Saturday, July 30, 2005

Have YOU Started?

Since the blogpoll doesn't seem to want to work, let's try this the old fashioned way!

Have You Started Your Sweater Yet?
1. Ages ago! I hope to be the first one finished!
2. Does the Hem count?
3. Not technically, but I'm just about to cast on.
4. Nope--still waiting for yarn/needles/pattern.
5. What sweater?

Bought My Yarn! (I think)

So... I splurged. It's 7 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Cedar (greener than in this photo) and 2 skeins of Gems Opal Sport Weight in a nice red berry shade, purchased today from Purl. I only hope I can get gauge - it's supposed to be about 6 st / 1" on a 4, so with a 3 I imagine I can get close.

I'm still thinking I may give the Morehouse Merino fingering weight a look, and if it's better I might return these. But right now I'm digging the Lorna's / Opal combo. Is anyone else using one of these yarns?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Finally...Some Progress

Well, I'm finally past the hem of my sweater. Woo hoo! I got to knit two, whole rows in my main color last night. SO exciting, as I'm sure you can all imagine. I also spent some time with my calculator, trying to figure out the numbers for various parts of the sweater--since, as you may have noticed, my gauge is completely off the chart in terms of the pattern. (For a 37.5" sweater, I've got 170 stitches. In Fingering-weight yarn.) The tricky part is going to be figuring out the row gauge so I can make the adjustments needed for all the short-row shaping further up the sweater. I definitely won't be ending up with the same number of rows as Kate put into the pattern, and if I want the back and front to match at the shoulders . . . I'm going to have to do some finagling to get it all to work. But first, I need a decent size amount of stockinette stitch so that I can actually calculate the row gauge, since my swatch is completely worthless to me (grin). Still . . . progress is finally being made!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Test Swatching

I ordered a skein of KnitPicks Essential last week to see if it might fit the bill for gauge. It looks promising.

I'm getting 24 sts/in on size 4's (since I only own 1's and 4's and nothing in between), so I am fairly confident I can get 27 by taking the needle size down a notch or two.

Unfortunately, the color selection leaves something to be desired, but, if this works out, I will have found my yarn! Boy, am I dreading knitting a sweater with something this skinny.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Spin-a-thon done, now for the knitting

Holy hot shit cakes! The Union market-spin-a-thon has officially come to a close. The final tallies find us with 1010 of the darker green and 400 of the lighter green. Now some of you may notice that those numbers are a bit shy (still gonna get laid but gonna play hard to get first) of the yardage called for in the pattern. However, I say screw it! It's a bit thicker, instead of getting guage on a forsaken #3, I should get it at on a #4 or perhaps, cross those nubblies, a #5! So all should be well in the land of camo. And if it doesn't make it, it looks smashing as an arm adorment, don't you think? By the way, not to lick my own pudding, but more as record keeping, I started this 1400 yards on July 13th and finished it on July 24th, and spun up another misc. 1000 yards in the meantime. Okay, that was a bit of puddin' licking, but I couldn't help myself, it was a big feat.

Now to deal with guage, which by the looks of it, isn't the easiest thing. more soon!


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sweater - 1, MeBeth - 0

Deb, I must say that reading your post made me feel much better. I thought it was just me but THIS SWEATER WILL NOT COOPERATE!

I did tons of math and swatching and anything and everything went wrong. It was actually so frustrating that I was provoked to start a knitting blog so as not to overwhelm this one with my complaints and whining.

The good news is that I was able to do some math and find a gauge that works. In the end, it seems that with a gauge of 4.5 st/inch I can cast on 166 stitches (making the medium size sweater) and the math works out pretty well if I divide everything by 2/3.

DISCLAIMER - Although it seems mathematically sound, I have no idea if this will work because I am a giant idiot and had to undo all of today's knitting progress. Also, I almost failed math in 8th grade so "mathematically sound" should probably be taken with a grain of salt. If you want the whole story feel free to check it out my brand new little blog at Mebeth Rambles.

