Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweater Progress

I'm zooming on the Koigu sleeves, almost to the point of attachment at the yoke. I'm knitting both of them at the same time to avoid dreaded Second Sleeve Syndrome. Whenever I pick them up, I just note which one is shorter and knit on that one for awhile.

For comparison's sake and slightly better color:
That's from last week: sweater body and old sleeve (now frogged.)

The periwinkle Cable Cardigan is coming right along also. Here I have positioned them as they will be attached for joining:

Clockwise from top we have: unblocked back, sleeve still in progress, unblocked fronts, and blocked sleeve. I'm just a few days away from joining them all and knitting the yoke on this one, too.

Stay tuned for a bunch of corny yoke jokes! And that's no yoke.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Start of Something Cheery

34 squares done.....135 to go!

Monday, February 18, 2008

So Sad

Dear Friends,

I try not to stray too far from knitting and quilting, but this tragedy has hit very close to home and I feel compelled to write about it and ask for your prayers.

The campus is about thiry minutes down the road from me and many people in this area have kids there. There are a few people from my dear church family that have been directly affected. In fact, there is a member of our congregation who joined last year--she's a knitter--who is the aunt of one of the girls who died.

I can't imagine what that family is going through. To make matters worse, I found out yesterday that a hate group is coming to town to picket (yes, you read that right) at the girl's funeral. This will be taking place today, just down the street from my house.

The grief is strong in this area and I am asking, if you believe in the power of prayer as I do, that you will join me in keeping all of these people in your prayers today.

I hope to be back tonight or tomorrow with knitting updates--there is much progress. As you can imagine, my fingers have been busy as I have been thinking on all of these things.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Periwinkle Sweater

You asked for it, you got it. Well, some of you asked for it. The periwinkle sweater. From the new Winter 07/08 Vogue, #13 Cabled Cardigan. Here's my sleeve/swatch.

On the Vogue preview page, you can see a photo of the Vogue pattern I am using. It is the gold and grey sweater, third row down, third one across. It looks very different in a solid color with woolier yarn. I am not using different colors of yarn to do the stripes. And my yarn -Cascade 220- is not as drapey as the yarn they used, but I took that into consideration and think/hope it will be kind of Anthropologie-ish.

Here's the back up to the armhole, ready to join some fronts and sleeves.

One really great thing about this sweater for an impatient knitter like me. You know how, when you're knitting a sweater with a yoke, how you get all the fronts, back, sleeves done and think "Wow! I'm almost done! I just have to do the yoke!" And then you get hit with reality, because the yoke is actually huge, because you are knitting the front, back and both sleeves in one round, and it takes forever, and you get really sick of it.

In this sweater, just when you get to that point at the beginning of the yoke and you're kind of sick of the cable crosses and all that, you change patterns completely and get to do a totally new feather and fan pattern for the whole yoke. Fun!

Possible changes. I plan to do a very narrow front band in seed stitch, because I don't like how the cable panel hangs in front with no finished edge. I am also unsure of how the bottom ruffle will look on me, and I could cut off the ruffle very easily and decrease the amount of stitches to do a small seedstitch bottom band. I think I will like the ruffle on the sleeves but not sure about the bottom edge. (The photo doesn't show it very clearly on the model.)

In Koigu news: we have progress. I am actually about 4 more inches up the body than this photo shows, and the fit is looking good this time around. I'm alternating my knitting time between this and the periwinkle, depending on whether I need mindless or more interesting.

Two good projects going at the same time makes for one very happy knitter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Packing Up

Hi guys! You really cracked me up with the comments. Which one: quilt or sweater? was just a rhetorical question (of course I'm doing both) and I didn't expect an actual VOTE. That was unexpected and really fun. (And I'm glad to see it was almost tied.) Thanks for participating!!

I have that periwinkle sweater well underway so will show it later this week. Didn't get much progress made on the quilt, but will show what ever I have later this week too.

