No longer a serial knitter

I’ve been so busy with so many things that blogging has taken a back seat.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up knitting. Actually I’m on the verge of starting yet another project, a gansey.

Gansey_swatch

This Nihon Vogue class definitely breaking me of my serial knitting habit. So far four sweater in progress with three nearly complete. While our fall trip to Japan set me back, I’ve also been making time for other things in my life. It’s so easy for me to get tunnel vision when working on a project that I tend to let neglect other things … but not this year.

The Aran is nearly complete … just need to add the ribbing and start sewing it together. I’ll post a photo of it next week.

I’m also dropping the idea of using an openwork stitch pattern for the dolman. Others in the class that did ened up having a difficult time with the short rows on the top of the sleeves. That’s one good thing about being behind, I get to see how others struggled with theire projects and make changes accordingly.

Aran progress

Aran_front
Sophie couldn’t help herself … just had to be in the picture and attack my sweater. I had to pry it out of her paws after this photo.

This is the front. The back is about half done (and looks the same).

It’s coming along ok. When I hold it against my body it almost looks like a corset … very stiff.  The yarn should soften when washed, at least that’s what happened with the swatch.

After the sleeves are finished I’ll start the gansey swatch.

Cable shuffle

Aran_stitches
Got a really slow start on my Aran swatch due to a severe head cold that came with pounding headaches. I’m feeling much better today.

I charted all the stitch patterns onto a large graph before starting the huge swatch. After 14 rows  I could clearly see that my original cable arrangement really wouldn’t work very well so I ripped out my work and cut my neatly drawn graph into sections. Breaking the graph up into sections by cable pattern made it easier to rearrange until I hit upon a workable solution (I hope).

Aran_stitches_revised I started the latest swatch last night and can’t put it down.  I’m enjoying my Addi Clicks and this Magpie Tweed.

Too bad Magpie has been discontinued. I’ve been looking for a good substitute but I haven’t found one yet. Probably because I’m very picky. I want a yarn with three plies, tightly spun, about 150 yards per 100 grams and 100% wool. I think such a yarn just isn’t made these days or isn’t easily available. I’ve heard comments that it’s just to0 thick, creating a very warm sweater that can only be worn in the coldest climates, so there isn’t a market for it these days. I understand that, but then why do manufacturers still put out bulky and ultra bulky yarn? Wouldn’t those make even heavier sweaters?

By the way, here are the stitch pattern books I’ve been using.

  • 100 Aran Patterns (Japanese) ISBN 4-529-02293-5 (the book shown in the picture above)
  • Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold
  • The Cable Knitting Handbook by Annie Maloney

Productive weekend

Raglan_pieces_done

The raglan pieces are waiting to be blocked before I can tick it off my homework list. Nothing fancy with this one.

Sophie loved all the loose strings and couldn’t resist getting into the picture with her mouse.

Yesterday I spent most of the day doing homework for the Knit to Flatter and Fit class that Sally Melville will be teaching at the MFA Winter Retreat this year. We’ve been asked to have someone take a straight-on  photo of us in close-fit lingerie. With that photo we need to make a 1/8 scale outline of our body. While very interesting it’s quite sobering to see ones body outline (got to get back to my marathon training soon). I wonder what we’ll be doing with it.

Cable_stitches

It’s time to start thinking about the next project … a traditional Aran sweater with saddle shoulders. Unlike most traditional Aran sweaters, mine will have set in sleeves.

Swatching will start tonight using this Magpie Tweed. Before diving into the large swatch that will included all the stitch patterns in the sweater I thought I’d make some individual ones first to really see if I like them.

I’m still not sure which stitch patterns I’ll use. I’ve copied several from my book collection.

Trying hard to keep up

RaglanpatternI’ve bypassed the dolman project in favor of getting the raglan homework done for our next class (in a couple of weeks). I thought about adding a fancy cable down the center but since I never seem to have much time lately I decided to go with an very easy stitch pattern.

Row1: *knit 2,purl 1* repeat at *
Row2: purl all stitches

We only need to knit it to the underarm. In class we’ll learn how to calculate decreases for the shoulder and sleeves.

Interesting pattern drawing, isn’t it? Body and sleeve drawn on the same sheet of paper. I remember Jean saying it’s one of the most difficult ones we’ll do this year.

On another note, the half-marathon is next week! I’m ready and can’t wait to get it over with so I can take a break from training.

Waiting for pieces to dry

Shapedt_back_sleevesFront, back and sleeves are done. Waiting for sleeves to dry and then I need to figure out what to do with the provisionally cast-on edges before sewing the seams.

Also did a swatch for the third sweater, a bottom up raglan. That swatch is also on the drying rack.
I’ll  cast on for that one next since that’s what we’ll be doing in our next class session.

The dolman is on the back burner for now.

I’m exhausted and sore after jogging 12.8 slow miles yesterday. At least I know I can do the half-marathon on the 3oth. That’s 13.1 miles.

I will be so happy when this training cycle is over and I get to ease back on training. It eats up so much time.