The Kitty Pi bed after "felting" and blocking. Upon further inspection, it is really just the white that didn't felt. This wouldn't be so bad, except for the bad join in the skein between pure white and pure green in the center of the bed; the purl stitches are really obvious. Still planning on the triage route this evening.
I washed the thing five times, for a total of 40 minutes, and it still wouldn't felt for me. The bottom is felted, but in the white parts and sides the stitches are still distinct. I'm going to let it dry and see how it looks, and go in for triage tomorrow. But I am getting ahead of myself.
It took almost 2 skeins of Noro Big Kureyon -- there are only scraps left. The eyelash was a real pain to knit in; the eyelash wanted to stay on the wrong side, and it was very slippery on the addi turbos. The binding off was nearly impossible -- I probably should have switched to my new wooden straights for more traction. And I think the bind-off is too tight. Even with the majority of shrinkage occurring in the r rather than theta direction (or row rather than stitch direction), I still might end up with trapezoid sides. Should be an exciting adventure tonight!
After all the angsting about joining the stripes going in the same direction, I didn't like the look with the missing stripes. I decided the "bolide impact" look would work better, and unknit about a row and a half, cut the yarn(!), and spit spliced to the center pull. So everything turned out all right in the end. Here, we are about 10 rows past the join (just above mustard yellow / white stripe in the middle of the pink).
The diameter seems to measure 22" (11" radius), no matter how much I knit. I know it is difficult to measure, but it shouldn't be that difficult. At most, though, it is currently 24-25", even after an extra six rows. Which means I'm going to do another extra six rows (42 total instead of 30).
This is how far 1 skein gets you. From cast-on to the last set of increases is about 1/3 skein, and then the remaining 2/3 gets 26 rows in the knit straight portion. I was hoping that the very small cat would only need one skein (about 24 rows / 22" diameter), but obviously she will need a part of the second also. After 27 rows (and just starting the next skein) I am at 22", while the pattern was at about 28" unfelted after 30 rows. Cobie's bed needs to be bigger; I am shooting for 34" unfelted for a 17" felted bed. 36 rows? 42? we will see.
I think it came out pretty well! Color order aside... I decided that it was best to ball it in the direction that it seemed easiest to get the yarn from the hank, which turned out to be opposite to the direction I wanted it. I could have then reballed it in the other direction. I didn't because I figured that since I won't be using the entire skein, it would be better to take the yarn from the outside and leave a nice ball afterwards. Of course, this is outdated thinking, because I could have just reballed the remnants -- d'oh! I am considering cutting, reballing, and spit splicing, but probably won't, since cutting a working thread on purpose seems wrong.
Unfortunately, the two colors I need -- white and green -- are the ones with only two repeats, not three, and they are towards the middle of the skein. So the join will be scarce on white (at the tip of the last skein) and the green (just at the start of the new one). Normal faulting! -- removal of stratigraphy. Or perhaps strike-slip, smearing it out. In any case, we are not to the sides yet, so it should not matter that much.
Reasons to ball skeins before starting -- better color planning. Though if I had flipped the first skein, I would have ended up with a double section of pink/black, no matter which direction I did the second. Reasons not to skein -- cannot return extra skeins.
15 rows past the final set of increases (144 sts total). Transfered from #11 Brittany DPN to 24" #11 Addi Turbo circulars.
I guess I don't have to worry about the transition between the white and the next skein color; there was a break between the white and green on this skein, and the transition is more abrupt than I would like. I realized that I do want the striping to continue in the same direction, so that is something I will have to pay attention to; I will have to think about whether I care about repeated or missing colors.
PS: When I was thinking about the directionality of the yarn, and the resulting pattern -- I thought about it in terms of thrust faulting (repeated stratigraphy) and bolide (e.g. meteorite) impact (overturned and repeated stratigraphy). Yes, I am really that big a dork -- did you ever doubt it?
This is the yarn for the second Kitty Pi bed. (What, I couldn't just buy yarn for Cobie without getting some for Savannah, too). Especially after I found a fun fur (on sale!) that complements the Big Kureyon exactly. I emailed my sister the color choices, but I was pretty certain which one she would pick. I cast on and did the first row, and updated the blog with the neutral color scheme, while waiting for her to retrieve her email (oh, those wacky people on dial-up!). (This is after having already wound a skein of neutral at the LYS). She likes both color choices, but until she settles in and decorates, the neutral will provide more flexibility, which is pretty much what I figured.
Halfway between 72 and 144 stitch increases. This is my first yarn that is meant to stripe, and it is fun seeing the different colors come off the needle. The color contrast is very subtle, however, so I hope that felting will increase the contrast. White is coming up next, which should be quite different. Since I have to join two skeins, I'm already thinking about how to do that -- I'm ending on a very white section, so I'm assuming a dark color would be an obvious problem.
This time I got the topology right, and am knitting on the front side of the DPN (as opposed to the fingerless mittens, where I am knitting on the backside, and backwards). I understand the joining process better, and now understand why it is so easy to twist stitches when adjusting the DPN so that the working area is in the front. I only had to start over once, and that was because I cast on too loosely the first time (a good habit in general!) and didn't want quite such a gaping hole in the bottom (I'm assuming that the little hole that is there now will felt over, especially after I weave in the end). It is so much pleasanter to knit on the near side -- it isn't even the knit vs. purl, it is the way the work falls and position of the needles. I've also learned to do the kfb / bar increases (I'd only done M1 until now). And I fixed a problem where the needle slipped out. When I put the stitches back on, I accidentally did a YO increase at the end (which then got the kfb treatment of the rest of the stitches). Sadly I unknit back around to confirm this was the problem, because I was worried about dropped stitches and laddering, but I think I will have more confidence in the future.
Yarn purchased for the Kitty Pi bed. My sister's cat, Cobie, is having thyroid problems, and since they just moved to a place without carpeting, he needs someplace soft to lie on. (Sick cats tend to delay things like purchasing area rugs). We just lost two family cats in the past few months to old age, and Cobie is the last cat left from when we were together as children. I'd like to do something nice for him, so I've dropped all the other projects to work on the Kitty Pi bed (free pattern from Wendy Knits!).