribbean Happy Hour. They were fun to knit!

Swedish Fish Socks

Swedish Fish Close Up

Then I found a free hat pattern that I had to try because it was very pretty, and I could use the rest of my Fish Bowl, and it was a FREE PATTERN: Gluma Beanie by Tabitha Jarvis.


Hey, I just found a picture of the hat's beginning that shows the yarn better!


Actually the yarn has just a hint of pale green throughout it that for some reason my iPhone is ignoring. Pffft. But trust me, it is beautiful!

So that is what I've been doing, besides working sort of half-heartedly on the Drachen sweater which I am still mad at .... but that is another story.


Drachen in timeout. Bad sweater, bad.

Pogo is mad at the sweater too.