Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Yoke Sweater

Just a bit over two months after I started it, the yoke sweater is finished.
I'm pretty proud and impressed with myself for completing a whole sweater during tax season. But this was really fun knitting. I love the yarn, Galway Highland Heather. I used 5 balls of the brown and maybe half a ball each of the oatmeal and navy. The yoke patterns came from the book Traditional Scandinavian Knitting. This book has a wealth of pattern ideas. And now that I've got the hang of two color knitting, I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more in the future.The sweater has 3 rapid decrease rounds in the yoke. EZ says the ruffling can be tamed with the use of a steam iron. And she's right, it can. I steamed it right after I knit it to be sure it would lay flat. But after washing, I see the ruffling has returned. Guess it will require steaming after each washing. Although, it doesn't look bad the way it is. Somewhat feminine, kind of blouse like. The sweater is a bit on the long side. Next time I will make the body shorter. I don't think I'd bother with the phoney seams next time. They don't seem to make any difference and are barely noticeable unless you know what you are looking for. The only other problem I had came when I grafted the underarm seam. The grafting went fine, but when I had knitted a ways up the yoke, I noticed holes at each of the ends of the seam. I was able to darn them closed, but next time think I should wait to graft the underarms until the yoke is further along so I can try to avoid the holes.

I'm currently working on several small projects: still the Mister Joe socks (they are my travel knitting and we've done almost no traveling the last 3 months), a v-neck cotton shell, a washcloth in Lion Organic Cotton and a scarf in some yummy mohair. My parents recently returned from a trip to New Zealand and they brought me a bag of awesome yarn. There's two huge skeins of hand dyed wool, enough bamboo yarn for a tank or short sleeve sweater, and two balls of mohair. Certainly enough yarn to keep me busy for quite a while.

The blog has been less of a priority for me lately. I'm not much finding myself motivated to sit down and write. I expect the gaps between posts may continue to grow. I'll still post my FOs as I have them, but may not post much otherwise. Thanks to all who take the time to stop by.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Phoney fun

WooHoo! I finally finished the body on the yoke sweater and attached the sleeves today. But first I decided to go ahead and put in the phoney seam.It's a little bit scary laddering down an entire stitch straight to the bottom...But kind of fun too. And hooking the stitch back up was super easy. Kind of makes you feel like a knitting super hero when you try something new and scary and it works perfectly. The look is decidedly subtle.Non-knitters might not even see that there is a difference in that center stitch. But EZ is right, it does create a super fold line so the sweater lays nice and flat. I decided to go ahead and weave the underarm seams right away since the stitch holders were really annoying and getting in the way. I tried to get pictures, but it's just too dreary to get decent closeups today. But I must say, watching Elizabeth demonstrate weaving on the Knitting Workshop was like a light dawning on me for kitchener stitch. In the past I've always kitchenered with the Knitter's Companion open beside me, following step by step with each stitch. It's very time consuming and requires loads of concentration for me to feel I'm doing it right. Well, Elizabeth takes her knitting off the needles and literally weaves the stitches, in one stitch, out the next, move to top row, in one stitch, out the next, bottom row into 2nd stitch out 3rd, top row, into 2nd stitch out 3rd, bottom row into 3rd stitch out 4th, and so on. It's so simple. I can't believe I've been struggling with this forever and it's easy as pie. Now, I only took two stitches off the needle at a time, I'm not that brave, but I completed both underarm seams in about the time it would normally take me to do one toe on a sock. Amazing. My life is changed. Now it's time for me to seriously figure out what pattern goes on the yoke. I have to knit a few more plain rounds and then it's showtime. Hopefully I'll have something to report on this front next post.

Meanwhile, the library auction was a hoot. My soap basket was a hit. Went for $45! Hope the lucky bidder likes them as much as I do. My sister was totally embarrassing me, raving about my soaps to everyone. Born salesperson that one is. We got into the bidding for the spinning wheel. It was us against another lady. Ultimately it went more than our budget, but it was fun none the less. It was a beauty though. I'm excited to go to work tomorrow and let Elaine know her boyfriend's handwork was a hit.

My obsession with GBS continues. The Courage & Patience & Grit dvd/cd combo arrived this week and was promptly loaded to my MP3 player where it has played nearly continuously. I was hoping to get Chuck on board with the whole celtic/folk/pop music thing, but he says it sounds like hillbilly music to him. So thank goodness for headphones.