Here's my yarn!

I received my order from Jimmy Beans Wool yesterday - yippee! It TOTALLY made my day. I'm a triathlete training for my first Ironman, and I had had not the best bike ride earlier yesterday (107 miles of hills in 100 degree heat - yikes!), so I was in a pissy mood. I went out to the mailbox, and lo and behold, there was my yarn! Changed my mood in an instant. It came so quickly - I ordered it late Thursday morning, and it was here on Saturday. I haven't done a gauge swatch yet - I figured that checking my gauge after doing some insane training wasn't a smart idea. I have to admit, though - after reading Deb's ongoing problems, I am a little nervous. Maybe Tuesday I'll give it a shot. Here are the colors:

Please forgive the handprint on the tan pillow and the overall mess on the cushion - I have a 5-year old son and 2 dogs who like to sit on the couch and chew their rawhide bones.

Not Again!

Would you believe that my gauge has changed yet again?? I checked it on row 8 of the hem, again, and for the third time, it's completely different than it was the last time. The first time I checked, I was getting 5.25 stitches to an inch (using, again, Fingering weight yarn). The second time, 4.8 to an inch. And now, 4.4 stitches to an inch. With almost 20 fewer stitches than the last attempt, the width of the sweater is the same. Argh! I don't want to give up on this sweater, but . . . how can I make a sweater when the gauge keeps changing on me? (grin)

What About Morehouse Merino Fingering Weight?

Hi! I just joined the knitalong, and am in the process of choosing a yarn. It's been quite a pain, actually, locating a yarn that will give the right gauge in colors I like. What do you all think, actually, of Morehouse Merino's fingering weight? It's actually kind of hard to see the yarn on that page, but the gauge seems to be right. Here's a cardigan made with it, and a camisole.

It comes in tons of colors. My choices have more contrast than most - I'm thinking of Olive (MC) + Cranberry (CC).

I've seen the yarn before and it is soft and very lovely. I worry about its durability, though - it seems more delicate than some other yarns that have been considered here.

Friday, July 22, 2005


No needles yet! Waaaaa!

(On the other hand, I'm almost done with a sweater I had on my needles allready. Oh well.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Take Three . . .

I knitted eight of the border rows for my Union Square Market Pullover, and thought it would be smart to just double-check the gauge before I completed the hem and switched over to the main color. So I knit half of the next row onto a second needle (so as to be able to stretch the stitches out) and . . . well. Turns out this was very smart. This is still huge. Not quite as huge as before, but still big!

How big, you ask? 42", give or take a fraction.

Now, according to my gauge swatch of 5.25 stitches per inch, this should have been 38". But no. Apparently I'm getting 4.8 stitches to the inch.

And this is Fingering weight yarn (Rowan 4-ply Cashsoft), with an estimated gauge of 28 stitches over 4" (10 cm) on US size 3 (3.25 mm) needles.
I'm getting 19 stitches over the same width using US size 2 (3 mm) needles. How ridiculous is that?

Apparently, at this gauge, I'll need 182 stitches to get the right size. (I say "apparently" not because I doubt my math skills over such basic math, but because this is my third attempt--it's not the math, it's the fact that my gauge keeps changing!)

Now, I figure I have two choices. (Well, technically, three, but giving up on the sweater is not one I will allow myself to consider. I am hosting this knit-along, after all.) I can either (1) go with 182 stitches and recalculate every number in the entire pattern as I go. Or, option 2, I can pull out the lace-weight Misti Alpaca I bought and make a gauge swatch out of that and see what I get! (I thought it would be too fine and was kicking myself for buying it, but maybe it wasn't such a crazy idea after all.)

