Sweater time?

I think I really need to cast on a new sweater.  The few store bought sweaters I wear are not really good for fall or winter (i.e., cotton and acrylic blends rather than wool).  And the few hand-knit sweaters I have for myself have all fallen into disrepair.  My poor Ribby Cardi has pilled something fierce and both shoulder seams have split.  One of the cuffs on my Mr. Greenjeans caught on something and is unraveling, so no wearing it till it’s fixed.  And… that’s it for sweaters.

So, there are 2 sweaters up as possibilities — Tempest in Rowan Felted Tweed (purple) or a plain crewneck pullover in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran (red).  I’m leaning towards the pullover first as it would probably be the easiest to get on the needles and finished.  Tempest would require more careful swatching in order to match gauge, and I’d have to fiddle with the pattern because I’d be knitting it without the stripes (some of the directions are based on stripe repeats).

Now, I just need to finish my Celaeno test knit, my self-designed socks, and OMG! a baby blanket cause my niece could come as soon as a couple weeks from now.

Ripping

I finally just pulled out the purple sweater and ripped the sucker out.  Now you see it…

Now you don’t…

One piece of advice.  No matter how nice a sewn cast-off looks, I don’t recommend it if you ever plan on ripping it out.  That took for…… ever…..  But, once I got the cast-offs out I made quick work of the sweater with my ball winder.  Only occasionally hit a few snags due to the alpaca in the yarn.  The stockinette parts were much easier to rip out than the seed stitch borders.  There were a few places were the yarn caught and broke, so I do have a couple smaller balls.  What was really nice is once I got the yarn reskeined and into the bath, it came out beautifully.  You would never know that it had been previously knitted.

Now, I just need to knit up a swatch to determine needles and size to be knit.  New sweater here I come!

Contemplation

I have been contemplating ripping out my 2006 Olympic sweater.  I had knit Knitting Pure & Simple’s Neckdown V-Neck Shaped Cardigan in Rowan Felted Tweed.  Amazing enough I managed to finish it in the 16 days of the Olympics, thus winning myself a gold medal (unlike this last time when failed miserably).  Here’s a terrible cell phone picture of it the first time I wore it.

It was a nice enough sweater, but it had some problems.  The sleeves, although I had measured them diligently and multiple times, came out short.  The confusing part there is they are the length of other sleeves I have worn (I had measured a sweater I liked), and yet when I wear it the sleeves are too short.  The sweater length could be a little longer, too.  There is way too much fabric in the underarms, and yet, somehow, not quite enough for the bust.  I’ve also never been happy with the bottom portion of the sleeves — I didn’t switch from the circular needle to DPNs at the right time and there’s a section of knitting that is wonky with stretched out stitches.  But, most importantly, I just don’t wear it anymore because of all of these problems.

I still have 4 unused balls of the Felted Tweed that I didn’t use when knitting this sweater.  Not enough for a sweater on their own.  But, if I were to rip out this poor, sad, old sweater to add to the unused balls, I do believe I would have enough yarn to knit myself a Tempest.  This would be good, because I need a nice, simply cardigan that fits to wear for work.  (I have my Ribby Cardi and my Mr. Greenjeans, but they both need repairs and are showing some age; plus both are raglans, which I am beginning to believe are not a good fit for me.)

I have been inspired by Deb’s recent reknit.  I want to give this good yarn a happier future (and myself a wearable sweater).  It might even give me something to blog about.  :)

A new yarn love

Friday evening I hit Purlescence Yarns for Late Night Knits.  A large group of us sat around knitting and watching Bell, Book, and Candle.  There were cupcakes because Purlescence was celebrating their second birthday.  There was also a small yarn sale — Rowan yarns were 25% off for a few hours.  Normally, I would say that I don’t need any new yarn, but there was one Rowan yarn I was interested in — the new British breeds line.  Knitter’s Review had done a review of it recently, and it sounds quite nice.  I’m always interested in trying different breeds of sheep and thought it kind of cool that Rowan had decided to focus on a few specific British breeds.

I was completely sold when I plucked a ball of the BFL off the shelf.  Not only was it nice and soft, but it smelled slightly of sheep. I bought one ball thinking to make a quick hat (it’s a bulky yarn, with the label stating 13 sts = 10 cm). When I got home, I wound it into a ball by hand because it just felt so nice. Then, I started scanning Ravelry for a pattern. I settled on Gretel. I played around with a gauge swatch going through size 7, 8, 9 and 10 needles. The pattern calls for 4.5 sts/inch in stockinette stitch and 4 sts/in in k2p2 rib. I got about 4.5 sts/inch with the 10s, but I’m waffling on that because the patterns seems to be for a 24″ hat. I have a smallish head (21″), and don’t want the hat to come out too big. I’m thinking I’ll knit it on 9s, which, of course, means I have to buy a new set of needles because I don’t have any 16″ long 9s. *sigh* I don’t care though because it’s going to be a beautiful hat to wear.

Ooo… softness

There’s something really nice about an anticipated package showing up a whole day early. I ordered 3 balls of Kidsilk Haze in Majesty and Rowan 34 from Knit Happens last week after they announced a sale. (Unfortunately, the day after I placed the order I heard about the eBay place that sells Kidsilk Haze for $9.50… *sigh*) According to UPS, my package was to arrive on Tuesday. I like to check how things are going (even when there’s a date set for delivery and it says it’s on time. Things can change…), so this afternoon I ran my tracking number through the UPS website, and it says it was delivered this morning. But, the nice shipping guy had not been by my desk. I decided to check my mailbox on my way to get some tea from the breakroom, and that’s where I found a nice package filling my cubby hole. :)

The Rowan magazine is lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. And there’s actually some other pretty things in it… sadly, Rowan considers a 40 inch bust measurement to be an XL. I may have lost 25 lbs on my diet, but I’m still 6 inches away from a 40 inch bust.

The Kidsilk Haze is so soft. I know people have been fawning over it all around the knitting universe, but wow. I’m glad I decided to make Birch out of the yarn called for. This will make a really nice shawl.

I think I’ll probably be casting on tonight…