Monday, December 26, 2011

Pattern Quest

Guess what I got for Christmas? Yarn!!

Okay, true confession time. I've always wanted a Silk Garden sweater, so I told Jim that was what I wanted for Christmas this year. I've been going to knit and chat on Friday nights at Cotton By Post (first time I've ever felt like I truly had a LYS) and Suzanne carries Noro, so that's where I bought it from. She even wrapped up my purchase so I could open it Christmas morning. (Thanks Suzanne for the extra love.)

Once I had a quiet moment on Christmas day, I swatched it up using a 4.5mm needle and also with a 4mm needle. I washed it, left it to dry and later measured the gauge to be 4.5 stitches to the inch on 4.5mm needles and 5 stitches to the inch on 4mm needles. I liked the firmer gauge on the smaller needle. Silk Garden has oodles of drape, and the looser gauge feels floppy to me. My stitches also seemed neater on the smaller needle.
I chose color 84 - reds, which is understandably very popular. 

I had planned to make the Banstead Pullover, but it calls for 4 stitches to the inch, so that pattern was right out for this yarn. I really love the Knitting Plus book, so I pored over it, hoping to match my yarn to a pattern. I considered the Passayunk Pullover, it looked like the gauge would match, but then these words in the pattern description brought me up short:
"The Yoke is fairly shallow... If you know this shallow yoke will not work for you because you are tall or have broad shoulders..."

Oh me! I am tall, I do have broad shoulders. Then I remembered that Lisa Shroyer covers this topic at the beginning of her book:
"...I found that drop-shoulder sweaters fit some women - those with broad, high shoulders - beautifully. The sweaters weren't oversized or disproportionate. In fact, they fit these women much better than the set-in sweaters (my assumed best-fit style for all plus-sized women). Women, and especially tall women, with broad shoulders and a large frame benefit greatly from the wider shoulder and wider cross-back of the drop-shoulder construction."
For me, this is a lightening bolt of truth. The sweater I wear the most is a drop-shoulder design, but I use it for walking the dog because it always seemed wrong. Yes, the sweater was comfortable and fit well, but everything we read these days talks about "fit to flatter", with words like "body skimming" and all sorts of shaping techniques like darts and short rows. Making an old eighties-style boxy design seems so out-dated.

I've worked the yoke sweaters. One creeps up my neck and chokes me, the other is the opposite extreme with a neck far to wide to be warm and an awkward fit. I know raglans are absolutely no good, I look like a ball player.

But now I understand, I have a large boned, tall frame and I'm not the only one. So I'm going to embrace my shape and knit what works for me. This yarn is beautiful and I deserve to have it knit into a sweater that I will want to wear all the time.

I'm using Paton's Back to Basics pattern book for Canadiana, which fit my preferred gauge. I'm leaning towards doing a v-neck, but I haven't ruled out a round neck either. I'm also working this flat because Lisa suggested it for another singles yarn in her book, in order to counteract the tendency of a single to bias. She's smart, that Lisa Shroyer, isn't she?

Oh! And you know what that cutie-patootie husband of mine did? He utterly spoilt me, that's what. Look at this lovely new project bag he gave me for Christmas, also from Cotton-By-Post, art by Laurel Burch:

It was a very good Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas - the chaos and the aftermath

Christmas Eve we hosted Jim's family for the annual clan gathering. Our house was warmed with 24 souls. A fraction of our group:
What a pleasure it was to see them all, to catch up and offer them a wonderful Christmas dinner. And also, what a pleasure when they all went home and we could enjoy the peace of our small family.

I hope all my friends near and far are also enjoying friends, family and some quiet Christmas moments.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Sacrifice

If you were asked to make a gawd-awful ugly Christmas sweater for a teenager, what would you do?

London knitter Lisa decided to go all out. Her cousin asked for a sweater to help him win a contest at his school. Here's what she came up with:

As you can tell, she's not done yet, but already we have intarsia, embroidered snowflakes, snowman buttons on the tree and a fuzzy beard on Santa.  Here's the back:

Yep, that's Santa's butt coming out the back. I think the kid's a shoo-in for the contest.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Demon Santa and his Stoner Monkey Pal

Found these two criminals hanging out in the hall at the Vintage Green. I don't think my mother-in-law knows that they let such riff-raff in the building. Then again, they let us in there.

We couldn't resist this pair. But if you get too close...

