Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Willy Nilly

My pink sweater is done. I spent the morning last week seaming the shoulders and sleeves. I took my time, and they look great. I followed these directions, which helped a lot. Once I had the seaming done I tried it on. It fit well. I loved the look, the color, and the style. I didn't like the collar. It was a bit wonky, so I tinked back and redid the collar. I picked up the recommended stitches and knit the last few rows. Bliss! It looks fantastic now. I tried to find buttons this weekend at a local store, but forgot the sweater. Even with Eamon's help pulling out buttons, I just couldn't commit without trying them with the actual sweater. I hope to venture out again this week in search of the right ones. I am eager for cooler weather, so I can wear this. (I also am eager for cooler weather as it is humid here. Phew!)

With the sweater done, I spent a lot of time plotting my next project. I still had a few days before the Stephen West MKAL. I decided to actually do a gauge swatch for that shawl, finish the book I was reading, and then begin another sweater. My gauge worked out well, but I ended up changing the yarn. I wanted to use Swans Island fingering in charcoal, but I learned that the indigo could crock and may discolor the result. It definitely discolored my hands as I wound it into a ball. I plan on using it in a single color item instead. A quick color change, aided by my local knitting friends' help in color matching, and I was able to finish the first clue. I am not sure about the pattern yet, but I am willing to forge ahead and see where the mystery takes me.

With the gauge done, last night I set about starting the next sweater. Summer is my time to knit big items (last year I made myself three sweaters). It doesn't make logical sense due to the heat, but makes perfect sense in timing. The next two sweaters I want to make are the Garter Stitch Swingy Sweater and Nanook. I fortunately have yarn for both here in D.C. Previously I did gauge swatches for each, so I figured I was ready to go. I opened up my notes for the first sweater and noticed how thorough my scribblings were. The only thing missing in the gauge information was the actual needle size. I had all the information about stitches per inch, rate of decrease, lengths, and measurements, but no needle size. ARGH! So last night, I cast on for the second sweater. While doing that I checked one last spot for the needle size. Voila! I found it, and cast on for that sweater too. All this willy nilly casting on should produce a sweater or two in the next month.

With a project off the needles and several beginning, I took a few moments to finish the book I was reading. The Butterfly Cabinet was a better read once I actually took time to sit down and read it for longer than a few minutes. It still was a bit slow, and I didn't think the surprises were that amazing. I am not sure I would read it again. I find I am stingy with my reading time and only recommend those books I truly enjoy. We all enjoyed Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms. Eamon wanted to pre-order the next book in the series. We are also enjoying Where the Mountain Meets the Moon very much. The kiddos want to read "just one more chapter" every time I try to set it down.

So, what are you knitting this week with Ginny? Do you ever make meticulous notes only to find crucial information is missing? What books would you recommend over all others?


32 comments:

  1. I am so glad you are happy with your sweater Heather and I know you will find the perfect buttons.
    Yikes on yarn discoloring your hands, I didn't know that could happen.
    Have fun on your new sweater, I'm so happy you found the info you needed in your notes.

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    1. It made my fingers a bit brown. I have only ever had yarn discolor my wooden needles, so this was a first.

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  2. it's funny that you knit big items in summer, even though our summer has been quite rainy, i'm the typical "fall knitter"! congrats on finishing your pink sweater!!

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    1. It is weird how I seem to migrate toward sweaters in the summer.

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  3. I can't wait to track down those books--my son will love them! Thanks for mentioning them. You reminded me of what happened to be this week--I dug out a UFO still on the cord. What was missing--the needles(used for another project and put away)and I forgot the size I was using-UGH!Oh and no ravelry notes! Enjoy your week!

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    1. That is what I did with the red sweater. I still had the swatch, but I had pulled the needles for something else. Phooey. I hope you are able to figure out what size you used on your UFO.

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  4. Gauge swatches...i never take the time to do them. I probably should, although I think I stay away from stuff that would need a gauge :-) I didn't realize that yarn could discolor your hands either! Was it recently dyed? Or just a really dark color?

