Yesterday evening I seamed the shoulders of the denim sweater, picked up stitches, and knit a neckband.
(The color is a bit washed out.)
I used denim yarn I had washed and dried, so it is pre-shrunk. I briefly considered doing a ribbing or seed stitch neckband, but decided, rather, to go with one of my favorites for casual sweaters — I picked up the stitches, then knit 1 round, purled 1 round, knit 1 round, purled 1 round, then cast off knitwise. I am very pleased with the results, and it even fits easily over my head. Heh.
That reminds me of a sweater I knit in my early days of knitting. After knitting the neckband, I discovered it was too tight and I could barely squeeze my head through it to put it on. Did I rip it out and re-knit it? Nope. Every time I wore it, I had to take my earrings out because the neckband was so tight it would have ripped the earrings out of my ears as I attempted to jam my head through it.
So I am always careful to make a not-too-tight neckband these days.
I’ve mentioned that I used Sweater Wizard to figure out the calculations for this sweater. A couple of days ago, someone left a comment asking about Sweater Wizard and can you actually get a usable pattern from it. (Of course I can’t find the comment now.) But the answer is yes, you can. I find that it really helps to have a very good idea of what you want before you start tinkering with the design in Sweater Wizard. I very rarely use it to just blindly design a sweater. I do find it extremely useful to calculate a sweater and get some idea of the yardage I’m going to need for what I have in mind. It was very useful in the calculations for the denim sweater, because the gauge I plugged into Sweater Wizard is the washed and dried gauge, not the knitted gauge, and the program will tell you the number of rows you need, as well as inches. In this case, I’m knitting according to number of rows and ignoring the inches.
Lorraine asked the other day:
Here’s a question for you- how do you decide what projects you want to do- where do you find inspiration? Is it driven by what’s in your stash, or more seeing a new yarn or pattern?
Yes. All of the above.
Sometimes I have a particular yarn and get an idea of what that yarn should be. (The Kimono Jacket fits this category.) Sometimes I have an idea for a garment I want and search for the appropriate yarn. (Keelan is a good example of this.) Sometimes things happen entirely by accident!
New Sock on the Needles!
This is my new sock in progress:
The yarn is All Things Heather merino tencel blend in the Rosewood colorway. This is one of the wonderful new yarns that the lovely Sheri at The Loopy Ewe has gotten in recently. Go see! She has a bunch of wonderful new sock yarns from indy dyers! I may have . . . uh . . . placed more than one order with Sheri in the past week. Just sayin’. Did I mention I love Sheri? Talk about fantastic customer service! No affiliation, in case you were wondering. I know I keep yammering on about how great The Loopy Ewe is. But with good reason.
Anyhow, Sheri got in some merino/tencel blend All Things Heather yarn, so I ordered some because I was intrigued. It’s fingering weight — 8 stitches to the inch, and lovely to knit. Very soft and silky. And I love this colorway.
Speaking of Socks
I had Friday off from work and my mom came over for a toe-up sock lesson. Did my mom knit a toe-up sock toe?
Why, yes, she did. And against all odds. Picture, if you will, attempting to master a new knitting technique on size 1 needles with fingering weight yarn while a very furry cat is standing in your lap, head butting your hands, purring and meowing: “Pet me, Grandma! Pet me! Pet me with both hands!”
Lucy would like to thank you for the positive response to her calendar. She worked very hard on it, and she hopes lots of people will buy them so we’ll have a pile of money to donate to animal rescue!
Speaking of charity, Cathy asked:
I love the calendar! Speaking of charities, are you thinking of collecting donations for more Heifer International “knitting baskets” this year?
As it happens, yes I am. I’ve got some fun ideas for a Heifer International project and it’s almost ready to go. I’ll be announcing the whole thing in a couple weeks time. Like the first Monday in November, maybe. So stay tuned!!