Tuesday, September 29, 2009

St. Brigid proved a bit challenging to make as a FLAK and has been put on hold for now. Not like I don't have anything else on the needles!

Henry VIII is underway but I'm having second thoughts.

Knit friend Shirley suggested taking the project out into the sunshine as it looks so dull inside the house. The Virtual Yarns colors are a lot brighter in the sun and really show their depth but something’s just not working.

I’ve got to confess to not being absolutely in love with Henry to this point. I keep thinking of Ravelry member Kibben’s Henry VIII cardigan and that I’d wear it much more than a pullover. Also know that I’ve got to slightly inset the sleeves as I did with Lismore. Those dropped shoulders and my shape don’t work well. I might just put it aside for a few days and think on it. It’s always painful to rip out what’s done but a lot less painful than finishing the sweater and not wearing it.

I have finished a pair of socks from Melissa Morgan-Oakes "2-at a time Socks" book though I did them one at a time on double points. Not being a long term sock knitter, figured I'd not overly complicate the first pair. I used Ravelry member Susinok's Slackford Yarns, Stalwart sock yarn in "Boots & Jeans" color. Here is her shop on Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6946141

Wore them today and they are very comfortable and easy to wear. I did pick up Kathleen Taylor's "Big Book of Socks" at Border's today. I love getting those 30% off coupons.

Joe's "Kangaroo Pockets" sweater is up to the shawl collar start on the front (back is finished). I'll work on it again after I decide what to do with Henry.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can I make St. Brigid as a FLAK? Should I? It is such a beautiful sweater as designed in pieces, knit bottom up and then sewn together. FLAK is a method by Janet Szabo of Big Sky Knitting of starting a sweater with the shoulder saddles and knitting down from there. I've made three so far and they fit just right.

First photo shows the blue finished FLAK with pieces of the new lavendar St. Brigid laid on top. The bottom lavendar piece was the original start to St. Brigid and is being used as a swatch (or to be continued if the FLAK doesn't work). The charts for St. Brigid used as written in Cottage Craft worsted yarn work perfectly for the width I want for the finished piece. The yellow Post-It notes are the blue FLAK's width before adding the sleeves.

Second photo shows the two 5" saddles knit using Annie Maloney's cable #8 from "The Cable Knitting Handbook". The center thinner area is Chart D and half of Cable #8 on each side. This makes the neckline 9" instead of the 7-1/2" I'd like but can handle that. Actually as the D cable progresses it should draw in some to match the big swatch. However, there are still a chart B (#8) to add on both sides plus a few stitches such as seed for smoothness.

Here's the whole view:

So what's the hesitation or problem? My cross shoulder measurement is 18", the width of the cables "hung" on the saddles is 19". I don't really want to remove any of the cables as it would spoil the look of St. Brigid. With a FLAK, the sleeves are picked up from the chest area's front and back and then width is added after the added width matches the full width you want on the body. The only way I can see making this is to use the full charts at full width as the original St. Brigid and then pick up the sleeves from that width (no more width added). At this point, might as well make the original sweater from teh bottom up.

Anyone else who makes FLAKs want to weigh in on this. If you belong to Ravelry, a free knitting/fiber discussion group at http://www.ravelry.com take a look at the Big Sky Knitting group at http://www.ravelry.com/groups/big-sky-knitting-designs.
In that group there is discussion of making St. Brigid a FLAK under the heading "I Just Realized" started by another knitter trying the same thing.


Monday, September 07, 2009

Lismore is done and just in time for wearing during our crisp fall New England days. It's a perfect weight for outdoor wear and bet I'll wear it a lot. Here it is drying on the wooly board.

The yarn is Jamieson & Smith two ply jumper weight and was picked out of stash. If you knit or crochet do yourself a favor and join Ravelry on the web at http://www.ravelry.com. It is a world wide community of fiber lovers and the help and encouragement there is amazing. Marina from mid America graciously shared her list of color substitutions for Lismore as the originals are no longer available. Helen from OR told me about insetting the sleeves slightly to get rid of the bulk of a dropped shoulder. Used their ideas to base my Lismore on and couldn't be heppier. Here is a slightly blurred photo of the inset sleeve.

Only Joe's brown sweater on the needles for cable work currently and I need one a bit more complicated to work on also. Thinking of turning Starmore's St. Brigid into a FLAK style knit from the saddle shoulders down. Planning alone will take a while but that's part of the fun. Also will be knitting Henry VIII, another stranded sweater, with a Ravelry group as a knit-a-long starting next week. Hope the beginning arthritis in the hands holds off for many years as there is a lot of yarn still in stash.