Archive for November, 2008

Away on Vacation

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I thought I’d have time to post on Wednesday before we left, but it just didn’t happen. We’ve gone South where it’s warm and sunny!


Some visiting with family and friends, some knitting, and some relaxing. More photos to come after we get back.

Bianca Jacket

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Here she is!

Bianca Jacket

Bianca Jacket

Bianca Jacket

Bianca Jacket

Want to know what I think? I think Bianca is wearable, but that she’ll be even better after I wear her a couple times and the silk yarn has grown a tad bit. I’d like to have a bit more length and a slightly looser fit in the sleeves. The body length is just fine either way.

I suppose if the sleeves don’t grow any more, I could snip a row and add length. To be honest, I’m surprised they look an inch too short – if anything, from holding the sleeve up to my arm from wrist to armpit I expected they might have been too long after joining to the yoke.

This is only my second full-size adult sweater (the other one being Sunrise Circle). I learned just how quickly I can knit a sweater size garment and I understand a lot better how a bottom-up yoke sweater comes together. I definitely consider Bianca a success even if I do end up adding length to the sleeves. 🙂

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

My WIP list looks long, but in actuality the knitting on two of these items is done and they won’t appear on this list again.

1. Clapotis – on hold for now.

2. Lichen Ribbed Socks – finished. I won’t be revealing these until after Christmas.

3. Bianca Jacket – I finished the knitting on Friday night. In attempting to get it dry, I moved it from the laundry room to the top of a heater vent, and finally on the blocking board in front of a fan. The fan was by far the best at drying it out.

It just needs buttons and a modeled photo shoot!



4. Riverbed Master Pattern Socks – restarted. This is a toe up sockitecture from Cat Bordhi’s book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I’m using a simple 2×2 ribbing to ensure a nice stretchy fit as these will be gifted. And yes, if you’re wondering whether this is the same Lorna’s Laces colorway as a previously gifted pair – it is. The colorway is Tahoe.

Riverbed Socks

5. Swallowtail Shawl – This will be a Christmas gift for Grandma Glenda. I just cast on last night so there’s not much to see. I’m using a fingering weight merino so I’ve increased my needle size to a US 6. The color is dark navy.

Swallowtail Shawl

Photo-less WIP Update

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

I know, how boring. I skipped my WIP post last week since I was 100% focused on Bianca.

1. Clapotis – I haven’t touched it since the last update. It’s probably 10% done and has gone on the back burner for now.

2. Lichen Ribbed Socks – 70% done. While the Bianca sleeve was hanging I put in some rows on these.

3. Bianca Jacket – 80% complete. I did finish the neckline last night, but ended up ripping out the small amount of progress I had made on seaming the armpits. Tonight will be armpit seaming round 2.

Bianca Update

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

For two days I waited impatiently to see how much the Bianca sleeve would grow. At first I didn’t think much had changed, but by Saturday afternoon the washed sleeve was 1.25 inches longer than it had been.

Bianca Sleeves

With that knowledge I finished up a few more rows on the second sleeve and added 4 more rows to the body of the sweater. After an hour or so I had the arm hole shaping done and I was able to join all the pieces together!

Bianca Body

The yoke is now a bit further along than this photo shows. There’s not much knitting left. I need to decide how much to decrease around the neck (possibly more than the pattern calls for), seam the armpits, and then add the garter stitch bands. I haven’t picked out buttons yet either or figured out how many buttons I want to use.

Bianca Jacket Mods

Friday, November 7th, 2008

If you’re familiar with this pattern you will have noticed that I’ve made some modifications to how it’s knit. Since all I have to show you is more sleeve progress, this seems like a good time to document my changes.

  • Knitting sides and back as one piece with faux side seams
  • Knitting sleeves in the round with a faux seam
  • Decreased stitch count for sleeves. I cast on 45 sts, 44 stitches for 4 lace repeats and 1 stitch for the faux seam. Then I increased 1 stitch every 5 rows to get to 56 stitches.
  • Corrected Chart 1 so that row 6 is knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side. This appears to be how it was knit in the magazine.
  • Corrected Chart 2 so that row 3 and 4 are swapped.

