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"Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while,
then take up the sock again." - Dorothy Day


Another FO! This one is long overdue; I finished the knitting well over a week ago, but I couldn't seem to motivate myself to weave in all the ends. I finally finished this week, and threw it in the wash over the weekend.

Pattern: All from my little head, with some help from Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage method. I worked it hem-up in the round, joined at the underarm, then raglan decreases to the bottom of the front neckline. Some short row fun, then a turtleneck, and voila!

Details; I worked the hems and the turtleneck in 3x3 rib. The hem depth is about four inches on each, and the turtleneck is six inches long total. I continued the ribbing up the sides of the body (7 ribs) and the sleeve (3 ribs). The raglans are also three stitches wide; one center stitch, and a K2tog or SSK on either side. Yarnmule likes symmetry. Here's a shot of the ribbing on the side:

And here's one of raglans and the turtleneck:

Yarn and Needles: For some reason, I was sure that I would run out of yarn on this. I actually calculated the number of stitches at one point. Let's just say that math is devious and dastardly. Either that or I cannot count.

All the yarn was Suss Cotton. I used almost 3 jumbo skeins of red, less than 1 skein of brown, and about 1/2 each of khaki and teal. This leaves with two untouched skeins, and a whole bunch of partials. I really liked working with this yarn. It's a single loose ply of cotton, but it's wrapped with a tiny thread that appears to be mercerized (it's kind of shiny). This gives the yarn a little texture, and it also seemed to give it a little more bounce than your average cotton yarn. I didn't have any trouble with snagging on the needle tips, and it knit quickly.

The needles are a story all their own. I swatched with size 8 and size 7, and decided on the 7's (I've had about enough of floppy stretchy cotton sweaters). I worked the body on a Boye interchangeable metal circular. Then I worked the sleeves on Bryspun DPN's. After I joined it all, it went back on the metal circ. After I finished I started the post-project clean-up; bagging up the leftover yarn, putting away the needles, etc. I twas then that I realized I had done the body on size 7 and the sleeves on size 8. In all honesty, I tend to knit a little tighter on DPNs than on circs, so the difference is completely unnoticeable.

If I Could Do It Over: You've probably already read The Story of the Ugly Stripes. Obviously I'd do that right the first time. I also had a sizing issue that I'm not going to fix. Every cotton sweater I have ever knit has grown in the laundry or on the body. When I say grown, I mean GROWN; we're talking sleeves that are three inches too long, bodies that could be classified as dresses, the whole deal. When I calculated my measurements for this one, I took that into account, and worked everything about an inch shorter than I really wanted. Lo and behold, the thing shrunk in the wash. After a full day of wear, the body is fine, but the sleeves can best be described as 3/4 length. Not what I was going for. In the end, I tend to push up my sleeves anyway, so I'm going to keep it as is. The sleeves are a little tight too, but only in the forearm. In the end, I tend to push up my sleeves past my elbows anyway, so I'm going to let it go.

The only other minor quibble is with the raglan decreases. I did the standard "decrease on either side of the marker every other row" raglans. This works fine, and if this were a bigger, baggier sweater I'm sure it would be great. But in this slightly fitted version, the sleeve is just a wee bit tight over the shoulders. Shoulders are pointy, after all. Next time I might try to plan the raglans a little more carefully to compensate.

All in all though, I'm pretty pleased. It's a great weekend sweater; very comfortable, pretty well fitted, and more attractive than my average T shirt.


Short-Row Argyle Socks

Another set of socks finished, and again, they're for BBMM. I do believe they're his favorite yet.

Pattern: I'm a little blown away by this pattern. It's argyle, of course, but it's not done with intarsia or stranding. Every diamond is knit individually with short rows. There's no stranding on the back, no stress about gaps at color changes, and most importantly, no seam. Look at how smooth the color joins are:

This link will take you to the Short-row Argyle Sock calculator, created by Lucia Liljegren. It's a completely customized pattern; you enter foot measurements and gauge, and it will give you complete instructions. It's a brilliant pattern, but it's not easy. I found that it didn't make any sense at all until after I had knit a diamond or two. I will say this though; if you don't like working short rows, don't make this sock.