The plus side for the first option is that at so few (relatively. few) stitches, the knitting will go faster. For this size sweater, the original pattern calls for 250 stitches--I'd have almost 70 less per row. That's a bonus, right? And the yarn knits up very nicely--very soft and comfy--I'd like to try to see it through with this. And doesn't it seem crazy to make a sweater out of a lace-weight yarn? (I mean, you do what you've got to do, but some things seem more reasonable than others.) Sheesh!

I ordered my yarn!

Yippee! I ordered my yarn a little bit ago. I have been a Finishing Fool at home this week, finishing 3 projects in 2 days (sewing up seams, weaving in ends, and crocheting edges) and on the verge of finishing another one today, so I rewarded myself by ordering yarn. I ordered Rowan Cashsoft 4 Ply, like a lot of us have done, in Loganberry for the MC and Spa for the CC. I'm a purple freak, so anything other than Loganberry was not an option. Hope the colors look good together. Can't wait to get it and swatch!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


My name is Nadezjda and I' am also new to the KAL (also my first). I live in Amsterdam, which always gives me limited yarn options (We've got one good store which sells mostly Rowan yarns). At the store they had some Jeager alpaca with a similar gauge as the pattern, but I found it quite expensive (8 euros) and maybe a little bit too warm. Since the sweater looks so nice and fitted I thought it would be better too choose a somewhat less warm yarn to make it more wearable year round. I saw that a lot of you went for the Rowan cashsoft, I went for the cashcotton which is really soft and even slightly fuzzy. As a contrast colour I chose a light blue and for the main body a colour called sea foam (and that's kinda how it looks).
I had a lot of problems with the invisible cast on (not the gauge thank god!) and I eventually cast on as I would normally would with the waste yarn over my thumb and my other yarn over my index finger. It did work and I do have a nice border, but it took me ages to unpick the stitches. I will try to post some pictures when I find my camera's software (one of the things I probably misplaced moving) .
I love seeing all the progress you guys are making and the different colourways in which you are making it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Take Two

So . . . I tried starting my sweater this weekend. Knowing my gauge was a little big (ahem), I cast on the 226 stitches called for the smallest size sweater, hoping they would come out about right . . . Um . . . Not so much! Huge! So . . . frogged the several rows I'd knitted . . . managed to salvage the cast-on row so as not to have to mess with the crochet chain again. (I opted, obviously, for the crochet-cast on rather than the "invisible" one.) Tonight, I'll pull out the calculator and start crunching numbers for what I really need. The trick will be that I'm not going to know my row gauge until I've knitted a couple inches, and that will affect some of the shaping. (Because, apparently, my gauge swatch was useless--the gauge I was getting from knitting in the round was different than the swatch, anyway, so I can't trust that for row-gauge, either.) Oh well. All part of the fun, right? At least the colors are nice....

Friday, July 15, 2005

My yarn

I've finally received my yarn:

I'm using Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply (like Deb!) in Loganberry and Monet. Monet is not as pink as in the photo, and I really like the colors together. I swatched earlier and I got gauge with size 2 needles. I probably won't start this project for a couple of more weeks because I just finished knitting a sweater in the round and I need a little break. The yarn is so yummy and I know I'll have a great time knitting with it!

crochet invisible hem?

Hi Guys,

I'm new to the KAL. I'm having difficulty with the invisible cast-on. I got help from my local yarn store and the experts suggested using a crochet invisible cast on where you crochet a chain and pick up the stitches. They said it was more stable. I'm wondering if anyone else would recommend this? I'm worried that after knitting the sweater, all my hard work won't pay off and I'll have a terrible edge!

Hee Ko

Gauge Shmauge

Looks like I'm having the same problems as Deb - my swatch, even on #3 needles, is easily 5.5 inches. Rather than knitting on mini needles or getting different yarn, I think I'm going to try to fool around with the pattern (as soon as I get a copy) and modify it so that I can do it on #3 or #4 needles. I'll post more as soon as I've made some progress with the pattern modifications.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I spy some buttons on ebay I want. Does anyone have a copy of IK handy that can tell me the sizes of the buttons used?