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    1. I have had other yarns dye my needles. This yarn was indigo dyed. When using indigo as a natural dye, there will be some offsetting of the color. It washes off, but I didn't want to risk it with my lighter color.

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  5. I haven't started my West shawl yet, I am saving it for the 'Ravellenics' but interested to hear how you are going! Your pink cardi is CUTE!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. HAve you looked at the spoiler pictures?

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  6. I so wish I could be a summer sweater knitter--then be ready for the cooler temps! I have more of a tendency to...oooooo, I'm cold, I better cast on for a sweater!!! (I've got Nanook on my to-knit list, too!!!)

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    1. I do that too! I really like Nanook. It is next.

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  7. You're tempting me in finishing my current WIP, a sweater, this summer! I really like the Garter Stitch cardi ... perfect for the office! Happy knitting and reading :)

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  8. I bet your pink cardi turned out gorgy.( I hope you post it)I just purchased nanok last week- so pretty can't wait to get started on it down the pike.

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  9. Can't wait to see your finished sweater! The other projects look great, too. I'm about to start a Tea Leaves - want to get 3 of them done by Christmas. yikes!

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  10. Gasp! Your Que Sera turned out beautifully!

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  11. Sounds like your fingers will be very very busy - 2 sweaters and a mystery shawl. That's a lot of yarn. Hope you can find the buttons for the sweater. I find I do that (with knitting or sewing) - I drive to the store only to discover I forgot to bring the item along and then I try to 'remember' what exact color would go with the buttons. Frustrating.

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  12. Congrats on finishing your sweater!

    My yarn for my Mom's sweater arrived this weekend (so excited!!), but I am resisting temptation to cast-on. I fear getting many projects to comfortable places and then not getting them finished. After the MKAL.. then again.. no school in August.. ;)

    Books! Books for you? Books for the kiddos? Chase just finished reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and is reading the rest in the series currently.

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    1. Books for anybody. Dave just read Hatchet and thought Eamon would like it. E is currently busy with comics.

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  13. you must post a picture of the sweater once you get the buttons. i would love to see it. i am always amazed at people who can knit more than one thing at a time.

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    1. If you click on revelry you can see a pre-button photo.

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  14. I love your sweater!!! I look forward to seeing which buttons you choose. Sometimes that is the most difficult part of sweater making. Finding buttons!

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  15. so glad the seaming went well and the collar has been reworked to your satisfatction! love that garter stitch sweater...adding it to my ever growing list of things to knit!!!

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    1. I really like this one. I think it is similar to the Annabel Cardi, but I like the asymmetrical front better.

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  16. When I make swatches, I put in eyelets equal to the yarn size (so 5 holes for a US 5 needle). Lily Chin mentioned that on a Knitty Gritty episode and I do it when I'm swatching for something that may take several needle sizes/I want to be precise with gauge. It's especially handy if you want to wash or block your swatch, and do several needle sizes in one massive swatch (I put in a line of purl stitches as a separator). Of course, this method is harder to execute on something like a lace swatch, so you'd have to do some stockinette as border to leave your holes.

    You're being amazingly productive on your sabbatical. I can't wait to see all your projects when you get back next year ;)

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    1. I usually do purl bumps for the needle size. I think the problem with this one was that I picked the needle I wanted and liked the fabric, so I did the measurements off that gauge. I never tried another needle. Must remember purl bumps for all sizes.

      And silly, I will be back before year's end.

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  17. It makes good sense to me to knit sweaters in the summer - then they are done and ready to wear when it gets cool. And I liked that Nanook sweater!

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  18. love that you swatch, and love your pink sweater heather, it's beautiful! i like that you knit sweaters in the summer.

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  19. So glad you are happy with your sweater. I'm sure you'll find the perfect buttons for it!

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  20. It's so good when you take time to make something fit perfectly even if you have to un-do and re-do...it's so worth all the effort in the end...really satisfying.

    You have some lovely projects on the go. The Steven West shawl looks lovely and the swingy garter stitch jacket so cute.

    You're plan is really sensible. I always set out to make summer clothes in the winter and visa versa...but somehow other things get in the way and it doesn't quite work out. I must try to follow your example.

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