Here is my third project for 2007. It is a sleeveless V-neck vest, made from Cleckheaton “Country” (Australia) 8 ply on 4.0 mm needles. The colour is a gorgeous emerald green (not a blue-green)which, per usual, has not registered properly on the digital camera. I want to add that this wool was fantastic to work with, very "springy" and just plain nice to the touch.
I took the design from a Paton’s pattern (flat/pieced work) which I had made last year but due to my own failure to follow the directions for my size and the additional injury that the garment is meant to be “oversized” anyway, the vest was far too large for me to wear. I gave it to a friend who weighs 200 pounds more than I do and it fit perfectly! Very scary. Anyway, I loved the style and wanted to have one for myself so I did the EZ percentages method and used the cable styling from the original Paton’s pattern. The vest is done circular/seamless with “reduction steeks” for the armholes and neck. I tried a different reduction for the armholes this time which worked fine but I prefer the style I did on the ice blue vest.
I had decided to try doing cables without a needle. At first, it was a bit challenging, but as I sussed how to hold the stitches while they’re off the needle (very important aspect so that the stitches don't drop or twist), it all came right. I think that the stitches are actually treated more gently without the maneuvering of the cable needle. By the end of the project I was cabling quickly and effortlessly without the third needle and I will definitely do it the same way on another cable project. I recommend trying to cable without the cable needle to see how well it works.
Here is my first knitted garment for 2007. A knitting acquaintance of mine was clearing out her stash and gave me some knitting yarns just before the holidays. This particular yarn is made in New Zealand by Patons “Knit ‘n Save” Brushed DK – now, hold one for this – Courtelle! I can’t believe how beautiful it looks and feels. It was a breeze to knit up and was so like knitting with wool but I could feel a bit of a synthetic touch to it while knitting. The colour is a beautiful light ice-blue and it as soft as.
I was short 1 skein for a full jumper so this ended up a vest. I made up the pattern, seamless and circular, with steeks for the armhole and neck openings. I had to hold my breath a couple of times when doing the finishing bands as I was certain I’d miscalculated and it was not going to come out according to plan. But, luckily (and I do mean “luckily” as I’m math-handicapped) it all worked out fine. I had wanted a squarish collar and even that came out according to design, which amazed me no end. I read today Tom’s (gaynnyc) posting about knittingfool.com so now I’ll have more assistance with the maths (thank you, Tom!) for future projects.
I have been wanting to knit a vintage-looking jumper with a shawl collar for some time now. When I found this Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in a beautiful dark plum colour, I was certain this wool would make exactly what I was imagining. I am such a sucker for tweeds that I couldn’t resist the wool, even though it was quite expensive. But, having said that, I must hasten to add that there is more yardage on these skeins so the cost was actually not all that bad. The Silkroad contains: 85% wool, 10% silk and 5% merino. I found knitting with it rather awkward because of what I determine to be a high surface tension from the silk content. I definitely would not knit in this again. I knitted this on 4.5 mm needles (the label recommended 4.0 mm but the fabric was unsatisfactory).
I wanted to sort making a shawl collar and finally sussed it out without a pattern. I did a 7 stitch steek (photo attached) just above the sleeve join. This worked nicely as it eliminated knitting a whole lot of unnecessary stitches, thus saving expensive yarn. As I become more familiar with steeks, their size shrinks significantly. The pattern is the EZ percentages method so it circular and seamless except for where I sewed the two front collar flaps. The ribbing on the cuffs and body is deeper than I usually do so that it would compliment the width of the collar. The collar stitches were knit-up and are attached to the body. To make the back of the collar, I increased every other stitch from shoulder line to shoulder line and this gave the fullness I wanted. In the future, I’ll try a shawl collar with a front that is rounded rather than square. Believe me, there is a lot of ribbing in the bloody collar!
This newly finished jumper was inspired by a pattern in a book I recently found in a local used book shop. It’s called “Wit Knits” published in the UK in 1985. The author is a knitting designer whose work was promoted on British TV by Gyles Brandwith. The models in the book are British celebrities. For those fans of “Absolutely Fabulous” I’ve included some photos of Johanna Lumley who looks ‘ab fab’! The pattern I used is called “Down Boy” and is supposed to be done in intarsia but since that’s not possible in circular knitting, I did Swiss darning (aka duplicate stitch) to put the design on the fabric.
This is a seamless, circular jumper with raglan sleeves; the pattern was made using the EZ percentages method. For the first time I cast-on using the rib cast-on and I found this to be very satisfactory. It gives a more elastic edge than just plain long tail cast-on. The wool is Cleckheaton “Country” from Oz. I seem to use a lot of that brand as it’s readily available here (we have a shitty wool selection here).
I did a neck steek as follows: I put the front neckline stitches onto a piece of waste yarn and then knitted around. When I came to the beginning of the opening, I cast on the same number of stitches and this allowed me to continue to knit circularly. I did the reductions as I went, marking each reduction row with a single purl stitch in the steek either immediately preceding or following the reduction. At the end of the jumper, I sewed the reinforcement along the edge with had the purl stitches and then snipped. It worked beautifully.
OK Guys - I did it! this sweater pattern was from Vogue Knitting - I think 2 issues ago - it's done in Trendsetter Yosemite - and I'm very proud of it - the only problem I really had I talked about before (the SSK/K2TOG issue) - I am going to do the same thing again in a different yarn (just some wool yarn I got at my LYS) and see if I can do it correctly this time. The second sweater is all one color, so it'll be less forgiving.
I was very pleased when I finished this - just wanted to share it with all of you -
This pullover was knitted from a New Zealand wool "Touch" which is super fine kid mohair and merino wool - very, very soft and warm. I don't care much for knitting in this wool as I tend to drop stitches for some reason. But, admittedly, the feel of the final product is very nice.
The colours are a variegated greens, gold, burgandy, rust and tan. I was pleased that they didn't knit up in a stripey fashion but more blotchy. The colours don't show up well in the photo.
I did steeks for the sleeves and curved them so that I eliminated the drop sleeves. The front neck line is a semi-circular steek. Instead of adding the extra stitches to the last round of ribbing, I added them at the sides on the way up. It worked well.
I found some fantastic wool from Italy with the name "Vero". It was so wonderfully soft that I could not resist buying it even though I'm not a fan of variegated yarns. The label did not indicate either the size or the suggested gauge so I got out my WPI and discovered that this is a heavy worsted. I worked out a 5.5 mm needle gave the best results and then worked the basic sweater pattern from "The Sweater Workshop". I did a steek for the neck and decided I wanted to try to make a shawl collar. What I learned is that I should have cut the neckline steek further down the front to give a larger hole and then I could have crossed the collar over both sides and been able to poke my head though as well. But, since I'm on the learn as I go programme, I didn't do it exactly right but at least I have a collar that isn't the same old thing. In knitting this up, I found that the variegation was not consistent so I didn't try to match the stripes and just let it knit out as the colours came along.
There has been some discussion about blocking recently on MWK. I didn't block this but gave it a gentle hand wash and laid it out to dry. This evened-out any wayward looking stitches and fluffed the wool up.