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.

The jumper, day 14

In which there are mathematical computations

The trying on was excellent. I think it will fit. As in, fit me.

Later I decided it might be time to start the sleeves. I don’t think I will do two at a time using magic loop. I already have them on IC cords, so I can just swap the needles back and forth. Ten rows on one, ten rows on the other. The whole reason for this is being afraid they won’t come out the same if I don’t do them at the same time.

I don’t have real measurements yet, but I can estimate for some sweater math.

  • 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 ~ 14 inches * 6 rows/inch = 84 rows / 19 decreases = 4.5 rows/decrease

This means a decrease of two stitches every four rows—right in line with the designer’s calculations.

I’ll confirm with real measurements before I get started with the sleeves.

The jumper, days 12 and 13

In which progress is measured in centimetres

I ended up with much more work on than I anticipated, but there was a fair bit of knitting too. I also wove in the ends from the first three balls, but I’m not far enough past the join for the fourth set of ends.

I noticed one or two spots on the back in the raglans that are weird, like an extra ladder, but I don’t really see them on the front. I’m not sure exactly what happened. An experienced knitter would know what they are and see them on the front. Someday I’ll be that person but right now I just want to finish the jumper.

I’m due for another try on.

Old and new toys

Joy and Roberta have gone to visit Jane

Last month we returned to Victoria to “try on” some country towns. We also took back some stuff we don’t need before the move. We came to Hobart in one carload, but it was pretty cramped and we have accumulated a few things. So we figured we may as well take advantage of the fact we were driving right by the storage facility.

So Joy and Roberta, the spinners, joined Jane, the loom, in storage.

I’ve had Joy for three years or so. I’ve long thought we would break up and I would get a sexier wheel but I never worked out who that would be. I actually like her more as time passes, so I suspect I’ll end up keeping her. She’s a little workhorse.

Recently I got Roberta and she’s definitely a keeper. Lots of people don’t like how hard she pulls, as bobbin-led wheels do, but I just don’t let her win that contest. She’s super, super fast and that’s mostly what I want for spinning. I don’t dislike spinning, but mostly I want the yarn now so I can get on with the weaving and knitting.

I’m a lot more interested in spinning now that I learned how to knit for real. I don’t need/want any more scarves and I mostly weave with cotton and linen anyway. I’d like to spin cotton to see what it is like but I don’t see it becoming a thing. I crochet with acrylic for the outrageous colours. But knitting, now that’s for homespun wool!

New, very-very-very-small, toys arrived today for spinning and knitting. Who buys things right before moving? They are pictured here with some hand-dyed, hand-spun, hand-knit clown barf.

The clown barf is all wonky from me trying at times to fatten up and/or spin thick and thin and generally give Roberta a good workout to see what she could do. I knit it on the trip, to have something to knit—I wasn’t going to start the jumper without full time Internet support—and to see how the singles off Roberta worked up. It isn’t anything, at least not in this incarnation. I can frog it if I decide I need a thing in these colours.

Here’s a hand-dyed, hand-spun, hand-woven scarf that is not quite so clown barfy.

Not clown barf
Not clown barf. 

These colours (better IRL) are much more to my taste and I’m looking forward to learning to get them with natural dyes.

The jumper, day 11

In which progress is largely unseen

I knit almost a full ball of yarn with no appreciable progress. The rounds go much more quickly with fewer stitches and no increases. But it sure doesn’t seem like anything much is happening.

Visible (to me) progress on the blog though. I successfully made a child theme, which enables me to update the parent theme at any time without losing my customisations. I think I am done with all the tweaking now. I only have one more idea, she says, laughing hysterically. There’s always one more idea…

Elaine wears it better
Elaine wears it better.

I had my first trying on since the separation. I think the shoulders and body fit well. I’m not planning to do any shaping on the body, but I may have to shape the heck out of the sleeves. Maybe I should have stopped the increases for them a few rounds sooner? I didn’t take into account the extra stitches under the arm when I calculated the circumference. You can’t really tell in the picture, but they look big.

I have some data analysis work on for tomorrow, but I’m sure there will be knitting too.


The jumper, day 10

In which there is great excitement

After a bit of super fast tinking back to a missed increase, all the increases were done and it was time to separate the body from the sleeves. Very, very excitement!

Elaine is that excited
Elaine is that excited.

Unlike yesterday, the tinked stitches were all mounted in the same direction, albeit backwards.

Even though it looks enormous, in the final trying on before the separation I was concerned the armhole would be too tight. But when I separated and cast on the extra stitches under the arms, I realised those stitches would also be added in to the sleeves and all would be well. At least I hope that’s what will happen.

I did a sanity check after the first couple of rows of the body, counting everything, and all was well: 110|78|110|78. For once. This was excitement in and of itself.

And in further excitement, there was a new ball of wool joined in. The party was in full swing.

Finishing the body should go pretty fast, since the rounds have much fewer stitches and the underarm already appears to be about waist level. I hope I can get it finished before it gets too hot. It’s already getting heavy and noticeably warm in my lap while I’m working.

I’m checking into ways to knit both sleeves at once. So far I have only found one post but my research in ongoing. My failed attempt at socks last year a year ago two years ago (OMG) was two at a time, and that wasn’t what derailed me. My problems with the socks included teeny needles (3 mm, LOL) that smelled bad (sorry, Addi, but they do) and my finally-conquered-inexplicably-increasing-stitch-count. I can’t remember to KFB when I’m supposed to, but back then I could KAFB about every row. Thanks to Lucy Neatby, I now know what a knit stitch is and just where to stab it.

