Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Show and Tell

Finished objects! It feels great to actually have wearable FOs. I have had quite a few things lately that are "finished except for buttons" or "just needs blocking" - it's annoying. But, I now have two Finished things to show you.

Number One, Pomatomus.

Pattern: Knitty's Pomatomus
Yarn: Socks that Rock 100% superwash merino in "Star Sapphire", from Marilyn's Yarn in Bellingham, WA, USA
Needles: Two circular and magic loop methods, Aero 2mm aluminum circulars
Tension: 9.5 sts per inch in stockinette
Cast on: (approx) August 5, 2006
Cast off: September 30, 2006
I am happy with the pattern, but I have to admit I like it better unstretched than stretched. If I were to make it again (if I develop a sudden overwhelming masochism, for instance) I would use a larger needle size and just live with a looser sock, so the pattern would not have to stretch so much laterally.

Number Two, Charlotte's striped cardigan .

Pattern: Sirdar
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly DK 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic in Nursery Pink, Oatmeal, and Cerise Mix from www.yarnforward.ca and Mad About Ewe in Nanaimo, BC.
Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo Circular sizes 3.75mm and 4.0mm
Tension: 22 sts over 10 cm in stockinette
Cast on: February 1, 2006
Cast off: July 1, 2006
Buttons sewn: October 2, 2006 (I've got problems, I know. Three months to do the finishing? But, in my defense, there were a million freaking yarn ends to weave in. Seriously.)
This is the third sweater I have knit from my Sirdar book, whose cover I have lost so I can't identify the publication number. I like the designs a lot, but I am not completely in love with Sirdar's directions and assembly decisions. It pays to read through the whole pattern and try to visualize what they want the end product to look like, and see whether there is a better/more efficient/easier/more practical way to get there yourself. As it happens, I only modified this pattern slightly, by knitting the sleeves from the top down in the round, rather than knitting flat from the cuff, and seaming. I wanted to be able to rip out and add more later if necessary, or repair the cuffs.

I do like the yarn, which is surprising. I am not often a fan of synthetics, but I have come to like this one. At $5.95 for a 50g ball it is on the pricey side for a synthetic, but on the other hand you are knitting children's garments with it, so the most you're going to use is about 6 or 7 balls. It cleans beautifully, and it really is soft enough to warrant its title. (How do I know it cleans beautifully? I ordered the box of yarn from an online store and, when it arrived, I opened it and placed it at the business end of my couch, for later attention. Not long after, there was a glass of merlot sitting on the end table and my daughter accidentally knocked it over... right into the box of yarn. A quick rinse under a cold tap and Voila! no trace whatsoever.) It remains to be seen how well it will wear, whether it will pill or anything. I have also knit (but not blocked or seamed) Emily a sweater in the same yarn, from the same book, so I do hope it turns out that the yarn wears well.

I do have one negative thing to say about the yarn. It's a nylon/acrylic blend, and it squeaks as I knit it on my bamboo needles. This is not a matter of tightness, but of the fiber itself. It absolutely sets my teeth on edge.

Here is Charlotte wearing her new sweater.

And here is the side seam. What? What side seam? Where? Where is the side seam?

That's right, baby - virtually undetectable.

It feels like I haven't been knitting much lately. My current level of productivity is suffering both by contrast to the year-to-date (a prolific year) and as a result of a lot of new time commitments. Right now, as hard as this is for me to believe, I have nothing on the needles. I feel a little uneasy about this, but am trying to resist the urge to simply cast on for the sake of knitting itself, having no direction for the finished product. Christmas approaches rapidly, so I know there are at least two pairs of socks in my near future, but I am just not sure about the patterns (Bayerische and Chuck's Cabled Socks). I thought I had it all figured out, but then I was attacked by second thoughts. I won't say more, since the intended recipients may, some time before Christmas, take a look at this blog.

Tomorrow night is Stitch 'n' Bitch again, only here at my place this time. I need to get something on the needles, pronto.


Anonymous said...
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Kate said...

You've been blog spammed, how rude!!
However, let that not detract from the fact that your two items are GORGEOUS!!!!! I can't wait to see them tomorrow night, the sweater is fabulous, and the socks, I love the wavy socks. You know, ocean girl and all.
I hear you on the squeaky yarn. As you know I'm not much of a yarn snob (I think the term is yarn ho) but the squeaks get me loopy.
How about a charity knit? I've got this seafoam ....

Shan said...

I thought "Word Verification" was supposed to take care of that, anyway. Sheesh!

Hey thanks, and I might even get another FO by tomorrow night, if I get cracking. Avery's sweater just has to block and I can sew it together. Of course, I went down to N&AC today and got a ball to swatch Eris with...so maybe Avery will have to wait a bit.

Gwen said...

Ooh, love the sweater. Does the Sirdar book include a pattern for ladies' large? har har
I think I'd actually knit that sweater myself. High praise indeed! Bring the pattern when you come at Christmas.

Ho ho ho, only 2.5 months.