Jim didn't know that Demon Santa was a zombie...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Road Trip

This past Saturday a local spinning pal and I went on a road trip to Mount Albert to take the intermediate spinning class at Gemini Fibers with Wendy Walen . If you are ever up that way and get a chance to stop in to the store, it's well worth it. The place is jammed to the rafters and I've never seen so many knitting books in one place. 

It was a three-hour trip, both ways, and so I just didn't have the time for the blog. You understand. However, here are my notes for your edification and enjoyment.
  • Slow down. Your singles will be more even. Take time to enjoy the process.
  • For a ply-back test, let the single wind all the way onto the bobbin (move your hand pinching the single up to the orifice), then pull out the single and do the ply back. This is because you want even twist in the whole single and twist is still being added to the yarn as it winds on to the bobbin.
  • Make a sample bracelet. Using freshly spun singles that are of the type of yarn you want to make, do a ply back and tie the resulting yarn around your wrist. When you do a ply-back for sampling, you can compare your bracelet to the sample, by touch as well as sight.
  • Commercial rovings are compacted by shipping, and storage, so it's worth while to do some pre-drafting to get air back into the fibers.
  • Always test your staple length before you start. It will tell you how far apart to hold your hands, and a lot about the qualities of the fiber (crimp, fiber directions, how "grabby" is it?)
  • Crimpy wool needs more twist. This I didn't see demonstrated, so I'll have to do a bit of a test for myself with some sampling.
  • To join smoothly, consider the length of the fiber and the type of spinning you are doing. For the Blue Faced Leicester that we were spinning, Wendy recommended you feather out both ends finely, overlap them and then begin to spin. The join happens as the twist enters the fiber.
  • Sample lots, sample often. Sampling is not waste. Sample different grist, sample different ratios, sample in the skein and knitted up. While you are learning, buy extra fiber for each project so you can work up many samples to see what works best for the fiber you have.
  • You can always go back to the single or the plied-yarn and add or remove twist. (Can't believe I forgot this one.)
  • Worsted yarns need lest ply twist, more single twist. Woolen yarns have more ply twist to compensate for their low single twist.
  • To fine tune my chain ply:
    • I need to make smaller loops. I didn't have control over the very large loops I was making.
    • No tension necessary on the lazy kate. Keep tension in the singles between my two hands.
    • Must have good integrity in the singles for a successful chain ply.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How to make a spinner crazy

Here's how I spin yarn:
  1. Spin the singles. Critically evaluate every inch for consistency, but fail to take a sample to check against. Tell yourself you're doing it by instinct.
  2. Pause in single spinning because you're sure it's going badly.
  3. Ply the singles. Briefly admire the resulting yarn.
  4. Ply the second half of the singles. Get bummed out because the second half looks different than the first half.
  5. Pause in plying because your sure it's not going to be any good.
  6. Grumpily finish the plying.
  7. Compare the two skeins. Marvel how remarkably similar they are.
  8. Put the wheel away before you drive your self crazy.
This project started as 19oz of Shetland roving, color blueberry.
I divided it up into 6 portions of approximately 85 grams each, which worked with my plan to spin all the singles first as I own 6 bobbins. That was a long haul.

I intended to spin a DK weight, but I think the result is more of a heavy fingering. I may need to find a new pattern to work this yarn up. Still, it is moderately pretty...
And even better, the two skeins are remarkably consistent, considering my earlier trepidation. I think the lighter weight may be a bonus, becuase I'm sure to have a good yardage out of the fiber I started with.

However, don't expect me to start a project out of this real soon. I think I need a break from blueberry for a while. Still, anyone know of a good pattern for a plus size vest or shrug in fingering weight?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Afternoon mystery, solved?

In the waiting room at the doctor's office this afternoon, I was knitting a sock which was noticed by my cohabitants. A woman older than me was there with her mother, who commented that her mother knit all the family's socks. This was after the war she said, and everyone in the community knit socks. In fact, the neighbours used to bring their socks to her mother for her to turn the heel. She turned the heels for everyone in the area.

I was puzzled by this. Why not just teach the other knitters how to turn a heel? It's tricky the first time, but after that, it's almost the best part of working a sock.  Aha! That must be it. I'll bet she was keeping the best part of the knitting for her self.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Weekend Away with Eadon

Jim and I went away this weekend to celebrate our mutual November birthdays. It was sunny and peaceful up until we got home to find that the boys hadn't done their chores.

The weather was just perfect for hand knits. Jim wore his Kiloran and I wore Eadon.

