Archive for the 'S4: Sarah’s Simple Summer Sweater' Category

S4, now available in sizes 1X-5X

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Sarah modelling the simple summer sweater S4, aka Sarah’s Simple Summer Sweater
(sizes 1X-5X)

Fits bust sizes: (1X 49-51, 2X 52-54,
3X 55-57, 4X 58-60, 5X 61-63)

A link to this range of sizes is also available under “Free Patterns” in the side bar. For more and larger pictures, click here. For all posts on this sweater and its evolution, click the category “S4: Sarah’s Simple Summer Sweater” in the sidebar.

Please note that if you downloaded the previous pdf, there has been a correction on page 3. This minor change is highlighted for your convenience. Happy knitting!

Ta da! Sarah’s Simple Summer Sweater now available in bust sizes 34 to 48

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Sarah modelling the simple summer sweater S4, aka Sarah’s Simple Summer Sweater
Fits bust sizes: xxs 34-36
(xs 37-39, sm 40-42, med 43-45, lg 46-48)

Link also available under “Free Patterns” in the side bar. For more and larger pictures, click here. For all posts on this sweater and its evolution, click the category “S4: Sarah’s Simple Summer Sweater” in the sidebar.

All done

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

I finished the simple summer sweater on Tuesday.  Here I am modelling it:

Sarah modelling the simple summer sweater 

And here is a detail of the neckline edging:

simple summer sweater neckline edging 

Although this edging may look like crochet, it is not.  I’ll just be upfront right here and now and say that I avoid crochet whenever possible.  I don’t like it.  There, I’ve said it, and to heck with the consequences!  (I could go on, but I think we’ll just stop this topic right here.  Things might be said that I would later regret.)

I’m pretty pleased with this sweater.  It turned out almost exactly the way I was envisioning it (a rarity), and it fits very well, I think.  I designed this with negative ease, which was a bit scary for me, but I committed myself to trusting in the measurements, and all worked out in the end.  There are a couple of things I would change, one of them being the way the top-down sleeves are constructed, since I think they ended up just a bit too full.  I am thinking of actually writing this up as a pattern (with other sizes, too!) and offering it as a free pattern on the blog.  Anyone interested in that?

And now, on to other things.  My next project, is, as yet, just an emergent swatch:

brown Millefili Fine swatch 

and a rough sketch:

sketch for brown cotton sweater 

This yarn is Filatura Di Crosa Millefili Fine, 100% mercerized cotton, that I purchased from Elann some time ago.  In fact, this yarn has already had one life as a sweater that I wore many times and enjoyed, although it never fit quite the way I had wanted, or was as flattering as I feel it could have been.  So, a couple of months ago, I ripped the whole thing out, washed the yarn, and have had a few ideas simmering on the back burner for it.

Right now, as you can see from the sketch, I’m seeing this as a fitted, short-sleeved cardigan sweater, although not one that would have something else worn underneath.  The v-neck I would like to be deep enough to be a little sexy, but not so deep that undue cleavage is shown.  But, I’m still pondering the details.

(Upon reading over this post, I realize that I have made it sound as though I have only one project going at a time.  I would like to stress that this is not true.  In fact, I am one of those weak-minded persons who cannot resist casting on with whatever new or rediscovered yarn crooks its little finger at me.  Right off the top of my head I can think of three other projects I have going, and those are just the ones in the top layer.  It is also not uncommon for me to get 2/3 or even 3/4 of the way through something, only to decide that I no longer like it or it’s not worth the candle and rip the whole durn thing out.)

Fourth of July knitting news

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Ellen, here are a couple more knitting rhymes for your future teaching pleasure:

Under the fence
Catch the sheep
Back you go
Off you leap

Stab ’em
Choke ’em
Drag ’em back
Throw ’em away

(This latter is for the “really tough guys”  aka boys 7-9 years old, and is obviously a variation of the one that the lovely Lorinda left in the comments for us.  Thanks, Lorinda!) I have many more rhymes where these came from, as well.  I can’t claim that any of these are original or even the result of extensive research on my part.  I acquired them from that best of all possible knitting lists, Ample Knitters.

