End of February: no sweater

Aww, sweater Stientje did not get finished before March the first.

I did finish the second sleeve (not too tight) and opted for a more sympathetic border. With this bulky yarns just binding off is an option. With smaller yarns it is not because the stockinette stitch will make it curl.

Not having enough brain power to think about the collar properly I opted for reknitting the border of the other sleeve and of the body instead. That’s what took all evening.

This is the state of affairs on the brink of the new month:

yes, that left sleeve does look a bit tight…

the right sleeve (seen on the left in the picture) is done with the two yarns held together. It is softer and a tad thicker than the left sleeve (seen on the right). The left sleeve has not been stretched here yet, it has only been reknitted for the last 10 centimeteres and binded off. It is coarser than the other sleeve. I don’t have very friendly feelings towards is. So I’ll just finish the border of the body tonight. Later I’ll stretch it all and try it on. Let’s say in the morning, when I am more level headed. Presumably 😉

Then I’ll make some decisions about the collar too. I already have the yarn skeined for it.

Well. So. I have to face the fact that I’ll be knitting a Februari sweater in March. Luckily I now remember that on Sunday I have a one hour car ride to make. I need a simple round and round project for that. If I manage to think about the collar enough before we leave I could knit it in the car.

I also need a simple project for when we arrive in the city and I flop on the couch and vegetate for the rest of the evening. So there, sweater time planned. I feel much more organized already! Let March begin!

other plans I have for this month are:

  • knit Peabody Sweater
  • knit orange mitts for my aunt and for me
  • knit a lace shawl with beads in metal colours. I want spikes.
  • buy luxureous yarn for a sweater (please understand this is an exercise in not opting for the cheap version for once. I seldom value myself enough to spring for the good stuff. This month I am going to.)
  • twice. Once on Saturday the 2nd and once on Friday the 29th. When spoiling yourself, practice.
  • design and knit a block for the KarmaKnusDeken blanket

hihi, look at the great labels this girl sells:

by SublimeStitching

Stientje yes or Stientje no?

today we’re going to find out. There’s half a sleeve and the collar to be done. There’s not a lot of knitting time today. It’s going to be close!

If you are wondering why there are TWO strands of yarn on my knitting needle, that is because the third and fourth ball of yarn were spun much and much thinner than the first and second. There must have been months between the spinning of the two.

I tried knitting with one strand but it would not work. Two works, even if the fabric turns out a bit thicker than that of the other sleeve.

Also…. I may have knitted that first sleeve a bit too tight….

when will I learn?

(the collar needs some deciding still, how to decrease, how to raise the back more than the front, which needles. So really, it is going to be close. Especially since I may not have enough brain power left later on in the day.)

Stientje Sweater: just two more days

this is what I did yesterday:

bustdarts, waist shaping and deciding which border (1×1 ribbing). Knitting this took all day, courtesy of being ill and having to spend the day on the couch.

It took lots of trying on to get the fitting right.

somehow I always need to put in more vertical bust darts than I think and start the waist decreases sooner than I think and be more generous with giving the sweater its waist increases (=hip increases) than I think.

With flattering result. So much better than store bought sweaters that hang straight down from the bust and make women with breasts look fat.

I hope to finish this sweater this month. Today and tomorrow are the last days of February and although I’m not ill anymore and will spend time working I have good hopes of finishing it. Tomorrow evening I hope to have made sleeves (2) and a collar (1)

have you seen today has two posts? there’s also a Weird Wool Wednesday observation below.

 

weird wool wednesday: choice of colours

so these are the colours yarn that I chose for my KarmaCosyBlanker, the KarmaKnusDeken:

these are sooooo not the colours that suit me! No Clear Winter type here. No Bright Winter Type either. No cool colours, no pinks, no blues. Very much NOT in my comfort zone.

Still, they remind me of something…..

what could it be?

I can almost remember it…

uhm…

by the way, have you seen my avatar over on Ravelry.com? we call them Ravatars. Mine is a nice little gnome lady, smelling some flowers. Weird coincidence or are those flowers emitting wool fumes?

Stientje Sweater, full steam ahead

So I ripped back to the coloured yoke and there I picked up the 193 stitches that were at the yoke. I interpreted the 10,75 st per 10 cm that I found previously as 10 st/10 cm just because I liked the numbers better and knitting stretches.

It means I need the stitchcount to be reduced to 130 stitches within two rounds of starting with the white yarn on these 193 stitches. That’s reducing about 60 stitches.

That’s nice because reducing 60 stitches means reducing every third stitch. So I will knit: *k2tog, k1, ssk, k1* and that would reduce about 60 stitches leaving me with about 130 stitches.

I did so and was eager to know if this was enough or too much but I couldn’t tell until the sweater was further along.

So I knitted two more rows and then separated for the sleeves. For this I put a second circular needle to about half of the stitches so I could easily put it over my head and around my body. I put on the yoke and chose based on the colours what part of the sweater I would prefer to be at the front. I chose a part with clear pink, to compliment my face (I’m a Bright Winter type)

Then I guessed, by eye and by tugging at the fabric, where about my sleeves should start and end. I marked those places with safety pins. I took of the yoke and made sure the amount of stitches between the pins were the same. I leveled the numbers.

