A New Blue Cabled Sweater

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sweater, cables

I will start by saying that this weekend was not supposed to be about a sweater. This weekend, nothing has gone quite according to plan. I’m supposed to be in Florida this weekend. My flight was booked, and plans were made. Unfortunately, on Friday, life decided to throw me a few curve balls. I arrived at the airport 30 minutes later than I wanted to because of a traffic accident, which caused me (and what looked like several hundred other people) to resort to back roads, which aren’t designed for that volume of traffic. I still managed to get to the airport an hour and half before my flight, so I felt confident that I could get to my gate on time. That confidence vanished when I was approaching the first security checkpoint and realized that my driver’s license had vanished.

sweater, cables

According to the TSA website, it is possible to get through security without a photo ID; however, it will take more time, and the passenger may be subject to additional screening. At the moment when I realized that I had lost my ID, I did not know this. I’m not sure that would have mattered because the universe clearly had it in for me on Friday. After a desperate search for my license, which included a thorough search of my car in the parking garage, I texted my friend letting her know I wouldn’t be making my flight. Instead of a sunny trip to Florida, I spent a large part of the day waiting in line at the DMV for a replacement license.

BTW, in Virginia, when you apply for a replacement license, you don’t walk out of the DMV with a replacement license. You walk out with a piece of paper that says you are allowed to drive, and a promise that the license will be mailed to you.

The universe wasn’t really finished with me. Just before going to bed, I managed to twist my ankle. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but yesterday morning, I could not put any weight on my right foot without flinching. There was no swelling or redness, just pain. My non-professional diagnosis is minor sprain. So, I spent Saturday on the couch with my ankle wrapped in an ace bandage.

sweater, cables

I’ve been learning the importance of staying positive. I don’t always succeed at this, but I realized that if I spent the yesterday moping about how my ankle hurts and I’m supposed to be in Florida, that negativity could have prompted some stress related thing and the spiral would begin. Instead, I grabbed my sweater in progress, and decided that this was the perfect time to attach the sleeve and weave in the ends. Not only did this give me something to do to occupy the time, it cleared my head of any whining. Don’t get me wrong, I’m disappointed about missing my trip, but it’s spilled milk.

Now it’s Sunday, and the world looks much brighter (figuratively, if not literally). My ankle feels much better. I can traverse the steps in my house without screaming. There is still some pain, but it’s night and day compared to yesterday. I have a new trip planned for November. Perhaps, what is mostly relevant to the readers of my blog, I have a new sweater just in time for the weather to get a bit chilled.

sweater, cables

I love everything about this sweater. The color is perfect for me. The yarn in Hazel Knits Lively DK in the Blue Jay colorway. The cables are something I tweaked from a stitch dictionary. If memory serves they are based on Number 59 from Annie Maloney’s The Cable Knitting Handbook. The actual stitch pattern appears on the sleeves if you are curious. The sleeves are set in with just the tiniest bit of shoulder shaping, so I think this fits me perfectly.

Now, I just need to decide what to knit next.

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One Sleeve To Go

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As you can see in this wonderful selfie I just took with my phone, I’m missing a sleeve on this sweater. The sleeve has been knit, and has been patiently waiting to be attached for over a week. I find attaching a sleeve is best done when there is full light, which rules out evenings after work. My weekends, unfortunately, have been focused on home improvement projects, so the sweater waits patiently for me to stop neglecting it.

You may also notice that this selfie was taken today in my house, not at Rhinebeck. My dream of attending Rhinebeck this year obviously didn’t work out. Home improvements have taken over my life again. A 26-year-old house requires attention.

I was hoping to finish the sweater yesterday, but honestly, after doing battle with the lighting fixture in the dining room, all I wanted to do was watch movies and drink wine.

I will finish this. I love the way it’s turned out so far. I just need to find a couple of hours with good light away from the cats.

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Infographic Fun

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Unfortunately, my sweater is in a time out. This is through no fault of its own. I have a stealth project that needs to get finished which is occupying all of my knitting time these days. Since showing pictures of a stealth project isn’t exactly stealthy, I thought I’d share the infographic below.

This was provided by Tom over at Clippers Ireland. They sell a rather important pre-knitting tool – the actual clippers used to shear sheep. We wouldn’t have yarn without them.

Enjoy

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Yarn Chicken

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As I was approaching the end of the back of my sweater, I started eying the yarn ball & felt a little wave of panic. There’s no real reason to panic. I have 3 additional big wheels in my stash, so there will be no shortage of yarn. Like many knitters, weaving in ends isn’t my favorite activity. Fortunately, as I finished the shoulder shaping, this small tangle of yarn was all that was left of my big wheel.

