elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

I've worn this a few times now and yesterday I managed to get a few photos.

side and back )

I guess the fact that I am a little larger now worked out in my favor, because I really like the snug, smooth fit.  I have my shirt sleeves folded up over the cuffs because that's just what I always do, to keep the ends of my sleeves out of mayonnaise and baby barf and all my other household messes.  I thought about folding them back down when I took these, but then I figured the photos should reflect how I actually wear the sweater. 

It's very drapey - I guess that's just the nature of alpaca.  It's also very warm, but not too warm.  The collar is a little wacky.  I knew it would not fold over like the pattern suggests, instead it stands up in back.  In front, though, it sometimes tries to fold forward under the sweater body.

The pattern is Salina from Rowan Vintage Knits.  I remember now that I decided to use this pattern because I wanted a plain, fitted, super-basic cardigan and I couldn't find one, so I modified this placket-front pullover.  I'm so glad I'm on Ravelry now because I can find exactly the patterns I want.  I don't like having to modify.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

This project has dragged on for so long that finishing it feels pretty anti-climactic.

But here's my sweater:

I had to set each sleeve twice to make them smooth, but I enjoyed the seaming process, even though it took me a couple hours a day for a week.  I'm not sure why I spaced the buttonholes so close.  In theory, the collar is supposed to fold down in back, but I can tell it never will, so instead of fighting it, I'm just going to call it a standing collar and leave it at that.

A Couple More )
Anyway, now that I've made something so drapey, I want my next sweater to be in a tighter, firmer wool.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

What I've been knitting lately.

1.) Sweater. This is done being knitted - I started seaming it together on Tuesday. I put in one sleeve and did one side seam. Then I decided I didn't ease the sleeve properly and picked out about half of it so I can distribute the ease more evenly over the top.

2.) My Poor Man's Spherey is done being knitted too. This was fun and I think my jogless jogs on the stripes came out pretty nice. I'll attach the limbs and embroider the face when I have some downtime, probably this weekend.

3.) I started making a baby vest last week. It's knit in one piece from the bottom up and buttons along one side. I think I'm about 2/3 of the way done with it. I am loving the tweed yarn. The color looks so darkly olive here; it's really a sort of light sage color.  And contrary to what the pattern suggests, I do not think this style looks 'manly.'

I want to finish seaming my sweater, but my man's suit is taking precedence right now, and it's June anyway, not really sweater weather, and it's not like it would fit me right now anyway, so I'll just get to it when I have time.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
Finished my sweater cuffs!  Yay!

I just bound off the last sleeve cuff.  Now all the knitting is done.  Phew!

I'll block the sleeves today, then probably start the seaming process on Monday.

I also finally made my man's 18th c breeches.  I think I have about 2 hours of work left on them.  They look okay, I suppose, but I just don't think the whole short-pants look is the most flattering to my short-legged, long-torso-ed honeybunny.  Oh well.  They look pretty good, he finds them comfy, and the coat will cover most of them anyway.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I went to rip out my sweater sleeve cuff yesterday.  I assumed that it would unravel easily, just like pulling the thread out of the top of a flour bag.  Zip!  And my 6 hours of work would be reduced to a spaghetti-tangle of kinky yarn in 30 seconds.  Just like knitting generally does.

Well, apparently, that only works on one direction: when ripping back toward the cast-on edge.  When ripping up from the cast-on edge, the stitches did not gleefully zip apart.  I had to pick at each one, individually, pulling the yarn tail back through the loop each time.  Though, after I figured this out, I decided I wasn't going to do that for 30 rows, so I inserted my needle in the row above the cuff, picked up a scissor, took a deep breath, and cut off the whole cuff.

When the scary part was over, I set about picking out the last couple rows (okay, so I didn't cut off the whole cuff), then I un-knitted one more row stitch by stitch with both needles so I was sure I would be in the right place with the right number of stitches.

I left it there.  I'm really not sure if I did the right thing, but it looks right enough.  Today I'll start knitting the cuff back down, now with the proper number of stitches.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
Yesterday I (mostly) finished knitting the second sleeve.  I only say 'mostly' because I still need to knit both cuffs.  But both sleeves, the sleeve part of the sleeve, are now done!  Yay!

