S-s-something from the comments*


This entry also posted at the Create Along.

So, longer ago than I'd like to admit, Kristi asked me:

So of course I'm curious why you didn't leave the underarm space -- because it messed with the lace?

I think the space is less imperative on smaller sizes -- if you were doing a conventional shaped sleeve, your initial bind off would be about (chest - crossback)/2 on each side (this is assuming you're in the round) Or even less.

Plus, the lace is going to be more flexible/less bulky than stockinette and stretch or constrict as needed.

If you're thinking of sizing up the pattern though, I think the underarm shaping will begin to make a big difference.

Instead of writing her back (eek, sorry) I thought I'd post my response up here where y'all can see my reply because, man, she is just full of damn fine information.

The original concept of the piece was to work a lace, that had vertical symmetry, up the side of the piece, then split it off for the armsceye. The sleeve would be constructed the same way giving an uninterrupted path for the lace. The idea was that the lace would never appear to break even though it obviously had to split for the sleeves.

If I wanted to do a bind off at the underarms, I would have to gradually migrate the lace inward to be just inside the bind off point. This is possible but I really wanted to avoid disrupting the pattern.

With Kristi's great insight, I see that the combination of the stretchy Calmer and the small size make this possible. It does seem to work great for me so far. I have to seriously think how I'll approach the larger sizes (yes, I'm getting persuaded to actually write the pattern.) though.

If I do decide to write the pattern, I'll probably knit a partial second piece and do a gusset on one side and migration of the lace for a bind off, on the other to see which produces a nicer effect. I won't have to work a full chest circumference, just enough to be able to visualize the end result. Again, as Kristi pointed out, the lace will give some flexibility and the yarn is stretchy so I think I would have to do a relatively small amount of binding off even for a much larger size.

Talking to my dear friend, Julia, yesterday, I feel ready to tackle the neckline, which I've put on hold for a couple days while I contemplate. She suggested just a folded hem and I like that idea very much. I'm also considering something with eyelets that can be cinched in a little, to accommodate various undergarments. Either way, I want it to be relatively unobtrusive since there's already a lot going on with the lace. In the end, I think her hem idea is going to win out.

*Nod to Ze. I miss his show, The Show.

One knit, Purl too


This entry has also been posted at the Create Along.

Knitting has nearly slowed to a screeching halt now that there's a new pup in the house, but what knitting there has been has been good.

I've worked up to where I'm starting some neckline shaping on Lily

The fit seems fine, though it's always hard to tell before the neckline is done.

I will probably work a simple 2 or 3 stitch i-cord edging for the hem and sleeves. I think that will be the least disruptive treatment and will be OK both on the busy sleeve and the simpler hem.

As for the new member of the family, I think we finally have a name that everyone can agree on. The name is now, Theano Purl, Thea for short.
Theano was believed to be the wife of Pythagoras, (he who brought us the calculation for determining the hypotenuse of a right triangle,) and likely continued his work and ran his school after his death. We wanted a name that gave a nod to the sciences but which was also a cute doggy name. We considered "Evo" short for "Evolution" and "Jane" for the one and only Ms. Goodall. Neither name really stood out as exceptional names for a dog. Theano, though, very cute. I got to keep Purl as her middle name too so she can be little Thea-Purl, if the mood strikes.

See a bunch of pictures of the two girls by clicking the photo above, or clicking here.

Much to Panda's chagrin


This phrase pretty much sums up the first 24 hours we've had with Purl.

Purl is a loving and eager little girl and she wants Panda to like her so so so much. It's really quite sweet. However, Panda is not convinced that this interloper deserves anything more than disdain. In fact, she has serious concerns about the fact that we have done nothing about the little girl; for instance, throwing her into a river. Consensus? Panda is a crotchety old woman and we never knew it.

I feel really good about Purl, though. She's exceedingly well socialized, thanks, I'm sure, to a good foster home she was in. She has already responded well to clicker training and can now sit on command. Crate training is going a little slower, but she's so food driven that giving her treats and meals in there has helped a bit. She basically cries for 10 minutes then goes right to sleep. In time, I think she will love her little house, but in the mean time, this is very manageable.

The leash and collar are a little more challenging. They are just beyond her comprehension, but I think she just needs a few days and she'll be all set. Plus, she's so tiny, it doesn't take long to tucker her out, so getting her leash trained will mean plenty of fun walks where she can play and interact with dogs who aren't snobs.

Don't you worry, though, Panda is getting as much love as ever and Purl is being expected to follow house rules. Panda is even helping with the training, albeit, unwittingly. I give Panda a command, praise her, then work it with Purl.

Don't worry, next post will have some knitting content. Lily is coming along beautifully.

Break out the cigars!


Congratulations, you are all new aunts or uncles, as the case may be. We just adopted a new pup. Her name, from the foster home is, Pearl. Miss Julia wisely pointed out that this was merely a misspelling of "Purl." She'll technically be Leo's little girl, since Panda is mine, so he will ultimately choose the name, but until he picks one, she is Purl to me.

Purl is a 16 week old Border Collie and Cattle Dog mix (same mix as Panda!) but she's been very well socialized and absolutely loves everyone and everything in this fine world. Panda is a little overwhelmed by puppy's verve and there will probably be some scuffles as they find their place together, but overall, Purl seems sweet and lovely.

I just got Purl her first collar so that's been a bit traumatic for her. We'll also be crate training her which will be new, but shouldn't pose any big problems for the bright little girl.

Having a puppy is going to be a lot of work, but who can complain with a face like this?

Panda is probably not speaking to me right now, but I think in time they will be inseparable.

So hopefully, there aren't too many of you out there who mind doggy pictures, because I now have twice the cuteness in one small house.

It's not rocket surgery


This entry also posted at the Create Along.

Hey, it's a Lily update.

The second sleeve knit up in a jiffy, even with my lack of free time, and then it came time to join all the pieces into a single unit. While the sleeves were knit flat (more a product of my lack of US #7 DPNs than anything,) everything else is knit in the round. The process is largely like that of the relatively ubiquitous top down raglans (Good ol' Barbara Walker!) only this one is bottom up.

The pieces and I had a bit of a kerfuffle at the time of joining. The body was knit to a slightly different point in the lace repeat than the sleeves and I did not realize this until the second round of attachment. I had to decide whether to rip out the extra rows in the sleeve or attach another ball and knit up the body further. There may have been some language unbecoming a lady. Panda offered to jump on my lap and help, but we both ended up showing much restraint.

I decided on the former option, ripping down, as I can use the tails to seam the sleeves, later.

I don't feel like the rest of the piece should pose any real problems, it's not brain science, after all. I'm keeping the formula fairly simple; decreasing every other round, yet, I have this foreboding feeling that when its all done, I'm going to need to rip back. I'm not sure why. I think some of it stems from the fact that I'm not doing any sort of bind off under the arms. Will it be all bunchy and uncomfortable? I am waiting to try the piece on until I've worked a few more rounds and if I do have to work back, I have a few ideas for remedies, but I'm really hoping I don't need to go that route. Because the body is knit in the round, even a gusset would pose a lot of work. Don't you even think about using the "s" word with me. Some of us learn from our friend's blog posts.

I think I always have this sort of anxiety when I'm knitting my own designs. No matter how much I do this, there's always some portion of the process that seems more dictated by the little knitting fairies and gremlins than by math. Hopefully when I'm all done, I'll love it and wear it with pride, but for now, it's too soon to tell.

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