I am nearing completion of the simple summer sweater.  I finished the second sleeve last night.

simple summer sweater almost done 

I also started working on the neckline edging.  I started with an simple lace edging from Knitting on the Edge, but discovered before I got very far that, though it is indeed simple, it was not simple enough.  So I ripped that out and simplified it further, eliminating the edging points.  (Do you sense a “simple” theme here?)  Here it is, only a few repeats in:

edging on simple summer sweater 

I like this, although I think I’m going to rip it out once again and use a smaller needle.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that before I started, but there it is.  I’m planning to go down to a #2 needle; the rest of the sweater (as you may recall) was knitted on #4’s.

I’ve been spinning those handpainted rovings, as well. 

And, because I just can’t stop myself, here are two of the completed skeins.

handspun from 2 handpainted rovings 

See that furry paw in the lower left corner?  That’s Tortellini, our old and grouchy cat.  She wouldn’t stand still for a proper photo, but here she is lurking around on the front steps.


And Hugo, looking out the front door in the sure and certain knowledge that, if I’d just let him out there, he could get her.

Hugo looking out front door

Don’t hate me because I have seven more weeks of vacation

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Today was the last day of summer school–woo hoo!!  Now, I really shouldn’t complain, since I just worked the mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and plenty of other people were stuck at school every day until 4:00.  But it does seem a tad gratuitous to put in 5 more weeks when you’ve just finished up a whole school year.

In any case, now I have seven weeks of sweet freedom before school starts in the fall.  And you know, don’t you, how I’ll be spending the bulk of that time?  Why, that’s right:  pursuing fiberish fun.  I have many, many things I’d like to accomplish–no doubt more than I’ll ever finish.  But, you must aim high, no?

I’ve been working on the simple summer sweater and have completed the body.  I got started on the first sleeve the other night.

summer sweater body done

Whenever I can I knit sleeves from the top down, picking up stitches around the armhole.  I follow the directions in Knitting From the Top (Barbara G. Walker) for knitting set-in sleeves from the top.  (By the way, Knitting From the Top is a wonderful book which I recommend that everyone have in their knitting library.)  So that’s what I’m in the process of doing here:

sleeve on summer sweater 

The end is in sight for this sweater, although I still don’t know what kind of edging I’m going to put around the neckline.  I may turn to Knitting on the Edge (Nicky Epstein) for inspiration there.  It needs to be something delicate looking, yet sturdy enough not to flop over.

In spinning news, I am working on a couple of handpainted rovings, which have related although not identical colors.  

handpainted rovings

handpainted roving

(They are actually more related than these pictures show.)

I will be plying these together–in fact, I already have some plied, and it is lovely, although I am not including a picture today so as not to induce fatal wool lust in my sister.  I’ll post a photo when it’s all done.  Both rovings are 8 oz., so I will have a very usable total of 1 pound of yarn when finished.

And now, off to enjoy my freedom!

Progress on a simple summer sweater

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Well, I don’t know about this whole “knitting is the new yoga” thing.  I myself feel that knitting is the new tae kwon do.  No wait, I think I mean that tae kwon do is the new knitting.  No, that doesn’t make sense either.  Maybe I just mean that tae kwon do is my new knitting.  Oh, hell, just forget it.  (I do have to say, however, that I find more stress relief from punching and kicking and yelling than I ever did from the Downward Dog.  My Dog was plagued by the fact that I am a heavy sweater, even while doing yoga, and my sweaty palms would habitually start to slide away from me, making my Dog look more like a Downward Inchworm as I tried hard to hold onto the damn thing.)

