Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Bevy of Hats

It all started out so innocently... I made my elder son a Maltese Fishermen's Hat from the Knitter's Almanac for Christmas. He opened it shortly after a wooden sword and shield, and it was discovered that it is the perfect shape for a Knight's helmet.
Couldn't I make one for little nephew? OK.
Niece saw me knitting and realized she needed one too. OK.
Sister-in-law saw them and realized one of her nephews needed one. OK.
Little son also got a wooden sword for Christmas and realized he needed a Knight's hat. OK.
Elder son saw everyone else getting to pick their yarn and realized he didn't like the color I'd originally made him- pass it to nephew he likes it- Phew!! OK.
Mother saw all these hats and realized it would be just the thing to keep her perpetually cold ears nice and toasty. OK.
In short- I have knitted 5 Maltese Fishermen's Hats since Christmas. This is the last one, mid earflap shaping. I wish I had pictures of them all but 3 of the hats laft town yesterday w/ my brother's family. I will have to get pictures soon.

All the hats were knitted with 2 strands of Lion Brand Homespun- use it up, right? held together on size 10 needles. Very very dense and warm. I knit rather tightly so I also made a sized up version on 60 sts instead of 56, since I had no larger needle. If you try sizing it up I would recommend adding all 4 sts to the ear flap section and not increasing the width of the face opening. I tried 2 sts each and the face ended up way too wide. When you come to the decreasing just start with P2tog K13 and progress down.

And here is the beginning of a Wishbone for my niece's 3rd birthday next week. Stranded mint green and pink, hopefully she likes it. I would like to do something brilliant and exciting on the sleeve tops as they eat away the body, but I'm not sure what yet. If anyone has a nice 35 st pattern I would be very interested.

Now you can let the ball drop, Dick

Wanted to post my latest Zimmermann sweater. I made the seamless with a raglan top from KwoT. I also added in some small dropped stitches to give it the "Loved" look. The picture on the blog shows them a little better than the above shot. More details are also over here. Next time, I might try purling the center raglan stitch to make that detail stand out more. Maybe it was the color choice, but the decrease line is hard to see. Besides that minor issue, I really can't say enough how happy I am with every sweater I've made with EZ guidance. I have two more planned for some little ones in my life. Happy new year! I'll be ringing it in with some seamless action and a glass of wine.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

All Set to Start!

I've been promising myself since October that once the Christmas knitting was finished I would finally get started on a fitted bog jacket for myself in some gorgeous Manos del Uruguay. This will be my first bog jacket and I'm pulling out all the stops: fitted waist, shoulder shaping, short rows in back, striping (including a stunning kettle-dyed Manos colorway) across the shoulders. Nothing like taking a simple design and making it all sorts of complicated, right? I spent yesterday and today doing all my calculations and writing out instructions for myself, and now all I have to do is cast on -- woo-hoo! Wish me luck!


Friday, December 29, 2006

Testing the theory

Thank you so much to everyone who has given such real thought to my method/madness, and commented about it. Jen and Amieedewar in particular made me want to examine my modifications more closely.
I took out the "trick" thread and started knitting the sleeve this morning, after completing about three inches below the division. I like the way the top looks, though it was a bit of unrecordable fudging to make the pattern flow well - I think I can sort-of reproduce it on the other side, though as for writing it out... ah well.

...under the arm is a bulging that bothers me. I don't mind that I will probably have a slightly wider back, or that the sleeves are flat, because baby sweaters don't really need a lot of shaping, and the lace pattern will be rather forgiving. But the body under the armpit is definitely too wide. I suppose I could keep going and make a baby dress, but I'd really make a sweater. Amieedewar said something in her comment that made me re-read the directions. I had read the picking-up of stitches under the sleeve - "...knitting up 4 X 7 sts at the cast-on sleeve sts" - as "Pick up 28 st at each armpit," while it appears now that EZ meant 14 at each armpit. That's a significant difference, and would explain why my sweater looks so malformed...

