Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year of Knitting

From top left corner:

First row:
1. Fair Isle hats, finished in January
2. Rascal's cable sweater, finished February 4
3. Parker Cardigan, finished May 28

Second row:
1. Oslo Walk Shawl, finished June 25
2. Light and Lacy crochet vest, finished July 15
3. Peppermint Ginger sweater, finished August 16

Third row:
1. Knotty Vest, finished September 3
2. Safe Return mittens, finished September 27
3. Tappan Zee cardigan, finished October 15

Bottom: St. Brigid, finished December 18

This is one of my most productive years. I'm very happy to revisit all the project notes and everyone's comments on Fiber Arts Friday posts. I really enjoyed being part of this excellent group, and the regular postings helped me organized and stay on track. Here is best wishes for a wonderful knitterly 2012!

Happy Friday and Happy New Year! Join the party on Andrea's blogTami's blog, and leave me a comment! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

St. Brigid Finale

Project: St. Brigid 
Pattern: St. Brigid by Alice Starmore, from Aran Knitting
Yarn: Scottish wool, heavy worsted to Aran weight
Yardage:  1000g, about 2000 yards
Needles: Size 6
Cast on: September 27, 2011

Cast off: December 18, 2011
Finished size: Chest 48 inches, body length 26 inches, wingspan 59 inches
Cost: No retail cost. Traded from Scotland for a box of cashmere from China (gift from my aunt). A lot of airline mileage but no money exchanged.
Previous entries: Beginning (yarn story), Front and Back, Sleeves, Edging, Finishing
1. To accommodate the heavy yarn, I followed the pattern for the smaller size, took out one braid panel (chart B) from each side of front and back (total four panels taken out) to make body narrower. 
2. Instead of fringe, I used the braid pattern (chart B) as edging on the bottom on the body.
3. I used the same braid pattern for neck band, and a simple 3 x 3 cable for the cuffs.

This is one of the more complex cable sweaters I've knitted. The construction and cables are straight forward and given the oversized look on the model I was ready for modifications. I was determined to use the Scottish wool for this pattern, even tho it's heavier than called for, and that brought on more adjustments. From this and couple of sweaters this year -- Peppermint Ginger, Light and Lacy -- I've learned how important finishing is in fitting. Knitting (and crochet) creates fabric, and finishing is the step to make the fabric into a garment fit a grow human's body. If you are a selfish knitter like me and mostly make things for yourself, you want them to fit! The tinkering doesn't scare me, I'm just glad it all worked out fine and  I'm happy with the result.

Happy Friday and Merry Christmas! Join the party on Andrea's blogTami's blog, and leave me a comment!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Almost There; Rascalversary

St. Brigid is "this close" to being done. I have a bit of yarn left and I'm putting some cable edging on the sleeves. This week I ripped the side seams apart, blocked the front and back, sewed the pieces back together with an attempt to lengthen the sweater a bit, then added cable edging on the bottom (you can't see it in the picture but it's there), and redid the neck band to tighten up. Next week: Finale!

Thursday was Rascal's home coming day! Exactly a year ago we took the skinny little puppy home from his rescue foster home. You can read Rascal's full story here. At the time we were told he was closer to eight months old, but he's done so much growing (in weight and relative maturity) in the past year, we think he was probably closer to six months, which makes him right about a year and half now. No matter, we are thrilled to have our perfect little Rascal, who does everything to live up to his name.

Earlier this year I shared some of my charity stash with a local middle school's new knitting club. This week I received this cute card the students drew and signed. Isn't it sweet?

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!

Friday, December 09, 2011

St. Brigid, Knitting with Friends

St. Brigid continues to grow at a good clip. Front, back, both sleeves are seamed, collar added. As I was seaming I remembered I was in such a hurry to see how the sweater looked, I forgot to block the pieces. Now the side seams look a little strange, I may have to take them apart and redo the seams. Even after taking out two panels on each piece, the sweater still looks very square. I'm adding a round a braid on the bottom, hoping to make it more vertical, and hopefully the blocking and seaming would help too.

On Tuesday I invited some friends over to knit. These ladies from South Bay Knitters are incredibly talented, in knitting and other fiber arts. Over the years their creativity, their thorough knowledge of fibers, and their tireless intellectual pursuits have pushed me to advance myself in many ways.

Jocelyn of the sock machine's fame is working on a cable and lace scarf
Sylvia working on a baby hat for charity
Carol's Christmas stocking for her grandson
Carol, who blogs at And All That Yarn, is thinking about joining Fiber Arts Friday. Her blog is full of beautiful pictures of her knitting, go take a look and give her a big welcome!

Friday, December 02, 2011

St. Brigid Progress

St. Brigid is coming along nicely. For such a large project, I'm making better progress than I anticipated. Front and back are both done, one sleeve is done, the other is close to shoulder decrease. The front and back look too square for my taste even tho I took out a panel from each side (total four panels taken out). If there is enough yarn left I will see about adding couple rounds of braids on the bottom to make the body longer.

Some California fall colors:
Orchid blooming second time since the summer.

My home grown persimmon.
Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!