Swatch 5

Tumbling moss blocks

This swatch is tumbling moss blocks Merino Magic 8-ply, shade 235, 5mm needles, 30 stitches cast on.

Tumbling moss blocks
Tumbling moss blocks.

I didn’t even see the blocks really until I saw the photo. Nice.

The jumper, days 19 to 23

In which sleeves are knit

When we left our intrepid first-jumper-knitter on day 18, the stockinette section of the sleeves was about a third complete, i.e., according to the Master Spreadsheet they were 33.3% complete. As of five minutes ago, they are now ready for ribbing with lifelines is in place.

I used sewing thread for the lifelines because it was something I could easily get through the hole in the IC cable. It looks flimsy and I’m not sure how easy it’s going to be to knit around. I did it more for the chance to try the technique of drawing it through on the needle than because I think I need them.

Disaster is imminent.

The sleeves looked a little shortish where I intended to stop (52 stitches), so I did two more rounds of decreases (48 stitches), so the count would be divisible by four for 2:2 ribbing. Now they look a bit longish, but without any experience it is hard to predict if any/how much length will be taken up in the transition area. I think you want a tad bit of blousiness where the stockinette changes to ribbing.

Tomorrow.

At the shorter length, it looked as though each ball of yarn would just be finished. This left me again entertaining the idea of another colour for the ribbing. But the ball ran out in the second sleeve eighteen stitches from the end. I took this as an omen to continue with the same colour.

I’m trying something new, knitting one sleeve from the centre pull of the new ball and the other sleeve from the outer end. But I didn’t want to open/break/what-is-the-correct-term? two new balls and I want to be able to go back and forth between the two sleeves as needed to make sure they are the same.

This could end in tears.

There isn’t much else to say. No life-changing revelations, just round and round and round and round. Which is why I glommed the posts for these days together and didn’t bore you with SSDD.

Swatch 4

Garter stripe with ruching

This swatch is garter stripe with ruching in Merino Magic 8-ply, shade 509, 4.5mm then 5.5mm needles, 15 stitches cast on. For the ruching, you KFB each stitch and then K2T after the desired number of rows to return to the original width. With the smaller needles, the ruched bit was too stiff. It was better with the larger needles, but I’d also like to try slightly fewer increases.

Garter stripe with ruching
Garter stripe with ruching.

My original idea was to have the ruching on the front yoke and “plain” garter stripe on the back of the new jumper, but now that doesn’t seem a very good application for this stitch. I do think there’s a place for it somewhere though.

Swatch 3

Seersucker

This swatch is seersucker, in Merino Magic 8-ply, shade 217, 4.5mm needles, 29 stitches cast on. I had trouble getting a photo that showed the diamonds and the colour well.

Seersucker
Seersucker.

Apparently the word is originally from Persian “shīroshakar” and means “milk and sugar”. The derivative Hindi word “sīrsakar” is where the fabric name came from. I’m having a hard time reconciling that cloth with this knitting stitch though.

I found 19 patterns on Ravelry in a search for seersucker. Some were this stitch and some were a puckery, lengthwise oriented stitch that looks more like the fabric. In a greatly magnified kind of way.

I like this a lot. It looks great with ribbing in this hat, although I’m not sure how this would translate to the curves of a neckline. More swatching needed if I decide to use this stitch.

Swatch 2

Left diagonal rib

This one is called left diagonal rib in Merino Magic 8-ply, shade 581, 4.5mm needles, 30 stitches cast on. It has more potential than yesterday’s swatch, but still isn’t quite right.

Left diagonal rib
Left diagonal rib.

In between knitting swatches and working on the sleeves of the blue jumper, there is much housecleaning and gardening activity. The owners have now listed the house for rent, so I’m chipping away at the end-of-lease cleaning in case we have to show it. Today is cold and rainy so I’m working indoors; fun stuff like washing windows and baseboards and cabinets.

I have an idea for a colourwork swatch and I had a go at starting it, but clearly I don’t know what I’m doing so I have to do some research.

Swatch 1

Rhombus texture

In my spare time, i.e., when I’m overly bored of finishing the sleeves on the current jumper, I am going to work up swatches of the patterns I’m considering. I have lots of lovely colours to use, since I came to my senses and knit a solid colour. I expect the final list of swatches will be much different from this initial list.

Here is swatch #1, the rhombus texture in Merino Magic 8-ply, shade 218, 5mm needles, 30 stitches cast on.

Rhombus texture
Rhombus texture.

The motif is a lot larger than I expected from the picture with the instructions. I should have predicted this, because the repeat was twelve rows and I know about how big twelve rows is in this yarn. D’oh! I need to consider this when choosing other swatches to evaluate. Anyway, all in all, I don’t think this one does much for me for the new jumper.

