Monday, October 26, 2009

The past few weeks have been very busy for me, I had several visitors from out of town, and been been on the go constantly until a few days ago.

Now that I have gotten a bit of rest it's time to get my blog all caught up.

I'll start with the promised better photo of the seamless hybrid. This was worn on the day I went hiking in the White Mountains with my friend Kate. She is the closest of my out of town visitors, and had just come up from Boston for a weekend of foliage peeping.

Hiking the mountains was one of the things I was looking forward to most when I moved to New Hampshire, and finally after 3 years I've been getting some in this fall. We got lots of great photos (one of Kate's was even on Good Morning America), But because I actually have project photos I will only share my favorite:

This is not a good shot of the foliage at all, but I love how clear the reflection in this puddle is!
Another one of my visitors was my friend Maureen. I've known Maureen for 14 years, but hadn't seen her in four years, since she moved to Oregon. Maureen appreciates hand-made items more than almost anyone I know. So, I totally wanted a hand knit gift for her visit, but because she kept wavering on whether or not she was coming I was unprepared.

Five days before her visit I decided I'd better get to work. I selected a yarn that I spun from a blend of microfiber, and bamboo. Then, after much internal debate, decided on Jan's Sensational Scarf from One Skein Wonders. It was a great choice. The one row pattern went quick, and made a beautiful scarf. It also allowed me to just knit until the yarn was all used. My 148 yards of yarn made a 5.5' scarf, which was finished in a single day.
I have also finally finished the Iris Blanket. I pulled out the edging, added more motifs, and re-edges with out the orange I had originally used. I love the blanket, but I am so happy it's done!

My third visitor was a long time blogging friend that I have tried to meet up with a couple times in the past. We tried to meet up summer '08 when I was in her area, then again this past spring when we were both in New York at the same time. Both times things came up to keep us from meeting. Well we finally did it!
A couple of weeks ago Cat came to Andover, MA. Her husband was there for some training class, and she decided to tag along. I picked her up in Andover, and took her over to Lowell where we had a wonderful vegetarian lunch. After lunch we went to check out A Brush With Art. (I must remember to take a picture of the beautiful gift Cat bought for me while we were there and share it in my next post) We finished our tour of Lowell off with a visit to the Hub Mills Factory Store, where Cat and I both got wonderful yarns.
I bought a bunch of Skye Tweed, which is most unfortunately discontinued. I'm making Elizabeth Zimmerman's Icelandic Yoked Sweater. This sweater is turning into quite an adventure. I'll talk more about it once it is completed.
I have one last project to share, and I think I am officially caught up on my three weeks' absence.
My current on the go project is the Ridges and Ribs socks by Criminy Jickets. These have been in my queue for some time now, and I'm so glad to finally be working on them. They really are

The perfect take-along project. They stay in my car, and anytime I need to sit and wait, or if I stop in the middle of my day for a coffee break they are there. They have enough going on to keep me interested, but the pattern is very easy to memorize.
This came in especially handy last week when the swat team was called in to make an arrest a few streets over from me. They made a rushed evacuation of the neighborhood, and for the three hours we all sat in the town meeting hall I was the only one with anything to entertain myself!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

FO: Seamless Hybrid

The Seamless Hybrid is finished. I used 7.5 balls of the yarn, which means I have enough of it to make a second sweater. Not bad for $15!
I wish the photos came out better, and I will probably try for more another day.
I followed Elizabeth's directions almost exactly. The two things I did differently:
I started my sleeves with less stitches than recommended. I like a usually like a snug wrist. Actually with this particular yarn I think a wider wrist would have been fine.
I brought up the front of the neck by decreasing a stitch on the front of each saddle after the shoulder shaping was done. I finished the sweater with out doing this, and the neck front hung way too low. So, I ripped back and added some extra rows to incorporate the decreasing. I'm much happier with it now.
I did get one MAJOR shock with this sweater.
If you read what I had previously posted about it you know that I started this project as something I could work on in the car, in the dark. I started it rather quickly due to this, and although I did make a gauge swatch I never washed that swatch. Whenever I buy yarn in the $1 bin at The Hub Mills store I expect that the yarn may have sustained some damage, or had been lost for a while. With this yarn I expected that it had been lost in storage, and possibly crushed in that storage. I think I was right.
After I finished the sweater, and was happy with the neck I put it for a soak in the sink. When I took it out 15 minutes later it was HUGE! I would say at least 30% larger than it was when it went into the sink. I was in shock. I never expected such a dramatic difference.
Luckily after careful blocking, and the yarn fluffing up as it dried the sweater is only a bit bigger than I expected. The sleeves ended up about 1" longer than I would have liked, and the rest of the sweater really still fits fine.
Lesson learned: Always wash your swatch!