Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse



Friday, January 17, 2014

Knitting Projects...

It occurs to me that one  of my New Year's resolutions last year (or was it the year before?) was to keep a record of my needlework and other craft project progress. Since I can't even find the notebook I was using for that purpose, it's plain to see I didn't fare too well in keeping up that commitment, but never mind. I'll try again!

This week I didn't have any finished projects to record, but I did note that I've been productive in other matters.

First of all, I'm thrilled to report that I was able to figure out what row my cardigan mystery-knitter left off on, and with a lot of trial and error, I was able to make sense of what were some of the goofiest printed instructions ever. If you don't know which project I'm talking about, you can read about it here:

http://sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2014/01/stash-wars-my-vintage-yarn-obsession.html 

And I'll refresh your memory with a photo:
The odd thing was that the cable and eyelet part of the pattern were actually rather simple, but the little border along each side was written up in such a clunky, unclear manner that my first attempts kept landing me with either too many stitches on my needles or too few. I was very tempted to just throw the whole thing back into a box and give up on it, but I got stubborn and spent an entire afternoon casting on, trying to make sense of the pattern, and ripping out my efforts over and over. I don't know if it was a truly awful pattern write-up, or if I just was extraordinarily dense about what was wanted, but when I did catch on, it was so simple I couldn't believe it. 
 
I did valiant battle with the narrow side borders of the lily pattern and finally prevailed.



 One problem was that the pattern was printed in tiny font in a skinny, skinny column and it was a visual gymnastics event for my myopic eyes to cope with. Eventually I got the idea of recopying the lily section out by itself, each row in a straight line, and then the logic of the pattern really popped out at me:

Here's the pattern page torn from the magazine, and here's my copy. So much easier to follow!
(Actually the lily section is worked on 18 stitches, not 26, if you want to try it, and I didn't put down row 1 since it wasn't part of the repeat.)

The original knitter must have been planning to make a twin set because she had lots more yarn than just a cardigan would have required. I've decided not to make the shell (in the above photo) but instead will alter the pattern so it just buttons straight up and down instead of being a V-necked cardigan. 

Anyway, I'm clipping along on the pieces now and thoroughly enjoying it. It's been so long since I've knit anything with worsted weight yarn and larger needles I'd forgotten how fun it was.

When I want a break from this project, though, I have another waiting in the wings. Last year I bought a wonderful vintage pattern and have been waiting to find sufficient quantities of affordable "double knitting" yarn in a color I like. I wasn't sure what double knitting yarn was, but it turns out it's lighter than regular worsted weight, but a bit heavier than sport weight. Sometimes it's called "light worsted". 

I was excited to find an Etsy shop located in Ireland that had 10 skeins of beautiful blue double knitting yarn at a price that made it very economical, even with the addition of international shipping costs. The yarn arrived this week, and I've started making swatches to test for proper gauge:


 
This is a super easy, super fun mock cable rib stitch (I'm not sure of its real name) you can make on any multiple of 4 stitches plus 2. My swatches here are 34 stitches.

Here's how it's made if you want to try it:

Row 1: K
Row 2: K2, (p2, k2) to end.
Row 3: P2, (k2 tog. leaving both sts. on left-hand needle, then k 1st stitch again--this time transferring to right hand needle as usual, p2) to end.
Row 4: P

That's it! Just four rows. This would make a great scarf, don't you think?

 Here's the sweater I'll be making with this lovely blue:



If I can figure out how to load a PDF file, I'll make this pattern available to anyone who wants it. 

The Etsy shop from which I bought the yarn is FazeSewingSupplies and she has some gorgeous 100% wool double knitting yarn for sale right now in sufficient quantity to make this sweater. You'd better hurry up, though, because I feel an attack of yarn lust coming on!
Patons Real Wool Double Knit, 8 Ply Knitting Yarn
www.etsy.com/listing/172601710/patons-real-wool-double-knit-8-ply

She has bright, beautiful synthetic double knitting yarn as well. Do check out her shop!

Okay, that's it for now. Over the weekend I'm going to try and get another post up--this one will be about vintage aprons. I just found a doozy and may as well show you my others at the same time!



 
 

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