Monday, May 29, 2006

Mermaid experience

Hi! to all of you,

Blogging is a new thing for me. Here we go. I have the body of my mermaid finished except for the ends and shoulders.
A lot of you are asking about making the sleeves shorter. I have the same questions. This is what I am attempting.
After I pinned the sweater together and put it on, I had a friend measure my arm from my shoulder to my wrist. I am 5'3" tall and my shoulder to wrist measures 21 1/4". I have figured out with my gauge that I am going to CO 98 stitches and follow the rest of the pattern. I took Amy's pattern for the sleeve and changed the numbers to start with the 98 stitches. I am still a bit concerned that this might turn out too long, I figure I'll do the first sleeve, learn from it and go on from there.
Also, a note I am making the Medium size sweater using a US #3, 3.25 mm needle for the body and sleeves. I have also noticed that the black yarn is heavier than either of the cypress or kingfisher colors.
Amy and I were talking about the sleeves, since I'm not alone I thought it best to write and share. Your comments are welcome.
Thank you, Dede

Mermaid Progress

After taking some time to start, here is my progress after a couple of weeks. I'm knitting size medium on 3mm addis turbos (and using Amy's wonderful spreadsheet - with 3 small children in tow, I couldn't have ever kept on track with this knit otherwise - now it's quick knitting and I always know where I'm up to).

My gauge is a little tighter, 27sts x 53-54 rows but I'm happy with that as I normally would have knitted the small (given the feedback that Hanne's patterns are generous and finished knit tends to grow when blocking) and with the slightly tighter tension, sts are even and uniform and the size is slightly smaller overall. I also knitted the initial i-cord on 3.5mm bamboos but kept it a bit loose to avoid the tightening/curling many people had mentioned occurred.

That brings me to my concern, see photo of yarn. I'm past the halfway mark and I'm only on the 1st ball (of 2) of each the sandmix for stripes and the dove (blue) for gussets. On ball 2 of ivory. Am a little concerned why I'm not churning up the yarn as fast as others. I don't think the gauge would account for that much difference. Would welcome any feedback if anyone else's knit is working out similar with quantity.

Also, many thanks Frances for your speedy feedback - it was very helpful. If you do run out of yarn and cannot source any from Hanne direct, there should be a fellow knitalong member who may have some leftover and would come to the aid of any Mermaid SOS - many people are knitting #9.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

For Bronwyn

Here is the gauge. I think I'm about right with that. Also included in the picture is ALL of the red yarn I have left. I am really nervous about running out given that I've got three more gussets and trim to go. I finished the first ball before the half way point. I figure if I run out, Hanne owes me some Tomato colored wool. I don't have my tape measure at my house, so I'm not sure of the length. I would enjoy this project more if I were not nervous about the yarn supply.
Alright, lets see your progress!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Mermaid Progress

I am loving this project! I wish I could work on it every day, I think I'd have it done in a week if I had a week to work. I thought I'd get bored with the endless garter stitch, but I've just enjoyed working through the pattern and watching the texture appear on my needles.

What about the sleeves?

I have finished the body of the Mermaid. My arms are rather short so if anyone could offer advice how to make the sleeves shorter before I start knitting I will be grateful.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ordered the Mermaid

I don't know what I was thinking but all of you inspired me to start another HF project. The Mermaid in the Spring Green/Dusty Green combination. I'm anxiously waiting for the ups man.

Now that I found this "knitalong" I'm a little braver so if I have questions or problems I know where to go for help. When I first started my first Ballerina I was so confused and asked anybody who would listen, but finally I figured it all out.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I'm new to this and don't have an actual blog, but I'm knitting my first Hanne kit -- Ballerina #14 -- and have a Mermaid #5 waiting in the wings.

Almost from the start I've run into problems, maybe because I've never made anything all in garter stitch before.

Is there anyone who completed a Ballerina who can answer my question?

Where it first talks about increases, it says "inc number of sts along lower edge, first time on 5th ridge: M1 inside the 4 outermost sts by lifting the strand between sts onto left ndl and then k into its back loop." I was going to M1 on Row 1 of the 5th ridge, but if I do so and twist the lifted loop, the increase will slant to the left, not toward the bottom edge of the sweater. If I lift the loop without twisting, it will leave a hole. My inclination is to lift the loop, twisting it, but knitting into the front. What did you do?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mermaid Question

I am coming along on the Mermaid in reds. I must admit I am nervous about running out of red. I got two balls of red and two balls of orange, and the rest is coral, but I swear there is not enough red, and I'm knitting the small. Did I receive the correct configuration of yarn?
I'm so glad this blog is here!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

after seeing the wonderful results on this blog,i fell in love with the mermaid pattern.after saving many pennies, i have ordered my own mermaid kit(#7) from cucumberpatch.has anyone else used them?
happy knitting

A month ago...

...I started my first HF project the Mermaid jacket. So far it's really a pleasure.

I think this is the first project of this size I have knitted evening after evening without getting tired and wanting to start another project at the same time.

