Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bubble Pullover

Gee, what I won't do for you guys. I just hiked up a mountain, literally, along the Colorado Trail. At one point K asked, "How far does this trail go, a couple of miles?" I said, no, it goes almost all the way to Denver. We gasped for air for a while, and I heard the reply (from behind me, faintly) "Well, we won't go that far."

I wanted to go into NATURE, to take photos of my new FO:

the Bubble Pullover, from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan

Tahki Lima yarn, all of 11 balls, sizes 6 and 8 needles, about three weeks of non-exclusive knitting

The Lima yarn is an acrylic and alpaca blend. However, it is mostly alpaca and thus worked well for the pattern. The recommended yarn is alpaca. I got gauge, so the knitting was according to pattern and was easy. I loved knitting the pentagons in the round. Switching to the dpns as I got to the centers was tricky, but it only lasted a few rows and then I was down to 8 stitches and done.

The drape is excellent, the yarn is super soft and not at all itchy after hand washing and blocking. It is a very light yarn, but expands well -- no see-through and no shedding. Oh, that drape! So this is what it is like to knit a good pattern with nice yarn. I've been buying cheap yarn for so long, I haven't had the experience much. Not that Lima is expensive, especially on sale at Elann.

Just as I overcame my fear of water by learning to swim, I overcame my fear of picking up stitches by knitting this sweater. I picked up, and picked up and picked up. I do admit, learning to swim was harder, or at least more life-threatening. None of it would have been as easy if Sherry, my knitting teacher, hadn't explained that 'pick up and knit' means what I thought 'pick up' meant. It makes a big difference when you don't put in an extra row.

Yes, it is a "killer" sweater, as Virginia, my old blogging buddy, put it. (Thanks, Virginia!) Even if I had to knit for weeks, then take a 'killer' hike to show it off, it was well worth it.

Well, enough of this gloating. I've got to get on and finish the laundry. But I'll be walking on air, even if it is uphill all the way.


Kathy said...

Nice job! I like that sweater and the collar and hem details especially. I have Knitting Nature and Gaughan's Berroco leaflet, and can really appreciate the ingenious way she fits shapes together. Maybe someday I'll knit something from one of them.

Rosemary said...

Great sweater! I love the color, too.

Renée said...

Even a Colorado hiking trail is more beautiful with a handknit sweater in the picture! Great work on Bubbles, and now I'm curious 'bout the yarn, too. It looks great. Great job on a terrific looking sweater!

on the wings... said...

Oh, yes! The sweater is wonderful! Hand knitted items always look best when being displayed in nature.

I have Knitting Nature also but haven't started any of the many projects from the book yet. However, with the onset of fall, and the pending winter, I may have to dust off the book and see what I have in my stash to work with.

Bron said...

Yep - "killer" would be my description too.

Very, very nice. And the hike for the perfect backdrop was well worth it!

Alana said...

SO beautiful. I'm thinking of doing the same sweater now and was scouting out the pattern. Was hoping you could give me a quick tip...the pentagons are knitted on 16 inch circs of the larger needle size (8 or 9 or whatever) until the end when you use dpns? 16 inch needles just seem short to knit 180 stitch pentagons but I'm still firmly a novice knitter and maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about...

Luni said...

Alana, that is a detail I omitted. I used a 24" circ to start each pentagon. I found it easier to use than the 16" circs, which are not quite long enough to be comfortable to knit with. Once it got too small to reach around the circ, I switched to the 16". Although I was only able to do a row or two with the 16" before it was once again too small, I don't like dpns, and wanted to postpone using them as long as I could. This way, I only had to do a few short rounds with the dpns.