Monday, September 21, 2009

thnx, or smth

The red sweater has been pronounced lovely in several venues now and has been claimed by my younger sister Frances for her Xmas present. I've gotten over it not suiting me.

As you get older, it seems that what suited you in the past, no longer suits you and you've got to get used to a new set of colours. This is particularly upsetting for us hard headed types. While at the Finger Lakes Fibre Fest this weekend, I could be seen repeatedly holding skeins up to my face and asking nearby browsers for their opinion. In this way, I learned that others think that teal looks good on me now and coral does not. D-mn. Nor does the purpley blue of the Pine Tree Palatine, alas. Western New Yorkers take note: Jeannine Sims is taking names to knit with Galina Khmeleva here in Rochester on April 18th, 2009. You can contact her through the Rochester Knitting Guild. I must finish with the Pine Tree by then if I'm to hold my head up in April.

So, I've been consoling my self for the past week or so with a Seamless Yoke Sweater knit according to the Elizabeth Zimmerman percentage method. Everything starts with one measurement. All other calculations are based (more or less) on a percentage of the circumference you want the garment to be around the chest. You do a gauge swatch and multiply the number of stitches per inch by the desired finished circumference. Then you cast on. You can add shaping or not. You can make it any length you want. No setting in sleeves. Did I say it fits perfectly? Best of all, it's all done in one piece with no seams. The method is well described in EZ's books, Knitting Around and her Knitting Workshop as well as in Wendy Bernard's recent Custom Knits which I have out from the Guild library. The design tips are in the last 16 pages or so of Bernard's book.

I put EZ's Hawser motif around the hem, cuffs and yoke. I used Lett Lopi (Lopi Lite) yarn. I'm currently gathering the energy to baste and cut the steek, like I did on my other Lopi. I have no idea whether this colour suits me wither. The pictures that I've taken so far do not reflect the real background colour. It looks like a boring forest green when it's really a dark sea green blue colour; Maybe. Anyway. Sorry there are no photos. I'm flaked out at the moment, but will post some with time.

I do have photos of another recently finished project however - my second Weldon's Double Bordered Diamond Scarf. This one is dark navy. It was supposed to be black, but I compromised. Same yarn - Karabella Lace Merino. There must be a devil at Karabella, I think. Someone with pent up anger who wants to put a spoke in the works. You have to be very careful if you want to get the right shade. Not only is the navy very dark, almost black, but the numbers for each shade are very close - navy is no. 3612 and black is no. 3617. Not very nice. Just saying.

Another gift, it looks good on this chair, I think:

Nice and floaty, it's fairly broad and comes down to waist level. Perfect with a white blouse.

I'm also halfway through a brown sock and La-La's Simple Shawl. This pattern is just right for the brain dead, for those watching TV, or for those in need a pattern for a quick gift. This CoolFlick site, or QFlick (things change so quickly now) takes people's Flickr shots and presents them in a way that on the one hand can make you feel very dizzy, and on the other hand makes these very simple shawls look stunning. Mine's not finished or photographed yet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bit Red

It all started with a glimpse of a coral coloured swing jacket hanging in the LYS. I fell in love with the colour. I'd been wanting to knit a swing jacket for some time. I had to knit it. Knit what? Noro Design 15 by Jenny Watson.

I'm not one of these brave bloggers who is able to post about their sweater knitting every step of the way. I don't have good luck with sweaters. This morning, my sister even suggested that I should stick to lace shawls, and perhaps the odd shardigan. Shardigan? Google it. 'Nuff said.

I finished knitting this last week. I almost didn't blog about it at all, but I've decided it's not a total loss. It does fit and feels good. The worst thing is that the colour doesn't suit me. Not at all.

I made a lot of mods to the pattern.
  • First off, I made it longer than called for. I saw someone wearing it and decided it was just too short.
  • I used a solid yarn rather than the variegated Noro called for by the pattern. I decided alternate two colours of Cascade 220 Heathers.
  • Rather than knit all the way to the edges n the same colour, I used the basic intarsia technique to keep the lighter red in enclosed blocks. Why I though it would look like coral, I'll never know.
  • I retained the basic bell shape of the sleeve, but I made it much narrower than the pattern called for (about 12 stitches narrower to begin with)
  • I added a good six rows of short row shaping near the beginning of the ribbed collar.
Things I like:
  • Style and fit.
  • Good basic pattern with a few mods.
What I wish I changed:
  • the colour!
  • the yarn. Good for hats and mitts but not quite good enough for bigger pieces of clothing. Don't settle for the cheap yarn. Go for the Noro, or whatever. Save up.
  • If I had it to do over, I would have tried to hide the decreases in the jacket body. You can probably see them in the pale area of the center fronts and back. Do you think I should embroider tiny red flowers over them, cover the ugly decreases with tiny buttons, or just ignore them?

Here are some shots, starting with a close-up of the decreases on the sleeve.