Progress on Memories but distracted by a shiny new pattern!

Posted on May 02, 2009 | 0 Comments

I just stumbled across a new pattern that was so cool, I had to buy the PDF immediately! It's Kim by Perl Grey (aside: how many patterns are named after generic girl's names? You'd think people could at least come up with unusual girl's names to name their designs . . .) and I just could not resist! See how cute?

I don't know how much of the love-at-first sight was due to the gorgeous color and the serene photo, but I just had to have it RIGHT NOW! It's absolutely not sweater weather anymore, but I don't care! Besides, with the crazy weather swings we've had lately, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it got cold again before summer really starts . . .

This sweater's made with some Fleece Artist yarn I've never heard of, either, which is called River. It's an alpaca/silk/Merino blend and sounds quite lovely, I bet many people will really enjoy knitting with that yarn. Me, I don't much like alpaca, so I'll be substituting . . . ideally with something in the stash. Knit at 4.25 sts/inch, there should be plenty to pick from in my stash pile, right?

I'm not starting it yet though, because I'm well on my way with Memories of Ukraine. The swatch came out perfectly on-gauge (what a nice surprise!) so I cast on right away. I started with 96 stitches, which is how many you have after doing the first set of increases if you follow the pattern as written. Since I'm taking off the funnel neck, I started with that stitch count to make more of  a crew neck. Here's what I have so far:

I'm only a few rows away from splitting for the arms & body! I'm doing 2 or 3-row jogs to keep the colors blended well, as even though my 2 skeins were puchased at the same time and look very similar, because I know from experience that Schaefer's yarns usually come out with a very visible difference from skein-to-skein unless you mix them up. I like the color distribution so far, but  there have been some splotchy parts . . . hopefully that won't be too bad on the body itself, where it would be more noticeable. I'm always nervous knitting anything with handpainted yarns if there are various parts with different sittch counts -- you're very liable to having striped sleeves or spiraling waistlines when the stitch count changes! Or, worse  yet, a plaid effect . . .

Surprisingly, my hands are handling this cotton knitting just fine! I don't know if it's the combination of nice Turbo needles and mercerized cotton, which are both very slippery, or if maybe I've finally figure out how to knit cotton without pulling so much? Either way, I'm happily surprised to see that I can knit on this project for long periods of time with no fatigue or pain! And since I have the lace memorized already, this one should come off the needles in no time. I'm going to need to go shopping for an undershirt to wear underneath though, this sweater would definitely be obscene to wear without something underneath! I'm thinking I'd like to find a pink to match the rosy pink in there, to provide a nice contrast to the lace . . .

PS - if it seems like I'm doing everything BUT finishing the Leila pattern, it's because it's true. It's in time out while I get over my frustration with it. I hope to get back to it soon, but not sure exactly when that will be at this point.

Posted in kim by perl grey, knitting, memories of ukraine, sweaters

Swatching for Memories of Ukraine

Posted on April 30, 2009 | 1 Comment

My friend Lidia Karabinech contributed a sweater pattern to Barbara Albright's wonderful (and sadly, last) book The Natural Knitter. Her sweater's called "Memories of Ukraine" and features her favorite one-piece construction. Here's the picture from the book:

The book's version is knit in linen, and Lidia knit herself a version in silk straw (very weird yarn, Habu-like even!), and one for her daughter from Koigu. Since it's such a textural pattern it really looks drastically different depending on what yarn you use, and having seen it in a few versions I knew I wanted to use something close to the original linen. After going stash diving, I found some Schaefer Susan in the color Althea Gibson and thought PERFECT! Here's the pre-blocking swatch:

This picture came out a little dark, the middle color is more like straw than the brown that it looks here, but you get the idea. I only have 2 skeins of this yarn, so not enough for the sweater in the 2nd size (36.5" bust), but I'm planning to take off the funnel neck and see if that does it . . . if not, I'll shorten the sleeves too!

The swatch is drying on the window sill so I'm not yet sure whether I got gauge, but it looks pretty good so far . . .

Posted in knitting, memories of ukraine, swatching


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