Monday, December 4, 2017
Granito in Holst Supersoft since last summer, and from the very beginning, I sort of knew that Supersoft was the wrong choice. It was gray and in the stash at the exact moment I was ready to cast on for the project, and I got gauge. So, go for launch! Don't think about it or anything! On the plus side, Supersoft comes already wound and ready to go, but straight out of the cake, Supersoft is not supersoft. Supersoft has a hand only a mother could love, and it requires a leap of faith, and you have to keep on leaping for the duration of the project. Actually, I have to carry that unrelated purple swatch along with any Supersoft project, and I need to keep it right in front of me the whole time I'm knitting with Supersoft, and I have to keep cuddling it now and then to remind myself what that yarn really is inside, because otherwise, I will completely forget about how it transforms with washing and becomes a nice fabric and I will hate my knitting. Witness. Supersoft before a bath: these in time for Rhinebeck 2018?] That up there, the cream-and-olive striped thing? That's neither the sweater I unraveled, nor the yarn I unraveled from it, nor a new Granito. That is Yet Another Sweater, on my needles. I am running out of size fours. Ravello, by Isabell Kraemer. In Supersoft.
Monday, November 27, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Ann Wood) has kept me busy this morning, and I only had to stop because it needs a mast and I can't find a skewer. The skewers were a casualty of the big clear-out I did over the summer, and now I'm either going to buy more skewers (probably a hundred of them, when I only need one) or improvise with a knitting needle or something else. A stick from the yard would be my usual solution to needing a stick, but this happened:
Monday, November 13, 2017
sweater last winter. It's a combination of the known-to-fit-me Lisbon pullover by Misa Erder and the lovely (and free!) yoke design from Rydraud, by Steinunn Birna Gudjonsdottir. I used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, in the gorgeous and golden colorway "Hayloft", which was harvested from my lovely, but too large (and thus unraveled) "Levenwick". Yarn, good. Pattern, good. Gauge? Not good. I have developed a bad habit: I have this idea that all my knitting will be 5 sts/inch. I don't know why I think this, because it is hardly ever the case, and I fully know that gauge matters, and I swatch and I wash and block my swatches, but still, this belief persists. Anyway, the Shelter, as knit by me in this particular case, did not make a fabric that was 5 sts/inch, and I made this a year ago, so I can't remember how much I measured or swatched or which needles I used, but I'll bet I went into it all confident that I had successfully used this pattern before, and that (due to the Levenwick, and also the almost finished but also unraveled Timber I knit 85% of before deciding it wasn't working) I knew the yarn pretty well, and so just figured, you know, 5 sts/inch. So I tinkered with the Rydraud chart a little to make it fit the numbers of the Lisbon pattern, and then probably just went ahead and knit it without even checking any measurements. Which is obviously a mistake. And the yoke was really deep, which meant the armpits were way too low and there was a ton of extra fabric across the chest, which billowed unpleasantly and made me feel sloppy. I talked myself into it at first--aw, hey, it's slouchy! It's comfy! Roomy! Weekend wear! Boyfriend Style!--but every time I put it on, it just bugged me. Slouchy, sloppy, boyfriendy, weekend-sized sweaters are great, but all that bigness has to be intentional, and I have to feel good wearing it. And I wasn't. I almost got rid of it. But the color is so good, and the yarn (Shelter! Brooklyn Tweed!) is so good. And that yoke design, oh my goodness. I just love it so much. Why didn't it fit? Argh! It seemed so close to being right. I tried reblocking it, hoping that I could adjust things that way, and the body and sleeves became even more perfect than before, but the yoke was still too deep. There were just too many inches in it. Too many rows. Now, in case you're not familiar with round yoke construction, the way these sweaters work is this: You start at the hem and knit the body, headed upwards. When you reach the armpits, you set that aside, and make two sleeves, the same way, headed upwards. Then you put all three pieces on a long circular needle and start knitting the yoke, which for the first (approximately) 50% of the depth, is just knit straight up. Just a big tall tube, with no shaping. At the 50% mark, decreases start happening, every couple inches, or wherever it fits into the colorwork design, until A) you have the right number of stitches for the neck, and B) the yoke [the distance from your armpits to your collar] is the right depth. So, B is where I went wrong, and this sweater, beautiful in almost every way, sat on the shelf. Then, a few weeks ago, I read Laura Nelkin say somewhere that her personal yoke depth was fairly shallow, and that when she knits a round yoke design, she leaves out a few rounds. Well, whaaaat? Suddenly, I thought of this sweater, sitting at the bottom of a pile on the closet shelf, unworn, but as yet undonated, but on the bubble, and wondered if I could fix it. I love/hated this sweater, but it was so close to good. So close! I decided to see whether taking out a few rounds would save it, and unless you want to rip out the neck and all the color work and re-do it (argh, I didn't want to do that) the only way is to cut.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Bulb pullover/tunic/dress thing a little more than one sleeve from finished, then I spread it out to measure it and had a good look: Shockwaves. this gorgeous one!) in the right yarn. [Editor's note: all this is well and good, so what's up with that Granito, still sitting there halfway done, in the wrongitty-wrongest yarn ever? Hmmm?]. Okay, something in me is still hoping that one can work. [It won't]. There will be a Granito someday, in some yarn or another. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