Yarn and Needles: Aussie Sock, 90% superwash Aussi Merino, 10% nylon, 400 yds/100 g per skein. I used nearly a full skein of Moca (color WS06) for the main color. The contrast is Oak Moss (color WS040). I used less than half a skein.. I used size 1 aluminum DPNs for the whole sock, but I think this would be much easier to knit on two circulars. For most of the sock you are only working on half the stitches, and I had a lot of trouble with held stitches sliding off the needles. I ended up with tiny rubber bands on the needle tips I wasn't using. It worked fine, but sliding the stitches back and forth would have been a lot easier without six rubber bands to undo every time.

Mods: Only one, to the pattern. The originl calls for the diamonds to be on the leg only. When I was done knitting the diamonds I didn't really want to stop, so I added one more on the top of the foot.

It was not an easy modification; I was knitting a little blind, and I definitely made some mistakes because of it. I'm ignoring them though, because I like the finished product.

If I Could Do It Over: Oh, I will. I already want a pair for myself in black and grey. I know BBMM would like a pair in greys as well. They're a great stash buster; 50 grams or less for the contrast diamonds, and just a few yards for the crossing lines. I will probably leave my modification in; I don't like the idea of the pattern stopping at the ankle.

One more picture. This one is in purely for the "Where's Waldo" nature of it. Hint; it's orange and furry, and looking right at you.

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That's Better

As expected, I ripped out the stripes and re-did them.

Mary left a comment in my last post with a link to this; it's an explanation of why knitting the first row of a color change (instead of purling) eliminates the ugly. You can see there is one place above where I couldn't do it; there's a wee bit of ugly at the single-round red stripe. There was the single red round, which I knit. But the next round was another color change, and had I knit that it would have been two knit rounds in a row. That would have interrupted the ribbing, which I thought would be worse than a little bit of dotting. All in all, it's quite an improvement.

Again I'll marvel at the speed at which worsted weight yarn on size 7 needles works up. I will always love knitting the socks, but the sweaters are good for my ego; at least I can think I'm a fast knitter once in a while. I worked on this for most of the weekend, and the knitting itself is done. This does not mean the sweater is done. There's still all this:

If you'll excuse me, my needle and I are going to go have a party.


Just One More Row

I dreamed about knitting the other night. I'm a little obsessed over a new project and I actually dreamed about knitting it. In the morning when my alarm went off, I had a bizarre moment where my dream and reality collided. In my dream, I was saying "just one more row" over and over again. In reality, I was hitting the snooze bar.

This is my new obsession:

Admittedly, it's not much yet. When it grows up, it's going to be a boxy raglan turtleneck with ribbing all the way up the sides and a wide multi-colored stripe.

I bought a ton of Suss Cotton when they closed the NY Suss store. I ended up with four jumbo (182 yard) skeins of red, two (118 yard) skeins of brown, one of teal and one of khaki. I thought this would be plenty for a sweater, but at the time I was thinking v neck. When I decided to do a turtleneck instead, I had to calculate the amount of red yarn I would need very carefully. I am praying my math will work out, otherwise it may be back to a v neck after all.

Here's the body; four inches of 3x3 ribbing at the hem. About six inches worth of ribbing travels up each side, otherwise it's plain stockinette. It won't finish getting striped until both sleeves are ready to attach.

The first sleeve is done to the armhole. Again, the hem is four inches of 3x3 ribbing, but only three inches continues up the inside of the arm.

I've discovered the first flaw in my evil scheme here. Stripes + ribbing = ugly.

None of the ends have been woven in yet, so it might get a little better, but not much. I haven't decided if I can live with it yet. I'm guessing I can't. So I'll rip back and try the trick of knitting all the way across the first round of every color. I don't think I can do that when I only have one or two rounds of a color, but at least the bigger blocks would look better.

I think I just figured out what I'm working on this evening. I hope I don't dream about it.