theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 13, 2010

From Susan — Death by Finishing

Filed under: Updates,Whisper — lv2knit @ 4:02 pm

8-13-2010: Perhaps it is fitting that I finished this on Friday the 13th!  It has been the project from…anyway, it is done and so am I!  I spent countless hours finishing this jacket: and I mean countless.  I cannot describe all of the steps and missteps that went into the final production, but it is done and I am now at peace.  I should say somewhat at peace, because once I actually completed this sweater (and I had to make it in order to figure out how to “fix” it), I came up with all sorts of improvements to eliminate the headaches that I incurred.  More on that later.

Here are some pics.  The collar is the soul of this design and its downfall.  It is a b@llbuster to sew into the garment. 

There is supposed to be a folded hem, but I outsmarted myself and ended up having to cut it off.  I like the rolled hem very much, so I don’t feel too bad about it — again, this is fixed in my revised plan.

Whisper Cardigan by Kim Hargreaves for Rowan

The buttons are shell and sewn with beads between the holes.

Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK, light gray (no longer available but other yarns are available that are similar) — A
Needles: US 6
Fit: A+
Garment: A
Worth the work? — Not sure yet!

Okay, what did I learn?  The collar is a PITA and needs revision.  Of course, I did not know that going in and would not have known what to do about it at that point anyway.  The way the pattern is written, you end up with 5 layers of knitted fabric at the center front of the garment — way bulky and almost impossible to get to look nice.  The whole construction of the collar and its attachment to the sweater is bulky. 

If I were to knit this again (Huh?  Do I look that crazy?), I would knit the collar as a single piece with the front.  In other words, the collar would be part of the front and would not need to be seamed.  No bulk. No sewing.  Use short rows and 3-needle bind off for the shoulders; use short rows and grafting for the back neck join (instead of multiple binds offs and seaming).  “Graft” the front facing provisional cast on sts to the bottom of the hemline.  Less bulk everywhere.

Larger copy here.  I hope this helps others, but to be honest, this is not a project that is upper most in people’s queues as it is a few years old.

Another thing I did was kind of invent a buttonhole (?), at least I think I did.  The pattern has a front with a facing that is folded back: two layers of fabric.  Hargreaves simply put BHs on each of the layers.  They are not attached in any way — I guess you just button through both buttonholes when you want to button the jacket.  I wanted real buttonholes that joined the two layers.  I know you can graft stockinette buttonholes but when I swatched, that type did not look very good, so I tried something else.  To learn about my buttonholes, click Susan’s Stockinette Bound Buttonholes.  There is certainly not a lot of use for this buttonhole: it only works when two stockinette layers are joined…but, I think they are kind of cute.

Death by finishing, for sure!!

PS: Lori K informs us that this Kim Hargreaves design (referred to here as Whisper) is also called Merry, so it is featured in two separate queues in Ravelry.  Interesting!

July 30, 2010

From Susan — Whisper

Filed under: Whisper — lv2knit @ 9:18 am

That’s not a command, it’s the name of the project I am working on…an old one at that!  I have wanted to make Rowan’s Whisper Cardigan by Kim Hargreaves since it came out years ago.  I love designs that are “classic with a twist” and this fits that description to a tee. 

The original was knit in Rowan Calmer.  I bought the same yarn and color and proceeded to start.  But, I quickly learned that I hate knitting with Calmer (sorry, Calmer fans!).  I tried this in several other yarns over the years and none seemed to work.  Surly gave me a bunch of Jaeger Extra Fine Merino and it seems to be the best match:

The knitting looks rough here (and in person) so I pray that the miracle of blocking improves it.  But it is very nice yarn.  The irony is, I made the Baby Cables and Big Ones, Too (another great example of ‘classic with a twist’!) and could have used this yarn — the identical yarn and color used by the designer!

What had stopped me from progressing on this sweater were the cardigan fronts.  There are knit facings that are folded back.  The buttonholes are therefore knit twice: once for the real front and once for the facing.  Because the facing is picked up along the edge, that knitting is going in the opposite direction…so on the fronts you space the buttonholes with rows and on the facings with stitches.  Then you are supposed to just button through both holes.  That issue and the problem with the bottom corners of the fronts has plagued me.  I could not continue with this project until I came up with a solution.  I finally devised a plan, which I will share when the sweater is done (and after seeing if it actually works!).

Hope your summer is going great!  It seems to be moving too quickly, as is always the case.  I will be entertaining my family tomorrow so today consists of my two least favorite things: cleaning and shopping!

October 3, 2007

From Susan — I’m Such a Risk Taker!

Filed under: Whisper — lv2knit @ 11:28 pm

I’m not really, but after trying to make “Whisper” with the yarn called for (Rowan Calmer), I went out on a limb and decided to try something very different.

Here’s Whisper:

whisperpattern.jpg picture by lv2knit

I am starting this as my take along project in the new (trumpets, please!) worsted weight KidSilk Haze — called Aura.  I am using the Ivory, but it is actually more like an ecru.  I know it’s fuzzy and Calmer is anything but, however, I think hope it will work.  We shall see. I have been wrong so many times before! 🙁

Let’s go back to the thrilling announcement: Kidsilk Haze in worsted weight??!!??  I was beside myself when I heard about this development.  It is soft, and obviously heavier than KSH, the original.  It is a mohair yarn so there is a lot of fluff involved in getting to a worsted gauge. I am knitting it down a bit on US Size 6’s and getting 5 sts/inch.  The band says you can knit it up to a US 10 for 4 sts/inch. 

I hope this lil project works out (Susan says, crossing all her fingers and toes).  I’ll post some pics once I am truly underway.

PS in answer to WendyM: The Calmer just did not look nice when knitted up in stockinette for ME (it could just be me and my knitting).  The yarn itself is actually very stretchy so maybe that caused some sts to be smaller if the yarn was stretched out more in one spot.  I don’t know.  Yarn is rarely stretchy — knitted fabric, yes, yarn no.  Maybe I could not knit with stretchy yarn (?).  It is soft and very beautiful.

PS2: The Yarnery now is selling some of their patterns on line.  This includes the cute Easter eggs designed by Marie Mayhew and of course several gems by Theresa Gaffey (including the Modular Tote).  These treasures are a click away — and check out the giant felted candy corn for Hallowe’en!! 

woollycandycorn.jpg picture by lv2knit

OMG, they’re too cute!

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