However, I am not afraid of ripping back to correct a mistake. I am going to finish this one sleeve, rip back and decrease under the arm to have a more reasonable number of stitches in the lower body. And in the future, I may just try another way of modifying. Or do it EZ's way.
I'll keep you updated on how it goes!

baby sweater!

hi folks! hope all had/ are having a lovely relaxing holiday week. i finished the wee baby sweater for my niece's christmas present... here it is draped over her christmas finery. not much detail here... yoke sweater, using the percentage system.

however! when i tried to put the sweater over her head (she's only 1 month old)... it would not go. baby heads apparently are too huge for eps... i didn't think this through when i was knitting away right before christmas. i've got the sweater with me now and i'm trying to figure out the best way to fix it... steek? cardi? mini-steek just at the neck, a la placket sweater? or just frog back past the last set of decreases (i did k1, k2tog instead of k1, k2tog, k2tog hoping it would be big enough) and knit up a bit plain? i'm pretty freaked out about steeking but if that's the best way, so be it. any thoughts?

The Suspender Sweater

Finished and I love it! This is from a Spun Out from Elizabeth. It is called the Suspender Sweater. I bought the package of Spun Outs at last Summer's Knit Camp where I also bought the yarn. Meg had just started carrying Berroco's Ultra Alpaca. The yarn is so soft and I really loved knitting with it! I'd use it again.

Now, back to the Round the Bend Sweater!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dickies, We Have Dickies!

Right before Christmas I needed a project that would seem Christmasy but wouldn't take too long and that I could wear! I came up with the Dickies from Knitting Around. The green holiday one is left over Knitpicks sock yarn and mystery yarn that actually matches one of the sock yarn varigants! The one in pink is also just leftover heavier yarn. Both were knit on a 16" circ size 6. Although the green one is smaller than the other one, both fit just fine! The green one I finished Christmas Eve and the pink one finished Dec. 27 in the morning. With all the holiday stuff happening, you know that these don't take very long to knit!

1st Zimmermann piece!

This was my very first Elizabeth Zimmermann piece, and actually my very first garment. I picked the almost seamless baby jacket from the Knitter's Almanac. It had such simple instructions, and I thought the "lace" work was quite charming. I must say - what melts the heart are the buttons. I made a few mistakes on some of the pattern rows, but when trying to tink back and fix, I realized I was making it worse. So I plowed on. Hopefully most of it is camouflaged.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Unventing the Seamless Baby Sweater

With the holidays rolling to a close, I finally started the baby sweater I was planning last fall. I spun up some three-ply merino just for the project in October, thinking I would make another Baby Surprise, but I wanted to try something different.

So I cast on for a Nearly Seamless sweater, as instructed in the Knitter's Almanac. I really like the gull stitch pattern, so I'm using that too.
My yarn is worsted-weight, and I'm knitting on size 4.0mm (US6) needles, so it will be a fairly large sweater.
My handspun was striping so beautifully, though, that I didn't want to interrupt it's coloration around the body.

I though about it for awhile, and decided to forego the sleeve instructions as written. I am trying a new approach!

Using the "Thumb Trick" over 21 stitches gives me the same number of live stitches on which to knit the sleeves (42 total, 6 pattern repeats) and allows me to knit the sweater in the round all the way to the hem. I will then pick up the sleeve stitches and knit them in the round, for an Entirely Seamless Baby Sweater. (I hope.)

(If anyone can think of any reason this might not work, let me know before I get too far... *grins*)

They FIT!

I've posted photos here of both sweaters before, but please humor me. These are new photos of the recipients of the sweaters, wearing them. I have to rejoice over the fact that they fit.

The first is a saddle-shoulder knit with lopi:

The second is a seamless yoke sweater, knit top down with Jaggerspun merino:

I expected this one to be too short. I can't express how happy I am to not be adding more length in that solid blue stockinette. The plainness of it nearly drove me mad.

