Friday, September 25, 2009

Sweater Time

I've finished the Child's Striped Pullover. This was my first time knitting a sweater in pieces, then seaming it. The very thought of doing it has always frightened me, but it worked out okay. I'm glad I started small, as my seaming was a bit wonky on the first side, but it was neat and completely even on the second.

When I started I thought it was great that I was using a highly textured yarn (Lionbrand's Homespun) as it would hide any mistakes I made. However, as I got to work I realized that the texture of the [black] yarn also made it very difficult to see what I was doing. All in all I am pleased with the finished product, and I'm ready to seam up more sweaters in the future.

I had mentioned in a previous post that I had started a project that I would be able to work on in the dark. It's still not much to look at, but here it is- two sleeves, and half a torso:

On a recent trip to the Hub Mills Store I found 15 balls of Adrienne Vittadini Aria in the $1 bin, and just couldn't pass it up. It is a bulky weight wool/nylon blend that is very soft & Fuzzy. Although this is not the type of yarn I would imagine using for a sweater for myself, the texture reminds me of a favorite sweater from a long time ago. So, I wanted to get to work on a something right away. Since stockinette in the round is easy to do in the dark I decided it would become a simple seamless sweater. I have a few inches to go on the body before I have to join it all and decide on the shoulder shaping, but I am leaning towards Elizabeth Zimmerman's seamless Hybrid. While looking through projects on ravelry tagged with "men" I have noticed that there are two sweaters that seem to look great on everyone- no matter the colour or size. They are the seamless hybrid, and Jared Flood's Cobblestone. Since I have already made the Cobblestone the Seamless Hybrid seems like a great way to go with this.

This is exactly the time of year that I really love to be making a sweater, when the New England air is just beginning to feel like fall, and you know that crisp cool days will be here soon. Last Saturday was actually very cool here, and with the hopes of catching a glimpse of the first bits of red and gold in the trees I took my mother out for a drive in the mountains. We stopped along the way for an impromptu hike, and my mother managed to coerce me to have my picture taken. Luckily (because I hate posing for photographs) I was wearing a sweater I made at this time last year, and had never been photographed in. So, here I am in my Desert Sweater.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spread a bit thin

I hate that I had finally gotten back to posting here regularly then had to miss last week, but it really was a chaotic week. I had so much going on that I still feel a bit frazzled even though my life's normalcy was restored on Monday.

You might think being that busy would mean that I knit less, and usually that would be right. However, I managed to find a new project for each unusual situation. I had already started a pair of socks for my everyday take along project. That was added to the crocheted sweater, and primula shawl after I had abandoned them for the Danish Fisherman's mittens. Then I realized I was going to have to spend a significant amount of time as a passenger in a car during the evening, and I had to cast on a project that I could work on in the dark, and then I realized I had to come up with a gift for a friend's first child's first birthday, and had to cast on another project...

I now have so many projects on the needles I don't know what to do. I haven't yet taken photos of them all. So, Here's a quick update on the two that seemed to be in the most photo ready stages:

Work on the crocheted sweater continued until about a week ago. The front is finished, and I have started the sleeves. I realized about 1/4 of the way into the first sleeve that I hate it. I really don't like the way they are shaped, and I have to figure out an alternative plan/design for them. I'm not sure how I will do it yet. I'm thinking of joining the front and the back and working the sleeves from the body of the sweater down. I figure it will be easy to see the shaping as I go that way, and make adjustments where/whenever I want to with out more ripping back than is totally necessary. Any advice on that would be welcomed!
This is the gift for my friend's son. It's the Child's Striped Yoke Sweater (rav link) from Lion Brand Yarns. It is a free pattern on the Homespun label. I figured a child's sweater in a bulky yarn could easily be done in a week. I started it Monday night, and am over half done already. Here is the front and back seamed together at the shoulders, with the rolled neck worked on afterwards. I still have to finish the sleeves before sewing up the sides. This is the smallest size, 24 months. However, the recipient is the largest 1 year old I have ever seen.
This project has been a lot more fun to work on than I expected, and it is totally gratifying to see a project move so quickly (especially since it seems I am really good at starting things, but not finishing them lately!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer Goals Revisited

Several weeks back, in this post, I talked about 3 project goals I had for the summer. Although summer is not technically over for almost three weeks, the beginning of September seems like a good time to take a look at how far I have gotten.

Leaning to quilt was one of my goals ( I think this is a block I've not yet shown here. Sorry if it's a repeat). My project currently looks nothing like the basic windowpane sort of pattern I had begun with. I am about 1/2 way through a queen sized quilt top, and I am thinking I will end up with a finished quilt much nicer than I had dared hoped for out of my first attempt.

I also wanted to spin enough yarn for a sweater to be knit this fall. Here is 28oz of aran to bulky weight (6-8 wpi) Icelandic 2 ply. I probably should have paid closer attention to the thickness of the singles as I spun them. 6 wpi to 8 wpi is a pretty big difference when knitting, but as long as it dries to be pretty much the same I think it will be okay. There is only one skein that looks thinner than the rest, and I can use that for the waist and sleeve cuffs.
I have made an almost firm decision about the sweater I will make from this. I have to work up a swatch or two, and do some math before that becomes a completely firm decision.

The third goal was to crochet a sweater. I chose Treva McCain's Wave Front Men's Sweater, from an Annie's Attic crochet book, Sweater's for Men.
When I first posted about this sweater I had just finished the very boring, and boxy looking back panel. I'm now just over half way through the front. It's an interesting design, and I am excited to see how it all comes together in the end, but in the future I suspect I will stick to knit sweaters.
As for the other two projects I had mentioned in the previous summer goals post:
The primula shawl is still coming along slowly. I keep going back and forth in my mind between two ways of expanding the pattern to make the shawl big enough. Until I can commit I can't work too far.
The Iris baby blanket was a few stitches away from completion when I decided I didn't like the size. So, it is awaiting the day I feel like ripping out the edging, and working on a few more motifs.