Thursday, March 13, 2014

Designing and knitting a fisherman's sweater - post 3

Here's my progress on Emily's fisherman's sweater.  This is about 5.5 inches so far.  You can clearly see the 2 patterns and you can see how the 2 purl stitches separate the patterns.  One of the side benefits of those purl stitches is that it acts a bit like ribbing, pulling the sweater in.  In the past, I made my sweaters much wider, but now like them far more fitted.  Not body hugging, but more shapely.  This is, for me, a great way to shape a sweater without decreases.  The sweater somewhat molds itself to my (and my daughters') body shape, expanding at the hips, coming in at the waist, and then expanding toward the bust.  It's a great way to cheat on shaping.  When blocked, those ribs will open up, so that it will become a subtle shaping.

Another nice reason for the purl stitches is that I don't have to set off my patterns with a stitch marker; the purls do that for me.

Not the greatest picture in the world, but here you get a good closeup of the patterns.  The safety pin is my way of measuring how much knitting I've done each day.  I love to have goals, so this does it.  Most of my stitch markers are also safety pins, the plain ordinary ones, not the ones supposedly better for knitting.  I've done that.  Eh.  I also use pretty markers, although for some reason, I tend to lose them.  If you need to use a lot of stitch markers in a garment, safety pins are the cheap resource.  Pretty markers are pretty, but pricey.  On the other hand, they can be so pretty.  I've tried yarn markers.  Nope, they don't work for me.  They keep getting caught up in the knitting.

Take a look at how messy my knitting is.  Nothing at all looks nice and even.  I'm a fast knitter, and knit Continental style and am not particularly smooth.  But I have a secret:  I knit in wool.  When you wet block your sweater, all of that mess smooths out and you have a lovely garment.  Wool has this amazing property of memory and is just about the best material there is to knit.  It helps that I live in an area which has cool and cold weather.  I'm not sure what I would knit with if I lived in Florida.

So now I'll just keep knitting up the sweater until about 1 1/2 inches from the armhole.  I'm aiming for 15" on the body, so at 13.5", more or less, I'll stop these patterns.  That should take me about 3 days worth of knitting.  I'm a fast knitter and love to zoom along.  You may knit English/American style (throwing rather than picking), and that is usually slower than Continental.  I knit my way because my mom and aunt taught me, and they were both from Europe.  I can knit English, and do it in stranded knitting with holding one yarn in one hand and the other yarn in the other hand.  Another time, I'll do a post or two on this.

Rachel's gansey is finished but not blocked.  As usual, my sweater at this stage looks awful.

Is this bad or what?  Have no fear, it will come out just lovely.  It is very long, but she wanted a longer sweater.  Those skinny sleeves and that drawn-in bodice will block out beautifully.  I was going to blog about how I wet block, but I'll save it for when the green sweater is done.  I will take pics so you can see that this mess of a garment will look so nice when dried.

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