Archive for the ‘Striped Sweater’ Category

My 1st Sweater Design completed

In Striped Sweater on June 29, 2007 at 2:58 pm
Well, truth be told, I have designed other sweaters before, but this is the 1st one that is wholly my own. The stitch pattern is mine, although the vertical striping technique I learned from Barbara Walkers. All my other designs used stitch patterns from various stitch libraries, such as Barbara Walker’s books. The shaping design is mine. The measurements are all mine. I’m a little giddy over the fact that it is completed and it came out the exact size I designed it to come out. Woo!

In my giddiness, I’ve even hammered away to get it uploaded to my Flickr and my Etsy store.

Now, I just need to convince my model she can still fit into it. Then, I can get some decent pictures. I would model it myself, but I’m a bit too petite (**short**). It is designed for a taller woman or, as the industry might say, the standard woman.

Doing the Sweater Dance!

And can I say how fulfilling design work actually is? OK, OK, it’s frustrating at times and annoying at times and it wakes me up in the middle of the night at times with little corrections to my pattern, but oh, at the end of the day, it is worth it! I never got this much satisfaction from my day-to-day job.

So, what do you think of it?

The whole idea behind it was to design a sweater that had vertical stripes, but didn’t require changing the color every 2-4 stitches. I HATE Fair Isle. This sweater (when I wasn’t ripping it out for the umpteenth time) was actually quick to knit. Basically, you slip the stitches in the color you’re not using out of the way and only knit the stitches in the color you are carrying at the time.

BTW – More pictures of this sweater can be found on my Flickr site.

No More Knitting my Striped Sweater

In Striped Sweater on June 27, 2007 at 5:22 pm
It’s so close to being done. The collar, which has been my nemesis these past 2 weeks, is done.

All that is left is a mountain of loose strands to weave in.

Better pictures to come Friday.

Right now, I’m off to celebrate with Jake. A translation: I am off to toss him a few well-worn sticks around the yarn.

Happy Day to you too!

Sweater Progress

In Striped Sweater, Sweater Blanket on June 20, 2007 at 2:16 pm
Well, I decided to stop fighting with my sewing machine over the double bias tape on the sweater afghan. Every night during the Phillies baseball game, I have been handstiching the tape down using a slipstitch. Amazingly, it is going quicker than I had hoped for. My estimate was 1 month. If I keep up my current pace, it will be completed within 2 weeks. Here it is laid out on my couch. It is a perfect afghan size … even if it wasn’t actually designed for it.

The striped sweater I have been working on took 2 steps backward yesterday. The stitches I picked up for the collar and swore I would not rip out … have been ripped out. Well, I learned something here. Never measure a v-neck collar on the diagonal and use this measurement to figure out how many stitches to pick up. Who knew? With this problem realized and easily solved, I am almost ready to reattempt picking up the stitches for the collar. However, I still need to figure out how many stitches should be picked up on the length from the top of the v-neck to the shoulder. It measures 5 inches. I had assumed that I would need to pick up 7 stitches per inch (as that is my gauge), but the most I could locate during my last attempt was 6 stitches per inch. Yet, if my calculations are correct, I’ll be missing 10 stitches. I could just roll with the puches. The very next row has me decreasing 1/3 of the stitches anyway. Then, I’ll only be out 3 stitches. Right? 3 stitches won’t make or break the collar (at least I hope not).

So, here is my sweater again. To make up for the lack of the collar, I snuck Jake into the picture. He always makes my knitted garments look better!

A Little Frustration

In Ode to Quilting, Striped Sweater, Sweater Blanket on June 14, 2007 at 11:43 am

Well, I have tried to complete my sweater afghan several times now, but to no avail. I finished hand basting the tape around the edges, which I might add did a lovely job of hiding the not-so-stellar cutting job and zigzag stitching. I am now at the point where I should topstitch the tape in place. I’ve tried twice to do this step with my trusty straight stitch foot. Twice now I’ve ripped the stitching out. The 3 layers of fabric kept shifting so my stitching line was anything but straight.

