My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for October 2008

Whoa, Baby!

Wow — over 400 comments were posted in response to the book giveaway. 😀

I asked the random number generator to give me two numbers and it obligingly returned with 108 and 243. So, the authors of comments 108 and 243 are the winners, and happily, one preferred the sock book and one preferred the Starmore book. I love when things work so smoothly.

Ellen wins Favorite Socks and Wannietta wins Fisherman Sweaters. I have emailed both you lovely ladies.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment, but more importantly, thank you to the very generous Pamela B. for giving away these books. You totally rock!

Now, Do Alert the Media

For I have completed the never-ending stockinette on the body of the Daily Sweater and am working on the never-ending k1p1 ribbing at the bottom.

I know what you are thinking: “What a wuss! Whining about a little ribbing.” What you may not know is that before you embark on the ribbing, you increase a lot of stitches. This ensures that the ribbing does not pull in at the bottom. The sweater is split at the point of the ribbing, and you work the front and back separately — so you have a little slit up each side. So that this does not look odd, you want the bottom to be nice and flat and not all pulled-inny. Hence the increases.

I am pleased to report that my ribbing is all nice and flat and not pulled-inny. I’m still on the front and have to do 2.5 inches, so hopefully I can start the back tomorrow. And then . . . on to the sleeves!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am having special guests come to stay with me this weekend so I need to go do some things in preparation.

Lucy sez:

“I can ‘t wait til our special guests get here. They are coming just to see me, right?”

What is It About Rowan Calmer?

Most of the time I can plop my knitting down anywhere at home and Lucy ignores it. In fact, the only time she usually shows interest in my knitting is when I lay it out on the floor, either for blocking or to photograph.

But Lucy has taken quite a fancy to the Daily Sweater. While I’d like to think that she likes the design and appreciates the brilliance of Ann and Kay, it is more likely that she has taken a fancy to the yarn — Rowan Calmer.

Calmer is a blend of cotton and microfiber, so I don’t really get its appeal to Lucy. Granted, it is lovely and soft, but in my experience, cats prefer wool to cotton. But Lucy is adamant. Every time I set down my knitting, I come back to find her happily curled up on it. I am now taking extreme measures: putting the sweater in a bag every single time I set it down. No doubt Lucy is annoyed with me over this, but she is too polite to tell me.

I am still knitting along on the body of the sweater and am hoping that tomorrow I will be able to start on the bottom ribbing.

While Lucy was distracted by food, I managed a pic:

Moments later:

There was lots of good discussion of top-down versus bottom-up sweater discussion in the comments, and each method has its advantages. There was a question in the comments about how I seam my sweaters knit in pieces, and do I have any tips or tricks.

When I fisrt started knitting, all those eons ago, I backstitched everything together and things generally looked like hell. Backstitch has its place, for example, on shoulder seams where you want extra strength, but there are other seaming methods that give a more pleasing result. I mattress-stitch almost everything together these days. There is a great tutorial on mattress stitch on Knitty, here, that covers techniques for stockinette stitch and garter stitch.

Meanwhile, Lucy is being inscrutable.

I think she is just biding her time, waiting for another crack at the Daily Sweater.

Which Do You Prefer?

Question from the comments — do I prefer knitting sweaters from the top down or from the bottom up?

Hmmmmm, I usually knit from the bottom up, but that’s not because I have a marked preference for that method. It’s just because the patterns I like seem to be knit from the bottom up. And I do usually prefer knitting sweaters in pieces and seaming them because I think seams add some support and structure to a sweater.

Still, I’ve no objection to knitting top-down every now and then, and this sweater will have minimal finishing needed after knitting, which is a good thing for a change.

As you can see, I’ve been slogging along on it.

And as you can see, I’m having problems photographing my progress.

I do still have a few inches to go before the ribbing, though. The ribbing will be fun, I think, because the sweater is split at that point and you knit the front and back ribbing separately. So it will have the illusion of going a bit faster.

Give-away! Give-way!

Reader Pamela B. contacted me a little while ago and offered two wonderful books for me to give away to WendyKnits readers. They are Favorite Socks:  25 Timeless Designs from Interweave and Fisherman’s Sweaters by Alice Starmore.

Would you like one of these books? Leave a comment to this entry and on Thursday afternoon (Oct 9) I’ll pick two winners randomly, one for each book. If you have a preference for one book over the other, mention that in your comment please.

Lucy Fur

Reader Mia asked me about Lucy and shedding management. I have to say — Lucy does not shed too badly, apart from her molting in the Spring. She does get brushed at least twice a week, and that helps a lot. She does leave fur on the couch, but a once-over with a good lint brush takes care of that.

Lucy sez:

“Why would you not want my precious fur all over everything anyway?”

Well, she would say that if she wasn’t watching something out the window so intently.

That Purl Stitch

A couple of you have asked in the comments what the purpose of the single purl stitch on each side of the body of the Daily Sweater is for. Is it purely decorative, or does it serve some purpose.

Having a single purl stitch on each side of a sweater knit in the round does give the illusion of a side seam. It also gives a bit of structure to the sweater.

When you knit a sweater in the round, you are actually knitting a spiral, because it is like one lo-o-ong row worked round and round in circles, one row stacking on top of the previous one. I think that purl stitch helps keep the side “seam” at the sides.

I’m glad y’all seem to think I’ve made some progress on the sweater — I don’t feel as though I have, and I spent a lot of time this past weekend not knitting. I confess. 😉 My knittig mojo has sort of wandered off lately.

Because I am knitting the whole body of the sweater right now, it does seem to take forever to see any progress, but that’s okay. I enjoy knitting with Calmer, so it is pleasant to knit, albeit a bit boring at this point.

Lucy, as you can see, is helping me.

I Can’t Come To the Blog Right Now.

Busy, busy, busy. But I have done a bit of work on the Daily Sweater:

Lucy is busy too.