theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 12, 2007

From Sally — Not Quite Silver Not Quite Belle

Filed under: Silver Belle,Tangled Yoke — surly @ 9:50 am

I’ve kind of but not quite finished Silver Belle. I need to weave in all of the ends because the Cashmerino Aran yarn doesn’t lend itself well to felted splicing. I also need to sew on the buttons. I’m not thrilled with the sweater, though, in all honesty. It measures out to the correct size, but it fits as if it’s way too large. I think I could have made the small, with a 32-inch bust, and it would have fit better (even though I’m a 34). Part of it is that I think the yarn is too heavy for this sweater, even though it’s the yarn called for. I’ll wear it, but it’s much more oversized than I would have liked. It will be something that I throw on over something else if it’s cold, which is not really what I was looking for. That, plus boredom, is not making me rush to do the little bit of finishing I have left. Here are few photos.

Sewing in the bodice:

Starting to attach the back yoke:

The back pre-collar:

The front with collar (I’ve just pinned one of the buttons on for show):

The back:

Yeah — I’m feeling pretty meh about the whole thing. The good news is that there is always some magical perfect sweater just waiting to be ruined knit. So my next project (while I decide exactly what to do with the lovely Betsy) is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the most recent issue of Interweave Knits.

I’m knitting it in Rowan’s Felted Tweed in a color called Watery. The color is a bit more interesting and subtle than it looks here.

I’m making several changes to the pattern. First, and most important, I’m knitting it as a pullover rather than a cardigan. I don’t like the skimpy looking button band in the original pattern. I could alter it, but I’d rather just make it into a pullover. Therefore, I’ll be making a few changes in the neckline as well. I’ll worry about exactly what I’m doing later.

September 5, 2007

From Sally — Silver Belle, Silver Belle

Filed under: Silver Belle — surly @ 4:15 pm

Whew. I finally finished the left yoke. My wrist wasn’t sure it was going to make it through the cables and seed stitch. (My wrist is rather delicate after the “hydraulic desk almost lost my hand episode” that we don’t talk about.) Anyway, I basted the whole thing together so Lucy could have a little modesty and I could see how it is shaping up.

This is a view of the back — you can see the gap where the middle cable panel will be continued. You can also see how I reversed the direction of the twist on the four-stitch cross cables so that the two halves of the back would mirror each other.

Another view of the back.

A side view. (Lucy is a little bustier than I am so I don’t think that the front will look shorter than the back on me. It is something I will keep in mind while blocking, however.)

A couple of views of the front. Again, I changed the twist of the cable on the left yoke.

There is a lot of finishing on this sweater. I still need to seam the sleeves, knit the back cable panel, sew in the yokes, knit the front bands, sew on the buttons, and pick up and knit the collar. I think I’ll work on something else tonight and save the finishing for tomorrow (not that I will have it finished in one day. I won’t.)

August 26, 2007

From Sally — Lucy Models Silver Belle

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Silver Belle — surly @ 6:34 pm

I finished the right sleeve and yoke of my Silver Belle. I was very concerned that it would be wa-a-a-a-a-a-y too large, so I crudely basted it together and tried it on.

It fit! The sleeve was even the correct length. I still have a few concerns.

1. It’s a very heavy sweater because the yarn itself is so heavy, especially with all of the cabling. There’s no shoulder seam to give additional support, so I am hoping that when I pick up and knit the collar it will feel as if it has more shape and structure.

2. Am I just way too old to wear this?

3. Will it be flattering? The neck will end up being fairly low.

4. Am I just way too old to wear this?

5. Is there a reason there are no photographs of the back of this sweater in the magazine or the download?

6. Are there no photographs of the back because I’m too old to wear this?

Wear what you are asking. Here are the photos. This one shows the front (and a lot of Lucy, that little trollop).

Here is the back. The middle two 4-stitch cross cables are on holders; they will go up the back with the two yoke halves being seamed there.

Looking at this, you may be wondering why I was so concerned about the size. Well, in this photograph I’ve unpinned the left half of the peplum. Look how far it goes around Lucy without being stretched in any way. Imagine how big it was when both halves were able to do that.

Sewing the peplum draws it in magically without looking puckered or gathered. This means one could play around a lot with the sizing. The Medium, which I am making, is supposed to be 36″ buttoned. It would be easy to adapt the Medium peplum to a size in between the Medium and the Large by adding a little length to the yoke between the sleeve and the neck shaping and then sewing it to fit. For example, if you wanted to make it 38″ around, you would add 1/2 an inch to the yoke before beginning the neck shaping. (It’s only 1/2 an inch because if you do that on the right and left, you add an inch to the fronts and an inch to the backs, giving a total of 2 extra inches.)

For something completely different, look at the luscious Zephyr Wool-Silk lace weight that arrived in the mail yesterday. (Who could have done this to me? I have no enemies.) It’s Cinnabar. I’m debating between two shawls for this yarn.

From Susan:

Many of you are rightly interested in the new design from Ruth Sorensen (to find the pattern, click on ‘Strikning’, ‘Patterns for Sale’, and then on the British flag):

LeafCardigan.jpg picture by lv2knit

Michelle has started a knitalong for this beautiful cardigan and I told her I would help advertise.  Here is the link.  I would join up in a minute, but I can’t take on any more projects right now.  I’m ::blub::blub:: drowning!

August 22, 2007

From Sally — No Longer Just a Sleeve and That’s No Yoke

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Silver Belle — surly @ 1:26 pm

Does the fact that I am now shunning myself help? I thought not.

