Monday, March 29, 2010

Things I learned from Skew

Knitting Skew taught me ways to go about straightening up a bias knit tube .. and that was a very very useful thing to know for the Green Sweater sleeve. I used what I learned in knitting Skew to modify the Green Sweater sleeve ... and I added my very favorite finish (surprise I-cord!). Now I have one sleeve almost-very-nearly-pretty-much-there-bar-the-little-teeny-tiny-finishing-bit done and I'm ready to knit the second sleeve. I've also been plying .. my home made sock blend with 20% nylon, and because it is a cabled four ply ... there is a lot of plying to do. There are only two fibre things on the go in this house right now, so those are the two things that are in this post, Green Sweater is on the needles and Sock is on the wheel. Lastly I know more about the wee loom in the last post, details at the end.

So .. the Green Sweater sleeve, is intended to be a 3/4 sleeve, finishing mid forearm, and I wanted a full length sleeve. As I knit the sleeve longer I realized why the original was a 3/4 sleeve, the longer it got the more angled the hem edge became. The angle is created by the paired decreases and increases, but means that the sleeve hem tips lower over the palm and shorter over the back of the hand, eExactly the opposite of what is practical. Luckily I have only just finished knitting Skew which neatly dealt with just this problem. I put my modified Skew shaping to work stopping 3 stitches short and short rowing the point away, continuing the decreases but matching them with increases. I decided that instead of knitting the sleeve 5 rounds longer and just hemming up the live stitches or using a purl-turn round and hemming up the live stitches I would use a 4 stitch i-cord. It worked nicely, the i-cord matches the width of the decreases down the outside of the sleeve. You can see I still have to graft the i-cord end to the i-cord start. There is a little noticeable distortion where the short rows formed .. but I think a soak and a block will settle things down nicely.

One of the most discussed aspects of the Green Sweater in the KAL on Ravelry is the low armhole. Most people post it is historic and authentic but not flattering, and there are multiple posts about how people have frogged and reknit a more fitted sleeve. Reading all that I wondered how I would feel about the fit when it was done. With the sweater sitting flat the arm hole is low, and the sleeve is wide but shaped..

Worn I think it looks ok, better than ok, I'm very happy with it so far. The sleeve is full between the elbow and body but the lower sleeve fits closely and the lower body fits closely so I think still gives enough of a slim fit on the body. I suspect my gauge is firmer than my swatch .. or perhaps it is firmer because it has not been blocked and so has not yet relaxed.

On the wheel, I know I have 4 wheels in the house(and one in another house) so I'd better be more specific, on the Majacraft Little Gem I have been spinning merino blended with 20% nylon, sock fibre. I split it into four equal parts and spun each as fine as I could, and last night plied two bobbins together, This morning I began to ply the other two bobbins together, and tonight I plan to ply those two into a cabled four ply yarn. I suspect it will be thicker than commercial sock yarns .. but that will only serve to make for thicker warmer socks.

Lastly - the little loom I showed last post now has a pedigree. It is a Structo Art Craft Loom, and it appears to be a type of loom that weavers like. The unique feature of the Structo loom is that originally that warps were available pre-wound onto spools, making the threading up easier. You could buy warp wound and ready to go. I don't think you can buy the spools pre-wound any more but there are wonderful blog posts showing how to load the spools. My Structo is wooden but I suspect the principles would work just as well, and I appear to have about 3 sets of spools .. so plenty to play with.

So that is me, progress thus far on the two active projects ...
There won't be a weekend post, my little brother is getting married and so we are off to a family wedding ....
take care, enjoy whatever easter brings you .... and I hope to share some exciting news next week when I post.



KathyR said...

The Green Sweater is nearly, nearly finished - only one sleeve to go, yay! - and it is looking really good! What a clever solution for the angle of the hem.

Your sock yarn is such a pretty colour and cabling it should help to ensure it wears well. Did you hackle the fibre to add the nylon or did you use the drum carder?

I've been looking around on the net at Structo looms - quite an interesting history! It looks as if some people have now modified the back beam to emliminate the spools but, if you are able to fill them successfully, they could be quite handy to use.

Sigurborg Johannsdottir said...

greetings from Iceland ;o)

Knitting Linguist said...

I love the way the green sweater is turning out! I'm also enjoying seeing your modifications as you go; something to consider as I plan to knit it (not just yet, though, too much else OTN). I can't wait to see how your cabled sock yarn turns out -- I adore cabled yarns, and need to spin more of them.

Enjoy your wedding weekend! Best wishes to the bride and groom :)

genny said...

I like the arm shaping on you, it's actually quite "now" I think.
Also, nice lazy kate!