yarn is nothing like me, what is this speckle stuff? Purple??? but I had four skeins of it in the stash, so apparently this yarn is exactly like me. I fell for it like I always do, just picking up a beautiful skein here and there, with no solid plan in mind, maybe with vague, long-range notions of making a Find Your Fade (all the finished projects, you guys. I am under the spell.). But I guess I just couldn't wait any longer to see what it would do when I knit with it, and now I see, and hoo! It is good. The pattern I'm working with is Bulb by Veera Valimaki. I love that loose, comfy, tunic shape with the floppy neck. I couldn't even get close to gauge, no matter what needle or which size I chose, so Doc reworked all the math for me (oh, the blessings of having a Doc around the house! There's really nothing he isn't good at) and have been using Andrea's fade strategy to blend the different skeins where they meet each other. I don't know what I'm going to end up with, but working on this has been so lovely already, it is almost beside the point. Right now it is just a lap full of happy rainbows. Shadow by Olga Buraya Kefelian, in the very soft and natural "Fleece" by West Yorkshire Spinners. Neutral. Whew. This is one I really want to wear; wooly, heathery goodness. Those smooshy cables. I've said this many times before, but there really is room for both color and gray in my knitting life, and possibly in my wardrobe as well. As I age and my hair turns more and more white, I am more and more inclined to wear only black every day forever, and honestly, the only thing that holds me back is how boring that would be for my knitting. Well, my hair isn't all the way white yet. Rhinebeck, and part of what I think will be fun about this festival is seeing all the other makers in their most beautiful handmades, and meeting other like-minded souls. I can't wait to see your sweater/shawl/cowl/mittens/hat and I want to hear all about them. I will be wearing this cardigan. There has been much talk out there about how warm it will be over the weekend, but believe me when I tell you that at 72 degrees F, I will still be able to wear a sweater. I am almost never, ever, EVER too warm. Doc, however, does not share my reptilian blood and has decided to forego his sweater this year, and I don't blame him a bit. [Also, whew! It will give me a chance to properly fix that mess.] He will wear a kilt, and his Toirneach hose, though, and will be looking fierece, as always. If you are there on Sunday and you spot us, please come over and say hello? Look for a mustached warrior in a kilt and a girl with glasses and Wensleydale hair who probably has kettle corn stuck to her face. I'd really, really like to meet you.
Friday, October 13, 2017
documentary about George Harrison on Netflix, and forgetting to look down at it, which is a complete shame, because this yarn (Primrose, Adelaide) is really awfully amazingly beautiful. I can't imagine what it will be like when it's finished, and I do hope it will be something I can wear (am encouraged by the surprise success of this) but I am kind of obsessed and compelled by this gorgeous yarn. Every stitch is a new color. Love.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017
here. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I'm finally getting around to figuring it out. What a week. Love one another, be brave, help if you can, and listen to some Tom Petty. That's what I've been doing. You'll cry, but it'll be a good cry.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Glentrekker by Jennifer Hagan, and it only took as long as it did because I worked on other things at the same time. It was endlessly interesting and engaging as a project, and while there were moments where I needed complete silence in order to concentrate on the different rates of decreasing at the armhole, raglans, and neckline all at once, it was never difficult. And, well, just looooook at the finished result. Guys, I want to wear this, I want to wear this right now, and every day. The yarn (oh man, this is the best part) is an unknown who-knows-what, bought at the thrift store, ten long sausage-shaped vintage skeins of it for four dollars. It is creamy, natural, DK-weight wool, and probably came as part of a kit for either a pretty big sweater or possibly a blanket--somebody had rolled some of it into a ball, probably in an unravel, and then gave up on the whole thing. For four dollars, I was willing to gamble that it would be wool, so when I got it home, I tested it by setting the end of a piece of it on fire. Wait! Hold on! Safety first! If you're going to do this, do it over the sink: take a three-inch length of the yarn in question, and light one end of it. Let it catch and burn for a second, then blow it out. If what's left on the end of the yarn is a hard ball of melted plastic that doesn't easily break off, you have acrylic (or maybe a mostly-acrylic blend). If what's left looks like a ball, but crumbles away when you touch it, you've got wool. (Another way to tell is to try felting it--I did this too, eventually, when joining one skein to the next. If it felts together with any kind of alacrity, it's wool. Plastic won't felt.) I love this thing, so much. Normally, the beginning of Pumpkin Spice Season makes this beach-loving summer girl a little bit sad, but whoo! This cardigan. I can see how a chilly day might not be so bad.