Since Thuy posted the "give me an Aran update", I decided to work on The Sweater. I innocently thought I'd do another pattern repeat. And then... I decided I hated the side pattern I'd made. It was meant to be trinity stitch, but I mis-translated the pattern from straight to circulars, leading to disappointment at myself every time I looked at it. So tonight I right-ed one side.

bad trinity

did I really do that? is wine better before or after these operations?!?!

sigh of relief

I'm too tired to tear the other side out now. I think I'll save that task for tomorrow's knitting group.

thirteen at the starting line

13. cindi, inishmore by a starmore
12. michelle, hand to hand by e zimmermann
11. maura
10. summers
9. suzanne
8. alice
7. melissa
6. tracy
5. donny
4. thuy
3. holly
2. erin
1. chauntel

the latest participants are using pretty intense patterns. check out michelle's gauge swatch on her blog.

by the way, tomorrow is the official start date for this knit along. i hope to see everyone's update on his/her knitting progress. oh, and don't forget to say rabbit rabbit first thing in the morning.


button redux

okay, i like thuy's button quite a lot. but, she has mentioned she wanted to change it, so i played around with her idea a bit. have you noticed that she comes up with all the good ideas?
anyway, here is what i ended up with. use it if you like.


oooh... yarn....

my yarn came. 2400 yards of creamy soft goodness from beaverslide goods... drool


Im still waiting on my yarn to come in for the knit-along. Supposedly it shipped yesterday, so Im hoping to have it by the weekend. Meanwhile, I'm going to make a simple cable beanie with some tweedy merino/silk I found at my local yarn store this weekend to get in the cable mood. (I'm over the blanket for now - I thik its the yarn. I dont like the Lions Wool Ease...).
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I ususally make my hats on double pointeds, and knitted this swatch on 16" circulars, but I dont like the small needles at either end. I find them hard to handle. I do ok on the larger length circulars, so I guess I'm back to the double pointeds for this one.
How's everybody else coming along?


Getting There

OK- My yarn finally came in the mail so that I can swatch the Debbie Bliss Hooded Cable Jacket. I'm doing it in Filatura Lanorata Luxor DK in white, and I just keep thinking, "Man, this stuff is thin!" So wish me luck. I'll try to have the swatch done by Thursday night's group so that I can ask any questions I may have while I'm there. Hope to see some of you there! :)


now we are ten

the list, the list!

10. summers
9. suzanne
8. alice
7. melissa
6. tracy
5. donny (he's got a blog, y'all!)
4. thuy
3. holly
2. erin
1. chauntel

i think maura has also joined us. jayme, too. right? here's the icon with all twelve names.


I *think* I am ready to start.

I have decided to do the Cable Hooded Sweatshirt from Debbie Bliss' Cotton Knits for All. I have found the perfect yarn from Smileys Yarns. Bernat Handicrafter 100% cotton yarn in a pale blue. And I did a swatch of the pattern panel. It turned out so well! I am not starting until Feb 1. I have a few other projects to finish before I start this one. Plus, this one will be an ongoing project. I expect it will take a good 4-5 months to finish. But I am really looking forward to it.


side seam magic

i spend a lot of time lately thinking about how i might get lung cancer. i smell cigarette smoke all day long. it comes whafting in through the operable skylight in the bathroom. my @*!&%# neighbors must smoke like chimneys!

so, i'm going to die from second hand smoke. the good news is: i don''t have to rip my sweater.

how do you like that? i'm a regular magician these days. i've got a magic wand, everyone! it's called a crochet hook!

after the last post i thought long and hard about the cramped look of the cables. i really can't add anymore stitches to the sweater so that's the way it will have to be. the only problem left is the side seam design.

so the night before last i sat and stared at the sweater. those @*!&%# side seams! i didn't want to rip the entire sweater just for them. no one will even see them! i stared at it off and on for hours.

a bit more stout and a lot better looking than the original side seam. i had to jack a few near by stitches to make it happen. the only downside to this trick is that it looks all tweaked at the hem. ah, but it beats having to start over again!

i have proved yet again that if you don't want to do something badly enough, you will come up with a way around it.

how are you doing on your project?


i am almost embarrassed

(but obviouly not embarrassed enough) to post my paltry progress so far. you see, i spent most of my meagre amount of knitting time this weekend on a different sweater, not much araning at all. the time i spent on the aran was used figuring out which cables i might want to use and which might fit the sweater shape i want and then working on a braid pattern that i modified from all three strands containing 3 stitches to consisting of two strands with 2 stitchs and one strand of 3 stitches. i am sure there is a pattern for this exact cable in a multitude of places, but what would be the fun of that?

