Monday, December 19, 2005

Big beginning here at Swatchy. Mostly to get ready for a much anticipated Bahamas Christmas. We will have two days of travel out and back as we will be spending a night in Florida. I wanted some things that would fit in a zip lock, not take up too much space, but provide ample knitting activity while on vacation for ten days. The "Rose Trellis" will probably go on the plane with me outbound, and I hope to finish that project while gone.

I've joined some Knit Alongs. I'm not much of a joiner, but I was planning on a few smaller projects, and thought it would be fun to be part of a group. I felt kind of dorky when I thought about it; one post, then probably two weeks gone.

First up - Branching Out using "Barrington Mohair" purchased from WEBS ages ago. So, I joined the Branching Out KAL, and added the button to my side bar.

The color is really more purple. This represents two pattern repeats. I have been knitting while my daughter gets her hair cut. They stylist really admires the work, and has asked for something. She said purple was her favorite color, so this will be her "tip" next time we go.

Next, I'm making a hat to match the top down aran recently finished. ( check the archives if you are interested) My husband seems to be enjoying the sweater, and has worn it many times since the temperature dropped here. The hat will have a braid around the edge, which will get grafted together. Then I'll pick up all around and stockenette the rest of the hat. Like this one on Knitty This would be a "Fall Cables KAL" project

I got it started so it was on a needle, ready for his trip. I'll need to dig up some double points so I can do the brim. This will probably go quite quickly. Love love love the Jo Sharp Silk Road that this is made from. The alarming yellow is the provisional cast on. Crummy picture, but go look at the sweater instead.

Last, I had my daughter and her friend wind yarn for an Ingeborg hat. I made an Ingeborg last year, and have always wanted the hat to go with her.

The PIS sweater will NOT be going to the Bahamas. She has been moving right along. Here is an update. Shilo of course is inspecting the arm hole steek. Please, someone, tell me why knit bloggers like to show off their steeks? I figure about two more inches, or 20 rows before I cast of for the neck. I will work back and forth from there, and plan to try some short row shaping for the shoulder.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lace happens.
This shawl is effectively three sections. The beginning pointy part, then nine pattern repeats in the center, then an ending pointy part. Here we have about three center repeats complete.

I pinned it onto the wall for a photograph, and that's a bit of counter over on the side. The original image is nicer. When I smooshed it to fit into the blog it seems the center "rose" pattern was affected.

It took longer than I expected for my hands and brain to wrap around this pattern. However, I now "see" what is happeining, and while I still refer to the pattern, it's just to remind me of which manuvers are next, and how to treat the first and last pattern on the row. So, I can't put it down for fear I'll forget what's what, and go back to ripping three rows for every five knit.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Last week's post was the 200th post to the Swatchy Blog.

Gotta love a good value statement. Apologies for the tear. Does Sears even sell yarn under it's own brand anymore?

FWIW, this is the white in the PIS sweater.

Notes on yarn; all of the yarn used is vintage wool from E-bay. You know about the white now. The rest is Bear Brand, or Fleishers 95% virgin wool and 5% Shetland wool purchased in odd lots. I fusted before starting this piece because I had a total of four 2 ounce skeins of the darker blue. I didn't have a clue if it would be enough. The sleeves don't give a yardage. I have been very impressed with the yardage of the older wools. I really liked how the colors worked on, so I decided what the heck, I've made bigger messes before this. My plan was to evaluate my progress when the first skein of dark blue pooped out.

Well, I made it to the armhole steek on my first skein and I feel better now. Somewhere, I learned that 1/3 of the material went into the sleeves, and 1/3 each for the front and back was a reasonable estimate of usage. Understanding that the sleeves are the same amount of work as a front or back significantly reduced my "sleeve angst". Those things get big. But I digress. From my measurements, I should be able to finish the body with the second skein, or just a little from the third. That gives me just less than half of my available dark blue for the sleeves, which should be plenty. I wanted full length sleeves, and now I can have them. I may even have enough for dark blue I cord edging instead of the light blue. But I'll decide that later.

For what its worth, I love this stuff. It knits into a light fabric with a spongy springy feel. It makes great cables too. It feel more elastic than the "basic" yarns on the market today such as Lambs Pride or Cascade 220. I've not tried the Elann Highland Wool, so no comment there. I find that when knitting becomes "popular" a lot of effort goes into "novelty" type yarns, and it's actually harder to find the basic wool. This went on in the 80's when I first got "into" knitting and seems to be going on again now.

I bought quite a lot of "vintage" wool when it was available on e-bay a few years ago. When my entire guest room closet was full, I recognized that I had a real problem, and put a stop to that activity. Since I'm making an effort to use it now, I'm interested again. I've notice that it's just not as available, and what does come up goes for more than I'm willing to pay. This could be a good thing, preventing me from filling up the attic as well.

Oh well, the current project is rocking, and I'm happy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's been a while since I've done colorful. Feels good.

Do not concern yourself with the curly edge. Rather than do the picot hem as described in the book, I'm planning I Cord and buttons. So what you see is normal stockenette curl coupled with a crochet cast on, that will pull out when I make my final edging decision. It's alarming yellow wallmart acrylic yarn that I bought for Girl Scout crafty stuff. Can you say "buddy braid"?

This will be a regular cardigan, but not the asymmetrical kimono thing shown in the book. I like the neck treatment on the pullover with the green stripe, and the little diagonal motif repeated on the neck edge, and will probably use it. It probably will be shortish, but not cropped, and I'm looking to do full length sleeves rather than the "bracelet" length. While we are discussing pattern divergence, the gauge is 21 stitches per 4inchs rather than the 25 or 26 stitches per inch, and I'm working on 256 stitches and nine big flower repeats rather than 303 stitches and 10 repeats.

Phew. I think there was a notion that doing this indicated the notion that one was a "bad assed knitter". I simply consider myself a knitter. Why do it if you can't make it the way you want?