I've had an albatross around my neck for almost a year now--10 months--that's close enough to a year for this knitter. The aforementioned albatross would be the Cambridge Jacket I started in December for my dad as his 2006 Christmas gift. Some of you longsuffering readers may recall the debacle that was Cambridge Jacket #2. I haven't picked it up since February.....until Friday. All I had left to knit was the sleeves, but I was reluctant to start, not because I hate knitting sleeves, but because I stink at fitting inset sleeves into a sweater. Stinko! Several months ago I got the idea of seaming the sides and shoulders of the sweater together and picking the stitches up around the armhole, and knitting the sleeves in the round. Problem was that the the armholes have all that shaping for a pieced sleeve. What to do what to do? I knew it should work to pick up and work short rows for a while to form the sleeve cap, and then join the stitches at the underarm and knit in the round, but I wasn't sure of the math involved. Enter Barbara Walker and Knitting from the Top. I checked the book out almost 6 weeks ago and have just avoided looking at it, afraid that what worked in my mind would not work in real life. With the kids being gone I knew there was no better time to give it a try than now. So I sat down on Friday morning and seamed the sides and shoulders of the sweater (yes, in that order. Note to self--do the shoulders first!) And might I just digress and add that mattress stitch rocks in its own right!?!?! I've never done mattress stitch before, but my goodness, what a piece of cake and what a great--read virtually invisible--seam! Friday evening Barbara and I settled down after a good meal and picked up the stitches around the first armhole and proceeded to the short-rowing. Short-rowing continued yesterday morning, and now I am well into the arm decreases--flying away, in the round! I love it when a plan comes together!!!!! So, by the last day of September all of my summer goals have been accomplished! Not too bad--just 7 days over the end of summer deadline. Pictures to follow.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
I decided to go ahead and make a new post for my current destashing. I have a variety of yarns and books, so take a look and contact me at my email in the sidebar if you are interested in anything.
In order to avoid overloading this post with photos, I have provided links to the items for sale/swap on my Flickr page.
- At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in excellent condition, $6 including media rate postage in the US only.
- Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in excellent condition; $8 including media rate postage in the US only.
- Mason-Dixon Knitting in very good condition--cover shows wear on corners. $15 including media rate postage in the US only.
- Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in very good condition. $7 including media rate postage in the US only.
Blackberry Ridge silk/wool blend in sportweight approx 650 yds; Used to make Lacy Prairie Shawl One skein still in original condition with band. 198 gms total. $15 including postage in the US only.
- Briggs & Little Regal Used to make FLAK cardigan Two skeins that have been washed, but not knit. Still in original skein, but no band. Approx 740 yards. Purchased same time--same dyelot. The color appears a bit washed out here, check the link for the cardigan for a more accurate representation of the color. Total grams is 317. $9 including postage in the US only.
- Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Cranberry $4 including postage in the US. 2 balls~~approx 218 yds
- Elann Peruvian Sierra Aran $1.50 plus shipping in the US. 1 ball~~approx 91 yds
- Handpaintedyarn.com wool laceweight 190 g/approx 1610 yds; Autumn colors--Stonechat. One skein still in original bag from handpaintedyarn.com, the second has been balled and partially knit. Purchased at the same time, so same dyelot. $8 including postage in the US only.
- Ilse Wolle Marathon (sock yarn) 230 yds; Colorway 330; Only one ball of this. $5 including postage in the US only.
- Ilse Wolle Marathon (sock yarn) 230 yds; Colorway 1332; Only one ball of this. $5 including postage in the US only.
- Knit Picks Dancing 2 balls~~approx 506 yds; Sorry, can't remember the name. In original balls with bands. $5 including postage in the US only.
- Opal sock yarn; Approx 465 yds; This is one of the rare, one-of-a-kind colorways. Just the very start of two toe up socks started. Divided into two same size/weight yarn cakes. Do have the ballband. $10 including postage in the US only.
- Queensland Kathmandu DK--6 balls--wool/silk/cashmere--247 yds per ball. Picture shows a yarn cake wound from a frogging session on Everyday Tweed, but all 6 balls are in original condition with tag. $20 including postage in the US only.
- Tivoli Celtic Aran 2 full balls plus a bit more--approx. 340+ yards; superwash; $10 including postage in the US only.
- Wolle Rödel Sport & Strumpfwolle Streifen-Jacquard sock yarn; 420 yds; $10 including postage in the US only.