Happy holidays!

Another Seamless Hybrid Complete

The Seamless Hybrid is complete. Check out that "shirt yoke" option in the saddle. My Goodness how I adore that Elizabeth Zimmerman.

I went for a 1" hemmed collar (I continued the double decreases in the front more for look than fit) and I'm very, very pleased with the outcome. I based the entire sweater on his chest measurement, as EZ suggests, and only tried on the cuffs of one sleeve (I had gauge issues as I got pregnant between making the body and making the sleeves and I could NOT match gauge. I ended up just putting it aside for several months while I waited for my fingers to return to closer to normal. Aside from that, the only real "issue" I had was in creating the saddle - there is a part of the instructions where EZ abandons her percentages and merely says "for 44 rows". Since my gauge was different from hers, I had been completely ignoring her numbers. So it took me a while, and a little calculation, to go back through her sample numbers and discover that she meant "50% of remaining stitches".

Other than that, I loved the experience, I love the final product, and my husband does, too. More info and photos on my blog.

Just got back from the LYS where I bought "Knitting Around." Bog Jacket, here I come!

Finished Fishtrap Hat!

I finally finished my much delayed Fishtrap Swatchcap. Another picture at my blog (http://onepotato.blogspot.com) (and modeling shots tomorrow, hopefully). I'm so glad it's done!

cranking up the VCR

I've been knitting along on the Round the Bend Jacket which, according to Meg, was a design collaboration between herself and her ma. I'm a bit more than midway through the front section of the second half and have completely blanked on a technique. Last night I got my son to re-connect the VCR that had been unused since the DVD player got hooked up. This morning, with no one else in the house to break my concentration, I'll be plugging in Meg's video and getting a refresher course. Hopefully, this will get me through the impasse and I can finish the jacket before going back to work on January 2. This is my second Round the Bend. I knitted my first about five years ago and had begun this one last year. Here's the picture of Meg in hers from the Schoolhouse Press website. I knitted my first one in the same colors as shown here but made it to fit me below the hips. The second one I'm knitting with the same (now discontinued, I believe) sturdy Jamieson & Smith Highland Wool in brown and gold. Another variation I'm planning is to substitute one I-cord loop at the top with a single horn-shaped button instead of the three pairs of buttons down the front.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Project Two, Elecric Boogaloo*

I've finished my Baby Surprise jacket, and while I wish I could say that I was the kind of knitter who saw where it was all going from the start, and not the one who was thinking that perhaps her sister would rather a nice Baby Gap certificate for Christmas, I may as well admit to being completely spatially challenged. I think if I'd paid closer attention to the photos in the book, I would have noticed that the seams for the arms were on top. As it was, as I knit I kept trying to McGyver it into shape with the seams on the bottom. This was also complicated by my use of straight needles. Never again! But here it is in all its cuteness.

I used Knitpicks Swish Superwash. It took two balls of the yellow and one of the green, and I believe this would fit the average 8-12 month old. I definitely plan to do another one in a smaller size, perhaps with a photo tutorial for those like me who have a hard time envsioning which part of the jacket they're currently knitting- helpful if you want to add stripes to a certain part, or lengthen the cuffs.

(Project One was the Seamless Hybrid. Mr. Frick gets tons of compliments on it, and especially on the back neck. I noticed that I seem to be in the minority doing the neck this way-most opting for the shirt yoke-but I do like the little square shape it creates.)

Hybrid Sweater Disaster

I started EZ's hybrid version sweater over a month ago. I have worked on it in between several holiday gift items. This was my first EZ project and I did enjoy it, although it did not turn out as I planned. I read advice from several fellow EZ knitters, and happily figured out how to do a contrast/inside hem for the body and the sleeves of the sweater (pictured).

