Sunday, April 29, 2007

Out with the Old, in with the New!

I finished the baby sweater the other day, just in time for the end of the Quick-Fix Knitalong. I can't believe that April is already over! If you missed the knitalong, you can find all of us over at the Quick-Fix Flickr group. Join in and post all of your quick projects! It's an awesome place for inspiration, too.

Speaking of knitalongs, you may have noticed my fancy new button for the Fitted Knits Along. Seeing as I'm making the Puff Sleeve Feminine Cardigan right now, it seemed like fun to join in with everyone else. I actually watched the knitalong for a little while before I decided to join, and seeing all of the fabulous completed projects over there is making me look through the book in a different light. I now plan to make a couple of sweater in there that I hadn't really considered.

Moving on to pictures! Like I said, I finished the baby sweater the other day and blocked it yesterday (hand wash, machine dry). I went to Jo-Ann Fabric for buttons, and was beginning to despair on ever finding cute, appropriately sized bunny buttons when I found these!


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Exactly the kind of buttons I was looking for! I love that these have an old-fashioned charm, much like the sweater. I planned to make matching booties, but as it happens, I used most of the Breeze on the sweater. I was surprised that I used so much, as I used less than two balls of this same yarn on a tank top for myself last summer.

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I will so definitely be making this sweet little thing again! I love the clever construction of this sweater. I love the lace pattern. I love the vintage look. The only thing I wish I had done differently is knit a selvedge on the sleeves. Other than that, perfect. The pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, which I recommend even as general reading.

Since I finished the baby sweater, I felt it was time to start the Puff Sleeve Cardigan with a clear conscience. Because I am such a good, welll-behaved knitter, I went ahead and swatched. And swatched. And swatched.

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As I suspected, my gauge with US6 needles was way off. I was getting fewer than five stitches per inch, and I needed 5.5 stitches per inch. In the middle there, I tried US5 needles, and did a larger swatch because I thought I would get gauge. Nope. Five stitches per inch. I grumbled and complained and found my US4 needles. I only did a few rows with those before realizing that I did not like knitting dk weight yarn on US4 needles, nor did I like the resulting fabric. The nail in the coffin was discovering that I was stuck on 5 stitches per inch. I had to make a choice. I could either use this yarn for something else and choose new yarn for the cardigan, or I could try something new and modify the pattern for my gauge. I chose option two.

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I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. What if my math is wrong? What if I read the pattern wrong and I'm basing all of my math on the wrong measurements? I'm consoled by the fact that it's a top down sweater, so I don't have to finish it before realizing I've made an error, and the fact that the yarn I'm using is heaven to knit. I'm using Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Granary. Wish me luck!

I haven't done much knitting today. Actually, I've yet to do any. I finally got the gumption to haul out my sewing machine and sew up a skirt I've had cut out for weeks.

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I got this far and directions said to let the skirt hang overnight. Who am I to argue? It's a perfect excuse to get back to that cardigan!

5 comments:

Kristen said...

Cutest. Buttons. EVER. I thought I had the cutest button with my hippo on the calorimetry, but you found cuter ones.

casey said...

Okay. That sweater is adorable and beautiful, but those BUTTONS totally push it over the edge. How sweet!

Amy said...

OMG those buttons. I love the whole thing.

Good job on that skirt! It looks so great, is the fabric tweedy? And I can't wait to see your version of the cardigan.

Pioggia said...

Hmm, I wonder what difference it makes when you hang a skirt overnight. If it were knitted, I could totally get it, but sewn? Good luck with your gauge math.

Melissa Van Oort said...

Those are the best buttons. I've seen a lot of these EZ baby sweaters around, and the more I see it the more I like it. You did such a nice job on yours, I really like the muted color.