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Happy New Year

January 1, 2007

This is a bit of a catch-up entry, as I had a bunch of pictures last week that I didn’t have time to post.

This is the Marseilles pullover, in use. (Summer 2006 issue of Interweave Knits)

I have had trouble getting the red to really show up. It’s a nice deep blood-red. I don’t know why my camera wants to make it yellower, like a fire engine. This is a new camera, and what I’m finding is that it does wonderful things with natural light. I am not forced to use the flash like I was with my old camera. It adjusts nicely to the level of natural light and I am getting much better pictures because of it.

This was made in about a month — I started in mid November and finished in mid December. I used 10 balls of Valley Yarns Lenox (alpaca and merino) from WEBS and made the second-smallest size (38). I knitted this yarn on size 7 needles, which is 2 sizes smaller than the ball band called for, and I am glad I did as it made a nice fabric. It ended up a tad shorter than called for, but it isn’t a problem and I preferred to keep the integrity of the cable pattern and where it was supposed to end for the neck.

I didn’t quite follow the pattern at the neckline – it called for only 11 stitches to be attached together for the shoulders, but I looked at the photo (which supposedly represented the size I was knitting) and it was clear that more stitches were joined than that. So I used 17 stitches for the shoulder, the number used for the largest size. I wish I had used more – the shape of the neck is lovely, but alpaca does sag a little, and it’s not quite practical for a sweater this weight to have a bare neck. I am going to end up wearing it with a sleeveless mock turtleneck underneath. It is quite soft and comfortable. Oh, I also shortened the sleeves an inch, and I wish I had shortened them at least another half inch. Who on earth has these long arms these patterns are designed for?? I have very long arms for my height and I still have to shorten sleeves most of the time.

I finished spinning and plying another skein of bluefaced leicester before Christmas. This is the current stash.

It’s about 18 ounces, so I have 14 left to go. Each hank is 3.5 to 3.8 ounces and about 165 meters. I am going to have to wind up a hank soon and start swatching to see what it wants to do on the needles. I have a sixth hank ready to ply if I have time today or tomorrow.

I also made a lot of progress on the new Evelyn Clark pattern ‘Spinners Shawl’ using some merino dyed by Lisa Souza in the ‘Wild Things’ colorway. I spun this quite awhile ago but just now decided I wanted to use it. I am a much better spinner now than when I made this yarn, so the colors are all over each other, but for a cushy shawl it will be just fine.

I have about 600 yards of pretty much worsted weight yarn so I am using size 8 needles and this is going to be very big.

While we were at my mother’s house for the holiday, I sat and knitted all day while Emmy plagued her grandmother to play cards, so I got a lot done.

I turned the heel and did the entire foot on my feather-and-fan sock, and I knitted one entire Northern Lights mitten.

Things started to go wrong when we got home and I decided I wanted to knock out the second mitten quickly. Things went along well until I was about to graft the top of the mitten hand together and noticed that I had inexplicably stopped the cuff ribbing six rows too early. Some panic ensued before I decided to just live with it, as the rest of the mitten was done above it. So I grafted the top and then sat down to make the thumb. That’s when I noticed that the rest of the mitten was NOT FINE. Something Else Was Wrong. (Warning: the following pictures may be too harsh for the young or inexperienced.)

Note: You cannot do an afterthought thumb in two-color knitting.

So, the scissors came out and the mitten was beheaded and the cuff is back on the needles and now has the right number of rows. Luckily I have a boatload of yarn and don’t need to try and painfully unravel the damn thing.

Despite this fiasco, I like this pattern a lot and am thinking of recoloring it in other shades of Palette. I’m thinking a purple and pink theme, kind of springlike. We’re driving down to visit Liz today and she has the Palette sampler box, maybe I will sit on the floor and see if my ideas could work.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2007 10:17 am

    There is so much to say!!! Sorry about the mitten but good save!
    The spinning is amazing. It looks so cushy. The Wild things shawl looks so rich, I can’t imagine how it must look in person!
    Marseille looks perfect on and I love the color!
    What colorway are the socks? They look great in feather and fan!

  2. January 1, 2007 11:00 am

    Why can’t you knit an afterthought thumb in two colors? How very frustrating.
    Everything else is beautiful, as usual. I love the shawl, it looks so cozy.

  3. January 1, 2007 1:19 pm

    Whatever you did to change the neckline on Marseilles was perfect. And practical or not, the sweater is a perfect fit; great job! The mitten pics are disheartening but at least you didn’t have to reknit most of the corrugated ribbing (love how it looks but don’t like to knit it much).

  4. Melanie permalink
    January 1, 2007 2:40 pm

    Marseilles is gorgeous! The fit is perfect and the neckline fix really does the trick. The BFL looks very cushy and I like how the colours are working in the shawl. That one’s on my list too. So sorry about the mitten.

  5. January 1, 2007 2:46 pm

    Woah. Woaaaaah, that made me a little dizzy. I am seriously impressed.

  6. January 1, 2007 8:19 pm

    I love Marseilles! It looks fabulous on you. Best wishes for the New Year to you and Emmy!

  7. January 2, 2007 8:33 am

    That is a great sweater – looks like you’ll wear it a lot. And I’d definitely be interesting in seeing Northern Lights in other colors. . .

  8. Sam permalink
    January 2, 2007 10:40 am

    Holy cow, but you get a lot done! The Marseilles is simply lovely – great color! The socks and mittens look so cozy and warm. The colors are quite appealing, too. I think your Spinner’s Shawl look wonderful, and love the color blending, myself. As Lisa says, serendipity, baby. 🙂 The biffle is looking grand, too. Plans to overdye or does it stay natural?

  9. January 2, 2007 3:08 pm

    Marseilles looks like it is the perfect length in the body and looks warm and cushy.
    Splendid socks and mittens and the Spinner’s Shawl looks beautiful.
    Mmmm, everytime I see your BFL, I can hear mine calling!

  10. Holly K permalink
    January 3, 2007 10:30 pm

    I can’t believe your comment about patterns having too-long sleeves!! Whose patterns are they? May I have some? Please? I’ve been knitting for 30 years, and have YET to come across a pattern whose sleeves weren’t too SHORT! I don’t generally bother with patterns anymore, and I knit all of my sleeves top-down from the shoulder edge just because of this… and here I thought I had normal length arms for someone of my size and species! Who knew!?!

  11. January 7, 2007 8:06 am

    Girl, you are one talented knitter! I am overwhelmed by what I see. I am trying to design a simple cable cardigan for my daughter, a la the one in Interweave Knit’s Winter issue. The cable’s too wide for that size sweater, so I’m looking for something else to use. Nice work:)

  12. January 8, 2007 4:42 pm

    You’ve been busy! Marseilles looks great on you, and the spinning looks nice and cushy.

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