My current work in progress:

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


Archives for 2010

Magic Yarn

I love Rowan Calmer, and I think it is working very well with my cabled design.

There was a comment on my last post remarking on how neat my columns of knit stitches were.

I credit the yarn for this. Calmer has a nice stretch to it that makes it very forgiving. It works very well for cabled work.

There was also a question about the stitch I used on either side of the larger center panel.

Those are simply 2×2 cables, with the cable twists worked on every right-side row.

Book News

I noticed the other day that the German translation of my first sock book, Socks From the Toe Up, is available, and has been for a while. I knew a German translation was in the works, but didn’t know exactly when.

And look what is available for pre-order on the U.S. Amazon.

Lucy Sez

“Do not disturb . . . “

A Guided Tour

It made me smile to read your comments about how fast I am knitting this project because I have barely had time to knit the past few days, so I think it is going very slowly. I always make much more progress over weekends, though, so I live in hope.

Today, instead of simply posting a photo of my progress since my last blog post, I thought I’d give you a guided tour of the stitch patterns used in this design.

But first, the photo of my progress.

It starts with a moss stitch, the “filler” that I am using at each side.

An interesting discussion of what moss stitch is can be found here. I am knitting the bottom pattern, which is called American Moss Stitch on that site. The top pattern there that is referred to as British Moss Stitch is what I call Seed Stitch.

To make seaming a bit easier, I am keeping the last stitch on the edge stockinette.

My “separator” cable is a braid.

I love braided cables. Heck, I just love braids. I’ll braid my hair, braid bread dough, braid cables . . .

This cable has a single knit stitch on each side of it, just to set it out a bit more.

The side panels are a knotted twisty cable.

I got this one from a stitch dictionary somewhere but don’t ask me where. I fiddled with so many cables and adjusted some here and there that I don’t remember.

This one sort of has a braided bit in the middle (I did mention how much I love braids, right?) so that makes me happy. It looks complex but is pretty easy to memorize.

The center panel is my own creation (although I’m sure someone else has invented it sometime along the way — I know there are many similar things out there).

It’s an inter-woven mass that (to me at least) is a little more complex to work than the side panels, but looks less complex, so there’s a weird anomaly for you. It’s only an 8-row repeat (while the side panels are 16-row repeats) and there’s a lot going on in those 8 rows. I wanted something wide for the center that looked a little smoother and flowy, if you will, to off-set the complex twisty-ness of the side panels.

I think I’ve achieved a nice balance here. It satisfies me at any rate.

Lucy is still thinking about it.

Calmer Now

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my denim aran. I wore it to work yesterday and am pleased to report that it was very comfy to wear.

And in the interests of full disclosure, I did run it through the washer and dryer on Sunday one more time (for a total of four times) before wearing it. Just trying to get that “weathered” look.

There was a question in the comments about attaching the sleeves:

I love the sweater, but I have a question. If you allow for 20% lengthwise shrinkage, how do you deal with sewing a sleeve cap which is not going to shrink to an armhole that does? What allowances do you make?

I attached the sleeves via 3-needle bind-off. When I picked up the stitches along the side, I compensated for the shrinkage by picking them up an ootch further apart than I would normally.  “Ootch” is a technical term — it’s just a pinch more than a smidgen.

Knitting this sweater was a lot of fun but I am very happy that I no longer have trances of blue dye on my hands.

I have moved on to a project using Rowan Calmer. This is another cabled pullover sweater and I am using the “Laurel” colorway, which has been discontinued.

Lots of fun cable twists in this baby. I’m using a U.S. size 7 needle (4.5mm) and my stockinette gauge is 5 stitches to the inch.

It’s gotten a lot colder here than it has been in the past couple of days, so I’ve shoved the thermostat up. Still, Lucy is happy to snuggle down in a comfy bed.

Denim Aran

I was off from work on Friday and was able to finish up my denim aran early that morning. It was a dark and gloomy day, but here are a couple of pre-washing photos. One lying flat:

And one being worn by me — a lousy blurry photo, but check out the length of the sweater (and the sleeves).

I ran it through the washer and dryer twice — hot wash/cold rinse and dried on highest setting. Here it is lying flat:

(Cat included for scale.)

And here it is being modeled by Gwendolyn.

It shrunk just under 20% in length — did not shrink in width.

And yesterday, just because I could, I washed and dried it one more time.

The color on these photos is lighter than reality because once again it was a grey day — not a good day for photos.

The in-the-mirror shot (my hair is not that red):

And a close-up of the top of the sleeve:

And a lying flat detail shot.

To recap, this was knit with 21 skeins of Rowan Denim yarn in the “Memphis” colorway. I used a U.S. size 5 (3.75mm) needle for the whole thing (same size for ribbing and body). It’s my own design and I may write up the pattern but I’ve got a lot of work piled up right now so it won’t be immediately if I do.

Oh and by the way, I love this sweater!

I Live on a Farm Giveaway

The Random Number Generator has done its work. The following individuals have each won a pattern from firefly of I Live on a Farm:

Sarah Warburton, Judy, Rea, Margaret, Gail, Sandy, Marci, Linda, Diane, Barb, and Sharon

And Twyla has won the kit to knit the Biscuit Blanket.

Everyone who has won a prize has been emailed, so if you think one of the above-named people is you, check your email!

Congratulations to all the winners, and a huge thank you to firefly who donated all the prizes. She told me that she read all the comments and appreciated very much all the kind things you had to say about her work.

Lucy sez:

Momma is saving the gift firefly sent me for me to open on Christmas! I can’t wait!

Denim and Hats and Stuff

I am chugging along down Sleeve Alley. The second sleeve of my denim aran is more than half done.

So it looks like this baby will be completed this weekend. I sewed up the side and sleeve seam on one side so as soon as this sleeve is completed I can attach it to the body and sew up that side seam and it will be done. I am very much looking forward to throwing it in the washer and dryer for its transformation. I’ll take “before” and “after” photos.

Even More Hats for Sailors

I got an email from Shanti’s mom (aka Lynne) the other day:

I wanted to let you know that one of our local knitters, Sandra, who lives near me, has offered to be the lead in organizing another effort . . . this time for more ships next year.

Sandra has set up a Ravelry group and I wanted to let y’all know so you can join if you like.  Go check it out: Sandra is a real go-getter and decided that there are lots of groups taking care of the soldiers, but few for our US Navy. Here’s our chance. With a whole year ahead of us, there’s no telling how many ships we can outfit with handmade hats.

I’ve joined the group and hope some of you will as well. Considering the impressive number of hats we made in a short time this year, there’s no telling what we can do for next year. 🙂
“I Live on a Farm” Giveaway

don’t forgot to leave a comment on my previous blog post to be entered to win one of the many lovely items donated by firefly. You have until noon eastern time this Sunday to enter. For those of you who asked what a biscuit blanket is, it is a “cozy” to keep bread warm. Click on the link I provided in my previous blog post to read all about it.
Proof That Hell Has Frozen Over

Today I wore a wool sweater to work. Yes, indoors.
That’s “Henry VIII” designed by Alice Starmore from her lovely book Tudor Roses.

Lucy sez “hey, y’all.”