Thursday, May 27, 2010

Finished Calvert Cardigan

Project: Calvert
Source: Norah Gaughan, vol. 3
Patons Australia Merino Totem DK 8ply
Ravelry link

I finished a new cardigan last night - Calvert from Norah Gaughan vol. 3. My gauge was just a tad large, but I did the math and found that if I made the 34" sweater it would turn out about and inch bigger. Well, I based this off a pretty small swatch that I didn't bother to block, so the cargian turned out to have about a 40" bust. The yarn is machine washable, but I wonder if it would shrink a little bit if I washed it in hot water (this would be the time to test with a large swatch first).

I made a few modifications to the pattern that I thought made assembly a lot easier. The back is supposed to be knit in two pieces, with the bottom half wider than the top. When you sew them together you are to gather the bottom to make them match up. I chose instead to make five pleats in the back, as well as a little bit of decreasing to make the bottom the same number of stitches as the top. I wanted to keep the seam between the two, but didn't want to stitch them together, so instead I bound off the bottom piece and then just picked up and knit the stitches for the top along that bind off edge. I think it looks nice, and the bind off gives some structure to the pleats.

This was also the first time I wet blocked the pieces of a sweater. I used to pin the pieces down and spray them with water, but I've decided that wet blocking is the way to go. The finished product looks a lot crisper, and it doesn't take that much longer to dry. I still need some little buttons, but for now my hairpin works pretty well.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool

I had a great day at the festival. A very nice woman I met through Ravelry gave me a ride and we spent part of the day shopping together. I saw some cute and fuzzy animals, met some lovely knitting podcasters at their meet 'n' greet (and recieved an awesome goodie bag) and bought a fair amount of spinning fiber. Here are a few of my acquisitions:

I only bought one skein of yarn - tweedy sock yarn from Autumn House Farm. I am really not sure what I'm going to do with this yet...

Merino/Seacell pencil roving from Fiber Optic - I've never spun seacell or pencil roving so it's going to be exciting to spin. I'm thinking of making a single (unplied) yarn with this, something else I've never done.

Five ceramic buttons from Jennie the Potter. I loved these buttons when I saw them on Ysolda's blog and found some for myself in blue. I don't know what I'm going to use them for yet, but I think they're very special.

I bought a few other spinning fibers that you can view in my stash, and I'll post more about them when I spin them up.