I joined the sleeves and started "saddling" and then disaster struck! I had my knitting sitting on the seat of an old fashion school desk. On top of the desk I had an advent wreath. Sunday (Christmas Eve) I lit the fourth candle and went about my business. A while later, I went into the family room and found that the first candle of the four had melted low and the wax dripped off the desk top and onto my knitting!

I was unsuccessful in removing the wax (even after freezing), so now my EZ hybrid sweater project is a mound of yard and two sleeves. I haven't frogged the sleeves yet. I'm thinking I may be able to resurrect them and use on a new version of a the sweater. Time will tell!

Years ago I would have cried about this "accident" however I've matured some as a knitter and now I'm able to look at it as a learning experience since my goal is to be a master knitter.

Cross post on http://knightlyknitter.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 25, 2006

Hi, first post! Tomten question...

Happy Dec 25. A smart Santa brought me "The Opinionated Knitter" for Christmas today and I've been reading it off and on all day (I have two young kids, so unfortunately can't sit down all day to read it!). I had been previously reading about Tomtens here and have something like 20 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky (132yards ea) and was wondering if those will be enough for an adult Tomten for myself. Does anyone know how many yards are in the skeins of Sheepswool she describes?

Thank you very much!
Jen at Friender

update: Thanks for your help in the comments. I knit a gauge swatch last night and am getting 3.75 sts per inch, not the 3 sts per in called for, so I have to do some fiddling. One of the reasons I sought out EZ is to be less of a follower, but I'm worried about doing the calculations for this change...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Maths Done, Cuff Begun

I made a spreadsheet with all of my knitting measurements and did all the math with forumlas. Yeah, it was a slow day at work yesterday.

Began the cuff of my husband's sweater. I'm just calling it the Garter Rib Sweater. Here begins the first in a long series of pictues of a brown sweater.
I am using Elann's Sierra Aran in the color Chestnut. It is a lucious brown with orange and red highlights in it. I absolutely love this yarn. This is the second project I am making with it, and I will use it even more.

I was worried that the cuff might be too constricting at 20%, but he slipped it on and it fits perfectly. I should not have doubted EZ. She knows what she's doing!


Possibly silly question about baby sweater yoke

I'm beginning the baby sweater from the Almanac, and I am stuck at the 8th row of the yoke because I don't quite understand the instructions. She says to knit 4 garter ridges, or 8 rows, and then do an increase row, and then knit 4 more garter ridges. But I'm confused because with the increase (9th row) there are an odd number of rows, so the next row would make the 5th garter ridge, and then if I were to do seven more rows I would have only half a garter ridge (I think). Does this make any sense? I'm sorry if this is a silly question. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Friday, December 22, 2006


I love to swatch! It means I can start knitting with my new yarn RIGHT AWAY and figure out what to make with it from there. I will be making a garter rib raglan pullover based on the instructions from Knitting Without Tears and help from The Sweater Workbook (Jaqueline Fee).

The yarn is Elann's Sierra Aran in the color Chestnut. This is my favorite yarn, so far. I love this stuff to distraction. I'm wearing a sweater made with it right now, in fact (top down pullover, shaped, tunic style).

Casting on for the sleeves (two at once) soon as I wash this swatch and figure my gauge.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas BSJ

The Baby Surprise Jacket is done! I finished it during the SnB Christmas party last night and put the buttons on as soon as I got home. I let him try it on for a few pics but it's his Christmas knit so he'll have to wait until Monday to wear it for real (he must like it though as he had a fit when I took it off of him). As much trouble as I had with it I'm really happy with how it came out. I used an i-cord cast off instead of casting off then adding applied i-cord (seemed like an unnecessary extra step to me) and carried it around the neck and bound off the cuffs with it as well. I really like the stripes and I think it was worth the extra ends I had to take care of. The buttons are a set I had initially bought for Lucy but decided against using and I think they match great. I used two skeins of red and not quite one of the gray Brown Sheep Superwash from the stash so it was a pretty economical project and should wash up well when M gets stickies all over it like he does. I eased the width in when I blocked it so it'll fit him now but it'll take a lot more stretching so he should be able to wear it for a while, it's pretty long right now as well and I had to turn up the cuffs for him.

