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

12 February 2007

Alpaca Sweater Picture (finally!)

Hey, that's me! What do you think of the mostly finished product? I still would like to find a more permanent closure than the funky rhinestone pin from my great aunt, as it tends to pull the knitting. But I'm quite happy with this.

I'm getting the hang of the picture stuff.

25 January 2007


The sweater was dry enough to wear yesterday, so I closed it up with a vintage sparkler from my great aunt and went to work and Knit Night in my creation. I'm very pleased with how the sweater turned out, though I still need to figure out a permanent closure solution, as the pin had pulled on the points of the sweater by the end of the day.

Knit Night was fun, and I finished my second square for the blankie - as mentioned earlier it was a Van Dyke lace pattern that looked like little hearts. Just a little twinge after knitting with the cotton again. I think it might be a summertime fiber for me. Man, I'm getting old.

Have you seen the preview for the new Interweave Knits? I think I'll buy this issue! Socks from Eunny and Grumperina, some great-looking sweaters from Stephanie Japel (Glampyre), Kate Gilbert, and a beautiful shrug from Pam Allen. Where to start?!?

I'm wearing a long-sleeved shrug I knit up over the holiday break today, but I think it needs alteration. It's basically two rectangles (well, I did increases every so often). Each is one skein (165 yds) of Handpaintedyarn's Merino Bulky (six-ply). I kept the stitches live at the end of the first one and then Kitchener Stitched it to the second (good practice). Some ribbing at the cuffs, and I seamed up from each end about 15". Easy, peasy. But it does this bulgy thing around my shoulder blades. I'm thinking of picking up and knitting a ribbed collar/hem around the opening, since I have another skein of yarn. Oh, I really like the colorway (Paris Rose), though they don't seem to have it in stock any more.

I'll write up a shrug recipe when I figure out what more needs to be done on this one. They're dead easy and can be done a few different ways (knit a big rectangle and sew up from either end to make sleeves, knit in the round and then flat and then in the round again, Kitchener two rectangles together or do a three-needle bindoff).

P.S. Jill (and anyone else looking for help on installing a sweater in your cardi), check out Bonne Marie's zipper tutorial!

23 January 2007

Dry, already!

Still not dry.

Still. Not. Dry.

Well, as of dinnertime last night, anyway. I couldn't bring myself to check it this morning. It had better be dry tomorrow or ... I'll just ... have to wait. I want to wear the sweater tomorrow to Knit Night at Yarns in the Farms, even though I haven't figured out how I'm going to close up the cardigan.

I'm totally obsessed with ribbon ties on sweaters at the moment!

  • Jenna Adorno's Tempting - cute and easy
  • Rowena from Knit 2 Together
  • Oh mah gawd! How adorable are tenlittlefingers's coats?!? Wow. Be sure to check out the white jacket in the sold items. Adorable! And she's in Paris, no less. Le sigh

    So, how could I do ribbon closures on this cardigan? I think I'd probably have to add a buttonhole band or crochet on some loops (now that I'm so proficient at the crochet edge) for attaching the ribbon.

    I'm also obsessed with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Lustre! Color! Silk! Alpaca! Oh, my pocketbook.
  • 22 January 2007

    Block Around the Clock

    Finito! I did a single crochet around the hem, neck, and edges on Saturday. I tried doing the crab stitch (backwards single crochet - thank you so much, Carolyn, for helping me figure it out!), but it was such a pain and didn't seem to add anything to the finished product. I crocheted around one sleeve and am, apparently, a tight crocheter, so I pulled that out and am leaving the sleeve edges alone for now. I also tried crocheting a little scalloped edge, doing a crochet one, chain three, then crocheting the second stitch (skipping one stitch), which I think I picked up from Annie Modesitt on Knitty Gritty Episode 408, though looking at the page on DIY, I don't think I did it right. Oh, well. It was sort of cute but fussy and kind of a pain. The single crochet firms up the edge, and I think that's enough.

    Blocking is like boiling water: a blocked sweater never dries.

    I washed it Saturday night after doing that crochet edge and am still waiting for it to dry - hopefully by tonight.

    While washing the cardigan, the yarn gave off a little bit of dye and looked more lavender than I had thought while working with the yarn. Maybe it's the bare bulb in the bathroom (267-year-old houses are the ultimate WIPs) or knitting in the dimly-lit Keeping Room. I should compare the yarn to my Pantone books. Hold on... I'm going to go with PMS 214-7 (25% Cyan, 10% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 0% Black). But the lighting here in the office is a little whacked.

