Friday, October 06, 2006

a month's progress

The cold weather has filled me with knitterly excitement. Or at least, that's how I'm explaining the fact that I have three sweaters on the needles right now. I haven't had much time for knitting recently because I've been busy, but as a freelance musician I'd much rather have little free time than sitting at home and wondering when the next job will come. It is disappointing to see my knitting progress slow, though.

The first sweater I'm making (and hopefully finishing first, too) is another men's sweater out of Debbie Bliss' Cathay in black. The first one I made was a hit, so I'm back to fields of stockinette again. I think I'll try a saddle shoulder instead of a set-in one this time, just to break up the monotony a little bit. I've managed to finish the body up to the armholes, and I'm about halfway through one sleeve. I don't know why I wrote in my notes that I used 10 skeins (1100 yards) for my first sweater, since I think I'm going to be at least two skeins short.

The next sweater I'm making is for myself. Hege I traded knitting books, and I ended up with Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I love all of the patterns, and I started on the Hourglass Sweater almost right away. I was able to use some yarn out of my stash. This is the first yarn I ever bought, and after an unsuccessful lace sweater it's been frogged and waiting for more years than I'd care to admit. I remembered it as being 100% alpaca, but it seems to maybe have some cotton in it, too. It's a solid blue - any variation you see in the picture is the result of lumpy knitting making shadows. Thankfully it will be blocked. The fiber is a tiny bit scratchy, but apparently my Dutch genes have made me invincible to wool's scratchiness, so no problem there. My gauge was one row too short and I couldn't fix it, so I'm reworking some of the shaping in the pattern. Right now I'm 16 rows short of the armholes. I'm pretty impressed that I knew enough way back then to buy enough yarn to make a sweater. At the time I purchased this, I had never heard of Barbara Walker, fair isle, or double pointed needles - when sock patterns mentioned a set of 4 needles, I thought there was some magical way that you worked with the straights, all needles moving at the same time.

The Crichton remains are still waiting until I decide if I want to make something useful out of the body, or unravel it and use the yarn for socks. However, I did buy some beautiful wool from Morehouse Farm and started a much-altered version of Snow Sky, also from Sweaters From Camp. I've downsized the pattern a lot so it will fit better, and have also turned it into a cardigan. I don't really like the way the shoulders are worked in the original pattern, so I'm trying to come to an alternate solution. So far I think set-in sleeves would look nice. I'm going to have to do some charting to see if I prefer trying to match the pattern across the sleeves and body, or if I should let the sleeves have their own design. I've finished one pattern repeat, which is about 6.5".

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Blogger Rebekkah said...

To answer your question about Schurch's book, I think it's a great buy. The only thing is that it's not something to buy if you're looking for a comprehensive set of various mitten construction techniques. There is only one basic structural pattern, which is used for all of the mittens in the book. But if you like the Komi designs, you'll love the book. They're all that style. There are also a couple of sock and hat patterns, as well as a small bit of history and instruction for designing your own Komi-style patterns.

If you're looking for more variety in terms of technique and patterning, you might want to look at Folk Mittens.

10:01 AM  
Blogger hege said...

I just realized I hadn't left you a comment! I love the blue yarn you are using for the hourglass sweater, it is going to be stunning! Snow Sky is looking great, too, I love that pattern. Join the club, sometimes it's good to have some variety in your wip's ;) I always seem to have several at one time.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Sonja said...

I visited your flickr photos. Your knitting is amazing! So much detail. Beautiful. You are an uber knitter!

2:39 AM  

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