So I just need to rip that first cuff and re-knit it, then knit the second cuff down from the provisional cast-on.  Then block them and sew the sweater toegther, sew buttons, and it'll be done!  I feel like I've been working on this sweater for years.  At 23 sts = 4". this is probably the teeniest-gauge thing I've ever made, with maybe the exception of the first hat I knitted (which took me 6 months to complete), so I guess I am not so very surprised that it took me this long.

Since it's summer now and I'm pregnant anyway I know it will just go on the shelf to wait for winter, but I'm excited to be able to wear it then!  And of course, excited with idea of starting the next big project (whatever that turns out to be).


May. 19th, 2009 09:11 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I continued the cap shaping yesterday on my alpaca sweater sleeve.  I re-checked the decrease sequences (again) and figured out that my sleeve cap will only be about 5", instead of the 9" I somehow got before.  I guess I must have forgotten to figure that each decrease row subtracts two stitches instead of just one.  It seems like a silly mistake that I wouldn't have made, but I can't figure out any other way I would have come up with that number.

So now I have about 18 rows of sleeve left to knit, yay!  Finishing it is one of today's goals.  Then I think, when I start sleeve #2, I will use a provisional cast-on, so that I can knit both cuffs downward from the sleeve.  Symmetry and all.  Besides, I haven't decided how much cuff I want and I'd rather keep my options open until I can think about it some more.  Maybe even until I sew the sleeves in.


May. 14th, 2009 10:33 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I made one sleeve on the baby sweater and today I plan to pick up and knit the 2nd.  I'd love to take some photos of it now, but it's such a curled-up, stockinette-y blob right now that I don't think it would look like much.  I'll wait to block/seam it.  I have the teeniest bit of pink yarn left (a ball about the size of a key lime) and I am really hoping it will get me through the remaining 3 stripes.

I started the cap shaping on my alpaca sweater sleeve.  I'm a little confused now, though, since after I counted the rows in the next few directions, it seems like the sleeve will have a 9" cap.  That seems a bit excessive.  I'm nervous about trying to change it because it needs to fit into the armhole.  It makes me want to do a top-down raglan next time!  I don't mind sewing up seams, but it's nice to be able to adjust as you go and not worry about the pieces fitting together.


elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Baby sweater progress:  Knitted both fronts, seamed back to fronts at shoulders, picked up and knitted both front bands and neckband, picked up stitches for first sleeve.  I think the edges where I picked up stitches are a little bit wonky, but it's good practice.  I wasn't sure, on the vertical edges, whether to pick up the sts 1 stitch in from the edge, or just 1/2 a stitch (if that makes any sense).  Just two little sleeves and seaming up left.

Green alpaca cardigan progress:  I'm about 4 rows away from starting the cap shaping on sleeve #1.  I'll still need to unravel and knit the cuff, but I think it'll be done soon.  Then on to sleeve #2!

Thoughts on ribbing:  I'm trying to make up a pattern for some knitted armwarmers for my man.  I want to do them in ribbing, but since his forearm is about 13" and his wrist is 8", I want to shape/taper them so they won't get all baggy.  What I'm trying to figure out is how to decrease in ribbing, in the round, without the ribs getting all wonky.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Some photos of what I've been knitting.

A little over half of a baby sweater back:

I think the colors work a lot better together in real life.  They really vibrate beautifully against each other.

1/2 a sweater sleeve:

I'm pretty sure now that I want to rip out that cuff.  I think I'll wait until I finish the rest of the sleeve, and then I think I will only make a narrow edging (maybe 10 rows) instead of the deep, wide cuff in the pattern.


Apr. 10th, 2009 10:43 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I've got about 7 inches of sweater sleeve above the cuff now, half of the distance to where the cap shaping begins.

Whenever I am working flat knitting, I find that alternating the knit and purl rows gives me a feelng of completion and accomplishment.  When I work in the round, it's generally just endless knitting with nothing to remind me of how much I've done but stopping and measuring every now and then. 

