Tag Archives: fair isle

Finished but not Forgotten

Back in February when we were on our eleventy-billionth (numbers are approximate) snowfall of the season, I clung to bright and colourful knits. Casting on for something Fair Isle was just good prescriptive knitting at the time, never mind fun. But the Venezia pullover ended up taking top priority and so Glowing got pushed to the side, not to be finished until the end of April. I’ll have to wait until next fall and winter to take full advantage of this FO.

Glowing-FO-May20

Pattern: ‘Glowing’, by Fiona Ellis in Inspired Fair Isle Knits
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, MC ‘Raspberry’, and several other CC colours. All yarn is to specification from the book, with the exception of the pale green shade – I substituted in the slightly cooler ‘Thyme’ shade instead of the ‘Pistachio’ which is a little more in the bright yellow area of green. I like the overall effect.
Needles: 5.5mm for the fair isle sections, 4.5mm for the plain stockinette.
Mods: I had to up-size the needles on the fair isle to get closer to gauge, and actually I think in the end I still came out sliiiiiiightly more snug on gauge than the pattern. The final product does fit, though, and I’m happy with that.

The major modification that I made was to add an extra row between the raglan decreases for several of the decreases, to add a bit more room in the shoulders. My row gauge was a bit too snug on the stockinette and I needed to make sure my arms and shoulders would still fit. This worked out well.

Glowing1

I’m pretty much in love with Mission Falls 1824 wool, after this project. There will be more sweaters with this in the future. It feels glorious to knit with, and the colours are so rich. I put it through the washer and dryer (YAY superwash), and you’d never know. Not a pill in sight. It is, however, a yarn that rewards swatching – stockinette does grow a little bit after it is washed and dried. I admit I was pretty much banking on this happening because my pre-wash gauge was more tight than it needed to be. (But the stranded sections did need to be closer to pattern gauge to start – colourwork does not stretch as much as plain stockinette).

The stranded sections really fly by on this, and are the most fun to work on. Usually I don’t mind stockinette because it’s mindless, but it was a long push to get the yoke finished once the body and sleeves were all done. I was glad to get to the hood – which is actually a decently functional hood, it covers my head when pulled up, and doesn’t come loose like the decorative hoods on so many other knits. Of course, that could also just be because I have a lot of curly hair to stuff under there…

GlowingFO2-May20

I must thank Steph for taking the photographs, and letting me finally put this FO up for the record. Since a hooded wool pullover isn’t quite what I need for summer, though, this will be taking up residence as a shop sample at the Purple Purl, until I can reclaim it again for the winter.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Filed under fair isle, finished object: sweater

Steeks

We have them.
Steekage has begun.

Photobucket

I was feeling all confident yesterday thinking that “hey, I’m at the armholes now, the v-neck steek is set, I can just do gradual decreases now and every row will go faster, this will be a piece of cake to be done by April 2.” And then another voice reminded me, “but you still have to do the sleeves, dumbass.”

Hm. This may be too much of a challenge to get done in 3 weeks. Will that stop me from trying? No. I’ll just maybe start laying in some small sweater-recovery projects now… ;)

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Filed under fair isle, sweaters

Sweater Report

When I blithely decided earlier this week to have all 3 of my Works In Progress be sweaters and thus to cast on for the Urban Aran, clearly I was either being very well prepared for the weather, or daring the fates to openly mock me. Either way, around these parts we are going to get pounded again this weekend with upwards of 20cm more snow between Friday night and Saturday night. Maybe there really is someone up there going, “you want more sweater weather? Well check THIS out, HAH!”

You know it’s bad when the weather news reads “First winter storm of March hit on Tuesday…” because if there’s a “first” storm then there must at least be a 2nd, if not a 3rd or 4th in store. The snowbanks are getting to be higher than people. I mean dudes, we’ve been getting snowfall every 5 days since the end of January, and while that’s normal for many other fine parts of the world, Southern Ontario is starting to collectively weep because we can’t remember a time when we wore something other than boots and 5 layers of clothing to go outside. I remember looking at Liz‘s photos of Oakland, California a few weeks ago and thinking, “huh, that’s weird, there’s no snow in those photos.” And then having to remind myself “OH. Some times people live in places without snowstorms. Right.

