Monday, July 14, 2008

Big Bloke Sweater

In a moment of weakness some time ago 'im Indoors expressed a liking for some yarn we saw in Yarn LLC's New Haven branch (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super chunky in a lovely deep red). I grabbed up every ball of it they had while he was still enthused, without telling him it wasn't enough for the sweater he wanted it to magically turn in to, and rushed home to e-Bay where I found more of it. The dye lot was different but when the batch arrived it was clearly good enough if worked in carefully.

Since I am trying to try something new with each project this one was to be knitted from the top down. I tracked down a top down raglan calculator online and starting doing gauges in the round, which took far longer than the more usual square, but since the pattern would be knitted in the round was necessary. Having settled on 6.5 mm needles (my gorgeous Harmony circular set came in to use) I did the required sums and cast on.

Things went well at first. The yarn is a pleasure to work with, despite every single ball having a knot in it, and with the size of needles things went quickly. Having got some inches past joining up below the V of the V-neck I finally compared it to a favourite sweater of the big lad's, rather than trying it on him, and confirmed it was far too big. Major frogging.

After a big drink, got knitting again and it was definitely worth all that ripping. I've got to end of body and have left it with the ball of yarn attached for the moment - don't want to commit to a length yet. It's pretty heavy and I think the whole thing may well stretch once it's in use, so the top-down technique's ability to be shortened may well come in handy.

The first attempt at a sleeve was slightly wrong. My initial decrease at both ends of every third row was making it too narrow too quickly. More frogging. Alternating between fourth and third seems to be working well. At this rate he'll get a hugely warm sweater just in time for the height of summer.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A-Type Knitting

Since my local Stitch 'n Bitch group will stage an intervention if I make one more Koolhaas hat I decided to try Dizzy, which looked reasonably cool and did not require a cable needle. I had made real headway when I noticed an error some way back. Unpicking the section proved impossible so I frogged it to the relevant row and started again.

On the next attempt I got to within a few rows of the shaping for the crown of the head when I realised there was an error again and frogged back more than halfway.

This time I got a few rows in to the shaping when I realised that there was a fundamental error and had to frog right back to the band. I had made a mistake on the first or second row, which had resulted in a very nice pattern, but it wasn't the one I was supposed to be doing and the shaping would never work.

Finally I got it right and it was pretty easy. Sadly, I don't like it as much as my mistake and I have no idea how to replicate the error. Ah well.

As for the Big Bloke Sweater for 'Im Indoors, that's another tale of woe but I'm too weakened by disappointment to blog it yet.