If I can get this jumper on my body I will wear it every single day. Next winter.

The jumper, day 9

In which several things almost happen

We packed lunch and the knitting and drove to Orford to visit the Three Thumbs State Reserve. Along the way I began to feel slightly unwell and put the knitting aside. We went to nearby Spring Beach to have lunch before heading to the lookout at Three Thumbs. Spring Beach is a very small, very beautiful beach that looks out to Maria Island. From the signage across the street, it is soon to be ruined by development.

Also across the street, a very accommodating echidna posed for photographers for the entire time we were there. (I’ve linked to Google images because we didn’t join the queue.)

At first I thought lunch revived me, but after a brief walk on the beach I changed my mind and we drove back home instead. It was as anticlimactic as it sounds, actually.

I got back to the knitting later in the day. The highlight was a long section of tinking, which I got much better at. I learned it was easier to turn the work over and do it from the back side so I could work with my right hand.

I knew I was tinking two different ways which was mounting some of my stitches incorrectly, but I didn’t bother figuring out which was correct. I learned in Knit Faster with Combination Knitting how to knit into the back of incorrectly mounted stitches. (Though I feel compelled to comment that the cookie analogy therein did not work for me.) Combination knitting is a variation on continental knitting with much easier, but backwards mounted, purl stitches. Sadly my wrists did not like combination knitting at all.

In addition to almost visiting Three Thumbs and almost being sick in the car, I almost joined in a fourth ball of yarn and almost knit to the part where you separate out the sleeves.

No gratuitous image today. Gratuitous images. Camera practice at Kingston Beach, July 2018. Because dogs.

The jumper, days 7 and 8

In which the knitter misses the target

I knitted right past the target for stopping the raglan increases. I know I have a thing with counting—you would never believe I was really good at math in school—but this wasn’t that. This was just being too lazy to look it up to see when it was coming.

Anyway, it didn’t turn out to be a drama. Elaine, a hanger with a top that fits well, and I all tried on the yoke. I did some long overdue measuring of my upper arm. I checked my real life gauge to see how well I was matching the swatches. All of this led me to decide further increases were required.

Based on recalculations, my new target is 50|78|100|78|50 and I’ll add 10 stitches to each underarm.

I found a chart a while back and it’s been helpful for defining terms and validating measurements. (Unfortunately the link is now broken.) Yes, it is for men’s clothing. I told you I like loose fitting clothes. What can I say? I grew up in the era of unisex clothes. No negative ease in my jumper.

Also during this time, I learned that when the stitches are getting all twisted on the needle, turn the needle toward the twist and when the cable pops back it untwists the stitches.

Here’s a completely gratuitous image. This is the first one I took and I hated all the clutter, so I tried and tried to recreate it after I cleared the table, then I gave up.

Hanging out waiting for action
Hanging out waiting for action.

Jane, the loom

We’ve been apart as long as we were together

I got Jane late in 2015, but we’ve been separated since early last year and I miss her. Here’s some photos of plain Jane with her maiden warp and again later, looking a bit more tricked out. Also some gratuitous images of bobbins and warps.

I’m hoping for a reunion early next year. Jane is very bored with being in storage.

Here is a too-close view of my first multishaft weaving. Ai yai yai! Dressing the loom took hours and hours and hours. I lost the will to live on multiple occasions—it was So Hard. Straight draw across all eight shafts with really lousy yarn and that many threading and sleying errors. Eventually, in the fullness of time, it was done enough I could weave. My pattern book (Strickler) had not yet arrived but I had a basic idea about twill, so I just threw levers to see what happened. Probably all four shaft twills in the end.

The first image below is a Bateman blend using handspun for weft. William Bateman was a PhD chemist who made important contributions to weaving during his retirement.

The second image is the start of a warp for trying out turned taqueté and echo weave. This one is based on work by Bonnie Inouye, who is an outstanding weaver, author and teacher.

The jumper, day 6

In which there is good progress and fewer mistakes

The jumper, modelled by my trusty mannequin, TR-6. (Seinfeld, S5, E15)

I prefer to think of her as... Elaine
I prefer to think of her as… Elaine.

Just a few things of note:

A new ball of yarn was joined in, hence the dangly bits at left. Third ball already. Do I have enough yarn? If I run out I guess I can always do stripes. (Little joke from yesterday.)

The prominence of the BM of day 4 has receded somewhat, perhaps in response to the gentle round-and-round massage as the knitting continued. It’s still visible, to be sure, but not nearly so much as I expected. My hope is that when the jumper is washed, it will sort itself out. Wool has memory and hopefully this wool will remember that it wasn’t originally all stretched out. If that doesn’t work, maybe I can tease the bigness into the surrounding stitches. Or embroider a giant flower.

Or maybe just glare. “WTF are you staring at? Mate.”

You may note the increase marker is dangling by a removable marker. The error de jour is forgetting to toggle the increase marker in and out. I’m getting really good with the raglan markers. You can zone out the rest of the round but right here, right now, you have to pay attention. Either you need to increase or you need to be sure you increased last time around. But for some reason today I’m just blowing by the BOR marker without toggling in the increase marker. I know, know, know not to improvise any increases here. That lesson took. And I note-to-self that I’m now on an increase round, so I’m catching it at the first raglan. But still. Really?

I admit I was also reading, but I have to work this out. Sometimes just knitting is enough. Other times it is a background activity.

Or maybe I have to wait until I’m past the increase rounds for that.