Friday, December 15, 2017

Complete in Record Time

I'm not sure I've made a sweater this quickly. Just a day over two weeks. Not sure what's up with that. I've been binge watching Netflix series and not wanting to do much more. I blame it on the cough I've had since Harvey. I've been to the doctor twice, had a round of antibiotics and then a round of Prednisone and I'm taking three antihistamines.  I'm still coughing.

I learned that my husband admires these nordic style sweaters with the lice. He was disappointed that the finished sweater was too small for him.

The picture is from before the bath and block. I'll update when it drys.

Not sure what to pick for the next project. The choices are a Henry 7 in red or another Drops pattern in three colors.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Off Color

In my quest to use up my worsted, I run into challenges with certain skeins. Sometimes the color seems too bright or not quite right with anything else that I have.

I have two four-ounce skeins a creamy orange that has been eating my brain recently. It is a bit heavy so I don't want to use it in a fair-isle. I'm thinking some kind of slip stitch tweedy fabric.While digging around I found some off-white that I thought would work with some brown and tan yarns I've also been thinking about. Well, this off-white seemed to love the orange.

I tried some green and I tried the blue and ended up liking the blue quite a lot. This is a Barbara Walker Vol 1 stitch called basket check. It is written so that the contrast colors use the garter stitch, but she suggests trying stocking stitch as well.

The next try was striped check. With the similar shades, I'm not sure that it works well. What the picture does not show is that the slipped stitches line up and provide a bit if a ribbed effect. It's nice, but I think one of the colors should be darker.

The last one is a linen stitch variation named three color tweed.. It was looking flat with the three colors so I tried working in a second blue in the place of the off-white and ended up a subtle strip. I like the color gradation that resulted.

I have 8 ounces each of the orange and the off-white and 12 ounces of the light blue. I can use the blue for the welts and have plenty for the body.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Sleeve Tricks

Drops patterns are a great inspiration. Recently, I have been following patterns pretty closely, but with some standard modifications. This one is no different.

The project will generally follow Drops 52-18. I substitute stash yarn, in this case vintage worsted that seems to work much like the Drops Karisma. I like a fully fashioned shoulder so I will drop the top sleeve detail and work the lice pattern up the sleeve cap.

I have a trick for the back and forth sections of this type of pattern. Every other lice row finds the grey yarn on the wrong side of the work. So, I work the main color, slipping the stitch that should be grey. Then, I work the grey back, slipping the white stitches. One of the joys that come with using circular needles for everything.

I was unsure about having enough of the medium grey in my stash to complete the pattern elements, so I will use some charcoal in the smaller pattern bands and the welts.

The first sleeve is complete and I used just over on skein of the oyster Sesame4. I'm pretty sure the white will last as the body has considerably more dark stitches than the sleeves.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Milo Finished

Another finished project. This pattern is one of those wonderful knitting cheats where the effect is much more elaborate than the effort. 

I was a bit anxious that the bright colors would yield a sweater that was too bright, but I'm pleased with the way it come out. I used my 'go-to' sweater pattern by Ann Budd for the shaping.

This sweater had quite an adventure over Thanksgiving. We flew to Atlanta to pick up a vintage car that my husband purchased. He is quite the optimistic guy, and figured that a thirty year old car would be perfect to drive back home. Turns out it refused to start that morning so he and the seller spend the afternoon trouble shooting and eventually it started up.  We drove to Tennessee to visit friends, leaving just as the sun set. When it was dark we discovered that the dash lights did not work an the heater vents did not open.

Thanksgiving was swell, except that I am experiencing nuclear allergies. The going theory is that this is due to all the dust, mold and gunk from the hurricane salvage work that I encountered. So lots of coughing and fatigue. The doctor put me on three antihistamines but they were not doing the trick. 
Friday we left for home in good weather. When we stopped for gas in Clarksdale, MS, the little car refused to start. Four hours later after more troubleshooting and lots of help from the local guy at Autozone and a nice man who we met in the parking lot it was determined that the car needed an alternator. The best solution for us at the time was to rent a car carrier from U Haul and continue the drive. 

When we got to Houston, I was about finished with the back and very tired. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Milo Sleeves

Milo is coming along nicely. One sleeve done and one on the way. 
For the fair isle sweaters, I usually keep a purl stitch 'seam' as suggested by Elizabeth Zimmerman. For this pattern, the practice does not work so well. Instead, I'm marking the seam with a slip stitch every other row. I like it, but it is tough to keep the tension right. I think the first sleeve is a bit tight. I expect it to relax a bit after blocking. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Finish and Start

The Ocean Glow pullover is complete and I'm quite happy with it. It has been sent to a friend who has first dibs and I'm waiting for the reaction.

I was really not interested in the small job of sewing the sleeves this week. I fusted and delayed a few days, beginning the next project instead.

Finally, I got it done.

A few notes on the pattern:

First, I was very happy to see that it translates well to worsted for an adult size. The math worked but sometimes the results are not pleasing.

Second, my normal process of doing sleeves first was very helpful for this pattern. My preference for a set in sleeve creates the need for back-and-forth knitting once the armhole decreases are done. By that time, my fingers had memorized the small pattern and I only had to refer to the chart for the large center medallion.

Third, there are two errors on the medallion chart. The first is row 28. Since the hurricane I do not have a scanner so I won't demonstrate where the error is here. If you read this and then try the pattern you will find it. Then, evaluate the symmetry and choose what to do.

Next up is Milo, a free pattern from Berroco. This one is fairly straight forward. Because I'm using stash, there is a twist. I have 10oz of turquoise, 8ounces of blue and green and 4 ounces of two purples. So, The purples are alternating in the sequence. Also, this will be mostly in the round as I seem to dislike sewing these days.

Starting out, I was surprised how many mistakes I made in the sequence. Now, I'm paying attention a bit more and doing better.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Ocean Body and Calculations

Nancy was right. I did not buy enough of the magenta yarn to finish. To calculate what I needed, I marked the beginning and end of the first whole skein I used on the body. Then I measured how many inches between the beginning and the end of the skein. Now, I know that I will need one more skein to finish the project so I can buy in confidence. 

It also looks like there will be about two beg medallions to the arm hole, then another one and a half to the neck. I'm pleased with the way the pattern has adjusted to the adult size. Sometimes it doesn't work so well.

Oh, and the new owner of the Swallow sweater sent me a selfie. They look happy together.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sleeves and a Swatch

Since last week I have finished a sleeve and a half on the Ocean Glow. I also thought about my visit to the yarn shop. Linda quizzed me about the amount of yarn I needed for this sweater. I had taken six 50gm skeins of the magenta and was confident that this would be enough. The first skein ran out about the middle of the first sleeve cap so now, I am not so sure. 
I am pretty sure that Linda was trying to ask me if I was buying enough to complete the project. I seem to be having the problem of not quite enough to finish this year. There may be a trip to the shop next week.

I think this project is looking good.

Instead of concentrating entirely on the Ocean Glow, I had a craving to swatch today. I assembled skeins to make a Milo design by Berroco. I have 12 ounces of turquoise, 8 each of green and dark blue and about 8 of two different purples which I plan to alternate. The purples will be A, blue and green will be B and C and turquoise will be D. I like the way the colors play together so it is a go for the next project. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ocean Glow Edges

Here is the next project.

This is an adult version of a child's pattern from Small Knits  by Tone Takle and Lise Kolstadcalled Ocean Glow. I originally thought the body would be turquoise and white, but the white did not stand up to the colored edges. 

I planned to visit Nancy at Nancy's knits to show off how great the yarn I purchased worked out in the sparrow sweater. That was my excuse to visit her worsted yarn. So many choices. I ended up with a dark magenta and I am much happier.

While I was fussing, I decided that I should do the colored edges for both sleeves and the body. That way, I don't have to remember how the pattern worked and can get past all the join without twisting and fussing with the picot.

I also wanted to make sure that I had enough of the bits I needed for the edges. I'm tired of scaring myself. Here is a closeup. Nice?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Post Harvey FO

When last seen, the knitting was complete, but the ends needed to be worked in. All is complete now.

Before gifting, I plan to bring it in to Nancy's Knits to show off how awesome the color match of the yarn was. I'm still astonished at how well it worked out. I even showed the sweater to my husband, who sees all flaws, and he could not see the switch.

I started swatching/fiddling with colors for the next work. There should be something to show later this week.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Got Lucky

I have been worried and sort of expecting to run out of the lighter blue color for this sweater. 

And, I did. 

