11.18.2014

Finally Underway

At last Hawser is underway. The 13, simple, post-ribbing set up rows are complete, a correct stitch count of 252 is on the circ. and the knitting is relaxed (and relaxing!) Amazing what happens by just paying a wee bit of attention!

My many stupid errors made for delays, but they allowed me (by necessitating so many repetitions) to appreciate the BT attention to detail in these important establishing rounds.

By this I don't mean knitting tricks and expansive displays of technique. I mean the inclusion, within
those 13 rows, of thoughtful little details making the design shine without having the elements dominate the garment and ultimately the wearer thereof (aka Me!).

Among these some of my favourites...
  • Single rounds/stitches of stockinette providing breathing room around design elements.
  • Yarn overs, dropped on the following round to ease bunching and so, bulk, of the wide cables.
  • Clever increases to build the cables gracefully out from the ribbing.
  • And looking ahead to giving this pullover its A-line shape, narrow ribbed sections running up each side to hide decreases/minimize odd looking breaks in the rhythmic moss stitch pattern.
This is what I'm looking for in patterns now. I'm still entertained by the ideas behind expansive knitting techniques and garments built to support them but I'm inclined to keep them in my vicarious knitting queue and out of my actual knitting basket. Truth be told, a few years ago things were the other way around!

So things are feeling pretty great knitting-wise this morning. The wind chill for our walk may be -18C this morning and the first snow shovelling of the season happened yesterday but I've got a basket full of rich, vibrant blue-red yarn to knit up and high hopes of a cozy wardrobe staple to wear in the fast approaching holiday season ahead.

Beyond that I just noticed the newest BT lookbook is up! Will I be able to hold off looking until after the walk? Hard to say! Thanks for dropping by!

11.14.2014

"Devlan" from Remnants

The backstory...

When purchasers of Juniper Moon Farm's first "Shepherd and Shearer" project received our kits the quantity of yarn included in each was determined by submitting the size we wished our finished sweaters to be.

Weeks later, an error at the mill where the wool had been spun was discovered. Many, but not all, skeins, and it was hard to say which ones, were short on yardage compared to what had been ordered and then shipped out by Juniper Moon so we subsequently received additional skeins in case ours were among the ones that were short on yardage. There was no way to know whether those skeins were accurately labelled for weight or yardage either. We just got "more" so we'd have "enough".

So when deciding to knit Devlan using those remnant skeins I was, at best, guessing how much yarn I had to work with and even that best guess suggested I'd have only yards to spare.

And of course there'd be no more yarn available should I run out. I was prepared to get into it, run out and have to abandon the project.

Sure enough, done knitting the body and shoulders I was working the first narrow sleeve when I knew I needed more yarn but it didn't feel like I'd need a lot. Where could I source just a little more?

There's was none for sale on Ravelry, my swatches were already knit into Devlan but I kept knitting, kept thinking and then remembered My Beloved had been wanting modifications to Shearer's collar and cuffs. He wanted them smaller and tighter! He wanted shorter sleeves! He'd mentioned this last winter but I'd shut him down saying I was not going to be renovating that finished knit.

Needing yarn for Devlan though changed everything! Now I happily ripped back the sleeves, shortening them by 2 1/2"each. Then I knit narrower cuffs, changing the 2x2 rib to 1x2 with a snug rather than square fit.

Before on the left - "after" on the right
Both cuffs reworked

Next I ripped out and re-knit the collar picking up fewer stitches around. The ribbed section before the turn was 1 1/2" high rather than 2"...

Before
After

After the turn I switched to straight stockinette using remnant white yarn that I also pressed into service when sewing dowsn the live collar stitches to the inside...
Before

After

With the precious yarn "harvested" I turned my attention back to Devlan where the plan was to maximize its use by...
  • Knitting Devlan's collar on fewer picked up stitches than called for.
  • Picking up and knitting the first round of Devlan's collar using more of that white wool yarn I'd used on the Shearer collar.
  • Splicing all ends (of which there were many) to avoid waste.
  • Using standard rather than the tubular bind off called for in the pattern.
It got the job done, complete with full length sleeves including ridged details and less than 2 feet of yarn to spare. (And Beloved is also very happy with his renovated Shearer.)

It's all been a bit of a nail biter but was also pretty fun and altogether satisfying. Not unlike reading a fantastic novel wherein the story is so satisfying you don't want the book to end while you also can't wait to get through it to see how everything turns out.

A true knitting adventure that's ended being able to enjoy Devlan's arrival into the sweater rotation as our first blast of winterish chill arrives.

We'll head out in the morning to get the snow tires put on the all season tires put away for the winter in My Beloved's home town. It will take several hours of driving round trip and since Darling Daughter has agreed to drive one of the vehicles this time I can go along as a knitting passenger!

Hawser continues to be trouble - now working on version 7 of the bottom band - stitch count issues for the set up rounds. No errata or problems reported on Ravelry or the BT web site so it must be "me". 'Beyond frustrating!

'Have a great weekend - thanks for dropping by!