Certain that an edging foot would be the answer to my problem, I biked over to my favorite sewing store (Pottstown Sewing and Craft). I bought the only edging foot they had available that looked like it would fit my not-so-fancy sewing machine. It didn’t fit. So, I am back where I started with just a straight stitch foot. I’ve considered hand stitching the tape in place using a slipstitch. The only thing stopping me for jumping in and testing the water is that I would have to hand stitch the tape to both sides of the afghan. I might get it done in a month. To stitch by machine, I could have a finished afghan in 10 minutes. One month vs. 10 minutes. Call me lazy, but I won’t give up on the 10-minute option until I’ve exhausted all avenues.

To add to my frustration, I decided to tackle the collar on my striped sweater yesterday. The collar measures ten inches on each side. Based on my gauge, I needed to pick up 70 stitches on each side. I sat and struggled with the sweater for at least two hours yesterday. I only managed to pick up 6 stitches per inch. Thus, I am 20 stitches short. Do I just ignore my shortfall and carry on in normal fashion? Or do I K2P2 ribbing for one row, increasing 20 stitches along the way. This latter option seems slightly silly to me for the next row requires me to decrease one-third of the stitches in order to achieve a K2P1 ribbing. Maybe what I’ll do is just decrease fewer stitches. Hmmm, I’ll have to ponder on this problem. But just to state the obvious, dropping all the stitches and retrying to pick up 7 stitches per inch is NOT an option. I think I would cry if I had to do that.

Now for some good news, I am further along with my Angled Nesting Squares block.

I just have the triangles left to join.

Unfortunately, I am not sure when this block will be posted. The viewing is tonight and I still have much to do, such as finish cooking the fried stuffed mushrooms. (My own recipe! If they taste as good as I hope, I’ll post the recipe along with the block). The funeral is tomorrow and I imagine we’ll be busy all day with family. Thankfully, our dear friends have volunteered to watch Jake. They love to spoil him. I’m sure he will get plenty of treats and pets.

A special thank you to everybody who left their comments to “A Memorium”. I was very touched by each one.

Because I couldn’t kill him

In Striped Sweater, Sweater Blanket on June 6, 2007 at 2:32 pm

It’s wrong to kill your husband.

It doesn’t matter that you spent months knitting him a sweater he’ll never wear. Time you could have spent knitting yourself a sweater. A sweater that you would wear everyday.
The only thing saving him right now is that he swears he would love to wear the sweater, but every time he puts it on he starts with the sneezing and the watery eyes.
So, I can’t kill him. And I can’t wear the sweater I made him. He’s 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. I’m 5 feet tall and well, …. slightly smaller. And I refuse to let the sweater sit in the cedar closet another year unused.
What to do?
I came up with this idea.

A sweater afghan!

I cut the sleeves off. (It felt so good to do harm to the sweater!) Next, I cut straight up the seams on the sides of the sweater, leaving it only bound together at the shoulder seams. Next, I hand-stitched the neck hole closed using a slipstitch. Afterwards, I machine-stitched along the edges of the sweater using a zigzag stitch. This step was to ensure no unraveling occurred.

Finally, to hide the ratty edges, I started to hand-baste a double fold bias tape around the entire length of it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this step while watching the Phillies game tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to topstitch the tape in place. I’ll probably use a zigzag stitch. All that will be left to do is to remove my hand-basting. You’ll note that I am using a white thread now to aid me in locating the basting thread later.

I will be the proud owner of a wool afghan that only I can use. Plus, I get to live the rest of my life on the right side of prison bars.
I was reminded of something these past two days: how much I hate to seam sweaters closed. I had become spoiled by my Ode to Quilting afghan blocks. Those pieces are so simple to seam together. All the seams are straight … and very small. The seams of a sweater have to contend with increases and decreases. I can’t remember how many times I had to back up, rip out my seams, and start over because the diagonal of the increases didn’t match up.

Despite my struggles, I managed to get half of the sweater seamed together. I’m pretty pleased with the way it looks.

Oh, and better news, I slipped the sweater over my head and it fits …. perfectly! I’m so excited. **Dancing**

I just need to hurry. My model is gaining weight every week. (She’s pregnant with their first child.)

