Showing posts with label Hourglass Sweater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hourglass Sweater. Show all posts

20 February 2007

I have to get organized

With all the yarn and book stash enhancement lately, I need to get organized. Not so much the actual items, since I have bookcases and a closet to hold the yarn. But sometimes I can't lay my mind on something, so I need some sort of list. For instance, that Sheep #3 sample skein is burning a hole in my project bag; I need to find a DK-weight project that only calls for 300-some yards. I was thinking of Glampyre's Minisweater, but that calls for 400 yards of heavy worsted. Perhaps a One Skein Wonder, to stay on the Glampyre bandwagon. Or just a little shawl something, like the Clementine Shawlette from the new Interweave Knits.

Speaking of IK, yes, I bought a copy on Saturday at YITF. And that afternoon I bought a copy of Vogue Knitting - the one with the Norah Gaughan bolero on the cover. That's probably the only thing I'll make out of the magazine, but it is stunning, and people who've made it seem to like the process.

So, I need to keep track of projects I want to do in the future, which is one of the reasons I started this blog (to collect all those delicious links). And it would be good to know yarn requirements. I think I see a database in my future, which would make things easier to view in different ways (by item, by yarn weight, by gauge, etc.). I could do it as a spreadsheet, I guess, but databases are more elegant, don't you think?

OK, back to IK for a minute. What's with some of those projects? The bandeau? That halter from Wenlan Chia? And the Bauhaus Fairisle, though nice, seems a little out of place. And six skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere for the little bobble capelet? It looks pretty, at first glance. OK, it is pretty (especially the color). But then you start to think about it (and realize you'll wear it once), and then you start to do the math: $90!

I do like Kate Gilbert's Keyhole Top. Lurve Stephanie Japel's Cable-Down Raglan. And the socks from Grumperina and Eunny Jang are nice (first time I've seen the appeal of Entrelac). The Swan Lake Cardigan is pretty, especially the tulle detail, which is why I'll never actually make it. But I will make that lace shrug in the Staff Projects section. I've downloaded it twice already. And they have the yarn in some very me colors at YITF. And I have two gift certificates burning a hole in my tool bag!

The Mermaid Hourglass Sweater is progressing, slowly. I am on my third start to the body, I think. I sort of stopped counting. Had some issues with ... counting, I guess. As in I can't always. I've been distracted. But we're back on track and on the second round of the lace. I ended up increasing the stitch count to 90 for front and back so that I could do the pattern evenly, then, since I want it to be longer than my last one anyway, I'll do an extra decrease round. And then I'll have to decrease two stitches. My overall stitch count is up six from the pattern, and the decrease round takes away four. Or I could work those decreases into princess seams in the front. Things to ponder as we work our way through this next round of lace. And I have to figure out where to include extra lace repeats going up. On the sleeves I switched to every other repeat after the first two rounds, but I'm not sure I want to do that on the body. It may just be the two rounds around the bottom and that's it, since we have to consider what's underneath the sweater (my tum) as we progress up the torso.

16 February 2007

Why block a piece?

Jill asked why I would block the sleeve before attaching it to the body. I've started to look at a single sleeve as a good gauge swatch when experimenting with a pattern, so my new preferred order for knitting up sweaters is sleeve/body/sleeve. I think this also helps with the dreaded Second Sleeve Syndrome (also known as Second Sock Syndrome), since the first sleeve becomes all about figuring out this new sweater, and then the second sleeve is the home stretch after spending all that time with the body.

So, blocking. I wanted to make sure that the lace section wouldn't grow enormously when blocked, since lace has a tendency to open up, and I hadn't worked with this lace stitch before. And people are always telling you to wash your swatches before knitting the piece in question, since the yarn can bloom (see Clara's reviews of yarns at Knitter's Review), which will affect gauge.

Now I have a better idea of how my sweater will knit up.

I cast on for the body and did one lace repeat last night. The pattern has you cast on 87 stitches each for front and back at my size, so I am doing the first three and last four as stockinette, and the remaining 80 per side in Fish Tail II. Not sure how many repeats I want at the bottom and how often to extend fishtails up into the higher parts of the body. That should sort itself out this weekend.

The best thing about knitted lace (as opposed to lace knitting, which has pattern stitches in every round and is not for me at this stage of my life) in the round is that the even rounds are just knit. No purling! Not that I really have anything against purling, being Purly, but the knit rounds are a little faster for me.

14 February 2007

One skein oh-need-er*

Sleeve One is complete up to the joining, and just in time. That's the end of the first skein there on the right. After transferring to stitch holders last night, I washed and blocked. Well, tugged a little, but no pins. If I pin the lace out now, I'll have to repeat every time the sweater needs a bath. I hope to be happy with a basic wash and stretch on a towel. We'll see in a bit, as we all know blocked sweaters never dry! I have to wind up the next skein to start the body, which means I have to figure out what I'm doing there.

Hey, it's dry (enough)! What do you think?

Only a teensy bit of bleeding into the wash water. This yarn is just great.

*Name that movie!

13 February 2007

Can't. Stop.

