I haven't been blogging much the last few weeks, but I have been busy. Lots of dyeing for the Light & Dark Lace Club, pattern revision and such, working out some ideas for Roxanne's shipment way off in April, etc, etc.
I decided that I needed to somehow get my sweater mojo back, so I started playing with ideas by making outfits for the American Girl Doll. These are not the nicest knits, far from it, but they have become a great place to noodle around with ideas. So here's a mini-dress/tunic/skating dress that I did the other day. When you look at it, you'll see immediately a major design flaw. I wanted to decrease the skirt between lace patterns, so I did a bit of k1,p1 ribbing and then decreased within it. Bad move. I should have done either reverse stockinette or garter and decreased within it. So now I know. And the dopey thing is that I knew it was wrong as I was doing it, but I just wanted to keep going and see what happens and after blocking whether it would improve. Nope. Ah well, Miss P won't care, and I do love the shaping of the little tunic. I particularly like the garter border on the skirt and the waviness of the edge. Cute. I also like the square neck. It goes over the doll's head very easily. I used Knit Picks Palette which knits and blocks so nicely, and it softens up considerable after washing. I will do another one, only top down, and longer.
The tunic is totally without seams. The shoulders use a 3 needle bind-off and the sleeves are picked up and knit downwards. I used garter stitch to set off various design components. I do this a lot because I really like it. I used on ball, and have plenty left over. How can you go wrong with a tunic that costs $1.99?
So now I've started a sweater for me. Gasp! Shock! Amazement! This is also out of Palette. It will not be very warm because it's loosely knitted and Palette is a 2-ply fingering wt. yarn, but it's so easy on my hands and it just zooms along. I can actually knit this much faster than a heavier wt yarn. Lots of lace and I may change the lace pattern as i go up the sweater. I'm going to do a square neckline and pick up the sleeves and work downward as usual. Because the body of the sweater goes up, and the sleeves go down, I may use a different sleeve pattern. I'm very used to this, and I like it. By the time I get to the sleeves, I'll be so bored with the pattern that I will be happy to do something else. Or maybe whatever I do further up the sweater body, I'll also do on the sleeves. If it doesn't look dopey.
A bit of note on the yarn: This is how yarn used to feel before merino got into our hands: woolly and not as soft as merino. I love this kind of yarn; it's what I've knit with all my life. It washes well, wears like iron, doesn't itch me, although I do wear a turtleneck or a blouse underneath sweaters. Not to say anything at all against merino. I love merino, but it's nice to work on something else for a change. This yarn is not Shetland, which is probably my all-time favorite yarn, but it's very pleasant, unbelievably cheap, and good quality and yardage. Now I want to dig through my stock of Shetland and see if I have enough of any one color for a sweater. Wool! The best fiber out there.