Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Alcea Continues

Now that the Monhegan Aran is finished, I have gotten back to "Alcea". The steeks are cut and the neck ribbing and button bands are finished. Both came out nicely. I have started the sleeve and am almost through the first pattern sequence. Two and a half repeats of the pattern should make the sleeve just about the right length. Nice to get back to fairisle. I hope to have it finished before the "Oregon" KAL starts in Feb. I'm already thinking about what to put on the needles next..............so MANY choices!

"Son of Aran" Finished

My Monhegan project is finally finished. Delayed by "Fulmar", finished and worn several times. This is a very warm sweater, just right for cold winter days, of which we have had plenty lately. I managed to finish without making any more wrong twists, at least I haven't found any yet! Made with Cascade 220 and size 5 needles, all in one piece, from the neck down. Enjoyed the knitting and the fun company at the knitting retreat where it was started.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Fulmar" Finished

I have finished AS's "Fulmar". Started in October as an on-line KAL, it was addicting. It is a truly beautiful sweater and I enjoyed every part of it. The Frangipani was great to work with, I would not hesitate to use it again. I don't think this sweater will ever wear out, it is heavy and very warm. It was knitted as per the directions with just a few tweeks. I did make it shorter and just slightly narrower. The neckband is not as high, only 12 rows instead of 24 rows of pattern. I love the sweater and it is going to be well-worn!

Janet Saves The Day

I finished "Fulmar" and had it spread out for picture taking. Right in the middle of the front of the left sleeve - how could I have missed this - was a cable twisted in the wrong direction. OH NO! Janet Szabo' new book "Cables, Volume 1 has a great technique for fixing just this kind of thing. Held my breath and did it! Worst that could happen was that I would have to take the sleeve off, rip it back and re-knit it, so might as well give it a try. It worked like a charm, the fix does not show and it was not that hard to do.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gansey Completed

Tina's gansey is done. The pattern is the "White Gansey" from Beth Brown-Reinsel's "Knitting Ganseys". I used Halcyon Casco Bay Sport, 100% cotton for this sweater as Tina lives in Florida and has no use for a wool sweater! In fact, she will probably not use the cotton one very often. It was an easy knit, the color - Spruce - will look great on her as she is an Irish red-head. I washed the sweater by hand though the fiber is machine washable. I wanted to see if it ran or shrank. There was some color loss in cool water so I rinsed it with white vinegar as I do with cotton fabrics that bleed. That seems to have taken care of that problem. There was no shrinkage, in fact a slight stretch. It's drying on the floor, thought I would throw it in the dryer when it's almost dry and measure again. I'm glad it is finished, the fabric is too wimpy for me. May make another one day with Frangipani which would give it more body.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One Sleeve Done

I've finished the first sleeve for "Fulmar". Shortened a little, only 42cm long instead of the 45cm the pattern called for. It's also 2 stitches short in width which shouldn't make any difference. I now have to put it aside in order to finish the Green Gansey for my friend Tina as she will be visiting for two weeks. I have eight days to finish - think I will make it?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back Completed

"Fulmar" now has a back! Shortened to fit me, it measures 23" to the shoulder without the saddle. Width is 22" which should be just right. I'm using KnitPick "Options" needles, 2.75mm and Franjpani wool. The stitch definition is great and gauge is right on. Now on to the sleeves. Cold weather is creeping in, will need this sweater very soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fulmar Front Done

I have finished the front of "Fulmar". Measurements are 58.5cm (23") to the shoulder, chest: 21.5" which will make it a size 43. It is quite stretchy so will easily make the 44" that I wanted. The neckline began after row 12 of pattern C and the shoulder was bound off on row 24 of pattern D. It worked out perfectly. I am only 5' tall so this should be just right when the saddles are added. The back is started and is at about 8".

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Son of Aran, with sleeve

One sleeve done! I like the way this sweater is knit, top down. The fit is great. My biggest problem now is which sweater to work on, Fulmar or Son of Aran. This one transports me back to Monhegan Island where it was started. Lots of nice memories to ponder while knitting!

Fulmar Continues

Everything going well with Fulmar so far. I have changed to a 2.75 Options needle and have knit the pattern as graphed with one exception, I have deleted 6 stitches from both sides of the check rib. I am now at 17" and the piece is measuring 44" across, perfect fit for me. The pattern is quite easy to follow, I am enjoying the knit so far. The sleeves will have to be adjusted as I have short arms and they are too wide for me. Will face that dilemma when I get to it. The Frangipani is a joy to work with, would not hesitate to use it again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fulmar KAL

I had a small amount of Frangipani on hand, so decided to swatch the "Fulmar" and see if I could get gauge. Surprizingly I got it first try with a 3.00mm Addi. Bit the bullet and ordered the Frangipani from the UK, pistachio in color. Since the KAL does not start until Oct. 1 I decided to cast on one sleeve and see if I could do the cables. It really is going to be a beautiful sweater, the patterns show so well. I'm going to knit the second size.

