Friday, December 22, 2006

Doll Sweater and Merry Christmas

Here is the sweater I knit for one of Len's niece's dolls (you know the one, 18", massive marketing campaign?)


It is not without it's problems (cable splay, anyone?), but I like it nonetheless. There are more pictures of it over at the Flickr site. Several years ago, Knitters magazine had a short series of matching sweaters for girls and their 18" dolls, one of what was an Aran style. I don't like that sweater so much, but figured I could steal their numbers and plug in cables that I like. I've wanted to do this for an adult size sweater and thought this would be a non-threatening way to start. My next plan is to make a lace sweater for my stepmother's doll (not an 18" one). I have a vision, we'll see if it works.

I have the next 10 days off. I may try to post once or twice during that time, but mostly I think I shall be lying around my house watching very bad television. That is my idea of a divine vacation!

Have a Merry Christmas or a Happy Festivius!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Judy's New Bed

It turns out, I'm not a complete moron just about knitting. I've managed to save some of my dork brain cells for weaving, too. I don't know how I should feel about that.

My stepmother's mother, Jan, found some yarn at Goodwill As Is. It's an odd, acrylic boucle in pink, blue and purple. After many strange machinations (involving a kitchen scale, a warping board and a lot of tangles. Don't ask.), I decided there is about 2600 yards/18 ozs. of this stuff. It isn't the sort of thing I would knit with -- the yarn is pretty fine and loopy -- but it seemed like weaving a shawl with it wouldn't be too hard. And it isn't. My brain, though, is not on. Also the math universe is broken.

I decided I wanted the piece to be 30 inches wide in the loom, which would allow for some draw-in, and 8 warp ends per inch. How many ends? 240 you say? Um. No. I measured that many, but ended up with way too many warp ends. Like 100 too many. In what universe does 8 x 30 = 140? My weaving room, apparently.

Luckily, the extra warp was easily separated while I wound onto the loom. Winding on, I'm happy to say, was a breeze. Which is a very good thing, because:
Yes, I had tied onto the front by this time. So I untied, pulled out the warp, untied from the back end, fixed the problem, tied back on, rewound and tied back onto the front.
Corrected Warp
This works a little better. The fabric looks nice, too. I kind of wish I had gone with a 10-dent reed, rather than the 8, but I am so not re-doing this warp. Instead I'm just beating the weft a little harder.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Face Not Exploded

No, my face hasn't exploded, but this cold just won't let go. I am now in the dry hacking stage, which pretty much sucks nuts.

My friend, Stef, and I went up to Threadbear in Lansing a few weeks ago (I'm very much in love with this shop). While wandering around, I made a sudden decision to knit a fair isle sweater. I don't really know what came over me. I think, in part, it was Eunny's Venezia Pullover (scroll down) in the latest Interweave Knits. So beautiful, so utterly inappropriate for me -- too small, I can't wear wool next to my skin, too warm for my office or home (where Len routinely pumps the wood stove up to 75 degrees). I enjoyed knitting the Philosopher's sweater, but the sweater is too big and floppy and the neckline continues to annoy me to no end. I hate wearing it.

I flipped through Meg Swanson's Knitting, which I have done many times and (finally!) decided to buy it. I haven't bought it before because, well, you may have noticed that I am maybe a little dim. Once I decided to buy the book, I was overcome with the desire to knit the cover sweater. Right Now. Threadbear, being the best shop in the universe (did I mention my love?), has Jamieson 2-ply Spindrift, so I made piles of colors. There were seven symbols in the key, so I picked 7 colors (8, actually, because I couldn't decide on the light background color). It turns out that one of the symbols is a purl of one of the colors and there are two colors so similar the difference doesn't show up in the book's photos (the light background). Since I couldn't commit to a background color (either light brown or light green), I bought just enough yarn to make a very large swatch.
Fair Isle Swatch 2
The colors here are: Foxglove, Mulberry (dark purple), Atlantic, Twilight (the lighter blue) and Rye (the light green in question). My plan for the swatch is to knit one more of the charts with the Rye, then do the same charts again (except the ribbing) using the brown (the name of which escapes me, maybe Mooskit?). I was thinking that I would go down a needle size to see how I like a slightly tighter gauge. I'm pretty sure I won't do that since having a tighter gauge will introduce some serious complications: this sweater needs a multiple of both 5 and 33 stitches (the large patterns are 33 stitch repeats and the peeries in between are 5 stitch repeats), I'm getting 7.5 stitches/inch which is already tighter than the 6.75 called for. At my current gauge, I should get a 44" sweater and that is about right.

That might have been more information than you wanted. All I meant to say was: I love Threadbear. I love fair isle knitting. And I love these colors. Which is good, 'cos I'm sick to death of coughing!
Fair Isle Swatch 3

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Feeling Crummy

I've been working on yet another nasty cold. Two colds in as many weeks. How festive. I'm going home and plopping my head on a pillow.

I'll leave you with these two pictures.
With Light Green
With light green

With Brown
With brown

These are for a new project I'm contemplating. More on this tomorrow, unless my head explodes.