Christmas was creeping up on us all weekend. Even Jim and I were broadcasting the holiday vibe with him in a bright red sweater and me in my green. Plus, I got some Christmas shopping done for those undeserving offspring of ours. 

I loved wearing my new sweater this weekend. Eadon is cozy like a bathrobe, but once I found the perfect pin for it, I can wear it closed at the top and wear it like a jacket. This pin I found at Close Knit in Stratford:

It kinda mimics the cables which is a nice touch, and it cost about as much as the zipper I was thinking about adding to this sweater, except I can wear it on other things too. Can't do that with a zipper.

I did make some modifications to this pattern. For starters, I shortened the length by one pattern repeat. Being wide of girth, I felt the sweater would be too heavy at full length. When it came time to do the collar, the pattern has you bind off and sew the ends together. I chose to graft it instead, which worked just fine:

And I don't have an annoying seam on my neck. The shoulders came together beautifully too, and support the weight of the sweater comfortably:

I expect to be wearing this sweater proudly for a long time to come.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Tonight the sheep specters will descent upon the hills of heathered hanks to give fine fibers to all the knitters who believe in gauge swatches and blocking before sewing up.

I've got my sweater all ready. Have you?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gettin' ready for the paaartay!

Oh yeah! It's time for another teenaged house party. This time for Halloween. Preparations consist of cleaning house and stocking up on pop and chips. Not much else is needed as these kids bring their own sense of fun and plenty of noise. (Oh the noise, Noise, NOISE!)

But there are also other preparations going on for a much quieter party.  A blocking party:

Oh yes! I have entirely finished knitting my Eadon cardigan. And this blocking party is to be shortly followed by a sewing party.What fun! I love me a nice straight mattress stitch seam.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What's for dinner?

It's Arnold Shwartzenchicken.

We're here to plump you up!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Productive Weekend

We had a major milestone this weekend as Jim ripped up the old flooring in our living room and installed new laminate. Our old floor was an engineered hardwood floor that was scratched by Dexter's toe nails and had suffered water damage in multiple locations. We also had carpet in the main living area that used to be an off white but had graduated to an indescribable level of filth. Not that we didn't try at first, but at some point I think we gave up, knowing that the flooring had to be replaced.

Jim started with the landing, so I snapped a shot showing both the old and new.

And here's the whole room finished.

I think it looks very cozy. While Jim was working hard, I went shopping and bought the area rug and the drapes. I know, I've got it rough... :p

There's still go the kitchen-dining room left to go. Jim worked all day to get the one room done on Saturday (assisted by both of his sons, who made very little complaint and were actually helpful (small miracle)), and figures that the next room will be even harder. I know he'll get it done before Christmas though, and that makes me very happy.

So now I have a new background for knitting pictures. First up the project I bought the yarn for on Wednesday and then finished up on Monday.... it's a Curly Horse Hat. (Details on Ravelry, follow the link.)

And also finished is another pair of handspun, hand knit socks.

These will be for my Mom and Dad, so yeah, I am rockin' the early Christmas knits. Winner!

Sunday, October 09, 2011


The weather this Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada is just incredible. The sun is shining as though it were June. The quality of the light is so clear, it has saturated the colors in my photos. Here is Rosie, my latest Fiber Fish mitten to be a store sample for Cotton by Post:
The colors are really not so harsh, but are a pleasant rosie pinky-red. This mitten was a pleasure to knit because of the beautiful yarn. I've also been talked in to giving classes based on the pattern. I'm thankful that won't start until the new year because right now I'm so terribly busy with work.

This week my knitting was a comedy of errors. I needed to be at Waterloo for three days this week instead of my usual two. That meant two knit nights with Paula and so I packed accordingly; that is, my Eadon right front, almost ready for the collar, and two pairs of socks-in-progress, just in case. And predictably I forgot my knitting bag in London.

I needed something to work on, so I planned to make a trip in to Shall We Knit? for yarn and needles. My co-worker Kate told me I had a problem, if I couldn't go 48 hours without some knitting. Gentle readers, I know you understand. I told her I didn't have a problem and she replied that all the addicts say that. Well. 

I left work a bit early to get to Shall We Knit? before the store closed and picked out what I needed for a new project. When I got to Cambridge I found that Andy was heading out for knit night at All Strung Out in Guelph and I was welcome to come along! If I hadn't left work early to buy yarn, I would have got his email informing me of this and would have been able to buy yarn at All Strung Out.

