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One-week Sweater

Last week was spring break for the college where I teach, so I decided that it was time to tackle a more ambitious project than any I had done so far. I looked around for the simplest sweater pattern that I could find, and settled on "Skully" from Debbie Stoller's "Stitch 'n Bitch."

I had to learn a few new techniques I had never used before. The three needle bindoff was trivial, picking up stitches was easy (though I had trouble doing it evenly), and intarsia was a huge pain even for the limited amount in the sweater. I ended up "cheating" the intarsia a lot, especially on the second sleeve.

It took almost exactly a week to finish it. I started late on a Friday evening, and finished up the following Friday in the afternoon.

Now that I'm done, I kind of regret being so cautious and sticking to the pattern almost exactly. There are certainly things that I think I could have improved if I had been courageous enough. Still, it turned out well, and it is something that I will actually wear, especially when I'm giving exams. (Not until next winter, though. The thing is incredibly warm, and now that temperatures are going above 80F, I just don't see using it any time soon.)

oh no! open to suggestions

I am still working on this raglan cardigan and I was finishing it up this weekend - as I was sewing down the collar I realized in a fit of horror that I had accidentally picked up stitches along the collar for the zipper cover thingy - (this is the "Avast" sweater from knitty.com) -

I don't know what to do, because after you pick up and knit the right and left zipper cover things, you pick up around the bottom of the sweater and knit around that - so I can't just take out that zipper cover and re-do it, and I'm terrified of cutting it - I'm open to suggestions.

I think I'll just pick up along the other side of the collar, and knit it - doing this might make the collar a little bulky on the side I haven't turned down (the "oops" side) - so I don't know if it's the best idea - I am turning to all the fabulous knitters who know so much better than I to see what they come up with

help?

:)

Kyle

The dreaded "factory made" compliment

So, about a week ago, some friends came up to visit. I've kept in touch, but haven't seen them in person for about two years, they know I've taken up knitting but have yet to see anything I made.

So, one of them goes into the hobby room and asks to see what I've been spinning/knitting, I don't have much here right now but I show her some yarn I've made, my fiber, spindles and wheel, and gave a quick demonstration with the spindle. I showed her a few things I've knitted and she picked up a grey ribbed watchcap with black striping and showed it to my other friend. He's the type of guy that if he was out of deodorant he'd rather use none than use his girlfriend's, the type of guy that cannot step foot into a women's clothing store, that will only buy certain products like shampoo if they're somehow advertised as being "manly", so he took a look at it, and said that it looked just like it came from a store.

I know what he meant, that the tension was even, that there were no visible mistakes (there actually was one purl that was supposed to be a knit but only I notice it), that it looked professional, and I know that coming from him, since he's one of those "why not buy the swea

1,000 Great Knitting Motifs - Book

This book by Luise Roberts (2004) is loaded with nothing but great charted patterns (in colour) for stranded knitting. There are no garment recipes but there is a short chapter on Intarsia and Fair Isle techniques as well as a section on choosing, and positioning motifs

The best way to give an idea of the wide range of content is to list the sections and chapters:

1. Traditional knitting motifs
- Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Lapland, Western Europe,
Eastern Europe, Around the Mediterranean Sea, Asia
South America

2. Traditional pictorial motifs
- Native American, Homestead America, Aztec & Inca,
Celts, Africa, India & Tibet

3. Modern pictorial motifs
- Alphabet, Zodiac, The world around us, Animals,
birds & insects, Floral, Toys & Nursery

This book has something for everyone. The fact that the charts are in colour makes it easier for me to visualise the design - I want to use them all!

Drugs And Knitting Don't Mix

I injured my back at work about 10 days ago and have been laid up. I'm in a hotel about 1,000 miles from home unable to drive and barely able to walk. I'm also on percocet and valium in an effort to get things under control.

Last night I foolishly tried knitting on a sock I've been working on. The ribbed top was finished so I thought I'd start the heel flap. Big mistake. I totally messed it up and, not having been smart enough to put in a lifeline I was unable to pick up the stitches again after frogging the mess of a flap.

I wound up having to frog the whole thing and starting over. I've cast on the 48 stitches and just left it be for now.

I'm pretty ticked off at myself at the moment. All that work for nothing.

The Art of Fair Isle Knitting - Book

"The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color and Patterns" by Ann Feitelson, 1996, has quickly become an essential part of my knitting library. Included is the history of Shetland/Fair Isle knitting up until the present day. The chapter on FI techniques is great and she makes a great case for using the long needles with the knitting belt. A variety of different ways of throwing the yarn are shown along with a fantastic page demonstrating and explaining why one colour is carried consistently over the other and how the decision which yarn to carry where makes a huge difference in how the pattern looks when completed. She gives such a good lesson on changing colours, finishing ends and of all things, increases and decreases in a FI patterning (I was surprised). The chapter on colour in FI knitting is extensive and very helpful for me who is rather colour-challenged. The garment recipes are lovely and for the first time I've found FI jumpers that I'm keen to make for myself.

I highly recommend this book for someone who is interested in stranded knitting. Be warned: it's rather addictive!

Fair Isle Knitting Handbook by Starmore - Book

This now out-of-print book by Alice Starmore is a great reference for Fair Isle knitting. Of course, there is the mandatory chapters on the history of Shetland knitting which I enjoyed reading. There are also chapters on FI patterns with charts and colour photos as well as a chapter with traditional garment recipes. All this is good but the part I am the most appreciative of is the detailed explanation of Shetland/FI technique which includes cut tubular knitting. Coupled with this is the chapter on designing your own garments using FI patterns and technique. The section on "planning a gansey" has been of great assistance to me on multiple occasions. This section gives instructions on sizing, gussets, necklines and sleeves.

My mate, Simon (MWK member in the UK) sent a copy of this book to me and I refer to it when I'm planning a new jumper. Now that I'm beginning to do stranded knitting, I'm appreciating it even more.

I know that this book is hard to find and then very dear once found (ebay prices hover around US$150.00! But, if you can get a copy, I highly recommend it.