Monday, 22 July 2013

Not only knitting...

1700s by Asplund
1700s, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
...but also having a lot of 18th century fun!

The Damsel Magnet

Sunday, 21 July 2013

"Alba" sleeves

"Alba" shoulder join by Asplund
"Alba" cardigan: shoulder join, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Here is the shoulder join: it is identical to the one I made for the sweater I finished some time ago. The sleeve is different, though, as there is no sleeve cap shaped with short rows.

Ann asked how I made those: starting with seven stitches in the middle I knitted back and forth adding three stitches each row until I had knitted all the stitches picked up around the armhole and could start knitting in the round. I was happy with how it turned out, but didn't feel like knitting lots of purl rows with two strands this time.

Alba sweater: sleeve cap

Instead I concentrated on figuring out where to start in the pattern. My aim was to make sleeve match the body, so I knew exactly where in the pattern I wanted the sleeve to end - but I also wanted to start where it would look good (I don't like it when patterns look amputated, and these repeats consist of 40 rows) and get the length right, of course.

Alba cardigan: body and sleeve

Jules asked about the Donegal border, whether it was my own or a new version by Alice Starmore. It is Starmore's, the one that you get with the kit. I modified it slightly, though: instead of casting on with the light colour I chose the darker one and added a couple of purl rows to make the edge curl inwards. There are photos of the original design here.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The more Starmore the merrier

My second Alba will be a cardigan - mainly because it allows me to change colours in the middle of the front steek and simply cut out the centre of the steek with all the threads. (I did a similar thing a couple of years ago.)

I happened to order a Donegal kit fromVirtual Yarns some time ago. Not because I'm worth it, but simply because I want it. This pattern is slightly trickier to knit: unlike Alba, there are often long floats to catch with both strands. Well worth it, though, as it is like knitting jewellery.

Don't you think the wool matches my William Morris tray?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The more "Alba" the merrier

Alice Starmore's "Alba" sweater had been waiting patiently for me for almost two years when I finally returned to it. I had picked up stitches around the armholes and knitted sleeve caps using short rows (my modification) but not the sleeves. Fortunately, I had finished both sleeve caps, so I didn't have to analyse the process as much as I feared.
Alba: sleeve decreases

Once I was back on track knitting the sleeves was pure joy! It is such a beautiful pattern and the colours are stunning. The sweater is not for me but for my friend Anders, but as soon as I had darned in all the loose ends I cast on to make another for but for my not quite sweaterless self.

sleeve caps and armhole

Much as I love Alice Starmore's designs (and this one in particular) I also love experimenting. What I've changed knitting Alba no 2 is the colour sequence for the check border pattern: less contrast and a gradual change from darker to lighter shades.
Alba no 2 (slightly modified) in progress

Also, I've started the main pattern at a different row to keep using the shades of blue from the check pattern for the background. This in turn means I skipped the light horizontal lines in the original version. I like Starmore's better, but mine well enough to keep it.

Alba sweater