Sweaterday: Swimming Along

sweaterday

I made a lot of progress on my I∂unn sweater this week. I brought four balls of yarn (which miraculously arrived the night before I left—a mailperson dropped them off around 7 PM, well after my regular mail had been delivered—I’m not sure what happened there), and knit all four of them, which amounted to a great deal of knitting being accomplished.

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I added some waist shaping, which is missing from the cardigan, working three sets of 4 stitch decreases and increases that begin about an inch below the divide for the arms. I placed the back increases and decreases on the back, not along the sides of the body, which I think makes for a slightly more flattering fit on me. I’m really close to starting the ribbing at the bottom—I may have that to show you next week, but since I ran out of yarn, I shipped the sweater back to myself, along with some Christmas presents I’d received, so it all depends on when that box arrives and how much I’m able to knit before next Saturday.

Today’s the last Sweaterday for 2012! I hope to be able to continue posting regularly on Saturdays for a while in the new year, as at some point I’ll be working on Heidi Kirrmaier’s Rain Dance as part of the Sweater Odyssey knitalong.

But now I’m going to go play in Central Park.

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Sweaterday: Vivian is done!

I’m very excited to show you my finished Vivian! My friend Drew was able to snap some shots of me wearing the jacket while we sat in The Bean Cycle on my day off, and she did a fabulous job!

Finished object

If you look at the sleeves, you can see that I’ve folded back the cuff a good five or six inches. If I were to make this sweater again using this yarn, I’d probably leave off the last cable repeat on the sleeves. Perhaps another yarn would not grow quite so much in the blocking process, but this was a little ridiculous.

Back and modified collar

Now, I love Ysolda’s designs and think she is a brilliant designer, but I’m really kind of annoyed that stitch counts are not provided, following the shoulder shaping. That’s the biggest reason why I don’t have a hood on the back of my Vivian. My stitch count is obviously wrong, based on how the hood is supposed to flow out of the shoulders, but without anything to check myself against, I figured that ripping back to the shoulders would be a waste of time, since I could get it wrong every time. Instead, I worked the hood portion for a few rows, and then worked two short rows on either side in the seed stitch portion of the back, to give it a little bit of lift.

Cabley goodness

Overall, I’m happy with the way Vivian turned out, but between the sleeves (my fault) and the hood snafu (not entirely my fault), I’m not as thrilled as I wanted to be. I must say though that the sweater is super comfy and snuggly to wear.

Details!
Pattern: Vivian by Ysolda Teague, Twist Collective Winter 2008 (My project notes)
Yarn: Cascade Eco+ in Spruce. I used about 3½ skeins
Needles: US 8 (5 mm)
Modifications: The only modifications I made are in the hood/collar portion, otherwise everything is as written in the pattern.

Sweaterday: One down, four more to go

Vivian is DONE. Done done done. Aside from the zipper. But she’s currently finishing drying after her dip in the woolwash yesterday morning, so I’m calling her done. Hopefully soon I’ll have quality finished object photos and I can talk about her in detail.

The new hotness (yes, I said it) is my Petrie. I think something in simple stockinette was the right call, post-Vivian. I’m also thinking that this was a good idea, because it will give me a beginner’s introduction to seaming garments. However, with only two pieces, it’s not as intimidating as having to seam multiple pieces might be.

Petrie in progress

I’m using Berroco Pure Pima for my Petrie, which was the yarn used in the pattern from Knitty. I haven’t used much cotton before this—typically, I think cotton is a rough and not-knitter-friendly yarn, but the Pure Pima is a pleasant surprise. It’s smooth, with a lovely sheen and fabulous drape and I’m excited about working on this project. I will say, though, I’m glad I bought a Bryspun circular needle for this project. The Bryspuns have rather blunt tips, and the construction of this yarn—eight 2-ply strands lightly spun together—makes it really prone to splitting, and having softer, rounder tips on the needles cuts down dramatically on the amount of split stitches. I’m not loving the joins in these needles, but that’s a simple bargain for a nice, even fabric.

Being a simple, two-piece stockinette project, I imagine that Petrie will be done in no time. I’m so excited!

Sweaterday: The Home Stretch

Miss Vivian, as I have taken to calling my sweater (in my head, that is; this is the first time I’ve referred to her as such “out loud”), is very nearly complete… ish. Both sleeves are done, and last night I joined them with the body and started working on the yoke decreases, leading up to the saddle shoulders.

Vivian

After the shoulders comes the hood, and then the weaving in ends and blocking and then finished! Except, not. There’s the pesky matter of adding some sort of closure. Typically, that closure is a zipper, and while I love the idea of a handknit zip hoodie, the idea of actually sewing in the zipper makes me a bit squeamish. I’ve never tried to sew anything onto knitted fabric, much less a knitted fabric that I’ve spent weeks knitting. I’m sure I’m making a bigger deal of it in my mind, but I also know that I’m going to have to do this zipper-sewing by hand.