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The sweater back is ready for blocking in all it’s rumpled glory. The stockinette sides are curling and the cables clearly need to relax a bit. I did add a bit of neck shaping. I like the back of the neck to be lowered by an inch. It feels better that way. The front has been started. At the moment, it looks like the back only much shorter.

Lynn asked a couple of questions on my last post, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Her first question is “why is the nylon necessary?” I can’t speak for the dyer, and to be perfectly honest it was the color that attracted me to this yarn. Still, a bit of nylon can add strength to the yarn. The base is 90% Superwash Merino & 10% Nylon. Merino isn’t the strongest of yarns, and the superwash process can further weaken it. Just a little bit of nylon can add years to the life of the finished object.

Her second question is “Is that still #59?” in reference to the cable. It is #59; however, I made a slight modification to it to create a repeat within the cable pattern. If you have Annie’s book, you can probably work out where I made the change.

Posted in Knitting, sweater Tagged with:

Easy vs. Rough

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First, let me start this post by thanking everyone for their generous and supportive comments on my hiatus announcement. I’m so grateful for the understanding expressed by everyone. I’m also extremely grateful to Sue and Cindy who volunteered to take on ravelry moderator duties, so if you enjoy chatting in ravelry forums or participating in KALs, my little group won’t just reply with the sound of crickets chirping. For myself, I’m feeling much better and have begun the process of dealing with the fallout of 10 months of health issues.

I am knitting as evidenced from the picture above. A couple of swatches recently came off the needles. The yarn is Hazel Knits Lively DK in the Blue Jay colorway. It’s no secret that I love Hazel Knits, and Wendee had a trunk show at fibrespace back in May. The temptation was too much, and 4 Big Wheels of the yarn found their way into my stash. Each pre-wound ball contains approximately 825 yards, which means 4 of them should be more than enough for a sweater. The Big Wheels have the added bonus of causing Ike & Tina Turner’s version of Proud Mary to ring through my head. While working these swatches, I kept thinking about leaving a big job in the city and rolling on the river. 🙂

Any reasonable person would probably ask why I’m making cable swatches in August. The weather is hot and humid, and the idea of wool sweaters seems odd. I simply say that this is all Susie’s fault. Too much time has passed since we last saw each other. We briefly chatted about me possible visiting in October. I’m no fool. The weekend she suggested happens to be the same weekend as Rhinebeck, so I know what she’s plotting. The plans are not final (I know Susie, you want me to definitively say that I’m coming), but the possibility exists. I’ve never been to Rhinebeck, but I understand there is a tradition of a Rhinebeck sweater. Since I believe in honoring traditions, and I also like to be prepared, I’m creating cable swatches, and I’m about to cast on for a sweater in August.

When it comes to making sweaters, I rarely follow a pattern. I have a not small collection of stitch dictionaries, which cry out to be used for some special purpose. After spending a bit of time getting lost in the dictionaries, I settled on Number 59 from Annie Maloney’s The Cable Knitting Handbook.

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If you’re not familiar with Annie, she is an independent designer who has self published a handful of stitch dictionaries. I’m partial to her cables, but she’s done quite a bit of work with lace as well. Her stitches are interesting and original. I know she has a group somewhere on ravelry. I’m not certain where her dictionaries are available now that Unicorn has closed, but I’m sure they can be found if you are motivated to look.

I rather liked the swatch when it was finished, and I was wondering what it might look like if modified to make a repeating cable pattern. This is more proof that I can’t just let things be. I have to take a perfectly good cable, and tweak it. I’m sick, and just can’t help myself.

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Fortunately, this proved to be an easy modification. The cables join in two places on the chart, and I’m pleased with the result. There are two mistakes in this swatch, which disappoints me, but mistakes don’t count on a gauge swatch. The larger swatch yields a slightly looser stitch count, which fascinates me. The cables in the multiple version appear to pull against each other in such a way that the resulting fabric has few stitches per inch. I’m happy with the result, so no need to adjust needle size.

For those of you who dislike making swatches, these swatches illustrate their importance. I wouldn’t have predicted this behavior, nor would I have predicted how much the yarn relaxed after it’s bath. I knew it would relax, but I thought I would need to increase the needle size since the swatch was so scrunched when it came of the needles. Now, I know that isn’t necessary.

Now that the swatches are done, I need to do some math. Fortunately, I enjoy math (another sickness), and spreadsheets produce miracles. 🙂

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