Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One Thing [Almost] Started; Another [Almost] Finished

I have thus far restrained myself from waxing poetic about the British Sheep Breeds 100% undyed wool that I picked up the other day. I was afraid I would not be able to stop myself once I started singing its virtues, its ease of use, its silken feel as it slides over my fingers. In short, its status as fiber from heaven.

I bought the stuff for an idea I've been hatching for a sweater to give to my sweet hubby. He has worn previous knitterly gifts with such appropriate appreciation and care as to "deserve" another. I'm not going to follow the specific pattern, but I did fall in love with a woven cable design by Nancy Marchant from the Best of Knitter's Aran & Celtics.
A swatch was started the very evening I got the wool home. That reminds me, in addition to working with really wonderful wool, I get to use my [second] favourite needles: the 4 mm bamboo straights. (My first favourite being the 4.5 mm.) The bamboo and wool get along very very well. Oh yes, I am pretty much bouncy with glee whenever I knit this stuff with those needles.

Needless to say, I got the swatch done in fairly short order since I couldn't keep my hands off of it. It's probably the widest swatch you've ever seen, but I wanted to do two repeats of the pattern to get a more accurate gauge measurement. (And when you love the knitting so much, who's counting stitches? And even, who's in a hurry? The sooner you're done, the sooner you have to stop knitting it.)
And then I was very good and blocked the swatch too. It is close to being dry and looks great. The blocking has straightened out the stitches; the pinning has squared the whole thing up. And guess what...I only love it more. (Troy had better watch himself when he wears this sweater...then again, I doubt he'll mind!)

I have decided on EZ's "Brooks" sweater from her Opinionated Knitter for what shape the sweater will take. I like how the center sleeve continues up the shoulder like an epaulet. The shaping will only help to emphasize the pecs Troy's got from all his lifting weights. And I should be able to center the cable pattern so it will continue from the sleeve right up the epaulet.

Now I just have to calculate my gauge, apply that to the measurements of the sweater I want, and figure out how many stitches that produces for every piece of the sweater using EZ's percentage system.

On the other side of the coin, the project [almost] finished is my Deep V Argyle Vest. I have finished knitting the body of the vest; another project I finished sitting in the parking lot after work. It is a very odd shape right now as I have not cut any of the steeks at the sleeves, front neck or back neck. This also makes trying it on rather impossible. I have to decide it's going to fit and then cut the steeks. Because once the steeks are cut, it's hard to go back.
The back.

The front. (The vertical stripes--well, horizontal on the picture,
but vertical on the vest--are the steeks. Visible here are the two sleeve
steeks and the long front neck steek.)

After the steeks I have some ribbing to do on the armholes and neck and then it will be done.

Both projects are at a point where I will let them be for just a bit while I think about them and gear up for the next stage. Just in time for this break I have another smaller project to fill the gap. More on that soon.

And what happened to my girl's pinwheel cardigan/wrap that I was just writing about? Once again, it has been abandoned for more exciting projects. Sorry, Cardigan, but I know you'll wait for me.

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