Besides, I actually enjoy purling as much as knitting.  I often wonder, why do so many knitters seem to hate purling so much?

I've read about so many ways to avoid purling and heard (or read) so many people express a distaste for it.  And most of the ways seem like more trouble than simply doing the purling would be.

I guess the same goes for straight needles, double-pointed needles, and seaming.  Everyone these days seems to love circulars for everything and hate straights and DPNs.  I love straights, I only use circulars when I need to, and I have no interest in learning how to replace my DPNs with two circs.

I haven't done a lot of seaming (or knitting in the round, either) but I enjoyed it.  Maybe because I'm a sewist first and a knitter second, but I also don't understand the seaming-hatred.  I liked the fact that with the top-down-in-one-piece sweater I made, I was able to adjust the lengths as I knitted instead of having to figure it out beforehand, but otherwise, I've enjoyed making my current sweater in pieces just as much.
elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
I've got about 5" of the stockinette part of the sleeve done now in addition to the cuff.  I realized that if at the end of the process, I am unhappy with the cuff, I can just rip out the cast-on edge and unravel it and then knit the cuff back down from the sleeve.  Duh.

I got to put a few hours into this during some downtime while I was teaching the TCCG stays class on saturday, and now I think it has moved back into the realm of Finishable In This Lifetime.

And the sleeve so far has taken a lot of yarn!  I'm glad I bought so much.


Apr. 2nd, 2009 10:31 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

When I started this sweater, I didn't like the idea of a seam where the sleeve meets the cuff, so I decided to make them one piece.

I cast on as many stitches as the cuff called for.  I noticed that the sleeve had fewer stitches, and I figured that this was to allow the cuff to fold over the sleeve.  So when I got to the sleeve part, I just adjusted to six fewer stitches with evenly spaced decreases.

Except, after I had knitted a couple inches of the sleeve, I read the finishing instructions again: those extra six stitches were meant to be taken up by overlapping the cuff ends before sewing the cuff/sleeve seam.  I don't know how I missed that.

Knitting the cuff was such a drag, and I am so happy to finally be doing the sleeve part that I really, really don't want to rip and start again.  If the cuffs look funny because they are bigger than the sleeves, I'll just have to live with that.  I know I am not a perfectionist by any means, and the mistake bugs me, but not enough to start over.

Of course, now I have to make the other sleeve the same so they match.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)

And the snow hit today as predicted.

Okay, so it's only sticking to the grass, not the roads/sidewalks, and it's about 1/4" at that, but still, it 's all white and frosty out there and that's kind of a bummer, since it's April now! I love winter, but even I have limits. I'm ready to break my hibernation, go outside, dig in the dirt, play frisbee!

Anyway, I don't know if it's the cold, but something compelled me to pick up my long-neglected green alpaca sweater a few days ago. When I left off, I had finished both fronts, the back, and the collar. Sleeves and seaming are left. I've done about 2.5" of the seed stitch sleeve cuff. Another half inch and then I can switch to stockinette, which will go a lot faster. Seed stitch is just so slow. Sometimes I think I'd like a sweater done entirely in seed stitch, but I'd probably never be able to complete it. It would be cute, though.

I borrowed Folk Shawls from the library the other day. Now I'm determined to knit a shawl sometime in the near future. Something thick and wooly with just a little bit of patterned stitching in the border. No flimsy lace for me; I want something that will keep the cold out (but still be pretty!).

I know I have a lot of sweater left to knit, and I promised myself I would not buy any new yarn until it is done, but I still can't help but plan new projects all the time.

elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
Finally finished the collar on my alpaca sweater!  I love seed stitch but man, it is so slow!  The bound-off edge is a little warbly because I did it so loosely, but I think blocking will shape it up nicely.  I just hate a tight bind-off.

Today I want to start a sleeve (oh boy!  more seed stitch!).  I want to try to focus on this as much as I did on the right front, because I still want to get it all done and sewn up by the end of February/early March.  I think if I make an effort at it I can knit both sleeves in a month.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Last night I blocked my 3 completed sweater pieces:

Close-up of the buttonhole band and lapel/collar )

They're just about dry now, so this afternoon I want to join the shoulder seams and pick up the collar.

