Monday, December 6, 2010

Rhinebeck 2010: Sweater Yarn

Aussie woolWhat I should have done was blog about the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck in the days after Rhinebeck. Then I would have benefited from the extra traffic of people looking for news from the festival.

That, however, would have required organization and I had other things on my mind when I got home.

In fact, I didn't even enter the yarn into my Ravelry stash until this weekend.

Since October my haul has been sitting on the dining room table. Hubby straightened up the dining room a few weeks ago and asked if I could please get my yarn of the the table now? His follow up question was if the was room for me to put it away.

I assured him there was, I just hadn't cataloged it yet. Of course when I did go to put it away things got a little dicey, but it all fit.

Fun With A Purpose
I went in with some goals. More to avoid disappointment than to prevent overspending. I figure if I'm going to make impulse purchases I should at least have projects in mind so I could buy an adequate amount of yarn.

A top goal was to correct an oversight from the previous year. Last year I saw a skein of yellow and orange yarn in the Brooks Farm booth that I really liked but didn't buy. I told myself that this year I would go straight there and buy one to make a second cropped poncho.

Well, as you probably guessed, they didn't have any. Nothing even resembling it. Since I still have all those Solo I bought in 2009 for my Celtic Critter Cardigan, I did want to buy more. I started looking for yarn that might make a good sweater for Hubby, but nothing was really catching my eye.

Finally, Mom asked something along the lines of, "Why are you so determined to buy some of this yarn?" And I said, "I don't know." After which we moved on.

However, the orange and yellow theme kept recurring during the show.

I had fallen in love with the Odette sweater from Verena Knitting Magazine and decided it getting yarn for it would be a Rhinebeck goal. It's a hip length, long sleeve pullover, slightly flared at the bottom, with interesting cables at the waist and yolk. We left the Brooks Farm booth and went into the booth that sells Aussie Wool. I'd bought some of their sock yarn lastSchool colors year in a wonderfully eye popping color (which I still haven't knit up).

As soon as we hit the booth we saw the great golden yarn pictured at the top of the post. It was the right gauge, right quantity, and a good price. Sold!

I also saw a skein of black and gold sock yarn, which are the school colors for Hubby's new school. Of course I just had to get it to make him a pair of socks.

Orange and Yellow and Pink!
We made and effort to target the booths up by the 4-H structures this year. We missed most of them last year because we didn't realize they were there.

As we wandered through them I encountered a booth with lovely hand dyed yarn that was super soft.Maple Creek It turned out to be Maple Creek Farm, where I had bought some lovely red/black/white sock yarn in 2009 (which I still haven't knit).

I started out by once again looking for yarn for a Hubby sweater. Plenty of stuff was catching my eye, but nothing that seemed appropriate for him. Then I stubmled across this fabulous color of Fredricksburg which took my yellow and orange obsession a step further by throwing pink in the mix.

Oh my goodness, it is soooo soft and snuggly. Each skein is 660 yards and it's about 5.5 stitchs to the inch. Which makes it a prime candidate for a Schleppy Sweater! So I snatched up two skeins.

Hubby Yarn
My last sweater quantity purchase was for Hubby.

He had requested a vertically striped sweater, which would be sold colors. I knew that if I could find a nice varigated yarn I could get away with knitting a simple sweater and letting the yarn do the work. I was on the prowl for jewel tones because Hubby likes strong colors.

I finally found what I was looking for in the Creatively Dyed Yarn booth. I follow her on Twitter and when I saw her tweeting about attending Rhinebeck I made a note of her booth number so I could be sure to swing by. So in this case her social media efforts paid off!

She had all these cool, cyberpunk colors that were varigated but also had splatters on them. They were enchanting. They were also a little too much for a Hubby sweater without him there to approve. Then I found some solid and semisolids in the corner. The colors were nice, the yarn was soft, and it had a good weight to it so I knew Hubby would like it. I did attempt to select one wild yarn to surround with solid colors, but the booth was crowded so it was hard to really poke around for such an involved project.

I settled on her Woodbrook yarn, which is 100% superwash wool. There was a nice silk/wool blend that I kept picking up Creatively Dyedbased on colors, but I didn't want to mix fibers by having one color wool and the next color a blend.

I got two skeins each of five colors in these lovely jewel tones. Of course by the time I got home I started worrying I should have bought one color heavy. I'm sure it will work out fine. I'll just have to make sure all the colors appear with the same frequency.

Since I ended up liking the yarn, and buying quite a bit of it, I told her I follow her on twitter, which was fun. (Of course, if I'd been disappointed she never would have known I was there!)

