Sunday, February 18, 2007

90% Done

My sweater using the percentage system is almost done! Here's a picture of it off the needles. Still left to do: weave in the few ends I have, cut the steek (yikes!), block it, and take it to a tailor to get a zipper put in.

I'm thinking of using Eunny Jang's crochet method for sewing up the steek. It's something I can do without having to resort to sewing, at which I suck. I did this on the tea cozy a few months ago, and I think it worked okay. I'm still going to have to tack it down to the body of the sweater somehow, but maybe I can just baste it down. Anyone with ideas along these lines, feel free to chime in.

Here are a few detail pictures of the collar. The top one shows the whole thing spread out. I purled a row at the point where I wanted the top of the collar to be. Then, I knitted a section the same length again, and folded it back in on itself. I'll tack it down later. That way, I can have a non-ribbed collar that doesn't roll.

We'll see how it works -- and looks. The main idea I was going for here was to have a high-ish collar that didn't cling to my neck. Kind of a roomy Nehru look.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'm working something of a split shift today because I have to talk to a class late this evening. So I had time to get a haircut and run by the house during an extra long lunch. And this was waiting for me in the mail -- all the way from London.

Moo cards. Moolicious Moo cards. Aren't they neat? They're about the size of half of a business card, printed on very sturdy card stock. They come in a neat little plastic box. And they're all pictures from my Flickr site. The other side has the address of my knitting blog. So I can include this with knitted gifts, or hand them out at the knitter's meetup, etc. Several people at the meetup had something like this, and I thought, "how cool!"

I know that at the outset, I had intended for this blog to be a way for me to track my projects -- a kind of personal thing. But at some point you have to share, right?


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's a Series of Tubes

Like the internets, this seamless Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater is based on a series of tubes.

The sleeves are finished (perfect knitting for watching the Westminster dog show over the last few evenings), and tonight I attached these tubes to the main tubes of the sweater. Some tube math:

To recap, the sweater is 188 stitches around. Ms. Zimmermann calls for 8% of the total circumference stitches (15) to be put on holders at the armpits. That is, 15 stitches from the inside of the sleeve are matched to 15 stitches from the sides of the sweater. All the "outside" stitches are incorporated into the round knitting. I've done four rows so far and it looks like it's working.

I think I'm going to use Kitchener stitch to graft the pits. I started to do this before joining the outside of the sleeves to the body, but then I thought better of it. I should listen to Elizabeth, don't you think?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Round and Round...

This is my progress after a week. Well, after 5 days, actually. You see, I started over.

If you look at the picture from the previous post, you can see that the ribbing is the same width as the body of the sweater. I realized that I should have cast on fewer stitches and then increased after the ribbing. Since this sweater is all about the percentages, I picked 75% of the original number of stitches (188, not counting the steek), and cast on 140 stitches plus 5 for the steek. Then, after the ribbing, I just increased one stitch after every 3 to get up to 188 (+5). So far so good. It's just knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, and then some more knitting. The sweater is about 14 inches long right now, and in about 4 inches I'll be at the armpits at which point I'll need to stop and start on the sleeves.

I've only used 2 of the 10 hanks I've purchased so far (the picture shows the sweater right after I attached the 3rd). I think I'll have plenty of yarn to finish.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


The attempt at Avast will have to wait. I've abandoned that idea and have embraced the idea of doing a zippered cardigan using Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system as outlined in her book, Knitting Without Tears.

The basic idea is that you knit up a swatch on a pair of needles (duh!), figure out the gauge (in this case, 3.75 stitches per inch), figure out how big around the sweater needs to be (in this case -- big -- 50"). Then multiply to get the number of stitches to cast on (188), plus five stitches for a steek to be cut later -- a total of 193 stitches. After that, things get weird. It's basically like knitting a story problem. Ms. Zimmerman has quite a free-form approach to direction writing. If two needles are travelling toward each other at 45 mph....

Anyway, this picture shows the results so far. I did 12 rows of 2x2 ribbing, and now it's just knit knit knit until I hit the pits. I'm still on the first ball of yarn and I'm getting quite a lot of fabric out of it. We'll see. I've fooled myself before.

Thanks to Caro at the meetup group for walking me through the idea. It gave me quite a boost of confidence about the whole idea.

Other project updates:

I got the first Bomb Pop sock done, but felt it was a little short for my foot. I really thought I'd used to much yarn already, but when I weighed the sock against the yarn I had left, I realized I could afford to make this sock really fit. So I've ripped back down and have to retackle it.

I also washed the acrylic Sherbet Baby Blanket before sending it out to the new little one for whom it's intended, and it pilled like crazy. I washed it on the gentlest cycle and dried it on really low heat. I'm think the extra tumbling because of the length of drying time might have been the reason for this?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bad, Bad Dog!

Did I mention that this yarn smells good?

Jeff and I decided to go to out for dinner this evening and this is the scene that greeted our return. That's the guilty party in the background doing a very poor job of looking innocent.

Only one of the hanks got really chewed. I put the ragged scraps on my swift, and by felt-splicing the pieces, I think I was able to salvage it. I had ordered one ball extra, so this will be it. It will be for swatches and any seaming.

I may not seam at all. I swatched a little this evening, and it appears this yarn won't work with the Avast pattern. I thought I would be able to get it down to the required gauge, but it just won't work. My next plan of attack is to use Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system to do a zip up cardigan. I'm still thinking, though. Hers is a rather chatty approach to patterning, and I'm not sure I'm brave enough. We'll see.

In the meantime, rest assured that if we had a dog house, Silas would be in it.

The Best Kind of Mail

Today, I got this. I read a post on Janna's blog recently in which she described a yarn sale she had taken advantage of. I copied her and took advantage of it too.

I'm now the proud owner of 10 hanks of Beaverslide Dry Goods 2-ply fisherman's weight yarn in the colorway Tamarack. I had to check Wikipedia (gasp!) to see what a tamarack was. I wasn't sure if it was really dark brown or really dark green. Either would have been fine with me, but as it turns out, it's brown -- with flecks of light brown and an occasional greenish-yellowish streak. You can see for yourself if you click on the picture, click on the "All Sizes" link above the image at the Flickr site, and then choose original. It's quite me.

I don't know if it's what they feed the sheep in Montana or if they keep their wool stored near cinnamon, but this yarn smells good. And another thing that I've never seen before: this yarn's dyelot number is 1. That's right: 1. How cool is that?

One day -- soon I hope -- it will be this (only in a larger version).