    So, I'm back to working on Grandma's Shawl (and should join the KSH KAL, no?) and may have exacerbated my carpal-tunnel syndrome doing a couple of squares for a baby blanket in Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton that a bunch of us at Yarns In the Farms are doing together. I'll be fine. But my first square is too small, and I charted and reverse stockinette-stitched a letter on it. My second one seems to be the correct width, and I'm doing a Vandyke stitch from a Mon Tricot stitch dictionary that looks like lacy hearts. But it's on stockinette, so I'm not so sure it's a good idea. Guess I have to check with the gang to see if the blanket should be reversible or if we're not going to line the back or what.

    Speaking of KALs, there's a handy list here, and I'm tempted by the year of sweaters but don't know if I'm enough of a joiner.

    OK, back to my real job. Watch this space for yarn shop reviews! IMOndays coming your way...

    18 January 2007


    As in Alexander. Just found this genius sweater on Andrea's blog. She is the owner of Fable Handknit. Anyway, that sweater is gorgeous - the color, the scale, the simplicity. I might have to work out something similar for myself. But then that would be the end of the bulky sweaters, as the Regal Alpaca is also on the bulky/heavy worsted side.

    And it's almost done! I finished knitting the sleeve and did up all the seams last night, while watching Terminator 3. In case you didn't already know, it's awful! I enjoy the occasional sci-fi/action/adventure movie, thought the first two T movies were pretty good (loved Linda Hamilton's biceps in T2), and I like Claire Danes. But this was filled with expensive explosions and baaaad acting. Wow. But that was good for finishing work. Now I just have to sew in the sleeves (eep) and figure out how I want to fasten the fronts. I'm dreaming of ribbon bows in some floppy, scrummy, ombre silk, which is probably impractical.

    Oh, and then I have to crochet around the edges. I think I get the single crochet thing, having watched a couple of Knitty Gritty episodes lately that used it. But then you're supposed to do a row of "crab stitch", which is, apparently, backwards single crochet (!). Guess I'll be googling that one.

    In yarn acquisition news, the yarn buyers group I belong to is doing a group buy of 100purewool yarn. They have merino worsted (similar to Mmmalabrigo according to some) and merino laceweight. But I'm not as wild about the colors as, say, Handpaintedyarn/Malabrigo. But the laceweight merino seems to have disappeared from HPY's site, so I'm guessing Malabrigo will have that line soon. And 100pw's site is tough to navigate and get a good idea of the colors without clicking fifteen times. That makes me crazy!

    But why am I cooing over lace yarn anyway? Am I a shawl type of person? It must be the artsy me. So, what pattern would I do: Eunny's Print o' the Wave Stole, Anne'sWing o' the Moth Shawl, Polly's Kiri, Stephanie's Snowdrop Shawl? And those are just the free ones (oops, Anne's isn't free, but that's OK). Then there's Victorian Lace Today, which seems to have taken parts of the knitting world by storm.

    17 January 2007

    So close!

    We're up to the final shoulder shaping on the final sleeve. The sweater should be complete by this weekend, which means I have to get back to my other WIP, Grandma's Shawl. Oh, the guilt of it all. And then I've got to make my square for Amy's baby blanket, but that will be quick and fun.

    Knit Night at Yarns In the Farms was enjoyable, as always, last night. Jill hosts Tuesdays, but Carolyn came by, as well, which was great. I wish I could just go both nights to see *everyone*, but there's more to life than knitting (blasphemy, I know!).

    Hey, that's me in the poncho on the couch! And here's a picture of Mom's Clapotis! Oh, the pictures from the shop are great, aren't they? I just love the camaraderie I find there.

    That's the news from here. I'm thinking about an original pattern for my Handpaintedyarn Boucle, as well as color options for all that Lopi, if I'm going to turn it (or some of it) into a sweater.

    16 January 2007

    Alpaca in the home stretch

    The second sleeve is almost complete, though we had a small disaster last night: the screw that connects cable to needle snapped on my Bamboo Sister Set last night. I had forgotten to pair the increases and only discovered my error when getting ready to do the next set, nine rows later. Not a big deal, since there are only 44 stitches OTN at this point, and I know how to weave in a needle back where I need to be and frog safely. But clearly, I shouldn't have used the "slack" of the needles the project is ON.

    Lesson learned: use a tapestry needle and that piece of dental floss that floats around your tool kit, post-Clapotis disaster.