Looking at them all together and flat makes the stitches look so much teenier!  I'm frankly amazed that I knitted this.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I finished knitting the right sweater front.  Now I have the back and both fronts done.  Next I'll sew the shoulder seams and pick up and knit the collar.  After that I have the sleeves and assembly.

I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to sew the seams with (yarn? thread? embroidery floss?) but I must have a book around here somewhere that will enlighten me.

I bought some fabric for pants (yes, pants!) the other day.  I haven't worn pants in years.  I tend to prefer skirts.  But I guess I'm just in the mood.  I picked up a couple pieces of mid-weight canvas/duck from the bargain section at Jo-Anns and a nice piece of black wool twill from Treadle.

I made a pattern last week using an article from Threads as a guide.  I need at least another mock-up before I can dive in, but hopefully I can start soon.

Not much else on my plate right now.  I'm kind of eager to be immersed in a big, consuming project, but I'm not sure when that will happen.  I like the instant gratification of little things and the slow rhythms of knitting, but right now I'm just craving more.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Finished the armhole shaping

Finished all 10 buttonholes

10 rows to go until lapel shaping

About 25-30 rows to go until end of piece

I've decided to knit the sleeve cuffs in one with the sleeve as I can't figure out any reason for knitting them separately and seaming them.  But I think I'll join the shoulders and knit the collar before I do the sleeves.


Jan. 6th, 2009 08:38 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I've finished a little over half of my right sweater front, which is exciting. I've made 7 buttonholes (of 10) and I am about midway through the bust increases.

I've been putting a lot more of my thought and energy into this sweater in the past couple weeks and I think it is paying off. Hopefully I will have a completed sweater by sometime in February, which would give me 3 more months of weather cool enough to wear it in, yay!

I think the thing that slowed me down the most with this project was altering the pattern. I've been so nervous about it that I've hesitated a lot, checking and re-checking my math.

I've been looking for a reliable book of sweater patterns, something I can use for years, with lots of designs and instructions for customizing. In the bookstore yesterday I found Custom Knits, which I fell in love with immediately. It's mostly top-down patterns, which is nice. I'm not sure I can say I have a preference, having made only 1 top-down and half of 1 seamed sweater, but I did like the top-down one. Since I'm a cheapskate, I ordered this online to save $10, so I won't be able to give it a thorough read for a little while. That's probably best, though, as I don't need to get too distracted from my current projects!

Anyway, I won't get a chance to start a new sweater for myself until late summer anyway, because I want to start one for my HB. I'm planning to use Cascade Eco Wool and a top-down pullover pattern.  Actually, my man and I plan to make this a joint project; I will set up the shaping and the fiddly bits, and he will do a lot of the plain knitting.  He's made 2 hats so far, is confident in the knit stitch, can increase and decrease, but for some reason hates purling.  I hope our gauges aren't so different that the sweater looks funny, but if it does, oh well.  It has plenty of ease and I think men's handknits can be lumpy and still attractive.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I did almost everything on my list yesterday.  I didn't quite finish the pockets or the hoop channels, but I put a good hour into each.  I have just one more hoop channel to sew.  I probably would have gotten more done if I hadn't taken a break to make some delicious cookies.

I worked a few more rows on the sweater's left front.  I'm at the armscye shaping now.  I washed my woolens and swatched for the new mitten; 3.5 sts/ inch, a quick knit and so bulky and warm!  I'll probably start it later in the week or maybe next week.

Today's goals: 

Finish the last hoop bone channel, attach the waistband and inside panel, cut the boning
Finish sewing the jeans front pockets
Keep working on sweater

I hope to finally finish the hoopskirt by tomorrow.  I'm still debating as to how to tip the bones.  I'm low on metal u-tips and I'm not sure I liked them much anyway.  I might just use tape!

Oh, and one piece of bad news: I offered to sew another dance dress set for my ceili dance group.  There is still enough fabric left over from the other 11 dresses to make one more, and now we have more members.  I am not looking forward to it.

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