Sunday, February 22, 2009

Turtleneck finished

Hello my friends!

I had a cold last week so I pretty much slept my way through the week (you know - as much as is possible to do with 3 kids.) I really should advise you that as soon as you say "Wow, it's February already and nobody has been sick yet!" that you are just DOOMED.

I am so happy to be back and to show you my favorite accomplishment from January:

I started this sweater a year ago so here is some review:

(There will not be a quiz.)

I started it in January of last year.

I had always wanted to make an all-Koigu striped sweater after seeing a pattern in Vogue Knitting Fall 2002 (all time favorite issue). The pattern isn't pictured on Ravelry, but you can see a photo of it on this post.

The shape of the sweater was a little dated (bat wings, anyone?) and I didn't like the style of ribbing, so I decided to make some changes, and then I decided to just copy the measurements of my favorite tee shirt. Eventually, I changed so much that the only thing that really sticks to the original pattern is the 12 row-stripe pattern, and the fact that it's a turtleneck.

I had collected dark blue and dark green shades of Koigu for a few years, and I added in 3 shades of Sophies Toes to complete the assortment.

I tinkered around a bit with the color placement and subtracting colors that stuck out too much (see here and here), so it wasn't exactly a quick knit, but then again, once I got going the mindless knitting in the round was fast and the changing colors every 12 rows was fun.

When I got to the yoke I followed the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns for the raglan decreases. I will put all the boring details of this on Ravelry.

Then I was stumped for awhile about the neckline. I did a crewneck first, but it was not quite right. I knit a mock turtleneck but didn't like it either. I did a full turtleneck but didn't like the pooling of the yarn. I considered steeking it into a cardigan. That's when I gave it a time-out and it fell off the blog radar.

I picked it up on the last day of January (remember that motivation I had to finish a sweater a month?), and tried it on for some friends. They approved! I looked in the mirror and thought "where have you been all my life?" I didn't even notice the pooling that I had hated last year. I loved the turtleneck. It is so soft and comfy next to the skin. It is fabulous to have a fine gauge sweater amongst all it's worsted friends.

I love the fact that you can see the stripes, but they don't really shout out. There are lots of differnt shades of blues, greens, and some grey so the fact that they don't scream "stripes!" is because they are all the same dark value.
This is my new favorite sweater! (I know I say that a lot.) But it is really great to have a light weight and warm turtleneck- it just seems perfect for every occasion. I hope I can find the notes I made about the stitch counts because I would like to make another in a solid.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Knitting With My Peeps

Last week was quiet on the blog because I had visitors. My peeps were in the house! My little brother, I'll call him "Kenny", but he is also known as "Tres" or in some circles as "Earl", came to visit from California.

(Many Californians have multiple identities, I have come to learn.)

He brought his WIP vest, shown above. Much knitting ensued.

Shout out to Mom, who is working on this cowl.

Here's an appearance by my dad, modeling his new Jacque Cousteau hat, which I made him for Christmas.

I didn't get a great photo, (Note to self--use step ladder when photographing handknits on tall man's head) but the decreases are cool. I'll get the details up on Ravelry.

It was pretty fun to have a house full of people and knitting going on somewhere almost constantly. Then there were the classic conversations such as:

Me: Oh! Are you using the Magic Loop method with that armhole ribbing? (See picture above.)
Kenny: No, I'm just using a circular needle that's too big for this circumference.
Me: Um, ok.

Then, there's some super exciting news in the "newest knitter" category! That's Miss Molly above, with her very first project! How proud am I?

I have been treated to the classic "This is so fun!" "Just one more row!" and then the not so good "How did I get so many stitches?" I had to laugh when she brought me her "scarf" and showed me how it was mysteriously getting wider. I counted her stitches--she started with 20--and the current number on the needles was 44. Yikes! But she is having fun! And a very special addition to our knitting circle.
Welcome, Molly!
And I would be remiss without saying: We missed you Allison.
Our week long knit-fest culminated in the annual Lincoln Elementary Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Let's check in on the Red Carpet and see if we can spot any handknits!

Why, it's my little bro wearing his F.O! His self-designed (with some help from the Ann Budd book) Aurucania Nature Wool One-Stripe Vest.
On the outside, he's so "Hey. I'm the cool uncle from California." And on the inside he's totally "Lookie! Lookie! I'm wearing my new vest! I made it myself!"
Why, it's my mom! Looking pretty in her Flora that I made her a couple of years ago.

Do I have anything to show for myself? Why, yes! It could be a completed Koigu turtleneck! Details on that later.

When you're nine, ribbons are fabulous.

And lastly, shop update tonight, 7pm Central time. I have had some trouble with my e-mail list not going through, so I thought I'd mention it here.