Posts categorized "Charlotte's Web"

The longest row

charlotte_for_momI'm finished knitting Charlotte's Web 3. Those last few rows of 400ish stitches sure were rough. I ran out of yarn with about 30 stitches left to cast off (shit) but used another colour which isn't noticible. By the time I finished last night I didn't feel like getting to the crochet edge and the fringe and the blocking. Bleh. I celebrated by having some Coronas, sushi and a couple of episodes of Family Guy. It sure is pretty though, Mom's going to love it.


charlotte_3I've started Charlotte 3. This one for my Mom. It was nice to sit down to a familiar, memorized pattern and just knit. This one has a pink and orange theme and is really lovely. I'm on the third colour which has some blue tones--since it's really inaccurate to name only two colours when talking about koigu.

Other than that, there isn't much to report. I sent off all copies of my dissertation so my committee can read it for the defense and now I'm trying to get things at home back to a state of normal. I'm also resisting the urge to do groceries and laundry later and knit the afternoon away. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Wrapping it Up

All finished:


Nice eh? I'm still vacillating on the fringe. I figure I'll wear it out and decide.


Some of you have asked how I "poncho-ized" Charlotte. I'll give you some general directions. You'll have to buy the pattern for the specifics.

First some of the basic principles. I sized the poncho based on Amy's schematic (scroll down to find her fab green poncho). So it is about 26" around at the neck, 18" long on the non-pointy side and about 80" at the bottom (it could be much wider but that's all the blocking form I had).

If you've made a Charlotte this will be easy to understand (I hope). Fold your Charlotte along the middle line so the top edge meets. If you chop off the top of this triangle, you'll have a poncho. So basically, my poncho is the shawl knit in the round starting with more stitches.

I started with a provisional cast on and 114 stitches. Join the round and knit two rows. The 114 sts allows for 1 stitch, 7 pattern repeats, 1 stitch, 7 pattern repeats. So after the first two rows, K1 yo, work 7 pattern repeats, yo, k1, yo, work 7 pattern repeats (reversing the stitch pattern as you do for the shawl at the center point), yo. Knit the next round (the purl row in the shawl pattern).

So, you'll be making those "triangles" that surround the middle of the shawl and make the increases for the front and back of your poncho. This means after 16 rows of the pattern, you add another pattern repeat on each side of the k1 (Four in total). It's just like you do for the shawl (look at the middle of it) I worked 7 rows of triangles before binding off.

I did the crochet edge like the pattern and then blocked. Then I put all the starting stitches on my needle and knit two more rounds. I used an i-cord bind off to finish it off.

I used 4 balls to make this, but dipped into my second ball of the green to complete it because I only had a half skein of the orange. I'm pretty sure it can be made with only 4 if you don't fringe. And, I think it could be blocked longer and wider if needed.

I love my shawl, but I'm sure I'll wear this more because I can be a "woman about town" with my hands free to carry my laptop or chase my kids without losing my koigu! I'm already plotting another Charlotte (my Mom keeps looking at it when she's visiting, with two options I should be able to convince her to buy koigu for me to knit--clever aren't I?).

It's all about form baby

So pinning all that Charlotte onto my rug. Trying to get the shape right over two layers seemed an impossible task. Well, a great knitter on one of the lists suggested I make a form to put the poncho on. After a bit of brainstorming I came up with a nice easy solution. Neat eh?


It's rigid foam insulation that sells for cheap at your local hardware store. It comes in 8 ft by 4 ft sheets so bring your box cutter. This is my blocking surface of choice and these pieces were on their last legs from many pins. I didn't have a piece long enough so I duct-taped two pieces together (you can see it on the left). Then, with some almost-clever measuring, I made a poncho shape and put the poncho on it. I stretched it for length and width, pinned the top and bottom and that was it.

Well, not quite. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to spatial relations. I made my form too long. So while the top and bottom measurements are correct, it needed to be modified slightly so that I could have the bottom edge at the widest point (which could have been a bit wider). That's why the "neck" of my trapezoid is a bit wonky. I figure I'll steam block any weirdness out of it that might occur from my miscalculations and "reshaping" of my form.

All that's left is the neck and possible fringe. And, because I've used up my blocking board, I get a trip to the hardware store (I have a thing for gadgets).

It's all over except for the blocking

charlotte_poncho_1So, I didn't have the yarn karma yesterday. I had to undo the bind off and do the last two rows in the first green colour. It was no big deal though. I used the same colour for the crochet border so it worked out fine. I'm going to do the neck finishing after it's blocked so I can see how it fits. I'm still thinking about a fringe. I admit I'm a fringie girl. I always wanted one of those deer skin jackets with all the fringe on it. But I don't know how it will work with this because I don't want it too long. I'm also feeling a bit lazy. Doing the fringe for the Charlotte shawl was very boring. (And I'd like to keep the almost 2 full skeins of Koigu I have left for something yummy).

