Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Knitting for all occasions and circumstances

There comes a stage in knitting a sweater, shawl or afghan when it is simply too bulky for carrying in one's handbag, to take up in snatched moments on the train, waiting in the dentist or even between meetings.  That is when you must begin something else.  Others may criticise you for always having too many projects on the go but we knitters know, just as there is no such thing as a stash too large, there is no such thing as too much work in progress.  And so it was last Thursday that I realised that the two Christmas projects...

The Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater

and the mohair shawl

had simply got too big for knitting on public transport without the danger of overwhelming the person sitting next to me.

On the shawl's last outing I did get into an interesting conversation with a lovely lady next to me who asked why I brought the yarn forward every so often.  There followed a short explanation on lace knitting being based on an infinite variety of k2tog yfwd combinations...

before we got onto more mutually interesting things.  We were so deep in conversation that I had to hurriedly bundle my work into its bag with one row only half completed as the train drew into my stop.

So the possible inconvenience to my fellow passengers (of being nudged by needles and irritated by fluff) is the excuse for starting yet another project.  At least it is in the (slow moving) Christmas queue.  A tiny shrug from Debbie Bliss' Knits to Give for the Little Model

I'm using almost the same shade of Angel as illustrated in the book

And beginning with the sleeves, knitted magic loop fashion

I am still working hard on the other projects in the evenings and weekends.  I estimate that if I get these three done by mid November I shall just have time for the other projects I have in mind.

The Elizabeth Zimmerman Project - part 5

I mentioned in part 2 how I needed to add 10 stitches to the sleeves to make them roomy enough for wearing a thick shirt underneath.  This meant that at the point at which you decrease each end of the sleeve section until 16 stitches remain for the saddle I had to make a decision.  Do I continue for another 5 rounds to get to the correct number of stitches for the saddle, or do I keep more than 16 stitches for the saddle?

I decided to compromise, and decrease down to 18 stitches.  It worked out fine.  And the sweater is finished!  It looked a bit rough before blocking.

But now, all done and modelled by JTH, it is fine and ready to wrap and put under the tree when the time comes.

Lessons learned

  1. obey the rules on gauge/tension
  2. knit loosely
  3. keep knitting following EZ's chat and it will work out well in the end
  4. sleeves knitted exactly as per the instructions are a little narrow, reduce the number stitches cast on for the rib (by 10%) and increase across the last ribbing row to get a more modern look 
How are everyone else's Christmas presents coming along?




Vandy said...

So you've worked out the magic loop? How brilliant! I haven't got to that yet, but its on my list.

And the EZ sweater looks great.

I'm still working on the second GF jumper but making good progress. Then it will be back to the lace shawl.I had to buy a new reading light to do that as I found I really can't knit dark colours at night without exceptionally good light these days.

del said...

I only have 1 Christmas gift planned but it's early, who knows -- I may add more. And I totally understand starting new projects; I am very bad that way :-)

Tracy said...

Christmas? What christmas? I am still in birthday mode and denying that anything more is required of me.

I smiled at your story about chatting and knitting as you commute. It confirms everything I believe about why we should craft, as do your knitting projects. I shall be watching your shrug closely as I've always been curious about that pattern.

Kristyn Knits said...

sorry to say, I've gotten a bit behind in my ADVENTure projects. working to finish my shawl, so I can move on to more projects!! loving all your progress.

WildflowerWool said...

Love the sweater and the shawl. My Chirstmas knitting is coming along slowly. I need to pick up the pace a bit!