Friday, February 29, 2008


Well, since it is not taking me all week to finish the "clues" for the shawl I needed another knitting project. I started this sweater called Freja. It's designed by a Swedish Woman named Elsebeth Lavold. I bought her book Viking patterns for knitting, which has this pattern in it. I also bought the yarn the shop recommended, so this is a totally new project, not from my stash. My stash currently has 2 different yarns in it. I was looking for a cardigan to use one of the yarns from my stash, but found this instead. I'm clearly not a skilled stash builder. I've heard others say they don't know how a knitter does not accumulate a stash. Well I don't know how anyone keeps buying stuff they won't be able to get to for over a year. I don't know. I'm just different. I normally have only one project on my needles at once and I don't have a significant stash. Here is the first sleeve of this sweater and part of the second. I decided to start with the sleeves, because that's a good way to check the gauge. I did swatch, but I find that is often not enough.

I had to rip back a few inches and rework the top of the sleeve, because the cap was clearly coming out too long. I think my row-gauge is longer than hers. She doesn't give any measurements for the sleeve cap, just says to keep going until you have 26 stitches or something like that. Well, by the time I had only 26 stitches my sleeve cap was way too long, so I riped back to about the mid-point and started decreasing 2 stitches each row instead of 2 every other row. I was afraid the sleeve seemed too skinny, so I sewed it up and tried it on. It's okay. The photo in the book shows a skinny sleeve, so it's supposed to be that way. I tried it on over my turtle-neck shirt and it's going to be fine. This yarn is Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool- a blend of wool and silk - duh. It actually feels a bit like cotton.

Tomorrow the next clue for the shawl comes out, so i'll work on that again this weekend before I go back to this. I don't think I'll be knitting tonight as I'm going skiing tonight.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Clue Number 2

I finished clue 2 on the same day it was posted! I counted and counted stitches on every row. I realized that the center of certain motifs needed to appear above the center from rows before. It was hard to tell where the motif should start, but when I got to the center I could tell if I was in the right place or not. At that point I would keep going or tink (unknit ('knit' backwards)) to where the mistake was made. I tinked 6-16 stitches 3 or 4 times. This was so much easier that undoing entire rows.

So here's what it looks like now.

Besides learning to knit lace I also learned (with the help of very kind people in the knit-along-Thanks Carla and others)) how to increase the size of the chart and print it in Adobe Reader, so that I could write numbers in the little squares. This was very helpful. The chart has long sequences of knit stitches between the motifs. The numbers are different for every row and across the rows, so I sit down and count all these spaces before I begin and write the number in each section. So when I knit they have already been counted and I just read the number from the chart where I've written it in. This is another trick I learned that speeded up the knitting tremendously.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Mystery Shawl

The first clue was posted Saturday. I was out of town Saturday, so I didn't download it till Sunday. I got started on it Sunday, but had a lot of trouble with it. My stitch count kept coming out wrong. But I finally think I have it figured out. And I have an idea what was going wrong. I'm not sure, because at the time I couldn't figure it out. But I think I was doing a single decrease instead of a double decrease sometimes. It didn't happen all the time, but I think that was the reason I was off by one stitch at the end of the row sometimes. Now I am examining the pattern row before I start the row--noticing which kind of decreases are in the row and trying to keep a mental picture. Certain rows only have single decreases or only double decreases. Those rows are easier to keep track of. I also blew up the pattern bigger and sat at the table and counted the knit stitches in between the decreases and yarn-overs and wrote that number on the pattern. That way I can just glance at the pattern to see the number and don't have to stop and count over and over. These numbers range betwen 3 and 16. If it's only 3 or 4 that's fairly easy to see at a glance, but more than that it is helpful to have the number written on the pattern.

So here is a picture of the first section finished.

Friday, February 8, 2008

new Doll Sweater

I certainly haven't been very good at keeping up with this blog.
I will try to add another entry here.

I started this sweater little doll sweater Monday afternoon. I wrote this pattern a few years ago. It was published by Joan Hinds first in a newsletter and more recently (2007) in a small booklet that is available through her web site. Fancy Work and Fashion I decided it was time to do another one of these and to check the directions in the process. I've found some minor errors, so I'll send Joan an errata sheet that she can include with any new books she sells.

I’m going to finish the sweater today(Friday), so I thought I’d add some in-progress pics. In the second pic, I have finished the body and two sleeves. I cut the center steek, which rolled back out of sight. I have not done any of the sewing or assembling yet. The next step is to measure for the sleeve slits, sew and cut them, then bind off the shoulders and do the collar. I’ve transferred the sweater to 2 needles. I used just one of those (16”) needles to knit it. It could be done on 2 circs, but it works on one 16” which is easier for me. I did take some liberties with the pattern. I was running out of the red yarn so I did the last row of the body with green. this may or may not cause me problems with the collar. We’ll see.

Having joined Ravelry and become active there has gotten me back into knitting more. I decided to post some of my patterns, which have been published by Joan Hinds. I am Acanthus on Ravelry and have more pictures there of my doll sweaters and hats. There are two cap patterns that go with this little nordic sweater. They haven't been published anywhere, so I think I may make them available for free, but haven't got to that part yet. If you do buy the booklet that has this pattern in it, e-mail me and I'll send you the two cap patterns.

Okay, here is the finished sweater, but I still need to get some little clasps for the front opening. When I have those I'll put it on my doll and post a new picture.