I am hugging my sweaters-in-progress, for they are of many colours and are good to me.

GlowingMar7

‘Glowing’ is zipping along and I am planning on casting on the 2nd sleeve tonight while the first flakes fall. It feels so lovely and I am already thinking ahead to what other sweater projects I would like to make with Mission Falls 1824. It’s soft and bright and sturdy and – unless things go horribly awry during washing, which I hope will not – is worth every penny.

‘Venezia’ is coming along at a slower pace but is also a happy sight:

VeneziaMar6

I was, admittedly, a little unsure about the colour combination for a good long while, but now that the body is taking shape I think it’s growing on me quite well. My plans are to make modifications for a v-neck instead of the boatneck (thank you, Ravelry!) and I should be able to start that soon.

Venezia is the only sweater with a theoretical deadline. On April 2nd I have made plans travel to New York again, and I want (a finished) Venezia to come with me. I’m heading down to visit Rebecca, enjoy some post-term touristing and relaxation, and catch the Yarn Harlot on tour too. (I wish I could go in Toronto on April 1st, but sadly I have to “teach a class” that day or some such nonsense). Ever since my jaunt down to NYC for Rhinebeck I’ve been wanting to visit again and see more of New York and I’m so excited.

I hope your weekends are enjoyable…I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get not just some knitting done but also some real work as well. Pesky revisions.

May your knitting be close by and may you not be snowed in.

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Making friends with steeks

I want to thank everyone for the comments on my socks in the previous post – they have brought me much cheer and encouragement! The pattern file is open once again and I am going to get back to it in short order. In the meanwhile, though, I finally have this Finished Object to show off:

IvyLeague1

Um. I mentioned before how taking photos of yourself is really hard, right? Yeah. There are about a dozen more shots in the trash, heh. But I did manage to get a few worth showing, that display the vest in all its glory. The steeks worked. The fair isle was wonderful. The pattern is well written. I’m so happy with it I don’t even mind including a shot with my rear end in it. ;)

IvyLeague2

Pattern: Ivy League Vest, by Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits 2007 (scroll down)
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (substituted; in twig, cream, tidepool heather, blue note heather, brindle heather, and mist) I only needed 1 ball of each for the 34.5 inch size, which makes this project a freakin’ bargoon.
Needles: 3.5mm on the fair isle, 3.75mm on the ribbing
Modifications: I knew from the get-go that I wanted to add length to this to bring it just over the top of my hips. I did this by adding 2 small peeries at the bottom before beginning the waist-shaping. I also up-sized the needles on the ribbing and on the two peeries that I added before the waist-shaping, to allow for a bit more room in the hips. This worked out well, and in fact I think I could have gone up another needle-size on the ribbing. I think next time I wash it I will block the ribbing out a little more widely, as it is rippling slightly just below the waist.

I omitted the purl ‘seam’ stitch at each side, and unintentionally deviated from the colour chart when I flubbed a few times and didn’t change the background colour or foreground colour when I was supposed to. I think it still looks good, though. I’m a happy camper.

As far as the steeks go – well, it was all fine. I’d done steeks before, but only using the Philosopher’s Wool method of cutting alongside a single column of ‘purl’ stitches that are first reinforced with a sewing machine. I left these Ivy League steeks without reinforcement before cutting, which is fine when your steeks are 8-10 sts wide. Post-cutting and post-ribbing, I trimmed the steeks to neaten them and then reinforced with a row of single crochet. So far, so good, it all seems to be holding up nicely.

ILVtake1 ILVDec8 ILVDec11
IvyLeagueDec16 ILV steeks IvyLeague3

Hurrah! Onwards to more fair isle. Soon, my pretty yarn, soon…

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Filed under fair isle, fearless knitting, finished object: sweater, ivy league vest

Oh yeah, baby.