Didn't get much done over the weekend because I tackled two of my least favorite things, cleaning and taxes. Then yesterday, I spent the majority of the day doing this:

Packing up eight quilts for the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. These are for the special exhibit "Pressing Matters" by the Chicago School of Fusing. I will also have one quilt (this one) in the competition portion of the show.

I don't talk too much about my goals because they are so personal. And I hate to have things in writing, because I reserve the right to change my mind! But I will say that I have made a goal to enter quilt shows again this year and to make at least one....maybe more than one....big art quilts again. It was good to take a break for a few years while this household has been so busy. I just didn't have the head for design. But I'm feeling the desire coming on strong again, especially unpacking and looking at these pieces.

However, I have to say that packing up quilts for shipping is my LEAST favorite part of the job! Clearing the space, getting them out and unrolling them, making sure everything is clean and looks good, making sure I have labels (oops, missing one....downstairs to quickly fuse one on), packing them up and fitting them into their giant boxes, getting all the paperwork done. It took me from 9am to 2pm--that's allowing for picking up and feeding a couple of kids somewhere in the middle of that. And I began to realize "oh yeah, there's a good reason I haven't been doing this for a couple of years."

I meant to take an "after" photo of the giant boxes, but I forgot in my hurry to get to the UPS drop site with three big boxes and two little girls, before it started to blizzard or I acquired an additional kid.

But now, all eight quilts are snug in a big UPS truck on the highway to Virginia, and I have some quilt blocks to attend to.....see you again soon.....

Friday, February 08, 2008

It's Been Real

It's been real, and it's been fun.
But Winter, I'm really ready for you to move on. I wouldn't mind you sticking around for a little while longer, if you could just go easy on the snow. And the sleet. And the frigid temperatures.
The silver lining: you bring good, cozy, knitting and sewing weather.
So, what should it be folks?

A new sweater?

Or a new quilt?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Big Day

This morning I got up extra early. I loaded a bunch of people into my van, talked about the importance of voting--we've been discussing this for weeks now--and took them to the polling place.

Unfortunately, they were a little too short to vote. And they weren't registered. But we had a good lesson, nonetheless! And, they all got stickers! All before school even started.

If you are in a Super Tuesday state, get YOUR people into your van and get out there today!

Did you come here for some Koigu-y goodness?!

I am back up to the 6th stripe again--where I was before I frogged last week. I estimate there will be approximately 18 stripes total in the body, so 6 is good. I feel like I'm making progress. And I'm liking the color combination much better.

I mean, you should be able to see the stripes, otherwise, why go to the trouble of using different colors, why not just use all the same color? I just don't think any one should stick out like a sore thumb.

Here is a photo of the original sweater, from Vogue Fall 2002. As I have mentioned before, this is my all-time favorite issue, and I've made 2 other sweaters from this issue, and have at least one more in my queue.

And one more photo in my bad, overcast-day light, to attempt a close-up of the colors melding together.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Weekend Edition

Knitting continues on the Koigu turtleneck!

I was 5 stripes up on the body when I thought it might be a good idea to check my gauge. I laid the sweater out on the shirt I am copying.

My gauge is just a tad too loose, but sadly, that adds up to more than 2 inches in the overall sweater. Froggggg.

However, (silver lining) since I am starting over on the body, I am taking this opportunity to eliminate 2 of the colors which were bothering me. The dark green stripe (second stripe from the bottom in the photo above) and the bright blue stripe (fourth stripe from the bottom) are hitting the road. They stand out too much. The other 5 colors meld really well. I think I still have enough yarn to finish it, and I can always dye something if I'm coming up short.

Or, I am also considering keeping the lighter and darker colors in the sleeves, just not in the body. So, the sleeves would be just a little more stripey, colorful, contrast-y, but the body would be more solid looking.

So the sleeve is staying for now, just hibernating, until I get the body done up to the armholes, figure out where I stand on yarn, and how I like the stripes with less contrast.
And, since we're on the subject of sock yarn for sweaters, take a look at this super-cutie! Hope you are all having a nice, cozy, knitterly weekend.