I tell you, yarn store owners are a gracious bunch and deserve all the support and care we can give them. Paula didn't mind me knitting Shall We Knit yarn in her store, and Karen at Shall We Knit? said, "Oh we like them at All Strung Out." when I pulled the wrong business card out of my wallet as I made my purchase.

So for this Thanking I'm grateful to live near such fabulous yarn shops, for an abundance of choice and a good job that lets me indulge my addiction. Fishy kisses to all the yarn store owners!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Connecting the Generations

My mother-in-law Cynthia is now 87 and has reduced her knitting output. She finds it difficult to hold a pattern in her head she told me, but felt that she had one more teddy bear left in her. So I gave her some of my handspun and asked her if she would make that last teddy bear for me and that I would save it aside for any future grandchildren that I might have.

She must have really liked that idea because in short order there was this:

Doesn't she look pleased with herself?! And it turns out that this will not be the last of the bears coming from her needles. She asked me for more yarn because her therapist has requested four more bears for the therapist's grandchildren. Jim said "Smart therapist."

I'm happy to keep my mother-in-law in yarn for as long as she wants. Even if her preferred type is acrylic.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Well, maybe not as bad as all that...

Two weeks ago I was chain plying some singles made from Fat Cat Knits fiber. A beautiful merino/bamboo/nylon blend dyed in gradient colors that I wanted to preserve. It didn't go well. Some of the singles had so little twist in them that they fell apart. I had to knot things together far too often.

Boy was I mad! Beautiful fiber, well prepared in lovely colors and a significant investment in my time and money all ruined because I rushed things. I didn't let enough twist enter the fiber, and I didn't sample enough while spinning to make sure things were going well. I finished the plying anyway, but was so disappointed in myself that I didn't skein it up.

Then came the K-W fair and I started spinning up my new fiber. I went for the Gotland from Hubbart Farms first. I was attracted to it because the cloaks worn by the good guys in the Lord of the Rings were made from Gotland fiber. My yarn came out quite pretty and I'm thinking I'd like to make some color work fingerless gloves from it.

While I was at it I decided to skein up my despised chain-plyed yarn from before. Time healed my wounds because now I'm in love with it! I don't know that it would make good socks, being underspun, but who cares? Look how pretty it is:

Not nearly as bad as I thought. I couldn't even see the knots in it. The colorway is called Wizard Tower and I was thinking of it for Jim, since he's a D&D fan. Want a closer look?

Not too shabby. Possibly even usable. What's the moral of the story? I guess I'm too hard on myself.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oh what a day!

Saturday was the annual knitter's pilgrimage to Kitchener for the K-W Knitter's Guild Fair. There didn't seem to be as many people there this year, but what was missing in quantity was more than made up for in quality. I met so many wonderful people that I know from the internet and this blog, plus yarn store owners and vendors from last year that I wanted to say hi to this year.

My first stop this year was to Ashley and Andy at All Strung Out.  I just had to get a picture for my mom of the yarn pots she made for them:
There were a few other vendor's selling yarn bowls this year, perhaps because of the article in Vogue Knitting a little while back.

I also made a stop at Hubbert Farms to visit Jody. We hit it off:
Get a load of these grand champion, hand-spun color work mittens she made:
They take my breath away. I aspire to this skill level.

Just over in the next booth, I spotted a fellow blogger and we had a spontaneous moment of bloggers blogging bloggers:

Can you guess who's behind the camera? It's Brenda Knits. Ain't she cute?

We also hit it off and had a lovely chat. Then we kept bumping into each other in the booths. She'd turn around and there I'd be. I wasn't stalking you Brenda, honest!

I even met Anne Hanson and stopped to say hello. I'll confess to being a little shy with her, but it was also weird because I felt like I know her. I wanted to ask how David was and if her garden was still producing. Surreal.

And now, what you've all been waiting for, the purchase report. It seemed to me that there wasn't an IT vendor this year. And having just purged the stash I was cautious about purchasing more yarn. You don't really go to the fair to buy a sweater's worth of yarn. It's more about what's new, or a treat, or finding a bargain.

I found myself buying fiber instead. From Hubbert Farms, I bought Jody's hand-prepared Gotland fiber:

From Wellington Fibers a lovely wool/mohair/silk blend that I think wants to be socks:
From Roving Winds Farm I bought 1oz of pure, cream cashmere. No picture because it just doesn't do it justice. I got sucked into buying it when I felt a sample scarf. I don't think you can actually touch cashmere. It's more like the fiber giving you a whisper of a caress. Lovely.

