Not forgotten, and I won’t stay gone!

Oh, timing.

Shortly after I started this blog in early April, I got called when my name reached the top of a year-long waiting list to attend a three-month outpatient Pain Management Program at the local specialty clinic. That was intense, and sucked up all my spare energy and brainpower for three months. It gave me lots of tools to improve my quality of life and get more functional, so I was looking forward to applying them and building this blog much more in the summer.

Instead, I got a notice of lease termination in June, because the owner of my beloved apartment (with its spectacular view of the lake featured in the rotating headers on this blog) was moving back to Toronto and so Spouse and I had to go. Finding a new place in the ridiculously tight rental market, and then getting ourselves and our pets and the yarn stash all moved, was quite an ordeal, but now I am finally getting settled in our new home.

The new place lacks the view of the water from the apartment, but the building has a 19th floor terrace with an even more spectacular view of Lake Ontario and the city, and it’s much closer to all the yarn I could want! Walking distance to a few wonderful LYSs, and easy direct transit to a couple more favourites. Plus it’s on the edge of Toronto’s fashion district and famous graffiti alley to provide even more inspiration.

So I’ll have plenty to post about soon — I just need to get the yarn unpacked!

Afterthought gap success?

I haven’t gotten in the habit of posting here yet, and I had prioritized reformatting and installing plugins for the blog rather than actually posting more — but ended up mostly doing a lot more knitting than computer work.

Result: I’ve finished the body of the Bright Cardi of Brightness and have started the first sleeve, with 5 more days to go for the month.

This picture is out of date, but I’ve missed my chance at balcony sunbeam for today and it gives the best overview while you can imagine the unfinished edge:

Bright Cardi, over half done

After binding off the body, the next step was to remove the pink waste yarn and put the stitches on each side onto needles, then knit around, picking up a stitch in the gap at top and bottom.

Previously, I’d never been happy with my gap stitches on things like afterthought heel socks, and I was particularly worried about the stitch at the top of the shoulder because of it’s visibility among the stockingnette. So, this time, I tried the following:

Knit to gap, where there is a column of stitches running horizontally, with the side leg of one of those stitches “exposed” in the gap. Take the right needle tip in front of this topmost leg and insert it from top to bottom in the lower leg of the same stitch, lifting this lower leg and twisting it as you insert the left needle into the same stitch and knit into it, picking up the upper leg of the same gap stitch rather than working yarn. Put this stitch back onto the left needle and knit into it with the working yarn.

The result is neat and symmetric with two tiny holes with a full stitch between them, instead of the other options I’ve tried which give me a large hole crossed by a single leg of yarn, so I wanted to record the technique here to remind me how to do it next time!

Here’s the result after two rounds of knitting: one round to pick up the gap stitches, and one more round plain (and the return of the pink scrap yarn as a lifeline through the second round because I forgot to do it through the first).
Detail of stitch picked up in gap Extreme close up of stitch picked up in gap

Bright new month, shiny new blog

Today is partly cloudy and windy, with big puff clouds admitting bright sunbeams here and there among them. Lake Ontario has long stripes of shadow and gleaming running along the surface like roads.

I’m trying to finish a swatch of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Springtime for a Modern Victorian summer cardigan, so I can get it soaking this afternoon. Then confirm gauge and cast on tomorrow, aiming to finish by the end of the month. The yarn is much brighter than pictured, and rather outside my colour comfort zone, but I keep liking it more and more as I work with it.

Ember with bright Knit Picks Stroll Tonal yarn

Besides checking gauge, I’ve incorporated a bit of the cable lace stitch pattern to get it memorized and gauge-stabilized before trying it in the real thing. And I’m also experimenting with edgings, both for the sides (which will be the top and bottom of the cardigan) and the cast-on/bind-off edges (which will be the fronts).

As written, the bottom edge is just a single-stitch column of stockinette along the edge of the lace, which I worry will be too unstable. Adding a two-stitch i-cord edging gives the edge more structure and resilience.

The top edge is also just stockinette, which rolls nicely to the inside, but for the sake of experimentation I tried cabling the 6 edge stitches, while slipping the edge stitch on WS rows. I really like how that turned out, so I’ll be using it on the cardigan.

I don’t love the ribbed fronts as much as I love the rest of the cardigan, so for the bind-off edge, I’m playing with using the arrowhead lace or the whole cable-lace pattern all along the row for about 12-16 rows before binding off on the wrong side. Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me yet when I cast on the swatch, so I’ll have to start a second swatch to see how this works on the cast-on edge.