    Luckily, I have another size 9 needle (bamboo circular), probably purchased before the Sister Set entered my life, so I could regroup and continue. Not sure what to do about the Sister Set. Peter seems quite upset, since he purchased it for me way back when. But it may have lived out its useful life to some extent. I'm not a very tight knitter, but I have snagged up the tips some - to the point where I had to file one down a bit with an emery board (also kept in my handy tool kit).

    I really like the compact nature and flexibility of the SS, as well as that the needles are bamboo, but I may need to explore new options. I love my Bryspuns but really prefer a set. I might have to check out the Knitpicks Options set, though I'm not a huge fan of metal needles. Word is they are more satiny than Addi Turbos.

    Oh, so I'm about halfway through the sleeve. And the shoulders are three-needle bound off. And the one sleeve is sewn up. All I need to do is finish this sleeve, seam it up, seam up the sides, and set in the sleeves. Oh, wait, that's more than I thought. But I'm so excited, since I cast on for this sweater just over a week ago.

    12 January 2007

    Knitting around the 'net

    Thanks to Heather's nudge I put myself on the Socks That Rock Rockin' Sock Club waiting list. By the time I am invited to join, hopefully, I'll be ready to tackle socks.

    And I'm not ready because I'm still working on sweaters. I want more of my own handknits to choose from a la Brenda. Get better soon, lady! In case you've been under a rock (or don't listen to knitting podcasts - same thing), Brenda Dayne usually includes a Today's Sweater segment in her 'cast wherein she talks about the sweater, yarn, pattern, and saga that went into its creation. Most enjoyable. I want that.

    MapMuse is updating their knitting/crocheting/yarn shops listings, and, I guess, since I put Yarns In the Farms on there, I just got a request from Cindy asking for any updates to shops and groups in the area. It's such a great idea to have a central repository for this information.

    Another invaluable repository is Yarndex. Someone on the Knitlist asked for a yarn sub recommendation yesterday, and when I pointed her to Yarndex, she said she didn't know anything about it. Amazing how many resources there are online. And it's always nice to be able to help people out.

    As the chief knitting enabler in my Knitting Lunch group, I gave my departing co-worker a copy of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts so that she can make an Hourglass Sweater with me. Hehe. I'm a few stitches closer to asking my dear LYS ladies to order me two skeins of Schaeffer Nancy in Jane Addams, though it keeps bothering me that online stores recommend three or more skeins for a sweater. I suppose I'm small in the range of sweater sizes.

    Ooh, have you seen Tess' Designer Yarn? I found them via Rabid Knitter, where she made a Placket Sweater from one skein of their Superwash Merino (with yarn left over for a hat). 'Twould be great for Isobel in Rose Blush.

    On the cardi front, I sewed up a sleeve as mentioned yesterday and am starting the decreases for waist-shaping on the back.

    11 January 2007

    The Power of Knitters

    I'm sure by now you've heard the crazy news about the Socks That Rock Club and their bank that couldn't believe so many knitters would want to buy sock yarn that they shut their financial services down. If not, check any other knitting blog today (I particularly like Yarn Harlot's take. And I love that she calls non-knitters muggles. So true.

    I know Stephanie and others harness the power of knitters for good, charity-wise, but I wonder if we could harness that power for even more good. Something to think about.

    In my knitting news, I moved the fourteen stitches remaining for the right front of the cardi to a stitch holder last night while watching Bell, Book, and Candle, which I can't believe I never watched before. Kim Novak has such crazy eyebrows. Anyway, I neglected to put another skein of yarn in the ol' French Market Bag before heading out this morning, and today is Knitting Lunch. Argh. I had a little bit of skein two left and my swatch. So, while waiting for the sushi to arrive (we do things right here for Knitting Lunch), I sewed up the completed sleeve. One less bit of making up to do at the end! How genius to not have any more yarn! Ha.

    But the sleeve fits. Brava, Kathleen. The front seems on the small side, but I'm attributing that to the stockinette curl, which makes it impossible to flatten against my front for guesstimating. It's the correct dimensions, so I'm sure it will be fine.

    The Knitting Lunchers are talking about getting together once a month outside of work, since one of our own is leaving. There was even talk of a KAL, and I suggested an Hourglass Sweater, since some folks talked about wanting to make a sweater.

    10 January 2007


    Decreasing is complete for the waist shaping on the first front of the Alpaca Sweater. And I'm almost through the increases. Yay! Bulky-ish yarn is so great for immediate satisfaction. A completely different experience from the delightfully delicate KSH, which reminds me that I need to finish Grandma's Shawl.

