My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for November 2010

To Quote the Poet Robert Burns

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

(Like Bertie Wooster, I do love quoting the poet Robert Burns.)

I was hoping have finished the neck shaping of the front of my sweater by now, having fully intended to knit for several hours last night. That was not to be, however, due to one thing and another.  So at this point I am still a few rows away from completing the neck shaping.

As soon as this piece is off the needles, I will cast on for a sleeve, so I can have something portable for commuter knitting. Meanwhile at home I will join the front and back at the shoulders and pick up stitches to work the neckband. After the neckband is complete, sleeve knitting will commence full-time.

A couple of you have asked if this cotton yarn is hard on my hands. So far so good. I’ve not had any issues knitting with it and last week I did have a couple of multi-hour knitting sessions. When I first started working on this sweater it felt like I was knitting with string (after knitting with a soft wool) but now the denim yarn feels nice and soft to me. Go figure.

Update From Shanti’s Mom

Check out the blog entry that Shanti’s mom posted today about her hats for sailors project. I think this project can be considered a huge success. Thank you Lynne for taking it on!

Back here, Lucy is fast asleep in a golden glow.

No Stretchy

According to the comments and emails I have received, it appears that denim yarn does not stretch significantly with wear. That’s good to know, isn’t it?

I’ve made some good progress with the front of my sweater. Here it is:

Only a couple more inches to go before I will shape the front neck.

Once the front is completed, I will join the front and back at the shoulders via a three-needle bind-off. Then I will pick up stitches around the neck and knit the collar.

I will be knitting the sleeves from the cuff up, and attach them via a three-needle bind-off as well to the sides of the body. It’s a drop-shoulder, so this will be easy to do — I’ll pick up the same number of stitches along the front and back on each side where the sleeve is to be attached, and then can attach the sleeves quite neatly. I like doing this with a sweater knit from heavier yarn because it makes a very neat strong join.

An alternative to this would be to pick up the stitches along the sides and knit the sleeves down to the cuff. I considered doing this, but realized that would involve me having to knit the sleeves while having the whole body of the sweater in my lap. I really don’t want to drag the whole sweater around with me as I work the sleeves, so I vetoed that idea.

Another strike against working the sleeves in that manner is that I’d have to knit my cables up-side-down. With the simple cables I am using, that’s not really an issue because they are easy to convert to work from the other direction, but for more complex cabling, this might be a deal killer.

Here is a touching sight:

A girl and her fuzzy rat.

Denim Questions

Over the past week there have been a couple of questions in the comments about the denim yarn I am using for my current WIP.

A question that has been asked a few times — will it stretch with wear like most 100% cotton yarn does?

Well, time will tell. I’ve not used Rowan Denim before so we’ll see. I can tell you that the denim sweater I knit from Elann Den-M-Nit does not appear to stretch with wear. I’ll find out how the Rowan Denim acts. It will be a heavier sweater because if all the texture in the pattern, but I think all that texture will help keep it in shape, too. I plan on machine washing and drying the sweater after each wear (to encourage it to fade and soften), so that’ll help it bounce back.

Another question from the comments — how am I joining in new yarn? When I get to the end of a skein I leave a tail of a few inches and just start knitting with a new skein, leaving a tail of few inches as I start to knit.

After I have worked at least an inch above the point where I’ve started the new skein, I tug gently on each yarn tail to ensure that the stitches are not enlarged at the join and then weave those tails in on the wrong side of the work.

Once this baby is washed and dried (and shrunk) the first time, those woven in tails will stay securely in place. At that point I’ll trim any loose ends.

I’m working on the front of the sweater.

This weekend the weather turned a bit colder, so Lucy and I are at our annual stand-off about when I will turn on the heat.

Lucy sez:

“Would it kill ya to turn on the heat?”

It might.

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I finished the back of my denim sweater.

I immediately cast on for the dreaded twisted ribbing.

This morning I had an eye exam and have spent the time since then waiting for the pupil dilation to go away. As of this moment, I no longer look stoned, but now I look like I’ve suffered a brain injury — left pupil is normal, right pupil is still fully dilated. But I did get a lot of Thanksgiving prep work done: the chopping of veggies and the crumbling of cornbread. And I managed to not cut off a finger. And I finished the twisted rib for the front!

Lucy has been a big help with everything.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Tale of Two Swatches

Well, it’s really one swatch.

Here it is before washing:

It’s 3.75″ from top to bottom. I washed it using a hot wash/cold rinse and then dried it on the hottest setting in my dryer. Here it is (sorry for the blurry pic):

It is now 3.25″ from top to bottom, but the same width. And it is magically transformed from string to nice soft squishy cotton.

Lucy has given up on supervising me.