Saturday, 21 January 2012

Adventures in Sweaterland

I meant to post earlier this week but work has been rough lately and all that hard work makes my arms hurt, and the thought of coming home and sitting in front of the computer even longer just didn't appeal to me at all.  Even intensive knitting didn't make them feel better.  I actually had to take a knitting break and didn't knit at all yesterday to try and let my arms recover a little.  The Enabler and I went to the movies instead which was lots of fun, we saw Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows.  So good!  I was was pretty sure it was going to be good and that I was going to like it, but it ended up being at least twice as awesome as I was expecting.  Yeah I'll admit the fact that it stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (who somehow manage to be quite easy on the eyes even when sporting multiple bruises and head wounds) doesn't hurt but it's fantastic aside from them too. *cough* Stephen Fry *cough*

Okay enough of that because I could probably go on for awhile.  I got the yarn that I ordered from KnitPicks for my very first sweater!  I ordered Wool of the Andes worsted weight in the colour Mineral Heather.  I wasn't totally sure what to expect since ordering things online can be a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to colours, but I'm pretty pleased with it.  It's this dusty purple-blue-grey, but if you look closely at the strands there is a little bit of bright red in it too, and every so often there is a fleck of red in my knitting.  It's a very cozy and casual sort of colour which is perfect for this project.  It's also very reasonably priced (even though the prices just went up, I ordered when it was $2.19 for a 50 g/110 yd ball, it is now $2.69 for the same ball).  I think it's very similar in quality and feel to Cascade 220 worsted.  It's not a luxurious next-to-the-skin kind of yarn but it's pretty great for a sweater that's meant as an outer layer, which is what I'm using it for.

I got my hands on the yarn last Saturday.  I had been planning on going to a birthday party with the Enabler for one of his friends that I don't really know, but when the yarn came I decided to stay home and swatch instead.  Do I know how to party or what?  I had never swatched before but I figured since this is something where the size actually matters, I probably should.  I'm making the Providence Hoodie from New England Knits, and it calls for 5 mm needles in the pattern.  Since I always knit loosely I had gotten a 4 mm, 40" circular needle and was just hoping that it would be the right size.  I did manage to get the right gauge with it after knitting a few rows, I just have to remember to knit loosely like I always do and not try to make it tighter.  That'll be okay though, looser knitting is easier on the hands anyway.

The body of the sweater is knit in moss stitch which I know will be pretty tedious but it'll make it that much warmer (and it also doesn't matter so much that I purl looser than I knit although this is something that I'm working on).  The swatch in moss stitch didn't take that long so hopefully it's not too bad.  Right now I'm still working on the cabled band at the bottom.

 I'm getting close to the end of it but I've already gone through 2 of the 17 balls of yarn that I ordered.  I intended on ordering more than I needed (and I think I did) but this cabled bit seems like it is eating up a lot of yarn so we'll see.  If I get the main body of the sweater finished and don't think I have enough for the hood and the button band I can always leave the hood off.  According to some people that have made it the hood is a bit too small to be useful anyway and is more for show than anything else, so I'm not sure what I will do yet.

I can't wait to finish the cabled part so I can get to the next part, which is picking up stitches along the long side of it to start working the 8000 miles of moss stitch for the body.... hmm.  On second thought, maybe I'll make the sleeves first.

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