Sunday, April 20, 2008

handspun spiral yoke all done!

handspun spiral yoke sweater

She's all done! And just in time for this lovely April heat wave.

handspun spiral yoke sweater


Pattern: Loosely based off of Meg Swansen's spiral yoke sweater from the book Handknitting.
Yoke: five colors of handspun 2-ply romney and romney-mohair blend fiber from Fantom Farms - roughly sport weight.
Body: 5 balls of Rowan Kid Classic in color #846
Needles: 6's
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch

handspun spiral yoke sweater

Notes: I knit this one top down so I could play with the yoke design as I went along. I also wasn't sure if I had enough handspun for the yoke, but of course there was a pile leftover. The handspun is pretty dense, and the stranded yoke is pretty bulletproof! I need to work on improving my spinning to make less dense yarn. I added hems to the bottom and sleeves by knitting a few rows in the green handspun, knitting a purl turning row, and knitting a hem with smaller needles in alpaca for softness. The kid classic ended up having a somewhat different gauge than the handspun and I had to decrease the number of body stitches to stay on track. You can guess I learned that the hard way. There was a fair bit of ripping and reknitting, but I'm happy with the final results.

Verdict: Thumbs up!

My friend kindly took these photos for me. I'm certainly not a very good model, I have no idea what to do with my hands and I always blink or have dreadfully worried looks on my face for 95% of the shots. Luckily my friend is great at coming up with poses and making me laugh. Just so you know she must have taken 50 photos to get these few decent ones. The sweater always looked great - but my results varied. Here are some outakes:

handspun spiral yoke rowan outake

I'm calling this the Rowan magazine outake.

handspun spiral yoke outake

And the oh my gosh can we be done with this already outake.

white trash nachos

And in other news Elliott and I are taking turns whipping up some nacho dinners. (Elliott insists that I blog about this - even though he has his own food blog). I went the old school "classic" route with cheese from a jar, green olives, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa from a jar, white corn chips, ground beef with taco seasoning - delicious! Elliott will certainly go a more classy upscale route with shredded beef, real cheese, homemade salsa... His turn is sometime this week, I'll let you know how they turn out.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

knitting and unknitting and knitting

Long time no blog, eh blog? Work is trying to squish me - I'm thinking about that Kids in the Hall sketch "I'm crushing your head! I'm crushing your head - flatheads!!" (On a side note I had known that line for years as a cultural reference but thanks to the goodness of netflix, we got to see the original sketch with some friends last week). So brilliant, but I digress.

state of handspun yoke sweater

Here is where things stand on the handspun spiral yoke sweater. I think the last report on this was when I was knitting down from the yoke in the dark blue main body yarn for several inches only to have a reality check and realize that it was at least 4" too wide in the middle. I like a little ease, myself, but it would not be flattering at all to be adding 4+ inches to my waist. Plus think of the yarn I could save. So I ripped out all the blue, did another gauge swatch, actually washed it this time only to discover that the Rowan kid classic grew another 1/2 stitch or so. Yikes! Good thing for that swatch.

I finished the body, the lower hem, the neck hem and all sewing all the ends in and thought I was fairly home free. I knit one of the sleeves, only to discover that my math was way off and I had put in too many decreases on the sleeves too soon, to make a fabric resembling the qualities of spandex. Yikes! I ripped that sleeve out and used half the number of decreases and that seemed to do the trick.
Last night I finished the first sleeve and got the second (third?) one started.

The most exciting thing about this, other than I think I'm really going to like this sweater, is that I've got nothing else on the needles! Think about that for a second. The possibilities are endless and there is a giant sale going on at Webs... What should I make next? What are you all wanting to make?