Monday, March 16, 2009

four blobs

As schoolwork and other obligations piled up over the last few weeks, all I've been able to think about has been knitting. But spring break is here, baby, and I can finally do all that knitting I've been jonesing for!

Today, officially the first day of break, a package arrived from Webs with two lovely blobs in it: Dream in Color Classy in Dusky Aurora and Chinatown Apple. The Dusky Aurora is destined to be an Adult Surprise Jacket for my mom, with some modifications to make it look a little more like a boxy Chanel jacket than a lab coat. The Chinatown Apple, I don't know. Something for myself, I believe. I'd say a February Lady Sweater, but in fact I already have one of those blobs on the needles:

The periwinkle bed jacket for grandma was so successful that I've started my own in Jo Sharp Classic DK -- the gauge is different from the original though (5.5 stitches per inch), which means that I am using the medium measurements to knit an XXS. That's on hold for a bit, though, for two reasons: the first is that I accidentally pulled out the needle from about 30 stitches and am going to have to steel myself before I look at the damage to the lace pattern; the second is that I have to concentrate on the lace, so I am saving it for mindless TV knitting. (I mean, knitting in front of mindless TV, not mindless knitting in front of the TV.)

But spring break also means fun reading, and the book I checked out of the library -- Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex -- is so interesting that I want to read it all the time. So I've cast on a Shalom Cardigan, which has a yoke that needs concentration, but a totally mindless body. Once the yoke is done, I'll have nothing but stockinette in front of me, and I can read and knit to my heart's content. That will be in exactly 3 rows. The fourth blob:

Of course, this is also not the same gauge as the original (5 stitches per inch instead of 3.25), being knit in Karabella Aurora 8, so I've had to make some modifications. In case you're interested, they are to cast on 101 stitches, have 7 stitches in garter for the button band, and to do the increases as written. At the end of the third increase row, it works out to 253 stitches. Doing the math on Ishi's modifications (Ravelry link), I need to add 7 more stitches somewhere in the last garter ridge for a total of 260 stitches, and I'll be able to do the following:

Right front 43 stitches, sleeve 51 stitches, back 72 stitches, sleeve 51 stitches, left front 43 stitches. I'm going to put all but the back stitches on holders and work 8 rows of stockinette along the back to hike up the collar a bit, then I'll cast on 15 stitches for the underarms and work the body (total of 188 body stitches), then for the arms, pick up 15 stitches along the cast-on edge and 6 more along the side edge of those 8 rows, for a total of 72 arm stitches. Here's hoping it works out! Of course, Aurora 8 has a reputation for stretching, so I am hoping that my worries about this sweater's being too small will be resolved in blocking. I am, this time, using a blocked swatch, having been burned with growing, multi-ply superwash yarn in the past.

By the way, I am pleased as punch with both the Jo Sharp Classic DK and the Karabella Aurora 8. I've knit with the Karabella before, but not the Jo Sharp. Both are hardy, well-made yarns, but totally different from one another. The Aurora 8 is heavy, bouncy, super springy, and absolutely not itchy at all. That's why I'm hoping it will knit up into a nice, close-fitting, stretchy sweater that I can wear even in the summer. It would have been a terrible choice, however, for the February Lady Sweater, whose lace pattern would have gotten all stretched out of shape with that much weight pulling it down. The Jo Sharp yarn is much lighter and more rustic, and wooly enough that I don't think this will work up into a seasonless sweater. However, I have high hopes for its being a perfect, mulitpurpose, super-warm and hard-wearing winter sweater, and I know its lighter weight won't pull the lace out of proportion.

Hooray for spring knitting! Even if it does result in sweaters I can't wear for months!

1 comment:

Julia said...

Hi Jen- New reader here. I just started Shalom, too, using Encore Chunky. I have gauge, but I am modifying to increase the bust measurements. Mind if I ask what size you are making? I'm a bit nervous I'll have a too small sweater. Thanks! Enjoying your blog...