Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shalom Revisited, Peace Again!

Shalom Two or: "Peace" Again! Here it is with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. It's like a sweater vest coat, really. The coat of many colors. It does attract the attention of those holiday shoppers who are aware enough to notice it is a handmade and distinctive garment. I found this out the other day at Target, when a random lady stopped me to comment about it.It took a few fancy "seams" in the back of the yoke to get it to fit better. In hindsight, I cast on too many for the yoke...
The Shalom Two sweater keeps developing! I decided to add on a hem and a little bit of a sleeve. So I picked up and knit several garter stitch rows for the hem. Picked up too many stitches the first try which made it flare out and ruffle. Second try, picked up every other stitch which was a bit snug. Trying to block it out a bit here:For the sleeve: I picked up about 7 stitches in quadrants around the sleeve and 14 under the arm, (about 42 total) knitting in the round for 5 rows in stockinette, then 3 rows: purl, knit, purl to finish off before casting off on the wrong side row.

This particular project has been in hibernation for a year now. What better time to get the wool out than when we are having a nice cold snap here in Seattle. Lows of 15 degrees at night, snow on the ground and it's 25 degrees out now. School's closed and I can hunker down in my snow jammies all day with my coffee and my yarn. I made the pattern, Shalom awhile back and loved it so. You may find the pattern on Involving the Senses blog. I used a combination of that pattern for the yoke, as well as the Poppy sweater pattern idea for the lower portion of the sweater. You can see my original Shalom and Poppy sweaters on the sidebar to the right, as well as the blogsite mentioned above (I hyperlinked it). This was a creative endeavor combining two pattern concepts into one. I first made the yoke according to Shalom's instructions on size 10 needles with the Noro yarn, casting on 109. In hindsight this was probably too many stitches...Then I added on the body using sideways knitting of stripes of alternating yarns adding in purl rows for interest, until it made a long enough strip to attach to the yoke. I added on a button band to the body, however only added buttonholes to the yoke. I used some Cascade 220 Heathers and some Berroco Palace and more Noro for my striping on the body.
It ends up being very roomy in the yoke in the back, however I am not brave enough to try steeking on such a complicated yoke. So I tried to tumble it a bit in the dryer to see if I could snug the sweater up a bit. I don't recommend doing this on your wool, but I did this on this particular sweater knowing I had a lot of "give" in it and checked it every several minutes. I did this after soaking, spinning it and blocking it almost dry. After this, I sewed on buttons. Voila! My husband says it looks somewhat like a poncho! Thanks, honey! I had thought of adding on sleeves...then again, may not. I might just wear a long sleeved shirt under it.
It kind of does look like Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat or a coat of many colors.
It was a fun and artsy way of using up Noro yarns and my first attempt at doing something of the sort!

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Ending and a Beginning

A sadness is over the knitting community due to the closing of our local yarn shop.
Knitting there one last time was sad, but...

I had the joy of teaching one special Grandma and her granddaughter to knit today. And that helped make up for one sad ending. And made it a day of new beginnings.

And they caught on very quickly. I hope it brings them great joy! I know it did for me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trying On Slinky Ribs and Blocking!

Voila! My new "favorite" sweater: Slinky Ribs, by Wendy Bernard from her book, "Custom Knits".
Used 5 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, on size 6 needles, 6 dpns, and size 4 needles. LOVE! It is so comfortable and I will really wear this one alot!Modifications: I raised the neckline by an inch and made the sleeves 3/4 length, added in a purl row before casting off the sleeves as well as the hem to help it avoid curling. I also made buttonholes for the six buttons.
I learned about: provisional cast-on, short-row shaping on a sleeve cap, did alot of ribbing and made a few mistakes along the way!
Here's what it looked like all dried and blocked in the morning. I soaked it in Eucalan and then rolled in a towel, put both the towel with the sweater (still inside it), in the "spin" cycle of my washer just to get excess water out, and then layed it flat to dry overnight. Can't wait to get a photo shoot outside in this one!

A sleeve:

Blocking makes ALL the difference:

Found that extra button! I took out and redid the hem to include a purl row to match the ends of the sleeves. Finished picking up the neckline stitches and knit an extra row there than called for. The neckline curls a bit -it is meant to do that. Trying it on before blocking, I am pleased. Before blocking:

During blocking:

I can get a bit of extra length out of it through blocking and get the hem to lie flatter, especially with the purl row added in. This sweater feels super soft and comfy. I can see getting use out of this one! I knit most of the ribbing while down in Bend, OR and will always have the memory that I had started it on a hot September afternoon, poolside at the hotel, just as was pictured in the pattern book! Well...almost! I will remember this was knit just before attending a lovely couple's wedding on our trip there, and alot of time spent knitting it on the LONG car ride home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Slinky Rib is Coming Along

Edited to add: After adding the buttons...looks like I am one button short! I actually found the buttons at Wal-Mart! Perhaps the greatest discovery ever...they were only 67 cents! Here's hoping they still have them. The pattern calls for you to pick up and knit 2 stitches for every 3 rows along each front buttonband edge, so I picked up 28 along the bands. Remember I raised my neckline up, so this may differ for each individual. On the left front band, on the 3rd (knit) row, I made buttonholes like so: K3, (YO, K4, repeat), K last 3 stitches (with one yarnover, spaced every 4 stitches). On the the following row, purled into the yarnovers and purled 2 together after the holes. I also knit one extra row than called for and cast off on the wrong side (purl side) of the band. I had read in the pattern you are to just sew on the buttons and not make holes, but I thought buttonholes would look nicer, even if I sewed them down secure to the other flap.
I think I can smooth out the ruffles during blocking stage, but here's a close up. Next I will do the picking up of stitches around the neckline and knit stitches off the back neck where stitches have been patiently holding on for a long, long, time.

Sleeves done, and up next: Picking up stitches on the front for the buttonband and the neckline. Every sweater I learn something new. On this one I have learned about shaping a sleeve cap with short rows and doing some rib detail, raising a neckline and doing a provisional cast on. In every sweater are little mistakes. Some I can correct, and others remain there, as a reminder that it is handmade! This sweater has its share of boo boos, however, all in all I am liking it so far.