Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Final Frontier!

Snow days are wonderful things for catching up on those things that have been put off for indefinite amounts of time. Two tasks in the Knitting Universe fit this category: Blocking and Seaming! Blocking is easy--particularly since I have a large padded blocking board and a heavy duty steam iron with a separate water reservoir. I have a basket of stuff that needs to get done! I pulled out the Oat Couture Shawl that I knit last summer. This shawl was the first lace knitting I've done. I like this design because it is asymmetrical. It is a pleasure to knit because it is done on circular needles. The knitting begins at the neck edge with increases before and after the many stitch markers. I actually sought out the yarn specified in the pattern which is Classic Elite Premier, a 50/50 blend of cotton and tencel. It has the most delicious feel and is a lovely shade of lime green which just doesn't show in the photos. I couldn't find it locally, so I called a couple of Boston yarn shops since I was to leave for New England within the week. I found it at Woolrich & Co. on Harvard Square in Cambridge. That is one fabulous shop-tightly packed with loads of luxury fibers!

Here it is with the lovely Gita Maria bone shawl stick I bought at Cloverhill a few weeks ago.

The bummer is that I bought a fabulous pin specifically for this shawl at All About Yarns last summer. It had a silver wavy stick with an unusual freeform fimo bead in purple and this same shade of green. I remember putting it in the sewing room and it obviously got misplaced when I reorganized that room a few months ago.

I finally fixed the neckline of my Colinette Point Five sweater. I knit this one a couple of years ago but got frustrated when it wouldn't fit over my head! The photos of the sweater in the booklet show a wider neckline. With this sweater, you seam one shoulder then pick up a specified amount of stitches arount the neck, knit one row, then bind off. I had to rip that out and bind off on larger needles. It is still a tight squeeze getting it over my head but it looks okay. It is blocked and waiting to get stitched together. I dread that. I'm not sure whether I should stitch it in the Point 5 which is very thick, or find a coordinating worsted weight yarn to stitch it with. If I do the mattress stitch properly then the stitches won't show so worsted weight wouldn't add more thickness to the seam. That is probably the way to go.

That will be my finishing project for this weekend. I bought a nice black silk Trina Turk top with a slim fitting body and full poet type sleeves which will look great under this sweater. I like the look of the long, full silk sleeves under the shorter sweater sleeves.

Another project needing construction--my Deborah Newton Hooded Chenille topper. This was in an old issue of Threads--1991! It was one of those projects that I worked on intermittently for several years--mostly when I was at the beach or at the pool with the kids! Anyway the article in the magazine was about designing knit garments with hoods. This is knit in a thick chenille and the reverse stockinette stitch is on the outside.

The other quandry with this sweater is the button. It has one big button and finding the right one has been challenging. I'm really anal when it comes to buttons. Nothing screams "homemade" as opposed to "hand crafted" more than the wrong choice of buttons! I've been know to spend more on buttons for a garment than the fabric when sewing and the same applies to knit garments. I haven't found anything I liked in the stores so I decided to experiment with Fimo since I have such a stash of it.

I should've put a ruler in the photo to show the size of the buttoms that I made. The largest one is about 2 inches in diameter. I played with the brown Fimo and foil bits first (the ones on the left) but they didn't turn me on so I refered to instructions for creating faux stone and mixed the brown and transluscent Fimo with fine glitter. I like that look much better and I'm leaning toward using the button on the top right. I like the irregular shape of that one and the scale seems right when placing it on the sweater front.

Maddy's mitts were started last night. I am having a love-hate relationship with this Frog Tree Merino Worsted weight yarn. It has a lovely feel--incredibly soft and cushiony. It doesn't have a twist though. It is almost like roving. Since these mitts are knit on a size 6 needle to create a denser fabric, the yarn flattens and spreads on the needles and it is hard to see the individual wraps. It also pulled apart when I pulled on it to tighten up the first stitch on one of the needles--something I always do to avoid the dreaded ladder which often appears on items knit on dp's. I think it would be a dream to knit on larger needles. I bought two skeins and I think it will only take one so I have to decide whether or not to keep the extra one for a hat or to return it. You can see the structure of the yarn in the tail in the photo below.

I guess it will be back to the old grind tomorrow. I'm going to assume that school will be open. Time to get back to Maddy's mitts so I have them done when they come home tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. I do have a subscription to Interweave Knits - the new one hits the stands on Feb 20th. It's really a great issue. I also really like their KnitScene magazine. Frog Tree is what I made that diamond scarf out of. Glad you enjoyed your snow day - I ended up not getting to knit at all on mine!