Sunday, November 30, 2008

Change of direction

Sometimes things don't quite work out as planned. I blocked the sweater to the desired measurements. I put the sts on two sets of cables from a Knitpicks interchangeable set and washed and blocked the body of the sweater. You can see it being blocked below. Interim blocking is a great way to verify that blocking will result in the desired effect/size. You can put the sts on a piece of scrap yarn also. I use this to see if puckering will vanish, if lace needs bigger or smaller needles, etc.
Here is a close-up of the body sts. So far so good. I really like the way this is looking.
This is the yoke in close-up. Doesn't that look amazing? I am very pleased.
After blocking, I finished it and tried it on. At that point, the entire plan went down the drain. Yes, it fits. Yes, the lace looks amazing. However, it is very form-fitting and that is not me. I don't like form fitting sweaters. So I am going to rip out the body and do a different lace pattern on smaller needles. A pattern that won't pull in like this one. More on that later. I will also be able to use up the last skein of yarn this way. I hate having a whole skein left over.

In the meantime, I started a Clapotis with two cashmere based sock yarns that my friend Bettina sent me. I was going to make socks but I realized that socks are not a good use of cashmere yarn. The two handpainted yarns looked as if they'd work together so I decided to make a scarf by alternating them in 2 row stripes. I am very pleased with the result. I was able to make good progress on this because I was in the car a lot over the holidays and this is great travel knitting. I am more than half done as you can see below.

I call this my Neapolitan scarf because it looks just like Neapolitan icecream!
Thank you for the lovely compliments on my long overdue FO.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Overachieving and buttons

I set out to use all 6 skeins of the Lorna's Laces yarn I won and no more. Well, I think I overachieved. I may finish the sweater with most of 1 skein left over. Darn! I have made excellent progress on the body as it is an easily memorized pattern and I'm using larger needles. Of course, blocking will make the body wider and shorter so I need a lot more length but I'm still on the 5th skein. I will do an interim block when I'm done with this skein and see how much more I need to knit. It is very difficult to gauge that with the bottom bunched up on the needle. It is looking good though. The pooling is cool, the top looks woven and the lace body will be very fluid and have lots of drape. I received the buttons from Sheila Ernst last week. Oh my! They look fabulous on the sweater.
From a distance, they don't stand out quite that much but...I am going to make a twisted cord with tassels from the body yarn and loop it around the buttons to hold the fronts together. I did a mock-up here but the single strand of yarn doesn't provide the contrast that 4 strands twisted together will. That will make the buttons stand out.
Updated to add:
I couldn't wait! I made the cord and sewed on the buttons and voila!I am excited as I haven't worn this sweater in about 6-7 years due to this problem. Finally!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A couple of weeks of silence

I have been silent for a variety of reasons but mainly because I didn't have time to take photos in daylight. The weekend before last I was teaching and last weekend I made a last-minute trip to visit family so wasn't home. Anyway, to compensate, I have a lot of things to share.
This is an order from Jannette's Rare Yarns. The yellow is an unreleased color of Rowan Kid Silk Haze and the rest is Rowan Felted Tweed. I bought a grab-bag of oddballs to go with a bag of blue that I bought a few years ago. Jannette has great prices on Rowan and other yarns and her service is very good.

And now on to the Rhinebeck purchases. Yes, I know it has been a while since Rhinebeck but maybe this will help us re-live it.
First, a sampler of the soaps and salves I mentioned. I've represented all the companies but not all the products I bought. The salves (both of them) are wonderful. The soaps are currently mixed in with my sweaters.
I have been looking for buttons for this sweater for a while. I wanted to wear it without buttons but the front ends curl in or out and it doesn't look nice. While I was at Camp, I saw that Joyce Williams had put two buttons with a bow to hold them together on one of her sweaters. I decided to do that but have struggled to find the right buttons. I found these at Moving Mud but Sheila Ernst is also sending me a couple she made for me. I'll have to see which ones look right and maybe I'll figure out how to switch them around as needed.
Here's a closeup of the buttons. They have a gold glaze around the black center.

Lastly, I've made a lot of progress on the hand-to-hand sweater. I'm done with the sleeves and the yoke. Now I have to pick up and finish the neck before I pick up around the armholes and knit the body downwards. I am going to use a lace pattern called Fan Shell from one of the Walker treasuries. This is the center. You can see the hand-painting is creating a sort of argyle look. One of the advantages of knitting this way is that the width doesn't change very much in the yoke so the color effects tend to continue. Additionally, the reverse stockinette makes the colors blend together in a more attractive way than stockinette does.One sleeve. I have to bind off but otherwise it is done.
The other sleeve. The yarn marker shows where I started to knit straight so I could match the other sleeve to this one.

I hope this makes up for the long silence!