Thursday, August 28, 2008

Side to Side Cardigan II

Continuing on my quest to design an easy and fun sweater using odd balls of yarn, (purchased on yarn buying binges, furtive sales,random search and buy operations), here is the next in the series. Designing sweaters is kind of like making art in a series, where one idea leads into another, and all the tricks and tools I've gleaned are used to fabricate something interesting.
This sweater follows my earlier Ariel sweater, and is constructed basically the same way: knit in the round from the wrist up to the underarm, then stitches are cast on for the body and knit flat in one piece back and forth to the base of the neck, then stitches are divided for front and back. Then the back is knit to the center where both halves are joined with a 3 needle bind-off. Then the front is knit, stitches picked up at back neck, and knit down the other front to create the fronts and the shawl collar. I cord is used to bind off the fronts and collar. I've found an easy double sided cast-on for the side "seams" which delighted me, as there is no visible seam, in fact!
Here I've used Rowan Summer Tweed, 6 skeins of the grey and 2 of navy blue, with a skein of hand dyed sari silk to give a contrast and some color punch. As usual, this sweater is customizable to any yarn and any size, in theory, working from gauge of yarn and body measurements. I actually wrote up the pattern for my friend Linda, who is here modeling the sweater ( before darning in ends and blocking!):. She looks fabulous in it. If you want the pattern, email me! I think I might attempt it in Koigu Kersti next...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Side to Side Sweater

Ah, summer. Hot and sticky. But sometimes I want to wear a sweater, and so far everything seems too hot. I thought it might be interesting to knit with Ariel, a dk cotton/rayon blend, but on larger needles and produce a light, airy sweater, so I cast on 27 sts with size 10 1/2 double pointed needles, and proceeded to knit a sleeve. I liked how the fabric was coming out, so I increased 2 sts every inch or so until I reached 47 sts at the armpit, then cast on another 47 stitches to knit the sides. By casting on both sides of the needle, I could knit up the side, around the arm and down the front. I knit about 6 inches, then divided for the back neck, and did some decreasing to make a V neck in front. When I had half a body, I cast on for the other sleeve, and likewise knit merrily along. Finally, I did a 3 needle SSK bind off ( to preserve the stretchiness) and then arrived at the top back neck. I crocheted scallops of 5dc around the fronts and bottom edge, arriving at the back neck. At this point I thought it might be nice to close with 2 crocheted double bobbles, so that is what I did. A very light, airy sweater, perfect for summertime. I used around 580 yards, or most of 4 balls.( 160 each). Here is another photo taken by my artistic son Bobby:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Some Summer sweaters

Here is my most recent experiment in knitting: The Medallion Lace vest. I used size 8 needles, Provence cotton yarn, and adapted a shawl pattern from Evelyn Clark's wonderful book "Knitted Lace Triangles" for the pattern. The border is two offset repeats of the same pattern I used in the Leaf Lace vest from a few months ago. I initially thought this would be a cardigan, but when it was done, I thought it might be fun to sew up the center seam and make it a pullover. Probably I should have made it a pullover to begin with, but sometimes these experiments take on a life of their own! Here is the back view:
I also made this cardigan ( knitted top down, adapted from the CeCe cardigan by Chic Knits) ,in Provence cotton yarn, which I call the Torchwood Cardigan, as I watched the first 2 seasons of Torchwood while knitting it:
I probably should do a better job of weaving in the ends...but I'm lazy!