Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pictured is the top of the shoulder on the Marina sweater with sleeve started. I'm not truly happy with how the motif flows down from the body to the sleeve but cannot figure out any other way to pick it up and have an even distribution of stitches. It's a fun sweater to knit and I'm glad to be back with it again. The Christmas sweaters and quilts are all finished and I'm now back to sweaters started on line in "KALs" - knit along groups. Great way to meet knitters from all over the world and share the experience of knitting a more difficult sweater.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The quilt is a lap quilt made for Mom for Christmas. The photo shows the blocks up on the design wall prior to piecing them together. It's all together sewn together now, safety pin basted and ready for machine quilting. The days of hand quilting are long gone. The panel to the left of the quilt blocks is a challenge done last year. Each of us got a copy of a Christmas card and the leader cut it in four pieces vertically. I lucked out and got to recreate the part of the card that showed the lighthouse and seagull. Lots of fun but more difficult than expected.

Button, button, which button? The button band on Marina is done but NOT blocked yet. Sure am hoping that it lies flatter than it does unblocked. Might have to put a cinder block on top of it.

Photos are of buttons I'm previewing for the sweater. Sleeves still have to be knit so there is a ways to go before wearing it. Our local button shop closed recently after 25 years so I stocked up. Tell me over on the Marina Yahoo group which one you like.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beadwork progresses but.... do NOT work on this pattern in poor evening light "thinking" there is an error but not getting up to go to better light and check. The diamond is incorrect beside the blue stitch needle in the photo. It has to be ripped 4-5 rows back. Don't know how it happened as I keep a magnet board with a copy of the chart held down by the magnet bar. As I go line by line, the bar is shifted to show the next line in the pattern. Also use a barrel type row counter but somehow got off between the two. Oh well I guess ripping is part of knitting? but it sure does waste time.

Fairly pleased with the hourglass pattern though it seems to "poof" where the waist of the hourglass comes together. it will probably block out okay. I still like the feel of the Patons Classic Wool. No sign of pilling or fuzziness so far. I'd like to try this is a Starmore Aran that calls for lighter weight. The gauge varies depending on the chart but overall I'm probably getting 6 sts to an inch. The sweater is turning out the size I wanted.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The boys Aran sweaters are done and machine washed and dried to be sure they held up and didn't shrink or pill. The blue one is for a 5th birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. It's a good weight for this time of year and a bit big so he should get a year or two out of it. It is made out of Plymouth Encore Chunky on size 9 which is way larger scale than my last few years of knitting. The red sweater is the same yarn and is a good brick red, not orangey like in the photo. Gloomy rainy day in Maine today and not good light for picture taking. I was going to give them for Christmas gifts but the birthday is first and (along with a small toy) will be usable now. The red is for a 1 1/2 year old and it already looks too small. Better give it now before he outgrows it.

We went through the dozens of quilts and quilt tops in the house this morning trying to see if there were one that would work well for mom as a lap quilt Christmas gift. Lots of square wall hangings that didn't work, large quilts way too big, and class samples that look worn. There were a couple of UFOs (unfinished objects) that have possibilities but Joe and I took down the boxes of reds and off whites in case none of the UFS caught my fancy. Will probably spend the afternoon rotary cutting strips for a red/white scrap quilt. Have a good book called "Combing through the Scraps" by Karen Coombs that has a lot of graphic scrap quilts in it. I've been knitting so much lately, I've missed the quilting. Nice book if you like scrap quilting

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Finally!! I'm happy with the definition and pattern for the Jade Starmore "Beadwork" sweater. I played around a lot trying to make the more formal, finished look of the sweater fit into my current life style which is more jeans and fleece. Rather than quit working with the pattern, I changed the sweater design to a pullover worked in the round. I set it up with the charts from right to left as B A A A B C C C B A A A with the cable B at the sides so that tiny cable runs up the side "seam". Four stitches of B end up on each side of the sweater. I'm using Patons Classic Wool on US size 4 (3.5mm). It has a very silky feel to it and I was worried that the stitches wouldn't define well. As the photos show, the stitches do show!!! The color shows truer on the lighter color grey.

If you wonder what the little stitch markers are they are metal lock washers from Home Depot - cheap and plentiful rather than those nice colored rings I loose all the time. I'm not up to a full repeat of Chart C but the measurement so far shows 42-43" which is right where I wanted to be as a finished size.

All the swatching done for Beadwork was profitable as I learned a lot about the yarns being previewed. Also I swatched so much I've pretty well memorized the pattern and don't look at the charts very often. Still swapping knitting projects between a grandson's Aran which is being knit with a chunky super wash yarn and the Beadwork. What a difference in feel on the hands Can imagine that by the time I get back to the two ply jumper weight on the Fair Isle sweaters, it will feel like thread.

Rainy cold fall day again tomorrow and all the errands are run so I get to knit again tomorrow. Retirement sure is just what I was hoping it would be.