I picked up the knitting needle and knitted to the first pin, then I put all the stitches between the pins on a piece of string. I cast on 4 stitches (forward loop) and knitted on to the next pin (the 3rd one). Put all those stitches on a string, casted on 4 stitches and knitted 4 rounds.

Then I put half of the stitches on a second circular needle and put on the yoke-now-sweater-to-be to see if I had guessed right for the sleeves and the amount of stitches.

I had not. It was too tight, the cast on stitches at the underarm stretched too much and it also seems I did not have enough stitches at the front.  But it was hard to see with only four rounds knitted…

So I ripped back to where the sleeves were on their pieces of string. Casted on 8 stitches in stead of 4. Worried a bit more and increased one stitch on either side of the front. I knitted 8 rounds and tried it on again for fit.

Now it’s right.

I can now continue knitting untill I pass my bossom and it’s time to think about bustdarts. all this above took me about 4 hours I think. Knitting with needles 7 mm means this is fást.

Sweater Stientje: stop typing, start frogging.

so, I felt friendly towards Stientje again. I’d really like to finish this sweater in February. This is on big needles and I knit best under pressure so it is do-able. (Normally a sweater will take at least 40 hours of straight, simple knitting with 80 hours being more common. And that’s even without cables or colourwork or having to reknit because you think wishing will make a sweater fit.)

I measured the gauge of my knitting at various places and it comes at about 10,75 st per 10 cm, overall.

I then put the measuring tape around my body and my upperarms, it’s where a yokes sweater would separate for the sleeves. It reads at about 130 cms, sitting comfortably around me.

13 x 10,75 = 140 stitches will do the trick at that point. I counted what I knitted and my stitchcount at that place is about 180…..

no wonder it’s sitting verrrrry comfortably around my body, there’s about 16,5 centimeters of positive ease! Normally 5 centimeters is considered generous.

no wonder I had to decrease like crazy to create the illusion of a waist…. which I did not succeed in, by the way. The sweater is now down to my hips and still has not got any suggestion of waist shaping.

look, bustdarts and waist decreases but still: plenty of space.

so. Best thing to do is rip back to the coloured part (again) and adjust the change from the coloured part to the white part and make it so that there are 140 stitches before I start to knit seriously with the white yarn. The way to do that is: knit one white stitch into each coloured one (to make the transition smooth) and in the next row: decrease as many as necessary.

here’s one more picture showing the principle of a yoked sweater: you increase at a steady rate of 4 stitches every row. This is the rate at which knitting forms a circle.

It really is quite an elegant way of making a sweater.

Once the circle is wide enough you put some stitches one a piece of thread, these will become the sleeves. You then carry on but without increasing, you make a tube which will become the body of the sweater.

(of course there are things that require tweaking, if you are into the higher art of knitting a well fitting sweater. With me, for example, I have to increase enough in the front and in the back due to a glorious bossom and a broad back to carry it. But I do not need those increases in the sleeves since I do not have very big upper arms. So I place my increases accordingly)

(There’s also the risk of having a bulk of fabric at the front, right where the underarm start. A busty gal would continue increasing to cover up her bossom but would end up with way too much fabric, even if she kept a lot of the increases away from the sleeve part, that will accumulate at that underarm divide. With a yoke sweater you have to place those increases with thought and you have to adjust the rate of increases once you about 7 inches from the neck line.)

(With a raglan sweater -that has the same rate of increases as a yoke sweater but places them at a fixed point namely along a line that points straight to your armpits- busty gals have to think twice because raglans will nearly always create a bulge of fabric at the armside, near the armpit. That’s why I prefer set in sleeves myself.)

(Besides, a busty woman really does not need a broad horizontal line form shoulder to shoulder emphasizing how broad they are and the two curves that add to the broadness. Well, rules are to be broken as long as you know what you are doing. I know that by wearing a yoked sweater, I emphasize my bossom and broad shoulders.)

anyway. stop typing, start frogging.

Peabody sweater, knitting in the snow

I’m still hiding from my February Sweater Stientje but I have picked up another sweater I wanted to knit this month, the Peabody Sweater by Leilaa Raabe:

I’m knitting it in the Donegal Soft yarn from Ireland that I bought for comfort after my dyeing accident happened.

It’s dark blue yarn and tweedy and nice and soft. My skeins have quite a bit of vegetable matter in it, I think the sheep were shorn on a nylon sack filled with weat. But batches vary per year and per colour so your batch may be totally free of extra stuff.

I altered the lace panel a the front a bit since I did not want it to be so ‘holey’. But I love the design, with the leaves and the ‘flowers’. It reminds me of ’50s wall paper designs. Or how that memory now inspires us, just look at Rachel Taylor Designs:

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“’50s floral”, lovely!

Having knit the ribbing on the train the other day and spending days and days swatching untill I found the leafs I thought were perfect,

I began knitting the lace panel yesterday in the evening. But it was too dark, I had to wait for daylight. I finished a pair of socks instead and photographed them on the other cat, who is also dark:

socks in Regia sock, on needles 2mm, modeled by Poekie.