Just found a new (to me, anyway) sweater pattern at WEBS. The Calvin Turtleneck (scroll down to #153) in their Stockbridge yarn. Think it's named for Calvin Klein? The ribbing on the sides looks super-flattering.

I checked in with the lovely Customer Service people there on yardage for the pattern, and it sounds like the second size (38"), which would work for me, calls for 11 hanks of the yarn. Which is $3.99 per. Must control myself.

Think it would look good in the deep red? I wish they had a nice, chocolate-y brown. The camel is nice, too.

In Hourglass news, I've done the increases on the sleeve and am just doing some straight knitting until it's the proper length. Though I'm doing the second size, same as last time, I'm increasing the arm length, same as last time, since my limbs go on for days, same as last time. I should be able to put the whole shebang on a holder/some waste yarn tonight and wash to see how the lace blocks out. Then it will be time to figure out the body, how much lace, perhaps a few stacked up repeats in some interesting place a la Teva Durham's Lace Leaf Pullover (check out the first sweater after the book cover image). I'm saving the second sleeve for after I get the body up to the join.

12 February 2007

Fishtail (with pictures!!!)

Ooh! I cast on for the sleeve of my severely modified Hourglass Sweater this weekend, after a bunch of swatching, and I've done something quite lovely, if I do say so myself. I found a ten-stitch lace pattern called Fishtail II in Mon Tricot. Since the sleeves in my size start out with 60 stitches, I did six repeats of the pattern, twice. (Sorry for the blurry photo - I'm using the old camera, since it can travel safely in my knitting bag.)

At that point I decided I'd need to deal with the upcoming decreases, so switched to stockinette for every other repeat. This allowed me to do the decreases in the stockinette portions, so I wouldn't mess up the lace. I did two more repeats of the lace in those panels and then switched to all stockinette. I can't wait to see how this blocks out but at this point am happy with some mindless stockinette in front of the telly. I think I will wash and block this sleeve before I start the body just to make sure this is working.

My friend Tanya in New Zealand is also planning an Hourglass Sweater variation, according to her comment last week. So, the question is: At what point is a variation different enough to be its own thing? I've heard 30% bandied about, but how do you calculate 30%? I've changed the yarn, needle size, cuffs, hem, and probably neckline, though not the gauge, which means I think I'll be able to use all the same numbers as the original pattern, except for knitting longer at the neckline. So, I don't really know. I wouldn't be comfortable (at this point) publishing this variation as my own without an OK from Joelle. But I may find I have to change things more as I get further into the sweater. I would be happy (obviously, or I wouldn't be blogging about it) to share my alteration adventures. What do you think? Interesting comments here from the girl from auntie, which confirms my gut feeling that this will be my variation on the pattern but nothing I could claim as my own.

Stash Enhancement: Mom and Dad bought me a copy of Vogue Stitchionary 1: Knit & Purl this weekend at Yarns in the Farms. The possibilities of what to do with "simple" knit and purl stitches are endless! When you click over to my LYS, be sure to check out the new blog, In the Loop.

P.S. I still owe "you" an IMOnday for Yarns in the Farms. I'll see if I can get my act together (maybe Wednesday, when we're supposed to get whalloped with snow) this week.

09 February 2007

Hourglass Ideas

Now I'm thinking lace is my best option. Lace edges, particularly on the cuffs, would really take advantage of the belled sleeves. But what lace? I have a few ideas, so I just have to start swatching, I guess.

Um, I just tried taking pictures of the first five rows of a sleeve so you could see the mini cable idea I was trying out, but the old camera (which can safely travel in my knitting bag, as opposed to the new, very fahncy, digital SLR) was pretty useless that close up. And the flash blew out any detail, while the non-flash version of the shot had far too long an exposure time to be steady. I'll get pictures sorted out for this ol' blog someday.

So, lace, yes. Now I need something that will work in the round over 60 stitches for the sleeves. There could be a few odd stitches left at the underside, I suppose.

I'm starting to think that I might just do a provisional cast-on and figure out the edgings later. But that's not nearly as much fun!

08 February 2007

New sweater!

Last night I swatched for a new Hourglass Sweater with some Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk in Blue. I started out with US8s (Bryspuns, natch) and quickly decided that they would make for a slightly too revealing fabric. Next swatch was with US6s, and I think we're good to go, since I got very close to the gauge called for. Which is kind of wacky, considering BSA calls this a sport weight yarn, and Last-Minute Knitted Gifts calls for a worsted with 19st/28r over 4". Whatever.

Now, I'm trying to decide whether to incorporate any decorative stitches into the mix, perhaps a baby cable somewhere (running up the top-of-the-sleeve line and as princess seams on the front and back?).

I don't want to do the turned hems again, since they just don't float my boat. There's a sample Hourglass at Yarns in the Farms with seed stitch borders, so that's a possibility. Or I could just barrel along with straight stockinette and go for the rolled edges look. 'Nother idea is to do some lacey something at the hem and sleeve edges like the silk tank from LMKG.

This yarn is so yummy! The gleam of the silk is divine.