Right Sleeve is Finished

In Striped Sweater on June 1, 2007 at 1:18 pm
I really should be seaming the sweater together right now, but I just had to show somebody ….

My right sleeve is finished!

You’ll note that not only did I run out of brown yarn, but I also ran out of turquoise yarn. I am of the group that only buys “enough” yarn. I really must convert to the group that always buys “more than enough” yarn. You think I would learn. For truth be told, this isn’t the first time I have encountered this problem. Of course, I think my real problem is that I buy yarn on an impulse, having no idea what I will use the yarn for. Only after I get home, and after it has sat in my cedar closet for who knows how long, do I finally decide what it is going to be. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether or not I’ll have enough yarn. This time I lost the bet.

Internet trouble equals longer sleeves

In garden, Striped Sweater on May 23, 2007 at 2:59 pm
Finally, I can get on the Internet today. Comcast has a monopoly on the area (unless you’re willing to sacrifice speed, which I’m not) and I have been suffering for it these past few days. Today is the first day, I am able to get on the Internet, check my e-mail, and update my blog. Even earlier today, Comcast was having problems, i.e. Internet outage. **mutter**

There is a silver lining in everything. Thanks to Comcast, my right sleeve is 75% done. I have started on the cap.

Plus, I finished both of the gauges on the project I can’t show you. It should be ready for submission by Friday.

Then, when my hands hurt from knitting so much, I went outside to my garden. I pruned the Easter Redbud tree (well, it looks more like an overgrown bush), the Forsythia, and some of the Fire Thorn. (I can only take so much of the Fire Thorn bush at one time. It’s painful!).

My thanks to J3W3 for his/her advice on the mint seeds. S/he stated that mint can be very invasive. After spending all of last summer combatting against the Lily of the Valley, I have no desire to battle it out with another invasive plant. I should mention, that I only managed to thin out the Lily of the Valley, despite pulling out the roots. It came back this year in the same spot. I am worried because it has started to encroach upon the grass, which Jake loves to nibble on. Sometimes, I think he missed his calling; he should have been a goat.

A cone of Alpaca

In Shawls for Barbie, Striped Sweater on April 30, 2007 at 2:30 pm

My thanks go out to White Horse Farm ( for this gem.

Isn’t it stunning?

I danced all the way home.

My husband’s reaction was disappointing (it was a smaller sized cone than he was expecting). What does he know? My Jake was excited … or maybe he just liked the smell of it.

I will use it to knit up the full-size version of a “Shawl for Barbie” ( First things first, it’s gauge time!

Other knitting news: As you can see, I am halfway done seaming the sleeve into the body of the striped sweater. It’s starting to look like a real sweater now and not like a vest-gone-wrong.

Grudgingly, I have also started to knit the right sleeve. I haven’t made much progress, but I knit better when there is a baseball game going on. Thanks to the Phillies crazy schedule, there is indeed a baseball game tonight.

The funny story behind this sweater (ignoring the story that I ripped it out once and then once again) is that the person who has agreed to model it for me just announced she is pregnant. As if I wasn’t already dedicated to finishing it before the dog days of summer, I have to be now! There is going to come a time when she’s not going to fit into it.

Business news: I sent in my very first order of business cards. For shame, I should have done this 6 months ago, but I was trying not to put the horse too far ahead of the cart. Now that I have started to increase my marketing budget, it only makes sense to get them printed. I plan to put my very first card on the fridge. I’ll refrain from framing it … for at least a week.

Gardening news: I just want to say that I am SICK AND TIRED of raking up the seed pods the two sweet gum trees sent down this winter. I have already taken 6 trash bags full to the curb. I can easily fill two more. Plus, I recycled a bunch of them. The recycles are being used as mulch beneath the trees while the soil lays dormant. I ripped out all the grass last fall. Later this spring, I will plant Creeping Phlox in its place. (This was hubby’s special request. He hates trying to mow beneath the trees because the roots always muck with his mower).