Steekin’ time.

ILV steeks

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Filed under fair isle, ivy league vest

Someone should use it

A propos of nothing in particular, have you ever tried making pesto with cilantro instead of basil? You skip the cheese and use about twice the garlic and use peanuts instead of pine nuts and it’s awesome. And if you add some peeled-lengthwise carrots into the noodles just as they finish cooking, you can feel like you’re in some cool cooking show saying things like, “and don’t be afraid to use what you have on hand, Liz, that’s what innovative cooking for quick meals is all about…” and it’s tasty. I finally tried this tonight, after intending to do so pretty much every other time I’ve had cilantro going wilty in the fridge after using about 1/5th of the bunch for a recipe and forgetting about the rest. Good times.

But a propos of work in the kitchen, I’ve got to get on the holiday baking. Have any of you seen the cookie recipes emerging from Smitten Kitchen lately? Mmmmnnnnggghhh. Knitting, you’ve got competition this week.

In any case, speaking of other forgotten, possibly wilty things, remember how I was knitting a Moderne Log Cabin blanket? Yep, it’s still there. Still in the WIP category of my Ravelry projects, and believe me I’ve pondered the idea of putting it into hibernation. I’ll knit about 4 rows, then become weary and put it aside, and pick it up about 10 days later and knit another 4 rows, then repeat. At least Beatrice likes it. (Apologies for the blurry):

ModerneDec

I draped it over the footstool so that at least one creature in the household can get some enjoyment out of it, which kitty does indeed. She even slept on it all night one time, so there’s that. It’s not the most active WIP ever, but to put it into hibernation makes me fear I’ll never get it done. And yet would forcing myself to finish make me even more weary? Oh, the decisions.

In other news, after digging myself into a horrible pit of misery for a short while earlier this week, I forced myself to chill today and begin on the holiday do-nothing time. (I have to start writing lectures soon ohgodohgodohgodohgod but am going to try to work up to that in increments). The Ivy League Vest has seen quite a bit more action as a result, and is now a couple of inches past the progress in this photo:

ILVDec18

Thanks to my stress-addled brain, I’ve done a few mishaps along the way, but in large part these are mostly colour errors. A couple of times on the large peeries I’ve forgotten to change the background or foreground colour partway through, for example. But thankfully peeries are forgiving and still look good. I’m glad now that I started with this first – by the time I get to Venezia perhaps I will have trained my brain to read colour charting a bit more precisely.

The other thing I’m grappling with is the stitch counts – this pattern indicates # of decreases very clearly, but I find I’m more comfortable with indications of stitch counts remaining, of which there are not so many. I’d like to know for certain how many sts are supposed to be left behind for each shoulder, as for example. I can backtrack that info from the rest of the pattern numbers, but sometimes I just want the security blanket of knowing for sure, yanno?

My wee brigade of Korknisse does continue to grow. I did this little subset on Sunday at my sister’s place and then added four more today. They continue to be adorable, and I continue to want more. I am debating whether to add any to the tree as ornaments or to just keep them as little standalone decorations.

KorknisseDec16

I am pretty easy about the corks – regular cork, newfangled plastic recycled corks, whatever. I mean, when you are basically making tiny knitted hats and sweaters for wine corks, the composite material of said corks is probably the least of your worries, right? ;) But I have started to ponder the fact that these wee darlings could use a bit more diversity in their population, which is certainly aided by the plastic corks that come in different shades. (Note to self: locate silver marker to provide black Korknisse with eyes.)

And what of the California corks? Is it wrong to make them knitted hats, as they come from such warm climes? Would they prefer brighter colours? Or perhaps cotton duds, not wool? A person could get a little too involved in such a project as this. You’ll have to keep me in line. ;)

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Filed under fair isle, ivy league vest, korknisse, mason-dixon