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The Finish Line

Pretty much all I have done for the past two and half weeks is watch the olympics and knit while watching.  Ok, well, that’s not ALL I did, but I sure did do quite a lot and I have two finished sweaters to prove it.

Knitting the stranded yoke on the husband’s Skogafjall while watching was challenging, but I made it through and all turned out well.  I’m still working on the tension in my stranded knitting.  I think during this project, I concluded that I was knitting too loosely, which was making my stitches look quite uneven, especially over the longer floats.  So, I tried to tighten up a little, which definitely helped.  I hope to make another one of these for myself, so I will get a little more practice with the stranded knitting.

Here it is on the husband just after I had finished it, but before I blocked it.  He was very pleased with it, except for the length.  For some reason, the pattern calls for the body length to be 18 inches, which is quite long for a sweater!  Well, I could fix it by cutting part of it out and grafting it back together, but I probably won’t do that.

I actually finished that sweater a few days before the olympics was over, so I spent the rest of the olympics working on my Carbeth sweater.

This is an amazingly fast knit.  It would have been even faster had I made the body as short as the pattern called for.  I actually made it 5 inches longer, which brought it to a 13 inch length.  I think that 11 or 12 would have been ok, too, but for me, I would not make it much shorter than that.

Pre-blocking, it was quite puckery around the decreases and I was worried about that, I will not lie.  However, some things really do block out and I was happy about the way this one did after its bath.

I used about 12 different yarns in the sweater, all but two were leftover from other projects.  Somehow, this made me even happier as I was knitting.  It felt so efficient and frugal!  It also seems to open up a lot of new knitting possibilities when one starts combining yarns.  Suddenly, the stash seems to take on a new life.  Laceweight could be combined with other yarns to produce a chunky weight to make more Carbeths!  When a sweater only calls for 600-800 yards of yarn, this becomes suddenly possible with just those lonely one or two skein bits of yarn that you know you’ve been collecting over the years.   Methinks this might not be the last Carbeth I make.

What do you think?


Pink is Next

Well, my olympic knitting sweater project is coming along nicely.

As I predicted, it has been nice to have lots and lots of stockinette stitch knitting to do while I watched the hours of olympic sports coverage.  For the first 12 inches, the knitting seemed to just fly by.  I couldn’t believe how fast it was knitting up but then, things sort of ground to a crawl.  I would do an hour or so of knitting, take a measurement, and find that it had not really grown much at all.  This happened several times and is common to all knitters at some point.  We like to call it the black hole of knitting.  Somehow, lots of yarn is being knit, but the project does not grow.  Most likely, it suffers from the malady of overattention.  The solution, of course, is to ignore it entirely and keep knitting, without taking measurements.  Then, inevitably, the knitter will overshoot the mark and have something too long.  Such is the way of knitting.

Fortunately, I had cookies and sleeves to help me along and break up the monotony a little.  A couple of nights ago, I declared the bottom part of the body done ( I was close enough to the required measurements and you know how much measurements lie anyway) and attached the sleeves.  Last night, I began the colorwork.

This is my favorite part.  The only problem is that it is hard to watch the actual olympic sports and pay attention to what color I am supposed to be knitting at the same time.  I will persevere, though, and hope that if I slow down my knitting a little, I will not make any horrendous mistakes.

Meanwhile, I have also been working on my Carbeth sweater here and there.  I finished the first sleeve, which hardly took any time at all, and began the second.  The pattern says to knit the body first and then the sleeves, but I wanted to do the sleeves first so that they would match.  Unfortunately, my weighing system did not work out as well as I had hoped, and I was short about an inch or so of the dark brown for the second sleeve.

This, I knew, would bother me, and since I was not too far along, I went ahead and fixed it, using some of the dark brown I had reserved for the body.  Good thing I knit the sleeves first!  This made me much happier, mostly because I think that, visually, it would be noticeable if the sleeves did not match, but not so jarring if the body does not match the sleeves since they are different shapes.

Things are coming along nicely now, and I am interested to see how the body will look once it’s finished.  I’m planning to make the body longer than the pattern calls for.  It’s too cold around here for a cropped chunky weight turtle-necked sweater.

All the brown and neutral colors were starting to get to me, though.  So, yesterday, I decided to quite waiting for a “convenient time” and warp my long hibernating loom.

Despite doing it wrong ( I warped around the wrong beam in the back), I think it will still work and carried on.  It only took three hours to get it ready to finally to some weaving.  Hopefully, that time will decrease with practice!

The weaving goes fast, though, and I am really enjoying the colors moving past.  This is some variegated yarn stash that I have struggled to find a knitting project for and just last week, I had the inspiration that weaving with it would be perfect and I was right.

For the warp yarn, I am using a giant cone of sock yarn that I bought at a seconds table several years ago at Rhinebeck.  I’m pretty sure I have enough yarn to make several scarves/wraps/cowls with it.  I definitely have plenty of variegated yarn in the stash to use with it as well.  I’m so happy to be weaving again.  I forgot how much I enjoy it.

And the colors are cheering me up during these late winter dreary days.  I think after those two brown sweaters above are done, I’m going to knit some colorful things.  Pink sounds good to me right now.