Monday, May 21, 2007

A Spartan, Some Socks, and a Pleasant Surprise

A Spartan
So the Spartan was finished about a week ago -- only 3 months late for Valentine's Day! Well, we can't all be timely now, can we?

Pattern: Spartan Pullover, Interweave Knits, Fall 2006
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (colorway 14), 13 skeins; O-Wool Classic (crap. I lost the ball band. I used one skein and it's the off-white kind ... here it is, Oatmeal)
Needles: US 7s and 9s
Modifications and Notes: I did a lot of messing with the numbers in order to use this yarn (I got 5st/in instead of 3.5st/in). Some things worked, some didn't.

What worked: I knit for the smaller size (41 3/4") but altered where needed for the BackBou. I used Anne Budd's sleeve formula from her sweater book instead of the pattern's sleeves, just because it seemed easier to work the increases properly. I used O-Wool for the contrast yarn and although it wasn't a perfect pairing, I think it looks good.

What didn't work: My increasing for the colorwork was not enough and the sweater sustained some puckering.

Here is a detail of the puckering. Now, I think it's not that noticeable when the BackBou is wearing it, so I didn't stress about it. Blocking really made a tremendous difference.

Another snag in the sweater process was the yarn supply. I have no idea where my head was when I began knitting this sweater thinking that I had enough yarn. I was 4 skeins short. And then I tried to order more. I thought I failed (due to some dubious customer service), so I ordered yet again from a different place. But then all the yarn came in and now, after the sweater and 2 Dulaan hats, I still have 2 more skeins to knit up somehow. Err. Let's just say, if I could have ordered through my LYS, this would not have happened.

This project took so long because of three things: 1) I ran out of yarn, 2) I was knitting the Anemoi vest for the RWS Auction, and 3) I wanted to finish my CPH (selfish little knitter that I am!). Aside from these factors, this was an incredibly easy and fun knit and would be a great project for someone wanting to play with a little colorwork. Knitting in the round is just so easy and great for knitting during movies or drinking and knitting -- a bit boring, but low risk!

Some Socks
I was desperate back in March while in Vermont. I ran out of yarn (I have a yarn packing disorder, I need serious mentoring) and rushed off to find some sock yarn at the LYS (which is really just a sewing store). So I'm standing in front of some great Trekking and I say to myself: "Well, I have some Trekking at home, but I don't have any of this Swizzle stuff, why don't I just try this?" I didn't really feel it. I didn't think, "Too much Trekking? HAHAHA! What a ridiculous concept!" I just grabbed the Swizzle and left, practically trembling from being on a ski vacation, not skiing, and not having ANY YARN.

I hate this yarn. It doesn't knit up nicely. It splits. It feels rough. But the BackBou doesn't mind the socks, he says he really likes them. He's a keeper. He is going to get some really nice socks after this.

A Pleasant Surprise!
I reached into the back of my closet today to find the Sea Silk that I bought last year in Victoria, BC. I had finally narrowed down my choices of patterns, feeling a bit bummed that I only had one 400m skein. I found the Sea Silk, untwisted it to place it on the swift and, not unlike the Biblical division of the loaves and fishes, there were two skeins of Sea Silk!! I had bought two! I'm not as daft as I thought I was! I am a knitting genius!

No one else in the household seems to understand, but they smile indulgently as I walk around muttering, "Two skeins! 800 meters! Brilliant!"


Sally said...

The Spartan is lovely! I think it turned out just fabulously. I dig the colors, and you can't see the puckering at all when BackBou is wearing it. Yay!

Anonymous said...

The Spartan is great - perfect colors. That Backbou is a keeper - great socks too. Totally understanding your joy in finding 2 skeins of Sea Silk!

Anonymous said...

awesome pix!

fabu knitting!

handsome model (woot woot)!

anne marie in philly

Liz K. said...

The BacBou has certainly been the recipient of some knitty-love from you. I think the Spartan looks great, despite all the trouble you had actually getting it to this point.

Melinda said...

What a lovely sweater! I love the colors you chose.

margene said...

Good work!! The sweater is fabulous...classic and wearable for a long, long time!

Christie said...

The sweater and socks look great. He must be feeling the love for sure!

Theresa said...

Gorgeous! That's a wonderful manly sweater.

Bridget said...

The sweater looks great, I'm glad you figured it out.

I hope we'll see some in-progress pictures of your Sea Silk project.

HPNY KNITS said...

funny post. the sweater is great! colorworks almost always puckers some until blocking. 800 yards of Sea Silk IS brilliant! we understand.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely sweater. And what handsome socks. Nice legs.