Friday, February 20, 2009

Diamond Cardigan

The coincidence of getting “French Girl Knits” in the mail the same day I had lunch with a friend wearing a marvelous cabled sweater instigated this sweater. I wanted to use my stash of lovely blue Reynolds Andean Alpaca Regal yarn( which I had used for the mittens and had 8 skeins left!) , and Kristeen Griffin-Grimess' top down, set-in-sleeve pattern “Viola” was so well written that it just flowed together. I used the “X-in-a-diamond” single cable from Barbara Walker’s First Treasury (pg 287) to give added texture, and also made long sleeves. As I knit a different yarn at a tighter gauge ( 16 per inch on a size 9 needle) than the pattern was written for, I used the numbers for the 44 inch size. I am very happy with this cardigan, although I think the zipper is a bit too long and may re-do it when the mood hits me. It is warm and soft and has the right shade of blue.
Plus, it went very fast! I watched "John Adams" and a few other shows and it was done in 2 weeks!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Winter Obsession, part 3

I finally finished my deep V-necked raglan version of St Brigid, and sewed in the last end .I'm not sure I like it yet; I'll have to wash and block to see how it really looks, but for now all the parts are connected and the sweater is warm and interesting. It ended up more like a tunic, and is very comfortable and warm on this frigid day, but I still wish I had started it from the top down so I would have more control over the length and such. As it was, I had to re-do the yoke once because it wasn't coming together at the correct rate of decrease( it had to be 16 sts per every other row instead of the usual 8), so after 300 yards of knitting from the armholes up, it had to be frogged and re-done. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have made the V so deep, but it was difficult to judge how it would fall without the yoke being finished. I am tempted to rip it back and re-do it again, but in fact I am ready for it to be done! Which of course means I have to start something new...oh, dear!
Yarn:Nashua Handknits Superwash 7.5 skeins ( 218yds per skein), size 6 needles, color:24

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cold Hands, warm heart

This winter has been particularly cold and snowy here in the Northeast. It seems like every 3 days, the white stuff is swirling around and temps are below freezing. Not such a big deal, I know, but my hands tend to turn very painful and white at the tips when exposed to any cold. I've tried all sorts of gloves and layers of gloves, but still suffer. Recently I had a discussion with a friend who swore that mittens were much warmer, so I thought I'd give them a try. Oddly enough, I didn't find any for sale in my various haunts, so I had to make some.

Yarn: Andean Alpaca Regal, size 9 needles, probably 1/2 skein ( 50 yards) made both. Pattern: Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns, Mitten pattern.
I made a little mistake on the ribbing, but what the heck. They fit and were soft and warm. However, given the abuse of putting them on and off, handling keys, snowshovels, etc, and with velcro on my jacket, I thought they should have polarfleece outer gloves, which would absorb the brunt of abrasion, so I made some and slipped the mittens inside them.

They might look like oven mitts, but they are toasty warm! Finally!