Wednesday, 18 May 2016
I actually finished a garment some months ago. Blankets are easy, but sweaters have to fit, and that is difficult. It was the pattern that caught my interest, Timetable pullover by Andrea Sanchez in Interweave Knits Spring 2015 issue. It was brown, it was a close fitting sweater in a thin yarn, a top down pattern with interesting pattern detail.
I decided to use Noro yarn, in order to reduce the Noro yarns in the yarn store. I bought the Taiyo 4 ply sock yarn two years earlier in order to crochet a cardigan. I started and did quite well, getting the required tension. I didn't like it because I thought that the fabric was too stiff, and I had been looking for an opportunity to unravel it. I washed the yarn, but you can see that the knitted sweater is uneven because the kinks did not disappear fully.
I can't remember much about the knitting now, except that it took a long time. I enjoyed it but I had to follow the pattern row by row because of changes in the cable pattern. It wasn't difficult, and I enjoyed the knitting. The standard blankets are much more fun though. I tried it on several times to check the fit.
In the pattern the cable continues around the corner along the bottom hem at the back, and this appealed to me. I hadn't appreciated that the angle was very sharp, and that I didn't like. I tried it, and undid it, and just did several rows garter stitch in the end.
The sweater fits nicely, and that is the main thing. I wear it now that the weather is more appropriate. The Noro yarn does of course obscure the cable pattern, and it is really superfluous, but I liked doing it. It would be a much nicer sweater in a plain yarn. The Noro yarn produced a wider tension than the pattern, so I knitted a size smaller.
It took me nearly eight months to complete one sweater. (I haven't worked out how many blankets I knitted meanwhile.) So I thought I should give myself deadlines, three months for one sweater. Because I see so many patterns I would like to try, and there is so much yarn reserved for sweaters. I did complete the next one within the deadline, but not the third or the fourth. My deadline doesn't allow for deciding it is no good and starting again from scratch. And it is stressful. So I will have to be content with sweaters taking a long time, if I want to enjoy knitting them.
Timetable pullover by Andrea Sanchez, Interweave Knits Spring 2015
Yarn: Noro 4 ply sock yarn cotton 50%, wool 17%, nylon 17%, silk 16%, 260 gr
Needles: 3 mm
Tension: 24 st
Knitted: 15 May to 30 December 2015
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
The yarn came first here. I bought five 100 gr hanks of each of three shades of Klippan's Mattgarn - rug yarn. It is aran weight, nice and thick quite tightly plied. I liked the colours, purple, burgundy and teal. I didn't buy the white hanks. To soften the yarn I put it in a normal wash in the washing machine. It did get softer and it unplied a bit as well, curling back on itself. Extra texture is no bad thing.
My idea at the time was to knit Woolly Thoughts' Curve of Pursuit, and I saved the pattern from one of the early issues of The Knitter. When I got it out to knit a test block I discovered that the yarn needs cutting between each segment, and there are eight segments in one round. That is by no means economical efficient knitting, and I would not have enjoyed it. So I abandoned it without regret. I wish I had read the pattern thoroughly when I first saw it. Otherwise I do like the design.
Thinking about an alternative easy pattern I thought a basket type stitch would be good as the blanket would lie flat. I found a pattern in The best from Annie's Attic - Afghan in a minute. My yarn is thinner, so it took me longer than a minute. I used the 10 stitch block and a 5 garter stitch integral edging from the pattern. My needles were 6 mm.
I enjoyed the knitting because it was so easy and I could do it while watching TV. I over-estimated how much yarn a full size blanket would take, so I cast on too few stitches. There would have been enough yarn for a wider blanket. I do like the blanket though, especially the contrast between the knit and purl blocks. The thickness is just right.
Afghan in a minute, The best from Annie's Attic C28
size 6 mm needles
Tension: 13 st per 10 cm
Size 115 cm by 170 cm, 1255 gr
Knitted 8 February to 19 April 2016
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
The first garment I unravelled is this 1930s style sweater in Rowan 4 ply soft, one of my favourite yarns, in a slip stitch pattern in pale blue and grey. The pattern is Pandora by Leah Sutton is Rowan Magazine 38 without the Big Wool bow. The sweater is very very short according to the style of the period, and for me the sleeves are too long. The insert at the front could look OK but it should be sewed in, and it is difficult to make it look good, as the picture proves. The sweater was a pleasure to unravel, and the yarn is nice.
The second garment is this Asser and Turnbull cashmere zip up jacket. The yarn is between 4 ply and DK in weight, and quite nice. The beige colour is very useful. The fronts have been cut at the zip, so I ended up with a lot of short lengths. I begin to have less patience with these now, when there is much yarn in the yarn store. And I didn't use the yarn in this particular blanket, because there is so much unravelled already. It will come in useful at some stage in the future.