Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Handspun sweater

We are going to avert our eyes from the fact that I have 2 almost finished sweaters on the needles and I will show the new sweater I cast on. We will also ignore the elephant in the room that I don’t have anything close to gauge and that I may not have enough yarn. We will refrain from speaking of the amount of math I will need to do to make this one come out ok. Instead we will talk about the lushness of the handspun and the shinny happy joy of casting on a new sweater.

I bring you Spartan Pullover in IK Fall 2006.

The white yarn is handspun wool from the sheep Tinkerbelle and the brown yarn is handspun Shetland Llama blend. The soft hairiness of the brown yarn against the silk like shine of the white yarn gives me chills.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lopi Sweater

With all of the talk about the Tree Jacket my Lopi sweater has fallen by the way side. But I still pick it up from time to time and am now almost done with the yoke.

But look at the yarn I have left. I bought the recommended amount for size M but I'm knitting the size S. I should have more than plenty. I'm almost done with the white part of the sweater and have barely used half of the first of the 2 balls it calls for. I guess if I was knitting the M I might have needed 2 feet or so from the second ball, maybe. But that is being generous I can't imagine even in the size M using more than one ball of white.

That is my last ball of blue. It's half gone and I still have plenty of knitting left. Now I'll have to knit faster so I can finish the sweater before the yarn runs out. I would have been in big trouble if I had actually knitted the size M. I seriously think sweater patterns designers just take wild guesses when saying how many balls of yarn a sweater will take. I will ignore the fact that my sweater is actually 3 to 4 inches bigger than the size S should be so my running loose with my gauge is what is causing this yarn shortage and not bad record keeping by the designer.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ok, it’s time to graft the tree jacket back together. I’m not sure about the arm shaping. The red circle shows were the first decrease is but the arrow is where I now think the first decrease should be. And the funny shape that the increases made (pointed to with the green arrows) I have a bad feeling about those. But I just can’t tell until I put the sweater on and I can’t do that until the sweater is all back together.

The 2 pieces of the tree jacket waiting to be grafted.

Grafting the first stitch.

Tangles happen all the time.

A few inches in, so far so good.

Woot! Two hours later and only a few inches left.

It’s all done and surgery scar shows. I hope that a good washing will relaxes the grafting edge. But it may not relax enough. My tension varied wildly as I grafted the two pieces back together and the extra knit row before the eyelets starts shows more than I hoped. I thought of that before I started but decided I wasn’t ready to learn to graft garter stitch together. I’m going to see if I can get used to it and if I can’t I bet I can cover it up with a bit of beading or embroidery or maybe a ribbon.
But look at the funny edge from increasing at the bust. It looks just like my Photoshop drawing said it would but I had sort of thought it wouldn’t be that drastic. I hope it falls better when I’m wearing it.

Good it does. The grafting scar still shows but the fit is just right.

Oops, not the arm. I need to give that another try.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Taking apart the Tree Jacket

The first step of reducing the bulk of the underarm on the tree jacket is to take the perfect body off of the very imperfect yoke. I started with snipping one stitch right above the body and pulling one row of stitches out. The live body stitches are put onto a circular needle and DP needles are used to tease the yarn out of its row. Doing this isn’t complicated but it does take care and with a clingy, furry, white yarn is a very slow process.

The first few inches are done.

With my fingers to see it better.

Look how well it is going.

Finally it’s done.

Sumi-e approves.

The next step is to unravel the Tree Jacket back to the safety pin that marks were the armhole should be. Then to join the body there and keep increasing at the underarms to bring the body stitch count back to the right number of stitches for re-joining and to knit new smaller sleeves. Once the sweater looks something like the Photoshop image I will try to graft the body back onto the yoke of the sweater.

I considered putting the increases in as bust darts for a more elegant fit rather than just increasing in the underarms. But I decided against it for all sort of reasons I can’t think of now. But it boiled down to keeping the raglan line going and that I wouldn’t have to think to do it this way. I won’t know for sure how it works out until I get the body back on.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tree Jacket

I finished spinning the alpaca yarn and have spent the last 2 weeks knitting it into the Tree Jacket pattern by Zephyr Styles.

It looks pretty good strait on with my arms to my sides.

I love the fit of the shoulders and the body but the armhole is too big around causing it to look sloppy and not feel very nice either. I like this sweater enough that I want to fix it. After 7 years of knitting I am a bit disappointed that only one of the 10 sweaters I’ve knit fit better than a sweater bought off the rack at the mall.

I’ve decided that if I want to change my average not only do I need to take more care in my knitting I need to go back and change things I’m not happy with. So right now when I try on my knitting I think “Would I pay $10 for this at Old Navy?” If the answer is “No” then I try to fix it. After all I’ll buy almost anything for $10 at Old Navy it’s not like I’m compairing it to $30 at JC Penny’s or $80 at Macy’s and as we all know the yarn cost a whole bunch more than $10 so I think it’s a fair test.

So now I just need to decide the best way to fix this. The neck is pretty good, the shoulders are just right, and the body is perfection. It’s I just need to remove about 2 inches of increases at the arms while keeping them at the body. More to come later.

This is what I want it to look like when I'm done. I want a size extra small armhole on the medium body without reknitting the whole thing.

Now to see if it will work.