My current work in progress:

Tawney Sweater,by Jenni Barrett, knit from MadelineTosh Tosh Sock, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Archives for December 2007

Yes . . . No?

Special Saturday Post!!

Thanks for all your extremely kind comments on the Pinwheel Sweater!

Yesterday afternoon I tried it on while knitting the first sleeve, just to get some idea of how long I need to make the sleeves.I couldn’t keep the freaking thing on — it kept falling off my shoulders. The only way it will ever stay on for me is if I pin it together in the front.

The problem is the lack of shoulder shaping, of course.

My first instinct was to stuff it in my knitting bag, to be ripped out. But I slept on it. Now I can’t decide if I want to finish it or rip it out and use the yarn for something else. I’ve got some time to think about it, because I know now I will run out of yarn, and the extra I ordered hasn’t been shipped yet — it’s still marked as “pending” when I check the order online.

I took some not-great photos in the mirror. I do like the back (but had a heck of a time photographing it.

Pinwheel Back 120807

Pinwheel Back 120807

And here’s the front.

Pinwheel Front 120807

Pinwheel Front 120807

So tell me . . . what do you think?

Should I Keep Knitting or Rip?

  • Keep it -- it's cute! (63%, 884 Votes)
  • Rip it -- it's ugly! (26%, 371 Votes)
  • I'm undecided! (11%, 155 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,410

Loading ... Loading ...

Feel free to add opinions in the comments!

As you can see, Lucy thinks it’s just fine:

Lucy 120807

Lucy 120807

“I don’t see what the big deal is. “

Edging Complete!

Last night I sat down and finished the last few repeats of the edging on the Pinwheel Sweater, and grafted the last row of the edging together with the first row. Here is the whole thing:

Pinwheel Sweater 120607

Pinwheel Sweater 120607

My dining room table makes a great model, doesn’t it? 😉
And here is my graft.

Grafted 120607

Grafted 120607

Not the best grafting job in the world, but to my eyes, acceptable. 🙂

As you can see from the picture of the whole thing, above, I’ve started a sleeve.

Sleeve Start 120607

Sleeve Start 120607

At the start of the sleeve I had one full skein of the yarn (198 grams) and a tiny bit of a skein (7 grams) remaining. I went ahead and started knitting with the full skein — after I finish the first sleeve I’ll weigh that skein again and see how much I have left. Then I’ll have a pretty good idea of whether I will run out of yarn.

When I’m in a situation like this, I find myself knitting really fast, as though I can outrun the yarn and keep it from running out. Do you ever do that?

My beret is still damp, so it’s still on the dinner plate. It is still damp, no doubt, because my home is kinda chilly. I have not turned on the heat, even though it’s been below freezing. In fact, I opened the windows the other night to cool the place down.

Lucy does not approve of this practice.

But my condo building is solid and must be really really well insulated. If it’s sunny outside, the sunlight warms inside my condo quite nicely.

It is getting a little too chilly, though. I can always tell because Lucy stays glued to a cozy cushion, or in my lap. When she wants to sleep pasted up against me, tucked under my arm like a teddy bear, I know it’s time to turn on the heat.

Maybe tonight.

Lucy 120607

Lucy 120607

“Hurray!”

We Interrupt This Sweater For a Hat

For my commuter knitting this week, I’ve been working on this:

Hat 120507

Hat 120507

This is the Beret Gaufre, a free pattern from Veronik Avery. You can get your own copy of this pattern here.

The pattern calls for a light worsted weight to be knit very firmly at a gauge of 23 stitches and 36 rounds to 4″ in a broken rib pattern.

I am using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. I got gauge using a 3.25mm needle. The pattern suggests a 3mm needle, so I’m pretty close.

This has been an extremely fun knit. I love the bottom band:

Edge 120507

Edge 120507

Instead of ribbing, you do a provisional cast on, work some stockinette, and then fold it so the reverse stockinette shows and knit the live stitches from the cast on together with the stitches on the needles.

I love the broken rib pattern.

And when you turn it inside-out, waffle stitch!

Inside 120507

Inside 120507

The pattern is written to be reversible, directing you to work the i-cord finish on both the broken rib and waffle stitch sides. I much prefer the broken rib side, so only worked my i-cord on that side.

Icord 120507

Icord 120507

To block, I soaked it in warm water with some Soak woolwash thrown in.

Soak 120507

Soak 120507

Then I slipped it over a dinner plate, as directed. Just like any self-respecting tam or beret. 🙂

Blocking 120507

Blocking 120507

(You’ve probably figured out that this blog post is a distraction from the fact that I have not yet completed  the edging on the Pinwheel Sweater.)

RAOK

If you read Sheri’s blog (and if you don’t, why the heck not, FPS?) you’ll know that she’s in the middle of a Random Acts of Kindness contest. Sheri’s example inspired another blogger, Ruth, to hold a similar contest. Check out Ruth’s blog!