Seems unlucky. But, I went shopping on Saturday. Houston is not a great city for yarn. Two well stocked shops for 6 million folks seems a bit shy to me. But, hey no never mind, off I went to do the impossible and find the perfect near match for the not-quite-enough color.

And, I found it.
Sure, it was a sport weight and needed to be doubled, but I am unable to see where I made the switch.
How great is that? 

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Harvey Delay

This blog and a lot of knitting was suspended by hurricane Harvey.

All I can say is that I am adjusting to a temporary new normal and I'm tired.

Work on the three color sparrow sweater has resumed. I re-knit the sleeves a few times for fit and because I did not like to mess with back and forth knitting with three colors. One color always seems to be on the wrong side of the piece. This was the reason for deciding to go for a yoke raglan instead of my normal fitted sleeve.

I am still anxious that the lighter blue will last the project. We shall see.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lemony is Done

Lemony is finished, washed, and ready to pack. We are visiting my daughter this week and she likes yellow. I hope it suits her.

I am mushing on with the three color fair isle mostly because I can't help myself. I used stitch fiddle to calculate proportions of colors and excel to calculate estimated ounces. There is supposed to be enough.

The back of my mind is considering options should the colors run out.

Summer road trip knitting coming up.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Best and Final, Maybe

So many sleeves started and ripped.

The last combination was nice but part way up I measured and it was way too small. Turns out the gauge wanted to be 6.25 stitches/inch instead of my normal 5 stitches for this sort of wool. Perhaps some is the Debut which is not quite worsted but thick enough and some is the fair isle pattern which seems to look better tight.

Since I was ripping anyway, I switched out the medium blue with a lighter blue of the same type. I was not entirely happy with how the darker color read against the navy when they were together.

We have a finalist now.

I weighed all the yarn before and after the sleeve and found that each color is missing 50 grams. Strangely, the sleeve weighs 120 grams so something is off.

This is troubling, as it is a bit more than 1/6th of the yarns that I am using and my rule of thumb is 1/3 for the sleeves and 2/3 for the body.


I should go finish Lemony now.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


My primary stated knitting goal this year is to work through my worsted weight yarn. I thought I was doing well, finishing about a sweater a month.

In the process of creating a stash inventory I came across some worsted that my brain had considered DK weight. So, the worsted stash is suddenly a kilo larger or 2,700 yards depending on how you count.

On the other hand, there are some nice colors to work in, one of which was a very dark navy blue.

So, while contemplating the Drops pattern with squares swatch, I thought that coral and blues could work very well.

And, they work very well indeed.

On the brown front, the turquoise and brown swatch sleeve was frogged. While the pictures looked nice enough the turquoise just did not read well against the brown in the pattern. There were way more brown stitches than turquoise. Perhaps a more even arrangement would be better.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Design Process; Next Project

As the Lemony jacket nears completion I begin contemplating the next project.

First, I played with some zig-zag patterns using three colors. The idea is to use up the two skeins of cream left from Canyonville and the left over coral from the Drops Brocade sweater. I have some nice turquoise that I know looks nice with the coral.

I used Stitch Fiddle to come up with a design, using the Grey Sparrow as a starting point.

I use sleeves for swatches when I feel confident so off I went.

Turns out, I do not like the way the coral plays against the off white. It looks better in the photograph but in real life it makes my eyes hurt.

I was also troubled by the turquoise. Not how it played but in the quantity I have on hand. There is enough of this yarn for about a half of a sweater. This application needed just shy of three skeins and I have more than four.

In the background, I have been creating an inventory of my stash. I discovered a few important things:

1) I have some Reynolds Debut, which I thought was DK, but is really worsted. I have 250 grams of navy blue which would be very nice against the coral.

2) I have a lot of brown. I may have liked browns but now this seems to be a problem.

So, the next try is inspired a bit by the Tour de France. Specifically the AG2R team that has been riding in the same turquoise, brown, and white jerseys for years. Here is Romain Bardet, who, incidentally looks like an anime character in those colors.

The next choice was to pull a two color project out of my queue. I decided on Drops 55-14. I like the pattern a lot, and I also like the pops of a third color on the cuffs.

I'm not fond of the hemmed edge that the pattern calls for, so I decided to try a slip stitch pattern in garter stitch. I'm interested these days in alternate edges and using slip stitch patterns for cuffs and collars.

