Monday, January 10, 2011

Another decade, another sweater

Well, maybe not quite that bad. But I am not a very prolific sweater knitter.

This is the sweater I've been mumbling about for a while. I've done several rounds of rip-and-redo. Finally, I figured out exactly what I wanted to do. And then the knitting went smoothly.

The entire sweater is knit from spindle-spun yarn. I dyed the colored yarn; the gray and white are natural.

The body of the sweater is from a friend's Icelandic sheep. She had sent the fleece to a new processor and didn't like the results, so I ended up with it. It wasn't the easiest thing to spin. But it was fun anyway. The yarn is mostly bulky, thick and thin with slubs. I actually do like it a lot. It's white with some black hairs.

The rest of the sweater yarn is from commercial roving, though I'm not sure exactly what. Some of it was used two-stranded, since my normal spinning is quite a bit thinner than the Icelandic yarn is. It's from my Yarn Library, which is what I call all those small amounts of hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn I've accumulated over the years.

The yoke pattern is adapted from a pattern I found on the Istex website's free pattern page.

The sweater style is the typical Icelandic round-yoke pattern. I made it up as I went along, though it is mostly based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage system.

I finished it just in time for today's very cold weather. I'm wearing it now as I type this.

I think I might have enough of the Icelandic left for a second sweater, especially if I add even more color-patterning. This was fun to knit and I like the results, so.... Check back in a few years to see if it ever happens. I also have a couple of other batches of yarn in quantities sufficient for a sweater.

In the last post, so many months ago, I wrote about Opal socks I was starting to knit. Here's a photo of what they looked like back then. As you can see, it's a simple toe-knit plain sock.

The socks were finished soon after that post. I don't have a photo of the finished socks. Since then, I've knit a few other pairs. One sock was highly annoying. I knit it two-stranded. When it was done, I discovered that it was too tight! That's not very common for me. Usually, I know my gauge, I measure as I go, and I try on socks as I go. Oh, well. I unraveled it for future socks. Unraveling and re-winding a ball of yarn that has been knit two-stranded is Not Fun. But it is done.

My latest travel-knitting project is yet another scarf. It is based on a pattern from the May/June 2010 issue of Piecework by Galina Khmeleva. The original pattern is a very lovely and elegant wrap, a large rectangular scarf with fringe on both ends knit from laceweight merino/silk. Mine is a humble scarf knit in a thicker (and very fuzzy) mohair blend yarn. I took the honeycomb lace stitch pattern and went from there.

An open stitch pattern such as this really makes the yarn go a long way! The scarf is getting longer and longer and longer. I still have plenty of yarn left. Soon I will decide that it is Long Enough and that will be that. I'm not sure what I'll do with the leftover mohair. Will there be enough left for a cowl or neck-warmer? I can combine it with the leftover mohair from the other mohair scarf I did, the dark blue one with a cable and lace design.

The photo below is a close-up of the lace pattern. It's garter-based. It's very easy to knit -- two rows of one kind of knitting followed by two rows of another. The only stitches are knit, yarnover, and knit two together. The lace is quite open with no blocking whatsoever. There is a slight bias, though. I'll probably give it the usual minor wet-blocking treatment after it's done.

I might write out the pattern for others to use. If you like it, I urge you to check out Piecework. Galina Khmeleva has been publishing beautiful patterns there for a while.

There's been more knitting and spinning and crocheting and what-not since my last post. But it's all pretty boring, nothing worth going into unless/until I have photos. I don't even have any good doily-knitting photos to share.

I'm not sure what I'll be making next. Hats. Mittens. Scarves. Shawls. Another sweater, perhaps. Maybe a doily. In other words, the usual.


Debbi said...

Gorgeous sweater! I love it! the scarf is beautiful, too.

River Glorious said...

I like your scarf! :)