American Wool Series

Monday, September 30, 2013

Music Monday

"Dancing on Our Graves" by the Cave Singers from 2008. Strangely enough, I first heard this song while watching Cabin Fever (or maybe Cabin Fever 2) and instantly fell in love with it. Maybe it's the washboard?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Then and Now: Yarn Repurposing

In 2011 I purchased some Imperial Yarn Columbia and knit the Hollyhock pullover. This sweater was short-lived because I had multiple issues with my yarn and pattern choice. Let's talk about them, shall we?
The pattern is well-written and I actually really like how the giant cowl stands up in this yarn. But Columbia is definitely a heavy worsted to Aran weight yarn and is not happy about being squished down on the US size #7 needle I used. You can see that the fabric is really firm and almost stands on its own. Columbia blooms A LOT after blocking and I didn't take that into account when I chose to forge ahead. Oi. Also, Raglans don't do a whole lot for my shape, which is proportional, so the blueprint of the sweater coupled with my poor yarn choice doesn't really do a whole lot for me (I still like that giant cowl, though). I think I ended up frogging this pullover late in 2011 since I almost never wore it.

Fast forward to now-ish.

Meet Wethersfield by Cecily Glowik Macdonald. She's the same designer as Hollyhock but I think this design works much better for my yarn and my body. 
As I've progressed as a knitter I've begun to shy away from heavier gauge yarns. Even though my body is proportionate (my bust and hips are the exact same measurement) I'm not exactly what you would call svelte. This cardigan is meant to be worn like a jacket since there is no body shaping and the entire thing is knit on a US #8 needle. But the lines work better for me - the cardigan creates vertical lines that break up my (ahem) substantial bust and the set-in sleeves make a nice line at my shoulders. My yarn is waaaay more happy in this little cardigan than it was in Hollyhock. I knit this at 4 stitches to the inch on a US #8 needle and the fabric is just the right density and the cables look squishy rather than strangled. I ran out of yarn half-way through the edging and picked up another skein in a different dye lot to finish off the sweater. There you have it, yarn repurposed. I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear out of my cardigan this Fall since it's a cozy, throw on, weekend around the house kind of sweater; perfect for knitting on the sofa while sipping my coffee.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music Monday

"Perfect Day" by Lou Reed from the awesome 1972 album Transformer.
Happy 7th Wedding Anniversary to Mr. B!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

FO: Old Shell Shetland Shawl

Fall is the time of year when I get the itch to clean my house, finish my WIPs, and generally get things done.
 Do any of you remember this project? I started it waaaay back in February of 2011. It came out of a project bag several times in 2012 but I made very little headway until I pulled it out and decided to finish it up several weeks ago. Just about one week after pulling this shawl out of the bag I wove in my last ends and threw it in a sink with some wool wash. So, what took so long? No idea. 

Pattern: Old Shell Shetland Shawl by Margaret Stuart
Yarn: O-wool 2-ply (cream, brown, and green), Shetland Spindrift (teal), Nature's Palette (gold) and Sweet Georgia Tough Love BFL Sock (also gold)
Needle: US #8 Addi Turbo and Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeable Needles
Mods: None. I ran out of the gold yarn on the very last strip sequence for the second half of the shawl and ended up with some Sweet Georgia that is a fairly close match. I don't think my picture really shows how large the shawl is but I'm currently using it as a lap blanket in the evenings or folding it in half and wearing it around my shoulders. It's lovely, light, and enormous and I love it. 

It also feels really great to have my last hibernating project off the needles and in practical use. Hooray!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2013

The new Brooklyn Tweed Fall collection is out - and I love it! There is all kinds of cabley goodness going on and that's a main theme of my knitting daydreaming right now. What to knit first? I'm particularly fond of Bray and Stonecutter, although I'm not sure if Stonecutter will work well with my body type. What are your favorites?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Monday

"Jump in the Line" by Harry Belafonte. How about a nice little dance tune to get you geared up for Monday? I know I need one.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

FO: Green Gables Socks

Pattern: Traveler's Socks by Stefanie Bold
Yarn: Stricken Smitten Smitten BFL Nylon Twist in Little Storm Cloub
Needles: US #1 (2.25 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharps
Mods: None. That's not exactly true, I guess. I failed to read through the directions for the toe and ended up winging it. I also miscrossed the cables for each sock - the left sock cables should go the opposite way and the right sock cables should be right crosses. At least I was consistently incorrect for each sock?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Music Monday

Charles Bradley "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" from his 2011 release. I heard he gave an epic performance at Bumbershoot this year and am so jealous of the people who got to see him do the splits (the man is 65!).