But the big item this year was almost 19oz of Shetland from Michelle at Hopeful Shetlands:

This should be enough to make me a shrug or a vest. I aspire to a hand spun sweater but decided it would be smart to start a bit smaller. I've worked with Michelle's Shetland fiber before and loved it.

So that's it. It was a great day, with great traveling companions, and beautiful weather. I don't think I could handle this much fun more than once a year.

The only downer was that I couldn't wear my newly completed Folklore because it was just too warm. I draped it over my arm and it started some conversation. The zipper installation is great on it, and I'm moderately pleased with the fit. If you'd like to see pictures, head on over to Ravelry.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Funny Feet

His feet sure look funny, but he's got cute knees:

The picture is really about his new socks, but I get distracted when Jim wears shorts. He loves long socks, but I don't love knitting them. I'm very happy that this pair is done. The stripes of the Kroy FX helped make them fun.

And in other news, here's a tip for casting on a lot of stitches. I like to put in stitch markers every 20 stitches to make counting easier and more accurate. One time I had to cast on over 400 stitches (it was for a bottom up shawl). Not being sure I even had that many stitch markers, I grabbed a contrasting ball of sock yarn and after casting on twenty stitches I put in a slip knot of the contrast yarn. Then, every twenty stitches I put in a backward loop of contrast yarn, making sure that there was plenty of extra contrast yarn in between. I didn't cut the contrast yarn, so it's not wasted and can be used again or even knit with. 

And here it is, my latest unvention:

Oh yeah, and that's no shawl on the needles. That's my Rowan sale yarn in the process of being knit up into an Eadon cardigan.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rise and Shine

A good day starts with a healthy breakfast.  Well, now you can have your bacon and eggs with fiber.

This knitting project got started when a co-worker and good friend showed me these nifty fingerless gloves, saying "If I had a pair of those, I'd wear them."

And I said, "I can make that." So I did! Details on Ravelry.

Now dig in.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Purge

You can feel the season start to change. It's cooler. The leaves on the trees are looking dull, and many that were scorched by summer's heat and drought are already on the ground. There's an urge to prepare, to clean, to focus one's energy for the next shift.

This weekend, my cleaning energies fell on my yarn room. There were books strewn about, left behind as inspiration failed, that needed to be sorted and tidied. Many needles were caught mid-way in a project, abandoned as troubles slowed me down. These I liberated, leaving the project at loose ends, and sized them up to be slotted into their proper place. But the yarn.. ah, what to do about the yarn.

Earlier I had purchased a book, Knitting Plus, in hopes of learning how better to make myself sweaters that fit. I've learned a lot from it already and I'm eager to try out the patterns. Many are very simple, making good templates, and I think I could learn a lot from working them. Others have wonderful cables or pretty lace details that appeal to me.

In looking through my yarn stash though, I realized that I don't have the yarns to make these sweaters. My stash has overflowed its containment, and yet so much of it I don't want to knit with. So I purged.  I pulled it all out, bagged it up and called a friend. She's a mom, in school and on a budget. We were recently talking and she said she couldn't go to the KW Knitter's Fair this year. So I invited her over to shop my stash. The price was right (free) so she took it all.

Gosh it felt good to purge it! I feel so much lighter and now I can buy the yarn I need to make the sweater I want with no guilt about what's already at home.

And you should see how much tidier my yarn room looks.

ETA: Re-reading this, I realize it sounds as if I gave everything away. Well I didn't. Just the yarns that were holding me back. Several sweater's worth of yarns that I bought on sale that I can't find a pattern for. Much yarn is still left in the stash, mostly sock yarn, but there's some laceweight and sport weight and beloved odd balls and of course the Rowan for which I am now searching for a pattern.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Itchy!!  I've been so itchy the past week. Poison ivy got me and there's a rash on my leg, on my shoulder going up to my neck, there was a bit on my arm and a smidgen near my eye. It feels like ants crawling on you and you can't scratch. I used calamine lotion, and over the counter antihistamines and the best thing of all was plain ole Benadryl. The meds do take a toll though, and I've just felt flat all week. No spunk. Jim nicked named me Itchy-bitchy.

So how did I get the itch on all these different locations? Well, the one on my leg was the primary contact with the plant, I can tell because it's the worst one. I think the rest came from secondary contact, from something that I touched that touched the plant, but it took me a while to figure out from where. The new spots of rash kept occurring all on the left side. I was thinking about this as I was walking the dog and realized that his dangling leash could easily have dragged through the evil plant.

