Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FO: Forty Shades of Green

Finished CPH

Yarn: Kilcarra Donegal Tweed
I've gone on and on about this yarn, so I think you must know by now how I feel about it!

Needles: Needlemaster Circulars size 5, 6 & 7
They work, mostly. Wish I had remember to go down to a 5 for the ribbing on the body of the sweater, had to be careful that it didn't grow with blocking.

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie
A fairly straight forward pattern. As a beginner I found it accessable.

Pattern Modifications & Knitting Adventures:

As many of you know, I went around and around with this yarn trying to get gauge because I was afraid to recalculate the numbers on my first sweater project. After coming to terms with the fact that I just could not get 4.25 st per inch, I thought that the math would work out to do the second from smallest size (this was hard to figure out as I was unsure how much to allow for seaming and the cables). In the end I went with my gut and knit the size 40 which with my gauge came out to 35.5 inches around. It turned out that 2.5 inches of ease was just right for a cozy sweater!

I didn't do any modifications to the sweater pattern except recalculate for my gauge and shorten the hood by 1.5 inches. It still is functional, just not as bulky.

Things learned:

Seaming is mostly intuitive, especially with cables involved. It also didn't hurt to decrease in the middle of the cable (k2tog) the row before binding off in an attempt to keep the edge from flaring when seamed.

Picking up stitches is mostly intuitive. After marking of two inch areas and deciding how many stitches to pick up in each, it is remarkable how much flexibility there was.

Blocking works wonders, but not miracles.

Think carefully about how things will look when planning cuffs on a sweater. Make sure the seam is hidden and the "right" side of the cast on will show.

Testing button holes in a swatch pays off. Your results may vary.

It is very, very difficult to pick the perfect buttons for one's dear, darling, brand-new sweater.

All in all, I am beside myself that there is a happy ending to my "first sweater" saga.

Finished CPH


Monday, December 15, 2008

Self Portrait With A New Sweater

CPH Self Portrait II

CPH Self-Portrait

This picture taking with a timer thing was harder than I thought it would be. Is there some secret to all those self portraits I see on flickr? Any comments are welcome. For those who want to SEE the SWEATER, do not fear, better photos are coming soon with the FO post!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Yarn Ball Wreath?

Yes, JoAnn has a pattern for one (pdf link). And you know what? I'm tempted...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things I'm Loving Right Now

Kilcarra Donegal Tweed - it is true, I'm addicted. I'm already looking for another sweater pattern that will do justice to this yarn. This comes to mind. Now I just need the skills...

Buttons for the sweater of destiny. I highly recommend M&J Trimming for the makers of handknits who live in tiny towns and therefore must order the perfect buttons online.

A few knitting patterns of course - Liesel and Reversible Cable-Rib Shawl.

The Messiah - This makes the season come alive. Scripture to music. The amazon reviewers quibble about this version, but it makes me nostalgic.

The Snowman - I love the music, even more so because it makes me think of the animated film. So sweet.

Random House Book of Fairy Tales - This is the fairy tale book of my youth (I seem to be regressing here, yes?) and the artwork brings all my favorite stories to life. Strangely I have never seen a cover to this book that I like, but inside it is gorgeous.

Hamlet - as close to a definitive film version as we are going to get. Enough genius here to get me through four hours. See... now I've worked back up into my teens.

A triad of Amarna period explorations - Akhenaton: Egypt's False Prophet, The Search For Nefertiti, Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen. These three give a sweeping view of the many, many, many theories and the various evidence (and lack thereof). A great way to put the tidy history television specials in context.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nothing New Under The Sun

This next week I'm going to be teaching about one of the most fascinating men in history. To some a "fanatic" and a "madman" to others "a great reformer" and "a saint." He came to power in a great nation, at the peak of it's economic, political and military might. Although apparently young and inexperienced, he initiated sweeping programs and reshaped the political landscape. His message was one of change. His symbol was the rising sun. His incredible personal charisma and leadership inspired wave of innovative art, architecture, and poetry. Yep, him. It's a crazy world isn't it?

P.S. (About the sweater, I finished it but I'm waiting for the buttons... and a convenient opportunity for an outdoor photoshoot... in December... don't laugh!)