Friday, September 15, 2006

Forgive me Blog

It has been nearly 3 months since my last post.

Summer always throws off our routines. Now my husband (teacher) and son (student) are back to school, so we have returned to something that resembles normal routines. I hope to visit here more often.

What I did last summer
I discovered the easy breezy process of knitting a sleeveless shell (a.k.a tank). Also discovered cheap cotton yarn (i.e. Reynolds Saucy) with which I could make a tank for less than $15.
The first tank I made was from Interweave knits. Great pattern, but I made a bad choice of improvising with a shorter body and no shaping. I'll never wear it. Improvisation gone wrong. Plus the yarn was too heavy and it's 2 sizes too big. Bad bad bad.
Then I made another tank (not pictured) sort of following the Knitting Pure and Simple pattern but improvised with cables in the front & back and a v-neck in pink saucy cotton. Improvisation that worked. But...I can't find it. If it does not turn up I'll make another because I really like the simple twist of the cable on the tank.
The third tank was Bonnie Marie's chickami in red saucy cotton. Great pattern followed to the letter from cast on to bind off. I can see me knitting a wardrobe of chickamis next summer.
The final tank was another improvisation of the Knitting Pure and Simple pattern with seed stitch finishing and a v-neck. I really like this tank as well.

Non-tank activity consisted of finishing a pair of trekking socks, then starting the besotted scarf.

I also finished the burlap sweater that I think will be quite functional as a fall sweater jacket. I'm told the yarn will soften with a wash...we shall see.

Just finished this week is a guernsey made with Noro Kochoran (50% wool, 30% angora, 20% silk). It is so soft that I can't stop hugging the sweater. I've been reading on the yarn harlot's blog about gansey knitting which I find fascinating. These were the type of sweaters probably knitted by my Irish ancestors. "Aran" sweaters came later when the knitters needed a more touristy name to sell their knits. A guernsey or gansey always starts with a ribbing at the bottom, then plain stockinette stitch for the lower body, then a garter stitch variation (this one is the welt pattern) to separate the plain stitch from the yoke which has a stitch pattern (cables or seed stitch) that will make the sweater thicker at the top, placing warmth wear you need it most. And the sides have a mock seam which kills me. I go crazy when seaming sweaters so that you can't see the seam, and this design makes it visible. But there is a functional reason for that as well - the seam makes the sweater easier to fold. I was not sure about using such a luscious yarn for what is suppose to be a purely functional garment, but I really like the result of the self-striping yarn in the various stitch patterns.

Last night I started a fair isle sweater class where I will learn to knit continental and with 2 different colors. This is another traditional technique that I am really looking forward to learning more about.


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