Swirly

I am now into the yoke of the Spiral Yoke Sweater.

Spiral Yoke detail
my stitches are a travelin’
another crappy, “oops, where went my daylight?” photo

I could be done (this is a theme, no?) if I weren’t distracted with some quickie knits here and there.

For example, I made warmish socks for my skinny boy:

worsted weight on little feet makes quick work

These are knit in leftover bits of Lion Brand Wool-Ease for washability and warmth.  They may be only 20% wool but that’s 20% more than all of his other socks.  The couple of handknit pair he has are in intense rotation so I decided to help a boy out.  These made a good traveling project for the month of December now that I am done knitting sleeves (ahem) for my sweater.  I think I could make a pair in 2-3 evenings of knitting if I weren’t busy with a sweater.  And I don’t sit still much while I knit.

I have been abstaining from resolutions and major project declarations so far this new year.  Not because I think it’s a useless exercise.  I am seeking clarity.  December was too busy for inward reflection.  I am a gal who appreciates a little naval-gazing, so I am at least glad to have finished December and begun January.

Now, back to my sweater and my Harry Potter movie marathon. (I’m halfway through.  The movies, that is.)

Back to reality

Good news first.  I took a picture of my swirl yoke in progress.  If you like tweed, prepare to drool…

Mmmm… greeeen…!

The second sleeve has been examined and found wanting.

One of these things is not like the other

So I sat down today with all the coiless safety pins I could find and learned something dreadful about my second (third) sleeve.

See the problem?

My increases in the second (third) sleeve are one row fewer than in the first sleeve.  Multiply that by 17 increases and, Houston, we have a problem.

Yet another instance when a few inches makes all the difference in one’s happiness.

I’m busting out the port.  FML.

Swirl Yoke Pullover Adventure

We are in the midst of one of the most schedule-intense terms EVAH.  So intense that instead of being too busy to blog, I am hiding from my busy life by blogging.  And drinking too much tea. Hello!

Do you like the new look?  I was being driven insane by the lovely but widget-less previous theme called Chaos. I think it showed in my looong absences. If you tried clicking around the old theme and found dead links … well, yeah. It frustrated me too.  So here we are, now with Adventure!  My adventure is going to be trying out different background photos.

I am currently soothing frayed nerves by knitting a Meg Swansen Swirl Yoke in Jo Sharpe Silkroad DK Tweed.  Have you touch this yet?  It is amazing yarn.  It is a slightly felted, loosely plied 2-ply blend of wool, silk, and cashmere.  Indescribably soft.

This pattern came to my attention via various blogs but it is somewhat hard to find, being currently published in the slim volume, Handknitting with Meg Swansen, a book you can online find online or at a local yarn shop well stocked in Schoolhouse Press titles.  This is only a problem, of course, if you are, like me addicted to the instant gratification of online patterns.  But Meg, you are so worth it.

Yes, people, I wanted this sweater so badly that I essentially paid $16 plus tax for a single pattern.  What can I say?  The heart gets what the heart wants.  I may have also spent a few years thinking about this purchase before I finally committed.  No exaggeration.  Life moves both slow and fast when one has very young children.

The day I knew I would make this sweater with this yarn was the day I saw a woman in the laundry detergent aisle at T*gt wearing a beautiful cream colored Swirl Yoke Pullover.  It was all I could do not to STARE OPENLY.  Sadly, I was too shy and awestruck to speak to her, which I regret.  I don’t know what yarn her sweater was knit in, but it came to me that I had a special yarn at home to go with this special pattern.

Random baby snake pictures work when you fail to have knitting pictures!

I am trying (and failing) to be monogamous to the sweater, in an effort to GET IT DONE.  The body is done up to the yoke.  I have knit three sleeves and I still do not have two that match.  First sleeve, the slope as written in the pattern does not work with my gauge.  Rip, rewrite, reknit.  I finished the second (third) sleeve last week and discovered that it is 2.5 inches shorter than the first sleeve, using the same slope.  WTF?!  I keep poking at it and I really cannot figure out what went wrong.  My next step is to put safety pins in all the increases and see if I can see the error of my ways.  Although I am nauseous at the idea of knitting a FOURTH sleeve, I am petrified if I don’t know why this third sleeve went awry, I’ll just eff it up all over again.  Knitting purgatory indeed!

Watch where you stick that needle

Upon finishing (and yet not finishing) E.B.’s Owlet, I meant to move on to Z’s fall sweater, a simple rollneck pullover from Knitting Pure and Simple (#9730) using a multicolor stash of Mission Falls 1824 Wool that I scored at a Threadbear summer sale a few years ago.

Yet, even this gorgeousness could not hold my attention. For starters, I was stalled in my attempts to acquire the pattern.  But even more damaging perhaps was the failure in correctly sizing E.B.’s sweater.  I believe I started thinking that I should wait a month or two (or four) to be more sure of the size.  Even if it does put me dangerously close to the siren call of holiday knits.

I spent an evening trying to get started on my Spiral Yoke Pullover (famously immortalized in by Jared Flood; see link) but got stuck on tubular v. hem and never made it past the cast on.  I will do that sweater–oh yes, my stash of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed is promised–but apparently I will not right now.

As I prepared to not knit the Spiral Yoke Pullover, I dug out some old projects to reclaim the needles and was thus reacquainted with my beleaguered Equinox Yoke Pullover.

Now that some YEARS have passed since the beginning and the stalling of this project, I may have gained some knowledge and experience to see my way out of this dark forest.  All fired up with visions of myself swathed in fig-colored wool/alpaca, I sat down to solve the problem.  I had to do considerable pattern revision (comparative to what I usually do) because I am knitting the body and sleeves (especially the sleeves, with all that colorwork!) in the round.  Largely, I have used Elizabeth Zimmermann’s percentage system (EPS) to help me with the math and proportions.  I also consulted my Lopi Aftur pullover, which uses the same in the round, bottom up construction.  The answer to whether or not my revisions are going to work are not far from being answered since the sleeves and the body are all half-knit.  Nonetheless, a fickle desire has briefly turned my eye.

See, my birthday is coming up in a few weeks.  Three years ago, I took to the idea of buying myself yarn for a birthday project.  Whatever the yarn and project, it tends to be an impulsive decision and it’s something I try to cast on for right away–indulgent indeed.  Last week, I casually looked at Elann’s sale flyer and noticed they had a cotton/hemp yarn for sale, by the bag.  Hemp fabric is sooooo nice.  One thing led to another and I realized the gauge would work for a Chickami, which I got the pattern for last year.  Lo, the yarn arrived Saturday (so fast!) and now I’ve knit a gauge swatch!  And washed it!  And altered the pattern a bit to account for my slightly smaller gauge!  And started to cast on!

I hope I can wip this up in the next ten days.  No pun intended.  (Wip?  Get it?)