Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Fiber Storm

This had been a very productive knitting week. I finished the baby leggings. I think the body part may be too long and may come up to my granddaughter’s chin when put on. I haven’t yet had a chance for her to try them on.

I wish I had knit these baby leggings before the adult ones. I realize now that I did it wrong and may have to rip back to the joining and redo the body part. I misread the double decreases and thought I was to decrease at the sides to fit the waist. This created an oddly shaped pant part with a bulge at the hips and very tightly fitting around the crouch. (See picture below) .I think my son is either being very polite and agreeable or very impatient and wants to get the fitting over with. I really want these to fit, so he will actually use them. So…..I regretfully think I must undo and correct them to better fit. Which means they will take longer to finish than I thought.

I have been rethinking my October project which is a open collar shirt short sleeve sweater (aka polo or golf shirt). I am thinking I chose a yarn that might be too warm for wear in California. This is a short sleeve shirt and would be foolish to wear wool when the arms are not covered as well. I’m thinking that perhaps a cotton blend would be better. I have never made an adult sweater before and the December Wishbone sweater looks a lot easier to make for a first sweater.

The Wishbone sweater is made with bulky yarn with a gauge of 2.5 sts per inch and should go quickly since there will less stitches to knit. As I scanned the Sunday paper today, I saw an Michael’s crafts ad for Lion Brand Jiffy yarn at $2.50 a skein. I went right over there and purchased 11 skeins for a sweater, a lovely Burnt Orange color, just right for October Fall season. This yarn is 100% Acrylic. OOOH NO, NOT ACRYLIC!!!, you might be saying, but this yarn has a soft fuzzyness, like mohair and IS WASHABLE.

I knitted up some “Jiffy” swatches (pun intended) using 9, 10, 10 ½, and 11 needles. (swatch)
Needles (cm) ,Size, Measured, Gauge (sts/inch) ,Gauge (rows per in)
5.5, 9 ,9sts in 2 in, 4sts ,6 rws
7.0, 10, 7 sts in 2 in, 3.5, 5 rws
6.5, 10 ½, 6.5 sts in 2 in ,3.25 ,5
8. 11, 6 in 2 in, 3, 3.5
Yarn doubled
6.5, 10 ½, 5.5 in 2 in, 2.75, 4rws
8, 11, 5 in 2 in, 2.5 ,3 rws.

The swatch with the single strand knitted up too loose and open (on right) The only acceptable fabric was with the Size 9 needles, whose gauge was too small for the pattern. Elizabeth Zimmerman suggested a gauge of 2.5 sts/in. She points out that it doesn’t work with other gauges. I doubled the yarn (left) and the Size 11 (botton left)came out perfectly with a gauge of 2.5 and a firm, flexible fabric, thick, pliable and not stiff. So it looks like I will start the Wishbone sweater soon while also working on a redo of the adult sweatpants.

While after finishing with the baby leggings and at a standstill with the sweatpants, I was driven to finish my Forest Canopy Shoulder shawl. I blocked it and the results are below. It is made of handspun merino wool that was hand dyed. I started with it as roving and spun it myself. I just the love the softness of it. It will come in handy on the cooler mornings that are beginning to show themselves at the beginning of fall, which was yesterday. Fall really came in like gangbusters this year, with the first downpour of a storm on the day of our Town’s Route 66 parade.

Another project I picked up again was the baby surprise sweater. I am trying to add a hood. I worked on the math for the increases today. Stayed tuned to the finished product........

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