Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ingvold Aran KAL progress

I've been stuck for a while pondering how I wanted to do my shaped sleeve caps. Friday night I decided I would try Option 1 in Janet Szabo's 'Aran Sweater Design' book to see how I liked it. I picked up the stitches Friday night, got up Saturday morning and recounted, then started knitting it.

Okay, final verdict - I like this technique! Here is how it works - after working the front(s) and back down to the bottom of the armhole, pick one sleeve to start with. Place the body in front of you, with the chosen armhole away from you so you can pick up stitches on the right side. Using the needle you have decided on for the body knitting, and starting at the right side of the armhole, pick up the number of stitches on the first side (for me, it was the left front), work across the shoulder strap stitches in pattern, then pick up the number of stitches on the second side. 'The number' being the number of stitches that you want to have on the front and back sides of the sleeve, less the number of stitches in your shoulder strap. Turn, knit back, placing markers for any cable patterns you want to have flanking the shoulder straps. For Ingvold, I chose 4-stitch rope cables turning towards the shoulder strap braid, and single lines of knit stitches on purl back grounds. 

Turn, work across 2/3 of the stitches, turn, slip the first stitch and work back. Each row, work one more stitch at the end before turning, slipping the first stitch, and working back. I worked until I had 20 unworked stitches on each side at the bottom of the armhole. Then I finished the row I was on (a right side row) and took pictures to post. Later today I'll join the sleeves into a round and finish knitting them as I usually would. The background stitch I'm using is sand stitch, which is P1 K1 across, ending with a purl 1 next to the K1 edging the rope cable. On the back side, knit across. 

Notice that there are no wraps for the stitches, which, to me, makes a much neater looking garment. I've never really been fond of wrapped short rows, never could get them to look as neat as some other teachers'. So this is a perfect technique for me to learn. I can see other applications for it in smaller projects. By slipping the first stitch of each row, it gives a nice slope to the shaping. 

Also, notice how I have the right side of the sweater rolled up and tied with a piece of yarn to keep it out of my way and to prevent it from being fuzzed as I move the sweater around.

Tomorrow the Aran Knitting KAL starts and my project is my St. Enda, to match the one I knit for DH several years ago using the same Cascade 220 yarn in Christmas Red that I used for his. When I was setting up my knitting bag for it, I discovered it that I had knit the shoulder straps for mine at the same time, so I am a little ahead of the curve on this. If anyone is doing this KAL and needs some help, please feel free to ask and I'll be happy to help.

I've been posting pics of some of my current projects to share with you, hope you enjoy looking at them. 

Happy knitting!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cattywampus socks

Cattywampus socks
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2
Finished second sock 10 miles north of Sutherlin - now on to my mittens!

Monday, October 04, 2010

My St. Enda!

My St. Enda!
Originally uploaded by BlueDragon2
Preparing to wind skeins into center pull balls. KAL starts November 1st so I'm getting ready now, instead of at the last minute, lol.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Saturday news

Hope everyone is having a good weekend so far! I've been posting some pictures of my current projects from my cell phone and thought it would be a good time to add some words to the pictures to round things out. The latest picture is the left sleeve in progress on my October Frost sweater. I'm knitting it from the top down and turning it into a cardigan as I go. I much prefer to wear layers, so as I go from inside to outside I can add or take off layers to stay comfortable. I'm using the stitch patterns much as they are in the book, but modifying the stitch layout to suit my fitting preferences. I finished the first sleeve Thursday night and started the right sleeve last night. I got about 6 inches worked on it today at knitting and will do some more tonight while watching TV. I'm knitting the sleeves flat for about 6 inches before joining them to finish in the round, as I want the sweater to fit as a jacket. If anyone wants more detailed photos of how I'm modifying the sweater, drop me a note and we'll work on it.

The next picture is one of the two STR Rare Gems skeins I got at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, now I'm looking for the best shawlette to knit it into. Anyone have any suggestions besides Ishbel, which while pretty has been done a lot in my town.

Then comes a picture of my first STR Cattywampus sock, which is now done, but I ran out of yarn just after the heel on the second sock. I put out a call for help on Ravelry and someone has already offered a partial skein to me. She will have it in the mail on Monday and it should be here about Wednesday. I'm on vacation and should be able to finish the socks in time to wear them when I go back to work. Love coming back with a new pair of socks!

I took a picture of my Dream Coat as I was working the right cuff, which I changed from the original flat knit separately and sewn on to a ribbed cuff. The knitting and running in of ends is now done - yay! I'll meet with a glass artist later this month to order custom made glass buttons for my coat. I'm going to get 6, I'll put 5 on the coat and have one for a spare. The original pattern calls for only 3 buttons, but I studied the photos in the book and on the cover and noticed that the stylist had pinned the coat shut between the buttons - not something I want to do when I wear it. So I changed it to 5 buttons down the front. The artist puts sterling silver shanks on the back of the buttons, which I'll put several coats of clear fingernail polish on to prevent tarnish from damaging the sweater. One more item crossed off my 2010 project list!

Then comes the first of my A Step Above socks, using Dicentra Designs sock yarn. I'm using the Pellenor colorway to match my Dream Coat. The pattern uses a lot of yarn, even on size 0 needles, so I had to get a second skein at OFFF. I'm thinking that I'll do the second sock totally from the second skein, so the color repeats will match along the entire sock. 

On November 1st, I'll be starting the 'Aran Knitting' reprint KAL on Ravelry and on yahoo on the Mara_class group. I'll also be teaching a class on it at Teaselwick Wools at Mission Mill Museum in Salem. We'll have two classes in November and then two more classes in January. The month of December is usually so busy for folks that trying to hold a class then is insane, especially with my job. It will also give folks time to work on their sweaters so they have a chance to finish them during class. 

The final project is my Ingvold Aran, which has been neglected this summer for multiple reasons. I'm hoping to make some progress on the first sleeve while I'm on vacation and get the first sleeve done by the end of October. The first one will be the hard one, because I'm not only knitting top down, I'm also shaping the top of the sleeve and I haven't done it before. Once I do the first sleeve and write down my notes, the second sleeve should go more quickly. 

Happy knitting to everyone!