Finishing Up

My copycat sweater is almost done.


This was taken before I grafted the underarm opening, and before I sewed in the ends from all the color changes. Those two steps I've since done. So all I have left to do is embroider the animals on. The original has foxes which were knit in intarsia. Since I was knitting in the round, intarsia wasn't an option, plus I didn't get the colors needed for foxes. So I decided I'd embroider dragonflies on instead. Should be easy, I've got dark dark green I'll use for the bodies, and I'll use the lilac color for wings. Now I just have to get around to doing it.

Interesting note about this sweater... As I was analyzing the original, I figured out that it wasn't entirely a yoke sweater, and wasn't entirely raglan. It's raglan for the first half of the top bit, and then yoke for the rest. So I made mine the same way. I think it turned out well. A problem I have with yoke sweaters is the puckering that results, so I was kinda wanting to do raglan anyways, but wasn't sure how that would work out with the color work. Problem solved with the hybrid solution.

Oh, and learning continental during the whole boring body of the sweater paid off in spades when I got to the stranded color section. It was SO easy to knit with one color held in the left hand (continental) and one in the right hand (English). I'm so glad I finally taught myself this. So if you've ever been thinking about learning a different style of knitting, go for it!


new skills

Hey! I finished The Anubis Gates. SO good. Exactly what I wanted to read, kickass historical sci-fi/fantasy stuff. Highly recommended. Right after I finished it I got that sad, depressed feeling you get when you finish a really good book, a book you don't want to end. So I dove right into another book that was lying around Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. So far, 10 pages in, it's good. Only problem is it's a very male book. Meaning, so far there are only male characters, and I have the feeling it might be mainly about male characters. The Anubis Gates was also almost entirely male. Even the one female character spent the whole book pretending to be male. So I kinda feel like a need a dose of literary estrogen.

But guess what. I've been knitting also! Yes, my arm/shoulder healed all better. It must have been a pinched nerve. All of a sudden one day it didn't hurt anymore. So I've been working on a new project. Bickie has the most adorable little cardigan I bought her at Gymboree. It's gorgeous, actually. It's soft and fuzzy and it's got cute little foxes on it. See?

I love it so much, I thought I'd try to copy it. Of course, as soon as I was planning on buying the yarn for it, the sweater went missing for awhile, so I guessed at the colors, bought the yarn, and started in on trying to copy it from memory. I've been meaning to try knitting a seamless yoke or raglan sweater for awhile so I thought this would be a good learning project. I'd tossed around the idea of doing it as an actual cardigan, with steeks and everything, but decided I'd just do it as a pullover.

I bought cheap Knit Picks Palette yarn since this is my first attempt at such a sweater. And then I decided while I'm at it I'd do something I've been thinking about doing for a long time: teach myself continental knitting. I've tried before, but every time I've started it's looked so crappy, and I've been in too much of a rush, so I've given up. But I know there's no way I'm going to learn if I don't go through a crappy phase, so I've decided to suck it up and deal with this sweater not being perfect, and in fact, being quite imperfect. Fully embracing this as a sweater of firsts, I did hems for the bottoms of the sleeves and the body. Hems with a fair isle pattern. When I did the sleeves, the original fox sweater was missing, so I was trying to remember the pattern for the hem. Turns out, the sleeve hems don't have any patterning. Oh well. But here's what I did.


Then I found the fox sweater. It was in a suitcase from a trip that we hadn't emptied in the weeks since we had returned. Oops. So I got closer to the actual pattern on the hem of the body.


Turns out that I think hems, especially fair isle patterned hems, are waaaaaaay too much effort. I did it by doing a provisional cast on first, knitting with smaller needles for an inch, switching to bigger needles, purling a round, then knitting for another inch, and then knitting a round with a stitch from the live round and a stitch from the cast on round together. The biggest problem was knitting in the round with the provisional cast on flopping about. Maybe it'll just take more practice (as with everything knitting). Once the whole sweater is done I'll decide if it's ever worth the effort again to start a sweater with a knitted hem like this.


ultimate example of my pet peeve

Okay, not only is she holding the needles in her fists, she's also not touching the yarn at all, one strand of which is coming directly from the sheep!!!!