Whew, change your career and your blog kinda goes out the window!
I’m loving my new focus on teaching English as a Second Language, but it most definitely has taken away from my knitting time … especially the time I used to take to report on my knitting activity here!
In June, I started a cotton sweater (CECE) and I’m looking forward to finishing it soon. I don’t have a lot of pictures, but I’ve done the body and both sleeves and I’ve connected them together. A bit of raglan reduction and some finishing and we’re done! I look forward to having this sweater to fend off the over-air-conditioned breezes of indoors in summer!
I promise to post some pictures as soon as I have time …
I was starting to worry about the size of this sweater: will it be big enough to suit hubby? He likes ’em baggy. It’s hard to say because there are no shoulders for the sweater to hang from yet. The sleeves and shoulders are kinda being developed at the same time. At this stage, though, it looks promising! BTW, I think he assumes the sweater is for me. He hasn’t inquired about it or commented on it at all. Ah well, if it’s too small, it will surely fit someone else in the family and friend sphere!
At last, both sleeves are attached to the body and it’s time for the decreases that will create the raglan “seams” on each side of each shoulder. Since there will be a V-neck, I’ll be stopping the circular knitting in another inch or so and going back and forth to finish the sweater. There are currently almost 50% more stitches per round than there were for the body … so each round is slow going. The good news is: each round will decrease (on average) by 4 stitches so things will seem to speed up as the project nears completion!
It’s been a busy couple of weeks at our house. We painted (are still painting) the kitchen and my teaching and tutoring work has multiplied. These are all good things, but they do cut in on the knitting time!
I’ve finished the body of the Norblu Sweater … its size prevented me from carrying it around and that was another damper on progress. But here it is at last! See the wrinkly yarn extending out of the picture? I’m knitting directly from the abandoned swatch sleeve now. See the gray yarn near the needles? That’s marking Armpit Number One. It and Armpit Number Two will be the very last steps in making the sweater. They will be closed with kitchener stitching and will disappear seamlessly. But first, Sleeve Number Two must be knitted and then both sleeves must be attached to the body. I’ll continue upward from there to the shoulders and finish the collar and then … I hope this will all be finished before Christmas!
Published October 11, 2009
Work in Progress
Tags: knitting, raglan, sweater, WIP
A 90 minute ride from New York to Philly on Amtrak was more than doubled when we lost electrical power last night. I wonder if the problem was due to what SEPTA calls “Slippery Leaf Season”. It was a blustery day yesterday … could fallen leaves have contributed to the train’s difficulty getting electrical power? I never knew about this issue and how significant it is until I started riding on trains a lot in recent times. Thank goodness I had my knitting with me! I got some good stitches in while we sat on the tracks just outside of Newark. This picture celebrates 10,000 stitches. (204 stitches per row, about 6 rows per inch, about 8.5 inches)
Thanks to this sweater and the Esther socks, I’m getting some good experience with hemming. The socks provided my first experience with a picot edging. I used a provisional cast-on, folded the hem over and used a round of K2TOGs to knit the cast-on stitches together with the stitches on the needles. I used the same technique for the first sleeve of the sweater, but I didn’t do a picot edging at the folding point, just a straight row of purl stitches.
For the body of the sweater, I decided to try a sewn hem. Based on what I read at on the Two Strands blog (see my previous post), sewing is supposed to produce a less-noticeable hem. I knitted the appropriate rounds (plus a few extra) and spent the rest of my weekend knitting time trying to figure out how to sew it neatly together! I was having difficulty recognizing which purl bump to pick up and then aligning it with the cast-on stitches correctly. Part of the problem is that I can’t refer to the stitches that are already done because the hem obscures them. Another problem is that I’m using dark yarn (harder to see in general). I guess it would easiest if there were a color change right where I wanted to put the hem (note to self for future planning!). I ended up running a stretch of waste yarn around the project to highlight the stitches I want to hem:
Each stitch is easy to see against the contrasting color. I have a long way to go before I can see how it all comes out …
Here’s a pic of the finished sleeve, btw:
One sleeve of Norblu is almost finished!
The accelerated increase ended at exactly the right length, so I’ve been able to work on the stranded decoration over a straight 72 stitches. Since this is a 12-stitch pattern, that’s perfect!
I had a general idea of the color arrangement I wanted, but it’s often the case that I don’t like my ideas once I see them “in action”! Before I got started, I decided to draw it out. I had a vague memory of some online knitting chart paper and, sure enough, this page from a Japanese site called Tata & Tatao allows you to enter your stitch and row gauge and then print out a sheet that’s close to the dimensions of your knitting. While in Philly yesterday, I bought a set of colored markers ($2 at Five Below!) and I did some experimenting last night. I think this was definitely worthwhile. I felt comfortable going forward with the stranded work and I’m happy with the result. It was nice to double-check the size of the pattern too. I wanted 5″ (because that’s how much I have left to finish the sleeve) but if that looked too small, I could rip back a few rows and add some more striping or something.
The decorative pattern comes from Jessica Tromp’s wonderful site of Norwegian (and other) knitting charts. I picked a fairly simple motif (cuz I’m new at it) and made it fancier with more colors. OK, so that’s where I got the “Nor” in the sweater’s working name … what about “blu”? When I finally settled on the yarn colors, I realized that what they have in common is “blue”. There is no blue in the sweater, but each of the colors has blue as a component. I think this sweater will look especially good with denim and navy blue!
Oh, lookie what I found a few minutes ago: Monkster Gets Stranded A free pattern for a Norwegian-style bottom-up raglan sweater for a Teddy Bear. Is that the cutest thing, or what?? If you’re wanting to try the techniques before committing to a real Monster size, maybe this is the way to go! I noticed that the next post describes hemming in detail too. Hah, shoulda found this site a week ago! It looks like a keeper …