Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Crafty catch-up with some travel thrown in

I have been busy with a number of things and a huge amount of business travel. Therefore,  be warned, this is a long post with lots of pics

First, I finished a sweater for DH in a really boring dark blue Rowan Felted Tweed (Midnight) which I hope will become a much-used comfy sweater. I had finished the body and sleeves in the winter but was fighting the inevitable sweater on the lap syndrome. I love seamless sweaters but I hate knitting with the entire sweater on my lap. Oh well.

I worked on it during Knitting Camp and got it done to the neck. It is the EZ seamless saddle shoulder knit from the bottom up. It is in Knitting Without Tears. I've done the top-down version before. I had to rip when I got to the top of the shoulder because the armhole was too short. I needed more plain knitting at the bottom. I ended up doing 3" plain before starting the shaping.

I did the neck 3 times. I did short rows in the front to give a bit more of a curve to the neckline. Then I followed EZ's instructions for raising the back neck but it became too high. Then I redid it with fewer rows in the back and it looked OK. I bound off using Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off. But it was too sloppy. So I ripped that out and tried mixing that for a few sts with regular BO for a few sts. Still too sloppy. I redid it one more time with just a regular loose in-pattern BO and I'm sort of happy with it. It looks OK but I think I should have gone down one needle size for the ribbing. I'll see how it looks while being worn. If it tends to flare out, I will re-knit the neck band again.

I love the lines of the sleeve decreases. That is why I love this pattern.

Next up, I made DH a pair of socks. I've never knit him a pair before so this was an experiment in fitting. The lesson I learned is: do not try to fit a pair of socks while traveling. I think I ripped the first sock out at least 5  times at various points. I took detailed measurements, or so I thought. But the first time I didn't measure where the instep begins. I like to put a little gusset in before a short row heel as I think it fits better. Second, I had too few sts in the short row heel so the length of the heel wasn't long enough for his foot. I had to re-do that part a few times to get the length right. I still have one flaw in the sock: the heel is too narrow for his foot. I should have left more sts at the tip of the heel. 

However, all this heel knitting occupied hours on planes when I had nothing better to do. And I have perfected a new-to-me short row technique. I used the Socktopus shadow wrap technique on the sweater above and liked it a lot. So I did that on the heel and then found out that she doesn't give instructions for the lengthening part of the short rows. They are meant for shaping where you just knit the shadow wraps together and go on with the rest of the sts. Doing this meant two rows for each short row - one to pick up the sts and another to do another short row. That would throw the shape of the heel off. I ended up going with a comment I found - pick up one half of the shadow wrap along with the other half from the other side of the gap. This makes a beautiful heel and I think it is my new favorite method. Sadly, since I was on planes and unprepared to take photos, I don't have in process photos. Next time!

The yarn is Knitcircus yarns double gradient sock set that i got from Amy at Knitting Camp. It held up well through all the ripping and re-knitting. But it is splitty and has a lot of plies. I knit socks at a very tight gauge so it did cause some issues due to the loose plying of the yarn. I am impressed with how exactly the two balls of yarn match each other. The socks are almost identical even though I didn't really count rows. I tend to measure rather than count so I could be off a row or two on the foot between the two socks.

Should I mention that I breezed through the second sock? Yes, I have copious notes for the next go around.

That is the completed sock heel along with the sock from the outside. 

This is a close-up of the heel from the outside. Love how the stripes match!

And the heel on the inside. See how neat it is? And no holes anywhere! I did start and end the short rows on the last st of the instep so that the sts would not get stretched out while I was working the rest of the short rows and I think this helped with the no-holes. But it is also a factor of the shadow wrap technique as there is no gap at all between the end of the short row and the next st. 

When I was home between my travels, I was working on re-doing the bead necklace that I posted about in this post in July. The necklace is done and I also made a few pairs of matching earrings and a bracelet to use up all the extra beads I bought. I wore it this weekend in the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show's fashion show. I entered 3 shawls and my Rose Lace Collar Bohus sweater in the show and the colors in the necklace were perfect for the items.

The bracelet is on top. The earrings inside the necklace are made like the tassel on the bottom of the necklace. The other two (on the right and left) are different and smaller and lighter. One is more pink and the other more teal so I can pick the one that goes with the outfit and highlight those colors in the necklace. I am quite pleased with the way this turned out after the first fiasco. 

But I am glad to be done with beading. i want to get back to knitting and spinning and finishing up my dishtowel on the loom. This weekend is the Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck so I will be spinning. Spinning on my spindle as I volunteer and spinning on the Hansen at my two Amy King workshops. More on that next week.

Now on to the travel. I went to Singapore and Tokyo in September. I didn't take many photos in Singapore as it is usually hot and humid and I stay indoors most of the time. But I had to spend 9 hours in Hong Kong airport on the way back because I had to get here the day after I was done with work. The only way to do that was to fly from Singapore to Hong Kong on the late evening flight and then catch the morning flight from Hong Kong to New York. I walked around the airport along with catching up on work and the beginning of the Great British Bake Off.

In my walks, I captured these unique pieces of art and history scattered around the airport. There are also objects of art inside glass cases and children's play areas.
This is a vertical 3D painting on a wall with a helpful set of footprints nearby that indicated the best place to take a photo.

This one is on the floor and also has a set of footprints indicating the best photo spot.

 There was a contest involving charities and food and this Buddha (created by American Airlines employees) won. It is made of cans of seafood. Their labels create the colors. The mountains represent the mountains of one of the islands of Hong Kong, I think. The link is to a PDF describing the contest and the sculpture. It has photos of the piece being built. The seafood cans will be donated to local food banks after the display is done.
 I also took these photos of a model of the old time food stalls in Hong Kong. The description below describes their place in Hong Kong society but they are being replaced by chain fast food places. These were the original fast food of Hong Kong - places to get a quick cheap meal. I hope you can read it. It wasn't easy getting a good picture of it.

I have many more pictures of Tokyo and want to do do justice to the 1.5 days of sight seeing that I was able to squeeze in. Yes, I know. I have promised that before. But I am not traveling as much any more and I hope to have time to blog more regularly. 

Next week Rhinebeck and Tokyo!

No comments: