Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Way way way far behind on my knitting blog. I'm learning lace knitting and having a blast making shawls. Aunt Cecil had given me a bag of Jamieson & Smith two ply jumper weight many years ago. She'd bought it while on a trip to Scotland with Uncle Bubba but never got around to using it. Kept thinking how much fun it would be to make her something from the yarn.

This was the result - Alix's Prayer Shawl - a real beginner project

The second one was Heartland Shawl designed by Evelyn Clark:

Not great photos and they show the shawls being blocked on a mattress.

Next came Tibetan Beaded Shawl which was a bit more ambitions and included beads. The shawl is rectangular and actually is a light lavender not pink. They sure are fun to make.

Also currently working on another shawl and a top down Alice Starmore sweater called "Irish Moss" for an online Knit Along on Ravelry. I'll catch up the other stuff later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Temperatures hitting 88-95F are not exactly friendly to knitting worsted weight. St. Margaret is in hiatus until the temps drop a bit. The first sleeve is done and the second was down to the wrist ribbing. Had to rip that back as the decreases weren't matching the other sleeeve and my notes were poor. Note to self "make better notes"! This is first sleeve done.

On a recent short RV trip up to New Brunswick, we camped at Cobscook Bay State Park. Knitting at Cobscook Bay State Park beside the ocean, breezy and not horribly hot was great.

We also camped in St. Andrews and visited Cottage Craft yarns to fill in colors on the one ply for stranded work.

Right to left

#24 St Croix Navy

#30 Horizon Blue

#21 Blue spruce

#9 Meadow Green

#8 Forest Brown

Right to left

#16 Stone

#7 Yellow Birch

#18 Goldenrod Yellow

#25 Scarlet

I'll be knitting along with BlueDragon (Helen) on her Ingvold Aran KAL which is happening until we start a KAL out of the reprint of Alice Starmore's "Aran Knitting" this fall. I've taken her charts and using a simple hat to check the gauge. I'm using US#4 needles and Halycon Victorian sport in a forest green.
Hat Swatch - right side

Charts - right to left

Five Strand Braid, Flat rope, Little Waving cable, Railroad Tracks,

Hat swatch middle

Charts - right to left

Railroad, Ingvold Back Braid, Railroad

Hat swatch left

Charts - right to left

Five strand braid, Seeded double cable

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Still having fun knitting away on Jeri Riggs'  "St. Margaret" design.  Body is done from neck down to two chart repeats below armholes. First sleeve is 35 rows down. It fits beautifully which is one of the reasons I like top down raglan sweaters so much.

EDITED: Several people wrote and asked where Jeri Rigg's designs can be found. Here is her information:
Her blog is at : http://www.jeririggs.blogspot.com/

Her designs are on Ravlery at http://www.ravelry.com/stores/jeri-rigged-designs
If you don't belong to Ravelry you have to as a knitter - go to http://www.ravelry.com/

On a recent RV ramble through NH and VT, I sort of convinced Joe to wander down into MA to WEBS, a huge yarn warehouse. There is a "Grandpa's Attic" area of orphan yarns, not enough to sell in the catalog or on the floor anymore. This place is amazing and I'm glad it is four hours away. I did pick up some Nashua superwash worsted in a deep purple. It will probably be used this fall in a Starmore KAL top down.

Gardening continues with lots of recent rain so the weeds are happy. We'd just come into the sunroom for a rest and Joe said "Oh look at the moose!". I went, yeah sure until I went to the window. She was HUGE and just sauntered around the yard a bit before disappearing into the woods on the other side of the road. Sure would hate to come face to face with her in the dark.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm privileged to be test knitting Jeri Rigg's new design "St. Margaret". This is an innovative way of knitting from the top down, with raglan sleeves and incorporating a lot of cables. The sweater grows out of the initial back neck and can become a pullover or cardigan.

This is a view of the full sweater to Row 51.

Currently I'm 6 rows away from deciding on cardigan or pullover and probably will keep it a cardigan. Jeri has written this pattern for a finished size 38" chest, using DK weight yarn. I need the sweater larger so am using Briggs & Little Regal, a full bodied worsted weight on a US #8 circular.

Jeri and I have been writing back and forth with a few corrections, suggestions and thoughts on making the design clearer. Her charting is impeccable and easily followed. Lots of fun and the first test knit
I've ever done.

