Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bibbity Bobbity BOO!

I feel like my fairy godmother just turned my pumpkin into a coach. I'll be ready to tackle that button band in no time, thanks to all the support, encouragement and good advice I received from my knitting buddies. Thanks gang.

Last Sunday, after being defeated by Shetland wool, I decided to try my hand with some domestic wool: Patton's Classic Wool.

I'm trying my hand at a top down sweater for myself, using Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top. This will be a set-in sleeve, zippered cardigan. I will decide on the collar (maybe a hood) and extras (I'm thinking of a nice red zipper and red at the cuffs) when I get there. Right now, I've just begun the sleeve cap.

So far, so good. The design I've chosen requires me to skip back and forth between different sections of the book. Barbara writes things like "Begin as you would for a sleeveless sweater..." and so I flip to the vest section and then back to the set-in sleeve to find out what to do next. I've got a good head, so I'm managing so far. Things will be so very simple once I get past the top part. Really, the most complex shaping of a sweater occurs in the top 1/3, and getting it out of the way right away sounds heavenly.

This sweater is intended to replace my felted Rogue, the second. It is also my practice run at a top down design. While I understand the concept in my head, I need to feel it in my hands. Then maybe I can design something more intricate with more valuable yarn.

Monday night I met the gals a Lynn's house for knitting. Damn! I should have taken a picture of Mary Jane's amazing vest. But I was too deep in my own vest issues and funk and didn't think of it. Mary Jane knit a vest out of left over sock yarn using a slip stitch frame in gray. Mary Jane's button band was perfect. Absolutely. I'm going to borrow a few tricks from her book, I can tell you.

I did snap this picture of Harley though:

I do not look like a sheep!

JoLene Treace mentioned an Australian yarn company, Bendigo Woolen Mills, and how they would ship shade cards for free. I'm not one to pass up an offer like that, so I e-mailed them and in short order I had this:

I'm impressed. I intend to try them out one day and I recommend getting a shade card for yourself, cause who doesn't like getting yarn in the mail?

Yeah, but this is even better than a shade card:

Oh the photo lies, really it's beautifully dark and deep. The green is mysterious, not that nasty pea color you see just on the right. I'll get some better pictures when I start knitting it up. I have an design idea but I want to run through my gray cardi first so I know what I'm getting into with top down designs. One thing that has already occurred to me is that in any design I do, I must always be aware of how the yarn will stripe as I shape the sweater. Otherwise, I may end up disappointed.

So here's hoping that we all get past our disappointments and that a fairy godmother will help us out when we need it.


  1. I think shade cards are like getting a brand new box of 64 Crayola Crayons. Fun!

  2. I'm plannign on startign a sweater from the top also. I have BArbara Walkers book and I've been reading it liek anovel (I don't want to miss anything). I'm just up to the set in sleeves chapter and I think I might be ready to start very soon. I'm glad that you started one becasue this gives me the morivation to start designing my own. BTW, I think I want a hood on mine also.

  3. I think the gray sweater will be striking with a red zipper. Perhaps the cuff could be gray with just a small red stripe in it. Good work!

  4. Doesn't designing your own sweater make you feel so darn smart? The fact that the math, the yarn, the needles (and maybe just a tiny fraction of good karma) all turn into a beautiful work of art. And that you were in charge of the whole thing. Good luck! Can't wait to see how it works out.

  5. Anonymous10:59 am

    WHEN did you get that pic of Harley? It's hilarious!

    Yes, MJ is so brilliant. I'm glad she is part of her group. You and I both were in a funk and didn't think of picture taking. We so have to make her wear it and go all paparatzzi on her