    Knit Nite was fun. The group is smaller on Tuesdays, and we had a fella join us last night. A ma-yun! Apparently he's attended Tuesdays before, just not when I've been there. And he was working on matching rollbrim hats to go with mother and child rollneck sweaters in a rich green. Looked like Lamb's Pride Worsted. His other project was an amazing fisherman's sweater that he was about one foot into, with three feet to go. Always the problem with men's sweaters - they're big!

    Which leads me to Peter's sweater. I started one for him from the Knitty book before Isobel was born. It took a back seat for a while, then I finally finished and sewed it up last winter, all except for sewing in the zipper (it's a zip-neck pullover). But it's too big. I got gauge and everything, used the yarn called for in the pattern (Manos del Uruguay), but I think the 2x2 rib (which made it take forever) just made it too stretchy, and Peter never wears it. I think it needs to be frogged. Sob. I can't let that yarn just sit there unused, unloved, unworn.

    So, I need a men's sweater pattern that will make good use of a lot of Manos. It's a dark grey with pale blue (from my Manos 2x2 poncho) trim. It was a cool pattern to do up, since it has saddle shoulders. And I think I did a pretty good job picking up for the collar. Sigh.

    09 January 2007


    Yay! One sleeve down, and I started the right front last night. The joys of bulky yarn. Used a little over one skein for a sleeve, so I am pretty sure I'll have enough yarn to complete this project. 1+ skein for each sleeve, probably 1+ skein for each front, and probably 3 skeins for the back. I might even have a skein left over, but we won't hold our breath.

    My gauge looks on target (whew!), and since alpaca has a tendency to stretch lengthwise, I'm glad I didn't lengthen the sleeves any. I went with the US9s as the pattern suggested rather than the 10s the ballband recommended. Why? I probably wasn't paying attention! But I think it will serve me well in the end, as the fabric will be a little tighter, more jacket-like.

    In regards to the bulky yarn, it may put me off fine gauge knitting for a while. There is a pretty raglan sweater in Alterknits with velvet trim, but I think you knit it on US4s or something crazy like that. I'm not the largest person around, but that would take a long time to knit up. That may be what's keeping me from knitting socks. Guess I should try some knocking about the house socks in DK or light worsted to work my way up. Everyone says socks are so addictive (for better or for worse). But then lots of people are into entrelac and the like, which I just don't like the look of.

    I wrapped up the garter gloves last night for Isobel's teachers: white tissue paper tied with scraps of the same yarn as the gloves. I hope they like them!

    Knit Nite tonight!

    P.S. Like the new color scheme? Maybe if you're very good there will be pictures!

    08 January 2007

    Kid in a Candy Store

    So, after a painful Ashtanga (I thought it was Vinyasa, which would have been bad enough!) Yoga class on Sunday, I helped out the ladies at Yarns in the Farms by taking care of the shop for the afternoon. As always it was a lot of fun. I got to fondle yarn, dawdle over patterns, help a few people with projects (two, count 'em, two paying customers!), and hang out with no small creatures to worry about thanks to Peter staying home with the kitten/puppy/toddler show.

    I cast on a sleeve for the Alpaca Cardigan, which I decided was the better pattern for my Alpaca Regal. At least with a cardigan you have the option of opening for ventilation. The beautiful Trumpet sweater with it's exaggerated cowl could be a roaster, even if I am more apt to shiver than broil. I'll have to find another yarn down the line for that one.

    The yarn is yummy and knits up very nicely (and quickly!). I decided to start with a sleeve since it's smaller (I can re-check gauge without having to destroy half the project), and they can get tedious due to lack of "stuff" (ooh, increase at both sides every ninth row - be still, my beating heart), so why not start with that? When you're all excited about the project anyway, why not work on a moderately tedious part of said project? Then when you need the excitement of waist shaping to keep your interest, after the novelty of the luscious yarn has worn off (that's not possible, darling Alpaca Regal; I'll never tire of you), you've got it.

    After I'd done a couple of repeats I realized that I should have done both sleeves at the same time, but I'm too far along now, and It will all be fine. I supposed I could go back and start the other sleeve, work to the same point, then alternate, since I have the lovely Plymouth Bamboo Sister Needle Set from Peter and can change circular length with the flick of a wrist. But I think I'll do one at a time. Wrangling two skeins in my household is probably a recipe for disaster at this point.

