Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Progress Report: Royal Blue Sweater, Emerald Sweater, More Yarn!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I'm doing well on the weekly updates so far. It's keeping me making progress. I've noticed that I get more done when I'm doing progress reports. SO, first things first.

1) The Royal Blue sweater has not had any work done on it since last week. If you recall, it was on hiatus until I got a second yarn for side panel inserts. I got that yarn Friday.

That is, indeed, another Patons Classic Wool from Michaels.

Patons Classic Wool - 00226 Black - 1206 300990

This week's task will be a simple rectangular insert to go up the side seam and down the inside sleeve. I think it will be a fun detail since I have to add the width to the body and sleeves anyway. It will be unique and a little bit trendy with the mix of royal blue and black.

2) While I was waiting for Friday to get the black yarn, I started the Emerald sweater. I decided to take an ENORMOUS leap and use a pattern. I hear the collective *gasp* in the crowd. Allow me to explain.

I have resisted patterns because they always seem to need sizing modifications. My proportions are mightily abnormal. My waist is tiny, my hips and booty are big, my wrists are very narrow, shoulders very broad and my arms are much much longer than I am tall.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no point knitting a garment that won't fit, nor do I see much merit in making the mathematical modifications to every single measurement of a pattern. Isn't a pattern written so that I don't have to do the work? If I'm going to invest the time, I want what I want. (I'm kind of a brat that way).

That said, I'm still working out the kinks in my design process, as you've seen with the blue sweater. I have been using a template that I created for a very light gauge sweater, which I realize now is not well suited for the heavier gauge sweaters I have been trying to make. Really what I need is a dress form, but that's a project for another time.

All of that is to say that I used Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

iPad Screenshot 1

Actually, I'm using the app through Interweave, which is $9.99 in the app store, even less than the Kindle download. Yea, I know. I thought that too. She also has The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns as an app for $9.99 as well. I will probably be purchasing that one as well. Just to be clear, these apps ARE the books.

The Knitter's Handy Patterns app for iPad has patterns for mittens, gloves, hats, tams, scarves, socks, vests and sweaters in children's and adult sizes. The sweaters alone have five gauges for each of ten bust measurements. She uses an set-in sleeve shape, which is generally a good enough start and easily modifiable if you want raglan or drop sleeve shaping.

I knit all four pieces up and "buried" the ends in about 8 hours on a single day last week.

That night, all four pieces were soaked and blocked and two days later, I started seaming.

I've sewn the front and back together and set in one sleeve. I decided to sew them in by hand again because I couldn't get the seams to match up quite right on the machine. I prefer the look of the hand-sewn seam. It's much tidier than a machine seam, but takes far too long for production purposes. I'll finish the long seams up the side body and down the sleeves on the machine.

As for fit, it seems perfectly serviceable except I ended up with a 3/4 sleeve, which is not at all what I was going for.

I have to admit, I will probably be using Ann Budd's book as my production pattern source in the future for items that go into my shop. I can do a wide range of sizes with what is already offered. It took so much less time to finish the knitting because I wasn't second-guessing my calculations through the entire process and reducing production time means lower end cost, which is great.

3) When I was at Michaels getting the black yarn for the Royal Blue sweater, I found a gorgeous color (of Patons, of course) called Deep Olive, which perfectly describes the color.

It's a green-based brown that's a little darker richer than your standard Spanish Queen olive green.

Patons Classic Wool - 00205 Deep Olive - 1009 943539

This will become a sweater after the Royal Blue, Emerald, and Lemongrass sweaters are completed.

4) My mom's birthday is Thursday, so I have the beginnings of a little angora-blend lace cowl idea in mind with yarn from the stash. More on that next week.

5) I stopped by Downtown Knits in Apex today for the first time in a long time and they had some Berroco Lustra on sale. It is GARgeous and I want it. It's SO soft with a beautiful sheen from the Tencel. There were three skeins of Marseille, two of Bouquet Garni and one of Menthe, if memory serves. I want them all. I really have to get my booty out to the yarn store more often.

6) Oh! I almost forgot some things! I went to knit night on Thursday at Panera Bread at Alexander Promenade for the second time. Lots and lots of fun and I'll be going again next week. While I was there, I started a Houndstooth sock out of some Knit Picks Palette stash yarn. I've also been spinning on my Three Waters Farm fiber and have almost finished spinning the peachy color singles. Wow, I've been busy this week and I still haven't put any of this on Ravelry. I'm going to have to do more updates.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @GenniSimon and Facebook - Genni Simon.

What have you been making this week?

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