Scenes From the Yarn Chest

The confessions of an addicted knitter.

(I do commissioned work. If you're interested, just ask)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


So, I think it's nearly been five months since I've posted anything. Of course, like most knitters, I took a break over the summer, but now I'm back into the swing of things and approaching the holiday crunch! I can't post my holiday presents on here (at least not until they've been given to their recipients) but since September, I've been working on a number of projects, so here's an update!

1. The dreaded armwarmers
Last winter, my fiance asked me to knit him a pair of armwarmers after another girl offered to make him a pair. He requested one warmer be solid black and the other green, white and orange (the colors of the Irish flag). So, between projects, I worked on whipping these up. The first attempt, a derivative of a pattern from the book Alterknits was a disaster. They were incredibly loose on him, as I hadn't taken the time to measure his arm properly. Brilliant. The second attempt was from
this pattern from Slumberland. It's an attractive design, but too girly for him. That got frogged. Eventually, we asked the girl who had offered to make him the armwarmers in the first place what her pattern was. So easy! It required me to CO 50 and knit a 5x5 rib all the way up. I tried this and yet again, they were weird (we found out too late she had used a #7, not a #8) because I had to decrease them a few inches from the bottom so they would be snug on his wrist, and when I stitched the seam, the warmer looked really funky. I fixed this problem when I knit its mate by reducing the number of rows. I stayed with the 5x5 rib, but reduced the number of stitches to 40. This solved the problem! Finally!

I probably should have taken pics along the way...but here's the warmers that work!

2. Andre the Giant scarf has some of the best free patterns available, so it's my goto source when I'm looking for new, fun ideas. After finishing my sweater, I wanted something else challenging to attempt, so I sent the fiance a number of links to patterns that I wanted to try. He picked this pattern and I bought the yarn and was off and running. Let me tell ya, learning intarsia (which I insisted for at least two weeks was pronounced inartasia - much prettier, really) from a book instead of a person, is much harder. The bottom half of Andre's face is all kinds of bumpy, the result of me not having a clue what I was doing. By the middle of the piece, though, I had gotten the right idea, so at least I know what I'm doing for future projects. I'll be learning the trick of Fair Isle when I get to the other end of the scarf, but for now I'm pleased that I've figured out intarsia. Yay!

There's a long way to go, but here's the front...

...eep! And the back. oh, how I hate finishing...sigh.

3. My first sweater (for me)
Last winter, I made a cabled blanket for my parents (see here). Since the yarn was so chunky, it was a good way for me to learn how to cable without fear that my errors would be discovered. But, after spying a pretty pattern for an angora sweater (angora!) in Knit.1, I just had to try cabling again. My goal was I would make it for my birthday, which gave me about 2 and 1/2 weeks. I bought the yarn ($40 - not bad for a wool/angora sweater) and began. Everything was going peachy until I realized I was able to poke my finger through the large cable running down the center of my sweater! I rushed to my reliable knitting store and asked them, what am I doing wrong?? Apparently, I was reading the chart backwards. Der. Cable charts are meant to be read right to left then left to right and so and so forth. Oh. They should tell us this in BIG BOLD letters. But, no. Oh well. I tore everything out and began again. I nearly got it done in time, but decided against finishing it as I was having Chinese for my birthday dinner, and the last thing I wanted was to spill soy sauce all over my new white sweater. Of course, now that I've missed my deadline, it's been hanging in the background, all stitched together except for the collar, which I still need to finish.

It's still missing the neck ribbing, but here it is.

A detailed look at the center cable


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