Saturday, January 16, 2010

Usually its the sock

that is the easy project on my needles, the one that I can take out, and pick up and knit while watching tv, but recently the socks have had charts to follow and they have not been so portable or lazy. I realize that for now, my sock project is my challenge and my cardigan is my portable and easy going knit. Yes, I've started the Green cardigan, or rather the swatch has been knit and the cardigan must follow. But I've been distracted, again, the cubs are away with their granddad until latter this week ... so I pulled out the fabric, and patterns and sewing tools and I've been sewing.

But first the knitting, the Green Sweater swatch is done, washed and gently dried. I measured and documented its pre-wash state, but have yet to measure the post wash change. I have hope it will bloom enough to match the required gauge - currently I'm a stitch and a bit out for each inch. I've been reading the KAL and info thread at Ravelry, A Knitters Choice, and picking up little gems of information as I work. The first gem was to ball up the yarn and let is sit for 3 or so days, its a single and fresh, so twisty. The second gem is that several people were confused by the instructions so there are errata(I've collected mine), and other little handy hints. Several knitters are working with a firmer gauge .. and I'm tempted to go that way as well, I can't imagine this yarn worked loosely, but then again I should swatch at the recommended gauge and check .. shouldn't I, before I decide? The yarn does bloom, the fuzzy thread in the photo is the washed strand, and the thinner one as it is when knit. There is biasing .. and the recommended advice from Meg Swansan seems to be 'block it firmly- make it behave, the wool can take it'! So I need to measure my swatch, and decide if I'm knitting the sweater to their gauge or mine .. and if so take some time to work out what size I'd knit to get the size that fits me.

New socks, this time its Sock Knitters Anon on Ravelry's 2010 January Mystery sock. As I'm 2 weeks slow starting it is less of a mystery as I can see the photos posted as others knit theirs. I love the look of this sock, in Vintage Purls Sock (of course), with lime green beads. The garter rib, 3x2 has pushed the cast on edge into little peaks, quite neat. The chart is complex, 5 different charts each repeating over a different number of rounds ... so it is a sit on the couch and focus knit. As I knit with such focus I do wonder why I do this sort of thing .. and then I admire the sock and realize the sock is the why, the pretty sock at the end of the process

Spinning, I finished the first of the yarn from the NZFS 3.0 swap, the green. I spun this not very well using rolags and an improving woolen technique. I've not measured but there are two skeins, one three ply worsted, one 2 ply woolen, so enough for a hat. I thought the thicker yarn would make a nice thick fold back cuff. Currently both Poppy and Bear are eying it up - well will see who gets it, Poppy is due for a hat, Bear has several.

Then there was today sewing, with no cubs to feed and to monitor and to entertain - I just settled down and cut and sewed. It was seat of pants kind of sewing, with a vague plan and basic shapes cut. I had some fine ribbed merino knit in my stash and some floral sports mesh that I thought would line the hood - and then decided it would suit the body as well. I didn't have an open ended zip at hand but did have some more snap tape, so one decision after another the hoodie came together nicely by mid afternoon. There was a moment when I wondered how best to finish the neck and lining and hem band and which order of assembly would give the neatest finish, and wondered if I had backed myself into a corner - but I worked it out, and fudged a little to make it work (a little stretch technique combined with a little tailoring lining technique). With the hoodie done, I worked on the dress, which is either really really cute and stylish - or I have lost the plot completely with the large polka dots and lime green lining. It is just a simple shift dress, with fitted back darts, bust darts and an unfitted front waist. I've still got to add a zip and work the hem .. but essentially its done. Behind it is another variation on the same dress, cut in Italian linen with hints of pink and blue and green amidst the donkey brown .. being linen it will hang differently. These are all part of the sewing I've been working on over the holidays, and are to work with whisper and are probably the reason I said it needed a dress - I had dresses planned and now they are being done.

Today's efforts join the skirts I made a few weeks ago, lime green wool crepe and an old gold & white vintage print, both gored skirts. I've still got to stitch the bias waist band down and hem the green one, but I've been wearing the other. All chores for latter in the week.

Take care
more sewing planned this week, work next week, but lots of knitting to do as well.
na Stella


Amy said...

I really like that gold and white vintage print - best of luck with the sewing!

KathyR said...

The wool for the Green Sweater is really rather interesting as I've never worked with a singles yarn before. Never had the courage! Your progress will be followed with interest!

When you have a day sewing you really do make progress - I was on the sewing machine yesterday, too. All I had to show for it was a repair to the zip on my daughter's skirt as well as alterations to the length of the straps on a top she had bought. The least said about the skirt zip the better - I would rather make one from scratch than do repairs! I used to do a lot of sewing when the kids were young - I very much dislike sewing now.

Knitting Linguist said...

I don't think you've lost the plot at all -- the dress is fabulous! I also love the hoodie; I do wish I could do things like that. I'll be interested to hear how you get on with the Green Sweater swatch; I, too, have trouble imagining that yarn in a looser gauge, so it'll be good to see how it blooms (it'll pill less at a firmer gauge, too, no?).