Monday, August 27, 2007

baby madge

Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
One of my co-workers is expecting. In October, I think. And this home-dyed (in the roving with cherry koolade) handspun was just hanging around with nothing to do. So I plied it and started Madge on 60 stitches (instead of 80 like the pattern specifies). Hopefully, it will come out baby sized. And hopefully, the new mother will forgive me for gifting her with a hand-washing-required baby hat.

The pattern is from the spring 06 issue of knittyspin []

Maybe this will be lunch time knitting and the sweater (and the maple man) will forgive me for cheating.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sleeve 2

Sleeve 2 for Irish Moss is on the home stretch. I am halfway through ball 4.

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And up close:

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Soon I will have to figure out adjustments for the front and back. Due to my gauge "adjustments" I will have to have a few more double moss stitches in the side/underarm area. And perhaps an extra purl between motifs. I have to plan carefully because AS has a very elegant transistion between the rib and the cable-y sections with Chart A integrated into the rib. At least she did for the sleeve cuffs. And I don't want to mess it up.

Monday, August 20, 2007

How much yarn?

Some early-in-the-sweater musings on how much yarn it will take to knit Irish Moss. I'll follow-up as the knitting progresses and at the end.

I bought 15 skeins, based on yardage calculations, you know, what the pattern specified and how many yards are in each skein, and how many yards are in each skein of this yarn. Plus 2 skeins because I needed to add 8 inches to each sleeve. Plus 2 balls for insurance. I know that is probably overkill but I did not want to run out of yarn. Or have yarn nerves.

Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool [Hazel]

I used 1.8 skeins, so far, on sleeve 1. Sleeve 2 is in progress.
Based on sleeve yarn consumption, I'm guessing, and this is just a rough guess, that the front and back will each take 4 skeins. Total ~12 skeins.

The good news, if this projection is any good, is that I may finish sooner than I thought. They bad news is that I may have overbought by 3 skeins.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Irish Moss sleeve 2

Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
Measuring Irish Moss by the ball got complicated.

Sleeve 1 may be done but there are 11.8 grams of yarn left on ball 2. I put sleeve 1 on a holder cable (luv those kp options). I'm waiting until I have knitted the sweater body and done some basting before I bind off sleeve 1. I may add up to an inch or two to the length.

The maple man held it over his arm way up at the shoulder and wrapped toward his armpit and declared that more length was needed. I didn't want to explain ease and all. I matched the knitted sleeve up with the target sweater that I'm roughly sizing to, and it matches nicely at the underarm seam area but comes up short a bit at the shoulder area. I'll have to check that sweater more closely for some top of sleeve shaping.

Sleeve 2 started with ball 3 (28.6 grams left as of this writing.) This evening's knit time is not over but the sunlight was fading fast so I wanted to get some pics. And having pics, I wanted to get this blog post put up.

Blog posts may be slim during the Irish Moss period. I have a hard time getting excited about posting that 10 grams have been knit. Or showing a picture of a sleeve that is a coupla' inches longer.

On another subject, though still knitting related.... If perchance I don't get my fill of double moss stitch with this sweater, I've got my eye on the minimalist cardigan in the new fall Interweave Knits [link]. I've joined the kal blog and am watching as others knit it. To see how they like the curly front stockinette band.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

more Irish Moss

The sweater is not a surprise to the maple man. He may be surprised if/when I get it done but he knows I'm working on it. His initial projection was that he thought I would knit one yard per day and it would take six years to complete. I haven't heard any recalculations after I knitted one ball in week 1. His birthday is in mid-November and that's my target but if that doesn't work out, Christmas is my back-up plan.

I ask him to "try it on" almost daily, as in laying the sleeve over his arm to see how far up it goes. Then I wrap it around his upper arm to see if I'm done with the increases. I'm not. But they are getting farther apart. I'm trying to keep notes so sleeve 2 can resemble sleeve 1.

I did a lot of stuff today between knitting times. There was laundry, and playing on the computer (have you seen the madge hat on knitty (and ravelry) and the sheep wrap?). There was some spinning. And making grape jelly. And I frogged fetching. I decided sooo tight was not a good idea, so they'll be restarted as time permits. I was going to help mow the front yard but by the time I heard the mower, and went to the bathroom, and found my shoes, I was looking for my gloves and he was done. Darn?

But there was knitting on the sweater. 10 grams worth.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

one week one ball

IM081107 001
Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
I've been knitting one week ( well, technically eight days if you consider that I started knitting on said sleeve last Saturday, I think, and this is Saturday evening) on Irish Moss and I have one sleeve approximately up to the maple man's elbow (abour 13 1/4 inches). I'm just about done with the increases so it will be fairly straight up from here.

I'm trying to hang tough and knit almost monogamously on this sweater, but dang, my right index finger (the pusher finger) is getting sore.

I have found a handy feature of my kp options circ. There's a little hole near the cable join that works as an automatic life-liner. You may see some light green lifelines in the pic. I am putting them in at the end of each 16 row chart, just in case of disaster, and I'm keeping them as a counting aid. Also I think they will help make for even seaming.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Followup on grape mush

I don't think I did a followup post to the grape mush dyeing experiment. Here is the result:

It's kind of a grayish-silverish with a hint of lavender.

Not bad, but not the color I was expecting. The jelly bags are cotton and much more brightly "stained".