The other thing I was evaluating here was the use of garter stitch instead of ribbing for the edges. Two ridges is probably not enough to prevent curling.

I am happy to say that I really liked the Zing IC needles when I used them for this swatch. When they first arrived, eagerly anticipated, they were a bit of a disappointment. Made worse because they took forever to get here from the UK (because the only thing Australian about LoveKnitting.com.au is the domain name and the customers who mistakenly think they are supporting a local business).

The jumper, day 18

In which the knitter works out

I worked out I could fix a split stitch a few rows back by dropping it down to the problem and laddering it back up. Captain Obvious, I know.

Also I worked out tensioning with magic loop, or whatever you call what I’m doing with the sleeves. (It isn’t magic loop like in the movies.) When you make the turn, you tend to want to pull tight to avoid the laddery gap. But pulling resizes the stitch to the cable. So you need to either pull up the stitch and leave a little ladder to compensate or pull up the ladder and leave the stitch loose (is this even possible?). The first few inches I kept having areas where the stitches were so tight it was hard to get them back on the needle when they came around again. But now I have it sorted.

Elaine usually wears the jumper at night. We turn off the heater in the lounge room and she gets cold, poor dear.

The sleeves are 33% done
The sleeves are 33% done.

I made a spreadsheet to keep track of progress on the sleeves, as you do. Also used as a motivational tool. Because boring.

The sleeve working system
The sleeve working system.

I worked out (again?) that it was somewhat easier to work on the sleeves while Elaine is wearing the jumper. The yarn doesn’t get so tangled and I remember to twist the sleeve back and forth rather than round and round.

Don’t laugh, but in the photo I edited out the larger dust bunnies on the carpet. I know, who does that?

The jumper, day 17

In which a new project is contemplated

The sleeves go on and on. They are slow and fiddly. My gauge has changed and I just found a mistake (accidental increase) further back than I’m willing to rip out. I learned from earlier experience that dropping the stitch back to fix this issue will be too noticeable. No one will notice this but me.

Well, I know you would, but I think I would have to give you a hint where to look unless you had plenty of time with nothing better to do.

So, today I found myself planning the next jumper. I haven’t learned all the lessons from this one yet, of course, but I want to try a different style.

Here are the considerations:

  • I’m not afraid of sewing a jumper together
  • I hate working small circumferences in the round
  • Stockinette in the round is ace because, otherwise, purls

This led to consideration of a dropped sleeve jumper, because:

  • I could knit the body in the round, no purls
  • I could do something a bit fancy on the yoke to jazz it up
  • The small circumferences would be knit flat, because purls win over circular here

Here’s a calculator for the drop sleeve sweater. I used the raglan sweater calculator on the current project.

I have some concerns about gauge with this plan, but then my gauge changed on the sleeves this time anyway. With three distinct bits, the differences should be less noticeable.

I think it’s a plan.

The jumper, day 16

In which the knitter is disgusted

The giant holes in the underarms are disgusting, even though I knew they were coming and kind of know how to fix them. Surely that area will always be weak.

Knitter, model, juggler
Knitter, model, juggler.

Knitting sleeves in the round is disgusting.

The jumper is disgusting.

Later…

I found a dropped stitch and fixed it, easy peasy. That was not disgusting.

VeryPink Knits to the rescue under the arms, using duplicate stitches to fix the holes. My holes were a bit more pronounced, shall we say, than the ones depicted in the video, but the technique still worked. The underarms are less disgusting.

Knitting sleeves in the round is still disgusting.

The jumper isn’t that disgusting.

The jumper, day 15

In which stitches are picked up

Another ball gone. I joined in #6.

There was another trying on and I think I am done with the body except for the ribbing. I was a bit surprised because it doesn’t look very long at the underarms.

A quick bit of practice picking up stitches. The first time I did this on the test collar, I worked from the private side and it left little yellow dots. This confirms that you work from the public side. The crochet hook is easy and it connects to the IC cords, but it does tend to untwist the yarn a bit, as you can see here.

Picking up stitches
Picking up stitches.

Whilst trying on, I got new measurements and recalculated. The sleeve length is shorter because of raglans. I knew this would be the case but not how much.

  • sleeve = 88 stitches (78 on cord + 10 cast on) ~ 18 inches
  • at cuff ~ 10 inches = 50 stitches
  • 88 – 50 = 38 stitches to lose = 19 decreases
  • sleeve length ~ 12 inches * 6 rows/inch = 72 rows / 19 decreases = 3.8 rows/decrease

I started each sleeve separately, so I have three balls of yarn on the go. The plan is to work back and forth between the sleeves so they match.