With regard to the chart “corrections”, if you look on Ravelry you’ll see that others have corrected the charts in the opposite manner. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way here, the finished sweaters are lovely both ways.

Right now, I have knit 4 skeins of yarn in their entirety. I have 10 total skeins, but expect to use around 9. Both the body and sleeves have been knit to the point where I need to decide how long to make them which has been complicated by the knowledge that silk yarn grows over time. To determine a good pre-washed length, I have washed one of the sleeves. It is now dry and hanging out here:

Bianca Sleeves

When I walk by I play with it a bit to simulate how it may grow when worn. I’ve tried it on a few times too. I don’t know how accurate it will be, but it’s probably as close as I can get without finishing the whole garment and seeing how it wears over time. I’m anxious to continue knitting, but I’m going to try to be patient and let a few days pass.

NaKniSweMo Progress

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

What’s the first thing I’ve learned since I joined NaKniSweMo? That I can accomplish a lot of knitting on the weekend. I always knew I knit a lot on the weekend, but it’s usually on something with tiny stitches like a pair of socks. When you turn that knitting time to a sweater you get this:

Bianca Body

This is 10 inches of the body. I think I’m going to knit another inch before beginning the armhole shaping, but I haven’t quite decided. On one hand, after washing my row count increased which will shorten the body, but on the other hand everyone says silk will grow over time.

During the week my knitting time drops off a fair amount. Here’s the weekday knitting from yesterday:

Bianca Body

Not bad. Sorry about the bad flash photo. The skies are gray today with snow in the forecast for the hills. The lace patterned part of the sleeves is knit; this is the first 6-7 inches of the sleeve.

After knitting the swatch, I thought my biggest challenge may be the yarn. It stinks and makes a mess on your clothes as bits of junk fall out of it. To be honest the smell of that swatch was so bad it turned my stomach a bit. I’ve now taken all the skeins out of the bag so they can air out, plus I’ve either gotten used to the smell or the other skeins aren’t as bad. Phew!


Saturday, November 1st, 2008

For non-knitting folks, this means “National Knit a Sweater Month”. I was not planning to participate, then I saw Anne’s post about preparing her yarn and pattern for NaKniSweMo. My first reaction was “that’s crazy”, but then I started mulling over the idea. Could I really do it? What would it mean?

First off, since it was October 29th it meant that I needed to already be in possession of the yarn, pattern, and needles. This narrowed my choices to:

  1. Bianca’s Jacket by Michele Rose Orne knit in Muench Sir Galli
  2. Tweedy Aran Cardigan by Norah Gaughan knit in Valley Yarns Williamstown
  3. #19 Cabled Cardigan by Margaret O’Leary knit in Valley Yarns Williamstown

(There are much prettier examples of these patterns on Ravelry.)

Bianca's Swatch

Bianca's Beginning

While I’ve really been wanting to start the Tweedy Aran it seemed a foolish choice. I’ve only knit one adult sized sweater before, I wanted to choose something that I have a chance at success at. Cabled Cardigan was an equally poor choice in that I’ve never knit anything from Vogue so I don’t know what their pattern instructions are like and this one, again, would be slower to knit with all the cables.

The obvious choice was Bianca. I swatched Thursday night, threw the swash in the sink to soak overnight, and waited anxiously for it to dry on Friday. My gauge before washing left me with little hope that I’d be starting this sweater, but surprise surprise – with the help of the heater vent the swatch dried and my stitch count was equal to the pattern. My row count was still one less, but I can work around that. I also did my research on Ravelry about both the yarn and pattern before jumping onboard.

There you have it, now you know what I’ll be working on for a while! I’ll bring you more about this yarn and my planned pattern mods later on this week.