Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I think/hope the swatching for the Aran cable sweater is finally done.
It turned out nothing like I thought it would. Most of my Arans are
made with fairly heavy cables such as the one centered on the blue
sweater below.

Ever since purchasing Annie Maloney's book on cable design "The Cable
Knitting Handbook" I've been more or less obsessed with putting some
of her cables into a sweater. I found myself drawn to the lighter,
airy type of cables. No 61 is a diamond shape with many tiny
crossings. I nested three of them so they offset each other and then
knit a test swatch in off white Briggs & Little Regal, a heavy DK
weight. Next I worked on adding side cables and kept coming back to
No 28 which is a more open diamond shape but with the same tiny
crossings. Not able to leave well enough alone, I added the center
portion of No 74 to both sides of the No 28 and put a two stitch rope
on each side. The line up was 1 purl, rope,1 purl, 74, 1 purl,28,1
purl, 74, 1 purl, rope, 1 purl. Of course this was starting to look
both pretty busy and pretty wide especially in the Regal DK. More
swatching with a rust colored Halcyon Victorian sport weight. I don't
really like swatching but having finally made a sweater than fit me
perfectly using Janet Szabo's FLAK method, I knew to swatch each
individual cable or cable group or pay the consequences. Janet teaches
how to make the sweater actually fit!

Finally decided to lay the cable swatches on top of the blue FLAK I
wear a lot. Out went the No 74s or there would have been no plainer
side stitches to give the eye a rest.

In the photo, the No 74 with rope cables is on the right with the
three No 61s in the center. Picture the No 74 on the left and
that takes up most of the fabric width. On the blue FLAK, I ran a
cable down from the underarm to waist and might end up doing this with
the partial No 74. The No 28 swatch isn't wasted since it will end up
as a saddle. Last piece of the puzzle will be graphing out on a
photocopy of the 61s exactly where the neck stitches will have to be
added to get to the start of the front body. Sounds complicated but it
really isn't. Janet's blog is at , the
pattern is under Downloads. The small cost of the FLAK pattern is
worth every penny.

More discussion on this sweater is on the Ravelry group Annie Maloney
& Friends -

Interesting exercise and one I've worked on quite a bit and really
want to get knitting on it. However there is still work already on the
needles. Oregon Autumn, the fair isle, is two inches down on the first
sleeve. Fulmar has the body joined onto a big circular. Poor Shirt
Tail Hemmed pullover still sits in her canvas bag.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oregon Autumn is up to the sholder join. I am not happy with it at all but am not going to rip it back to the underarms and start over. My friend Shirley is making the same size as I am and the shoulders look the same. We think it is where the division for the armhole steek starts that is not proportionate.

It is a beautiful sweater and will be worn a lot I'm sure. The colors are beautiful and the quality of the Virtual Yarns yarn is outstanding. I wish I'd taken the time to double check the chart layout to see if the shoulders would match but just never thought about doing so. The photo is the armhole steek crocheted, cut open and the shoulder join done using three needle bind off. I chose to just use the background color called for and do two rows of solid color.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

This is the swatch I'm working on for my first self put together Aran. The cables are from Annie Maloney's "The Cable Knitting Handbook". This is the test knit for two of the cables. The far right cable will be repeated on the left of the next three cables which are hour glasses and not finished yet. Doing a wide swatch gives you the true stitches per inch in your cable so that you can plan the width of the sweater properly. I'm experimenting with different ways to fill in the arms of the right hand cable which looks like an X at the moment but is really a diamond. Lots of possibilities! The yarn is Briggs & Little "Regal" and is being knit on US#5.

We are discussing Annie's work on the Ravelry group "Annie Maloney & Friends".
Come join us if you are a Ravelry member. If not - join!!! It is an amazing wealth of information for knitters.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Oregon continues to be a fun knit. I'm one row past having put the underarm stitches on holders and started the sleeve steek.

Long, cold, rain/sleet/hail day with ice build up on the trees. So far we still have power and probably will be okay since it has finally stopped. We've kept the roofs shoveled best we could but the warmer weather next few days will help. I don't know where we are going to put any more snow. That little figure is Joe clearing outside the garage door. The room over the garage is my knitting/quilting room.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Since I didn't want to ruin this nice snowy day by doing something dumb like vacumning, decided to get out possible yarn choices for either St. Brigid or the sweater using Annie Maloney's cables.

I've decided to use the Irish Ewe wool from Ireland. Bought this at The Irish Ewe shop in Norway, Maine. Dagny and her mom Deb import some really luscious fiber and this is a very authentic weight and ply for cabling. That yarn is in the left front corner of the photo. The other wools are on the right Cascade 220 in Christmas red, gold and a deep purple. Center top is Galway aran in a yellowish green. Left top is Country Craft in Fundy Fog and Blackberry. The blue knitted fiber is Cleckheaton Country 8 ply.