Friday, January 25, 2008


Two leaf repeats done.

Can you see any difference at all?

I have one more repeat to do, and then I'll be at the underarms. After that I'll start the sleeves. I've decided to work circular set-in sleeves, using Elizabeth Zimmermann's directions in Knitting Workshop. I've lost the hatred for dropped sleeves that I used to have (I discovered with my previous Poetry cardigan that they can look quite normal if you don't have a lot of ease), but I really would prefer to have less seams to sew. I want to wear this sweater as soon as I can.

I realized today that my sweater is going to look very different than the picture - which sounds ridiculous, but it's one of those things that I had to see in order to really understand all the differences. Colors aside, I am really not following the directions given for this sweater. When I knitted my previous Poetry cardigan, I was able to follow all of the instructions because of my gauge. The pattern's gauge was 30 stitches/4 inches, and mine was 36 stitches/4 inches. This meant that if I followed the directions for the larger size (43 inches), my finished sweater would actually come out to 36 inches, which was just what I wanted. In this case, however, if I just followed the pattern's instructions I would end up with a sweater that was much too small.

Using my gauge, I figured out how many stitches I would need around the entire sweater for it to fit properly. My magic number ended up being 324. Looking at Chart A, which is 6 stitches, I knew that I would end up with exactly 54 repeats around my sweater - perfect. Chart B has 28 stitches, which unfortunately means that if I didn't do some fudging, I would come out with 11.5714...repeats of those peonies around myself. Since I never did like fractions, I substituted some numbers and discovered that if I wanted 11.5 repeats around (which, although a fraction, is at least a more manageable one), I would need 322 stitches. After that it was only a simple manner of decreasing 2 stitches when I was ready to start Chart B, and making sure that I centered that half of a peony at the front of the cardigan. Chart C (the leaf pattern that I'm working on now) was another easy one - it has 18 stitches, which goes in evenly to 324. I increased 2 stitches at the beginning of Chart C to get back up to my magic number, and then sailed away. It didn't hurt that I decided to make my cardigan symmetrical, either. It was a lot easier to center Chart B, and I suspect that the sleeves will be much easier to attach, too.

Now, though, I have more peonies around the border, and I'm going to have quite a few more leaf repeats, too. The picture from the book only shows 1.5 repeats of leaves on the body - I'm already past that, and I'm not even done. I'm hoping that it won't make the sweater look too busy. I'm already a little astonished at how pink it's going to be.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I should have specified in my last post that the Morehouse merino yarn I'm using for my Poetry in Stitches cardigan is not an exact substitute for the Hifa yarn. Instead, I'm using my own gauge to re-work the numbers and get a cardigan that will be smaller. Since I'm getting substantially more stitches per inch than the pattern's gauge, however, I'm actually casting on more stitches than the pattern calls for. In other words, if you have a desire to knit this cardigan, you will not necessarily have to do as much knitting as I am.

I finished one leaf repeat, and I have altogether nine inches. My last post's photo is much more true to color than this one is. You know how it is with the incessant January snow - or maybe you're lucky, and you don't.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


My goal for 2008 is to clear out all of the yarn I have hibernating in my home. Old houses may have their charms, but closet space is definitely not one of them. My two small closets are already full of clothes and linens - yarn just doesn't have a place in them.

This means that I finally had the incentive to start another cardigan from Poetry in Stitches. I had bought the laceweight yarn from Morehouse Farms just before they closed their store, Sheep's Clothing. That happened a few months ago - that probably doesn't seem long to most of you, but when you have a line of bags full of yarn marching out of your bedroom closet, it seems like forever.

I worked for three days on this cardigan and only barely have six inches to show for it. I've just completed the decreasing for the waist shaping that I decided to do, and after working a few inches straight I'll start to increase back up. There are just under 400 stitches to do for every round - not quite a quick knit. Once I reach the underarms I'll start the sleeves, and then work a seamless set-in sleeve a la Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Another shot of those poor socks that are doomed to be photographed in bad lighting until the end of time, it seems. At least they keep my feet warm...

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

little child's socks

"Little Child's Socks" from Knitting Vintage Socks. Sorry for the hasty picture - I only had one chance before the 40 mph winds nearly blew me away. You may remember one of these socks from last August (there's a much better picture behind this link). The yarn is Froelich Blauband in red, which has since been discontinued. I was lucky enough to find a very nice person on Ravelry who was willing to sell me what may be the last skein of this stuff on the planet.

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