theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 6, 2007

From Sally — Wow, Thanks

Filed under: Tangled Yoke — surly @ 8:24 am

Thanks for all of the nice comments on my sweater. I had a few moments of real doubt while finishing it.

I wanted to answer one additional question that was asked (I’ve answered lots of questions within the comments). The question was about how much yarn I used. I had meant to address that. My size called for 8 skeins of Rowan Felted Tweed, which is the yarn I used. It’s a light yarn, and you get a lot of yardage per 50 gram skein (191 yards). In effect, I used 6 skeins, not 8. I used every bit of those 6 skeins — I only had a few yards left over. (I say in effect because I redid part of the neck and in doing so broke into the 7th skein. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have touched it.) So, although my changes may have meant I used less yarn, I still think that means that the yardage amounts suggested in the pattern are quite generous.

October 5, 2007

From Sally — What A Tangled Yoke We Weave

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Tangled Yoke — surly @ 11:26 am

What is this thing called a finished object? It seems like it’s been a while since we had one. My Tangled Yoke Pullover Not a Cardigan is finally off the needles. Yay!

I have a feeling it’s not what some of you expected it to look like. First, I’ll show the photos and then explain why and how I did what I did. (It’s a hazy odd day out; I had a lot of trouble getting decent photos. This yarn changes color depending upon the light, which is very noticeable here. The sideways photo is the truest to color.)

The grafted under arm:

As you can see, I chose to do a Henley style neckline — preserving the split at the front of the cardigan. I went through a lot of options when I decided to make this a pullover.

1. Have the front and backs identical. If you look at the photos of the back, you can see there is a transition point where the asymmetrical cables go out towards the front. I thought I might be able to duplicate that in the front, but it’s not really possible without a lot of fiddling and changing of stitch counts.

2. Simply have the main cable pattern repeat all the way around the neck. I seriously considered this possibility. Mathematically, it would have been very easy. It’s a ten-stitch pattern repeat (that increases and then goes back down to ten). I had 230 stitches, so I wouldn’t have had to make any adjustments. I would have chose one of the two basic cable repeats and been on my merry way. The issues were these: what part of the cable pattern would I use to center and would it be tricky to deal with the inevitable “jog” you get between rounds in circular knitting? I would have started the rounds on one of the shoulders to minimize the jog. My bigger issue was where to center the pattern and whether I would like the way it looked. I did a lot of futzing with photographs etc. and decided I wasn’t sure I wanted the look I was going to get.

3. Keep the pattern the same but not split the neck. I would have had a fairly large expanse of plain stitches between the bobbles that complete the pattern. I could have adjusted that by reworking those so that they came out more towards the middle. I think that would have looked fine, but I ultimately decided I sort of liked the Henley split look.

What did I do? I cast on the same number of stitches for the front and back. In my case, it meant I cast on four more stitches than the pattern called for. I worked the sweater in the round, but other than that I pretty much followed the original directions up to the yoke. (I did originally knit the purl seam stitch, but I “undid” it as I explained in an earlier post.) After I joined the sleeves to the body, I tried it on periodically until I thought “Okay, here is where I want it to split.” I then put four stitches on a holder and at that point started knitting back and forth.

I also knew that I wanted a wider, lower neck than the cardigan had and I wanted the cables to sit lower. I wanted them to wrap around my shoulders. When I had knit about 1 1/2″ and just after I split the neck, I did a set of short rows. (There are none called for at that point in the pattern.) Then I knit straight up, but started my cabling sooner than the pattern called for. There is a decrease round immediately after the cabling. I waited to do that because it would have been too soon to do those with my changes; the sweater would have been too tight and it would have pulled up. After I did the decrease row, I did a second set of short rows (approximately where called for in the pattern).

For the neck, I did an inch or so of garter rib and left the stitches live. Then I picked up stitches along the split on each side and knit garter rib. I bound off the neck and split stitches together using a two-stitch i-cord. One note: if you do a split neck like this, make sure you knit the band that goes along the split long enough or it will pull when you stitch it down. Although I had four stitches on a holder (which I grafted to the edge of the garter rib), I really needed to make sure my ribbing was long enough to cover six stitches because I lost one on each side of the neck when I picked up.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, although there were moments when I had my doubts. It fits perfectly. It’s one of those sweaters that actually looks better on me than on Lucy because I have shoulders and she doesn’t. I tried to take some photos of myself in it, but they just didn’t turn out.

If only my little assistant were here to help. Oh look! He’s trying to swim to me!

I think it will be a long wait.

The yarn felt scratchy before I blocked it, and I was worried about that. I put a few drops of my heavy duty conditioner in my soaking water (the same conditioner I use when I blow dry my Krusty the Klown hair straight), and it feels much softer now. The sweater has a nice drape to it and if it ever cools off here in DC, I have a new fall sweater.