Progress note: None. I'm waiting for my LYS to get needles in. If they are not in by next week, I'm going to order them someplace else.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sigh . . .

I'm having the opposite gauge problem than most of you--way too big. My first swatch last night, on size 3 needles--bamboo needles, nonetheless. 27 stitches = almost 5.5" You know, a whole inch and a half more than the 4" it should have been? Sheesh. So I switched to size 2 and tried to concentrate on knitting a little tighter . . . 4.5 inches. At least it's closer, but still!

I'm sorry, but I refuse to knit an entire sweater in size 1 needles, so . . . I'll sit down with my calculator tomorrow and rework the numbers to get (I hope!) the size I need. Hmmm . . . maybe the laceweight would have worked after all!

Some Progress after a difficult start

I have started this sweater. I opted for a pale blue contrast colour and a turquoise main colour - both in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino using the needles called for in the pattern.

I struggled initially with the provisional cast on - having never done it before. The instructions were clear enough and I got the hang of the looping at catching yarn etc. What I didn't do (twice!) was leave long enough ends on my waste yarn!

Anyway here is my progress so far

I'm quite pleased with how it is looking and I'm really enjoying knitting in the round (another first) and thinking of all that sewing up I am avoiding:)

AAAGGGHHH - Ideas about ease?????

Well, I think I am going to start over. I was using size 3 needles, and my gauge was between 30 and 32 sts/4". After doing some math, and taking a good look in the mirror, I think the finished sweater will be on the small side for me (between 34" & 36"). I don't like things tight & clingy, so I am going to go up at least one needle size. On size 4, I get about 28 sts/4", so my finished sweater will be about 38". Do you think there will be enough ease for a 36" bust, or should I go to a size 5 needle? My guess is that with a size 5, the end product will be about 40", but I am thinking that may be too big. Any suggestions?

Hey everyone!

Hi all! I haven't posted yet, because I wanted to wait until my yarn came in! I ordered it last week from Halcyon, and it came in two days later!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I am using Dale of Norway's Baby Ull in colors 21 and 16 (at Lu's suggestion to go for the red). I was able to get gauge using size 5 needles. I am really loving the yarn, it is so super soft. The next baby sweater I make for a friend will be made out of this!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Thanks to Dennis and our lack of power, I was able to make a lot of progress on it yesterday. I knitted the pink portion the day before and all of the red was from yesterday. I don't know what I would have done with myself if I didn't knit - I would have been totally bored!

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

step 1 of my UM

Alright, I wrote up a frighteningly long post on my blog about the whole process but I'll just give you guys the final result in the first step of the evolution of my UM. I dyed my roving for the yarn, here's a pic (for a painful view of the process, look here).

yay, I'm on my way!

Misti=Not Happening

So, I got my Misti yarn, only to find that it was not going to be anywhere remotely close to the correct gauge, no matter what I did. Don't know why they say it's the gauge that they say, but it's not. I even tried doubling it, to no avail. Good thing it wasn't too expensive.
Anyway, I have opted for the "Prime Alpaca" from Galler, in black, with green accents in "Frog Tree" alpaca. Both purchased from The Yarn Tree . I know it will take some swatching effort to get the gauge right, but I think it can be done.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

3 hours later...and the lightbulb went on! -- or - HERE'S A GREAT TIP

Boy - have I had a tough time casting on. But you know what they say - the third time's the charm.

Attempt #1: I thought I was doing the invisible cast on, but 3 rows into the hem, I started thinking that things did not look quite right. The way the waste yarn was postioned, it was not going to come out very easily when it was time to make the bottom loops. What I had done was the long tail cast on. Rip, rip, rip.

Attempt #2: This time I looked more carefully at the instructions on page 143 of IK and tried again. What I ended up with was uneven, ugly, twisted stitches. This waste yarn thing was just not working. I could not get enough tension and stability to get the thing to come out right. Rip, rip, rip.