- Inox grey 3.75 (US 5) 24 in $4
- Inox grey 4.o (US 6) 32 (?) in $4.25
- Inox grey 4.5 (US 7) 16 in $4.25
- Inox grey 5.0 (US 8) 16 in $4.25
- Inox grey 5.0 (US 8) 24 in $4.25
- Addi Natura 5.0 (US 8) 40 in $9
- Inox grey 6.0 (US 10) 24 in $4.50
- Inox grey 6.0 (US 10) 16 in $4.50
- Inox grey 6.5 (US 10.5) 16 in $4.50
- Inox grey 6.5 (US 10.5) 24 in $4.50
If you would like to swap rather than buy, I am interested in solid/semi-solid sock yarns, as well as Trekking and Mountain Colors Bearfoot.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
An update on my swatches for the Cobblestone and Neckdown Hooded tunic sweaters......plus a look at my former Clapotis in its present incarnation.
First, the swatches for the Cobblestone sweaters I have planned. On the left is the yarn from my stash for CD's Cobblestone. It is cold where he goes to college~~much colder than it is here. The yarn is Bartlett Yarns Fisherman and is quite rustic and warm. I'm intending his version as almost an outer layer for him or a very warm inner layer on those really cold, windy days. On the right is a smallish swatch using the Beaverslide in Prairie Aster that arrived on my doorstep yesterday. This version is for me and will be quite warm and snuggly. This yarn feels rustic, but there is definitely an underlying softness that I could feel trying to come out as I worked up this swatch this morning. I'm very interested to see how it washes up. Both swatches were done on size 8 needles and are exactly the same width~~18 stitches = 4 inches as called for in the pattern. So for now I am bang on gauge. Final gauge to be determined after I wash them today.
Next up is the swatch for The Teen's Neckdown Hooded Tunic in Valley Yarns Berkshire. Now this is an interesting yarn. Take a look at the end of the yarn~~it's almost like roving. I had to knit this on a size 10 needle to get the required gauge of 16 stitches = 4 inches. The Teen loves the yarn and the feel of the swatch. Again, this is going to make a thick sweater which will be almost outer wear for her. She pretty much lives in hoodies in the winter anyway, so this is a good fit for her. I'm concerned about how much this yarn will pill, also, it is not a superwash, so I will have to care for it and emphasize that it does not get thrown in the wash.
If you notice knots in the ends of yarn on my swatches, this is my way of keeping track of the size needle used for the swatch. Ten knots for a size 10 needle, for example.
Last night I ripped out the Clapotis and cast on Obstacles (Hypoteneuse will likely be knit up in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport Watercolor I have). This is the result through the first 16 row repeat. I like the way the pattern breaks up the tendency of the colors to pool a bit on this size needle. I'm using a size 9 needle for this yarn after trying an 8 and finding it too tight for a wrap. So, that's where I stand right now. I may post some items on my Destashing page, but will post here if /when I do so.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I admit it. I've been working on my Clapotis in Brooks Farm Fourplay, and I'm just not feelin' it. I really liked the way it looked, and then started to drop the stitches. The love stopped dead in its tracks. I've dropped just three sets of stitches and don't want to proceed.
However, all is not lost, I do have in mind an alternative pattern or two for this yarn. How about Cozy, or my personal favorite, Obstacles? Hey Hypoteneuse would work, too! Fortunately, I have more than enough yarn (1080 yds or so) so if you have any other suggestions I'm more than happy to hear them. I do prefer a stole rather than a shawl for this yarn. So send me your ideas!
Meanwhile, the kids are away with their grandparents, and I am all alone during the day. The housework is done, and dinner is planned. Podcasts have been downloaded, and I've been spending a few hours this afternoon knitting. That came to a screaming halt when I made the above decision, but the needles will not remain idle for long. Already in my knitting bag is my Sock Hop Yarn in American Pie, divided into two equal balls for sock knitting. Nothing elaborate on tap for these~~the yarn is the star here, so they will just be stockinette with a 3 x 2 ribbing.
I did have some yarn arrive in the mail this afternoon from Beaverslide Dry Goods in Prairie Aster~~eventually it will become a Cobblestone with some feminine modifications for me. Now that Clapotis has fallen by the wayside, I have a couple of swatches that I need to get those washed and blocked so I can get to work on the sweaters.
Sorry for the photoless post. I haven't pulled the camera out in a few days. If all goes as planned tomorrow will be the day!
Thanks for the replies to my Sunday rant. For now, I won't be posting the name of the pattern or the designer, although if you've been reading my blog long, you may have already figured it out.