When I do this again I think I'll cast on the full number of sleeve stitches rather than doing one big increase row like the pattern says to do as I got a bit of a funny bump where the increases made the sleeve a lot wider. On a short sleeved BSJ I don't think I'd mind so much but on the long sleeve it makes for a sharp change in the sleeve shape that I was able to mostly block out. On another long sleeve one I might spread those increases over more rows to get a more anatomically correct arm shape.

Cross posted from my blog (more details there too).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thumb trick question

For the first time I tried EZ's thumb trick (not in an EZ pattern -- it was the balaclava pattern from Homespun Handknits). From what I read in EZ's books about the thumb trick, it sounded super-easy to undo the waste yarn (just pull one end and zip! -- out it comes) when it's time to pick up the stitches around the hole. However, I found it difficult and time-consuming. I had to laboriously unpick each stitch individually. Is that normal, or did I do something wrong?

Detail of Hawser

Jen asked for some detail pictures of the Hawser motif and the neckline. I'm totally more than happy to oblige. I had a question also on how I did the collar - in this first picture after the motif is done you can see I started to knit the collar - from shoulder to shoulder I started right in with short rows after one row around to build up the back of the collar- back and forth 3x - for 6 stitches Also I should mention the dyed portion is the same handspun, I just tossed some skeins into a dye pot. I used a light blue, a medium blue, and a dark blue - which I cooked the heck out of and turned green - whoops - it worked so I didn't change it.

In the second picture it is showing the collar and button bands complete. Hope this helps and what you were thinking of when you asked for close up of detail.
Happy Knitting

~Madame Purl

Drive-Thru for Small Fry

A color photo postscript

This sweater is patterned after Wendy's Drive-Thru but I made this one more fitted and with 3/4 sleeves. I used EZ's Seamless Yoke directions to help me do so. However, Wendy's directions were easier for me to understand especially in the decreasing portion of the yoke. Sorry for the lack of color here its too dark in here at night. I was really worried about doing the multi colored pattern work since I have no experience. Not a problem at all, weaving in the ends was the worst part. The body of the sweater is Zara Plus in Charcoal. The striping yarn is Malabrigo in cream & teal blue and Zara in pea green. I've decided that I don't like Zara, it spits and snags quite a bit.

By the skin of my teeth...

Whew!!!! It's finished, and just in time to gift to my husband for Christmas. This was my first EZ project and quite a learning experience for me. It was a breeze until I got to the saddles and then I just did as I was told without trying to understand and lo' and behold, it turned out ok. I opted for the 1x1 ribbed neck. I thought my worsted weight yarn doubled up there would just be too bulky.

The back. I opted for the shirt yoke. My grafting was not flawless and my saddles feel a bit floopy. I think the saddles would fit the body better if there was some way you could skip a decrease every third row each side, but then what do you do with the live stitch from the body that you want to skip? I suppose it just can't be done...

The contrasting facing.

Thoughts: I don't believe I hit a home run with the sleeve length. I tried the sweater on this morning and it hits me about halfway down my hand. My husbands arms are shorter than mine so I'm hoping that the width of his chest and shoulders will take up some of the excess length, otherwise I will be snipping and picking the cuffs out since I knit the facing first, folded it and knitted it in with the cuff. I'm also not 100% sold on my yarn choice. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca and I think it may possibly just have too much drape. I wish I had used something with a little more oompf. But, I love the clever construction and I have a bag of Rowan Felted Tweed on hold at my LYS that might just end up being another Seamless Hybrid. Next up? I really want to try that Wishbone Sweater with some Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky that has been languishing in the stash for way too long.....


hola zimmermaniacs,
a post to encourage myself over the next couple of days... a visual confirmation of progress. i took these pictures last week... first, my partner's seamless hybrid sweater.

this sweater is currently in the raglan decrease phase... i'm about to get to the saddle shaping and i am... scared. the directions don't make a heck of a lot of sense to me as written, and i feel that i just need to have faith and go with it and it will work out. craft confidence! it's funny to me how much these knitterly hurdles freak me out... the first cables knit while holding my breath, the first sweater in the round, the first intarsia. so intimidating, and now just something the hands do, another option. i was writing recently about craft and i think this sums it up...