Much of the credit I give to Amy's spreadsheet. I can recommend all new starters to use it. It really makes everything a lot simpler. Thank you very much for sharing, Amy.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I am having a lot of trouble following the instructions for Milano. I'm hoping that someone else has done this sweater and can help. The horizontal measurements come out right - that is, the stitch counts seem to be correct. But the verticals are definitely off. The instructions as given do not result in the right shapes or lengths. Can anyone help? Thanks

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Starting the Mermaid

Well, I did at first think the yarn is itchy, but as I've worked with it for a few hours now, it seems to be softening as I knit. Or, I'm just getting used to it. Either way, I am really enjoying watching it come together. I LOVE texture, and this is not disappointing. Even as I knitted through the initial rows of Coral, the heathered yarn makes the fabric really lovely, and it wasn't even that boring to knit. I was worried. This is going to be one of those projects that I will be in a hurry to finish, and this can be a problem as I will cut corners where ever I can. I don't want to do that here. I just have to remind myself how much money I spent for this kit. That should keep me in line!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm hoping that I have made it to this Blog....I'm a newbie to "blogs" please forgive me....I just purchased Mermaid and LaStrada and am waiting for them to arrive. From the postings I read about the needle sizes. (I just purchased 3 mm and 3.5 mm) Did I purchase correctly? Someone was also kind to point out that initally there are almost 500 stitches to cast on? Thanks for letting me join....

Mermaid SOS!!!


I've been lurking reading and looking at all the beautiful Hanne's out there. I'm nearly done with the body of my Mermaid - I think it's number 10 - it's black and grey with the cyclamen gussets. Everyone I show it to is pretty impressed. The problem is I must have shown it one too many times and LOST my pattern!!! I've called everyone I know to see if I dropped it in their car, at their house, etc...

Anyway, I obviously am in need of some help here before I just wind up breaking down and buying a second kit for the last page of the instructions.

I can post a picture - probably in a week or more - I'm going out of town tomorrow - if you need proof that I really bought this thing. Could someone pretty please find it in their heart to send me just the first part with the collar shaping as well as the I-cord attachment and the entire sleeve instructions as the end? I've been working on this thing since January - actually started the day my mother died in frigid Wisconsin as therapy.

As we all know knitting is the best therapy and I couldn't continue the project I'd been doing at the time which was actually the felted clogs that I was making for her upcoming birthday. Yeah - as I packed to rush to the hospital I found the first clog and knew she'd never wear them. So, I threw the Mermaid in the suitcase since I'd no idea how long I'd be there.

OK, OK, this is getting too maudlin. I just hope someone out there will take pity on me and send me a partial copy which I promise to not share or sell to anyone, anywhere.

You can e-mail me at

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mermaid Beginnings

بسم الله الرحمن الريم
I realized upon reading the directions that the needles are not US 3, but 3mm, or US 2. Glad I read. I usually just start knitting, and make a pattern of my errors, but I figured this cost me too much money to do that. I've been knitting with a bit of alpaca lately, and I must say I'm spoiled by the softness of that fiber. This is much more coarse, but I really like the bit of heathering in the yarn. If only I had more time...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Mermaid Has Landed

I received my Mermaid (orange and reds) in the mail on Friday, and I only wish I had time and 3 mm needles with me. The yarn is itchy, is it true that it softens after washing? I love the pattern, and in truth, this is why I purchased it. It's flattering and simple, and I expect I will wear it forever.
I will post pictures once I jump in and begin knitting.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


That's me! I'm making little cotton tanks & cardis - it's too warm to start my Mermaid (ok, maybe there's a little fear there too!) - it'll have to wait til fall. But I love seeing everyone else's projects - they're all turning out so perfectly, it gives me courage!

Monday, May 01, 2006

First Ballerina Finished ....

After a bumpy start I finally finished my first Hanne Falkenberg kit the Ballerina. I made a few modifications but relatively minor. The bottom stitching which is like a mock ribbing sort of just did not look right and it looked a bit unfinished so I added an inch of solid black border. Then the sleeves were way too short so I added some striping there. I also did not like the solid "sage color" band around the neck so I striped that. But other than those few modifications I followed the pattern and it turned out pretty well.

I also knitted a potato chip scarf to go with the sweater with black and sage one row edge. This is not attached to the sweater it is optional. I wear it if it's cold and my neck seems too cold with no collar.

I didn't think the little bit of black yarn I had left over was enough so I sent an eMail to Hanne (from the contact link on her site) I tried to get an extra ball of black yarn, and got firm NEGATIVE. (I think I upset her to even dare to ask.) She was probably upset about the modifications.

She does not sell yarn!
Only the Kit!
So if I want an extra ball of yarn I have to buy a new kit!

A bit too pricey to buy a whole kit just for one ball of black, but as it turned out the knitting angels were with me and I had enough yarn.

When I first started this project I had a very difficult time reading the instructions. I felt that at least they could have done is put more spaces and use a larger font after all this was not a cheap kit. How much would another piece of paper cost them? When I first looked at the instructions I got scared. The photo copy of the pages was very difficult for me to read, the font they use is very small and there is no break visually it really looks like "buckle your seatbelt it's going to be a bumpy ride" (I always loved that line from that old movie) kind of pattern.

I had to copy each section and bump up the size of the font. But maybe it's just my age, I wear reading glasses. Then I had difficulty in the short rows because I have never done short rows before. The front was frogged twice but when I finally got that there were two differrent short rows goig on I figured it all out. Actually I have only been following written patterns for about 2 years. I've knit all my life but never learned how to read a patterns. It always looked too confusing, I knit from a visual then added my own spin, sort of like how I cook. I read the recipe and then cook my version.

I love the small needles and the garter stitch and the design is very nice. I've had lots of compliments when I wear it. I'm knitting this pattern again but I've made some modifications. I don't like the way the sweater is back heavy, as I wear it, it's a constant struggle to pull it back up, it likes to slip backwards sort of like a Japanese kimono. Probably the design is meant to do that but for me it's annoying. Also the front seems too short which adds to the weight in the back. I should have looked at the pattern more closely, it looked great on the model but she is a third my age.

The new one I'm knitting I've made the front longer and took out panels from the back. It still has the same "swing" look but it stays put and covers my stomach area. I'm progressing nicely I'll post the second Ballerina progress.