Saturday, March 23, 2013

That's a, a Sweater

My Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan is all done.  And so comfy.  I even finished in time to drag Younger Son outside to take my picture.  This picture looks like it was taken by a giant.  And while he is fairly tall, he was also higher up the slope by the back door.
The pattern was adapted from Ann Budd's book "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns."
And so my thoughts turn to future sweaters in this year of sweaters.  I have already started a wallaby for a soon to be born Spartan fan.  For those who do.t know what a wallaby is, think hoodie, in green and white.  I had to special order the green.  Christmas green was too bright for my Lil Sparty Fan Wallaby.
I am also planning another baby sweater this fall.  I think either a wallaby again, or a Baby Surprise jacket.
And I an even thinking ahead to another for me. After stash diving, I have a couple ideas.  Either black cotton tee top, or a boxy jacket out of some raspberry mohair boucle.
Or.......who knows?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ups and Downs

I do love the stage of sweater knitting in the round When suddenly, the rows are short and you can cast off.
The neck of the Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan has been cast off, shortly after the picture below.  I have since picked up the stitches up one front, around the back neck and down the other front.  Over 200 stitches, so I am back at the long rows.  I am trying to decide how soon to start the short rows to build up the shawl collar.  Probably just before I start the buttonhole row.
Designing on the fly is so much fun.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shrinking Rows

I have been knitting away and although it seems like I am making no progress, I can tell the rows are getting smaller.
There is a long way to go yet.  Bands, shawl collar.  And I hope to squeeze in some pockets.
You know the only problem with knitting with handspun?  The knowledge that you can't get more yarn.  Not even another dye lot.
Here's hoping I have enough yarn and time.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Coasting Along

I had a brief moment of panic yesterday. March is half finished and in a couple weeks I will be end of two months since starting my Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan. Of course, I am past the half way point of the sweater. Sleeves are joined and neckline and shoulder deceased have begun. I am however in the phase where there are a huge honking number of stitches on the needle.

While I did gain knitting time toward my goal of six sweaters this year with the first speedy choice, I don't want to squander the whole extra month on one sweater. I still have the raglan yoke to finish, then stitches need picked up for button bands and shawl collar. While the yoke will go faster and faster, that shawl collar, with short rows, will still have a bunch of stitches. I also want to add front pockets, if it looks like the yarn will hold out.

And since the above picture is kind of color challenged, I am showing the buttons because the background is better color.

Sounds like a lot to do. Yikes! Will I get off schedule this early in the year?

I'm glad the next sweater up is a toddler Wallaby. That may get me back on schedule.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Armed and Growing

I managed to add both sleeves to the Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan.  And I have even started neck and arm decreasing.
While going to Muskegon for groceries yesterday, I also shopped for some buttons.  I fell in love with some, then found some others.  Since I forgot the swatch, to compare to the buttons, I bought both sets. 
What so you think?  I am leaning toward the clear ones with the beige ring around the outside.  The others are off-white with dark specks.
Whichever I don't use will be neutral enough I can always use them on something.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Once Again--The Stupid Time Change

Anyone who has followed my blog for a while may be aware of the fact that I hate that institution known as Daylight Savings Time.  What savings.  We get the same amount of daylight we would otherwise, except we need to use the lights longer in the morning and less at night.  Animals on the farm need to be readjusted to the new cycle, especially dairy cattle.  Luckily we only have beef, but it can still mess with their minds, as well as mine.
I could rant at great length about how much I detest DST, how I find it illogical, and how my body just does not adjust well to the change.
But why repeat myself.  You can read a few of my past rants on the subject here, here, here, and here.
Grumble, grumble.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shifting Goals

Yes, my goals are moving somewhat.
Oh, the Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan is still on.  It is just that after reaching my goal of 17 inches before starting the sleeves, I held it up to my underarm.  The consensus was that it needed another couple inches before starting sleeves.
However, I just re-measured the underarm to hem length on my favorite handknit sweater.  It is also 17 inches.
Hmmmm.  So maybe just a couple extra rows.  A little extra cover over the tushie is never amiss.
I am eager to progress onto the sleeves.  Next week I will have two long days to get lots of knitting done.  I am a new member of our township board of review.  It sounds like long hours with few people wanting a review, so lots of spare time.  Since many people's taxes went down, I think they may not want to complain, in case the taxes should have gone the other way.
Which adds up to quality knitting time.
And the picture?  Just the sun and frost from a recent frosty foggy morning, to remind me we ended up with some decent winter winter.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Year of Sweaters: Progress Report

  This year I have proclaimed to be my Year of Sweaters.  And my goal was for at least 6 sweaters, probably including 1 baby sweater in the mix.  (I decided if I do a second, that and the first will still count as one sweater.)
So, how am I doing so far?
Well, my first project up was the Green Romney cardigan.  I did cheat slightly by starting it on December 30.  I just couldn't wait.  But even so, it was finished February 3.  And that would have been even quicker, if I hadn't taken a week to sew it up. 
I am currently surging along on Sweater number 2, the Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan.  I already have both sleeves done and should be adding them within the next week.  After the raglan yoke is finished I will have the major work of picking up stitches and knitting the garter stitch bands and collar.  So far, this sweater has clocked just over a month of knitting time.  But I think all in all, after two months, I am still on target. 
I may do a baby wallaby next, for a certain impending great nephew on the horizon.  That should take about 2 weeks, if my previous history is anything to go by.  That would have me half way to goal in hopefully less than half a year.
I am also looking ahead to the future sweaters.  I would like to to a yoke style sweater, and I found one with slight cables.  I am contemplating another with my shetland that would have a bit of Faire Isle or perhaps intarsia.  But I may hold back on that and do simple shading--I have light, medium gray, dark gray and some black that I may use for that, especially if I can spin up some softer black roving I found.   And then there is an all over simple cable sweater that looks fun, but challenging.  Maybe if I make 6 in plenty of time, that can be number 7.  And maybe use my handspun jacob for that.
Sounds like a plan.  At least I am on target so far.  Onward!