My current work in progress:

Beadwork, by Jade Starmore, knit from Wendy Guernsey, using 2.75mm needles.

Archives for December 2011

Making Progress

I am making progress on my Cromarty, slow as it is.

I am nearing the end of the second 40-row pattern repeat (I’ve done 34 rows) and just started my third skein of yarn. There are four 40-repeats up to the neck shaping. The pattern calls for 1875 yards of yarn, which is around 11 skeins of Calmer. Most everyone who has knit this pattern agrees that the yarn requirements are way under what is actually needed to knit it. I have 20 skeins of calmer in this color, so I’ll be okay.

The sweater is only 22 inches long, which is shorter than I like, so I’ll be knitting bands to sew along the bottom edge to add a bit of length. It would probably look nice to sew bands on the bottom edge of the sleeves as well, for the sake of consistency.

I’ve spent some time going through the Ravelry project gallery for Cromarty — great fun. It’s very interesting to see the variations people have done and the yarns used.

Speaking of yarns, I had no problem getting gauge with Calmer on the needle size recommended for the pattern. I tend to be a loose knitter so I am a bit surprised I did not need to go down a needle size.

Lucy thinks that’s just one of life’s mysteries.

Much Better

This is the Rowan Calmer I know and love!

This is the “Tree” colorway and I’m using it to restart Cromarty. This is going much better than last week’s start with my vintage Calmer that had issues.

Nice solid fabric? Check!

Nicely plump cables? Check!

Fun to knit? Check! Check!

It is a time-consuming knit because there is much cable manipulation on every right-side row. It is also a pattern I can’t memorize completely so I do have to glance at the chart for every row for the large Celtic knots.

I will likely knit a band (with the braided cable) to sew along the bottom edge. I noticed on Ravely that a number of people who made Cromarty have done this. Without a band for the added length it is a rather short sweater, so that’s a vote for the band as far as I’m concerned.

In other knitting news, I finished my Hitchhiker.

As I mentioned before, I knit this from handspun that was spun for me by the Knitgirllls from a Tempted Yarns roving in the “Tree Hugger” colorway. This was great fun to knit: the pattern was easy but entertaining and a great choice for mindless knitting in front of the television, the yarn was made for me by two of my favorite people, and was handpainted by another of my favorite people. And the yarn is lovely and soft and squishy. It’s a win-win-win-win situation!

I had 113 grams of approximately DK weight yarn and I think Leslie and Laura told me it was 300+ yards. Knit on a U.S. size 6 needle, it made a nice big Hitchhiker: approximately 62″ along the long straight edge, unstretched. I don’t plan to block this at all. I think it’s perfect the way it is. I did a good job of using all the yarn.

And it looks really pretty with one of my coats.

Now if it would just get cold enough so that I can wear it!

Back to Cromarty knitting. As you can see, Lucy has been a big help with this.

Just So You Know

I still love Rowan Calmer. I won’t let one wonky batch ruin it for me.

This wonky batch of Rowan is not indicative of recent declining quality, as that batch is one I’ve had for six or seven years. It is just an anomaly.

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I have ordered a boatload of Calmer (three different colorways), so when that gets here I’ll pick a colorway and re-start Cromarty, hopefully with more success.

It briefly crossed my mind to knit Cromarty in Rowan Denim, but therein lies the path to madness. Cromarty has too many bits that need to be sewn together: there are the neckbands, and I think I am going to knit a border to be sewn on at the hem and at the bottom of the sleeves. And there’s that whole “going insane while attempting Celtic knotwork in a rather stringy-feeling 100% cotton yarn” thing.

Aside: I do think I want a denim cardi. The Newlyn Jacket, from Indigo Knits by Jane Gottelier is a worthy contender. (But I will likely modify the cables if I knit it.) I have enough black Elann Den-M-Nit yarn to make it. I also have enough ecru Rowan Denim to knit it. Okay, for that matter, I also have enough Rowan Denim in the Tennessee colorway to knit it. Decisions, decisions.

Aside Aside: I wonder if Elann is going to have Den-M-Nit yarn back in stock any time in the near future?

Meanwhile, I am nice progress on my Hitchhiker.

I would likely have had it done by now but there has not been much knitting going on in the evenings this week.

After I finish Hitchhiker until my Calmer gets here, I think I’ll work on something using this:

Cormo/silk blend, baby!

Lucy sez: