Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time marches on...

I've been busy with a number of things, since I haven't posted much lately, I'll just put them all out here now.

Here is some yarn I've been working on:

It is another three ply with one variegated ply along with two tweed plies.  The variegated ply is from Frene Creek Farm and is a lovely handpainted Corriedale in purples all the way to lavender in some spots.  The tweed plies are 75% natural gray Rambouillet Finn crossbred with 25% bright purple merino blended in to get the purple tone.  I tried a sample of this using just the gray and it didn't read as purple as I wanted it, so I referred back to my color study to figure out how much I wanted to tint my colored wool for it to "read" visually as purple but not overpower the variegated ply.  I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
Here's a close-up shot of the same skein:
I'm extra glad that I put in the effort to do the color study.  The visual usefulness of such a project has already proven the worth of doing it.  I did do a small sample skein using the gray, and it didn't "read" as purple at all!  I saw it as gray and black, and I knew that wouldn't work for what I have in mind for this yarn.  Here are the vital statistics of this skein:
258 yards of 3 ply.  One ply Frene Creek Farm Handpainted Corriedale roving, two plies of natural gray Rambouillet Finn crossbred blended with 25% bright purple merino and carded four times to blend the colors.  I think this will work up at about fingering weight, it is finer than my typical yarn since the R/F is pretty soft.

Next up: the reworking of the red-violet sweater.

About two sizes smaller and doesn't it look nice?  Granted, it isn't assembled or blocked yet, so the stitches will even out and be smoother after blocking.  I used the ravelled yarn to reknit, so it looks "bumpier" than the first knitting did.  I'm working on the raglan sleeves now, and I'm doing those flat, rather than in the round like I did the body of the sweater.  I'm pondering what kind of buttons I'd like on this.  Picking up for the button band and collar are the last things to do on the sweater, so I do still have some time.  Surprisingly enough, even though this is an odd and somewhat bright color to most people, I'm finding that it goes with a lot of my wardrobe.  So I'm thinking the buttons can't be too bold.  I've heard of an outfit called "Moving Mud" that makes custom glass buttons, but I don't know what they cost.  That might be the next good investigation to make on the button issue.  I've also got 3 very good knitting shops close by, so I think I'll check out their offerings first.  Here is a picture of the front of the sweater:
I've learned a lot making this sweater - especially since I've gone down the path twice. I definitely preferred doing the body of the sweater in the round.  All the bands match up and the armhole is better supported during the knitting - much easier to remember which side is which since it is all together and very visible.  That being said, I had to re-write the pattern so that I would do the shaping at the right times.  With the raglan going on, some rounds had six different shapings happening at once.  That is a lot to keep track of.  I did the work on a 47" cable needle, which allowed me to try the sweater on as I went.  Very helpful to check fit that way.  Much harder to check that when the body of the sweater is in pieces.
Next work in progress is the kilt hose, they are taking forever to do.  Measured gauge over stockinette and it is coming up at 10 stitches to the inch.  No wonder it seems slow!  It is!
Here they are, pinned out flat so you can see both the front and back at the same time.  I decided that the bobbins just weren't working for me, so I am removing them as the yarn length gets under a yard or so.  I've read that many knitters just leave the long tails hanging and pick them up as they need them.  I'm finding that I like that process too.  These socks are pretty loud, but that is what the customer likes.  At the top edge where the two solid bands of ribbing are now, there will be a cabled band running around the sock right under the knee.  Flashes will be tucked under there to show the tartan and to keep the socks up - rather like garters, but around the calf of the leg up near the knee.

Until next time, I'm working on costuming for a Steampunk event...

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