Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another year gone by...

And now that I think about it, I have knit a lot of sweaters this year! Guess that makes me a 'sweater knitter' now, and not so much of a lace knitter. In my last post I promised some better pics of the fully finished Garnstudio Drops Sing Jacket, so here is one (though done in crappy light).
I've been wearing it constantly since it's been finished and I like it a lot! The Yorkshire Tweed Chunky blocked into a nice soft drapey fabric, though it was a royal pain in the butt to wash in a bucket. It was huge and wet and dripping all over the bathroom floor, and one sleeve would hang over my sweater-filled arms and stretch out like crazy! Luckily some pulling and patting got it to be more-or-less the same length as the other sleeve. Guess which one from the photo!

Anyways, the sweater was a huge hit at the 8 million or so holiday parties I attended. One lady asked my if it was very expensive because it looked very expensive (i.e. it cost a fortune or I made it myself). Yay! I think this would make it the best sweater yet. Now, being a perfectionist, I would always change those little details that I think are less than perfect. I would definitely add more buttons, and make them a touch closer together. I also deviated from the instructions on the collar, and having picked up more stitches along the neckline, I should have skipped increasing the number of stitches on the second row because the collar is too wide for my neck. I fold it over in half (inwards) and I find it annoys me less, but it doesn't really look like the original collar either. Oh well, not worth ripping over.

This sweater also nearly convinced my mother to take up knitting. If I were to do it again, I'd use Istex Lopi because it comes in such beautiful colors if I (or the recipient) could handle the scratch factor. I pawed lots of Lopi at North American LYSs over the break!

Now for a FO report for a baby sweater I gave to a friend, and has been successfully received so I can blog about it now.

Pattern: Ripples in Time by Fiona Ellis from Inspired Cable Knits
Yarn: Rowan 4 Ply Cotton, colorway Fennel

Mods: I made it into a cardigan by omitting the center wide cable panel and adding a 7 stitch wide seed stitch button/buttonhole band on each side. I also was not aware of the errata published for the pattern (even though I googled it several times and came up with nothing) so I knitted the wide cable panel WRONG (boo hiss!). If you are going to do this number, GO HERE FOR THE ERRATA. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the 'download errata' link. And thanks to Ravelry editors of this pattern page for providing a link to the errata. Yay! All in all, I don't think that the error is so noticeable. I also remember being quite confused about the cable panel placement in the written instructions and had to figure it out from the not-full-body photo. The neckline instructions were also confusing, so I looked at photographs and Thrace went to a baby clothing store in order to figure out the assembly. Thanks Thrace, you rock!

Comments on the yarn: this is a nice soft cotton to knit with. I don't usually use cotton because I am always freezing and prefer wool garments for myself. But some people are cautious about giving wools to babies and this yarn is a very good option for fine gauge baby knits. It also comes in fantastic colors that are not babyish, and there are lots of gender-neutral options. Now can you tell there's a 'but' coming? There were about 4 knots in EACH BALL. Boo! Hiss!
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Rowan yarn is expensive, especially if you don't live in the UK. If I pay more I expect to get more, and I'm not getting more. I would only buy this yarn again if someone on eBay were to have a serious 50% off sale.

If I were to knit this sweater again... I would use a wool yarn. I had to knit at such a tight gauge (and I got row gauge but not stitch gauge, so I followed the instructions for the largest size to end up with finished dimensions for the second largest size) and the cables were so difficult to knit that I cannot recommend using cotton for this one. Maybe a cotton-cashmere, cotton-acrylic or cotton-merino blend would be better. But either way the recipient is happy, so I'm happy. No word yet on the baby liking it because he won't fit it for at least another 6 months or more. Here's a back shot so you folks won't have a heck of a time figuring out the assembly details.

On the needles...Trud by Elsebeth Lavold from the Viking Knits Collection Volume 1.
It's unblocked and the peplum is unseamed. I sure hope it fits! It's quite a relaxing knit with all of that (reverse) stockinette, but that peplum sure eats yarn. I'm currently working on the sleeve, so I can be sure I'll have enough to finish. And the yarn is as soft as buttah... yummy ;).
The cables pop out nicely, so I'm quite pleased with this Frankengarn undyed merino. It also comes at a nice price, and I'm considering their undyed dark brown for future DK weight knits.

Now for some eye candy, captured along the way while I went pretty much everywhere this holiday season.
This was taken from the tallest peak in the Black Forest - Feldberg. It was very very pretty and I have tons more photos of mountains and trees which I may upload to my Flickr account.
I also dashed into a North American greenhouse to escape the chill and saw some GORGEOUS flowers in some very nice arrangements. I want a yarn in this color...
The black and pink combo is spectacular. It would look very good in a variegated yarn, I think!
Funny how it always comes down to yarn! I also like these pinks and purples...
Happy New Year!



angelarae said...

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful flower photos. Your sweaters are just gorgeous!

I am really impressed with the cabling. I love cables:)

(LOTR Group)

Joe said...

That's a really nice baby sweater! :) And lovely yarn colour.


(Joe82 on Ravelry ;-P)