October 2, 2007

From Sally — Tangled Yoke Redux

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Tangled Yoke — surly @ 9:20 am

As I merrily plow ahead with my Tangled Yoke, I thought I’d share one of the changes I made. The instructions, which are for a cardigan (I’m knitting this as a pullover), call for you to knit the entire piece (back and fronts) back and forth with a purl stitch running from the hem to the under arm to give the look of a seam. I did that, but wasn’t sure I liked how it looked. So, in order to see if I would like it better without the faux seam, I undid it on one side. Here’s what I mean.

First, here is a shot of the side “seam.”

To remove it, I first dropped the purl stitch all the way down to the garter rib. (I wasn’t going to undo the seam stitch there because it provides a focal point for the decreases.)

Then, using a crochet hook, I laddered the stitch back up — turning it from a purl stitch to a knit stitch.

Without the seam stitch, the side looks like this:

I liked how that looked better, so before I joined the sleeves and body for the yoke, I undid the seam stitch on the other side as well. Important note: I conducted this experiment before I finished the garter rib on my first sleeve, so I could decide whether or not to add the seam stitch to the sleeve under arm. I wanted the sleeves and body to match, obviously.

A few people have asked me about the yarn I’m using. It’s Rowan’s Felted Tweed Shade Number 152, which they call Watery. It’s a very nice yarn to knit with. I would definitely use it again.

September 26, 2007

From Sally — Would Tangled Yoke Look Good With Just One Sleeve?

Filed under: Tangled Yoke — surly @ 11:50 am

No, I don’t think so either although I am sure I could do a dramatic shoulder baring pullover with strategic short rows. Anyway, it’s hard to post interesting updates that revolve around sleeves, so let’s just cut the pretending. I’ve finished one and am about a third through the second. I’ve pretty much figured out what I am going to do with the yoke as I convert it to a pullover, so I’m eager to get to that point. Here’s where I am.

My next project is already on the needles. I won’t say anything about it right now but if someone named Maria is reading, you can pretty much guess what I’m up to. (Besides no good.)

Several readers were wondering what I was flaunting wearing in my Yarn Harlot photo. It’s the Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today, which I knit out of KidSilk Haze. The color is called Blush.

For those who might have missed it the first time around, here’s a slightly better look at it:

To see more photographs and read more details about the knitting of it, click here.

September 21, 2007

From Sally — The Yarn Harlot

Filed under: Tangled Yoke — surly @ 10:17 am

Last night was Back-to-School night at my son’s high school. Yesterday morning, one of our regular readers — Wendy O — mentioned to me that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (The Yarn Harlot) was coming to town. Say what? How did I not know that? I implored my husband to attend Back-to-School night in my stead (after just returning from a month in Italy bicycling he had no good excuse to say no), and then off I went. (Sadly, Wendy could not go. Thursday was apparently THE night to traipse back to school in the Washington, DC area.)

It was a really fun evening. Stephanie was both funny and thought provoking and it was great to spend time with so many knitters. Now that I no longer work in a yarn store, I don’t see all that many knitters in person; it was a nice little treat. I saw former favorite customers , old friends, met some new people, and briefly felt like a rock star when regular reader Lee from Baltimore found out who I was and got very excited. (Waves to all who were there.)

Stephanie kindly recognized the name of our blog and remembered meeting Susan (or at least meeting her Bohus) last April. Here are a few bad photos.

Stephanie photographing the crowd:

Signing books:

Posing with me:

As an extra bonus, I actually made progress on my Tangled Yoke sleeve — all in all a wonderful evening.

PS from Susan: I just found out that the “Learn to Knit Kit” gift basket fetched $160 for the United Way — woo hoo!  :)

September 19, 2007

From Sally — Tangled Yoke Update

Filed under: Tangled Yoke — surly @ 12:07 pm

My assistant is gone, but the knitting continues. I have finished the body of the Tangled Yoke to the point where the sleeves are added, and I’ve (just barely) started on the first sleeve. As I said, I am knitting this as a pullover, so the body — as you can see — is in the round. There’s not a lot to say; the fun stuff starts later. Here is a progress photo.

I am not deliberately ignoring some of the questions readers have asked about the Silver Belle. I am, however, ignoring my Silver Belle for the time being. When I get back to it, then I’ll try to answer the questions you had.

September 16, 2007

From Sally — My Assistant Is Back!

Filed under: Tangled Yoke — surly @ 11:59 am

Yes, my little assistant came back for the weekend. As usual, he is a big help.

He’s been helping me with my Tangled Yoke non-cardigan. I’m now past the garter rib section of the body and have just started the increases in the stockinette portion. (The pattern is slightly fitted; I decreased stitches and am now adding them back in.) Here is a not great photograph of my progress (the color looks very washed out here; sorry):

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.

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