Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Tonight we gathered with Jim's family and enjoyed the noise of a full house nineteen people strong. Tomorrow is a quieter celebration in our home with my parents and probably way more food than six people can reasonably eat. We are safe, and warm, and well blessed. I wish the same for all of you and all your loved ones.

Monday, December 22, 2008

As Requested... Keeping You Posted

I really appreciated all your feedback and input to my last post regarding the cabled yoke pullover. But (and you knew there was going to be a but) I ended up in a tizzy regarding the idea of a brown cable band for the yoke. On Saturday I ranted sufficiently that even Jim, my patient and understanding husband, was asking me to give it a rest. At one point, I declared I was nuts to even consider working the pattern and was very close to frogging the whole thing. Except, I make it a rule never to rip in cold blood.

After I calmed down, I picked it up and worked on it some more. It just felt right. Now that I've gotten my self-doubt out of my system, I've fallen harder for this project than before. Especially with the brown band. You are all so right, it shouldn't work! But my gut says it will. There's some instinct pushing me forward on this project. Of course the proof is in the pudding. A month later, I may look at this posting and wonder if Christmas madness had me in its grip. But right now, I'm enjoying my crush.

On the yarn quantity side of things, it took me five balls of yarn to reach 18 inches of back. I predict that one more ball should do it for the raglan shaping up to the cabled band. The fronts will take the same amount, so that's twelve balls there. If each sleeve takes three, which is just a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess), then I'll have two to work the last bit of the yoke and the button bands. I'm even contemplating a zipper installation in place of the buttons, which could further reduce my yarn consumption. Well, the main reason for a zipper would be to make the sweater more wearable, but I won't do it if it destroys the integrity of the design. I'll buy yarn if I have to.

Finally, here's a picture of the cables from the weekend when we enjoyed a brief dose of sunlight.

Yummy, aren't they?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A couple of months spent knitting small, simple projects has whet my appetite for something juicy to sink my teeth into. On impulse I started to work the Cabled Yoke Cardigan from Fall's Vogue Knitting.

I had no expectation of ever knitting this piece until I saw a small picture in the front of the magazine that showed it knit in a solid color. I was very intrigued and the neckline looked much more like something I'd wear.

So I swatched, got gauge right from the get go and launched into it. I'm using Jamieson's Shetland Heather, in Ivory. Two balls of yarn worked up into 8 inches of back. That's a pretty rapid rate of consumption. I decided it was time to crunch some numbers.

The pattern calls for 3072 meters of yarn. I have 20 balls of yarn at 92 meters each which equals 1840 meters, a short fall of 1232. That means I'd need 34 balls of yarn total to finish this sweater. Something seems off, doesn't it? That's a heck of a lot of yarn!

The sweater is 31 inches in length and the first half of my 8 inches had less stitches than the latter half, so I'll bet two balls will get me way less than 8 inches as I go on. Still, I calculate that at the same rate of yarn usage, it would take me 15 balls of yarn to complete the front and back of the cardigan, no sleeves. That's pretty close actually. I wonder if I could finish the sweater with my 20 balls. Do you think Vogue padded out the yarn requirements?

Here are my options:
  • Rip it. Why run the risk of knitting an unfinishable project?
  • Buy more yarn. I'd have to buy almost an entire sweater's worth though. Or I could wait till I'm almost at the end and then buy.
  • Use a contrast yarn for the yoke. It might look funky, or it might look stupid. Knitty-Kat gave me some lovely tweed yarn (cause she's nice) that I think might just do the trick.
I'm leaning towards the last option. I really like working with the Shetland yarn, the knitting process has been fun so far, so I'm really reluctant to rip it, and I'm thinking that using the brown would be a creative and funky spin on the pattern. Am I nuts?

Oh, and there's one other option! Shorten the damned thing! Who needs a 31 inch sweater? I could go to 29 inches and still be plenty long.

I'm going to sleep on it. There's always a sock to knit.

Your input and comments are always appreciated.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Keeping Busy

It's hard to believe there is only one weekend left between now and Christmas. Somehow, I've managed to keep to my plan and everything is right on schedule. I don't have things timed to the hour like the Yarn Harlot, but I did have an idea of what should be done when. This weekend was for decorating. Check.

We even wrapped presents which I wasn't planning on. But if you knit small things, and buy many small bags, it's really no big effort. The knit gifts look quite impressive, all lined up like this.

There's just one left to wrap, and that's my Dad's slippers. I felted them this morning and I'm waiting for them to be throughly dry before performing the last finishing touches on them. Right now, they look a little rough.

Yikes! They were knit with Lopi, left over from Ford, which is why they are so hairy. I like them though. The soles are almost hard, which is great. I'll slap some rug backing onto them and they'll be as good as shoes. Then it will be time for a little trim.

Next weekend I'm cooking and Jim is cleaning. After all the Christmas crazies, I'm looking forward to some quiet time off work. Being busy sure does make the time fly until then.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Steppin' Out

Tis the weekend for Christmas parties. Don't we think we are gorgeous?

Oh, just funnin'. We had a lovely evening and it's very nice to get dressed up and go out once in a while. Jim was so thoughtful to buy me this lovely dress, I felt like a movie star.

Today is the children's Christmas party and I have a new sweater to wear.

Pattern: Hey Teach!
Needles: 5mm
Modifications: added one inch to the length of the sleeves and I only worked 3 button holes.

For buttons, I covered rings making Dorset buttons, following this tutorial. I wanted the buttons to be part of the sweater, not stand out.

Oh geeze, gotta run! Party starts at three.