My sewing machine is temperamental at best, downright devilish on its bad days, and there’s no way I’m letting it get anywhere near my handiwork. I have great plans of learning to sew, but I think they’re going to have to follow great plans of saving up money to buy a new machine. In the meantime, I’ve got to figure out the best way to approach sewing a zipper into knitted fabric by hand. Has anyone done this before? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Sweaterday: Actually on Sweaterday!

So, as previously mentioned, after today, I will likely make very little progress on my Vivian. But I figured I’d show you where I am right now.

Vivian in progres

I’m about half way done with the body portion, before you get to the point where you put the body aside and start working on sleeves. I started picking up speed once I got a way into the decrease portion. Now I’ve got about 25 rows with very few stitches, and they’d probably go pretty quickly if I hadn’t been distracted by the Ravelympics.

I cast on last night for my first project, a Swallowtail Shawl, and hoo boy, it’s addictive.

Swallowtail Shawl in progress

I’m almost to the point that I can start adding the beads (instead of making nupps). I just sat and watched The Cutting Edge last night (I have no access to television at home, so I couldn’t actually watch the opening ceremonies) and started chugging away on the simple lace portion.

beads for the swallowtail shawl

I found these pretty multi-colored beads to use in place of the nupps, and I CAN’T WAIT to get to that point.

Haven’t even started on the socks for the other Ravelympics team, but it’s okay. I imagine the shawl will be done fairly quickly and then I can devote all my attention to the socks, and maybe sneak a little for ole Vivian there.

Sweaterday: La Vivian

Things just sound better with a foreign language article placed in front of them, don’t they? Maybe that’s just me.

So, I did begin my Vivian, and I’ve made it 40 rows so far. This is more exciting to photograph, it just requires me remembering to photograph it and talk about it on Saturdays so that I can stick to my Sweaterday-posting rules. Also, if I photograph it on the weekends, you get better pictures than this.

Vivian in progress

Can I somehow merge the long days full of natural light with the temperatures of winter? I know, I’m crazy, but I like the colder weather yet desperately miss the lighting!

I complained a bit about the endless stockinette on the Owls sweater, and while I certainly don’t miss some plain stockinette (yet), this sweater is a bit mind-boggling at first. However, it becomes more intuitive and as long as I check each chart before starting a right-side row, I can zip along (there are SIX CHARTS for the body alone; really only three different “kinds” of charts, but still). The waist shaping I’m doing now is helping it zip along even faster; fewer stitches=shorter rows!

I have another couple of days to put in some serious time on the cardigan before the Ravelympics start. I’m on two teams and I’ve got two projects lined up and ready to go, but neither of them are this sweater. So until they’re done, or until the Ravelympics are over, the sweater goes into a slight hibernation.

My plan for the Ravelympics is to finally knit my Swallowtail Shawl, which I imagine will be a relatively quick knit (please don’t disabuse me of this idea at the moment), as well as knitting my Bandelier socks, which I imagine will not be quick. But I’ll be glad to have them both done (see, optimism) and I’m itching to get started!

FO: Owls sweater

So yeah. On Sweaterday (Saturday), I got busy and lost track of time and didn’t post. Rinse repeat for Sunday and Monday. Aaaaand I don’t have any new pictures either. But I figured I should probably go ahead and just post my modifications and whatnot so we can all move on with our lives. Okay, so I can move on.

Owls sweater, pre-eyes

Look! You can see where I changed yarns in the arms. Not so much once I sewed in all the ends and blocked! Use your imagination.

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Also, I wussed out chose the minimalist option for the eyes and only gave one of the owls the gift of sight. But I really rather like it this way!

Mods:
• After discussing the sweater with a few other folks, I decided to add some length to the body and sleeves, as I am tall and therefore have a longish torso. I did 2½” of ribbing at the bottom and worked for 3½” before beginning the decreases. My overall body length, from hem to armpit, was about 21″. I did a similar process to the arms, and the overall arm length from hem to armpit was about 23″.
• Speaking of decreases, I moved the decreases from the back to the sides. I think this was a good move and would recommend it for any other curvaceous gal out there who’s knitting this seater; having the extra nipping on the sides emphasizes the waist.
• While I didn’t do it for this sweater, if I make this again I’ll probably add a few more rows to the neckline (it’s entirely likely this has been edited in the revised version, available for sale at Kate Davies’s site, as well as on Ravelry).

And for the record:
Pattern: o w l s by Kate Davies in size XL
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds in Bluefaced Leicester, approximately 5.5 skeins, and Steel Grey Suffolk, approximately 1 skein
Needles: Size 10, 10½, and 11, as called for in the pattern.
Gauge:…I wrote this down in a notebook that is inconveniently at home, so I’ll have to get back to you.