Swatches and things

On my way home through town from teaching this evening, I stopped off and got myself some Tivoli Cruise double knit cotton to make the rippley sweater out of (both) Vintage Knits (Rowan) and Vintage Knitting (Sarah Dallas). The only difference between the two patterns is that the Rowan pattern has a much better range of sizes. So tonight, instead of practising (I have been just brain dead today), I swatched.

Using the recommended needle size, 3.23mm, I am about 5 stitches off gauge, so I will probably go up to 4mm. I was thinking that if the result is a bit too threadbare, I might upgrade to the Aran weight of this yarn in the same colour. Watch this space!

The body of the purple jumper is progressing very nicely. I would really like to be knitting sleeves at the same time, because I just hate knitting sleeves when the body is finished, but the ball of wool is just massive and it would’ve entailed winding off millions of smaller balls. Forget it! I am at about 25cm of body. It looks exactly like the first picutre I posted of it, only a bit longer, so I won’t put up another picture of it ;P

To ease the st st boredom, though, I started a skull hat. Inspired by the article on Armenian knitting in this Winter’s Vogue Knitting by Meg Swansen, I decided to give this stranded knitting lark a go. The article is probably the best I’ve read about knitting with two colours, one in each hand. There are good diagrams, though I’ve figured out some things on my own. I am using one of the gazillion skull charts out there on the net. I have got 90 stitches around, and my skull chart is 30 stitches, so there is room for one motif each side of the hat. I wanted to use an aran weight yarn, because that’s all I’ve got in black and white, instead of the lace weight recommended by the pattern, so I have no idea what my gauge is or what size the hat will actually turn out to be. This may be another belated present for my nephew 😀

I’ve always been lazy about learning how to knit continental, but I like knitting with a colour in each hand. It’s a sort of compromise. In the magazine, they say to “wrap” the colour not in use around the colour being used, and they show you how to do it. I found that this left me with massive long floats – like the white one you can see in the picture below. I’m always pushing and pulling my knitting around the needles so this doesn’t always work out for me. I found, by trial and error, that by “wrapping” every alternate stitch, I got mini-floats that are easy to manage and don’t snag on things. You can see what I mean in this picture here:

This is probably common knowledge to all you fair isle knitters out there! But I’ve never done stranded knitting before so I’m kind of glad I figured it out for myself. It’s much more involving that plain old st st. Definitely the kind of knitting you sit down with a very hot cup of tea. The purple jumper is for when I want to watch Bargain Hunt or Star Trek 😀

PS. I have great news! I emailed the Denise Knitting Needle company to see if their guarantee covered me (as I am in Ireland and not America), and the guy said he’d posted out some replacement cords for me. They came in the post today!

He sent me out a complete replacement set. He said in his email that breaking two is quite rare so I guess by sending me a whole replacement, he was avoiding possible aggro in the future 🙂 It’s great though, and really decent of them.

PPS. When I was getting the blue cotton today, I discovered some Pampas that I knitted my cream ‘Cathode’ out of. I really want to rip it up, because I never wear it, and knit the Lace Leaf Sweater out of ‘Loop-d-Loop’ instead. However, I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough wool. So, when I go back to get more cotton for mum’s sweater, I’m going to stock up on the Pampas before it’s all gone. Yay! What’re the chances they’d still have some!

One thought on “Swatches and things

  1. I was hoping you would get my package yesterday. Hopefully it comes today. I think my next package will tell you who I am 🙂

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