Thursday, September 20, 2007

Silver Spudnick sweater - Yoke into Sleeves & Body

Last night I was walking with my kids, dogs and neighbor while trying to work on my sweater. I was trying to count 252 stitches, decrease by 14 stitches around while putting in markers, listen to the conversation, and put in a comment or so when I had a thought! Didn't work very well. I kept loosing track of my count, or increasing instead of decreasing.

I ended up just sitting down with it later in the evening. Decided I didn't like the last half-inch or so. I ripped back a couple of rounds, did the decrease round earlier, to remove the extra stitches I'd added to make the color pattern area big enough to match the rest, put the markers in to tell where I'll break out the sleeves and body, then went to bed.

This morning I've gotten to the point that I'm ready to cast on the underarm stitches for one of the arms, and start to split the yoke into 2 sleeves and a body! Yay!

When I get home tonight I need to take the 2nd skein of yarn and wind it into a ball. I rewound the light silver-gray I had left after making the yoke pattern. Sure is a much smaller ball! I don't know if I'll be able to do the same pattern on each cuff again, or not. I guess I'll have to see when I get there.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Silver Spudnick Sweater In-Progress

I've still got a lot to do, but here it is as of this morning.

I spent 2 wonderful days enjoying the Cincinnati Celtic Festival, sneaking in a few hours up at Wool Gathering at Young's Dairy Sunday morning. This gave me quite a bit of time to knit on the Silver CVM Sweater as I wandered around.

As previously mentioned, I cast this on so I could knit both directions from the base of the neck ribbing. I ended up knitting a couple of rounds of the neck ribbing on the same size needle as the body of the sweater, then switched from US 9 to US 6 to tighten up the ribbing. I then left the neck till later, after I'd done the patterned yoke so I'd have enough of the light silver white.

I knit the yoke patterning, but didn't like the way it came out. I hadn't added extra stitches before doing the color pattern, and the pattern sort of bunched a bit around my shoulders. I also decided it should be lower, on my upper arms, instead of just on top of the shoulders. So back I ripped, taking out the patterning, then continuing in the dark silver. I had about half a handspan (wrist to fingers) from the neck ribbing when I Celtic Festival. I knit another 2 or 3 inches on the yoke, at one point during that I decided I'd better finish the neck ribbing so I could try it on better. As you can see I put 3 stripes of 2 rounds each of the light silver in the neck ribbing. I cast of on the US size 9 needles to give the edge plenty of flexibility while staying stable.

When I figured the yoke was long enough I added some extra stitches, enough that at the end of the 26 round pattern I'd have the proper number of stitches for the number of rows I'd have, then started the pattern. As you can see, it's coming along well. In one of the typical vagaries of hand spinning, even though all of the yarn was spun to the same sample various sections of it were a bit thicker or thinner. The silver white has been a bit thicker than the surround dark silver. The silver white is thus slightly more prominent in the yoke than the gray.

Silver Spudnick Pictures

I finally took some pictures of the Silver Spudnick. I wish the texture of this lovely, springy yarn could come through!

Here's the light silver singles next to the dark silver 2-ply I was spinning to match. The wheel is a Kromski Mazurka stained mahogany.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Silver Spudnick CVM is becoming a sweater!

I finally took the plunge and have started knitting the silver CVM into a yoke sweater from the top. I love knitting sweaters from the top, and socks from the toe, so I can just go until I run out of yarn, or it reaches the size I want. In either case, I don't have to do the "pray the yarn won't run out" thing!

I'm using some techniques I've learned recently, as well as tried-and-true ones. The cast on is one I learned in "New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One" by Cat Bordhi. She credits another knitter with inventing/unventing it, but unfortunately all I recall at the moment is her name is June. I think. In any case, the cast on let me make a totally invisible caston, then have live stitches to knit both up and down.

I started with 80 stitches in the dark silver gray, then used the usual increase 4 stitches every round to get the yoke. I made the increases totally randomly, trying only to keep them from stacking up. Every so often I would count how many stitches and make any corrections if I'd forgotten to make an increase at some point. I've knit it to 180 stitches, and have now started a mosaic pattern using the silver-white. This pattern is from "Mosaic Knitting" by Barbara G. Walker, Band 29, page 110. I'm also using Walkers book "Knitting from the Top" to figure out my "pattern" for the sweater. All of Barbara G. Walkers books are available from Schoolhouse Press. I couldn't manage without these, and many other books Schoolhouse carries! No affiliation, just a satisfied customer who is glad Elizabeth Zimmermann's legacy continues!

At 4.25 stitches per inch my yoked sweater is coming along fast. With luck maybe I'll finish it before really cold weather hits!