On the knitting front, I am continuing to plug away on the Simple Summer Sweater:

eyelet rib sweater progress

I have gotten up to the point at which I switched to a straight 5×2 rib.  You can see the side waistline shaping up above, and here is a closeup:

eyelet rib detail

You can see where I’m increasing back out to the bust measurement.  Now the question is whether or not to include short-row bust darts, and where to put them.  Big Girl Knits recommends starting the beginning of your bust darts at the level of your bra band.  I’ll have to think about that a bit.  My standard practice up until now has been to place the bust darts about 1 1/2 inches below the underarm bindoff. 

Ellen, I can’t believe you own some Alchemy yarn and you hadn’t told me!  And I thought we were close!  Have you been holding out on me about other things as well?

That stuff is seriously gorgeous.  (Actually, I just like to say it:  “Alchemy Yarns of Transformation.”  Not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds pretty cool.  Maybe I could adopt something similar as my own personal motto:  “Sarah Woman of Transformation.”  I realize that sounds a bit like I am a werewolf or shapeshifter, but no matter.)

To finish today, a somewhat gratuitous picture of Hugo hanging out in the armchair:

Hugo in the chair

 What a sweetie.

A simple summer sweater

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

So, I had this idea that I would make myself a simple little summer sweater, something I could wear with everything, you know?  I visited the stash (being the extremely good girl that I am) and came up with 11 balls of Reynolds “Tiara,” 70% viscose, 30% silk, worsted weight.  I swatched:

 eyelet rib swatch

I not only swatched, I washed my swatch and laid it flat to dry.  I not only washed my swatch, I measured gauge both before and after washing.  (See what a good girl I am?)  Now (and here is where the plot thickens), the only problem with this lovely little swatch is that I forgot to write down the size needle I used.  No doubt I thought to myself, “Oh, I will remember.  No problem.”  (Actually, I usually make little knots in the yarn tail to tell what size needle I used, but I forgot to do that, too.)  So, I revisited the yarn label, and it says to use a #6 needle.  Knowing that I habitually go down a needle size (or two) since I tend to knit loosely, I deduced that I had used a #5 needle on this swatch.  I immediately made five little knots in the yarn tail.

OK, what I haven’t admitted yet is that all this happened several months ago, because, you see, I was going to get a jump on that summer knitting.   So, when I picked up this swatch a week or so ago, I saw five little knots in the yarn tail.  “Oh,” I said to myself, “I used a #5 needle for this yarn.”

Earlier this spring I purchased a simple little sweater–short sleeves, scoopnecked, and form-fitting.  I decided to make this new sweater as a virtual clone, shaping-wise, of this commercial sweater.  I did exactly as the knitting experts advise you to do:  I laid the sweater out on the bed and took careful measurements.  Bust, waist, lower edge, armhole depth, neckline depth, neckline width, shoulder width, length, the whole deal.  Armed with this knowledge and the careful gauge measurements I made of my washed and dried swatch, I confidently cast on (in the round) for the lower edge. 

Knit, knit, knit.  Some time later (about 2 inches later) I realized that this wasn’t looking exactly right, gauge-wise.  Perhaps it wasn’t a #5 needle that I used on that swatch.  Perhaps it was a #4.  “Well,” I thought, “that’s really not a problem; I’ll just switch to a #4 right now.  After all, my hips are bigger than my waist and I wanted some waistline shaping anyway.”

 Knit, knit, knit.  Some time later (about 2 inches later) I realized that the whole thing was looking a bit, well…large. 

 too-large eyelet rib sweater

Hmmm.  I checked gauge.  I checked my math.  I checked the dimensions of the commercial sweater–now it was measuring three whole inches smaller around the bust and waist.  How could this be?!  Well, here’s how it could be–the first time I measured it was right after I wore it and stretched it out.  The second time was after it had been washed and returned to its rightful dimensions.  Nobody told me about this!

Rip, rip, rip.  Simple little sweater.  Pah.

(Oh, by the way, this whole “involvement with the CIA” thing has been blown way out of proportion.  These days I just consult.)