Thursday, October 27, 2011

Electric Bunny Sweater Sleeve

Electric Bunny Sweater SleeveAlmost as soon as I started knitting the first sleeve the doubts began to creep in.

How brilliant was my brilliant plan actually?

As the sleeve progressed the panic took hold.

Was I really going to have enough yarn?

What if the first sleeve used all the rainbow yarn?

Or, worse, what if I was able to knit only half of the second sleeve?

The rest of my yarn is the solid color stuff in a different gauge. There would be no way to salvage the situation.

Since I'm getting a gauge of 3.5 sts per inch on US 10 needles the sleeve is flying along. Last night it looked like I had made enough progress to bother trying it on.

It already reached to my elbow. The ball was starting to hollow out. Things weren't looking good.

Today I took my nerve in hand and called Jamie.

Problem Solved

Happily, I did not have to resort to groveling.

I started by telling her I'd been to her booth the Sunday of Rhinebeck. That got a laugh. So I told her I was wearing an Adult Surprise Jacket and what yarn I bought. That narrowed things down for her and she was able to remember me.

I reminded her that despite her warnings I bought two different weight yarns because I was overcome by yarn fumes and sure I could make it work. But in the cold light of knitting I'd realized it wouldn't work, and could I exchange the yarns?

She said yes right away. phew! Yarn people are so awesome.

Then we had a fun conversation discussing my options for my new yarn. I'd thought it would be easiest to just get three new skeins of rainbow with white, but I did want something more mellow.

After tossing ideas around we settled on a more solid rainbow colorway. No white. She's going to vary the other colors so there is still some variety but it's a bit more subtle.

Or at least that is how I understood/remember it. She made her self good notes. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

The she was like, oh I have other orders I'm working on I want to set your expectations for the turn around on this. Um, two weeks from now. I was like, seriously? Because I thought she was going to say late November or December.

We also agreed I should get a fourth skein of the new yarn she's making for me. It's a custom order in a colorway she hasn't done before so I might not be able to get more if I run out. It's easier for her to make it all at once so it matches. That was sort of my idea because it will give me more options for balancing the yarn.

The new plan is to rip out what I've done on the sleeve so far. Then work the sleeves and the body in the new yarn saving the rainbow and white yarn I already have for the cuffs and bottom ribbing.

Tomorrow I'll have to run to the post office and mail these solids back to her.

Now the question is what project shall I work on until my new yarn arrives?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Electric Bunny Sweater

Electric bunny sweater divided Ok, so I haven't blogged about our trip to Rhinebeck despite declaring that I would do so straight away.

I really need to get myself in order and start blogging more regularly. (Like I haven't said that before, and won't say it again.)

But then it occurred to me that I don't have to blog in order. I can blog whatever and whenever I want. Just like knitting. Unlike knitting, however, I still have the option of back-dating blog posts.

Anyway, let's get on with the actual knitting content, shall we?

So, last year toward the end of our Rhinebeck time mom and I came across a booth with angora yarn in bright happy colors that were still somehow buttery. Probably because of the halo from the angora.

There were lovely sweaters on display and they were bight and happy and soft...but it was the end of ur second day and I'd already bought a ton of yarn and we were tired and I didn't buy anything.

A few months ago, maybe halfway between last Rhinebeck and this year's Rhinebeck, I called mom and said, "Do you remember those angora sweaters? I think about them on a regular basis."

And mom said she did, too.

We agreed I'd have to get some of that yarn this year, which I did.

I tried on two sweaters. One was a little too big. The other was a little too small. From that she declared I'd need five skeins of yarn.

Since she didn't have five skeins of the rainbow yarn I decided I'd get two rainbow skeins, and one each of red, yellow, and blue, and make a striped sweater. She warned me they were slightly different weights, but they looked fine in the skein, and I had on my festival yarn goggles, so I figured I could make it work.

The alternative was to order the yarn and wait for her to mail it to me, which was in conflict with my desire to own the yarn immediately.

I would make it top down so I could target the rainbow yarn on the yoke.

Well, everything was going swimmingly. I used one skein of rainbow for the yoke and it was enough to divide for the sleeves and work a couple more rows.

It was time to bring in the solid colored yarns.

Wow. The texture and weight are a lot different in the knit fabric than they seemed in the skein.

I'm working the rainbow yarn on US 10 needles. To get a similar drape in the fabric I had to go up to US 11 needles for the solid colored yarn.

This made my stitch gauge go from 4 sts per inch to 3.5 sts per inch, which you might think isn't very much, but it made the sweater explode from 33" to 37". And it's flaring out a bit.

The situation threw a monkey wrench in my idea of alternating solid stripes with rainbow stripes. The difference in gauge would make the sweater ripple.

I debated calling her and asking if I could make an exchange. Before I did anything hasty I decided to sleep on it.

This morning I work up with the idea of making the sleeves entirely in rainbow yarn and restricting the solid colors to the body. My yarn would be distributed so that I should still have enough to complete the sweater, but I wouldn't have to worry about the difference in gauge.

At this time I've done the math to quickly decrease on the body after I switch to the solid red to get the measurement I want.

I'm going to go ahead and knit the sleeves first, then do the body.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sudden Progress

You can't really tell in this picture, since it's a dark and gloomy day here, but I've suddenly made a lot of progress on my Yellow Lace top.

I had put it aside because it wasn't good TV knitting since I had to pay attention to it because of the lace.

Well, it turns out I've more or less got the lace pattern memorized. I've had it memorized for a while now. You don't knit that much of a pattern without ingesting it eventually.

Because I've got it memorized I don't really need to look at the pattern any more, and really I only have to look at the knitting maybe for the decreases.

Let's see if I can explain what you are seeing in the picture.

First off, the back is done. Second, the left front is done and the shoulder is joined.

See? I told you I'd made progress.

The dark line is the scrap yarn I'd used as a holder when I divided for the front and back. The needle is on the stitches for the right front.

So I'd been plucking away at the back when I could. Then I suddenly realized I just had a few more pattern repeats to reached the desired length. Having finished the Uncooperative Green Striped Schleppy I was filled with the desire to finish other projects and started focusing on this top.

Then yesterday as soon as I finished the back I plunged into working on the left front. That was quick and easy because with the deep V of the neck shaping I was working on fewer and fewer stitches each row.

Of course, doing that keep me up later than I should have been. Oh, it was well past 11 o'clock. But I came down with a cold at the end of the week and had spent most of the day either sleeping or lounging on the couch knitting, so I wasn't sleepy until after 11 p.m. anyway.

I'll take a stab at getting the right front done tonight. At that point the sweater will be at least 50 percent complete, if not closer to 75 percent.

I'll do the sleeves two-at-a-time. I just hope they go quickly.