Here's a closer view of the work. It's really exciting to see what comes next and how it will grow below the armholes.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I so thoroughly enjoy the knitting stitch designs of Annie Maloney of Canada. She is a self published author and her books are available through Unicorn Books. Lots of us on Ravelry had been eagerly awaiting "Aran Lace". Annie has designed 101 stitch combinations of lace and cables. Here's a sample of a mixture of three of the charts - #3, #18 and #72 in the middle. This is a test swatch and I might continue with it for a scarf.

I need to get back to stranded color knitting. Miss it and have too many things on the needles. Also waiting for Ravlery friend BlueDragon to start a KAL (knit a long) for a top down sweater for a summer project. This fall we'll do a KAL for a top down sweater taken from a design for the reprint of Alice Starmore's "Aran Kntting".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just back from a camping trip down to VA and NC. Rather than continue with the Ridgeway pullover, I started Alice Starmore's Bodega Bay. The Ridgeway as I was reworking it, just didn't work.

The idea was to use a cable up the center in place of the basketweave and then to run the cable over into the shoulders as they were formed. The cable I used is just way too big and heavy and didn't flow. I'll eventually rip out the Cascade 220 since I like the color and will reuse it. Still like the Ridgeway pattern and one day will knit it as designed - probably why I liked it in the first place!

Bodega Bay is a structured cable sweater with fairly simple cables. I'm knitting it bottom up in Halcyon Yarns Victorian 2 ply which is a DK weight. this must might end up being the camper sweater as the cables are quite repetitive and no need to refer to the charts constantly.

Annie Maloney has just published a new book "Aran Lace". I'm eagerly awaiting my copy and may just throw everything else aside and try knitting lace within cables.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So what knitting to work on? Looking at all the projects on Ravelry.com leads to being fractured on what comes next. Too much to try for new techniques and fibers. Make a shawl? scarf? sweater? cable or stranded? socks? Too many riches to chose from.

I've packed a box of Jamieson & Smith yarns, needles for that gauge and the book "Knitted Tams" by Mary Rowe to carry in the camper this summer. Figured with 40 colors and graph paper could have endless possibilites for hats and/or tams for Christmas gifts.

The shape of this sweater fascinates me along with the construction of raglan shoulders winged out from the body. It is "Ridgeway #304" by Cabin Fever.

Because I seem incapable of leaving any pattern alone, I'm adding a cable up the front and back and will wing it out into the raglan. The cable is from Melissa Leapman's book "Continuous Cables".

As always it's only knitting and can all be ripped out and reused.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh my! This bag sort of fell into my car today. Unfortunately Ewe & ME, one of our best local yarn stores is closing this week. I went up to say goodbye to the friends I'd made there. Since so few local folk use Jamieson & Smith two ply jumper weight the owner offered me the balance of the stock at a price there was no way I could pass up. Guess I'd better get busy and plan a few projects. Wouldn't this make beautiful Tams for Christmas?

Canyonville is done! It took just under two months and has a bazillion twisted travelling stitches in it.

One of the Ravelry members Katri63 had made this Alice Starmore dropped shoulder sweater into a raglan. Great inspiration and quite easy to figure out for stitch count thanks to the Sweater Wizard software.

Now to go through the projects in progress to pick one to finish. Also I'm "allowing" myself to start something new and it just might be my first lace project.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I'm up to the neck, halfway through the front neck decreases headed to the finish. It feels as though the raglan is going to be too long but I'm going to have faith in Sweater Wizard's math and keep going. If it is too long or the neck to tight, I can always rip back to the start of the neck decreases. Still like the design and the yarn.

We took a fast trip over to NH for a RV truck camper repair but mostly an excuse to just get on the road. We stopped in Derry, NH at Yarn & Fiber, one of the best knit stores I've ever been in. The entire back wall of the shop is floor to head height in bins of Cascade 220. They must have every color there is. Forced myself not to buy anything as the home stash is just too large.

No idea what is next on the list. Too many projects swirling around to decide on one or two yet. I'm not happy with the color son the Oversize Panel fair isle - just too pink. I'll look at it again when Canyonville is finished.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Canyonville progresses, slowly, but progresses. The body and sleeves are now joined for the raglan decreases headed to the neck. It's a lot more awkward to handle than individual pieces but easier to do the decreasing and stay in pattern. Hopefully the underarm decreases will leave me enough fabric around the arms. Time will tell and if it doesn't work - TINK or KNIT backwards back to the raglan join and then change it to a set in sleeve. Still like the Galway Highland Heather yarn on US#5. The fabric is tight and really shows the twisted stitch definition.

Sleeves might be too short but I can always add more ribbing. Next up? Don't know but would like to get back to the Oversize Panel Cardigan and start a small project for a change.

Odd winter. Our ground is close to bare of snow and the temps this past week have been in the upper 30s, low 40s. I detest knitting with cotton so it had better get cold again.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

This has been an unusual January with cold but not a lot of really bad snow storm days. A rare rain storm took the snow pack down by half. This break in the normal weather pattern did let the roof crew install the new steel metal roofing on the garage and the deep north and south valleys. Later snow proved that the snow will slide off those areas and may finally have solved the ice dam problem. Solved is always a relative word when doing any kind of house maintenance.

Since we don't play in the snow any longer, we've had lots of time for hobbies - reading, model trains, planning this years truck camper trips, knitting and trying new recipes. Joe's leg hasn't relapsed so we've got fingers crossed for camping this spring.

Canyonville is progressing nicely. I'm two rows away from the second pattern repeat on the body and then will switch back to work on the sleeves until that second pattern repeat is done. Perhaps this will be a way to get sleeves done - use the body as incentive and not work exclusively on that. Will be interesting to see if I can be happy with both body and sleeve length for when the raglan starts as the pattern has to be on the same row. Stay tuned!

To switch needle sizes and yarn thickness and hopefully keep my hands going, I'm also working still on Oversize Panel Cardigan. Pink is not one of my favorite colors and the photo makes this sweater look very pink. It's not that pink to the human eye but maybe that is the reason it isn't being worked on very much? I need to get at least half way through the second pattern repeat to see if this is doing what I want. Lots of knitting to rip out if so ......

Friday, January 15, 2010

Canyonville is underway! After all the swatching, I've decided on the Galway Highland Heather in color number #748, a sage green. Ribbing is done and about half of one chart repeat. It will be knit in the round bottom up with raglan shaping.

Still working on the Oversize Panel cardigan, a few rows each night. So much yarn, so little time!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Received a pair of beautiful yellow socks today from friend Shirley. What a great way to cheer up a cold time of year - lunch and socks! She does such precise work and the socks fit perfectly.

Perhaps I can break out of the "what to make next" doldrums by making some socks? I've been stuck on swatching lately but at least one of the swatches made it into a hat. This is the basic pattern for Starmore's "Inishmaan" sweater but with two of the smaller cables substituted. I used Annie Maloney's "Cable Knitter's Handbook" cables No. 3 and No. 9 and mirrored them around the center Inishmaan big braid. The hat is drying on a balloon so it kept the shape and dried faster. It's from Cottage Crafts 2 ply in Yellow Birch color.

The swatches below for "Canyonville" aren't going to be made into anything. A knit friend said she wished all her swatches were the same size so that she could sew them into a blanket. Good idea! All of the yarn colors are Cascade 220 except for the light green which is Galway Highland Heather. Not sure if I'll proceed to sweater stage but have enjoyed swatching the travelling stitches. The depth effect created by the stitches moving over the fabric is fascinating.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Starting off the new year with swatching and finishing off Sarah's Lopi. The Lopi was a gift from her mom's trip to England. Sure feels odd to go back and forth from Lopi weight to 2 ply jumper weight but it's a good rest on the hands. It's also time to get back to the Oversize Panel sweater which is a KnitALong on BlueDragon's Yahoo group. This picture shows my "helper" Miss Boots choosing the yarns.

This swatch is from Annie Maloney's "Knitter's Guide to Stitch Design", Cable #112. I'm nesting three of the cables off set with her wrapped stitch where the cable edes meet. The bottom wheat color is Cottage Craft in stone color. The top is MacAusland's worsted weight in a green/teal. The stone color doesn't show the cables well; the green shows the cables but is quite heavy. Not sure I want to knit another heavy sweater right now.

I was able to get Alice Starmore's "American Portraits" (way out of print) from interlibrary loan. There is a beautiful sweater called "Canyonville" in the book. It is all travelling stitches that curve and swirl and looked sculpted almost. One of the knitters on Ravelry made this sweater into a raglan instead of a dropped shoulder. I'm swatching with stash in the house to see what I can come up with.

The Lopi body is done and half of one sleeve. I changed the structure to make it a top down raglan but did preserve the color detail. Been working with thinner weights for so long now, I'd forgotten how quickly a fat yarn knits.