Then I went to bed, looking forward to a new day with some decent light so I could knit on my darkblue Peabody sweater. And boy, did I get daylight:

everything’s covered in snow! Only last week the birds were calling Spring but now everything is silent and white and beautiful. And light.

Peabody Sweater, on needles 4 mm, in Donegal Studio Soft Donegal, colour 5227, dye lot c814.

I do the whole sweater on 4 mm neeldes which means that when transitioning from ribbing to stockinette stitch there needs to be a 10% stitch decrease.

Hiding from my sweater

so sweater Stientje needs some decisions. For one, she wants to know wether I set the twist on the two skeins she will eventually need for the sleeves. (I have no idea…)

She’d also like to know if I checked gauge (no) because her body seems to grow very very wide as I knit it. I already noticed last weekend and have ripped back to the yoke and reknit the body. Without checking gauge (I just forgot, how silly can I be?)

Even though I decreased a lot of stitches it still seems very wide. Which is why I remembered Gauge. Which I just checked. It is 10 or 12 stitched to the 10 centimeters. I should do some simple math that will tell me if what I have knit is too wide. I can see that it is, I don’t need Math to tell me. Math and Gauge are two obnoxious guys.

So I pretended I didn’t see Stientje sitting on the couch with two obnoxious guys on either side and instead I did this:

It’s the blanket we are designing together in my favourite group over at Ravelry.com. It’s the KarmaKnusDeken, the Cosy Blanket by the Dutch Karma Group.

49 members each design one block and each week one is released and we all knit that one. I started the blanket together with the others in week 1 of 2013 but I chose the wrong yarns. Last Monday I pulled all my stash out of it’s cave and spread it around the room to make a better choise

I made some swift choices:

  1. no sockyarn but soft, luxureous yarns
  2. no variegated yarns. they obscure patterns.
  3. no thick yarn because I’m a small person and smaller blocks will yield a smaller blanket/shawl to wrap myself in
  4. knit on 0,5 mm smaller needles as ‘normal’ people do
  5. knit from stash
  6. buy or dye yarn if you need it

I ended up choosing some sportsweight yarns in warm colours: red, yellow, orange and green.

After a few false starts to find the right needle size and accompanying yarns I knitted blocks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Then on Friday the new design was presented, the one on the last picture. All cables. It took al of Friday to knit it.

So from now on, one block per week. At the end I will block them all and sew them together using the orange yarn. They will not all have the same dimensions and I will fix that with orange yarn.

Orange yarn fixes everything!

Weird Wool Wednesday: Stientje on the train

I was on the train, knitting on my Stientje sweater.

20130215-112723.jpg

My knitting distracted people from their phones and game devices, I noticed lot of glances and some people just got lost in the rythmic movement of my hands (one of the many reasons why knitting is good for you: repetitive movement is soothing for busy brains)

anyway, there came a moment that I peeled off my outer clothes to try on the yoke+sleeves to see if I needed to start the vertical bust darts. In a packed train compartment I sat there, in a nest of my coat, shawl and other sweater, and I wurmed my head through the neck opening and put on the yoke.

People about fell over when the formless heap of wool in my lap magicly became a sweater-in-progress!!

Especially the guy right next to me, he literally moved his body back to get a better look, with wide eyes and a broad smile. Magic! On the train!

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On the way back a group of women sat around me and they, not being knitters themselves, were happy to educate me. I happily share their lessons with you since I know you are always on the lookout for more wooly knowledge:

1. Norwegian sweaters cannot be washed. Yes they are expensive but no they cannot be washed. Even the drycleaners do not have a special treatment for them.

2. You have to know exactly how many stitches to cast on with a sweater because a sweater cannot be knitted smaller. It cán be knitted bigger, but not smaller. So beware.

so there you are.

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here’s how I travelled the rest of my way: incognito and wielding sharp points. I was not educated by strangers much after looking like this:

Shawl on Shoulders: Thinking of Waves

Shawl on Hedge: Thinking of Waves

pattern: Thinking of Waves by YellowCosmo. 478 m of fingering weight total, on needles 3,25 mm.

this pattern is worked in shortrows and reminds of sea waves lapping at your feet. Each section can be modified with a different stitch pattern or a different colour. I chose to do my shortrows in the shadow technique.

It needed one additional modification: at the end and beginning of every row the edge stitches should have an extra YO to give the edge more stretch. It réally needs it:

yarns:

pink = Posh Yarn Elinor Sock in colour Loudmouth. This was a birthday present from my dear friend Sokkenmuis and it took numerous tries to finally make a shawl of it that honours the yarn and the love with which it was given. Good yarn doesn’t mind being knit up and frogged numerous times to finally find the projects it’s meant to be. The colour is absolute perfect for a Clear Winter type!

turquoise = a plied dk weight pure silk dyed by my dear friend Marleen from Dutch Knitting Design. This yarn is not in her shop as this too was a birthday gift too, be it a year later.

YES, YARN MAKES EXCELLENT BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR KNITTERS!

my projectpage on Raverly here