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Mystery Sock Darner of the Week!

That's no mystery, that's Sven.

SvenSocks0304.jpg

Why he darns machine-made socks though, is a mystery to me. But, hey, whatever. It's not like he's asking me to do it. The sight of him bending over a thread, needle, and a pair of machine-made socks caused me to think. I make socks and I never darn their holes. My opinion is, why fix the holes when you can use it as an excuse to buy more yarn?

So, in the interest of sharing, I ask all of you, dear readers: do you darn your holes? [Here's where I should get all clever and got to some online place where I can create my own poll. Nope. Let's go low tech. If you care to answer, please do so in the comments.]

A Sweater for the Birthday Girl

I would like to take a moment here to wish our Miss Kate a happy first birthday. Way to go, girl! Can't wait to see some pictures from the big day.

It was a big day here this weekend as I finished and bound off Kate's sweater. And that's when it hit me. This thing is too darn short. Sure, kids this age are a little stubby (sorry, Kate, but it's true) but this would be a little extreme. And, as cute as Kate's belly button is, I'm not sure about a sweater that allows her to flash that belly button to all the world. I mean, what's the point of a sweater that doesn't cover your stomach? How's that supposed to keep you warm?

KatesShortSweater0821.jpg

I was wrapping my brain around the idea of frogging back the shoulders, removing the sleeves, knitting a few more inches, and reattaching the sleeves. Basically, redoing the entire top of the sweater. I have the time. Kate can't think about wearing a sweater for at least two more months. Sure it would be a pain, but as all knitters know, sometimes that's the only solution.

Not the only solution, however, in this instance. I can kitchener, can't I? Couldn't I simply knit a few inches of stripes, then graft that extra length onto the bottom of the sweater? I could!

In fact, that's what I'm doing right now:

ExtraLength0821.jpg

Some readers might wonder why I can't remove the seed-stitch waistband, pick up the live stitches at the bottom and knit down from there. I certainly could do that, if I didn't care about seeing a jog in my stitches. Think about it. Stockinette stitch is a series of Vs on its right side VVVVVVVVVVV. When the Vs are upright, so's your knitting. If I suddenly switch the direction of the stockinette, I'll have to switch the direction of the Vs. Visually, the difference will be slight, but it'll be there.

And that won't do for Kate! Besides, grafting is so much fun.

Build a Better Mitten

Or glove, or whatever you want to call it:

I think that I should change the name of this blog from Subway Knitter to Subway Knit Fixer. That's all that I seem to do lately. Knit something, fix it. Knit something else, fix that.

Not that I'm complaining. Actually, I'm grateful that I know what to do and that I'm not afraid to try it. The way I figure, the garment isn't acceptable without the fix so the worst that could happen is that the garment won't be acceptable after the fix, either. More often than not, the additional modifications improve the garment.

ABetterMitten.jpg

This is most definitely true here.

Let's Fool Around With These Numbers

After Monday's post about fixing the cuffs on my Urban Necessity gloves, I got to thinking about how the gloves fit. While overall the fit is not bad, it's not great for me either. I wonder what's happening. Did I overestimate the size of my hands? Did the yarn stretch (a possibility)? Did my gauge change? Do I suddenly like form-fitting gloves?

Whatever the cause, the mittens feel a little baggy. While that's fine on some days, I want to see if I can make a closer-fitting pair. I decided to knit another pair as an experiment, incorporating some of the changes I thought of while knitting the first pair.

I cast on 36 stitches (four fewer stitches than last time) on US5s (needles two sizes smaller than those used to knit the body of the glove) and began to work K1, P2 ribbing (twisting my knit stitches on every other row). I knit about two inches of ribbing. That's longer than the reworked ribbing on pair one, but shorter than the length given in the original pattern.

better.jpg

That's better.

And, while I've been busy with my Urban Necessity pattern, another knitter has been busy with my other design. Look at Rita's fabulous version of my Spring Breeze Top.

springbreeze07.jpg

Way to go Rita!! I don't know about your weather in Italy, but here in Boston, it will be a long time before we have any spring breezes to enjoy.

A Little Change

Hmmm.

I'm having a problem with the ribbing on my Urban Necessity Mitts. It's too loose. Now that they have stretched and relaxed from a few days of wear, I wish that the ribbed cuffs were narrower and a bit shorter.

What's a knitter to do? Fix the cuffs, of course! First, I slipped US5 DPNs around the base of the mitten hand, just above the last row of ribbing. I want to be careful not to lose the one-stitch increase at the base of the thumb gusset.

NeedleSlipping.jpg

Then, I carefully cut into the cast-on edge and unravel up to the point where my needles are placed. The sight of scissors slicing through my stitches is always a scary one. Once I cut up to about two rows below my needles, I cut across, always making sure that I didn't get too close to those picked-up loops. When the excess fabric was cut away, I picked away the yarn until all that remained of the old ribbing were the loops on my needles. I have to admit that this was a complete pain in the you-know-where.

Cutting.jpg

Next, using the smaller needles, I reknit the cuffs in K1, P1 ribbing. This time I'm twisting the knit stitch on every other round and knitting the cuffs a half inch shorter. The direction of my knitting has changed, but that doesn't matter.

Finally, I knit the last row and bind off in the green.

AllDone.jpg

Doesn't the ribbing look too short? I'll agree. I know, however, that when I slip on a proper sweater and my winter coat, the length will be just fine. Whenever I follow my sense of proportion, and knit the ribbing as long as I think it should be, it ends up being too long to wear comfortably. Weird, eh?

Perfect:

Perfect.jpg


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