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Isobel

June 15, 2009
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The voting ran very close on the buttons, but I think the winner in the end was the blue sparkly one, and that was the one I also preferred. I tossed it into the mix as an afterthought (after all, it was BLUE and the yarn was GREEN), but somehow it took on the coloring of the yarn in an unexpected way. For this jacket I really wanted the buttons to blend with the color of the yarn rather than stand out against them.

The original children’s pattern on which this is based called for only one large button, at the very top. The adult pattern amendment called for 5 buttons, but I decided that there was something almost random-looking about the placement of the bottom button – why THERE as opposed to anyplace else? – and I chose to use 3. I’m happy with the result.

This thing is very long. I already shortened it by 3 pattern repeats at various points in the shaping of the body, so if I had not done that it would have come to my knees. As it is, I wish I had shortened it one more repeat. It used 9 skeins of Galway, so it has some weight to it, also. It will be fun to wear in the fall.

I didn’t notice until I edited the pictures that the collar wasn’t lying right on the left side – but I didn’t want to go back and take them all again! It was too hot on Friday to wear this any longer.

I finally got around to finishing and blocking the Estonian Lullaby angora/merino blanket. I did put it in the washer on “handwash” and let it agitate for a minute or two, hoping to seal in those floaty little angora fibers. I also put it in the dryer on ‘air’ a couple of times, and I did get a little lump of fine fiber out of it each time. I didn’t stretch it too much when blocking because there was no point in trying to open up the lace when it had such a halo, so it could probably be bigger than it is – it’s about 3 x 4 feet as it is. It didn’t shed on me when I was photographing it, so maybe it was like my Brooks Farm shawl I made a few years ago, which shed like mad on me during the knitting but never sheds during the wearing. Which would be nice, because it is REALLY soft and weighs only about 8 ounces.

So with my newfound freedom I moved on to something new.
This is the beginning of the Johanna knee sock pattern, a design by Julia Riede that I found on Ravelry.

The yarn is the famous Wollmeise 80/20 sock yarn, and the color is ‘Gewitterhimmel’ – Wendyknits made a shawl out of this color and I was smitten with it. The yarn is very odd in the ball, it feels cottony, but it knits into a lovely dense fabric that feels like it would wear well.
I’m afraid this is going to be too big, though, and I’m going to have to frog a week’s worth of work and start over. It’s a short-row heel from the toe up, and I won’t know till I finish the short rows whether I’ve made the foot too long. I am getting many more rows per inch than the pattern gauge, so I did knit more length before beginning the heel – I hope it won’t be too much. Also I’m afraid it’s going to be too loose around the foot, but again I won’t know till I turn the heel. So this one may go to the frog pond yet. Luckily I am enjoying the yarn and pattern, although with the darkness of the yarn I have to be careful to knit it only in bright light. I made that mistake once – messed up one row – couldn’t see it very well to rip it back, and ended up having to frog about 40 rows and start over.

I also started a design called Titania by Elizabeth Klett, a lacy cotton thing. It originally called for Cotton Fleece, which would just be too heavy for me – a lace sweater is not suitable for winter, and something heavy is not suitable for summer, in the climate where I live. So I swatched with Valley Yarns Longmeadow, a cotton/microfiber blend that seemed to be a bit lighter and less likely to droop. The pattern calls for a gauge of 5 stitches per inch and I got 6 in my swatch, so I cast on for the size 40 to end up with something about 34 inches around. However, after knitting about 10 rows of the peplum, I decided that I’d be kntiting looser on the actual project than I did on the swatch. (That is the lie my swatches always tell me, so I’ve learned to correct for it… I always relax a bit when into the actual project.) So I frogged and started over with the 36 inch size. I think it will be about right.

The yarn is smooth and pleasant to work with, although it’s very splitty. So is the Wollmeise, so I’m doing all this knitting with splitty yarns. How did I get myself into that??

There is something else on the horizon that won’t involve splitty yarn… but still will require attention.

This is Lisa Souza laceweight yarn in her new color Silver Lake. It’s the perfect color to become this. I just want to get past that darn heel before I start something else….

Lisa is on the wheel too – this is her bluefaced leicester top in the ‘Peacock’ shade, on the Quebec. I’m pushing again to get real 3 ply sock weight yarn. We’ll see. With my new high speed flyer I am making pretty good headway.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie K permalink
    June 15, 2009 10:10 am

    Even though I voted for contrasting buttons, it looks beautiful with the ones you chose.

  2. June 15, 2009 10:25 am

    So many wonderful projects! I really love Titania, I think the yarn you chose will be perfect!

  3. June 15, 2009 10:32 am

    What a beautiful jacket…that willbe cosy and warm on a chilly autumn day. Lovely spinning…looks like it will definitely become a 3 ply sockweight. I see a lot of blue and green colours!

  4. Mel permalink
    June 15, 2009 12:51 pm

    OMG, I saw TWO gorgeous projects, but wait!, there’s more! Isobel is smashing, and I’d love to have that blanket to cuddle under next winter. Great button choice for Isobel 😉
    The colour of the Wollmeise is stunning and Titania looks really pretty.

  5. June 15, 2009 2:34 pm

    Thats a fabulous coat and the buttons look great!

  6. Sam permalink
    June 15, 2009 10:33 pm

    O.k., this just warrants a great big fat, “Wow!” Everything is just lovely, and I want to wrap up in that blanket. As ever, you get so much beautiful work done – don’t know how you do it. You’re ever so much more disciplined than I’ll ever hope to be. 🙂

  7. Linda permalink
    June 16, 2009 2:33 am

    Love your looong Isobel. I’ve faved you on Ravelry.

  8. June 16, 2009 5:03 pm

    Isobel looks fabulous! Those buttons work perfectly.

  9. Angela permalink
    June 17, 2009 12:03 am

    Wowee!
    Isobel is gorgeous (I like the buttons :p).
    Silver Lake is perfect for the Ice Fantasia and I’m loving those knee socks.

  10. Jan permalink
    June 17, 2009 2:36 pm

    WOW. Isobel is fabulous. She’s a hard act to follow, but it looks like you are doing it beautifully. I look forward to seeing the new projects grow and blossom.

  11. June 17, 2009 9:31 pm

    Love the jacket and the blanket! That red is so soft – I can tell with my feel-o-vision.
    I thought I finally had spun fine enough for a 3-ply sock yarn, but started plying it tonight and NO. *sigh*

  12. June 20, 2009 12:37 am

    Wow, those buttons look just perfect on Isobel. Now that I’ve seen you in it, I think first that it looks fabulous on you. Second, I am wondering if that line and shift in pattern on my (much shorter, square-ish) top half will look anywhere near as good. Still debating, as I obviously don’t have the brain to consider starting it while moving in any event!
    Everything else, as usual, looks perfect too. 🙂

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