Before we get to the issues, I'd like to honor the Chevron scarf, which was never properly photographed. Here it is for a formal debut:
I love this scarf and have already worn it many times. Good thing I have it, since none of my sweater projects are done yet.
Good news on Skeppsta though! I've delivered fraternal quadruplets. I'll stop the bad pregnancy metaphors right there because once I saw around my whackin' huge blind spot these babies flew off the needles.
I love this yarn for it's total Noroness. The purple colorway and soft fluffy angora fiber are my favs, though I'm glad the angora is not purple - the gray is luminous.
Now I just need to make four B panels to mirror these A panels, connect the panels, run a neckline and do the sleeves. On 9mm needles this isn't so daunting. Really trying to have this one ready for lounging around over Christmas.
Last post I mentioned Juliet and Mr Greenjeans, that unlikely May/Dec couple. Both are top-down raglan knits, which I've never done before. The idea is great, but there're a lot of stitches on the needles before you can get a picture of the fit, and with it all one piece, ripping is daunting. I love the look though, and still love both of these sweaters, but there are challenges. First, dear Juliet, a downloadable pattern from Zephyr knitted in Rowan Cork:
The pattern is well written; it's clear and pleasantly chatty. I love designers who tell you when decision moments have arrived and give you variations to consider. So, no issues with the pattern. Love the spin and color of the yarn - I've had it stashed for a while and have been looking for a worthy pattern. Worried that it would be too tight across and under the arms, so added extra length to the cap sleeves and now it looks like I'll have to rip back at least a few rows. At this point they're looking just a little too much like a cardigan for the Starship Enterprise. (Don't think too hard about this Risa, Mom and you other SF fans, I'm not sure which space TV series this is making me think of - I'm only getting a vague visual of futuristic shoulder wings.) Anyway, Juliet is back-burnered for a bit because of the short sleeves. I'm planning to wear it over a 3/4 sleeve tee, but still, warmer sweaters are calling right now.
So, that leaves us with Mr Greenjeans. Hummm. What's good? Adore the Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The label says 20/4 in but I got a lovely and comfortable 18/4, so I found this pattern on Knitty.The color is fantastic. Reds are notoriously hard to photograph, so I'll ask you to imagine a richer, deeper, more varied red. Next time I'll search around for a spot where the camera can capture it. The pattern flies along until you get to the cables, and even then it's straightforward and easy to do without a cable needle, though the alpaca gets a little splitty.
My problem at this point is twofold. I think I made the top too big and I wish the bottom was bigger. I need to get better measurements of myself and I really need to wrap my mind around negative ease. I've got a habit of adding 2-4 inches of ease to my measurement (42") and making the corresponding size. Trouble is that I'm not that size overall. I need to start making the 38" or 40" size and doing short rows or some such for the bust if it's going to be too tight. I really don't like gappy fronts on cardis, which has driven my approach so far, but sagging shoulders and droopy backs aren't the goals either. Sandi over at the Interweave blog Knitting Daily has been devoting a lot of time to these issues and I'm starting to see the light, but not soon enough on this project. If you've not subscribed to that blog I'd highly recommend it. Lots of great info and patterns.
The bottom cables were supposed to be knitted with a smaller needle size, but after one repeat I knew that was not the best choice for me/this yarn so I switched back to the larger 8's. The design does have a flyaway element below the single button, but mine would have been more cutaway than flyaway. Still, those cables pull it in a lot and I'm not sure my hips are well served by that. Yeah, there's blocking, but still... I wish now that I'd subbed a lace stitch for the bottom as Maria did. Hers is fabulous! Didn't see her blog until this week or I'd have certainly done so.
For now I'm hoping the sleeves and border will help pull the shoulders together. I really really really don't want to rip. I've got another inch or two on the bottom and I'll start the sleeves. I'll admit that I've put this one aside for a few weeks after making quick work of it in the beginning because I'm frustrated. The Skeppsta is my tonic to worrying about fit.
Final word. Look for me on Ravelry as KnittingNancy. Got my invite a while back, but there was skimpy content on my page for quite a while. Some of you have found me already, but I hadn't put my info here on the blog only to direct you to an empty page. Spent way too many hours this week exploring the site and adding content, so now there's something to see on my notebook page. I'll chime in with all the bloggers who've noted what an amazing time suck that site can be. Wonderful, fantastic, inspiring, but time-sucking. I'm swearing off for a few days so I can actually knit something! For those of you not on Ravelry yet, my projects are here too. There's no secret society going on and the site's owners plan a public launch in the future after they get the kinks worked out and the content built up. It's just a fantastic resource for the fiber community that's fun to use. If you haven't already, you should request a password - then don't blame me when you fall down the rabbit hole.