Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I haven't started yet

But I do have an update. Since KnitPicks has come out with their new yarns, I have ordered Palette for my USM:


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blocking Alpaca

I'm swatching and getting very excited about the 100% baby alpaca I'm hoping to use for this sweater. Before I get too excited, though, I thought I'd block my swatch to see what happens then.

What is your preferred method for blocking alpaca? I know that it can get really stretched out of shape when washed in water, but that's how I usually block things. I've never used 100% alpaca for a sweater before; I've always had at least 50% wool, which helps the piece "remember" its dimensions.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Ordered the Yarn

Well, I finally broke down and ordered enough of the DB baby cash in the same dye lot to do this sweater. It's coming from England, so we'll see how long it takes to get here.

In the meantime, I started the cardigan that I originally bought the purple baby cash for that I swatched for this project. It ia a wonderful yarn.

And I learned the provisional cast on, using the directions in Nancie Wiseman's book The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques. I'd looked at a lot of directions for this, and hers seemed the best. She uses a crochet hook and a knitting needle and crochets the waste thread onto the needle. What a great and easy way to do this well. BTW, she suggests a cotton yarn for the waste yarn - it'll come out cleaner and easier.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

I'm about 5 inches into the MC of my sweater, and I love the way it's turning out. And I lovelovelove working with Rowan Cashsoft! Anyway, my hem absolutely refuses to lie down. Did anyone have such a stubborn hem? I know blocking will help, but I'm afraid this is too rolly for blocking to totally get rid of.


why didn't you people talk me out of a sweater on 4's? 3 nights of kniting and I have a hem. Whoopie.

Hey, note to others, don't provisional cast on with the same alpaca as you waste thread. It sticks nicely to itself when you go to remove it. :P

At least I have gauge...or so close it doesn't matter.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pattern Clarification please!

I'm making good progress on this. I am up to the shaping of the left front V neck (instructions at the bottom of pg. 42) and I'm a bit confused. I am working the 2nd size, the pattern calls for you to continue with the front neck increases every 4th row whilst working the short rows. Because in working the short rows you are only working one side (i.e. left front as stated) you only do 1 increase (the M1L) every 4 rows instead of 2 increases. Thus at the end of the first 19 short rows when it tells you to stop working the increases you have 138 sts. on your needles by my calculation. Yet the pattern states that you should have 143 sts (the 5 extra being the M1R increases that surely will be worked when doing the right front V neck.

Am I to proceed as I have understood and does the pattern mean that after completing both the left front and the right front V neck you will have 143 sts or have a completely misunderstood something?

Appreciate any clarifiacation.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sleeve issues

I've finished my bodice and I think that it turned out nice. (It's splotchy looking because I was blocking it).

I've been getting gauge with the Cashsoft 4ply and I love knitting with it. It's super soft and easy on the hands. I want to find buttons this week so I can properly try it on.

I started my first sleeve this weekend and about halfway through the CC cuff I realized that it would be too big. I didn't really pay attention to the measurements and I thought the sleeve looked nice on the model. So I decided to cast on 72 stitches instead of 92, did 4 sets of decreases through the cuff instead of 5, and I'll be increasing up to 74 stitches for the sleeve cap (which is what the directions call for). Here's the beginning of my sleeve.

I know it looks funny and I didn't have the same gauge for the CC cuff. I'm hoping a good blocking will help things. If I don't like the cuff by then, I think I'll take the cuff off and knit a plain cuff instead.

My plan is to have the sweater finished by the end of next week - let's hope that happens!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Still swatching.

ok, this whole blogging thing is new to me, and it took me forever to figure out how to create a new post and not just reply comments to a previous post. Oh well.

I'm still swatching. After swatching the DB baby Cashmerino and getting guage and getting all excited about it, I realized that I only have 2/3 the quantity that I need in my stash. Since there's no way possible to obtain more of that dyelot, and I know that I would be v unhappy with the finished product if I decided it wouldn't matter and mixed dyelots, I've gone shopping for an alternative yarn.
so, Friday I bought one skein of Frog Tree Alpaca Sport (my LYS is holding the other 12 skiens I would need) and swatched it yesterday. I obtained both row and stitch guage on 2's, however the knit fabric that results is heavy, stiff, boardy, ... in other words, too dense. I like the knit fabric better on the 3's, however it is nowhere near guage - it's 24/4 in stitch / 32/4 in row. I love the color - #24 Fuschia.
I guess I'm going to do the math, and use the 3's. I just am not up for many more tries with diff yarns, and my options at LYS's are v limited.
Frog Tree makes a fingering weight, but my LYS doesnt' have it, and I'm reluctant to try to order it without seeing it/ trying it.
What to do?
I can't start this anyway until I've knit the Jeager Herringbone vest off the needles - should be about another week on that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I got my needles!!! I may cast on as soon as tomorrow!!

*now watch my gauge change*

Monday, August 15, 2005

...and the frustration mounts...

I just posted some progress pics on my blog - Knits-N-Purrs (scroll down to the bottom of my 08.15.05 post). I have finally completed the body, although my row gauge was off, so I have fewer rows than required. That means 6 less stitches in the front than the pattern called for. I've started the sleeve. This is my second attempt. For my first attempt, I used size 4 needles (like in the body) but the bell shaping was HUGE so I have switched to size 3 needles. I'll see how that turns out. My big worry is getting the sleeve to fit into the shoulder. Because I have less rows than called for I think the shoulder shaping on the sleeves may be a bit tricky. Needless to say, I am feeling very frustrated right now. I am even seriously thinking of ripping the WHOLE thing out and starting over - although the thought of redoing the body cast on is not a welcoming thought. Maybe I'll just rip out and start something totally different. I'm not quite there yet, thankfully. I'll trudge along on the sleeve & just hope for the best. If I can't get the sleeve to set properly on the body, then maybe it will be a trip to the frog pond...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Lorna's Shepherd Sport, etc.

For those still looking for yarn, I swatched both Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport and Gems Opal today, and both give the right gauge on a US 2 needle.

Sadly, neither is quite as soft as the alpaca the pattern recommends. I'm using them anyway.

I did see some Frog Tree Alpaca in a yarn store this weekend, and it seems like that would be an excellent choice. While I'm happy with my Lorna's, I'll admit to kind of kicking myself for not going the Frog Tree route. C'est la vie!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Almost there

I'm almost done! I just have to find the right buttons, which may not be easy.
I can't believe how fast this was, I've never finished a sweater before (started, yes, but finished....) I just really enjoyed it. It wasn't too complicated, but not boring either.

My cat Panter loves the alpaca (from La Droguerie in France). As soon as I put the sweater down somewhere, she reclines on it.

When I find the buttons and attached them (which I'm not looking forward to...) I will post a picture with me modelling it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Good to go!

Yesterday I finished the sweater I wanted to finish before starting on this one (you'll be able to check out a pic of it later today on my blog when I get a chance to post it), so I gauged yesterday afternoon during my son's speech therapy and got 7sts=1" on 3s. I find that my gauge loosens a little when I actually start a project, so I'm going to stick with what I've got and hope that everthing will turn out okay. I'm going to cast on either today or tomorrow. Yay!!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Yarn alert!

Look here, Knit Picks has a new yarn 100% wool, the right gauge and it's $1.79 for 231 yards!

That means, about $15 for this sweater.

Darn, I need $25 to get free shipping, I'll have to order some of the other new yarns as well!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Which Yarn Are You Using?

Hi there,

Just thought it might be helpful to have a roll call on this...

(1) Which yarn are you using?
(2) What gauge are you getting? On what size needles?

:) jessica