Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Warming up for a sweater

While I was debating what kind of a sweater to cast on for for the current Youth drive, I was inspired by Jody's beautiful worsted-weight socks to knit my own out of some Cascade Quattro that has lived in my stash for many years. It is my first pair of socks knitted in this weight, and they feel positively toasty. I may have enough wool left over for a smaller pair. They take so little time to knit that the experience is as close to immediate gratification as knitting can be.

I also whipped up a small-ish pair of mittens, trying to brighten up the brown with some bright orange and fluo pink. Now that I have a sweater on the needles (finally!), the smaller projects have been set aside but I hope to go back to them later in December.

coming up: three Fridays near Philadelphia

My friend Sharlene has a yoga studio. We were e-mailing back and forth about knitting last summer, and we considered the idea of doing some knitting for A4A during the next campaign. And it's happening! Starting next Friday, December 2, and continuing on the 9th and 16th, we'll be meeting from noon until 2 to knit 8-inch squares and make a blanket for the current campaign. It's a good way to de-stress for a little while as December progresses. People who can't come during those hours are still invited to drop off squares at the studio.

If you're near Philadelphia and would like to join us, we're on the western side, very close to the city. Join us at Cerca Trova yoga studio, 2124 Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19010. (Bring worsted weight wool and your needles.)

I am so looking forward to this!

Edited to add -- find a place and time near you and do the same! It doesn't have to be a great big affair, and it's going to be fun.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so grateful to see the inspiring generosity of Afghan for Afghans knitters. May you all enjoy the holiday in gratitude and plenty with loved ones -- with lots of time for knitting!

Warmly, Kathy

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweater ready to send

I just finished the green sweater -- gave
it a couple of stripes for interest.  I
followed the size 12 but used ribbing
for waist, cuffs and neck - which made
it a little longer.  I will get it packed and
sent this week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Almost mittens and a question

I finished one of a pair of mittens -- I expect to do the other this weekend. I have a hat I didn't get mailed the last time. Both are Lions Brand wool I got for an incredible $2 a skein. But here's my question....I have 600 yards each of 2 colors of bulky wool...can you point me to a pattern (not top down) that I could use this yarn for? Thanks in advance....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Almost sweater

Here is my "almost sweater" for the latest A4A campaign. My six-year-old model thought it was pretty silly to be putting on a sweater connected to knitting needles!

I think I started this project in spring of 2010 or was it 2009? I'm hoping I can finish it by the deadline in January 2012. You can't really tell by this photo, but the sweater is nice and long. This is the Huckleburry Sweater by Morehouse Farm. I purchased it as a kit. It is knit with bulky 100% merino wool. The completed sweater will be incredibly soft and warm for the recipient.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One sweater ready to mail

This sweater has watched several A4A campaigns pass by. I am no longer entirely sure when I started it -- I am pretty sure it was in the fall of 2009, but it might have been a year earlier than that. I should write these things down.

All of the yarn was yarn I already owned -- the brown yarn is Alafoss Lopi (two different dyelots, but I can't see the difference), and the red and gold are both Lamb's Pride Bulky. I knit a lot of socks on teeny yarn, so knitting with bulky is a pleasant change. I used a pattern by Design from Louise, the Child's Fairisle Pullover. (I was not entirely happy with this pattern; henceforth I will be using the Knitting Pure and Simple Children's Bulky Top Down Pullover).

I made the sleeves and body 2 inches longer than specified, and I started the sleeves with 4 stitches more than called for, because I'd read a review that said the sleeves on this one were too tight. I also did the increases on the sleeves every 3, not 4, rows, so they would get wider earlier.

I used my favorite trick for the neckband, to avoid making one that won't stretch over a kid's head.

Pay attention! This is a great trick! If your sweater calls for a crewneck, like this one, here's what you do. If the instructions say to rib for 1 inch and then bind off, do this: rib for 2 inches. Now, rather than binding off, you are going to do something so clever and simple. . . (This works better if your neckband is on a circular needle, but can be done with double-pointed needles if necessary). Leaving your neck stitches on the needle, cut your yarn, leaving a very, very long tail. Thread it onto a sewing-up needle.  Thread the yarn through the first stitch on the needle, as if  to knit. Remove that stitch from the knitting needle. Follow the line of that stitch all the way down to the first stitch you knit on your neckband. With the sewing-up needle, pull your yarn through one leg of that one, too. Pull the yarn all the way through. Go back to the stitches on the knitting needle, and do the same again. Continue -- one stitch from the needle, corresponding stitch at the beginning of the neckband -- until you've sewn all of the "live" stitches from the knitting needle, one by one, to the corresponding stitch at the very beginning of the neckband. Voila! A stretchy neckband (and no need to try to disguise the jog between last and first stitches that often occurs when you bind off in the round).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Here is what I am working on now

This will be a top down pullover, size 12, when complete.  I am using Diane Soucy's Knitting Pure and Simple pattern but plan to use ribbed rather than rolled collar and cuffs etc.


This time a blanket

After making a sweater for the last couple campaigns, I think this year's project will be a blanket - knit-on block construction like the Moderne Log Cabin (Mason-Dixon). I searched the stash for extra bits and bobs and now have a bag of full and partial stray skeins. I'm going to put the dense (scratchy) yarns in the middle where you can imagine the blanket will be covering the user's core and use the cashmerino in seed stitch for the outer blocks where you might imagine hands and arms will feel the softness. I've made this style of afghan with hand-spun so I know I can tailor the size by adjusting the width of the blocks to make sure the blanket is rectangular to meet the size standards.

I'll post a picture when there is more to this project than my thoughts and dreams.


progress report

Currently drying is a sweater I started for A4A at least two years ago (I don't think it was three). Pictures tomorrow or the next day, depending on how fast it dries.

What does everyone else have underway?

Also, someone asked in the comments how my yarn giveaway went a few weeks ago. Well -- it didn't. No takers!! I'm glad that everyone is so well supplied with wool this year.