Monday, August 06, 2007

Irish Moss 2

Some knitting math:
Ball 1 started at 48 grams and is now at 29.3 grams. 39 percent of ball 1 has been knit. 7 grams were knit tonight. I'm not ready to make long term projections, but this sweater is a long-term-project.

Lynn, I don't know if I've gotten to fun yet. It is going faster, and I'm doing some of my cabling without a cable needle. Thanks to Wendy of Here's a link to her lesson on doing cables without a cable needle [link].

There is still quite a bit of paying attention. Especially on that center chart. Something happened on the second time through, different from the first... But I'm calling it a design element.

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Irish Moss 1

The maple man is getting a sweater. Knit by me.

Now, he's a big guy, about 6'4", with long arms so this is a major knitting committment. He has hand-knit socks but no sweater knit by me. He is a patient husband who knows how much knitting means to me. He handles his share of the housework and cooking and shopping, or more, so as not to cut into the knitting time (or blogging time ). He never complains about how much I spend on yarn, though I am reasonable (at least in my opinion), or books, or needles or etc. He likes "eating out" (what we call eating in the den) which is good because of the various projects and yarn and fiber etc that generally covers the table. Or should I say tables. Don't ask.

I've been looking at patterns and giving him choices, and he settled on Irish Moss from Starmore's aran book. My local library has it and it is surprisingly generally available. And I have a couple of Sisters (of the Wool) who have it, if I should use up my check-out-limit.

The Silky Wool from last week's lys yarn sale is the chosen yarn. Light enough for general winter wear in Texas. Wooly enough for pleasant knitting. Based on my swatching, I had to drop down to a size 5 needle to get a nice sweater fabric that hopefully won't get the droops (that's a technical term that some of you may know).

However, the pattern specifies gauge in moss stitch, which is fine, but moss stitch is just the underarm filler. But what about all those cables?? So after working out my gauge, and swimming my swatches, being unable to do adjusting calculations without a major swatch-fest of every cable included, I threw caution to the wind and cast on for a sleeve. Sisters, pick yourselves up off of the floor.

Then I tried the first cuff on him, frogged it and cast on for a bigger cuff.
[Just for the record, and for the second sleeve cuff, the cuff is knit on size 3's.]

Without further ado, here are the first pictures of Irish Moss:

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and up close:

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Now I do hope this blog does not become too boring. I plan to focus a lot of knitting time on this sweater. I plan to knit at least one ball per week, which is 175 meters. This also gets the sweater done in time for his birthday in November. And in time for winter. If we have winter. There are lots of cables to knit with associated chart-paying-attention. As far as blogging, I will post a progress pic at least once per week with perhaps more frequent gram reports.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

August yarn day

New yarn goodies:

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for the maple man's sweater (15 skeins):

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Mission Falls wool that completes my color collection for a sweater for me:

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Rio de la plata Sock yarn that looks homespun. Probably for me.

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And hempathy, to try, probably for a lacey, stretchy bag:

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Friday, August 03, 2007

good or bad

One of my Sisters (of the Wool), bookgrump, asked whether her Sisters had been good or bad at a lys sale.

My reply was to request a definition of good. lol

I thought I did pretty good. I bought yarn for a sweater for the maple man and he's a big tall guy so I bought a LOT of skeins of Silky Wool. (I've been swatching and it's making me crazy. I can "get gauge" per the pattern but I don't like the knitted fabric at that gauge. So I dropped down a needle size and made another swatch... They're swimming now. I feel some calculations coming on, to make my gauge work with the pattern.)

And I filled in the Mission Falls colors I needed for a sweater for me. I've been collecting colors as I find them on sale. And one skein of sock yarn. One of the Rio de la Plata handspun looking sock yarns. And one prospective buy (a yarn that wasn't on my mental "must have" list) - one skein of hempathy, probably for a lacy stretchy bag.

All for 25 percent off.

But if good means you didn't get much yarn, I guess I was bad...

Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1 status

The state of the knitting at chez maple:

finished during July 2007 count 6
Monkey socks
Loksins socks
4 hats

This makes 14 pairs of socks completed during 2007.

2007 Knitting status 7/1/07 Started: count 7
fetching (with my spindle spun yarn!)
malabrigo wrap/shawl (yes, you haven't seen this one)
and 5 carry-overs from last month (and longer, it seems like forever for some of these)
Cat Bordhi lace socks
blue Regia two skein stripes
knitty Grace
pink cotton sweater (This project is knitted, and the seaming is started.)
recycled silk bag

The UFO count last month (and the month before) was 7, and is still 7.

Let's check progress against plans... For June knitting, I planned to finish the Monkeys and Loksins. Check and check.
I planned to get that pink sweater seamed. This didn't work so well, but at least the ufo count didn't increase.

For August knitting, I plan to get another pair of socks into active knitting mode. Old/new, I haven't decided.
For the nth time, I'm going to plan to get that pink sweater seamed.
I'm going to knit at least one skein per month on the malabrigo wrap. No need to get in a hurry here as it will be a while before it will be cold enough to need it.
I may get some yarn for a sweater for dh. He has calculated that if I knit a yard a day on it, it will take 6 years. I'm guessing I can knit more than a yard a day. And it may take a couple or three months. He's a big guy and the pattern (likely Irish Moss) has lots of cables.