In addition to yarn we saw a few friends. Mainly we kept running into Pam and her friend on a regular basis. This was good because we could scout out different things and suggest places to check out. We also got to each lunch with them one day and breakfast on another. So it was pretty cool.

We saw other people too, but I don't remember now.

If you think this is the only yarn I bought you don't know me very well. You have to realize I bought more sock yarn than that single skein for Hubby. But that is a post for another day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Done: ASJ Epic

ASJ done backThe last end was actually woven in on Dec. 2, but as I've been caring for sick puppies I was a little too distracted to blog.

The pups are feeling better, by the way. They seemed better Wednesday during the day, but relapsed that evening after bedtime.

I went to the vet Thursday and they said it sounded like colitis, which is an inflimation of their intestines which points to something they ate.

Now they have medicine they have to take three times a day for a week. At least it sounds like something passing (no pun intended) that isn't life threatening or chronic.

Anyway, the sweater.

Sleeves, again.
I really can't harp on how narrow the sleeves are following the original pattern. Mine would have have been about 12 inches around, which would have been negative ease for me.

Even with my slick little flap they are a little snug, probably since I'm wearing them over shirts, but they seem to be streatching out a little.

When I made my little shoulder flaps I didn't think about the neckline at all. After you knit the body you go back and knit an edging that includes the front opening so extra depth it added. It worked out ok because as you knit this border you increase at the beginning of each row and that little flare fit in nicely along the edge of my shoulder flap.

Still, what I think I should have done was pick up along the entire cast on edge, instead of targeting the sleeve section.

By knitting two seperate flaps I ended up making the back neckline deeper than it should have been.

Of course now that I know how it works out if I ever make it again I'll follow the alternative directions for deeper arms.

ASJ done frontMy alterations made the neckline very open. That made it look unfinished, sloppy, and oversized when I first tried it on.

I knew some finished was required and a simple collar seemed the best bet.

The collar in the pattern seemed more about the baby size. I got out my big Vogue Knitting book and discovered that collar was basically the same.

My first attempt didn't work out because I didn't pick up stitches along the front evenly. One side went all the way down to the outside edge of the neck opening and the other side fell a few stitches short. It made the entire sweater look crooked. sigh.

I pulled it out but despite being careful still fell a stitch short on my pick up. This time I figured it was close enough.

I just picked up each stitch around and worked in garter stitch. I worked Sl1, k2, kfb, k to end on each row. Additionally on every, oh, fourth row I worked a KFB one stitch in from the corners on the back section to give the back a little more fullness for the fold over. I worked the collar for about 18 rows.

Buttons? Pockets?
Now all I need are buttons. And they are going to have to be big, honking buttons. I followed the button hole directions in the pattern, which are over four stitches and at 3.5 sts/inch they are some big button holes.

My need for buttons makes me wish I was still at Westport Yarns. Not only did we have a good selection of buttons, but I would have had a ton of advice on which one to select.

Turns out the women in the library knitting group are as much of a bad influence as any knitters you would meet. They suggested I should make buttons out of fimo. They were like, "You could get blue and green like in your coat" and they made it sound all easy.

Of course, the big problem is now I have that idea in my head....

I think I'll also probably end up adding pockets. But I want to wait until I have buttons so I know how it will actually close.

Project Stats
Pattern: Adult Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I have the ABC booklet with all the sizes and expanded directions.
Needles: US 10
Size: I aimed for a 35" chest.
Yarn total potential yardage: 1131

Yarn Name Yardage Amount Used
  1. Noro Kogarashi 165 yards used all
  2. Queensland Collection Sandstone 65 yards used all
  3. Noro Kochoran 176 yards/100g 41g left
  4. Queensland Collection Mist 2 at 54 yards=108 yards used all
  5. Ella Rae Country Tweed 82 yards used all
  6. Araucania Coliumo 95 yards/100g 17g left
  7. Araucania Azapa 147 yards/100g 17g left
  8. Ester Bitran Tirua 163 yards/100g 34g left
  9. Louisa Harding Millias 2 at 65 yards=130 yards used all
Remember, if you want to see the specific yarns, I made a little map on a close up picture.

This pattern was a lot of fun. It only took me a month of concentrated knitting. Project monogamy for the win! I'm sure the big gauge helped speed me along.

I do have a desire to make another one, which is saying a lot since I'm not usually a pattern repeater. However, I'm resisting the urge.

I think my next sample yarn sweater will be a top down cardigan. On the other hand, a small project to cleanse my palate might be in order first.