Lucy

Lucy 120507

Lucy 120507

“Will purr for neck scritches.”

Needles

Yesterday, Peggy commented:

I noticed in yesterday’s post that you are using 2 different needles to attach the edging. Is one a knit picks options and the other an inox?

The body of the Pinwheel Sweater is on a Knitpicks Options needle — 47″ long, I think.

When I was ready to start knitting the edging, I pulled out some short Aero needles.

Needle 120407

Needle 120407

I have a set of these little guys (I’ve mentioned them before). I love them — they are quite useful for a lot of things, including knitting an edging on a sweater.

How I started the edging:

I did a crochet chain for my provisional cast-on using a waste yarn, then using the little Aero needles, I picked up the starting number of stitches for the edging using the Pond Scum yarn. I worked the first row of the chart.

Then I worked the second row, and at the end of that row, I knit the last stitch together with one stitch from the edge of the sweater, that one stitch coming off the long Knitpicks needle.

To attach the edging to the sweater, you knit the last stitch of every even-numbered row together with one stitch from the edge of the sweater.

So, after completing Row 2, I had the edging stitches on the Aero needle and the sweater stitches on the Knitpicks needle.

Pinwheel Sweater 120407

Pinwheel Sweater 120407

At this point, it made sense to me to work back on the stitches on Row 3 using the Knitpicks needle and the Aero needle. So after Row 3, all stitches were on the Knitpicks needle and the Aero needle was empty. Then, for Row 4, I use the Aero needle to knit across the edging stitches, once again knitting the last stitch of the edging together with the next stitch from the body of the sweater.

Does this make sense? I’m not sure I’m being coherent.

This method of attaching an edging to the body is frequently used in the knitting of lace shawls, so you can probably find more coherent instructions for this elsewhere.

Could you use a set of needles (or 1 circular) to knit the edging, and leave the long needle out of the process (apart from slipping a stitch off it every other row to knit together with the last stitch of the edging)? Sure. But I find this way easier and quicker — it eliminates the need to slip the stitch off the holder needle (or length of yarn) and place it on your working needle.

This segues into another question from the comments from last week. Someone asked if I have any issues with gauge changing when I switch needles. This was asked after I moved the body of the sweater from a 32″ Addi to the 47″ Knitpicks needle.

Nope, the change on needle does not change my gauge. In fact, I’ve been known to start a project on bamboo needles, decide they are too sticky, and move the work to a metal needle of the same size (or vice versa). So far, this has never changed my gauge.

Knock on wood.

So, I’ve got one last pinwheel section that I have to knit edging for — the last eighth of the body. Then it is on to the sleeves!

Lucy sez:

Lucy 120407

Lucy 120407

“Wake me when you get to the sleeves.”

Aw, Shucks

Pinwheel Sweater 120307

Pinwheel Sweater 120307

Thanks for all the lovely comments about the edging on my Pinwheel Sweater. 🙂

As promised, I’ve posted the chart pattern, here (in pdf format). It is linked to from my Free Patterns page as well.

A couple of you asked if I got the edging from a pattern book or if I made it up myself. I made it up myself. I did a quick search of my resources for lace edgings and didn’t see anything that matched what I was visualizing, so I made up an edging.

It’s an easy one and quite easily memorized, which makes it a joy to knit. Nothing like not having to look at a chart for every row.

A couple of you asked how much yarn I bought for this sweater. The pattern calls for 1380 yards and I bought 4 skeins of Socks That Rock Heavyweight at 350 yards/skein for a total of 1400 yards. Should be enough, right? Well, I’m wondering. The body plus the edging will use almost 3 full skeins of the STR, I’ll have about 350 yards for the sleeves, and I’m not sure that’s enough. We shall see. Actually, before I started the sweater I ordered some extra yarn, a little over a week ago. Hopefully it’ll get to me before I need it. If I need it.

I like being able to finish things and move on, ya know?

Becky asked:

Where on the sweater will the edging seam (where the provisional cast-on is now) fall? I figure either at the neck or at the bottom, but I’m not sure which would be less noticeable, and I’m curious what you chose.

Good question! That’s something I gave some thought to before embarking on the edging. The end of the round on the body falls at the center back neck, if you are wearing the sweater with the shorter piece at the top to make a longer sweater. (You can turn the sweater upside-down to make it a shorter sweater with a deeper collar.) Because I doubt I will ever wear it as the shorter sweater, I started the edging 180 degrees from the end of the last round of the body — at the bottom center.

Kris asked:

I see that Lucy likes to lounge on your projects sometimes. Does she ever snag them? My cats are not terribly careful with the knitting but I figure Lucy must not have snagging issues since she sometimes poses with your knitting.

Lucy has never snagged a piece of knitting with which she has come in contact. She is de-clawed (she had been de-clawed before I adopted her) so there’s much less chance of her damaging knitting than if she had her front claws.

Lucy sez:

Lucy 120307

Lucy 120307

“I’m far too lady-like to ever snag Momma’s knitting!”