So, again, I started on a cuff. I used a slip stitch pattern from Barbara Walkers's second Treasurry and the bright yellow from Lemony.

Again, it looks better in the picture but I decided that the yellow was too bright. I was also surprised that the brown/turquoise contrasted less than I expected. The idea is still good. Next try will use brown and turquoise for the slip stitch section and brown/yellow for the medallion section. Then, I will skip the third little contrast design and go straight to the main body pattern.

Good think that I don't mind ripping.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Parts Parts Parts

Another road trip, some Tour de France viewing and Lemony progresses.

I did not like the cable down the sleeve from the model so I improvised. The cuff is a strip of cable, grafted ends and the light yellow picked up and knit from there.

The model shows a hood which I also did not like. Hard to tell from the picture but there are neck decreases for a V neck. The cable edge will extend around to the back neck. MannequinAnnie on Ravelry did something like this.

I'm trying to spend some time documenting my stash. The Ralvelry application is great for this. I'm finding that some of my vintage stuff is not listed, so I'm creating pages there as well.

So much to work through.

My plan was to begin with the worsted and work my way down in gauge.

I'm re-thinking my plan.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Road Trip Knitting

I spent a lot of last week documenting my stash. I started with the worsted weight and found that it helped me get my head around the horror that is my yarn supply. I am not nearly done but I will be offering yarn for sale or trade on Ravelry. So, if you are in the United States, please take a look.

I spent a lot of time in the car over the weekend travelling to a sailing event. Lots of car knitting. I am making a scarf with the leftover Cascade Casablanca that I used in the recently completed Drops brocade sweater. I'm using a herringbone stitch and I think it is quite nice. My husband has already claimed it.

I progressed on the swirl cable jacket enough to sew down the swirly cables. I think one needs to be adjusted a bit, but I'm still thinking about it.

I did not do the sewing in the car.

In fact, I decided to crochet the swirls in place. Here is a detail....

The car knitting was working up the right front and some of the back. I eventually became annoyed with wrestling three balls of yarn that wanted to twist together and resorted to the scarf which was the back-up project.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Shaggy Success

I became interested in finishing this project over the weekend, mostly to discover if I was going to have enough yarn. Almost didn't make it. The beige ran out partway through it's last repeat so I substituted the toasty color and the Lamb's Pride brown/grey was replaced with the other Lamb's Pride grey/brown. The replacements were done only on the back. Even so, I doubt that most people would notice.

I very nearly ran out of the berry color which would have been a problem. But I didn't so I call this a success.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shaggy Shaping Up

Well, Shaggy has made it to the armhole decreases and the left front is finished.

Here is a view of the finished side and a sleeve:

The pile of yarn is much smaller, but I feel that I ought to have enough to finish. Even better, the chocolate color that I used for the sleeve edges may have enough yardage for the body edging.

Hard to tell at this point. Here's to finishing the rest of the body.

We've taken some hill country road trips recently and I did not want to herd seven balls of yarn while in the car. So, the next worsted project is on the needle. Here is a peek:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shaggy Thinking

Shaggy sleeves are finished and I am working on the body.

The picture shows almost six pattern repeats and two button holes. I cast on using a provisional cast on and a crocheted base. That is the green yarn at the bottom. The edge is a bit curly so it will need a few rows of something to stabilize.

My scanner is not co-operating. If it was I would scan the pattern I wrote to document how my mind works. Instead, here is a description of what I plan:

My gauge is 5 stitches/inch and one ten-row pattern repeat per inch. The stitch pattern is from the "Furrow" pattern in the Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book 2.

After the sleeves were finished, I have better than 65% of all my yarn with the exception of the milk chocolate. That makes sort of makes sense because the  chocolate was used a bit more since it was used for the edging of the sleeve.

I will want to weigh the yarn again when I get to the armhole. I'm pretty sure I have enough to finish. The point was to take a pile of leftovers and make something wonderful, not something unfinished an useless. I find that the 1/3 sleeves, 1/3 front, 1/3 back rule works pretty well. Thus, I should have just enough for the sweater. A cropped length and the "V" neck should help. It will be close.

My initial thought was to use the chocolate to edge the body in garter stitch with mitered corners at the bottom openings. This plan needs to change because it now is unlikely there will be enough of the chocolate. I think either a striped garter edge or a crocheted edge will work. I will have to wait and see what I have left when the body is done.

