Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Idea Sweater

On my morning walk the other day, I designed a sweater for that yarn I bought at the recent yarn sale. I was supposed to be listening to a podcast, but once my mind took up the problem of self-striping yarn I never heard a word of what was babbling in my ears. Podcast wasted. Walking needs fulfilled. Sweater design--a lot farther along than you'd think.

I thought I had learned to avoid self-striping yarn, but I was fooled. The store sample was fairly small, so it just looked marled. I brought it home and looked it up on Ravelry and was disappointed to see that once you knit long enough, you get stripes. Since I try to avoid wearing horizontal stripes around my middle, this presents a sweater pattern-selection dilemna.
First, I thought of using some shape to realign the stripes into something more flattering than horizontal. I considered hexagons, but they would make it look like an afghan; ribs knit sideways, but that would make for a thick midriff. I finally decided on mitered panels. I had just seen a how-two in the latest issue of Vogue Knitting for knitting miters, the kind that are cast on on three sides, then knit toward the middle, resulting in a narrow rectangle with a double miter at the starting edge. Susan, of the Rainey Sisters blog is knitting a sweater that uses this's her sleeve.

I've studied the Vogue article now, and I think I can design a stockinette panel that is narrower at the top than the bottom. It is all in the decreases.

While I walked, I decided on six mitered panels, slightly wider at the bottom, joined together by picking up stitches so there's only one seam. These panels would begin at the hem and go up to the bustline. Then I'd need a top and sleeves. That's where I gave it up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leyburn sock in progress

 My latest sock project is turning out well. The pattern, Leyburn Socks, and the yarn, Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering Weight, are a perfect match. The pattern is so easy to read that I don't need the instructions. I'm just knitting around and around, slipping stitches wyif and knitting through the resulting loop. So easy, but it looks great.
The slipped stitches tighten up the sock a bit, making the size 1 needles a good choice. However, after knitting the short-row heel on size 0s, I can see that a fabric denser than 7.5 spi would be better for this yarn.

I would have liked the toe to be a little narrower, but I blindly followed the pattern directions and turned the toe at 14 stitches. I hesitated to make any changes, since these are my first toe-up socks. Now that I've tried cuff-down and toe-up, I can't say I have a preference either way. I'm just happy they fit. I'll finish this one and block it before I knit the second one--just to make sure the fit doesn't change much after it is washed and dried.

The Vogue Sideways Cardi (#02) is on a slight break. I finished the lower fronts before the Olympics. Now all I have to do is to knit the yokes and then the button band.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Interweave Knits; finding missing back issues

This year the thought of all those old issues of Interweave Knits that I never bought was the whim that hit. You see, I just discovered IK in 2005. It's been published for 13 years. I missed over 30 issues. Last year, I bought some back issues from IK and was surprised how much I enjoyed reading them. I found several things to knit in those old designs, and wondered what was in the back issues that IK does not have.

I couldn't buy them from Interweave Press. I couldn't look at them there, or at libraries nearby (I tried). I learned that Interweave does not have all the back issues. Then, a couple of weeks ago, Interweave put up an elusive back issue for sale. I got an e-mail announcing the availability of one I'd never seen, along with a few others I had. Unfortunately, by the time I bothered to read the e-mail and click on the link, the issue was sold out. It did make me wonder why this issue was suddenly available. I thought perhaps they had simply found some back issues in storage somewhere. Now I have another theory.

I have started buying back issues from yarn shops around the U.S. During a recent phone call to a big-city lys, the shop owner told me that she didn't keep their back issues--she returned them to Interweave, thus explaining the mystery of the sudden appearance of a back issue. However, not all of the yarn shops return their back issues. Some keep them, and most of those sell the ones they have for the price on the magazine cover. That, and the price of postage, has brought me some of the issues I was missing.

ETA:  Since I wrote this post, I have collected all the back issues of IK.  Although most (perhaps all) are now available from the publisher in digital format, I still like having the paper copies.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oddities from the road trips

There's been an odd sight on Hwy 287 near Wichita Falls, Tx. that has puzzled us for years. At first, we just noticed that the trees were nicely trimmed. We wondered who had been trimming the trees so high up. Then we saw that there is a camel herd in the field.

Although the camels are usually within eyesight, they are not often near the highway. This last trip, they were quite close. It looks as though they have a new baby!

The baby still has his shaggy coat, but the adults have all shed theirs for the summer. Lucky thing, too--when we drove through Dallas, it was 105! Today, a cold front has come through our mountains, dropping the temp to 45 this morning. I hope some of this cool air drifts down to the rest of the country.

The problem of the elk baby that was stranded on the wrong side of the fence has been handled. When we drove past there last week, I saw that several of the fence panels were missing lower boards, and that new openings had been added in a couple of places. The elk should all have clear and easy passage now.
Expect more knitting content in my future blogging. I'm still knitting the sweater; I've started another sock, and I've got new books and magazines. Posted by Picasa