I finished the sleeve on my Silver Belle and have just started the yoke. The pattern tells you to cast on stitches for the front at the beginning of one row, work across, and then cast on the stitches for the back of the yoke at the beginning of the next row. Instead, I did a provisional cast on of the front stitches, worked across the sleeve, and then did a provisional cast on for the back at the end of the same row. (I also made sure that I started the yoke in sync with the cables on the sleeve; I wanted to make sure I was crossing all of the four-stitch cables on the same row.)

I did that because I wanted both the front and the back yoke to start on the same row. I also wanted to be able to do a three-needle bind off for the side seam there (using the live stitches after getting rid of the provisional cast on once I’m all finished with the knitting). It makes a cleaner, less bulky seam which I thought would be useful because this is relatively heavy yarn. (I’m using, in answer to some questions asked earlier, Debbie Bliss’s Cashmerino Aran to knit this. It was the yarn called for by the pattern and I even had it in my stash.)

I use a crocheted provisional cast on in which you crochet the stitches directly onto your needle with waste yarn. Here’s a poor photograph — it’s hard to take a picture with one hand while doing something.

Eunny Jang has some good directions for how to do it here; she even has photographs that are in focus. Imagine that! Scroll down to Invisible Crochet Cast On I. When using this technique for a provisional cast on, you use a nice smooth waste yarn and then start knitting with the project yarn.

Here is the sleeve with the crocheted provisional cast on stitches waiting to be knit. (In order to use the provisional cast on here, I have to break the yarn and start with new yarn at the beginning of the yoke.)

Here is the sleeve with the beginning of the yoke. Not much to see yet.

Finally, a close up of the front stitches and the provisional cast on.

August 17, 2007

From Sally — Do Not Ask for Whom the Belle Tolls . . .

Filed under: Silver Belle — surly @ 1:58 pm

Having finished one sleeve of Mermaid, I’ve now gone back to the Silver Belle cardigan designed by Debbie Bliss. I finished the peplum yesterday. I am making a size Medium, which is supposed to be 36″ around when buttoned. I was tempted by the Small, but at 32″ buttoned I decided I just couldn’t. Well, even though the top of my peplum measures the same as the schematic, it seems huge when I put it on. I suspect I could have knit the size Small and had it fit, even though I have a 34″ bust. Oh, well.

Here it is. Doesn’t it look huge?

I’ve also started on the first sleeve/yoke. It also seems “big.” Part of that is because I have very small wrists. This sleeve starts out fairly wide in order to accommodate the two drunken cables. I started the sleeve with the number of stitches for the Small, but that only reduces the circumference by about half an inch or so. At 11″ around, it’s big. It occurred to me later that I could have reduced the number of stitches in the center Trinity portion and then tried to adjust for that at the top of the sleeve, but it’s not worth it to go back.

One change I did make was to start the second cable on row ten of the chart, so that the cables mirror each other. She didn’t write the pattern that way, but I didn’t want the cables to be moving in unison. I think it looks better if they “reflect” each other.

August 9, 2007

From Sally — Silver Belle, Silver Belle

Filed under: Silver Belle — surly @ 4:20 pm

This is a quickie post from the airport in Charlotte, NC before I step out into the lovely 100+ degree weather.

I am almost finished with the peplum on my Debbie Bliss Silver Belle from the new Vogue. (Mine, of course, is pink not silver.) Here’s a quick photo from this morning:

Here is another shot. On the peplum, you can see the two lovely shawl pins from Romi. Aren’t they gorgeous? I can’t wait to use them.

From Susan: The pins are gorgeous, and I’m quite envious!  I really love the pink peplum.  I was hoping I wouldn’t because my knitting queue is so l-l-l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g!! :)

August 4, 2007

From Sally — In the Pink

Filed under: Silver Belle — surly @ 4:36 pm

I like pink yarn and I cannot lie
You other knitters can’t deny

(Sorry. I’ve been watching too many concert videos.)

But it’s true. I love pink yarn and I buy a lot of it. I pulled together some of the pinks from my stash just to show you.

Sadly, that is not all of the pink yarn in my stash; it’s just what was most easily accessible. Although I included in that photograph my Cap Shawl and my “pink pouf,” the truth is that I tend to mostly collect pink yarn but I hardly ever knit it. For some reason I get very particular about patterns for pink yarn. I have no idea why.

Anyway, I received my 25th Anniversary Vogue in the mail the other day and found the perfect pattern to use up my 18 skeins of pale pink Cashmerino Aran. (Quick aside: my mailed copy of the magazine was defective. Halfway through, the ink started to fade away. At first I thought it was purposeful: the issue did have a silver/gray them. When the ink completely disappeared, I realized I had a problem. It’s a great issue, though, so I went out and bought a second one.)

I am knitting Silver Belle designed by Debbie Bliss, one of the “cover” sweaters whose pattern is downloadable as a PDF. Here’s what it looks like:

It’s a bit of slow go at the beginning. The size medium, which I’m knitting, starts out with over 400 stitches in the peplum. There are a few especially slow rows, where I have 40+ cables to cross. At my sister’s suggestion, I am cabling without a cable needle, which does speed things up. (For a great explanation of how to do that, including helpful photographs, visit Wendy Knits. I could explain it in my own words, but why bother when someone else has already done such a great job?)

Here’s where I am on my Silver Belle:

In one of those rare stash miracles, I even have the perfect buttons for it (there is a perfect pink color match in real life in the mother of pearl that isn’t quite captured by the camera):

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