"these experiences are linked by a creative leap, by the transition from uncertainty and bewilderment to the dawning realization of success."

how nice to be able to have that dawn in something so simple and complicated and historical and current as knitting. it's a different kind of satisfaction... physical and tactile, intuitive and analytical. i'm looking forward to conquering the saddle-shoulder fear on my path to one day being a Knitter.

this is the wee sweater for my niece, made in this koigu. the color is more true on the older post. this is almost done, another zimmerman sweater (this one is a yoke style), just needs a collar and hem & ends woven. i am utterly charmed by this bit of knitting. its tiny sleeves after knitting the hybrid, the sunset colors of this yarn.

a few more days' knitting... hope i can make it!

[x-posted at heavenly days]

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

(almost) Finished Wishbone Sweater

This is the Wishbone Sweater, the December project from the Knitter's Almanac. Like EZ promises it is a very quick knit. So quick I have no progress photos for you. Sorry.

The particulars:
Recipient: 3 year-old son, Nikolai, who asked for a green sweater but now won't even look at it.

Yarn: 100% acrylic red heart worsted weight something, given to me by well meaning but uneducated relatives. I didn't have enough of either color to make a solid sweater so I fudged it as well as I could. We'll call it the brand new Gansey-Raglan stripe.

Gauge: 4 sts per inch, 29" chest. I used a size 10 needle, with the worsted weight yarn the knitting is very loose, but that's ok since my son is always hot.

Modifications: Not too many. I widened the shoulders a little, my son always outgrows his shirts shoulders first. Because I did that, the sleeves didn't meet at the center of the body before I had to stop decreasing for the neck. I also switched to a K2 P2 ribbing for the neck instead of stocking stitch with a hem. Thinking now, I should have done K2 P1 so I could center the ribs on the 3 body stitches I had left over, but I'm not that particular yet.

I still need to hem the sleeves so they'll wear better, but my sock needles are at home and I am not. For now I'm going to let the bottom roll up, then next year when he's taller I'll hem it so the whole length stays down.

Weaving the underarms was EASY!!! I've tried grafting on 6 sock toes so far with no luck, but EZ's explanation of down and up into the stitches vs. knit-wise and purl-wise made much more sense to me, I will no longer fear weaving, HOORAY!! For a very first sweater I am very happy with it. The pattern was clear and simple, and the results is good. Now I just need to get the kid to wear it!

A Very Warm Hat

I have the whole library I think, but here is my first knit:

It's a Very Warm Hat from the Opinionated Knitter. It's for my father for Christmas. The photo below from the OK shows two Very Warm Hats. I really like the square shaping on the top. I've seen a few other Very Warm Hats here and around the knitting blog world, and the shaping doesn't seem the same as in the book:

What do you think? Will I get it right if I follow the pillbox shaping outlined in the book? I do think that knitting the lining in will make a difference too. (also on my blog)

February Baby Sweater

I finally finished the gull pattern baby sweater! When I started I thought it would be a two week project, but it turned into months. Cascade Sierra (cotton/wool blend) is not that fun to work on my blunt addis, but when I switched to bamboo it went a lot faster. I think it turned out to be a 9 mo. size.

