Monday, May 31, 2010

Cosmos Cardigan part 2

So, after a few days of knitting, and 3 balls of yarn, I have reached the magic row 51, and divided for sleeves. This involves knitting across the front, putting sleeve stitches on a separate holder ( in this case, a cable from my Denise set), casting on 10 sts under the arms, knitting across the back, putting other sleeve on holder, casting on 10 sts under the other arm, and knitting across the other front. I'm pleased with how this is coming along, and I'm glad I chose this type of construction, as the gauge changed as I knit. Now I'm at about 6 rows per inch and 4.5 stitches per inch.Knitting in aggregate sometimes differs from swatch gauge, and luckily, I can try this on to check as I go. Here is the back view:

I'm liking this a lot. I think I will put a single vertical buttonhole in the front, so I can use a large decorative single button for a simple closure. And the 4-stitch purl column will allow some tapering in the back for the waist shaping further down.
Now the questions are: Short, long or medium length sleeves? And, cropped, long, shaped, peplum or what kind of body? I have a lot of yarn, and so I have a chance to play around with the design, according to what this sweater wants to become. I think I'll taper down to the waistline, and see how it goes from there.
Sometimes I like to knit about 4 inches on the body and then do sleeves, so I can get a better sense of how the sweater will hang, so that is probably what I will do.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What to knit now?

Now that I am working on the long slog down the body of St Margaret (doesn’t that sound lascivious?), I find that I need something to knit that is portable, simple enough for group knitting events and something wearable for the upcoming warm weather, which was foreshadowed yesterday when it reached 90 degrees with high humidity around here.

But what to knit? I wanted something cardigany, in summery light yarn, maybe with a kimono collar and swingy and cool. The sweaters I have knit in the past were all somehow inappropriate. I wanted something in a dark color, not especially black, but maybe, kind of like the sheer black summery cardigan Paula was wearing at the last Manhattan Quilter’s meeting.

So, stash-diving I went. It was, after all, late in the day, and I know I have stashed a lot of yarn. Last summer, one of my LYSs ( ) had Warehouse Wednesdays, in which yarn ( marked down amazingly) went from their warehouse into mine, so I knew I must have something interesting up in the yarn closet.

I can’t believe I have amassed a yarn closet, but sure enough I have. Diligent attendance at sales pays off!

Rummaging around in the bins yields 13 balls of Cosmos in the S.Charles Collezione.

Normally I wouldn’t have purchased this yarn, which is 45% Viscose,40% Polyamide,15% Cotton, preferring more natural fibers, but at $2 a ball ( reg 10.95) who could resist? And it is a blue/purple mix with black and white that looks like grey at 10 paces, so I loved the color. But oddly, the gauge on the ball band is 3/inch on a 10, which seemed strange to me, as it is a rather thin, loosely plied slippery slick yarn. On a 10 it seemed really flimsy to me. So, I swatched it on a 9. Still really loosey goosey. On an 8, the fabric had a nice density and a lot of drape, and hit about 4.25 sts per inch. This just might be nice, and perfect for a summery knit!
But what kind of stitch shall I use? I tried stockinette, which looked like a lovely tweed, but would be boring and tedious to knit, and difficult to keep track of where I am in a pattern. Cables just vanished in the complex patterning. Seed stitch was lovely, but I don’t enjoy lots of that either. Lace would also be lost in the swirl of colors in this yarn. Because of the inelasticity of the yarn, ribbing might be nice and flat, and seemed to work out well, but then it hit me that a garter rib might provide a hint of line and be easy enough to work with all purl WS rows and a bit of KP on the RS. Perfect for knitting in public!

Now, to pattern. I envisioned a K1P1 collar, and a structured, set-in-sleeve kind of jackety thing, so I began in the same style as Ingrid, at the back of the neck with a 20 stitch k1p1 collar, intending to work a top-down, simultaneous set-in sleeve jacket. Here is where I am so far, at Row 19, making it nice and portable, and easy to keep track of. Now I am ready for any knitting environment. St Margaret has to stay home and be tied to the charts, but Cosmos Cardigan can roam free!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

St Margaret Cardigan

I decided to write up a pattern for doing a complex Celtic-style cable sweater from the top down. I designed two Celtic Knot cable patterns based on various sources, including Elsebeth Lavold’s "Viking Knits", Alice Starmore’s "Aran Knitting", “How to Draw Celtic Knotwork” by Andy Sloss and the celtic knot generator at , which is fun to play with. I'm calling it "St.Margaret". This is a test-knit for the pattern and the charts, and so far I like it a lot. I am doing it in cotton, though, as I wanted a summer version, but definitely I prefer to work this kind of cable design in wool, as the cotton doesn't give as you knit with it, so it leaves holes. Hopefully that will block out when I'm done.
 Writing up the pattern is a challenging exercise! So far it is around 18 pages, with huge charts and lots of instructions. I have a marvelous test-knitter, who is meticulously going over the pattern with me as she knits it for herself, so I know I am not the only one who can knit this! Hopefully it will be done soon and then I will offer it for sale in my Ravelry Store (Jeri Rigged Designs). Of course, I'm knitting my own sweater, and today I am almost finished with the sleeves, done on DPNs. I will finish the body after the sleeves are done, and I'm probably going to put pockets on this sweater, as I’m always trying to find my keys. …

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Column of Leaves #3

Column of Leaves #3 arose out of my wish to test knit my pattern in a larger size, but make it fit me. I had this gorgeous blue cotton yarn I had bought ages ago, and as it is a DK weight, I figured I could use my Column of Leaves pattern for size 42 and have it fit size 38. Of course I went down a needle size, too.I purchased some wonderful polymer clay buttons at the Lyndhurst Craft fair yesterday from Karin Noyes, whose work I have loved for years ( ), which just delighted me.
Here is the back of the sweater. I love that there is just one tiny seam at the back of the neck:
This pattern is for sale in my Ravelry ( ) store , Jeri Rigged Designs.