Sunday, February 24, 2013

Knitting and NASCAR

The Daytona 500 is almost ready for opening ceremonies.  I can hardly wait.
The picture below shows some of the progress on my Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan.  I actually have knitted to ten inches now.  I hope to join the sleeves in another week.
I really love this yarn. The brown Shetland and white lambs wool give an irregular color patterning.  A nice tweedy blend.  It was fun to spin and equally fun to knit.  I hope there is at least a couple of skeins left.  I would like to gift them to the friend and knitter who gifted me with the lambs fleece to blend with my Shetland.
And one brief editorial comment.
When did the National Anthem stop  sung at sporting events and becone a performance?  Even if hard to sing, I loved when everyone knew the words and sang along.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blurred Lines

Another NASCAR season is beginning. 
And while I really have enjoyed all the Sunday afternoon movies these past three months, I can't wait for the season to begin for real. 
There is just one problem.  At the beginning of the season ending Homestead race, our television went crazy.  The picture shown below is an actual photo of the screen.  The top quarter or less is fine.  The bottom third of the screen is totally blurry.  And in between, is a jumpy wavy picture. 
With black and white movies, it isn't too bad.  But watching color shows is much worse.  Headache inducing.
Luckily, the race ticker is at the top of the screen, but other items we would like to see, like weather alerts, and names of speakers usually is at the bottom. 
I think a new TV may be in the near future.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Body Work

As you can see here, I have begun the body and passed the ribbing on the Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan.  It is difficult to see in the below picture, but between the markers I am continuing the ribbing up to at least the sleeve.
I have plenty of time to decide design elements at that point.  Since there will be two purl stitches outside the sleeve area on each side, I am now considering whether to continue that purl section to the neckline.  Or, perhaps from that point, I can change that pair of stitches on either side of the sleeves to garter.
Making it up as you go along can be be just one decision after.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Denial vs. Reality

After some concentrated knitting and calculations, both sleeves are finished and waiting for the body to be ready for joining.   As I usually do, I had checked my gauge several times.
And I faced reality.  As I had begun to suspect, my gauge was not 4 stitches to the inch.  It was 4.5.  And the stitch count wasn't enough now.  Plus the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns does not have calculations for half stitches.
Okay then.
So I dug out a calculation sheet that I had.  (I think it is from Jackie Fee's The Sweater Book).  I'm glad I have lots of books on making and fitting sweaters.  Using the new correct gauge, I sketched the paper and punched my calculator. 
Below the left sleeve you can see my work sheet.  I am using a size lower for my key number because I can add a couple inches later in front with the button band.  And I will have 2x2 ribbing at the sides from ribbing band to underarm.  That will give me just a touch of waist shaping.
And best of all, I only had to add 2 extra stitches to the sleeves, using the percentage.  I was able to finish the second sleeve to my new calculations with no tinking.  And I picked up stitches on the first, then unraveled and reknit the last inch of the first sweater with I extra ser of increases, all while watching All Quiet on the Western Front.
I am ready for a major casting on session this evening, to start the body.
Sometimes a reality check is a good thing.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Finished Sweater # 1

Pictured below are the finished "glamour" shots of my Green Romney Rib Waist cardigan.
I really like it.  It was a joy to knit.  Only downside was the sewing up.
Pattern is Rib Waist Cardigan, by Jill Moreno, out of Curvy Knits II.
I was able to knit it in under a month, but it took me a week to get around to sewing it up.
And now before I finish the last half of the second sleeve, I need to decide on design elements for the Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan.  Instead of waist shaping, I am thinking a row of ribbing under each sleeve from the bottom band.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


While some people reportedly were watching some football game, I was sewing up with Auntie Mame and The Music Man.
And as a result, my Green Romney Cardigan is done.  Buttons, loose ends.  Everything.
I hope to get finished pictures this week, with Gertrude if nothing else.  But I can tell you this.  I tried it on and love it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Typically Michigan

Besides lots of knitting on my new sweater, and yes I still have to sew up the green sweater,
 it has been an exciting week here weather-wise.
We went from lots of glorious snow.......
to warm weather and rain.  (That is our hayfield folks! And just a small portion of the water in it.)
And now back to snow.  I love the snow, even the cold temperatures. 
Only downside, our garage door opener is frozen.  I have to open and close it by hand till the next thaw.