Attempt #3: Finally, the ligh bulb came on. The invisible cast on looked pretty similar to the figure 8 cast on. I had never tried this method before, but figured I would give it a try. This requires using 2 circular needles. The second needle took the place of the waste yarn, and voila, my cast on came out great. And - to top it off, my second needle is already in those free loops, so when it comes time to join the hem, I won't have to fiddle with feeding the needle through those bottom stitches.

If you have not cast on yet, I would recommend trying the figure 8 method. The above picture reflects where I am at currently, after having worked the first 2 rows of the hem. The bamboo needles are my working needles and the grey needles (inner circle) are my "waste yarn."

Oh, and do you like what my project is sitting on? You can't see a whole lot of it, but it's my new project bag. I got it on sale at Target for $6.00. Isn't she pretty?

Finally . . . Yarn!

At long last, I've got yarn for this sweater. Rowan's 4-ply Cashsoft, which I ordered from Jimmy Bean's Wool just a day or two ago, and that arrived today, with a bonus lollipop included in the order. (Sweet, no?) I got the Redwood red as the main color, and Rose Lake as the accent. I love red for sweaters (there's something extra warm and cozy about them, I think), and while I would have liked something different for the accent . . . I don't like, you see, to copy the colors the designers pick--I like to be different--but, well, it was eye-catching the first time around, right? And really, for me, pink IS a "different" color! And, the yarn? Soft and lovely!

Anyway, I'm relieved to finally have yarn in the house and will try to get my swatch done tomorrow. (We're having a family-visit day, so it might be tricky squeezing it in.)

Mandarin Petit

I think I am going to use Mandarin Petit. I'll swatch some up and see how it goes. It's 100% fingering weight cotton. The colors are navy & light blue.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Hello all - I just joined the KAL and I'm looking forward to starting up as soon as I receive my yarn and the latest IK. I'm hoping to use Blue Sky Alpaca (purchased on sale at Purl) - it might be a bit tricky to get gauge, but hopefully I can make it work. I'm from NYC too, so I'm looking forward to wearing this sweater in the park after which it was named, once our weather cools off a bit.

I have ordered my yarn

I have just put in an order for the yarn I want to use for the Union Square Sweater. After much fretting, I decided on Lang's 'Fantomas' in 'Cassis' (0166) for the main body and 'Cyclam' (0165) for the borders. I ordered from a German online vendor and have the yarn sent to my folks in Germany to save on postage, though, so it will take me a while until I can start knitting... I'll be over there in about a month time so I'll pick the parcel up then. :)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rowan 4ply cotton?

What does everyone think of using the Rowan 4ply cotton? The description on Yarndex said it's great for summer tops, so I'm afraid it'd be too light. Here in Nashville, though, it doesn't really get too cold, and I want to be able to wear this often. I like the price, and I like the colors. I'd go with Flirty and Aegean.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Just, No Luck with Yarn!

I'm just not having any luck with finding yarn for this sweater!

I tried ordering KnitPicks, but it's too heavy and there's no way I'd be able to get the gauge, so even though I loved the yarn and loved the colors--won't work.

I tried a different KnitPicks yarn--closer in gauge, but still not right, and I don't like the yarn quite so much.

I ordered some laceweight Misti Alpaca which I love--the color, the feel--but (and I haven't tried a gauge swatch of this one yet), I think the gauge will be too small on this one . . . but I didn't want to try the Sport weight, either, so!

Then there's the Dale of Norway Baby Ull I ordered from Herschnerr's, which came today. Lime green, which is really quite nice, but I don't know is what I want for THIS sweater (I thought it would be a little darker), and the pale blue which, well, doesn't look anything like I thought it would.

And, oh yes, I ordered Addi Natura bamboo needles from Herschnerr's, too, figuring they might help me get the right gauge, rather than the Turbos I usually use . . . they sent me a Turbo by mistake.

