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  • knitting1105 8:20 pm on February 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Poetry Sleeves 

    I received a question yesterday on Ravelry asking how I knit the pattern on the cuff of my “Poetry Cardigan”, the Brocade Leaves Cardigan, which is the cover photo, from the book Poetry in Stitches.

    The paperback version of this book is still available here, and I would highly recommend purchasing it.  This is a book that is not only beautiful, but a great inspiration.  It should be on the library shelf of every knitter who is interested, or thinks that they might ever be, in Fair Isle knitting.  In my opinion, that should really include all knitters.  It is not as hard as you think (okay, perhaps these patterns are not for beginners), and so rewarding to see the pattern evolve.  At times, I can’t put my knitting down when an intricate pattern is involved, as each row gives me another peak into the final design.

    The question on the cuff was how to balance the large flower pattern on the cuff.  There is enough room for 2 full and a partial flower, and the pattern increases as the cuff widens.  The directions call for centering a flower on the front and adding partial flowers to the left and right.  This works very well, and by the time the flower pattern is finished you have increased enough to have almost 3 full flowers.  The change that I made here, and tend to do on most of my Fair Isle sleeves, is to knit the first and last stitch in each round in the background color.  This allows for easy increases that are in pattern, and you do not see the jog in the knitting that is apparent when you try to carry the fair isle around each and every stitch.  To me, it gives a nice “seam” effect to the sleeve.  I have done it the other way, and would not repeat that.

    This photo is of  the Peony Cardigan from the same book.  On first glance, the sleeve undersides (where the increase are) looks fine, but it was a juggling act to get them to work properly.  By the way, I made this sweater when the pattern was first published in Interweave Knits.  I fell in love immediately, and ordered the kit to have the proper yarn and colors.  I think that this was my second Fair Isle project.  When I saw the book a couple of years later, I snatched it up immediately, even though money was very tight, as I love, love, love, Solveig Hisdal’s patterns and use of color.

  • knitting1105 3:10 pm on January 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Back to 2009 

    I am returning to a sweater that I started in August of 2009, made good progress, and then put away in early September 2009.  It is Solveig Hisdal’s Brocade Leaves Cardigan.  If you are new to reading my blog, you will not remember this sweater.  I am not sure why I put this away, it was not like I was mad at it or anything.  And I love the colors and the design.  I think that I was just having knitting ADHD—there were some new socks that I saw on Ravelry, and I also had just purchase Grace Anna Farrow’s then new book The Fine Line, and was distracted by that; and mittens and lap blankets.  You get the picture.

    So, I am back to finishing up the first sleeve, the body is part-way done, and the cuff of the second sleeve is completed also.  I am waiting to see if I have enough yarn to make the body longer.  The colors are gorgeous to work with on these dreary January days.

    • Karen 6:37 pm on January 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I also have this book and was wondering if you are using the suggested yarn or did you substitute? I’m not sure it is still available and am not sure what to use instead. Thanks. It’s absolutely beautiful!!


  • knitting1105 1:08 pm on September 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Knitting and wine 


    Knitting and wine don’t mix too well.  So, I have projects that allow me to knit without thinking, that I consider my “wine projects”.  I love a good glass of red wine in the evening, and still want to keep knitting.  This is my current “Zen” project that allows me to not have to follow a pattern closely.  I am making the Madder Ribbed socks from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks book.  The yarn that I am using is Crazy Zauberball.  My husband picked the colors when we were in Decorah (see earlier post), and I wasn’t sure.  But, it is knitting up very nicely.  Here is a description of the sock yarn that I liked:

    Schoppel Wolle Zauberball is a wonderfully colored yarn with long color repeats that fade into each other. You’ll love the finished socks you get when knitting with Schoppel Wolle Zauberball. One ball will make a pair of socks with most patterns, but you want to be sure to check your pattern requirements to be sure you have enough yarn.

    I am also progressing along on my Poetry in stitches sweater.  Started the sleeves, and decided to knit them up side by side to make sure that I have all of the increases matching perfectly.  I had to add an additional stitch before working the flower section, as they ask for the center stitch of the flower pattern (odd number of stitches) to be centered.  Without doing this, the sleeves would not have been perfectly symmetrical.  I still am holding back judgement on how the body of the sweater was broken up in the blue leaf pattern.  I also waiting to finish the sleeves to see how much blue I have extra to make the sweater body a tad bit longer.  The design is a very cropped sweater, and I think it would be more usually longer.  The other kit from this book that I knit up had a lot of extra yarn, and I am assuming this will be the same.  I am already thinking of mittens with these colors in the left over yarn, and using the flower motif.


    • Sheila E. 10:42 am on September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      OMG! This sweater is going to be gorgeous!!!


  • knitting1105 12:05 pm on August 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Sand, knitting and Scrabble 

    That was the crux of my weeklong vacation at my sister’s wonderful beach house on Lake Michigan with my husband, daughter, son, and 4 of his friends.  Lots of cooking, resting, knitting, and laying on the beach.   I bought a scrabble board for the house (how can any vacation property be lacking in scrabble?), and my husband and I squared off.  I should have quit when I was ahead 4-0.  It is always interesting to play scrabble with him, as his brain holds the most amazing amount of abstract facts, bizarre words, etc.  Like “kerf”, the amount of wood that is taken away by the saw blade during a cutting.


