Thursday, July 27, 2006

Marina... Making My Way To The Start Line

Ready, Set, Stop!

Okay, I've made a couple of decisions. The first is I will hold off starting Mara for a later date. I've decided to go ahead and start Marina. I plan to change things a bit. To assist decision making it helps to understand that,

Marina was published in Scottish Collection (Tomato Factory) in 1992. Contained pattern for a pullover and v-neck cardigan with 2/2 corrugated bottom rib and front and/or neckbands. Uses J+S 2-ply jumperweight with 21 colors. It is knit at 16 sts and 16 rows for 2-inches on US size 3 (3.25mm) needles. Pattern sizes are Medium (44) and Large (48).

Marina was published in This Morning Woolcraft (BBC) book in 1993. This pattern is a v-neck cardigan with 2/2 corrugated bottom rib and front/neckbands. Uses J+S 2-ply jumperweight with 22 colors. It is knit at 16 sts and 16 rows for 2-inches on US size 3 (3.25mm) needles. Pattern sizes are to fit bust size 34-36 and 37-39 inches (41/45).

In 2003 the Marina pattern became available as a kit from VY's as part of their "AS Classics" series. The colors were changed to what AS characterizes as an undersea garden. It does not use 2/2 corrugated ribbing and looks more like a jacket with a crew-neck shaping. Uses AS's own 2-ply hebridean with 19 colors. It is knit at 28 sts and 32 rows for 10cm on US size 3 (3.25mm) needles. (~14 sts and 16 rows and 2-inches). Pattern sizes to fit small (42), medium (46.5), large (51), and extra large (55.5). Studying the picture of this Marina the charted pattern was changed a little (the pattern row repeats shifted positions and the largest pattern was repeated one additional time).

So.... Is everyone with me so far?

A very big observation is the wool tension is very different between J+S's 2-ply jumperweight and VY's 2-ply hebridean.

I ordered my wool from J+S and I have 22-colors because I own the Woolcraft pattern but I plan to drop the extra color. I also plan to knit the 'undersea garden' version (style) using the old colors. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I am going to do this. After studying Marina/Undersea Garden I understand the row repeats and how they changed. I also noticed the bands are knit using one of the pattern row repeats. You can do this to by going to VY's site and study the picture and compare that to the original Marina. Next I took my graph paper and started charting.

I get very dizzy looking at AS's charts so I re-created them using the Meg Swansen method where she just uses 2 symbols to depict whether the stitch is a background or pattern stitch. I used an 'X' for background and 'blank' for a pattern stitch.
I took a white folder with pockets and created a swatch chart. This is a great way to, not only organize your wool colors for easy reference, but the pockets are useful for written notes or storing your pattern directions.

Okay, now I have the charts figured out but still have a gauge problem because of the different wool types. I spend hours thinking about this after studing my Northwest Sunset Vest I just knitted. I knit that at a different gauge than the pattern called for and the sizing worked out perfectly for me. So I plan to do the same thing here but will need to swatch.

I'm going to use directions from a crew-neck pullover pattern and insert steeks for the front/button bands. I am going to knit the bands using one of the pattern repeats like Marina/Undersea Garden and plan to "wing it". I ordered an extra ball of every color. I don't know if I will have enough wool or not. Again, I am just going to "wing it".

Monday, July 24, 2006

Beth Brown-Reinsel

I attended a workshop yesterday at a LYS Woolwinders called Aran Cardigans from the Top Down with Beth Brown-Reinsel. It was a small class with only 9 people. Beth was delightful and I loved looking at her show and tell sweaters. I have always wanted to knit Marilyn and purchased the pattern from Beth. It's the paprika sweater in the second photo.Our class project was to knit a little sampler sweater that is perfect for a little teddy bear. The pictures are of Beth's sampler as I did not finish mine in class. We were given a very nice 31-page handout. Beth also signed my copy of Knitting Ganseys.

