Saturday, March 31, 2007

Facings on the body of the Dale of Norway Hemsdale cardigan are made and all sewn down. I'm glad the decision was made to use loops for the buttons instead of buttonholes. That is one thick front face with the front edge and steek stitches all covered over by a knit strip in the back. Doubt the button holes would have lined up anyway. The front doesn't look like the motifs line up but they do.

Sleeves are close to done except for their turn under facing. Might wait until next week to see if this sweater fits my taller daughter. If so, will knit the sleeves to fit her much longer arms and gift the sweater. She lives in NC and could always use it on a rare cold winter day for a coat.

All is ready to knit "Erin" along with the rest of the KAL and see how my color substitutions work out in Jamieson and Smith. I've wanted to make this one for a long time. Picked up a good Addi US #2 1/2 circular to try a swatch. I know I get 7 to 7.2 stitches to an inch in J&S on US #3 after washing and blocking tightly. I'd like to get closer to the 8 stitches to an inch gauge called for since I don't want to swim in this sweater. Pretty colors and who knows if I'll actually use the chenilles or not.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Steeks are sewn and cut on the Dale of Norway Hemsdale sweater. I kept the neck decreases as live stitches and will pick them up as the front bands and neck are finished. The colors in the photo look muddy. They aren't really but are more rich especially the gold and the red. The sleeves are already knit to about 3/4 of the length needed. I'll three needle bind off the shoulders tonight and then pin the sleeves in to see how much longer I want them. This sweater is more a coat and is quite heavy. It will be welcome next winter or as a gift for someone for Christmas. I'm going to have to go in a quiet room and read the instructions on the front bands. I thought I'd be picking up from the bottom right, up the front, around the neck and back down the other side. Might do it that way any way as the sweater is written for loops and buttons instead of buttonholes and I like the holes better. Do we ever leave sweaters alone to be knit totally as written?

It's been a fun knit and of course it isn't finished yet. Next up is "Erin", an Alice Starmore Fair Isle and to finish up "Shirt Tail Hemmed" cardigan.
P.S. to this post. It's later this evening, the three needle bind off is done on both shoulders. I also picked up stitches up one side front and am actually following the directions. Front bands are done separately, then neckband is picked up including the stitches on top of the neckband. No button holes, will use loops as called for. See!! I can follow directions.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dale of Norway "Hemsdale" sweater is racing along. Yesterday was a nasty weather day with 12" of snow topped by sleet and freezing rain. Fortunately we snow blowed right ahead of the rain so didn't end up frozen in until June. Most of the day was spent knitting and watching old movies. I'm up to the back of the reindeer with about 60 more rows to go for the body. Sleeves are 3/4 done and length will be adjusted depending on how far the shoulders drop. It's been a fun knit but the Heilo is not as pleasing to the hand as the Shetland wools. It will be a warmer sweater though.

Miss Boots the Cat has blossomed since Patter passed away. She has become the constant companion that he was and has started to be very vocal. She snuggles in beside me when I'm knitting and doesn't chew through the yarn like he did. Fun cat. Wish I understood what she was talking about.

I'm also knitting ten rows on the Sweaters from Camp "Shirt Tail Hemmed" sweater each time I sit to knit. Don't know why I'm having to force myself on this one other than it is sleeves and sleeves are not my favorite. The colors are so pretty and the pattern is exceptionally well written.

Other thing I did yesterday was to get out most of my Aran books and patterns and go through them looking for a cardigan that called to me. I want to use Janet Szabo's book as a guide and design my own. So many beautiful cables out there and so far, I'm trying to get too many complicated ones in one sweater. This will be a long thinking project.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Living near LL Bean in Maine has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is being near the outlet store and being able to pop in from time to time to see what is on sale. The disadvantage is almost always finding something and spending money! My winter parka was not very long, only barely longer than waist length and with the brutal cold and winds lately, the coat wasn't doing a good job. Popped into the outlet store and walked out with a Thinsulate thigh length yellow winter parka with detachable hood and sleeves that didn't fall to my knees. $169 coat, marked down to $89 and on the sales rack at 50% off. With a coupon I paid $31 for a perfect winter coat.

So.... why is this on my knitting blog?? Because now I have to knit a hat and gloves to go with the coat Was thinking of a fair isle tam but tams sit on the top of your head and don't do much for your ears. If you do pull the tam over your ears the hat just looks silly. Out came lots of knitting books and I found the "King Harald Street Hat" in Ann Feitelson's "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting". The hat is designed to pull over your ears and help combat our current 9F degree temps with 25 mph winds. One of the joys of having both reference books and magazines and a stash of Jamieson and Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper is pulling colors in the warmth of your own knitting area. It's such fun to move them around until something potentially pleasing appears. If you don't have the Feitelson book, it is almost a must have if for nothing else than the discussion of color in fair isles.

I'm starting with these colors and will do a quick swatch. Only change might be to a J&S dark blue and medium blue instead of the Jamieson greens. The coat does have a blue lining. Jamieson Dark Pine Green #234

Jamieson Ivy Green #815

Jamieson Rust #578

Jamieson Mustard #425

Jamieson Yellow Ochre #230

Jamieson Buttercup #182

J&S Light Yellow #96

Spread against the coat they look good for contrast and liveliness. I'll skein off, copy the pattern for a working copy and put all in a canvas bag with needles. During our recent trip to VA to help mom with health issues, I didn't have a small project and missed one.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hemsdale cardigan continues. I'm at row 65 on the body knit in the round. The sleeve steek will start at row 99 so I'm not so far away. I am going to steek this sweater no matter what the Dale pattern says. I just don't like cutting right into the fabric. It's a fun knit, going fast but I like the feel of the J&S jumper weight yarns much better.
The plain grey vertical stripe is the steek for the front of the sweater. Notice the difference in the bottom points of the arcs. The one on the center of the photo is the normal arc. The one of the left side which looks double is the underarm of the sweater side. The only way the charts would line up was to have this double dip. Hubby calls this the "sweater with the swoop-de-dos (arcs) and seagulls". The double arc bottom does look like seagulls. At least the sides match.

Just prior to heading to VA to help with a medical emergency with my mom, we had folded down the treadmill and made a workout daily plan. Of course the belt on the treadmill wouldn't work. Back after 12 days away and it still wouldn't work. Found the ProForm web site and who in Maine might repair the treadmill in our house. Only two numbers listed, one is Aroostock County which was 400 miles away, the second one within 3 miles of our house! Isn't that odd? Called and the man said he could come the same day. The treadmill repair man was a cutie! Probably 75, retired Navy, does repairs to keep himself occupied. Turned out to be a burnt controller part and it was ordered over the net. Joe can put it in when it comes and we'll be back walking again. It is -1F today with a 20-25 mph wind. I'm not walking outside today. I've gained too much of my weight back, just stress eating but that is not an excuse. Talked to mom a lot about eating and drinking well and regular exercise and here I'm not doing it. Better start practicing what I'm preaching.