around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm happier now

This is working much, much better for my sweatshirt jacket. I ripped out the 'close pattern' and reknit it as stockinette. Looks better, feels better, is easier to knit (and won't take near as much yarn). I wouldn't mind doing this pattern again, as written, but will do it with the recommended yarn next time.

I'm out of yarn again, so it's time to spin again.
I'm also happy with my Fearless Fair Isle. I've picked up the button bands and steeked the top and bottom so I can knit it in the round. Can I say enough times that I'm so glad Anne and Wendy have been demonstrating their Fair Isle techniques for neck bands, button bands and sleeves lately? Since Wendy's pattern was written as a pullover, I'm flying by the seat of my pants on the buttonband part anyway.

I'm almost at the critical point of starting on buttonholes. I'm tempted to just put a buttonhole at the center of every row design ... they're already nice and even. That means ten buttonholes (including one in the center of the bottom ribbing and one at the neck). That's a lot of buttons, but I'd rather have too many than not enough (gap-osis, yuck).

Of course, I only bought 6 buttons way back when I was planning this, but I'm thinking that the Woolie Ewe keeps these in stock (hoping, anyway). If not, I'll just pick out a different set of buttons.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

whew! photos at last!

See my post from yesterday for my maundering on about these projects.

Monday, June 26, 2006

what I did on my weekend

The Fearless Fair Isle actually looks sweater-like now (instead of just a decorative tube). I pushed on through this weekend and got to the top of the shoulders, did my three-needle bindoff and picked up stitches for the neck. Thanks to Anne's recent blog tutorial I feel I did a better job than usual of that particular task and I'm working the neck back and forth (I guess I could have cast on some steek stitches and done it in the round like Wendy is doing on Mara - oh, well).

I was going to leave the front steek alone until I finished the neck and picked up the button bands (again, a la Anne) but I found it awkward to work the neck that way.

Speaking of Anne - if you've never done Fair Isle before she's got an excellent tutorial on the technique. When I started this project last fall I read up as much as possible - there was no one locally that I could ask to get started. This tutorial was of great help - good pictures and good descriptions of the techniques. I started reading her blog back in April this year and didn't realize at first that this was the same lady I learned from back last fall! Thanks for all the help, Anne!

The installment sweatshirt jacket is trudging along....the 'close-pattern' is going verrrry slowwwly. I'm not sure I'm liking how this part is turning out - it's not so much the pattern, it's the yarn. The yarn is a bit too thick for a slip stitch garter stitch pattern ... I'm having to wrestle with it too much. I either need to change up to a larger needle size to loosen it up or rip it back and do it in plain stockinette. Not too keen on either idea but I'm probably going to have to rip it back either way. Stockinette will cost me less in yarn as this pattern really eats up the row gauge - 34 rows to 4 inches, rather than the 24 to 4 inches for stockinette. (That's an important consideration when you're spindle spinning all your yarn from scratch!)

I'll muse over it and decide what to do this evening.

The railroad stitch sock is chugging along nicely - I've gotten past the decreases, so it's rather on automatic now 'til I get to the heel. I'm deciding if I'll keep to the pattern on the foot or switch over to stockinette (like I usually do). I may keep the pattern going - it's not too lumpy-bumpy and helps maintain stretch. I will probably eliminate the central purl stitch on the back of the heel though; that just looks uncomfortable.

I was going to post this with update photos but, as usual, blogger is having problems with uploading photos. I'll add them tomorrow (hopefully).

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Just got my first spam comment (I knew it was just a matter of time). You now have to type in the strange word to leave comments. Sorry about that but I have no desire to hear from people who are just leaving junk on every blog in the system without seeing if anyone will truly be interested in what they have to say. At least this will slow them down a bit.

At least I figured out how to delete his comment ....


My knitting and I danced last night. The problem is while I was dancing the waltz - 1,2,3 ... 1,2,3 ... 1,2,3 - it was dancing the cha cha - 1 & 2 & cha cha cha.

The railway stitch socks - I was knitting and purling along when I realized that I had missed the last decrease almost a whole round ago - tink, tink, tink.

The sweatshirt jacket - I was working on the back in the 'close pattern' when I realized that I had missed a slip stitch near the beginning of the row - tink, tink, tink.

The Fearless Fair isle - I was half-way across the round when I realized that at the central steek I had swapped the pattern around (5 white, 1 brown, 5 white, 3 brown instead of 5 white, 3 brown, 5 white, 1 brown) - tink, tink, tink.

Then I gave up and went to bed. Sometimes it's just better that way.

I'd post pictures, but what's the point? Just look at the pictures from Monday and imagine everything a 1/4 inch longer.....

Maybe we'll be listening to the same music today.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Now where was I, again?

I felt guilty about ignoring my existing projects to start a new one so I spent some quality time on my Fearless Fair Isle and on my sweatshirt jacket. The Tina shawl will have to wait until I feel I've got enough patience and time to figure where the heck I left off last summer. I suspect there were errors in execution that need to be ripped back.

