Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Please note that the title of this post has absolutely no relationship to the content. Why is the title "Yes!!"? Because I've been trying for the last three hours to upload the photos in the proper sequence. And wait on customers. And keep a smile on my face. "YES!!!" signifies that I've finally, YES, FINALLY, gotten the photos to load in the sequence I want. How? Load them backwards. First time I've ever had to do it this way, but ... well, it worked. Who am I to look a blog-horse in the mouth?

In the weeks since I posted Barb's adventure in steeking, I've been knitting. Rather steadily, in fact, but with little finished product to show. This perhaps is due to the afghan that I'm making for my church, and the shawl that I've ripped back twice. Since I'm still enjoying the knitting, however, I'm not gonna complain.

What I AM going to do is show you this lovely cardigan that I completed for myself. The cardigan comes from Classic Style Book 16 from RYC. The design itself is called "Charm" and is pictured on page 20 of the book. Originally designed for RYC Silk Wool DK, I used a yarn from Luxury containing silk and alpaca. Currently, the closest comparable is a Debbie Bliss yarn. The colour in the second photo is most accurate ... I used 10 balls of the wool as there apparently is significantly more yardage in the Luxury ball than the RYC.

I made no changes to the pattern--simply knit it as directed. Here is a detail of the leaves on the back of the sweater.
This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite sweaters. It is cozy, cuddly, stylish, and warm. Not to mention how most folks really like it! A delightful knit--if anyone is considering this project, I'd say "Go for it! NOW!"

In other news ... earlier in the summer, I cast on and finished a pair of socks for Doug. I thoroughly enjoyed knitting up the Ranco; the feel of the wool is great, the colourway was enticing. Doug thoroughly enjoyed wearing them. Then they were washed.

Now I admit that our version of "hand wash" involves the front loading washing machine. But it also includes a lingerie bag and cold water. Cold water. The socks shrank. But he could still wear them, and he did. A second washing--and Doug put the socks onto the handy, dandy sock stretchers to dry.

What happened next? It was a sad and terrible day at our house. Doug told me that the socks shrank yet again, despite the sock stretcher. And they would no longer fit him. In fact, they now were mine. (I tried desperately to keep a straight face. His telling me this, coming upon the heels {a pun--did you get it?} of my admitting to him that the alpaca double knit mitts at the store wouldn't fit him either, but fit me perfectly. Well, who wouldn't have exclaimed "YES!" complete with a fist pump?)

So they became mine and I wore them.
Turns out the socks are laughing at Doug, lying there oh so innocently where he can see that they are being worn and loved. I say, laughing at him. Loudly and long.

But who has the last laugh?
These are socks knit from Noro Kureyon sock wool, and he loves them. Just as much as he loved the Ranco socks.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Adventures in Steeking--Part 2

As promised, here is the continuation of Barb's steeking adventure. You will recall that she had steeked the armholes, completed the 3-needle bind off for the shoulders and picked up stitches for the collar in our last visit.

She came back to the shop on Saturday and presented us with the finished collar. It looks beautiful, although a little wonky what with the neckline shaping not cut out.
So she obligingly removed the offending piece.

Having finished off the neckline, the almost final step is to steek the front and make the sweater into a cardigan.
Once the sweater has become a cardigan, it is easy to sneak a peek into the interior of the sweater. Philosopher's Wool kits use a delightful technique whereby you carry the main colour in one hand, the second colour in the second hand, and wrap the stitches very stitch. This makes a very firm and solid fabric where there is no danger that one will snag an unwary finger in the floats on the reverse side.
Indeed, the back side of the knit is almost as beautiful as the front side. Barb used a mattress stitch to attach the sleeves, and she pronounces the seam "perfect."

Of course, the million dollar question is this: Will the sweater fit the intended recipient?

The answer?
Yup. Barb reports that her mother is not normally a domonstrative person. So when she sat with the sweater in her lap all afternoon, petting it and admiring the colours, Barb interprets that to be akin to jumping with joy.

After all, we are!

PS. Barb's dad wants a sweater too. After having said "never again," this time Barb said "Next year!"