Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Still Here!

I can't believe I only managed to get in two posts for all of 2010, and now it's two months into 2011, and I'm just getting to my first post.

I really do want to keep my blog alive, and have lots to post about. So, here I am, attempting to get back into the swing of things (again).

This is the most recently completed sweater that I have made for myself. I finished it about two weeks ago, but it was started way back in October. It was a completely unplanned project, that I think evolved very nicely.

Back in October my friend Maureen had asked me to attend an equestrian show with her. I agreed to go, but honestly did not have much interest. On the way to her house I realized I had forgotten my knitting, and didn't feel like I could sit through the show with out something to keep me occupied. So, I told her we had to leave a bit early to stop at the yarn shop.

The Hub Mills Store is only a few minutes away from her. So, we went there, and I found several mill-end cones of Classic Elite Montera. This is an aran weight 50% wool/ 50% llama single ply yarn. The label suggested a size 9 needle. So, I picked one up, and just cast on. No gauge swatch, not even any measurements for the sweater. (I lost 30 Lbs in 2010, and didn't know my new measurements.)

By the end of the horse show I had about 12" of the body done. Then it was time to decide what I was actually going to do with the tube I had been knitting. I had always wanted to incorporate some of Barbara G. Walker's Mosaic knitting patterns into a sweater, and decided with the two colours I had that this was the time.

If you are not familiar with Mosaic Knitting you should definitely check your local Library for the book. It's two colour knitting, but only one colour is used at a time. The pattern is created entirely by slipped stitches.

Shortly after I started the mosaic patterning in the sweater body I had to put this project to the side. It hibernated for a while, until I finally decided to get it finished a few weeks ago. Since most of my sweaters are made seamlessly, with the EPS, I still hadn't decided on the shoulder style.

I decided to use the Shirt Yoke Sweater. I really love the way it turned out. The back of the shoulders is really neat & clean looking. Much better than the normal back saddle for this style sweater.

Shockingly, with out a gauge swatch, or even knowing my size, this sweater ended up fitting beautifully as a second layer, and it is so warm I can wear it out in 10 degree weather with out a coat.

The next project I'm going to share today is a sweater I made for my sister. She had asked me for a warm sweater to wear in the spring. She wanted something to wear when it was too warm for her winter coat, but too cool for indoor clothing. I had decided to make it as a birthday present, and cast on only hours after finishing the mosaic sweater.

As usual, I cast on the body tube for a seamless sweater without a complete idea where I would go with it. This time I did have measurements, and gauge. When I was about 2 inches into knitting this sweater I received a call, "We had to change the family birthday party to this Saturday." It was Sunday. I had 1 week to complete the sweater!

Luckily I wasn't married to a specific design at that point. I had thoughts of a fancy Fair Isle yoke that were immediately chucked. Instead I decided to try a pattern I had been wanting to make for quite some time, Meg Swanson's Box the Compass.

Luckily, my sister is rather small, and the Cascade Ecological Wool I was using knits up quickly. The sweater was done on Friday. 6 days for an entire sweater is a record for me! I was thrilled to have done it, but I hope to never have to do it again.

The sweater fit perfectly, and was very happily received.

I'm now about 10 days into my newest sweater project. No pictures yet, but I hope to share a few more of my recent projects before I finish it.


Yarndude said...

I'm so glad you're still alive! Your sweater looks great! How's the quilt coming along? :-P

bobbins said...

Two beautiful and perfectly fitting sweaters!

Amazing knitting. Thanks for sharing.

hakucho said...

You did a great job on both sweaters!! I can't believe you knit your sweater without measuring and are truly amazing!! Love the mosaic design. Glad to see you back :)

Yarnspider said...

Great to see you back really lovely sweaters. It's reassuring to see that I'm not the only one that goes in for instinctual knitting. Looking forward to more.

Dave said...

It's so funny that you can knit a PERFECT sweater like that without swatches or measurements, and yet other people labour meticulously and end up with potato sacks. Love the colours in your sister's sweater.

LDSVenus said...

Oh my gosh Briley it's so good to see a new post on your blog, I have missed them. Both of your sweaters turned out wonderfully well. I love the shoulder design you did on your sweater. Your sister's sweater is perfect, the yoke is eye catching and the colors blended very well together. ;)