Friday, 7 October 2016

Felting and Starting

I have been attempting to make some order out of chaos of my office/craft room. Yesterday I unearthed a project that I finished knitting 9 years ago and have been waiting to felt. I threw it in the washer with soap and on a hot water setting. I ran it through a couple of times and finished it in the dryer.
I expected it to shrink up  more than it did.
The bottom is round with concentric 'fans'/
I may cut it in half depth-wise and fashion two bags out of it, and stitch a lining with a pocket in it for my cell phone.

Yesterday, Donna and I checked out the Lopi selection at Myrtle Station Wool. Stephanie has a large selection of colours in Alafoss (bulky), Lett-Lopi (Aran), and Einband (lace) weights. She also has lots of Lopi pattern books to peruse. I only looked at a couple before I happened upon this pattern (#11) from Book No. 16 that uses Létt-Lopi.   It looks quite Norwegian with the Setesdal-style 'lice'.
It calls for two blues but I decided to only use one shade. I also substituted a different shade of yellow.
Last night I got this much done on the first sleeve. I am not anchoring the blue 'lice' floats so will be careful until they felt themselves to the background on the inside of the sweater.
I used an Italian tubular 2 x 2 cast-on that was very clearly outlined in this video. It makes for a very clean, stretchy, rolled edge. I'll also use that cast-on for the body of the sweater.
The pattern is translated from Icelandic so some of the knitting terminology requires a bit of imagination. For example, a circular needle is called a 'twin pin'. The steek is referred to as a 'chain' of purl stitches down the centre front. The pattern calls for 2 chain stitches but I'm going to use three for just a bit more width. The term 'welt' is used. I think it refers to the neckband. These patterns are geared for intermediate or experienced knitters as a lot of elements of knitting a bottom-up garment in the round are not clearly laid out. For example, the instructions say to cast on x number of stitches with the 'twin pin' but does not specify to join in the round for the first row. I knew to do that but a less-experienced/less-confident knitter might not know to do that. I did the ribbing with a 4mm needle instead of 3.75mm as called for in the pattern.

Also, I usually do a sleeve first as there is less to rip out if gauge adjustments need to be made - as opposed to casting on and knitting all those stitches for the body and having to rip it out.

Last night, I knit almost all of the first of 8 grey balls of yarn. The sleeves are very wide but the sweater is meant to be more of a jacket. I also read that using hair conditioner when soaking to block  and not rinsing it out softens the yarn significantly.

I can't wait to get back to it...

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