Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sleeve progress, stash planning ....

Today, I've got an update on the Fannigan sleeve, nearly finished the greener than green dishcloth, and I bought a very cool very warm Icebreaker jersey which has such useful sleeves I just have to share. I've had one of these before - but it was 10 years ago and the sleeves were much narrower - this one is perfect.

So Fannigan sleeve number one is progressing well, I knit again last night after the photo was made - so now she is 35 cm long. The goal here is around 56 cm's, not that I have freakishly long arms, but I live in Dunedin, the home of overlong sleeves. Sleeves that not only brush your knuckles but that have to be pulled back to show your fingers are not uncommon. We as a city seem to like scrunched extra long sleeves over our hands in winter - or maybe I just spend my days with young alternative students for whom this is popular. But when you are slightly above average height like me - well getting long sleeves generally requires purchasing designer garments ($$$), large sizes (not flattering) or making my own.

And Wash-cloth, well nearly finished, as expected, a fast and not challenging knit. I have nearly run out of the green - don't panic - there is another ball in stash. I really don't like joining cotton. To do so invisibly involves splitting the yarn into plies and either a splice knit and weave, or just knit and weave the plies in separately. Always seems a lot of work, but usually takes less than 2-3 minutes. Discussing it here I am not really sure why I put it aside a few days ago?

And the ice breaker sweater. Well at the last educ-industry conference, where a really cool job placement person bring us academics together either with people from the cutting and harsh face of the fashion industry, for the good of our students, the Ice breaker designer was there. Speaking about the design process in a commercial arena. Basically he spoke of how Icebreaker was designed to be invisible - that is you got up, you put on your icebreakers (yes layering is designed into the range), you went about your day, worked, skied, climbed mountains, all sorts of cool outdoor stuff. Then at the end of the day you wondered about a meal with friends, or a drink out, and looked down to see if your clothes were tidy enough and their was the forgotten icebreaker jersey, looking ready for a drink at a casual bar or meal at a cafe. All day it had kept you warm and comfortable and was 'invisible', once donned, you had not noticed it until you needed to look good for the evening. Sounds like a great design philosophy to me. Oh there was lots of technical stuff about the micron of the yarns, the specification of the harvest conditions, and the spinning all to make the fabric warm, light and ultra soft as well as wear exceedingly well.
But is that that cool bit ?
No, its the sleeves, I bought one of these around 10 years ago, when the brand was new on the market. I bought it because of the sleeve detail, and I bought this latest one because of the sleeve detail. I bought the last one before children, when Melrose place was must see t.v. and chocolate was the 'new black'. The last one still looked nearly new, but ten years ago the icebreakers were made much more sleek, more fitted and I always found the fore-arm was cut so very narrow I couldn't even wear a watch under it. Last year I let it go to goodwill, but did regret it. This time inspired by the talk and the colours in the range he showed, I wandered into the Icebreaker shop at Wellington International Airport and found first they were $70 cheaper than when I last priced one, and second the sleeves were roomier.

So that cute little key hole - its for your thumb - built in fetchings!

Excuse the dark pictures, it was after dusk here, and the flash makes the background blackish. The sleeves don't really twist like that, its just to rotate my hand to face the camera.

I've been thinking how this could be for a hand knit ... top down or bottom up, knit a ribbing, then add a second pre-knit loop of ribbing? I think it will tumble in my mind for a while yet.

And stash planning - well I've ordered some yummy new yarn . . . Yes, inspired encouraged by the enablers at KR I've asked for enough Alpaca to knit a whole sweater! I'll let you know more when it arrives in a few weeks.

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