Yarn: Cascade Sierra--2 balls (I lost the label)
Size: 9 mo
Needles: 6

By the time I remembered to put in the buttonholes, I was too far along to go back, so I crocheted a tie at the front. I hope the mom of the new baby likes it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

My First Finished EZ Cardi - Not My Last

Well back on October 8th I posted this bag of handspun yarn in a post here. Well about 2 weeks ago I finally finished my first EZ sweater with the Hawser pattern. I decided to make a cardi.

I can't wait to make my second one.

~ Madame Purl

may the force be with you

Ya'll didn't know that EZ was into Star Wars did you? Well, I've finally finished an EZ project ! :

This is the reversible Very Warm Hat from her Knitting Around book. The fair isle motifs I found on the internet. Yeah, this is not for one of my sons but rather my 36 year old hubby who was begging me to knit him as Star Wars hat as soon as he saw Jessica's. I loved this loosy goosy pattern! I tried knitting the Norwegian Mittens but am having problems with it not being step by step. Reading over all your old posts is helping and I'm going to try to tackle them again. I also want to knit a seamless hybrid for my hubby too so I l'll hopefully be back soon with more pictures! Cross posts, more pictures, and the sites where you can get the Star Wars charts can be found on my blog. Thanks! Tiennie

Falling at first hurdle??

I have started a pair of norwegian mitts tonight using the pattern in knitting around. However I seem to have a problem. I cast on the 56 sts and began by using the cuff pattern in the book and simply repeating it four times, however where the round meets the pattern doesnt meet up.

here is the error

and here is how I expected it to look (this is at the halfway point of the round)

I am not eniterly sure how to fix this so could anybody who has any advice or has made these please help? Its the winter spruce mitts.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

back to Zimmermania

After a long hiatus, I'm back to work on the Seamless Hybrid. This is sleeve #1. Body is complete and waiting to join with sleeves. I have a goal of January 1, 2007. Wish me luck.

EZ Mystery Mittens

I finished these EZ Mystery Mittens last night! I quickly admit to changing the pattern that's found in Knitting Around. The first mitten I made, I followed the suggested needle size of #8 straights. What I had was a mitten for the Jolly Green Giant! OK, so I frogged. The second time I used a #4 circular for the main part of the mitten. Then, decided that I didn't need a wrist part of the mitten in garter stitch, so I created 1x1 ribbing with #3 double points. All this worked just great with the Caron Victorian Christmas yarn and the burgandy stripe is a sport weight I'd picked up several years ago while traipsing through Waupaca, WI. These won't be super warm, but very much in the holiday spirit! The next pair I make will be from my handspun and will be for the bitter Winter days that are to be sure to be coming!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Seamless Hybrid

Hello knitters,

I'm furiously knitting to try and finish this Seamless Hybrid in time for Christmas and I'm sort of stuck..... I casted on 230 stitches for the body and I'm knitting at 5 sts./inch for a 46 inch chest. My sleeves were 76 stitches at the top. I've just finished the 44 rows of my first saddle and the recipe says to knit across the remaining 43 stitches to the other side to start the other saddle. My only problem is that I have 51 stitches to get to the marker on the other side....since no percentages were included at this point in the recipe, I'm kind of lost as to how to proceed. If I just go ahead and knit across and start the other saddle, will I have a huge neck opening? Should I instead do 16 more saddle rows so I decrease 8 more stitches on the front and the back and have my 43 stitches left to get to the other side? Does this make any sense?

Joining the fun

Hello, this is my first post here, hopefully they will continue. About myself, I learned to knit when I was 9 and promptly forgot, then again at 16, but I hated it. Well, this September I decided to knit a pair of socks for a folk costume, discovered circular knitting and have been addicted ever since. Being largely self-taught I really love EZ's common sense towards knitting, it all makes sense!

Last night I started making the Wishbone sweater from The Knitter's Almanac- I'm hoping to be done by Christmas, and I've never made a sweater before. Madness? Definately! I'm not even sure if it's going to work!