Sigh. I don't think I'm ever going to get to start this sweater!! (grin)

Hello from Seattle Too

Hi. I'm Jessica in Seattle. I've been very excited about Kate's design since the IK preview went up. I think the construction is very clever and the overall effect is so elegant. But I am already working on a sweater at a very small gauge (Martha from Rowan 37 in Dale Baby Ull) and my stash has gotten really out of hand. So long story short, I can not buy yarn for this project. So I'm going to spin it from my ridiculous fiber stash instead. I made a sample skein last night and I think it will work out if I can finish spinning the rest of it.

Click for a close up.

I'm still a new spinner so it's not very consistent. I knit a sample swatch last night and was able to get stitch gauge but not row gauge. I think I can make it work.

Back to spinning...


Hello from Seattle

Hey everyone! I don't have my yarn yet, and probably won't get to this gorgeous sweater until the end of summer, but I wanted to join up and watch all of your progress.

I noticed that Jessica is thinking of using Misti Alpaca. I'm also planning to use the Misti! Sue from Little Knits is checking with her rep to see if she can get the sport weight for me. Have you touched it? Like buttah! If she can get it for me, I'm planning to use a grapey purple color with a limey-pistachio green for the contrasting color. When she gets back to me about the yarn, I'll let everyone know what she said... I'm sure she'll be glad to have more folks order from her and she has amazing prices.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hello from NYC

Hi everyone! I am really excited about joining this KAL. It is my first, and I thought it an appropriate one, since I'm in NYC and hope to be able to pop over to the Union Square Market in it when it's done!
Has anyone used the Misti Alpaca yarn, for this or anything else? I am wanting to order it for the economical factor, as well as the similar gauge, but wanted to know if it is nice and soft before I went for it.

Hello from Nashville!

Hello all! I just bought my mag today, and I'm excited to get my yarn. This is my second KAL. My first one was so fun, so I thought I'd give it another shot. I live in Tennessee, so I need to substitute the yarn for something less warm. I'm going to look at the Rowan options people have talked about. I need to finish the 2 projects I've got going right now (they should be finished by the end of this coming weekend), then I can start on the pullover. Yay!



Hi Everyone
I'm Andrea from the UK. This is my first KAL, my first knitted project from a US pattern and my first knitted project in the round!!!!

So I'm hoping for lots of help and advice - I'm sure I'm going to need it!

I'm planning on using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino as I get the correct tension straight away when using this yarn on the 3mm needles the pattern calls for. I received my Addi circulars today so I'm off to look at my stash to decide on colour combinations - then just may try the provisional cast on (???) tonight! Hope the instructions given in IK on how to do this are clear because I haven't got a clue.

Will let you know how I get on and which colours I choose

Bye for now


Hello hello!

Hello all! I'm excited to be a part of this KAL, but I'm sad to report that I won't actually be starting this sweater for a while since I have so many other projects on the needles!

Just wanted to say hello and that I hope to see some insightful nuggets of knowledge in the meantime. Happy knitting! :)

Monday, July 04, 2005


hi y'all. i just joined and am v excited about knitting this up. I ordered my rovings last week and should be dying and spinning this week and ready to start knitting early next week. I'll keep ya posted! Can't wait to see everybodies progress!


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Plassard Coton-Lin

Are any of you using a bulkier fiber?

I'm a vegan knitter, so I was thinking of using plassard's coton-lin Coton-lin's gauge is 22 sts over 4" on size 6 needles. Do any of you think that the fabric will be too dense? I was hoping to find a nice linen or linen blend for the pullover. Cotton is nice, but I haven't knit a garment in linen yet and it just seems right for this project.

Have any of you ever used this yarn? Any suggestions?

I'm really excited about this KAL. I hope to order yarn soon and get started!

Nice to meet ya!

Sorry if the link doesn't take you directly to the coton-lin on yarndex. I don't know what the deal is.