Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Bit of Frost

Sunday morning. Up here by Lake Ontario it is balmy 40 F (4 C) this sunny Sunday morning. The 50 year snow storm which hit the Atlantic coast missed us entirely. We had only a little frost on the ground and plants these past few mornings.  

I have admitted Vitamin D into my wardrobe even though I think I'd look better in it if I lost 5 or 10 pounds. I got compliments on it at knit night on Thursday and at work on Friday. I will not post the side view. In any case, it's tremendously comfortable, soft and light feeling. You could easily amend the pattern to leave out the short rows and just knit it as a normal top down cardigan to whatever length you like. Note to self: keep on trying to buy trousers that fit properly. 

Thanks for the comments on pattern choice. I am leaning toward modifying Celtic Dreams and knitting as a cardigan. It would be easy to do by leaving out the centre cable, lovely as it is, and maybe adding a couple more narrow cables on either side of a steek. Tweedy Aran is lovely, but the collar could be itchy and it has that dangerous horizontal line in the mid section, as Joan points out. 

A few posts ago, Helen asked about the cardigan pattern that I have had success with.  It is called Delicate Details was published in 1991 in Paton's Cardigans Booklet no. 654. It's a fairly standard cardigan pattern featuring a faroese type lace yoke. I think that the reason that it works for me is that it draws attention to the bust and shoulders and away from the midsection. 

My best advice is to spend time in a store that has a lot of knits, or possibly before your own closet, trying on different styles until you find one that suits you. Figure out why it suits you and then look for patterns like it. It is important that you be accompanied by an honest, yet supportive critic as the process can be discouraging and exhausting. 

Here is the cover of the Paton's booklet with an image of the pattern in question. Ignore all styling, colour, youth of the model and so on. The yoke pattern is the thing here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The Vitamin D is more or less dry. I tried it on. It fits but I don't think it's very flattering, but I'll give it a chance. I'm letting it hang on a hanger over night and I'll try it on again tomorrow over all black. I may have to find a new owner for it.

Here's what I'm thinking of embarking on next, sweater-wise. Please do tell me if you think I'm on thin ice. The Longmeadow Farm yarn is aran weight and is enough to knit Beth Brown Reinsel's Celtic Dreams, which I think is beautiful. I'd want to make it into a cardigan though. OR, should I knit Nora Gaughan's Tweedy Aran, which has been on my radar for much longer? 

The Celtic Dreams pattern sits before me, crisp and ready, while the Tweedy Aran lurks somewhere in a pile...

I think I need to take a break and knit a shawlette!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Here she is drying. I feel hopeful, but still a bit nervous.  I'll just go straighten out that curve on the right front edging...and the one on the left hand side seam....


Vitamin D is now soaking. I just had it on. It could go either way. Very comfy though.

I did the garter stitch rows to finish, not the i-cord as Aniko did. Then the instructions said to cast off loosely so I did that. Maybe too loosely. Before blocking, it was longer than I expected plus the bottom edges were all curled up and splayed.  I tightened up when I cast off the fronts and neck and that part is fine. I can always re-do the bottom cast off, but I'll take the iron to it first if need be. Wah!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Whine

I just finished my March socks and I'm part way through my April socks. It's all very dull. I completely blew off the "knit a pair of socks per month" thing that I was enthusiastic about earlier in the year. After these are finished, I will still knit socks, ordinary, occasional, and only because I like to wear them.

My red Vitamin D cardigan is almost finished too. I've started on the last 24 rows. Each row has 330 stitches of stocking stitch. Yawn. After that, there will be a lot of i-cord. I believe that it fits and am crossing my fingers that it will suit me and that I won't have to give it away. It's knit from the top down so I've been able to try it on. I am not, however, been able to tell whether the fronts will drape attractively. 

I'm not good at sweaters. Sometimes I select a pattern or a colour that doesn't suit me. Sometimes I make the wrong size, or I think that I can knit without a pattern. I have given away a cardigan and seen it unravelled and returned to me in the form of balls of wool. I said "oh no you must keep the wool," and saw again it later, knit into yet another cardigan. I think that my daughter has it now. I have had an enormous sweater mailed back to me after 4 years of lying in a drawer unworn. I did my first steek on it and made it into a coat. When asked, I claim that it has dolman sleeves. Another cardigan I made was only ever worn under a coat as a layer of insulation. Those are the ones that I know about. Poor things.

Of course, I have had a few successes. I have a black wool sweater that I knit for myself with yarn that I bought from the back of a truck in the market in Sienna, Italy. I knit the same pattern with Icelandic yarn for my sister and a third, pullover version for myself. We wear those and get compliments. I think I will knit it again. I have some lovely grey yarn from Longmeadow Farm in Freedom, New York. 

So, what have I been doing for fun? I've been playing with three skeins of lace weight that I bought from Jill Draper at Hemlock. The swatch below is made with 4 patterns from Heirloom Knitting. I knit the dark green edging and insertion first and then picked up with the pale green and gold. After blocking and admiring, I pulled back to the dark green and have kept going with that. I'll make that as long as I can with the one skein. After that, I envisage picking up all along the edge with the pale green and knitting the diamonds in a kind of reverse Faroese way until I run out of that and I'll switch to gold leaf lace. This could take some time.