Monhegan Project

The "Son of Aran" progresses nicely. It is done FLAK fashion from the neck down. I'm using Cascade 220 and Addi size 5 needles. After knitting for 4 days on the island by headlamp and kerosene lamplight, I was surprized to only find 2 errors. One was in the moss stitch and only 13 rows back so that was ripped out and redone. It was an error that you could see sometimes and other times had to hunt for, but it is now fixed. The second one was much worse, one of the main cable twists at the very beginning of the back, too far to ladder back. All the ladies offered their solutions ranging from leave it, no one will see it, to frog it or pick up and knit over the stitches and bury the error. I finally decided to try Janet's "snip and fix" method, figuring if it didn't work I could frog it and start the back over ( which was what I was going to do anyway). It was driving me crazy even if nobody else could find the error. It worked like a charm! Best thing since sliced bread! You can bet I look at each row with an eagle eye now before starting the next!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monhegan 2007

I'm just back from a knitting retreat on Monhegan Island, Maine. Ten miles off the coast, it's a small village and lots of beautiful scenery. Four days of knitting by the fire, eating, knitting by lamplight and headlamps, sleeping, eating, knitting.......... we had fun and relaxed. No electricity, phones, tv, radio, computer or any other distractions. I started Janet's "Son of Aran" and managed to get the front and back done to the armholes - only ripped out three times - got home and discovered one mis-twist and one seed stitch error - oh well! Twenty four ladies from all over the State of Maine left the island with projects including sweaters, socks, hats, scarves and baby blankets in various stages of finishing. Thanks to "Stitchery Square" in Camden for organizing our fun!

Weather was not great, foggy and drizzle after the first afternoon of sunshine, but we persevered and had a good time anyway. Burned about a half cord of wood and knit til we dropped!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tina's Sweater

Now on hold waiting for cooler weather is my dear friend Tina's gansey. Tina lives in Florida and only wears a sweater once in awhile during winter. She has only one, so I measured everything and decided to make one for her. Tina is Irish with red hair, her favorite color is green. It had to be cotton and light weight - no worsted weight- and she wanted a pullover with a stand up neckband. I finally settled on Casco Bay Sport cotton from Halcyon and the pattern is from Beth Brown-Reinsel's "Knitting Ganseys". It's kind of wimpy feeling but that is what she wanted. It does show the patterns well and the color is perfect. She tried it on when up in Maine on vacation and it fits well. Now all I have to do is finish it and hand deliver it of course. February is coming! If she ever moves back north again I will have to make a "real" wool Irish sweater for her.

Caspian Sea Socks

Now these socks I did not enjoy knitting and will never make another pair. I ordered the Tuir yarn for them, had to wait as it was out of stock, and couldn't wait to get started. I have knit toe up socks before, had no problems, and liked the technique. These, however, I could not get going. I don't know if it was the yarn or because there were two colors. After much frustration I finally gave up and did them from the top down. That worked fine for me, but I did not like working with 3 colors in a row, and found that I absolutely hated knitting with Tuir. It split, was so slippery I had problems with tension, just generally did not enjoy the knit. They did get finished though, and I am sure will feel great along about January when the snow is flying. They are very warm and thick. It says in the pattern to be ready for a flood of requests for more pairs - not likely!

Winter Dreams

Some of my summer projects have been socks and "Winter Dreams" from Red Bird Knits had been waiting in the pile for awhile. The first sock was too large I thought, so I set it aside and started the second on smaller needles, a size 2 Inox dp's. The sock was perfection, stitches were so smooth, it looked gorgeous. Only one problem - I couldn't get my foot in! Stranded knitting has no stretch. That sock went to the frog pond, started over with a size 2 Clover bamboo dp and it came out perfect, fit fine. Now I had to rip out the first sock to make it match the second. All in all, there were four socks in this pair - too funny! At least I have the pattern down pat! They were fun to do (good thing) and I will knit more pairs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Summer is almost over and finally I have a new post to my blog. It's been too hot to work on sweaters so "Alcea" and the gansey have been put on hold. I've finished several pairs of socks and today have finished my first pair of Selbu mittens. They are #NHM7 from Terri Shea's book "Selbuvotter". What fun to knit! I actually used up two leftover skeins of shetland and by my calculations, if I knit about 500 pairs of these I will make a dent in my stash! I started them on double points and then decided to try two circs when there was a discussion of this method on one of the forums. Works like a charm and is much easier to keep track of the pattern. As I didn't have two needles the same size, I ordered a pair from KnitPicks, and must say I do love their fixed circulars. So smooth, cable is nice and flexible, and nice points. I used a 2.50mm needle and Jamieson's shetland. They are a perfect fit for my small hand, would go to a 2.75mm to make them a little larger I think.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gansey in Two Days

