A Love Knit Up

Sunday, June 25, 2006


So I haven't posted in a long time. Some of that was not really my fault (or was my fault, but I couldn't bring myself to care), as in the last two months I have had to (a) do final projects (b) do finals (c) pack up and move (d) start work (e) pull apart my entire room in order to sort books. (That last one was after I moved back home.) At the moment my room is once again reasonably neat, I have no pressing work to do, and I can post. (This state is not likely to last.)

I have finished one and a half squares of the Raku Suri stole. One square looks like this,

and up close looks like this (apart from the colors, which I couldn't get my camera to do properly).

This pattern calls for you to make three squares, block each of them (leaving the stitches around the edges live), and then connect them with edgings. So the square is not as blocked as it will look after everything is finished (I don't want to kill the stitches I'm going to have to knit into), and hopefully after I block it fully it will actually lie flat.

I'm also working on Tristan, from Elsebeth Lavold's Embraceable You Collection. I'm a little worried about the sizing on this. This is what the back currently looks like:

This is on a 24" needle, so you can see that it's a little big. But I'm knitting tighter than actual gauge! This thing is actually supposed to be 24" wide, and mine is only 23". For a medium size, a 48" chest seems a little much. But that's what the design calls for... so I will knit it, trusting to the knitting gods, Elsebeth Lavold, and the fact that a sweater is smaller inside than outside. (And this is pretty thick fabric, too.) Hopefully, that will be enough. If not... I guess I'll learn what it feels like to have to rip back a whole sweater.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Knitting Creation

So, although I have not been knitting I have made something that can help with knitting. Here's how it happened.

I was trying to design a lace shawl. (It didn't work, don't ask.) I kept fiddling around with drawing charts and putting different patterns together. However, as I was trying to make a triangle I wasn't only fiddling with charts from the stitch dictionaries I have, I was also trying to draw my own (to figure out how increases would work). I didn't have any graph paper, so I was drawing (a) charts and (b) graph paper. This was annoying and frustrating and didn't work so well.

A normal person would have gone out, walked a couple of blocks and bought some graph paper. (Actually, as I was packing I founda notebook full of the stuff. In restrospect, I'm probably gald that I didn't know I had it...) As I am not a normal person, I started wondering how I could make the computer draw the graph paper for me. Now, this is reasonably easy; I drew some squares in a drawing program, and was all set to print it out. But then it occurred to me that as I didn't have a printer I'd have to leave my room to go and print and, in particular, I'd have to walk further to pick it up than I'd have to go in order to buy graph paper. (Even I'm not silly enough to do something like that.) So instead I started thinking about how I could make the computer draw charts for me; if I could do that, I would never have to go and tryand find graph paper. (I also thought that it would be nice to put it on the internet, for all of those other lazy people who can never find graph paper when they need it.)

This brings us to the Chart Creator, a CGI script that I wrote that takes written out instructions for a chart and generates a picture and a PDF file for it. (The PDF file is so that you can print the chart out and take it with you.) It can do lots of cool things, like add notes to charts, and mark off stitch repeats. And here's the cool thing: it finds chart errors.

Have you ever knitted from a chart and been unable to get the stitch counts to work out right? And then it all ends up being because the chart had a knit 2 together instead of a plain knitted stitch somewhere? This always frustrates me. What my script does is very simple: it counts the stitches in each row, and makes sure there is the correct number of stitches in each row. So, for example, if the first row tells you to knit 4, yo, knit 4, and then the next row tells you to purl 8 you know that it's crazy, because they forgot to tell you what to do with the new stitch. The chart creator does the same thing, only it does it before generating the chart. It even tells you on which row the error turns up, and how many stitches there are in each of these rows. (I'm all happy because of this: it means that I can type in other people's charts to check them, and I never have to wonder if I'm going batty.)

So that's what I've been working on. I've even made a manual for it. =) Hopefully this will be helpful to people.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Just a quick post about why I haven't been posting.

  • I have been packing and moving, and the place I am staying is a 40 minute walk from where I lived. So I have worn holes in the bottoms of my feet while still having lots of errands to run.
  • Because of the previous fact, I have not been knitting much. I have been experimenting with some ideas, but as all of them were huge failures I don't want to post about them.
  • The weather has been nice, so in my free time, instead of sitting indoors, I have been reading by the river. (Knitting was nixed after the first time, when I dropped my yarn into the grass and ended up spending the whole time it was still light picking dirt out of the yarn.)

I have made some stuff (although very little of it is straight knitting, though it is related) that I will hopefully have time to post about tomorrow.