Now to block it. I have a great or possibly silly idea to use a form to block this on. I have to get some work done first, but I'll try it tonight and we'll see how it goes. Let's just say for now that it involves rigid foam insulation and duct tape.

Yarn Karma?


Is there going to be enough? I'm less than 1/2 way through the bind off row and that's all the yarn I have.

I actually had to stop with two rows to go in the 16 row pattern repeat because there isn't enough yarn. I thought of using the other green shade for the 2 rows and cast off, but decided the shortening won't show when it's all done. But, I may be "unknitting" this bind off and adding those two rows. Yikes.

The dullest blog in the world

charlotte_3I keep blogging even though I don't have much to say lately. And this is hard for a girl like me, who never stops talking. I had a busy weekend, visiting family, shopping, visiting the suburbs for birthday parties, but not knitting. I did have a good run while watching Love Actually on Saturday night. I admit I'm a sucker for Ben Elton, but I blame that on my obsession with Black Adder. Elton has figured out the romantic comedy genre, he's made light witty movies that aren't overly sappy. It works for me. It was a nice treatise on love, though the Colin Firth factor was too low for my tastes.

Now I only have eight rows left on the Charlotte poncho. I'm working out the finishing details in my head. Do I do the neck finishing before I block or after? How the hell will I block this anyway? Crochet border only or fringe? Hmmmm. I did go with the bright rainbow colour at the end and I like the look. It's a bit wild, but it will be perfect for summer.

That's better

charlotte_poncho_2I'm in a much better mood today. For this, I blame Charlotte. More than one blogger has compared Koigu to heroin, and it's creepy--but I'm getting it. Not that I have any experience with opiates or anything, but there was something relaxing and satisfying about sitting down with my koigu and knitting. I think this would be my dessert island yarn because I could knit everything from socks to lace with it.

I'm almost done this poncho. I'm trying to decide on the length. I keep taking my shawl and holding it up to my body trying to decide how many repeats I'll do to finish it. Because lace needs blocking, there's no way for me to try it on and see if it fits, so I think before I bind off I'll add a lifeline so that if I do need to lengthen it, it won't be horrible.

I'm also trying to decide what the final colour will be. If you remember this photo, I have two balls of the blue and green that I've already used, and I still have the ball with the pink in it (on the right).


You're all a wonderfully opinionated crowd, any suggestions on what the last colour should be? A repeat of the blue or green or should I go crazy and add the bright colour. It will predominate the shawl, so it's an important decision.

I cleared a few must-do's off my list, so I'm feeling less swamped (not that I don't have a ton of things to do). As for Grace, she's still hanging out in the basket, maybe I'll get to it this weekend, but as long as there's koigu around, that's doubtful. I'm musing about using my leftovers to copy this amazing sweater. I might not have enough leftovers yet, but that doesn't mean I can't get more...

If it wasn't for all the knitting time...

I'd be miserable. Forgive the whining...but it is my blog.
I did get my completed second draft into my advisor on Friday. But I couldn't get it formatted the way I wanted. So the text is fine, but each chapter seems to have it's own character appearance wise. Seems I'm an impatient girl and was pushing the capacities of my computer a wee bit hard, causing Word to crash repeatedly. My very patient husband was able to teach me some tricks and now I have a lovely formatted complete thesis awaiting inevitable revisions. At least I got it in before my monitor died on my desktop.

I did all this while suffering from another wicked cold. So instead of celebrating this thesis milestone, I stayed home feeling bleh. To add to my misery, poor Emma had a bout of throwing up and fever (why can't kids throw up in the middle of the day instead of the middle of the night?) so she kept me company on the couch yesterday. Xander had the fever by yesterday afternoon and Craig was out, so I played nurse-mom for the rest of the day. Thankfully, they fell asleep early so I could rest too.
I wasn't so sick that I couldn't do a bit of knitting. I finished the back of Grace and I made really good progress on Charlotte's Poncho. I'm on the third colour and I'm mesmorized by the Koigu again.

Today we're all home recovering. For the kids that means oodles of kids tv. For me it means more knitting time. So it's not all bad.

Caught in the Web

Charlotte's Web that is. I started and now I can't stop. I knit it at the coffee shop. I knit it at the doctor's office. I knit it, sitting on the examination table, in the gown, while waiting for the doctor (I waited 30 minutes, what would you do?) I knit it while staying up too late watching Sense & Sensibility (but I went to bed just at Maryann falls ill--I have some sense).


Now that doesn't mean I got a lot done--but I did make it through one and a half pattern repeats. The picture shows the orange and the start of the blue. Since this is a poncho, it's knit in the round and I started using a provisional cast on because I'm not sure what I will do with the neck (I'm leaning toward an attached i-cord, but will consider all suggestions).

I love the brightness of this colourway. This is going to be a fun poncho to wear.

This doesn't mean I didn't work on my is nearing completion. I'm too excited about finishing this draft to be tempted by Charlotte.