Have I mentioned here that The Terror read his first sentences the other day? I never get over the wide-eyed look kids get when they realize they are reading. Granted, it was just, 'Nat is a cat,' but it's the first step to a lifelong love of books. I sent a book with the kiddos for Grandma to use with him so he can practice his reading. As a former grammar school librarian, she was thrilled!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Just as a warning, this
may will turn into a bit of a rant, so if you'd like to avoid seeing me rant, just move along.
You're a knitter who wants to knit a sweater for your daughter (insert any other person here you'd like) and find the perfect pattern in a new issue of your favorite magazine (or book, whatever). The kids loves it, but you put off knitting it, because the sweater has a strange construction, and you'd like to see how other knitters handle it before diving in. You even watch a friend struggle through it at SnB every week (Hi Christine, yes, I am going there.) You read on blogland about knitters of all stripes having problems modifying the pattern for length, because not all of us want to show our midriff to the world, as well as dealing with sleeves that are so narrow, even after modifications, they would never work with a t-shirt under them, let alone a turtleneck. So you decide against the pattern for your daughter. She's disappointed, but chooses another, less problematic pattern. Meanwhile your SnB friend continues to struggle until you (and others) finally convince her to give up after the umpteenth try at making those sleeves work. Next thing you know, the designer of the pattern has released a modified version of the pattern addressing all the issues knitters around the world have been having with the original. 'Cool,' you say, 'Now maybe I can make the sweater.' You surf happily to the designer's website only to find that she is not giving this information away for free to those who already own the pattern, no sireeebob, you have to pay AGAIN for a pattern that should have worked the first time. Excuse me? Isn't this what we call errata? And the designer wants you to pay for the fixes for the mistakes in the first pattern? I don't think so. Sorry dear daughter of mine, you will NEVER be getting this sweater from me, no matter how cute it is. NEVER! Because I call this dirty pool.
Okay, rant over. I feel much better, sort of. Started a new project last night and swatched for not one, not two, but three sweaters. Info to follow.
Posted by Jenny Raye at 9/23/2007 08:56:00 AM
Friday, September 21, 2007
Two finished projects in a week, how 'bout that!?
It's hot up here in the computer room, so I'll be brief.
Pattern: River Rapids by Sockbug
Yarn: Trekking 108 (Love me some Trekking!)
Needles: Size 1 Addi Turbo (two at a time, of course)
For: Undecided~~started out for me, then I thought they'd make a great Christmas gift, now I don't want to give them away. You know how it is, don't ya?
Start date: August 2007
Finish date: September 21, 2007
Modifications: Only one~~shocker, I know~~changed the Eye of Partridge heel to regular sl1 k1 heel.
This pair of socks is my entry for September in Sock of the Month 4 for September, and my August entry in Sockdown on Ravelry.
Please note my summer goals over in the sidebar~~all but casting on the sleeves for Cambridge Jacket have been accomplished. A rather profitable summer if I do say so myself.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
While I wait for the camera batteries to charge so Mr Fix-it can get a few shots on this beautiful early fall afternoon, I thought I'd go ahead and update the blog with my latest FO. Everyday Tweed is off the needles and currently being worn by yours truly until the above mentioned photo shoot is over. (It is cool today for early fall in Virginia, but not cool enough to wear wool/silk/cashmere for the rest of the afternoon. I do, however, have wool socks on my feet. Fall is coming!)
Pattern: Everyday Tweed by Marie Grace Smith
Yarn: Queensland Kathmandu DK purchased from Quality Fibers on Ebay (8 whole skeins and part of a ninth. 10 called for.)
Needle: Size 7 Addi Turbo
Size: M (for a chest size 38--finished size right around 40-41")
Start Date: August 20, 2007 (or thereabouts)
Finish Date: September 12, 2007
- Knit the body longer than called for.
- In the original the neck was scoopier than I would like, or would look good on me, so I fudged after getting to the underarms on my first attempt. The neckline dropped below my bustline--don't care who you are, not a good look. So I ripped and started over only doing half the number of rows/increases before casting on the front stitches and joining to knit in the round. It was easy to come up with the number needed by finding the total I had for the back, them subtracting how many I already had on the front. The total left was how many I cast on for the front. I then continued to do the raglan increases as called for in the pattern. In my version, as well as the original, the raglan increases were complete well before the underarm was reached.
- Because I had fewer stitches than called for for the neck, I didn't need all the number of stitches the pattern called for when picking up to knit the ribbing at the neck. I just went with the tried and true pick-up 3 stitches for every 4 already in existence. I also dropped down to a size 6 needle for the neck ribbing. Wish I had gone down to a 5.
