Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lastrada coming together...

When I first saw Lastrada I loved it, all the more so because it was available in large sizes. I couldn't wait until the kit arrived from Kangaroo in England, and when I opened it up, my first reaction was disappointment. The colors of the yarn didn't look at all like the colors on the screen. They were much more muted and earthy than the colors on my monitor - or, for that matter, the colors on the photo that came with the kit. What I thought would be blue (maybe because it was called "blueberry" ) was actually gray, and what I thought would be a light camel-ish is a very dark brownish yellow. But the colors seem to work together, so I plunged ahead.

My second moment of horror came when the instructions started with "Cast on 501 stitches." 501??? It wasn't a misprint - the sweater is made in two pieces, with the front, sleeve, and half the back on each part. You cast on the stitches across the bottom (front and half the back) plus the stitches that form the vertical front edge. The design is brilliant... but at no time could I visualize how this was going to fit together! Only after I got to the first sleeve and was struggling to figure out the directions was I able to try it on and see that it was going to work.

Now I am a little nervous that the whole sweater will be too big. Do you think that washing it in hot water could make it shrink a little but not too much? Say about 2" (length and width)? I would try it with a test swatch, but at this point I don't know what color yarn I might have left over and don't want to risk running out of anything. On the other hand, the idea of frogging something so big is pretty horrible to contemplate. Any advice would be appreciated.

Mermaid arrived!!

I just received mermaid #5 today in the mail from Cucumberpatch UK!! It came so fast, I am not ready to start!! It looks lovely and the yarn is softer than I thought it would be. It was so light, I was sure it was the wrong box...
I now have to sit and read all the modifications and tips. Hooray!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Matching ends on Mermaid

Hi. I'm Ros and am just about to start Mermaid. Amy has kindly sent her pdf across to me (thanks Amy) and I am adapting it for the larger size. I'm confused by one of the instructions in Hanne's pattern to keep the shoulder edges matching the hem edge. I amy have missed it in Amy's spreadsheet but I'm not clear how you do this and for how many rows. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks. Ros

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mermaid Adaptation

I'm back to the halfway point on my Mermaid after frogging. This time, I tried something different with the color changes and it's working out great. I'm carrying the unused colors along, catching them behind the sl2wyif/wyibs. I make sure to stretch out the hem before using a carried color and it's keeping a nice drape to the fabric. And I'll only have 3 ends to fuss with later.

This is what the back looks like...

Carrying colors A and B behind color C on the hem gussets:

Carrying color C behind color B in the stripe section:


I have finished my mermaid, it is very pretty and I am happy it with except for the sleeves, which seems more appropriate for a gorilla than me. My fault, I should have measured the length and my gauge was slightly off. I am thinking about either cutting off 2" or reknitting them. Any experience or advices with cutting off a piece would be appreciated.
I did mange to shrink it a bit after the picture was taken by putting it in the dryer, but do not guarantee that it will work for you. For now, I will just wear it and then decide what to do in a while:-)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Diva for a Diva...

Hi everyone!! My name's Renada and I'm knitting Diva #7. I thought about knitting #2, like it says on the sidebar, the grey and black mix, but somehow this green and pink hopped into my basket instead. I bought Diva a few weeks ago from Sommerfulgen, and started knitting on her last weekend. I'm a bit surprised I'm having fun knitting back and forth on size 3.25mm needles, but it's really relaxing. I'm also surprised by the detailing HF has incorporated into the design, and seeing this all's actually pretty amazing. I'm not rushing the knitting, I go ridge by ridge, but it does seem as id it's going pretty fast.

Are there any other Diva's out there?? LOL...I'm thinking about doing Dacapo after Diva, but again, a ridge at a time...

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I am Merete from Denmark and I bought my first HF kit (Mermaid #3) yesterday in Sommerfuglen in Copenhagen. I could try the jacket on and it was difficult to choose between all the lovely colours. I chose the turquoise but instead of the Sea Blue I bought a more greyish blue. The Sea Blue was too lilac to my taste. I bought some special needles too. The cord was cut in two. Perhaps some of you have experience using them but they are my first. I am very anxious to get started and very happy for all the advice I already have read on this site.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mermaid Spreadsheet v1.80

I've updated the spreadsheet yet again.

The changes in this version are correcting
the omitted k6 instructions in the color C (green rows) hem gusset
sections. Also, I slightly altered the instructions on the rows just
preceeding the hem gusset. Previously, they were "k1, p2...." and I
changed the "p2"s to "sl 2 wyif"s. The p2s were used to create a 2nd
stockinette stitch over the color B stripes. Which isn't needed when
you're heading into the color C gussets. Whichever way you've knit it
so far will be fine.

Also, sometimes, I get e-mails returned to me by some of
your ISPs. Others lose the updates due to spam filters or
otherwise. So anytime I update the spreadsheet, in addition to making
a post here, I'll also list the most current version on my
project notes page for Mermaid

If you are knitting Mermaid and are new to the group, I've worked out row-by-row instructions for the medium size. It's in a spreadsheet that is available in both Excel and PDF formats. If you would like a copy, send me an e-mail. I'll respond with a challenge question based on the pattern to verify that you own it.