I couldn't get home fast enough! I threw the leash in the trash, washed down with some rubbing alcohol, then plain water, then a full on shower.  So far, so good, no more rashes.

To cope with my affliction I amused myself with stories of how much worse it could be. And I treated myself to some bright colors, spinning some FatCatKnits fiber in the colorway nerds, then knitting it up into these precious mittens:

They are size 6-8 and I'm going to put them aside for Christmas. The superwash BFL will make them easy for even a muggle to care for.

I was supposed to be tackling the zipper on my Folklore, and I tried, but it was ten stitches to the inch. I did three inches and it took an hour. Seriously? Times two sides?  Not happening.  So today, I took the sweater to our local tailor and he tells me he can do it, no problem, and have it done by September 9th, all for $28. It sounds like a great deal to me. Of course I'm nervous that something bad might happen to my knitting, but then again, if I were to do it myself, something bad might also happen. You could even say a bad something would be more likely to happen in my hands than in the hands of an experienced tailor.

Well, it's in his hands now. I'll try not to think about it.  Lets just look at mittens again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kilronan, the second

Beautiful, non?

The first time I knit Kilronan for Jim it was from Lavold Silky Wool. Jim loved it. It was soft and the pattern let him feel like a knight wearing chain mail armour. It looked good on him too except... the Silky Wool soon gave up all memory. The cables went flat and the sweater flared out at the back, exposing Jim's lower back.  He wore it faithfully for as long as possible, and then requested another.

My first hurdle was finding the right yarn. Jim knew he wanted red, and that it had to be soft.  I found both these qualities easily in Cascade 220 super wash sport. I bought the yarn from Paula at All Strung Out in Guelph. The store has an impressive wall of Cascade in rainbow colors. I bought what I thought would be plenty of yarn, but forgot to reckon in that Jim wanted extra length. What luck then that Paula could get me two more skeins in the exact same dyelot, several months later. I used over 15 skeins on this project. It is a long garment:

But the Cascade makes for nice rounded cables.  I worked almost all of them without a cable needle.  The five stitch cable was a bit too much though.

The trickiest bit of this sweater was removing that center ribbed band that nips in the waist. It's very feminine, but not suitable for a knight's surcoat.  Removing the ribbing means that you can't follow Alice Starmore's detailed instructions anymore and instead, you must hash out where to end the cables all on your lonesome. 

And let us not forget the wicked sleeve caps. I ended up removing the last four rows of plain work at the top of the sleeves and then removed the extra stitches during the cast off round. I was hoping for a blunter cap to the sleeve. It almost worked, but they still want to puff. The sweater needs a good tug at the back and then Jim's shoulders fill out the caps.

I recently realized that I knit Jim sweaters and me socks. It's time to switch that up and give the man more socks and me more sweaters.  But I'm glad I took the time to resurrect this old favourite. Jim deserves it, if only for being such a good sport.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What season's next? Sweater Season!

The stores may be gearing up for back to school, but I'm gearing up for sweater season and I'm getting excited!

This week, I completely finished Jim's sweater, the one with the puffed sleeves, but I haven't taken any pictures yet as its hot outside today. I'm still not thrilled with the shoulder caps, but it will do.

Also this week, I finished the knitting on my Folklore sweater, but it is far from done. Today, I've been working on hand sewing the steeks.  Here's a steek peek, from the wrong side:

I'm catching every strand through the middle with my needle and thread.  This is a super wash yarn and I want to secure it as best I can. Here's what it looks like on the right side:

Can hardly see it, eh?  Still, this faint thread will be turned under to the back.

After I sew it, I'll cut it. Then I'll prepare my zipper according to this fabulous technique developed by TechKnitter and explained here by Eunny Jang:

After that, it's just a matter of knitting the zipper to the sweater with some i-cord, then capturing the cut ends of the sweater beneath the zipper tape with another row of handstitching, this time in a non-contrasting thread. Piece of cake, right?  No, I'll confess, I'm quailing at the thought of the amount of work left to do on this sweater. I even want to reknit the cuffs still.

It's just under a month till the KW Knitter's Fair and I'm hoping to be wearing it there. Will I make it?  I know you're just on the edge of your seats.

All this and I'm suffering under the handicap of being distracted by other projects I want to start. At first I thought I wanted to make Twist and Shout, then the Twist Collective Fall 2011 was released and I thought I wanted to make Eadon. For a long time I waffled between these two projects and then I saw a Drops sweater that trumped them both, except I want to make it a pullover, from the top down. 

Don't you love sweater season?