    Back to the fondling and dawdling, though. I have been mooning over Eiffel since checking out the Sexy Knitters Club, who are doing this as one of their KALs (Knitalongs). I've considered doing it in the suggested yarn, Hemp6, but I think I'd like something warmer, though the properties of hemp sound interesting. What about Blue Sky Alpacas' Alpaca Silk? I think it has a similar drape but with more warmth and sheen. There are a number of hanks in Blue (surprise!) at the shop. But I had also thought of that yarn for another Hourglass Sweater, knowing what I now know about the pattern (make it longer and consider alternatives to the turned hems). But the Alpaca Silk might be too drapey for the pattern.

    What about Schaefer Nancy? 600 yards per skein in some astounding colorways. Though I have to say, having mooned over the skeins at the shop yesterday, the color cards on Schaeffer's website are terrible. As are a lot of online yarn shops. Wow. But back to Nancy... Slightly finer than Elaine but same bumpy, thick and thin texture. I'm thinking Jane Addams from Memorable Women VI, which has vibrant fuchsia and some forest green. Don't look at the color card, which doesn't show nearly as much rose as the skeins of Elaine at the shop. There are no skeins of Jane Addams in Nancy at the shop, so I had to use the ol' imagination. But I think it would make a cosy Hourglass Sweater.

    I like spelling it "cosy", don't you? Such the anglophile.

    I think I'd love the Emily Dickinson or Catherine the Great colorways, but they only come in silk.

    But back to the yarn. Two skeins should make a sweater, no? I mean that's 1200 yards of worsted weight yarn. I think the gauge is spot-on to the Cash Iroha used in the book. I don't know why some of the online purveryors say you need three or four. Maybe if you're making something enormous. Oh, and I loved the online store that told you to contact them for information on how many skeins a sweater would require. Come on. They probably teach a sweater class without giving out the pattern. You have to go back each week to progress.

    And then there is the Jo Sharp Alpaca Lustre. That is some seriously yummy yarn. I wouldn't wear the orange, but it is so luscious. And the Reynolds Odyssey is alluring: 100% Merino in these multi colorways.

    Of course, I still have to finish the Alpaca Cardigan and the unpatterned Handpaintedyarn Boucle. And some Fetchings, a hat for Peter in Malabrigo, a sweater for Isobel in Malabrigo, my grandmother's shawl, a new winter hat for me in Sheep Shop 1. I should participate in the Knit From Your Stash-along, but where's the fun in that? I also need to get some pictures up on this plain, white blog, no?

    Ooh, I did finish two pairs of Garter Gloves for Isobel's Toddler Room teachers over the weekend. They were almost dry this morning, so I should be able to wrap them up tonight and gift them tomorrow!

    04 January 2007

    Garter Gloves

    I'm on the mate to the first pair for Isobel's teachers in the Toddler Room, using Araucania Nature Wool Chunky in a dusty pink color. That yarn isn't very chunky. But they're coming out nicely. The other pair will be in a dusty lavender shade, and they can duke it out over who gets what color. Not really. I hope they like them. And I can't believe Isobel is leaving the Toddler Room for Preschool! She seems to have made the transition easily, but Peter said one of the teachers didn't want to talk about her cubby having moved this morning at drop-off.

    I tried changing the pattern to stockinette but found the knitting too tight. Might work at a larger needle size, but rather than fiddle a lot with all that, I switched back to garter stitch. The funny thing is that when we bought the yarn (Isobel helped me at A.C. Moore), I didn't realize that the pattern specified the NWC as an option. How convenient!

    I found a couple of patterns that might work for the alpaca: Trumpet from the girl from auntie of Rogue fame (she's brill) and a cute zip cardie from Blue Sky Alpacas. I'd probably do something other than a zipper for the closure, perhaps some sort of lace-up with ribbon. Though that might be difficult to get in and out of. Must ponder that.

    03 January 2007

    Alpaca Dreams

    This Reynolds Alpaca Regal is so yummy I want to knit it up right now. Except that it's supposed to be 60 degrees by the weekend. In January. What's a knitter to do?!? Finish her other projects, of course.

    But in dream land I'm searching for patterns/inspiration. I found an article on Interweave Knits's website about alpaca. Things to know:
    -it's very warm, so open patterns are best if you plan to wear it inside
    -it's heavy, socables will probably topple you
    -it isn't very elastic and it stretches, so knit in pieces and/or sideways

    Since I only have nine skeins, I wasn't planning on cables anyway. I did find the Eiffel sweater on Knitty - very cute. I'm not mad for hemp, and I think my gauge is close, so I may try swatching up the lace rib to see what happens. I know the alpaca is very different from hemp, but it's worth a shot. I like the shape and idea of the pattern. Only problem is the one-piece nature. And it's very vertical. I should probably save that for another yarn.