    I also started on the arch socks, but only finished one sock to the toes, as I wanted to come home and get the directions for a star toe from my Nancy Bush book.  I followed the pattern carefully, but I believe that there is a mistake in her math on the gusset.  I need to check on Ravelry and see if anyone else found this to be the case.  In any case, I improvised, and made it work.  I also changed the heel to an alternated slip stitch on every other row.   I want to do the ribbed version of these socks next with a solid color yarn.  They look a bit funny at the moment, seem better when on as they hug the arch of your foot.


    Then, I started on the cardigan from the cover of the Poetry in Stitches book.  That is progressing along nicely, and the colors as always are amazing together.  I am following the directions, in which have you adjust the pattern at the sides, we will see how it all fits together.  Not sure if this is better than just knitting the pattern contiguously.  I was not as speedy as I had been last year on vacation with my polar bear sweater (my contribution to the Ravelympics and my own personal best of a Dale of Norway adult stranded sweater in 2 weeks).


    I also broke down and purchased the Fall 2009 Interweave Knits while on vacation.  I saw the Bandelier socks knit up by MarrianAn on Ravelry with a variegated yarn instead of the multiple colors.  Now, I need to try that also.  There was not much else that interested me in the magazine, however.

    KN_Fall09-112 DSCN1836

  • knitting1105 7:03 pm on August 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Vacation Knitting 

    Packing for a vacation, and remembering everything that I need to take is always a bit stressful.  I usually get all of the miscellaneous things I need (often with one trip back to the house from 2 blocks away to get that one or two missed items), but my clothes are the last to be packed (and I often over-pack those as a result).  My most stressful packing by far is knitting.  I must have something for the car that does not require loads of concentration, something more detailed for the trip, all of the instructions, and of course the correct needles in all required sizes and lengths, and up or down a size for good measure in case gauge is not working out.

    I remember my famous plane trip to Australia (15 hours in the air after landing in California).  I had packed a pattern for a very intricate pair of socks in my carry-on (other knitting was in checked baggage) that I was sure would hold me over on the long plane ride.  As we sat waiting to board the plane in Los Angeles, one of 5 double pointed needles broke.  And, I had purchased these expensive rosewood needles just for this occasion as kind of a celebration.  I thought, no problem, I am capable of knitting socks with 4 needles, although I prefer 5.  Soon after take-off, when I decided it was time for some Zen concentration to take my mind off the 2 kids kicking my seat behind me (I finally had to succumb to asking the father to control them hours later, and he was less than pleasant, but obliged), I set down to work on my beautiful socks.  Soon, the next needle broke.  I was done for knitting on that plane ride (I now carry 2 sets of needles for every sock project).  I thought that since we were going to Australia, land of wool, that I could surely replace these needles in one of the many cities that we were in.  Little did I know that knitting is not popular in Australia, and I spent my entire trip both trying to find replacement needles, and desperately seeking some beautiful Australian wool to bring back and make a sweater.  Finally did find the beautiful natural wool in Tasmania, never found sock needles.  Who would have thought  that a country known for it’s wool would have been full of knitters interested only in fuzzy and sparkly yarns?

    So now to leaving tomorrow for a week at the beach.  Last year I knit most of my Polar Bear sweater in that week (part of my Ravelympics feat), and I wanted something complex and entertaining.  So, Poetry in Stitches kit that I recently purchased on Ravelry from someone with too much yarn and too little time (not my problem—right!).  I am excited to start this.  I am also bringing along 2 socks to work on (Arch Socks with a hand paint yarn from Rivers Edge Studio, and STR 2008 sock club socks “Holidazed”).  Wish me luck.


    And just in case, I have a back-up of a Hanne Falkenberg kit, but I would have to hand-wind all of the balls of yarn.

    • theLady 9:05 pm on August 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      That first paragraph could have been written for me as I frantically tried to pack with the exact same concerns on Friday! Yarn, projects, needles, directions, tools, and that things that I might perhaps need if I got to them… Argh! And that was just the knitting stuff! Have fun with your kit! I hope they re-print that book. And I must agree with you on the STR patterns – from what I’ve seen, they’re pretty simple. The Rock and Weave sock pattern that I bought when I was a very green sock knitter was so poorly written and actually pretty simple. When I bought it though, having been knitting for only a few months at the time, it was more than I knew how to do. Now I look at all of their club patterns and they do look pretty basic. Also, I was interested in the sock club a few years ago, but now my experience with sock and fiber clubs is that I’d rather just buy what I want! I usually don’t end up liking surprises. Not my colors.


    • Adagio 12:13 am on May 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Very beautiful! I love the colors. Is the cardigan knit in the round, then steeked? Did you ever get it finished?


      • knitting1105 8:01 am on May 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Not yet, it is so close though.


        • adagio 7:04 pm on May 28, 2011 Permalink

          So, is the entire cardiagan knit in the round and then steeked? I tried steeking once. I would love to make this cardigan. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try steeking again. Thank you and good luck on completing this gorgeous cardigan.


    • knitting1105 11:50 am on June 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      As far as steeking goes, the first time I took a class and did it with expert supervision. The second time, I was too scared, so I hired my former teacher to steek and cut for me. Then, I just got gutsy. I would suggest starting with a baby sweater so that the time commitment is not as high. good luck!


      • Adagio 8:28 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I live in an extremely rural area; no local yarn shop. Is there a book or website that you can recommend on how to increase in pattern? Thank you.


    • knitting1105 8:49 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Look at this post, as I talked about how I increased in the sleeves, my preferred way. I am currently working on a pair of socks, and they are decreased in the round, and I just K2tog n pattern for those. I hope that this helps.



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