March 2008

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I just got these beauties from Milkyrobot:

milkyrobotyarn-2.jpg

I figure you need to cut yarn like this, especially if you are buying it from someone else, as it would just be too expensive otherwise, though I do want one of these really badly.

milkyrobotyarn-1.jpg

I have special plans for one of them (the one is as yet unidentified).

I thought the pink one was more red from the photos, so now I am considering cutting it with grey instead of red (I have also greatly reduced my red yarn stash, but my grey is undiminished).

Glenda will be calling me within the next few weeks when my drop spindle comes in.

I have been fantasizing about fibre lately and then I was looking Etsy, which is a hobby dangerous to one’s pocket book. I recently gave in to two skeins from Milkyrobot. I also got a little excited at McNally Robinson and bought Intertwined by Lexi Boeger and Spinning the Old Way by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts.

It is only a matter of time.

I have spun before, but what I ended up with was pretty dull:

Handspun scarf

Yes, it is a grey garter stitch scarf. Please try to contain your excitement.

Handspun scarf - 2

I quit because it seemed boring. I didn’t know that spinning like this was possible: here, here, and here.

Just contemplate Fabulosity, Milkyrobot, and Pluckyfluff. It is only a matter of time, but I will refrain from buying a spinning wheel yet, as I don’t think I need an expensive dusty carpet ornament.  I will ease my way in with a spindle.

I have recently realized that I have become the resident knitting guru at my job. This role used to be filled by two other women, but I think having a few patterns published pushed me to the fore, and now anyone who has a problem with a project comes to ask me about it.

I am having so much fun with this, and the best part is that people have begun to bring me little offerings – yesterday someone brought me two little balls of yarn from her mother for when my knitting machine is fully operational. A couple of months ago someone else brought me two shopping bags of yarn from her stash for my Lyra’s coat, and before that someone brought me all her mother’s knitting needles.

This is just great. I feel like I should have a little shrine outside my office with knitting needles in sand instead of incense and balls of yarn as offerings. I just can’t tell you how much of a kick I get out of it when everyone asks me for help (and of course brings me stuff).

The irony is that I suspect that the other two women are actually better technical knitters than me. I just like messing around with yarn and making stuff up, but I won’t complain.

I have received a request from Nikki over at Knitensity for more pictures from different angles for Josephine so here are a few. Please excuse the weird blind shadows.

josephine-2.jpg

josephine-1.jpg

josephine-3.jpg

For some reason I don’t seem to have any pictures of the back, but there is a picture of the yoke shaping on the back in the pattern page. For the free pattern, please see Magknits here.

Pockets

Of course pockets in all knitting projects are optional and the original didn’t have any, but I have more or less dispensed with accurately recreating the sweater exactly (though this pattern could easily be done that way), I also love walking with my hands in my pockets, so mine will have some.

Work your sweater in garter stitch until you get to the part where pockets should be. I suggest trying it on (if you are anything at all like me this will be just the next in a succession in many tryings on) and figuring out where you want pockets.

At this point my sweater looks like this (click to see full size):

lyras-coat-at-pockets.jpg

I am also adding a few stitches for hip shaping here, which is also optional and will depend on the body shape of the person who will wear it. I have already added 2 stitches in one row and will add 2 more a little later, this will add about 2 inches. I chose to do this staggered, so it wouldn’t suddenly bulge – I spend quite a bit of mental energy in clothing selection trying to make my hips not look like they bulge.

The next step is to figure out how wide you want your pockets. I figure I want mine about 6 inches (18cm) wide. Change the width of the pocket to align with the size of the sweater you are making and/or your preferences: smaller sweater = smaller pocket and vice versa.

The next step is to go back and work how wide each front side was. Then I suggest taking the number of stitches on each front side, subtracting the number of stitches to make your pocket the size you want, and dividing the remaining number by 2 and placing your pocket that many stitches from the edge.

Now you know how wide your pocket will be and where to put it, on the next right side row (so the garter pattern will work better) work as many stitches as will be the edge of your pocket, take as many stitches as make your pocket and put them on waste yarn or a stitch holder, CO as many stitches as will make your pocket (I suggest backward loop cast in this situation), work until you are the number of stitches between your pocket and the edge plus the number of stitches for your pocket and repeat the process with the holder and the cast on. Work to end, turn and work as usual.

I plan to work the pockets at the end with one strand of whatever yarn I have left so it will not be too bulky. I will K1, yarn over, K1, yarn over . . . , so the difference in gauge will not be such a problem, and in the next row I will knit through back loop, so there will not be holes from the yarn overs. I will post about this too, but I am outlining it now in case you want to change order of knitting or get ahead of me.

My version

My two fronts are 19 sts each. My gauge is 7 sts /4 inches (10cm).

(6 inches (15cm) for each pocket) x (7 sts / 4 inches (10cm) gauge) = 10.5 sts (say 11 sts) for pocket

(19 sts / front) – (11 sts for pocket) = 8 sts / 2 = 4 sts from edge

Knitting of course is amenable to fudging and now I see that I don’t like the distance from the edge that my calculations came up with, so am am changing it to 6 sts from edge.

So I need to K6, put 11 sts on holder, CO11, K to 16 sts from end, put 11 sts on holder, CO11, work to end. In the next row I work in garter stitch as usual.

This is about what it should look like at this stage:

pockets.jpg

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