- Did not do the last decrease for the waist shaping~~one of the benefits of neckdown knitting in the round is the ability to try the garment on. My waist couldn't take another decrease, so I just knit straight for that decrease until I reached the row for second increase and carried on from there.
- My sleeves may be a little longer. I held both sleeves paritally finished on waste yarn until I was well past the bust area--almost finished with the body really~~so I could try the sleeves on for fit as I went. I think they are a little longer~~again, the advantage of knitting top down in the round.
- Mistake mod: knit too long from cast on to the underarm~~I have a little too much length in that area, but not overwhelmingly so.
PS: Anyone interested in buying/swapping for 6 full skeins of Queensland Kathmandu DK in rust colorway dyelot 643? Same dyelot is still available at the ebay store from which I purchased it.
Friday, September 14, 2007
To offer in trade I have Mason Dixon Knitting, a skein of Vesper Sock Yarn in Aquamelon, Knitting Rules, Yarn Harlot, At Knit's End, or good ol' cash. Let me know if anything strikes your fancy! Thanks!!!
ETA: Found!!! The Brooks Farm gals are on a weekend getaway, but were kind enough to activate the Ginger 6 link on their website! So all is well. You may return to your regularly scheduled weekend knitting and/or other activities! Hmmmm.......I may just start that Clapotis now. No, I must finish those socks first!
Posted by Jenny Raye at 9/14/2007 11:30:00 AM
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
and the time has, too. Since I last posted a LOT has been going on here. We drove College Dude (CD from now on) to school in mid-August--just a few days after my previous post. He is settling in well, and we all miss him tremendously. Just this past weekend, The Terror, who is almost 5 and has no concept of time or college yet, got very serious, looked me in the eye, and said, 'Mom, it's time for college to be over.' He misses his brother.....his pal. I'm right there with ya, bud! But we look forward to seeing CD soon--we'll be making a trip out in the next month to take him his car and give The Teen and The Terror, as well as the grandparents, a chance to see CD and his school.
Upon our return from the college run, the two younger kids and I launched into school. We're going full throttle right now (well, most days), which explains why I haven't posted to the blog in, gulp, almost a month.
Nevertheless, knitting has been occurring, so let's start with an update on my active WIPs.
Now, on to yarn acquisitions. As August is my birthday month there is always much stash enhancement going on in that month. This time all yarn was purchased with a project in mind. In addition to the Kathmandu DK being used above the following yarns helped me celebrate my birthday in knitterly style!
Another birthday acquisition was 13 skeins of Classic Elite Skye Tweed from the fantastic closeout sale WEBS was having on this discontinued yarn several weeks ago. I had planned on using this to make myself the Split Neck T-Shirt for Women from Knitting Pure and Simple (scroll down to see the pattern). But after seeing the Cozy V-Neck Pullover with Deep Ribbing (sorry, Ravelry link) in Fitted Knits, I may be changing the destiny of this gorgeous yarn.
As a gift to myself I purchased some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed, also from the incredible WEBS sale for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan in the most recent IK. It's a pale green, and I hope will show off the pattern very nicely. I could have gotten a chocolate brown, but I thought the pattern would get lost in the color of the yarn, so I went with lighter rather than darker.
In addition to the sweater already on the needles and the ones planned above, I have two other sweaters planned as Christmas gifts. CD will be getting a Cobblestone, also from IK Fall 2007. For this I will be doing some stashbusting and using some Bartlett Yarns Two Ply Fisherman.
The Teen is getting a hooded sweater from Knitting Pure and Simple in a yet to be determined yarn.
The Terror asked for a sweater yesterday, and a Wallaby would be the perfect pattern for him. Unless I get the other two finished fairly quickly, his will have to wait until after Christmas.
Oh yeah, and I still need to finish my Dad's sweater. His will be for his birthday in early December. All I have left is the sleeves and finishing. I checked out BW's Knitting from the Top and have figured out how to knit the sleeves in the round to be able to forgo the seaming of those babies, which caused so much angst on the last Cambridge Jacket I made. First I need to get the body blocked and seamed, and then on with the sleeves.
One more thing and you will be up-to-date. I participated in the tea swap on Ravelry and had a great swap pal--Heidi. She sent me this timely package as I was quite sick the day it arrived on my doorstep. Chai and yarn, yeah, I felt tons better after opening it:This was not a secret swap-- you swapped with your pal--so my package went to her. She's currently on vacation, so it will be waiting for her when she returns. Thanks, Heidi!