I have completed a gansey in just two days! Incredible you say? The trick is it is a miniature and only 8". This little sweater used up a whole 4oz. skein of Brown Sheep worsted. It is the Sampler Gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel's "Knitting Ganseys" and was quite a learning experience. I have learned how to do a Channel Island Cast On, Provisional Cast On, Underarm Gussets, shoulder strap Perpendicular Join, Triangular Neckline Gussets and enjoyed every minute of it. The book is a treasure and will be referred to many times. Now to plan a full size gansey for my friend Tina. I'm still looking for the perfect fiber for this sweater as she lives in Florida and doesn't want wool. May use Halcyon Yarns "Casco Bay Sport", not sure yet. In the meantime, back to Alcea.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Back to FairIsle

FairIsle was calling so I had to make a choice from my backlog of projects. "Alcea" won. This was purchased as a kit from She Ewe Knits and is from the Simply Shetland 3 book. The yarn is Jamieson's Shetland which I am really enjoying. Seems to be a little softer and has more loft than the J&S I had been using. The directions are for a pullover but I am turning it into a cardigan. It has such a large repeat that I have opted to do the smaller size but on a larger needle in order to get the correct size for me. I'm using Addi size 3 for the ribbing and size 4 for the body and it is working out fine.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Knitting on the Road to Florida

Not wanting to work from a chart while driving, I purchased Interweave's "Favorite Socks" book. After finishing two pair of mindless ribbed self-striping socks (one was left in Florida for a friend) I started the "Diagonal Cross Rib" socks. Finished one on the way home and the other after we arrived back to the snow and ice. Nice pattern and easy to knit. I had read several articles about short row heels that left me saying "Huh?" so decided the best way to learn how to do these was to just knit a pair and see what happened. Priscilla Gibson Roberts had a pair in the book so cast on and started. Once I got the hang of it, I found the method very easy and the fit was very nice. Directions called for size 2 & 3 needles which is just a tad loose for me so will use size 1 & 2 for my next pair. The heel and toe are very comfortable and the zig-zag bind off worked like a charm. This is definitely a method I will use again!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finished Land & Sea

Finished the sweater just in time to wear during our blizzard. This is the small size, right to gauge, and it is BIG! Good thing I didn't make my usual large. It measures 47 1/2", right to the pattern. I have 2 full skeins of yarn left over, so those making the large would have plenty of yarn. It's lovely and warm, with lots of room for layering. It will get plenty of wear this month if the weather doesn't break soon. Got 10" of snow with a sleet crust and the wind is blowing a gale today. Only about 15 degrees and feels much colder. The rest of the yarn might just end up in a hat and socks.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Have the back of my "Land & Sea" pullover from Cottage Craft up to the armhole bind-off. It's going fairly quickly after doing all the fairisle sweaters. The color is Blue Spruce, fiber is soft though has some bits of hay to pick out. My fingers are already itching to get back to some colorwork, may have to break a rule and have two sweaters going at once.

Cottage Craft web site:

Their sweater kits are very reasonable, I am pleased with mine.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Prince of Wales Finished

BIL's vest is finished. "Prince of Wales" from Meg Swansen's "Sweater's From Camp", done in Katia Mississippi 4 cotton/acrylic. I'm very pleased with the way the cotton worked in FairIsle. The gauge was right on, and the stitches are very even. I did an enclosed armhole ribbing as shown on the KidsKnit web site and was happy with the results. It was a little puffy but blocked out nicely. Used the cross stitch method on the neckline as I was afraid it would be too thick otherwise. Time will tell how the cotton will behave with wear. I'm happy, another bag of yarn used up, another project done! Next one will be the "Land and Sea" pullover from Cottage Craft, already started.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Nebraska Sunset

Got a phone call at 7:45AM two weeks before Christmas. It was Sam telling me to stop work on his vest, he wanted me to make a sweater for my sister for Christmas. I made a mad dash for the stash closet to see what was there, pulled out Nebraska Sunset hoping she would like the colors, and cast on that morning. Of course there wasn't enough time to finish but did manage to get the body done and wrapped it up with the needles still in it. She loved the colors and, glory be, it fit! Retreived the sweater and finished it up last week-end.

"Nebraska Sunset" is from Meg Swansen's "Sweaters From Camp" and is the 4th sweater I have done from this book. The fiber is Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper weight and needle size was Addi Turbo 5. I plan to make myself one of these one day but think I will use DK weight as the fabric is a little wimpy. Directions called for size 6 needles but in my opinion, that is too large for the 2ply yarn. Now back to the "Prince of Wales" vest, which is up to the shoulders and steeks are cut.