Archives for posts with tag: hand knitting

Well, I am making progress. It seems that whenever I plan to knit something simple, I run into unforeseen issues. This despite knitting most days for the past fifty years. Knitting can be so humbling. Sigh.

It all starts nicely enough. I have 10 skeins of a bulky weight that I bought unlabeled so I don’t know the yardage or the fiber content. I untwiddle a bit of it and am surprised to find that one of the plies is an eyelash yarn! This is so 1980s.

The other two are plied and I’m making an educated guess that they are at least a wool blend but they may be all wool. I say this because of the way the fiber took the dye and I don’t feel any synthetic in it.

I’m getting 3 stitches to the inch on a US#11 (7mm) needle. I really like the drape of the fabric. It holds together well and is soft, not stiff. I suspect the yarn will bloom when washed so I am knitting it at this slightly loose gauge. A more persnickety knitter (not a criticism) would wash the swatch to find out. I take so few risks nowadays that I’m going to go for it and see what happens. It’s good to get the blood up once in a while.

Pretty tweedy fabric. There is a bright blue/green running through it that annoys me though. The colors are very changeable depending on the light. Sometimes everything is bright and sometimes most of it is subdued. I like mercurial things so I’m proceeding.

I decide to knit a pullover in the round. With a US#10 (6mm), I cast on the number of stitches equal to my circumference in inches times 3, making sure I have a multiple of 4. Then I knit 10 rounds of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. I switch to a US#11 (7mm) and start knitting around and around mindlessly.

As I knit, I’m seeing a round yoke rather than a drop sleeve so I begin planning how to accomplish that. Perhaps stop an inch sooner than I normally do so that it has a more modern silhouette? Now my original plan for a V-neck is out. A ballet neck? How many short rows? How far apart? How deep will the yoke actually be?

BAM! Reality hits! I pick up the third ball of yarn. I’ve only knit five inches so far. I usually knit to twelve inches and then add the sleeves. I’m not going to have enough yarn for sleeves! Oh dear.

Time to pivot. At this point, my plan is to knit the body to my usual 12 inches. Then cast on the required number of stitches for the sleeves. I might do this provisionally and then add ribbing later if I have the yarn. Then I’ll knit a round yoke and make the other decisions as I go.

The simple ones always surprise me. There are many more decisions to be made than I can anticipate when I begin. Sound familiar? Sort of like life, right?

Happy knitting!

I’ve never been one for making new year resolutions. It seems like so much pressure and what’s important to me in January, may not be as important in August, or June, or even March. This year feels different though. As we come out of a difficult 2020 and look forward to perhaps an easier 2021, I’m taking stock in the things around me. Like many others, I’ve been purging clothes and housewares. It’s not as much fun for me to wear pretty things or set a pretty table when I’m not sharing the experience with family and friends. Not to worry, I’m still dressing and eating each day. I just don’t need as much variety in my clothing or on my table.

I have been knitting for decades, consequently I have far more sweaters than what I wear each winter. I’ve boxed up the ones that I don’t intend to ever wear again and now I have lots of space on my closet shelves. I also have a huge stash of yarn that has been boxed up because I adopted two rambunctious kittens during the summer. They’re starting to settle but I am still finding balls of yarn all over the house each morning. This led me to thinking of my personal knitting plan for the coming year. Yes, I have a large quantity of yarn but stash reduction is not really my goal. Organization is more important right now. And I’ve been itching to knit some sweater patterns that I’ve been meaning knit since the 1980s. What? The 1980s? Why would I want to do that? Well, despite our recollection (if we’re old enough to remember) or our perception (if we’re not) of the 1980s, there were some classic designs being offered. There was the big “preppie” fad after all. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to use yarn that I have to knit sweaters that I’ve been meaning to knit. Let’s see how that goes.

As I approach my 63rd year of life, I’m also finding that my personal style is evolving. My attempts at being “edgy” have always fallen flat. So no more sweaters with pointy bottoms or asymmetrical construction that I won’t wear. I’m going to knit garments that appeal to me as the wearer. I’m going to knit garments that flatter my healthy crone body and my gray hair. I’m going to knit garments that have a pleasant song as they are knit.

Here’s my first inspiration. This lovely bulky boucle yarn that I purchased in 2008 in southern France. I have no idea where we were that day but we ended up in a village in the mountains where there was a small yarn warehouse. It was overseen by a very introverted man who seemed quite surprised to see a small group of American women on a knitting tour. A very friendly German shepherd was also keeping sentry. The dog may have been why I bought so much yarn. I also found a pretty tweed that became a small stole and a bulky rose wool that became a felted bag. I had planned to make a drop shoulder cardigan with this yarn. I’m not sure if I want a cardigan anymore but I do have some toggle buttons that might convince me to knit a cardigan.

I admit that I’m curious as to what it will become. I’m off to swatch.

Happy Knitting.