Isn’t It Amazing What a Bath Can Do?

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I managed to finish the back of the sweater. Given where the cables were, I continued to work the swirly bits for the ribbing. Above, it looks a little drop shouldery, but after a bath the stockinette stops rolling.

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That looks better even with the horrible lighting (we’re experiencing the ever popular wintery mix right now). Even though I’ve been knitting for a while, I still can’t get over how much improved things look after a bath. It’s like blocking is magic.

If it looks lopsided, that’s because the picture was taken at a slightly awkward angle. Given the bad lighting conditions, I decided to declare victory and move on.

Given the relentless cold, I’m hoping to wear this sweater this season. Granted, I need to finish the front and the sleeves.

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Two Skeins Down

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This is probably a bit more than 2/3 of the back and the completion of the second skein of the yarn. With the temperatures being what they have been this week, I’m really wishing I had this sweater finished. That’s OK. I have plenty of other warm cozy things to wear. I am looking forward to seeing this post blocking. With the stockinette rolling the way that it is, it’s hard to have a sense of what this will look like for real.

The big challenge right now is keeping the momentum going on the sweater. Secret yarn for a secret project with a secret deadline showed up on Friday, so I’ve had to put the sweater down. I hope when said secret project is finished, it’s not too warm to pick this up.

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Cast On

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I said I was going to cast on a sweater, and there it is. It looks like a rumpled mess as these things always do before blocking. I made really good progress. For many reasons, I was working from home for most of this week, which means that I can knit during conference calls (we’ll just keep that between ourselves).

This is the back of the sweater which is why the neckline isn’t very deep. I suppose I could have added another repeat to the center cable and nixed the swirliness on the sides, but it made sense to me to do it this way. There is no pattern for this. It really is a case of slap it together and hope it works.

I must say, this yarn is great to work with. Since it’s not overly processed, there is a lot of lanolin in the yarn. This is doing a great job combatting the dry winter skin and cracked knuckles I usually experience in the winter. The benefits of knitting are endless.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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Since the temperature keeps dipping below freezing, I’ve decided this is a sign from above to make another sweater. I’ve decided to work with the Bare Naked Wools Confection in the Nougat color way that I picked up at fibrespace a couple of months ago. This gave me a chance to wade through my collection of stitch dictionaries to find some cables.

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Here’s my swatch. After making about three-quarters of it, I thought I’d mix things up by introducing a little texture instead of just rolling with stockinette. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do that on the sweater, but I wanted to get a sense of how it might look. Both cables have their origins in Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Vol 2: Cables.

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The above cable is counterpane with a small modification. The green triangle points to where I want the cable to break at the neckline. The other thing that I learned from this swatch is that this cable needs to be wider. Thankfully, I can just add another repeat, which should serve my purposes.

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The other cable is hugs and kisses. I was initially thinking of using honeycomb, but I like this one better. A close inspection of the swatch tells me that I need to add another purl between the cable. That should help alleviate the stress on some of the stitches. It should also add a better delimiter between whatever I decide to use for filler and the cables.

Staring at this swatch, I think I want to add a third cable. It’ll be something simple, but I think it’s needed.

Given that I have a very strong opinion of where I want the neck line to appear, I’ve decided to work this sweater top down. I’m not going to work in the round. I like the stability that the side seems give to the cables. Since row gauge tends to change on the actual piece due to the weight of the sweater, I think the safest course of action is to work it top down. Now, I just need to do some math.

Rooney (aka, Vet Bill) is unimpressed with the swatch, and would prefer to play with his catnip toy.

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Sportsball 2015

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The post title really has nothing to do with this post aside from a major sporting event starting in a few hours. I have a random collection of topics to share, and the only things they have in common is that they’re all about me, and I’m writing about them today.

First up, I finished my neon crazy socks.

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Since its February and gray and gloomy, I didn’t try getting a picture of these on my actual feet. The disembodied feet are slightly smaller than my actual feet, so the socks look a little lumpy. Trust me, they aren’t lumpy when worn on actual feet.

This yarn is perfect to work with in the gloomy, grayness of winter. The nice bright colors are the perfect distraction from the clouds and incredibly inaccurate weather forecasts we’ve had of late.

By popular request (Jo, I’m looking at you), I will be writing a pattern for these. Look for it to be available near the end of February, maybe early March.

On a completely unrelated note, many of you who are reading this post are visiting from Knitspot. Welcome, and thanks for visiting. For my regular readers who don’t know what I’m talking about, Anne Hanson and her social media wizard Laura wrote a really nice post about me. I took Anne’s class at fibrespace because it seemed like a fun way to spend the day, and that somehow turned me into a designer. Anne had offered to share the link to the Alluvial Deposits pattern since I started them in her class. Granted, it took a while for the pattern to come into being (sometimes these things have a timeframe of their own). I wasn’t expecting such kindness, and I’m really grateful, and I’m blushing in real life.

On yet another completely unrelated note, if any of you are Madelinetosh lovers, may I suggest you check out a kit that Craftsy is offering that pairs MadelineTosh Tosh Sock with Crosshaven. The kit has actually been available for a couple of weeks, but I’m just now remembering it. Life gets crazy busy sometimes.

Even with all this really exciting news, none of it will be going to my head. Stripes is determined to keep me grounded.

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