Blah blah blah, yes this is my Knitting Blog!

Sometimes a flurry of activity, sometimes a long time with nothing at all. And right now it looks like a gap of a couple of years (shame on me).

But blog or no blog, I do manage to knit every day - and so should you!

(Interested in my photos? Then by all means Click Here to see them.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Check out the Fair Isle -

Inside Out!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Fair Isle is DONE!

All right it does need to be blocked still, and I liked that so I will do it again, but I couldn't resist these photos.

This is made with Suss Cotton on Size 7 needles, worked entirely in the round and with no seams (just like the purple one below). Fair Isle-ing takes longer than regular knitting (even though it is just as easy) so this took me two or possibly three weeks to make - I'm not too sure.

After visiting Jenny at Knit Café and finding out about her carpal tunnel CAUSED by knitting, I kind of slowed down, so I probably could have had this done two or three days ago. No matter - I gots me no deadlines.

A word about the patterning -

With a couple of exceptions, I made up these patterns as I went along, or drew them out on graph paper. Elizabeth Zimmerman (henceforth E-Zim) said that just about anything would look good on the yoke and she wasn't kidding.

In fact the black and white bits (the pattern below the green neck ribbing) I drew the pattern and then read my paper wrong - and it STILL came out cool.

So let 'er rip on these patterns - EVERYTHING looks like you meant it that way.

Okay here are the pics!

First one is while I'm doing the yoke:

This is it laid flat:

This is detail of the neck:

And these two are of me wearing it!

It was a pleasure to make, but I think the next thing really will have to be a Top-Down Raglan. I need to conquer my fear, and am SO inspired by the photo on MJ's blog that I MUST do one.

And duh, I never thought about doing a Short Sleeve - but it is cute, Cute, CUTE!

So chuck your trepidations and join me in/on the Fair Isle!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Okay so I now admit that I have never once actually fully BLOCKED a piece of knitting. So shoot me.

After consulting the Oracle (a.k.a. Jenny at Knit Café) I was sufficiently bolstered with courage, and I did it.

Filled the sink with cold water and some baby shampoo, then stuck the sweater in. SOOOOO hard to resist splooshing it around, but I reeeeally didn't want the thing to felt (it's wool and silk) so I managed to keep a hold of myself.

Rinsed three times, then GENTLY rolled it in a towel and brought it downstairs to dry on the pinball machine - in a room where I could close a door to keep cats out.

Go ahead, scroll down and look at the first pictures of this same sweater -

You can see how much flatter this makes the sweater - kind of the difference between a teenage girl's loopy sloopy handwriting and an architect's no-nonsense unified printing.

Here's two shots:

Unfortunately, this process left me with sleeves that are now a bit too long - any hints on how to "unstretch?" I was as careful as possible NOT to pull them out, but they're about an inch or two longer now....

Oh and here's how you do your own patterns for Fair Isle - using knitters' graph paper, just figure some patterns and count how many stitches you need per complete pattern. Most of mine use 4.

Then all you have to do is be sure the total number of stitches on whatever piece you are working is evenly divisible by that number.

More on the fairness of Fair Isle

You have no idea how EASY this is - really, you always just have two colors and a SUPER simple pattern. No twisting, no nothing. Very little counting even!

Just don't have more than 5 stitches per color. And only two colors per row.

If you change colors VERTICALLY it looks like you have all these colors going at once, but the truth is HORIZONTALLY it's just two colors per row. Yeah, you can get all elaborate and have a pattern that's 12 rows high and 12 rows across, but really that's not necessary.

You should at least try with the simplest three-row pattern:

Row 1
All Contrast Color (all black)

Row 2
Every other stitch a different color (black, white, black, white)

Row 3
All Contrast Color (all black)

I always keep the dark color on the left (or "down") and the light color on the right (or "up"), and at first I even said in my head, "green up, orange down," over and over like a mental patient, so I didn’t twist them. Elizabeth wants you to do it one color in each hand but I don't like that and prefer my way.

All of the patterns in my current sweater are based on repeated groups of four stitches, so make sure your total stitches is divisible. That one I just gave only needs to be divisible by two.

Try it!!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sneak A Peek -

Okay so here's what I have been up to since Saturday.

After the wildly successful completion and enjoyable wear (Sorry, Misty) of the purple sweater with the mild Fair Isle technique, I decided to go crazy and do one full-on.

Yes, it's FIVE colors, all going at once, knitted in the round with the intent of steeking it and making it a cardigan once it's done.

These are all color variants of one yarn: Suss Cotton. When I first started to knit I bought WAY too much of this stuff and it's just been sitting here. So I decided I'd get it all into play and out of the way.

This is the same Elizabeth Zimmerman-style seamless sweater as the purple one. She recommends wool but I much prefer cotton. This is 4 stitches to the inch.

I had SOOOO wanted to try the Top-Down Seamless Raglan (yay, MJ!) but the truth is I chickened out. Instead we have this Fair Isle Madness, which is coming out great.

The one thing you really should know about this technique is that it uses twice as much yarn as just knitting, so if you're trying to clear out your yarn bins (as I was) this technique is either more than ideal or a slippery slope to disaster.

What the hell do I mean by that?

Well I had a full 4-oz (180-yd) skein of the green, orange, white and pink, plus maybe a third of a skein of the black. That would be WAY enough to make a whole long sleeved sweater had I STRIPED the thing. The way it's going now (I'm just at 14'' high - the point of the armhole - and stopping body work to make sleeves) I HAVE TO GO BACK TO SUSS FOR MORE YARN!

I have enough to finish the sweater as a sleeveless shell, but if I want to have sleeves (eew, a sleeveless cardigan is - what - a VEST?) I need more yarn.

Normally I can get one whole sleeve per skein, but remember this takes TWICE that - so today I found myself back at Suss buying Four More Skeins (one each color) and am still keeping my fingers crossed.

So much for a project that HELPS me by depleting my yarn stash and requiring no cash outlay....

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