More than a month late for Xmas, but I know Elaine was okay with that. No one had ever knit her a sweater so she was pretty psyched that it was coming anyway.
The Peace Sign was a bonus!
So lets talk about the Imagine Sweater. I know I wrote about it alot in the past blogs but I wanted one place to sum it all up.
The pattern can be found at this website. http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring09/PATTimagine.php
It is the Imagine Sweater by Karen Alfke. I altered the pattern by adding 4 inches in length. I should have gone 8. I think it will only come down to just below the waistline on Elaine, which is not quite what I wanted, but fits with the look of the pattern. If I had done it to the length in the pattern it would have been too short.
I also changed how the peace sign was knit into the pattern by inserting an intarsia peace sign – that somehow ended up stranded and bulky and I thought I blew it – but in the final piece it really does not seem to add any weight or pull. (Whew!)
Here it is from the back. . . .
and the front.
Lets talk yarn. I used the Araucania Aysen yarn I purchased at Little Knits for $3/skein – in a 10 skein bag. It is 70% merino wool, 20% alpaca and 10% silk – and hand-dyed and $3 a skein – do you hear that!!! Oh My Gosh!!! Sorry – everytime I think about what I got for a pittance of a price I am just amazed. Oh – and 191 yards per skein. I love you Fulay Little – but I digress.
The negative with this yarn – yes, there is one – is that you have to hand wash it and gently because it will felt easily. But it is sooooo soft and beautiful that it seems like such a minor point I don’t know why I mentioned it.
The colors – which are bright and beautiful – were chosen because they were loud and bold and to create a stark contrast with the calm cool white of the peace sign. The silence in the midst of the cacophony. Yeah – I think that way when deciding on a project.
Now the other thing to mention with hand-dyed varigated yarns is that there is no dyelot which means there is no uniformity of color in the yarn. All of the colors in that sweater are considered to be the same colorway, yet there were obvious variations in the colors in each skein. As you can see, the colors in the center of the peace sign are more purple and dark while other blocks of the sweater have more white and others more yellow or rust or orange or red. I know Elaine loves tye-dye but I did not have the time to design that too – so we just went with having varying colors moving through the sweater and hoped for psychedelic. I don’t know if I got that, but I love the colors in it either way.
While I had knit and blocked all of the parts last week, I still had to put it all together, which was done yesterday and today. First I seamed the front and the back together at the shoulders, picked up stitches for the neckband and knit the neckband.
The neckline was easy because it is a rolled collar. Stockinette will just roll so I kinda like this one. 🙂 I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-Off to finish the neckline because it is a stretchier method of binding off. You can find it here. http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/FEATsum06TT.html
Then was the harder part – seaming the sleeves into the sweater. I tried a number of different methods and ended up using a combination of seaming methods. For the top where the stitches are perpendicular to each other, I used an invisible vertical to horizontal seam that you can find here. http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/FEATspr06TT.html For the sections where the stitches were at a lesser angle with each other or straight, I used a backstitch seam, which is also described on the above page. It came out like this.
Not too shabby, though not perfect.
I wove in the ends and then I was done.
So, on the other projects, I was able to knit another skein of yarn into the last sleeve to Chip’s sweater two weeks ago and knit about another half skein into it last week. I have to finish that skein and knit another to keep at my knit a skein a week rate. But can you Imagine – I could have another sweater finished in the next two weeks!! How cool is that!
Counterbalancing all of this knitting I am doing is the yarn production that has been kind of exploding lately (exploding being a relative term in light of the fact that there was NO yarn production previously). I have several newly plyed yarns to show you tomorrow and more naturally dyed yarns on Wednesday and maybe now that Chip is done with the exhibition at the Resource Center I will even get a Hawk Studio post up on Thursday. We even have a great pie from Moosewood for Friday.
So I am getting back on track with this blogging thing. Thanks for being patient while I caught up with some things at work and in the home.
I miss Gram. She would have loved all this wooley production in her family.