Tuesday, 30 November 2010

New Blanket

I am still knitting even if I'm not blogging.  There are always reasons or excuses not to.  On several days it was too dark for taking photographs.  Then I got an e-mail saying that I was near my monthly allowance of broadband usage.  Today I will take the chance anyway.

I have started a new proper project, but I will write about my new blanket, #137, that I started several weeks ago.  This is one of the white blue green beige ones, so that I can use up some of the pale bright green and blue yarns.  It does not have the same feel of wool as #136 had, although there is quite a lot of wool there.  There is some acrylic but not much, and the remainder is what?  Some cotton, and I can't think of anything else.  I have come to the conclusion that I should use more old fashion pure wool DK yarns, because it feels so much better, instead of unravelled bought sweaters.  They don't feel so nice, even if they are pure wool.  I just have to get through the 50 odd sweaters in my store.

Here are two photographs of the blanket, one with flash and one without.

This if the first of the two unravelled sweaters bought from charity shops.  This one was bought because I could not resist it; in fact I could not resist the second one either.  It is a 1980s style large sweater in a slip stitch rib pattern with deep raglan sleeves in an off white colour.  There is a label in one side saying Jil Sander.  Can it really be Jil Sander?  The label does not have the name in large black letters as usual, but the name is quite clear.  Perhaps it was a sample.  It also says 50% alpaca 50% cotone, so made in Italy?  The yarn is nice and soft, several strands not spun together, slightly thinner than DK.  This is one of the easiest sweaters to unravel that I have ever experienced.  The seams were crocheted together, so once I found the end it took a second to undo.  The stitching was the same, and each piece came apart in a single thread from top to bottom.  I have not in fact used it for this blanket because I have plenty of pale coloured yarns that I want to use up first.

The second sweater, a cardigan, is my next Kaffe Fassett Persian Poppies pattern.  At least I thought it was when I bought it, but if it is it is a simplified version of the pattern.  I prefer to believe that it is anyway.  The cardigan is awful.  It is a children's size knitted in bright acrylics.  I bought it because I thought it was Kaffe Fassett and I saw it as an illustration of how awful his patterns can look in the wrong hands.  The knitter has gone to a lot of trouble to put the colours together, as you can distinguish the flowers against the background.  It is knitted tightly with the thinner yarns doubled.

I thought that there were some wool yarns in there and I told myself that I can throw the acrylics away.  Now that it is unravelled I can say that there were a few wool, but very few, and it is becoming very difficult to dump the others.  I tell myself that a few acrylic strands won't be noticed in a full sized blanket.

My first Kaffe Fassett Persian Poppies sweater was very nice.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Rowan Tapestry sweater




Rowan Tapestry Marsh sweater

Yarn:  Rowan Tapestry, 70% wool 30% soya, Moorland shade, 380g
Needler: 3.75 mm
Tension: 24 st and 28 rows per 10 cm
Size: 8
Pattern: Marsh by Marie Wallin from the Rowan Tapestry Collection, with altered neckline
Knitted: 16 June to 3 October 2010

I bought nine balls of Rowan Tapestry in a charity shop several years ago, and last summer I finally got it out to knit it.  I wanted a simple pattern for a long-sleeved sweater, and I found one in the Rowan Tapestry Collection leaftlet that I bought in the Peter Jones sale.  The pattern is called Marsh by Marie Wallin.  The only change I made is the collar, because I wanted an open neck line.

The pattern was easy to follow although quite boring in places with just stocking stitch and nothing exciting.  My grudge with the pattern was the sizing.  It had double sizes, ie 8-10 together, and it would have meant ease of 12 cm for me.  I thought that excessive, so I used smaller needles to get a smaller size.  It worked and I'm very pleased with the size and the way it fits.  I shortened the body, the sleeves and the armholes, too, so I had to make the sleeves narrower and the sleeve head shorter.  It worked.

I was a bit suprised by how the hem turned out.  I did not appreciate what the instructions in the pattern meant, and it rolled up too much to my liking.  I cured it by placing a damp towel over the sweater when it was finished.  The sleeves rolled up much less, because they were much narrower.  I knitted the same rolled up edge for the neckline, and it looks and feels OK.

I really like the Tapestry yarn.  I like the colours and the random striping.  I tried to match the stripes when adding a new ball, but it did get tedious when there were knots in the yarn, and the new thread did not match the previous one.  Two balls out of the eight used had knots, and these were the balls with uneven yarn too, ie in some places it was thinner and in the others thicker.  The stripes on the back do not look good at all, but that is more to do with the yarn than with me.   Now when knitted the sweater feels soft and warm and lovely.