so, i started out and got this:
loose cable
but was unhappy with the way the strands disapeared into each other, so i modified the pattern, leaving one less row between cables. This meant that for my swatch, i had to make every other cable from the WS, which meant i had to use my brain this weekend, a duty that i had been avoiding up until that point. oh well, not every weekend can be brain-activity-free.
tight cable
i am much happier with the second braid. it is hard to tell in these pictures, but the strands would kind of blend into each other at some off the crossings on the looser braid.
oh, here is the chart for this extremely simple thing (please don't post to tell me what book i could have found this in :) )

oh, i made a button also. i hope to get a better one later, but i need more aran pics before that is possible"


I haven't decided yet how to use the aran-along webpage. Put all things aran here, and not on the regular blog? For now it's posted twice, for reasons it's entirely unnecessary to discuss.

The sweater is started, and this is the ribbing + 1st pattern repeat.

aran front

aran back

aran sides

Like Thuy, I had considered shaping. Then looked at EZ, and since she didn't I figured I wouldn't too. While I might be clever enough to devise a pattern where you could increase and decrease without making the sides look terrible, I'm certainly not going to do it now. I also looked at Starmore's Celtic collection, and several of those don't have shaping either. So a straight tube it is!

aran, take three

i have to restart my sweater again. why?

1. the cables look cramped. they're too close together.

because of the extra ply in the yarn and the resulting larger gauge, i had to get rid of the supplemental stitches that took the space between the major and minor cables. the layout now looks a lot truer to nicholas's but, as you can see, it has already begun to look cramped.

2. the side seam pattern looks unsatisfactory.

you can see it to the left of the major cable in the picture above. i got it in my head to increase at the side seams to make the body bigger as it goes up. i used a simple cable that would get wider by one stitch at each twist. good concept, winpy result. i would like for them to look a bit more stout so they can hold up to the rest of the layout.

this means i have to go back to the drawing board. i think i'm going to do without the side seam increases. i saw how ez's aran in knitter's almanac has a straight body and wondered why she didn't taper it. now i think i know why.

third time. i hope it's a charm.


another sweater

i've decided to start up another sweater for this project. i have everything ready: natural white yarn, needles, gauge swatch, cockiness, everything except a decent cable pattern.

that's one of the sketches i made in attempt to revise the pattern i used for the gray sweater. i learned to do that from zimmermann. anyway, due the difference in gauge between the 2ply and 3 ply, the number of stitches went down by 35. i have to omit a lot of the smaller cables in my original layout in order to achieve the desired circumference. grim.

how do you lay out your design?


buttons, but not really

i'm not a big fan of button but since chauntel said she was going to make one, i thought may be i could too. may be.

is there a standard size for these things? i wanted to make it big enough to see everyone's names but small enough to not look obnoxious. this is the full image.

i think holly might be making a button too. anyone else?


i ordered yarn from briggs+little today. it's a hail mary attempt because i'm not sure if it will match what i have. ah well, at least it's inexpensive. $4 per hank and $5 flat shipping. the only down side other than not matching is that it will take three weeks to get here. is canada that far away?

i have some natural white yarn at hand that i might just start up another aran. one for me instead of jg. is anyone else using white yarn other than donny?


thanks Thuy for setting this up!

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Here is where I am to date on my blanket - its worked with two strands of worsted weight (Im using Wool Ease - its not my first choice butI wanted to be able to wash it ) on size 10.5 circular needles. I think I was a little overly ambitious here - it will take forever to finish. I can usually only get three or four rows done in a typical weeknight evening. Im trying to finish up a scarf Im making with some Handpainted yarn before I jump back in on this one.

Speaking of handpainted yarn - have any of you used it? Its really terrific - but I have two skeins of the same color and I finished the first one and when I went to coninue with the other - its almost a totally different color - much lighter than the first. I guess thats the nature of the yarn, so now I have to work an equal amount of the new color on my scarf to make it look like I did it on purpose - its going to be a reaaalllly long scarf. Here it is shortly after starting the darker blue and before the addition of the second skein of the lighter blue....

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good luck eveybody.. Have fun



this is going to be so much fun!

all together now

hello, everyone!

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