Wednesday, November 30, 2005


tis done...well, 99.9% done anyway!

And it fits - sorry about the dreadfully dark photograph - I was having issues (to say the least) and was incredibly eager to post all about it as a Finished Object.

Anyhow, the details:

Pattern: Kepler by Emily over at Fathom Harvill

Yarn: Berroco Uxbridge Tweed in Southbury Green (discontinued - hooray, a stash buster!) - incidentally, it took about 10.5 balls of yarn (more than I had anticipated)

Size: Large

Needles: US9 with finishing touches using US7

Useful Skills/Techniques: Cabling without a cable needle (highly recommended), Set in Sleeves (proceed with caution), kitchner stitch (extra tricksy on cable bands) and applied i-cord (still needs work, for me anyway!)

The pattern was well written, and easy to follow. Instead of knitting all the pieces separately and having a small mess of seams to finish at the end, I knit a good portion of the pieces in the round....I began with the cable bands, all at the same time, Kitchnered em together (and while it was a mite tricky, they came out fantastic and nearly invisible). I proceeded to pick up the stitches for both sleeves and knit em together in the round using one long circular needle (until the sleeve cap, of course). I Started with the sleeves and knit em together to reduce the probability of getting hung on sleeve island. I did the body in the round as well, splitting at the bottom of the armscye, and the knitting flew by.

Seaming the arms to the body (using lots and lots of pins, joining the pieces with a slip stitch crochet seam) and finishing with the applied i-cord (see below for closeup, was very slow going on my part) in one evening, the sweater is complete and wearable, though it might benefit from a gentle blocking - mostly because I don't think the shaping at the waist is very defined as it is - then again, that might be my own fault for knitting it in the round and not having side seams to help give the sweater some form on the sides.

While I am fairly pleased, I would prefer to have had more defined shaping on the finished object (and it looked like it did while I was knitting it - but again, the sweater, as is, is currently unblocked) and I think I might prefer full length sleeves over the mid forearm capri-length ones - then again, that cable band is quite bulky and may well have driven me nuts if it was at my wrist. The Uxbridge Tweed appears to wear alright, though the cables aren't as clearly defined as I had hoped - I suspect this is due to the tweediness of the yarn.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Warm n Cozy!

That's right! After being on needles for over a year, I'm finally done! There she is, draped over a bush - looks like rolling green hills, no?

Pattern: Cozy from Knitty
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease, in Loden, 4 skeins
Finished Dimensions: 60 inches x 25 inches (yes, the dimensions are different from the pattern)
Needle Size: US 9

Comments: yeah, I tweaked the pattern, wanting something wider than 19 inches, I cast on a bunch of extra stitches, unfortunately, I can't remember just how many extra I cast on and I don't have Cozy with me, so I can't count the bound off stitches...I also did 5 rows of garter stitch at the beginning and end rather than the 3 called for in the pattern....otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully ;)

From the beginning, Cozy and I seemed to be doomed to a love-hate relationship. She was my first lace pattern, and caused me no end of frustration, especially since that was before I learned about lifelines and placing strategic stitch markers to mark groupings of pattern repeats. I believe she was frogged something on the order of four or five times - thank goodness the Wool Ease stood up to the abuse. After languishing on the side as I moved onto other knitting, I decided I probably ought to put her out of her misery and either frog her and reclaim the yarn or finish her. As you can see, I decided to finish, though with the compromise of using only 4 skeins of yarn rather than the originally planned 5 skeins. I'm pleased with the result - she's long enough to wrap around me, and the lace pattern really wasn't as troublesome as I had remembered it being...I guess that's what happens when you work on other lace projects in the interim :)

For those of you who might be wondering, blocking a yarn such as Wool Ease is indeed possible - I went for a full wet block, drowning Cozy in the sink overnight, then staking her out with the use of my welding rods-turned blocking wires (1/16" aluminum tig rods). The use of wires helped keep the edges straight with a minimum number of pins. The rods I have, unfortunately, are prone to bending, and may be a little soft for this use, but they seemed to work fine and the price couldn't be beat. For good measure, I did do a quick pass over her with an iron on low heat while she was still damp - it didn't crush the knitting too badly, and it seemed to ensure that the blocked dimensions didn't spring back once unpinned.

While I am pleased at the result, I can't say I'll be knitting another cozy any time soon - I haven't the attention span for large rectangles....which doesn't bode well for the aran throw I was dreaming of :)