Friday, July 21, 2006

finished, fini, terminado, finito, закончено, geëindigdv, färdig, beendet

Pattern: Northwest Sunset Fair Isle Vest from Sweaters from Camp (Schoolhouse Press).
Designer: Betts Lampers
Wool: Jamieson & Smith 2-ply jumper weight. 7 colors.
Needles: U.S. size 2 (body) U.S. size 1 (ribbing).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Buttonband Done!

The buttonbands are done! Whew! I found the buttons on eBay. They are vintage 1/2-inch Czech glass buttons that match the colors in the Northwest Sunset Vest perfectly.The buttons have a little bit of yellow graining. Next will be pick up and knit the armhole bands. After that I'll fold back the steeks and tack them down.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Not Much Knitting Lately...

Not much knitting lately. I've ripped out the button band on my Northwest Sunset Vest 3 times. Hopefully, this will be the last. I didn't like the buttonholes. I followed the directions in the Sweaters From Camp book and to me the bottonholes were too bulky for the small band I was knitting.I started knitting the Fetzensocken Pattern by Diana Meyers. It's a German pattern that has been translated into English. The socks have the coolest picot type edging. The edge is created by knitting a few rows of stockinette followed by a row of k2tog and yo's then you fold the knitting in half (purl side to purl side) and k2tog all the way around. Inside it makes a beautiful finished edge. This sock is part of the July Knitalong for Sockamaniac Sock-a-Long. Check out Gail Dennis' website to learn more about the Yahoo group or to download the free sock pattern.

Next weekend I will be attending a Beth Brown Reinsel workshop at a LYS called Woolwinders. I was able to get the last seat in the class. The topic is Aran Cardigan from the Top Down. I've heard so many great things about this workshop from the FLAK Yahoo group. I love her Knitting Gansey's book and her Marilyn sweater pattern is one of my favorites.

My DH purchased a new digital camera for me, the Sony Cyber-shot (DSC-H5). I'm still getting used to all the features. It has 7.2 mega pixels with 12x optical zoom. I wanted the zoom to be able to get shots like this one of a male American Goldfinch eating thistle.
I still have my Cannon Powershot S400. The Cannon is a very useful digital camera that is still current. It has 4 mega pixels with 3x optical zoom. I really like the Cannon because of its small size and ease of use. I plan to carry it in my purse for those unexpected shots.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

FLAK Part 8 ("The End")

Well here she is... My Follow the Leader Aran Knitalong (FLAK) sweater is finished (the buttons are temporarily tacked in place waiting to be permanently sewed on). The cardigan fits me perfectly. A very big thank you to Janet Szabo who designed this top-down Aran sweater and for being the list mom of the FLAK Yahoo group. Janet publishes quarterly the Twists and Turns: The Newsletter for Lovers of Cable Knitting and has a new book called Aran Sweater Design that is a must for anyone wishing to learn more about Arans.

I must also mention the wonderful people who make up the FLAK Yahoo group . There is so much talent there and I learned so much from all the posts not to mention the fact there was always someone to give you encouragement when you really needed it.Wool: Peruvian Highland wool from Elann
Color: #1029 Admiral
Purchased: 22 50g balls
Used: 20 balls (includes 1 ball for swatching)
Needles: Addi Turbo's U.S. 5 (body) & U.S. 3 (ribbing)
Started: ~ 1/1/06
Finished: 7/4/06 (except for sewing on the buttons)
Buttons: 3/4" antiqued silver metal purchased on eBay (I originally purchased some very expensive handmade glass buttons but did not have enough so I went with plan B)What I liked: Learning the process of custom designing a top-down Aran sweater that fits to my measurements, learning the importance of swatching, and tips and techniques from the FLAK Yahoo group members.

What I didn't like: Weaving in all the loose ends and sewing on the buttons (still need to do).

Thank you Cathy B. in St. Paul, MN for telling us about the 'twisted rib' and Ann in Webster, NY for sharing her technique for pre-washing wool before casting on (see my January posts for details).

I am still working on FLAK for DH where I am on Sleeve Island. It's not too late to join in on the fun.