Sunday, February 22, 2009
I've been repeatedly admiring the Everybody Knows cardigan on the recent edition of Knitty, but I don't particularly care for doing *all garter stitch all the time* either, so I decided I'd model my sweater on that pattern, but do seed (a.k.a. moss) stitch to stabilize the curl at the bottom, and then just continue thereafter with stockinette stitch. I left out here nifty stripes of yarn-overs, as I just didn't desire them, and concentrated my efforts on planning my darts (which I will have to make a little more complicated than hers in order to match my body type, oh joy). So far, so good. Since I couldn't make up my mind which yarn to select, I opted for the charcoal grey Pastaza yarn, and for another in the black Eco + bulky, both from Cascade yarns. Happily that bulky comes in 478 yard skeins, which makes it *way* cheaper - huzzah. Given my color choices, and the simple but absurd fact that I chose to make two cardigans... well, it's become my Vanilla Bean project (right color scheme, at least). My BFE (big fat excuse / justification) for this project this late in the season of cold is that by the time I get anywhere close to finishing one of them it'll be camping and beach-walking season, and it's very breezy and chilly at night in Maine, especially on an island, so I think I'm justified. So there.
Now if only I had the time and patience for color work, I'd make the hilarious, crazy fish hats in this month's edition. Dang.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Cascade Pastaza: color #007, Charcoal
I've had this material for a while, but finally decided which sweater pattern - there were several that I admired. Eventually I decided what I really wanted this season was an all-around, simple but daily use type of garment - like a suit-coat for the office, only in sweater form. The dark charcoal color, flecked with a few white fibers, is perfect for that purpose, and I chose the "Everybody Knows" pattern from the latest edition of knitty.com. I varied the pattern (hm, big surprise there!) - her pattern is intended to be simple, which is fine, but I don't care for the look or feel of all garter stitch, all the time. Plus, it simply uses up way more yarn. Maybe 150% the yarn of stockinette, if you're talking an entire sweater? I ran the numbers, and that's about how it came out. So, I'm going with mostly stockinette, with a few darts inserted to suit my own figure, and some stripes on the sleeves in basketweave stitch.
I got out my #9s to start, and realized I didn't have any lonnnng circulars in that size. Thank you Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns, who remained open a few minutes longer than usual in spite of the snow (and attendant annoying traffic) the other night, and I was able to solve my immediate needle dilemma.
So, the yarn itself is thick, ~4st/in and 6.5rows/in. It has, from my point of view, a light twist, and it's a little easy to split when knitting, particularly when doing a cable-cast on. Once it's working though, it's great. It yields a nice, thick, opaque, but flexible fabric. Soft to the touch yet still sturdy. Oddly, this particular colorway is hard to find at my usual LYSes and online sources. I got the original stuff at MEY, but at the moment they're out, and only yarncountry.com seems to have it; otherwise most LYS indicate I must buy a whole bag of it. Since I already bought 3/4 of what I need...that's a little overkill for me. I'll do a little further investigations on it.
Berroco Inca Gold: so yeah, I had to just try this one. Part of the appeal was its color alone. I love soft, greyish sea greens. I was at Cranberry Fiber Arts in Hamilton, Massachusetts when I saw this stuff; I had stopped in for no other reason than to browse. This one's a worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi), at 122.0 yards per skein. The official colorway is 6418 Verde Azulado, which I admit isn't terribly grey, but there you go. I wanted something like the sea, and I was on my way for a walk on the beach.
I found when I knitted a swatch of this in stockinette stitch, I didn't care for the curling it did. Stiff - soft & squishy, but too springy for something I'd wear. sproing! On the other hand, I tried it in horseshoe lace, and that sample has turned out so well I've kept going... go figure.
So, I'm planning to make a hood out of it, but it would make a great little sweater in that lace too, if I didn't have a zillion other projects going at once…