The Fearless Fair Isle is seven rows away from the front neck shaping! It's hard to tell that I did anything compared to the last picture, but I promise there was progress made. (Lorraine made me do it - she made me feel guilty about leaving my Fair Isle alone for so long)

The sweatshirt jacket - I got the additional fiber Saturday afternoon and spun up about an ounce yesterday. It is a very close match but a bit darker than the existing stuff. Not a problem, I've got a plan.... ;-)

The pattern changes where the body divides at the armhole (which is where I am now). I'll start with the new fiber at that point. The leftover old fiber will be used for the pockets and maybe the bottom of the sleeves and the collar, depending on how far I can make it stretch. There will be narrow bands of the lilac shetland between the color changes.

BTW - Black Welsh Mountain combed top is very nice to work with - it spun up very smoothly, although I may have made this skein a tad bulkier than I needed.

Speaking of that new project... I'm enjoying this sock. It's a simple k/p pattern but you still need to pay attention, especially at the leg shaping. This will be strictly a traveling project though - I need to concentrate at-home knitting time on my sweaters (and that poor neglected shawl).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Now where was I?

Hmmm .....

There's the Fearless Fair Isle cardigan-

and then there's the Sweatshirt Jacket.

Of course, there's also the Tina shawl (looking like a wadded up rag - lace is so uninspiring while in process).

Well, alrighty then, let's just ignore all those for the moment and start something new!

Introducing the Gentleman's Sock in Railway Stitch from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.

I can see that I'm rather lacking in focus here ... maybe it's the weather ... hot, humid, high pollution levels, yuck! (Ok, no excuses, I always lack focus, that's why I've got 4 projects on the needles right now.)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mission accomplished!

3/4 sleeves? check
tunic length? check
placket & little stand-up collar? check
flat garter stitch ribbing? check

Yes! We have a completed summer sweater!
Pattern: My own extremely tweaked pattern using SweaterWizard
Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Worsted in color Wave
Needles: Denise size 7 circulars
Started: May 1, 2006
Completed: June 11, 2006

It didn't shrink as much as I feared (and planned), but it still fits great. Of the extra five skeins I ordered (when I was panicking) I only needed one. Know anyone that needs 4 skeins of Shine Worsted? Ok, I lie - it's going into stash for future fun.

I threw it in the washing machine and the dryer and it came out beautifully. This yarn is a little on the heavy side, but that gives it beautiful drape in the finished product.

I'm wearing it today (even though it is going to be close to 100 degrees again). It's perfectly comfortable in my air-conditioned office.

I ended up modifying the pattern as I went - some of the suggestions from Sweater Wizard weren't my cup of tea, but did provide a good jumping off place.

After a few emails back and forth with my eBay vendor (Mountain*Shadow*Ranch - Teresa was very helpful & patient), I'll be receiving 16 ounces of Black Welsh Mountain sheep combed top very shortly. I believe this will be enough to complete my installment sweater jacket, but if it isn't it sounds as though she'll have more available. I spun a bit more of my remaining roving last night, but I'm holding off knitting any more until I see what the new fiber looks like.

Now that the flurry of summer sweater knitting is over I can return to my Fearless Fair Isle WIP. And maybe I'll even pull out my UFO Tina shawl.

Or maybe I'll just cast on a pair of socks....I'm going through sock withdrawal.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

See? see?

See what happens when I feel too bad to be at work, but not too bad to knit? A whole sleeve! I vegetated all day on the couch Wednesday, watched movies and knit. I've even got a start on sleeve #2.

A new plan for the installment sweater jacket......

I finally invested in a good scale - I've got 8 ounces of black roving spun and knit into the sweater already; 6 ounces of black roving left to spin; 4 ounces of lilac shetland yarn spun.

That 8 ounces got exactly one-half of the body done (13 inches of the 26 inch length necessary). Unless I'm planning on a sleeveless jacket, obviously I'm going to have to find more roving....

Yeah for eBay! I've found 8 ounces of Black Welsh Mountain combed top and hopefully it will be here soon. (I also asked the vendor if they've got more, since that's not going to be enough.) The pictures look very like the roving I already have, so I'm wondering if Nefertiti was Black Welsh Mountain? Hopefully, it will be close enough.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Raise your hand....

if you think I'm going to run out of roving before the sweater is finished! See that bump of dark roving and those little skeins of lilac yarn? That's it folks....that's all that's left.

Granted that the roving is compressed from being in a box and granted that I'm exactly half-way through the body of the sweater - there's still half the body, both sleeves, the big patch pockets and the collar left to do.

Exciting isn't it? And you thought knitting didn't qualify as an extreme sport!

OK. Here's the plan. I'm just going to keep going 'til I run out. If I run out before I'm finished (notice the optimism there?) I'll contact that nice lady from Fire Ant Ranch. She's the provider of the lilac Shetland batt that I'm using as accent material. If she can produce more of the same lilac it will be more than just an accent .... how much more? who knows? (insert maniacal laughter here) (ooh - I just noticed that she's got Black Welsh Mountain Sheep - I wonder ... would that be a reasonable match to my mystery roving?)

Who's going to be the first to say ... 'but Cynthia, didn't you do this on your other project, too?' Yes, I underestimated the Shine Worsted needed for my summer sweater. I swear it's not just lack of project planning. The Shine Worsted shrinks a lot more than I thought. The roving - I'm afraid I just assumed that a whole sheep's worth of roving would be plenty. This is the first time I've tried to spin enough for a garment. I'm going to go buy a scale and weigh the work-in-progress and the remaining roving so I can get a better estimate of where it all stands.

Speaking of the Shine Worsted sweater - the front and back are both finished!