I want a somewhat cropped jacket with a V neck and three buttons. I want the waist to be smaller than the bust.

Cast on 212 stitches using a provisional method
. 55 for left front/1/100 for the back/1/55 for right front. The single stitches are to be knit stitches all the way up to define the side seam.

Increase on stitch on each side of the seam stitches on row 1 of the pattern on repeat 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 for a total of 20 stitches.

Make a button hole on the second row of the pattern on repeats 2, 6, and 10.

Begin armhole decreases and "V" neck decreases on row 6 of repeat 10.  Use armhole directions from the "Grand Plan" pullover by Ann Budd. V neck decreases 1 stitch each side every row 1 and 6 until the armhole measures 9.5". There should be 24 stitches left for the shoulder.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Just now Finished

The brocade sweater is finished and is taking a bath.

I did pull apart the collar and redo it and I am happy with that. I then stared at it for a week because I did not feel like setting in the sleeves. Today, I had to wait for the pest control service to come by, so I sat down and did the final finishing.

I love the way the set in sleeves fit.

I still have just over two skeins of this color left, so the project did not demolish the difficult to deal with coral yarn.

In the mean time, I had a blinding flash of the obvious regarding the Shaggy project. Since I am only working one color at at time, there is no reason to break the yarns that end on the wrong side of the work. Since I use double ended needles, I can just slide the work and work on the wrong side. So this Shaggy sleeve is considerable less shaggy.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Almost finished.

Well, the brocade knitting is complete. I admit that the back and forth for the front and back were tedious, but that is over now.  I like to add the collar before sewing on the arms because there is less to throw around as I knit around the neck. I tend to pick up too many stitches so right now the collar stands up like a mock turtleneck.

I'm not sure I like that. I'll sew the arms on and if I decide to change those arms will swing around as the new collar goes on.

So it goes...

When the tedium became too much I continued on with the new slip stitch project. The garter ridges and nubs work well for this combination of yarns. The first sleeve went fast and I was enchanted with the resulting fabric.

So enchanted that I did not fully realize the number of ends involved. I truly considered pulling this apart and throwing it all away. Shame on the professional designer and shame on me for not figuring out a better solution to this.

Still, it's awfully nice is a woodsy sort of way. It is much nicer looking in person.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Brocade Continues

Well, the brocade flowers pullover continues. I cast off for the armhole openings and am  now back to back and forth fair isle. Not my idea of a good time but the result is generally worth the effort. I considered doing a steek but with the shaping involved I decided that route was about as troublesome and added more effort when finishing.

This is the point of the project where my mind wanders. My goal this year is to work through as much of my worsted stash as possible and I have made a considerable dent. While working on the front of this project I began thinking of my single and partial skeins. I've been putting them into bags according to color family. My neutral/brown sack had almost enough for a sweater. The skeins are interesting. Some very vintage Harris tweed and Lambs Pride. Also, some no-name knitting worsted bits.

I'm using weight to estimate what I need for a project. Most of the stash is vintage worsted and the labels do not show yardage as a rule. I  weighed them and found that the collection was a bit light for an entire sweater. I find that 26-28 ounces or more than 6 and less than 7 four-ounce skeins is enough for a medium/large pullover.

I had another vintage Harris skein and another vintage Lambs Pride in colors that seemed like they could work in. The Harris is a bit cranberry and the Lambs Pride is sort of pistachio.This got me to 27 ounces so critical mass is attained.

I've been browsing some slip-stitch patterns and Furrow caught my eye as a potential choice. The pattern uses four colors but looking at how the colors are used, I found that it was a ten row repeat using three colors. Then, one color is removed, the two remaining shift and the fourth color is added. It seemed that this could be used for more than four colors, so I tried seven.

I'm pretty pleased with the result with respect to the color. The repeat is fifty rows, but because it is about half garter the fabric is pretty dense. So, it is asking to be more of a casual jacket rather than a pullover.

I'm thinking of V-neck cardigan with sleeves that sit just below the elbow. The fabric is busy and there is enough garter that it does not curl much so a narrow-ish garter stitch on the edge for the cuffs and waist and button band will be nice.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brocade Progress

The body is coming along. Some car knitting over the weekend.

Not too many rows before the armhole decreases and I will be knitting back and forth again.