Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sleeve caps and shoulder joins (a novel by Jane Austen?)

Faroese sweater progress by Asplund
Faroese sweater progress, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Some of you have commented on my speed when it comes to this sweater - well, I've had a few days off work, and as I mostly sit still knitting there's hardly anything to tidy up except stray bits of yarn on the floor around my chair, which rather makes the place look like a hairdresser's for sheep. (Fleecedresser?) And I don't spend waste much time cooking, an activity that leads to more things to clean. Also, this pattern was easy to learn but with enough variation to make it fun to knit and the yarn is fairly thick. At times it feels as if it's knitting itself!

Something I don't enjoy when knitting sweaters is the neck band. Therefore, I've started doing it before I knit the sleeves to have it over and done with as soon as possible. Another good thing about it is that it gives me a chance to see if it is big enough and comfortable enough before I pick up stitches to knit the sleeves.

shoulder join

I like the way the front and back patterns meet at the shoulder join. This is not very difficult: you centre the pattern on both back and front and end in the middle of a repeat. What I find tricky is getting the width right - I want both comfort and whole pattern repeats. In this case it worked, so I'm happy about the shoulder joins.

To avoid excess fabric under the arms I've shaped the sleeve caps. First, I pick up stitches for the sleeve but instead of knitting in the round straight away I start knitting back and forth with short rows adding a few stitches every row. There's a photo of a sleeve cap in progress in a post I wrote some three years ago here. It requires more work (and patience) with stranded colourwork but I think it's worth it.

In the first photo you can see a side pattern I added to the design and which continues on the sleeves.

Edited to add a photo: the sun came for an unexpected visit in the afternoon and brought out the beautiful natural browns.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Faroese sweater in progress

Faroese sweater in progress by Asplund
Faroese sweater in progress, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Just wanted to show what the pattern looks like. D Louise: I was happy to read your comment as I was beginning to worry it might look like a brown peacock and had thoughts about redoing it. Your reassuring words helped me decide not to.

The wool is from Hälsingslands lammkvalité, which I use for the first but certainly not the last time. It's really lovely and it's nice to use yarn that is locally produced (locally meaning same country), that hasn't travelled here and there over the world before joining my stash. I use 3½ mm needles (US 4) for the stranded knitting, 3 mm (US 2½) for the ribbing.

Ulla V: I'm lucky to own my grandmother's copy of the book. As far as I know it won't be reprinted, but I hope you'll be able to find a second-hand copy. Speaking of books, last night I realised there's a new book by Marianne Isager, Strik à la carte 2, and ordered it at once. There's no way I'm waiting for it to be translated! Besides, it's more or less my duty to read it in Danish to study the language as I'm teaching twined knitting in Denmark in September, isn't it?

Actually, I borrowed a "Danish for beginners" audio book the other day and spent most of last night in my favourite chair knitting and repeating words in Danish. Lavinevarsel, for example, which I don't expect to hear or get an opportunity to say at Fanø - it means "danger of avalanche" :-)

There are lots of opportunities to say that at home, though: all it takes is opening the cupboard where I keep my stash.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Cocktail knitting

Faroese sweater in progress by Asplund
Faroese sweater in progress, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Here's a concept I'd like to recommend: you invite some knitting friends ("bring your own knitting") to your place for drinks. You're guaranteed to have a great time! I can testify to that - and I think it's a safe bet to say that TB, En till, Stickigt and Born to knit will confirm it.

Some good advice: stainwise it is better to spill some gin and tonic than a Bloody Mary (neither of which happened) and you may not want to bring a complicated project (I myself decided to wind yarn and knit a swatch to test it).

Speaking of advice, I entertained my guests by telling them about the woman sitting opposite me on the train recently, who suddenly asked if she could give me some advice. Sure, I said, not knowing what to expect. Well, I certainly did not expect a complete stranger to grab hold of my hand, rearrange my fingers and the strand of wool instructing me to "hold the strand this way instead, that way you will knit really evenly and it will look great!" :-)

I've started knitting a Faroese design from "Fiskartröjor" by Uuve Snidare. The wool is wonderful: beautiful natural browns, and there is so much lanolin left in it it feels like knitting a big, soft bar of soap.

The original design calls for different proportions of the two lighter shades from what I had in my stash (bought this yarn about a year ago), so I've modified it by having seven rows of light brown and five of medium brown (instead of nine and three). Also, I've let them swap places, making the bigger round shapes lighter. Not sure it's an improvement, but I enjoy seeing what happens.

Cocktail-stickning är ett vinnande koncept, det kan jag intyga efter en helkväll med några stickvänner! För säkerhets skull inskränkte jag mig till att nysta garn - ett överflödigt råd kan nog i alla fall vara att inte kombinera drinkar med alltför invecklade mönster. 

Själv fick jag mig ett gott råd till livs på tåget häromsistens: damen mittemot böjde sig plötsligt fram och frågade om hon fick komma med ett tips. Visst, sade jag. Genast grep hon tag i min hand och började dra i både fingrar (motsträviga) och garn. "Håll garnet så här i stället, då blir det jättejämnt och fint!"

För något år sedan hittade jag vackert ofärgat ullgarn från Hälsingland i tre bruna nyanser. Det är som att arbeta med ett stor, mjuk, formbar tvål - härligt! Nu håller jag på med Färötröjan ur "Fiskartröjor" av Uuve Snidare. Eftersom angivelserna inte riktigt stämmer med mina garnmängder, har jag ändrat på så vis att jag har färre varv med den ljusaste nyansen. För att se hur vad som händer med mönstret har jag också låtit de två mönsterfärgerna byta plats.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

1940s Fantasy jumper finished

1940s Fantasy jumper by Asplund
1940s Fantasy jumper, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Here it is resting in my favourite chair. Christine asked why I called it a fiancée in my previous post, which I understand was not very clear! What I had in mind was the cardigan I made a couple of months ago as they have a few things in common:

1. Wool from the same company (Kampes).

2. Both based on designs from a magazine from the 1940s that a friend's mother was kind enough to give me.

3. Both feature a combination of cable patterns and panels. The original jumper has reverse stockning stitch between the cable patterns, which I changed for two main reasons. First, I thought it would too boring to knit, even though I think the original design is lovely; also, it would make the jumper match the cardigan, which has stocking stitch interspersed with garter stitch. For the jumper I chose moss stitch instead; somehow I think it gives it a more feminine look. (I also used thinner needles, 2½ mm for the jumper and 3 mm for the cardigan - US 1½ and 2½.)

1940s cardigan (the fiancé)

Tenna Draper asked why I hadn't carried the body pattern onto the sleeve. Actually, by the time I posted the photo I had already ripped it out and started reknitting the sleeve with the same pattern. I was simply curious if it would work, but thought it looked too empty.

wrong side

Sunday, 10 February 2013

1940s Fantasy

1940s Fantasy by Asplund
1940s Fantasy, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Must have been bitten by the jitterbug or something - here's a fiancée in progress for the 1940s cardigan I made a couple of months ago. This too is 2ply wool from Kampes.

I found inspiration in knitting magazine from 1947.

Speaking of inspiration, have you seen Ylva's cuffs with carnations? Isn't she a bit like Midas, turning cuffs into gold by touching them with needle and thread?

Thanks for comments on my previous post!
Ann: yes, I will be teaching twined knitting at Fanø! Look forward to seeing you there - and thanks again for providing contact with the arrangers!