Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fickle knitter

I've said before that I have knitting ADD. I'll be in the middle of a project and then will suddenly switch to another. Usually I'll switch to something new just as I'm coming to the end of the project. Does anyone else do this? Just get bored of what you are working on and have to start something new? You're starting to get the idea that I'm going to be talking about a completely different project aren't you? And you would be correct!

I'm a buttonband away from being finished with my Handspun Tangled Yoke Cardigan. The project that distracted me from the HTYC was the Corrie Vest, a fair isle vest kit from KnitPicks. Well, I've gotten distracted from that. I'm at the shoulders of the vest and only have to steek it, knit the neckband and the armholes. So isn't that the perfect time to start another big project?

I've started on Twist, a lovely cabled cardigan knit in pieces. Normally I hate seaming pieces together but I wanted to start this cardigan immediately without having to think about converting it to the round. Also, this way I get to practice seaming and will get better at it. Remind me of that as I'm cursing at the seams!

The yarn is Berroco Vintage in a lovely gray. I've never used this yarn before but have definitely fallen in love with it. Comparable to Cascade 220, it has a nice feel to the knit fabric and has a really good price. I also like the way that the cables look. (Of course I'm telling you all about how it looks but not giving you a picture. Sorry!) It's really surprising how nice this 50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon blend is. I can see myself using more in the future.

I started the back on March 20th and finished it in a couple of days. For some reason (I swear there was a reason but I don't remember it) I started the sleeves next instead of the fronts. I've finished with the increases and will be done with them pretty quickly.

An interesting technique I've learned with this sweater is a tubular cast on for a 2x2 rib. For a good photo tutorial, Ysolda has excellent instructions. When you read the directions, it amazes you that everything works. I used Judy's Magic Cast On instead of a provisional cast on for the technique. It really makes an interesting edge for the sweater. The only thing is that I haven't seamed it yet so I don't know how well that will go with the tubular cast on.

This sweater is going to be one of the pieces I enter into our state fair. It definitely won't be finished in time for me to wear it this spring. Though we had snow yesterday so you never know. I never thought of myself as a sweater knitter but that is all that I have done recently! I really need to get in gear and start (and finish!) a wedding shawl for my friend. She is getting married in May but I haven't even picked a pattern yet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another FO

I keep calling this sweater my Featherlight Cardigan even though the designer named it Featherweight.  I think it is because there is a horse trailer company called Featherlight.  Anyway, let me sing the praises of this sweater and the yarn (mmmmalabrigo). 


I started the sweater last May (really, Ravelry?  you aren't just making that date up?) but then put it down for a couple of months.  I don't have a good reason for not finishing it much sooner.  I love the yarn and the pattern is really easy to follow.  I just got distracted by other things.  Oh, well.  I picked it up again right before Thanksgiving (an easy project to work on in the bar) and finished the body.  Unfortunately, I put it down again and didn't pick it up for another month.  I finished the second half of the second sleeve and then put it down again.  Finally, last week, I sat down, made myself pick up stitches for the collar and worked on it.  Isn't it amazing how things get finished if you actually work on them?   


Yarn: 3 skeins of Malabrigo lace, Emerald
Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Dates: May 2009 to March 14, 2010
Modifications:  First, I decided that I didn't want a cropped cardigan.  It's not really my style and my waist would probably be cold.  The pattern originally called for 9 inches but I knit for 13 inches, instead.  My next change was to make a 2 inch seed stitch bottom edge rather than a 1x1 rib for 2 inches and my collar is in seed stitch, too.  I had seen someone on ravelry did the collar and lower edge in seed stitch and I really liked the way it looked.

The pictures on blogger are driving me nuts.  Click on the picture to see my flickr page and see the actual color of the sweater. 

This yarn feels fantastic.  I can understand why so many people adore it because it is just so soft.  But I have a feeling that the yarn will pill and probably felt like crazy.  That is, however, a small price to pay for how soft, light and warm this cardigan is.  It really is as light as a sweater.  I'll just have to treat the sweater kindly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quick FO

Thanks for the well-wishes, guys!  I'm feeling a bit more human but still really tired.  I haven't felt brave enough to pick up the button band on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan yet because my counting ability is still shaky.  But I decided to finally work on some projects that have been hanging around for a while now.  I actually finished one! (some of the pictures are going to be rotated but right now i can't figure out how to switch them around.  sorry!)


This is a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern called Neck Down Pullover Tunic - Women #9726. Thrilling name, huh :)  I had seen another person's finished sweater a couple of months ago and liked the comfy look of it.  I used O-Wool Balance, a cotton/wool blend, which adds to the comfy-ness. 

This sweater should not have taken me so long to finish! In the first week, I had everything but half of a sleeve finished. From there it took me 1 month to sit down and finish the sleeve. Then it took me another month to sit down and finish the collar.  Oh, well.  At least it is finished in enough time to wear it during the appropriate weather.  In fact, I'm going to wear the sweater today even though it is supposed to be in the 60s today. 

Details: O-Wool Balance, 8.25 skeins
US 6 and US 4 needles
Started January 17, 2010- finished March 9, 2010 (this should NOT have taken me this long to do!)
I knit the sweater with a couple of inches of positive ease for the comfy-ness factor.  

I did change a couple of things with the pattern.  The bottom of the tunic has garter stitch at the edge.  The sleeves and the neck, however, are 2x2 ribbing.  So I decided to lengthen the sleeves a little bit and to finish them with garter stitch instead of the ribbing.


The other change that I made was the ribbing of the v-neck.  I feel like the only place the pattern had a fail was at its neck directions.  It was a pretty good pattern for beginners (or people who want a mental break) but the neck was really funny.  It had you pick up the stitches at the collar, knit the ribbing for 3/4 inch flat (not in the round) then lay the two ends of the ribbing over each other and sew it down.  Wha?  Instead, I picked up the stitches and knit a couple of rounds of garter stitch, doing a centered double decrease.  I think it looks much better than what the directions were having you do.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010


How to know when you are sick: you can't do a mostly stockinette sock (in my defense, it was Skew from Knitty) but for some reason can do charted fair isle.  Can someone tell me how that makes sense?  I've been down with a lovely cough and fatigue since last Wednesday evening.  The Tangled Yoke Cardigan has been languishing since the closing ceremonies and now I don't have the mental capacity to do the button band.  But for some reason I'm able to work on the Corrie Fair Isle Vest from knitpicks.  Well, I am able to when I'm awake. 

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

red berries

I got this roving at SOAR 09.  It reminded me of a bunch of berries, so bright and cheerful.  It is also completely outside of my color norm!  Normally I'm drawn to blues, greens, and purples but this red caught my attention in the whole wall of color.

After spinning all of the yarn for my Tangled Yoke Cardigan, I wanted to spin something with lots of color.  This roving definitely fit the bill.  I also wanted to spin up a 3-ply fingering weight yarn.  I divided the 6 oz of roving into three 2 oz amounts.  Before the Olympics started, I spun up approximately 4-4.5 oz and had started on the third 2 oz bump.  Knitting my Tangled Yoke Cardigan took priority but I still tried to spin for a little while a couple of times a week.  I finished spinning the last of the 6 oz on Saturday and let all of the singles rest. 

On Sunday, after the closing ceremonies, I started plying.  Yesterday, I was leading a book group so I went into work for the evening shift.  That meant all morning I was reading the book and plying.  After work last night, I finished plying, set the yarn and hung it up to dry in front of the woodburning stove. 

Details: 488 yards, 100% wool (of course I didn't write the breed down)
3-ply yarn spun using a worsted technique. 
Started spinning mid-January, finished 3/1/10.