The original pattern calls for 2.5 sts per inch, 116 sts for a 46" sweater. I've gone to 4 sts per inch, but am still using 116 sts to make a 29" sweater for my 3 year old. This seems like classic EZ logic: Change the gauge but not the shaping and you make a smaller version. Has anyone else tried this??

I have about 5 more inches of body before I start sleeves, this is an extremely quick knit, so I hope to finish the body and first sleeve tonight, then hopefully some pictures!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket

I first saw the adorable baby surprise jacket in a shop a couple of weeks ago and had to give it a try. I was surprised when I tried to understand EZ's directions...that they were, can I say...minimal? But I continued on and did pretty well until I got to the part "...when there are 158 stitches, work on center 90 only, for 10 ridges." I couldn't figure out what to do with the remaining stitches while I was working the 90. Were the other stitches put on a holder or were they bound off? Searching the net for answers, I happened on to Zimmermania! Sarah explained the "work on center 90 only, for 10 ridges" concept, so I hope it works. I wonder if anyone has ever re-written EZ's directions adding full and complete instructions or is have the fun of working her projects trying to figure them out? Her projects are wonderful.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Icelandic Yoke Pullover

Icelandic Yoke Sweater 008-3

Pattern: Inspired by the Icelandic Yoke Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Morehouse Merino 3-Strand

Needles: US 7 24" Addi Turbos

Recipient: Lorin

Notes: My niece is a character. More than two years ago, when I was visiting my mom and my sister still lived in the area, I was working on some knitting and she asked whether I would let her try a couple of stitches. After a bit of talking through, she picked it up and completed about five stitches. I then resumed knitting and she resumed watching cartoons. A couple of months ago we were talking on the phone, and somehow knitting comes up. "I can knit," she claimed. "You can? How did you learn?" I asked. "Auntie Jessica, YOU taught me. Don't you REMEMBER??" During that same conversation, she asked me for a sweater for her seventh birthday (if she's such the expert knitter, I joke, she could knit her own sweater. "Don't be SILLY, Auntie Jessica."). I am left with no instructions other than her measurements and that her favorite color is purple.

And here it is. I went through three different yarn purchases trying to find just the right purple, at just the right gauge for this sweater. Since it's a kid sweater, Knitpicks was my first choice. But Wool of the Andes was too thin and the purple shade of Sierra was hardly purple, or if it is, it is an Elderly Purple. Enter Morehouse Merino. The colors are simply unbeatable - a similar range to Lamb's Pride, but much, much less scratchy. Not exactly affordable, but hey, the kid will wear the sweater a while, and it's her birthday present.

And lo and behold, despite being made from across the nation, it fits! The sweater was finished enough when I visited last week to try it on:

lorin's sweater 1 lorin's sweater 2

You can tell it's unfinished because you can see Ms. Busy Hands playing with the yarn ends in the first photo. The sweater grew a bit on blocking, but it will definitely still fit. Added room in a kids sweater just means one more season of wear, anyway.

About design. The Icelandic Yoke Pullover, #14 from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann was the starting point. This was the easiest sweater I've ever made. Totally in the round, no shaping (what kid really needs shaping?), with a relatively simple stranded yoke to keep things interesting:

Icelandic Yoke Sweater 006-1

The yoke is a modification of elements from the EZ original and some from my own imagination - extremely, extremely simple. This will tell you exactly how simple: the first (bottom) motif I'd charted out beforehand (as you saw in a previous post), but the others I literally made up as I went along. This is not organized knitting, Dear Readers. This is not fastidious, detail oriented, brilliantly structured and planned colorwork. This is Stranded Knitting for the Lazy Person.

Lorin's sweater yoke

I've never done colorwork with a single-ply yarn before - it's not quite as neat and orderly as the Dale-alikes I've used in the past, but I enjoy the rustic look it produces.

So, there it is. Happy Belated Birthday, Ms. Lorin! One sweater coming your way very, very soon.

[x-posted at Fig and Plum]