One Sleeve Down

In garden, Ode to Quilting, Striped Sweater on April 27, 2007 at 11:35 pm

While I was watching the Phillies win their game against the Marlins (OK…OK… so we pulled it out in the bottom of the 9th, but, hey!, a win is a win), I finished the left sleeve. It’s done! No pics please, though. It hasn’t been blocked or the ends weaved in or sewn to the sweater body. It’s not a pretty sight, plus my cam is on the fritz again. Hubby took the good cam with him and left me the “Sometimes I’ll work, sometimes I won’t” cam. You can guess which one it picked. Nothing but a black screen. Arg.

Back to the joy of finishing the sleeve: I even managed to save some brown yarn in the process. There are now 7 tiny balls of brown yarn ready and waiting for me to continue knitting the right sleeve. Oh, I suppose I have to at least try. I’ll wait to start until Monday. Monday is a good day to tackle sleeves that may or may not have enough yarn to complete, right?

I simply can’t do it this weekend. I have a left sleeve to seam together with the body. More importantly, I have a new quilt to start. I have decided to make my sister and her husband a wall quilt for their kitchen. It’s never too early to start making Christmas presents. (Every year I start all my Christmas projects earlier in the year in the hopes that I won’t be staying up past midnight on Christmas Eve trying to finish everything. It never works! This past year, on Christmas morning, I was still stitching up the matching doll pajamas for my younger niece.)

Here is my inspiration for my new knitting project: Ode to Quilting. (Many thanks to my good friend, Jen, for giving this to me as a Christmas present!)

This basket is filled with Lion Brand’s Wool (100%). I plan to use as many of the colors as I can to make an afghan in true quilter’s style. It will be an afghan that can use up a knitter’s leftover balls of yarn from previous projects. Shapes (mostly squares and triangles) will be knit up, then sewn together to form larger squares, and then these squares will be sewn together to make the afghan front. Lastly, the front will be seamed to the back. Minor details still have to be ironed out, such as what the back should look like. I’m giddy to start the gauge process. This project will combine two of my favorite hobbies: knitting and sewing/quilting. (I suppose true quilt lovers wouldn’t lump sewing with their hobby, but since sewing came first for me, I still have a fondness for it).

My other accomplishment today was building a wall around Big Brother (the biggest of my Weeping Japanese Red Maple saplings).

I’d like to see my husband mow him down!

Enough Brown Yarn?

In Striped Sweater on April 25, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I have rescued all the brown yarn from my gauges. It only gave me 6 mini balls of brown yarn. I still don’t know if it will be enough brown yarn. Thus, I do what I always do in such situations; I procrastinate. I stick it in a drawer and I try to pretend it doesn’t exist.

My only hope is that a little green elf will come in and knit the right sleeve for me. Then, when I am within an inch of finishing the sleeve and I run out of brown yarn, I can’t lose my mind and run off the nearest bridge.

The left sleeve is progressing quite nicely. I am 12 inches complete with only 5.5 inches left to knit before I get to the cap part. See for yourself. A Phillies baseball game will be on tonight (they play at 7:05 pm EST). I should be able to make some more headway on the left sleeve. Once I get to the cap section, I plan to completely switch over to the turquoise yarn. With a little luck, I will be able to salvage yet more brown yarn.

Jake is breathing loud sighs in the hopes of getting my attention. True, it is almost play time. Yet, what he doesn’t know is that it is raining already. Here I was hoping to lay bricks around Big Brother (the largest of the Weeping Japanese Maple saplings). Little Brother has not fared quite as well between my husband mowing him down and Jake peeing on him. I am determined that Big Brother won’t suffer the same fate!

More design ideas: a summer dress for a wee one done in lime green and bright pink. The skirt will be a smattering of rectangles while the top will be all pink outlined with a green border. Then, a women’s jacket in two styles: a-line and wrap-around. The final challenge: a sweater that a man wouldn’t hate wearing. Why are men so difficult to design for? I did make my husband a sweater once. Come to find out, he’s allergic to the lanolin in wool. It took me months to make that sweater and now it sits in a tote in the cedar closet. Once I stop weeping over it, I’ll make it into a pillow covering. It has been five years now and I still can’t bear to cut it up. Maybe I should rip it out and reuse the yarn. What to do?


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