Happy knitting!

I'm done!

I finished my Mermaid in colorway 10 on April 4. I just love it, it turned out really well.
I like all the little details HF has used, like the "hem", the stripes meating at the shoulder, the shaping.

Now I've set my eyes on Tivoli...
But that will just have to wait, the kits aren't cheap.

Here's a picture, more info on my blog.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mermaid is FINISHED!!!!

I finished my Mermaid a few days ago but ran out of the slate gray for the i-cord on the sleeves. The sweater is being finished by an expert because I am not great at seaming garter stitch and wanted the finished product to look perfect. MY LYS, Sit-N-Knit in West Hartford, CT has ordered the yarn I need to finish the i-cord but I am so anxious to wear it I may use the light gray so I can get some use out of it before the weather turns too warm. A huge thank you goes to Amy, I wouldn't have been able to finish it without your wonderful spreadsheet!

I am also thinking about making another Hanne probably the Pagode in Cerise/poppy #7. No one seems to have that version in stock. I figure if I get right to it I'll be finished by fall.

Dreaming of next kit...

I'm just loving my Mermaid - it's giving me the chance to practice lots of knitting skills I rarely use and also to acquire some new ones.

But my periods of day dreaming about her other kits are becoming longer and I realise that I'm hooked and would like another. So I'm saving my pennies up and trying to decide on which it will be.

I had been thinking of (and I'll try not to make the list too long!) Cordelia, Diva or Promenade. How to choose! I'm only small so wondered if Cordelia would dwarf me (has anyone made it?) and is Promenade too 'simple' a pattern after the learning and skills needed for Mermaid? I'd also thought of Tokyo, I'm not sure about the colourways though - does anyone know what stitch it is knit in?

I see that many of you have bought kits from Cucumberpatch, the company I used in the UK who were very helpful, had cheap prices and a good range were
I can't believe some of the prices people charge in the US!! It seems to make a change that a product is actually cheaper in the UK than the US!!

Any help in choosing my next challenge would be much appreciated!


Thursday, April 06, 2006


This experience was too nerve wrecking for my taste. I just finished the last striped section of the body and had less than a yard of colour B left. Oh yes, of course I knitted the gauge swatch in colour B so that was unravelled, soaked in water and the skein dried under tension. Otherwise, it has been an enjoyable experience so far. Since the directions for the last half is quite limited, I toke notes on where to increase etc, that really helped.

Now 8 ridges, the i-cord and two sleeves remain. Maybe it will be done before MDS&W? Posted by Picasa

Completed Mermaid

I finished seaming and "blocking" Mermaid last night. Really there was no blocking to speak of- I just followed the pattern instructions to the letter.

I wrote more about Mermaid and have a few more pictures on my blog.

I've enjoyed this group and will definitely keep reading and watching everyone's progress. I'm still thinking about possibly doing another Hanne design- this one was such fun.

Thanks again to Amy and Becky!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Yet another Mermaid Spreadsheet error

Those of you who aren't knitting Mermaid are probably wondering why anyone would ask for the spreadsheet from the crazy lady who keeps making mistakes in it. :)

Tonight I picked up Mermaid again (after banishing it for a while after the massive frog back to row 45 following the shoulder hem error found in the spreadsheet. If you didn't see my frogging post on my blog, click here. I worked a pair of cool Socks that Rock in the meantime to make Mermaid needles seem HUGE.) Anyway....

I was carefully double-checking the instructions for each row as I knit it and discovered that there's an error in the hem gusset sections after the center row for the gusset. I don't include the instruction to k6 more after the k2tog in the non-bracket instructions. It's something you were probably doing without noticing. I know I was before, because I looked back through my older versions of the spreadsheet and found it existed from day one. A couple of you have finished with my spreadsheet and have beautiful Mermaids, so I'm not so worried that it was a huge problem.

Anyway, work's a bit crazy for the next few days, so I won't get to the update until this weekend. I e-mailed everyone who has gotten the spreadsheet already to let them know. If you've recently asked me for it, and haven't gotten a response, I'll ask you the challenge question, but then I'll be holding off sending it until I can get it fixed. Thanks for being patient.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mermaid Update

I posted an update (with sleeve pictures) on my blog the other day. Since that time I have finished the knitting part of Mermaid! I'm hoping to do the i-cord edge of my second sleeve tonight and hopefully start the seaming. I had a question for everyone before I start:

What is the best way to seam Mermaid? Should I block the pieces first, then seam? Or seam together, then block? Also, I'm a bit confused about the collar and shoulder seaming. I'm going to check through the other blogs that have already finished Mermaid to see if they have any suggestions. I might even attempt to read the pattern directions! :)

Hopefully within the next few days I'll have a finished sweater to show. Then I'm thinking about "Tweedie"....

Any thoughts? (Thanks in advance.)