Saturday, June 24, 2006

another multi-project update

I'm back from under the Mason-Dixon line, and while there has not been a lot of blogging, there has certainly been some knitting.

The tesselating fish are steadily growing, most appropriately being knit on the beach. I now have seven purple, six pink, four red and seven gray fish with another on the needles. I am having lots of fun making these. The pattern is short enough to memorize and execute quickly, but there is lots of interest in making it - each row is different. I am using US 8s for each fish, but as you can see there are slight variations in size, as all of my yarns are different. With careful placement and seaming these differences shouldn't be an issue in the final project.

I greedily decided that I did not want to start the wool short-sleeved sweater yet, since I couldn't wear it immediately in this heat. Instead I opted for a silk camisole also found in Sarah Dallas' Vintage Knits. I substituted the Rowan that was recommended with Reynold's Mandalay in color #12, a heathered purple which is more of an eggplant color than is shown in the picture. The silk looked lovely knitted tightly on US1s, although I had to take frequent breaks since it is so non-elastic. I got nearly halfway done with the camisole before I finally came to terms with the fact that this pattern was just not going to work for me. The fabric is too thick for a piece that is meant to be for summer, and while the seed stitch looks so pretty, it is just not attractive on. The word "sausage" comes to mind. I am going to let this sit for a little while longer in case anything miraculous occurs to me, but I think ultimately this is going to be ripped. I have Annie Modesitt's corset top in mind for another project for this yarn. The gauge is looser than what I was struggling for on the US1s, and I think the yarn may behave nicer for this project.

Crichton has its buttons on. I always want to use the masculine pronoun with Crichton, even if it is knitted in pinks and oranges. There will be modeled shots as soon as the clouds go away. The Vogue cardigan will also be modeled, as soon as I can find some hook and eye closures.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

many new things

The angora sweater is steadily plugging along. I have decided on a v-neck, with 3/4 length sleeves. The brown ribbing on the body measures at 5.5 inches, so I think the ribbing on each sleeve will be 2.25 inches. I'm going to have a good amount of yarn left, but I think the sweater will look nicest this way.
The body measures 12 inches right now. I think I may start the neck shaping now.

I've also picked out a new sweater to start. It will have to wait a few days because I'll be using the same needles as those for the angora sweater. It's the "beaded sweater" from Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas.

I'm making mine with some leftover Morehouse merino, instead of the Rowan Botany that is suggested. You can see a little ball of the color resting on the page. The color is "charcoal", and as you can see it's a very dark gray. I'm wondering if black beads would look nice, or if I should choose something lighter. I'll take a trip to the bead store later this week and decide.

And finally, one more project. I inherited a lot of yarn a few years ago. I probably have close to 75 skeins. The problem is, not a single one matches. They were all sample skeins that my grandmother used to receive for free. I've been trying to think of something to do with them, because I'd rather not give them away - call me sentimental. I've decided to do a tesselating fish blanket .

The gray fish is made out of fake chenille, and the red fish from Lion Brand's woolease in cranberry. Right now I have 4 gray fish and 1 red one. The pattern is really fun, and each fish only takes me about half an hour. The fin detailing is my favorite part, and I also love how garter stitch so accurately depicts scales. I'm excited to finally have a solution to all that yarn, and to make some room underneath my bed!

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Monday, June 05, 2006

a new angora sweater

I bought some angora a few months ago and, since Crichton is reclining until buttons are found, it was finally time to use it up for a sweater. This sweater is going to be kind of tricky, since I bought the yarn on a close-out and there was no yardage listed on the label. It's all Yum Yum brand, and I have 5 balls of the brown and 8 of the blue - I think it will be enough. I get exactly 2 inches out of one ball in the body, and the body is roughly 34 inches around, with the steek.

Here is the beginning of the sweater.

I want it to be fitted and I'm aiming for long sleeves, but I can settle for 3/4 if that's what it comes down to. The body has a deep border in a 2x2 rib where the yarn crosses over in the front every other row, making the rib lie flatter and less elastic. The border reaches to the waist, and then the blue diamond pattern starts. I hope this accentuates the waist instead of just making me look heavy.

I'm making a 7 stitch steek in the back, and will later cut and attach button bands so that it buttons up like a 1950s-era cardigan. I want another deep border on the sleeves, but I'm not sure if I should make it 5.5" like the body's border, or if I should continue it up to match the body's when the arms are lying flat. I think the former idea may be more attractive. I'm always wavering between a rounded neck or a v-neck, and raglan or set-in sleeves.

I hope it turns out pretty. If not, the angora is surprisingly easy to frog, so I can try again. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. If this is a completely lost cause, I think I will look through Vintage Knits and pick out a pattern from there.