Friday, November 30, 2007

Grey and colours

Finally! Since last Thursday the members of my family have been fighting a bad cold. Today I found the energy so assemble my Russian coat, and it looks almost as planned.

The change I made from the original pattern was to shorten it. Instead of 412 sts for the skirt made as five large triangles meeting at center back, this version has 290 sts in the bottom half and triangles only at the front. Definitely easier to wear. The sleeves are a bit too long, but there is one blocking left to do and if that doesn't help it should be easy to fold them in since there is no hem.

Lately I have made three grey knits (one is an X-mas secret), and COLOURS are badly needed. The leftovers from the Rainbow socks have gotten some company in apple green. It is Regia stretch and this will become socks, or most likely double knit gloves...

The other colour temptation is a skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk in Sangria. For about a month I have been looking through my books and searched the internet for the perfect pattern, and I'm getting closer... There is a sample in progress and if it works I'll cast on tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hexagons completed

The fun is over. This is the sholder and sleeve section of the Russian coat. I decided to block it before sewing the sleeve seams and picking up the collar, because it was very bubbly and wierd looking. Now it is more presentable and I hope it stays that way when it dries. I've made an attempt to get the shades of gray symmetrical, but other than that I'm true to the pattern so far. My yarn is very different from the original though, it is probably much softer and to get 19st/10cm I use needles 4mm instead of 6mm as the pattern says. I hope the end result will work out well anyway, as I'm thinking more of a shrug than a coat.

Here is a closer look:

I found a picture of the finished Russian coat here. I'm not going to make the back that long, because I don't think it would look good on me and I don't want to buy more yarn. So far I've used almost 2/3 of the 600g in my stash. Besides, it was the shoulder section that caught my eye and it is stunning enough with a shorter back. I will shorten the pattern by knitting a triangle at each side but make the hem straight at the back.

When I ran out of hexagons yesterday I started on another Christmas project. After Cina's complaints about the endlessness of Henry I decided that it would provide mindless, bring-along knitting for a long time. The yarn is my favourite, Visjö by Östergötlands ullspinneri, and it might become a little bigger than the original, but not much.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Knitting for pleasure

Lately I've been needing to knit to reduce stress. Finishing things and being useful and productive come further down the list. This weekend I started on a true feel good project. I even missed my knitting so much when I took a bath on Sunday that I asked Mr P to get it for me, but it wasn't very comfortable. I would also like to be able to knit in bed, but that doesn't work either.

So what is it? I brought it with me to knit during my daughters gymnastics on Monday night, and after that I went to my music group, and during coffee I pulled out something that looked like this.

Faces lit up around the table when someone suggested it was a nursing bra for cold days, but no. All the pieces I've made so far look like this.

And the correct answer is Russian coat by Norah Gaughan from Vogue Knitting holiday issue 2007 that I recieved last Friday. The yarn I'm using is a great wool yarn from Yllet, that I bought in Gotland last year. Since that is an island halfway between Sweden and Russia that somehow felt appropriate for this model, even though it was ment for a big shawl.

I have been a little practical too lately, and worked the pattern section of the Icelandic lambs wool sweater. Someone is actually waiting for this one, so it would be nice to get it done. I don't like knitting charted patterns like this with long floats to handle all the time, but now it is done and the rest is made in the small pattern repeat.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Variations on a pattern

Recovering form my plunge into double knitting, I've been knitting something light and easy this week. It actually started in May, when I got my hands on three skeins of Färgkraft Pälsblend 1-ply in Isgrönt (Ice green). As usual the pictures don't do the colour justice, but it's got a glacier green feeling with a hint of gray. I bought the yarn at the Hemslöjden store in Leksand and I think I got it at half the price because I was in such a hurry that I stressed out the sales lady. I'm a bit ashamed about that, but I had left town when I suspected it was wrong. The stress that day was because I was actually there to play at a folk dance with a group of about a dozen ladies that I play with every other week. I hadn't been to rehearsals all spring term, only gotten the sheet music the week before and now I was skipping the last rehearsal to by yarn... It's all about priorities. Anyway the group will perform at another dance on November 17th and I thought I should be wearing the cardigan then to make up for my past sins, but practising the tunes would probably be better use of time.

The general layout of the project is inspired by Doreen L. Marquart:Top Down Sweaters. I used her calculation for the raglan, but I've changed the texture, edges, armholes...

The texture is moss stitch as that is a good way to make the 1-ply yarn behave and not twist and pull the fabric and keep it light. I also like the way it blends the colours. Under the arms I put in Gansey style gussets to improve the fit. The are decreased towards the sleeves, but down the side the "seems" just move together without decreases.

Last night I finished the sleeves and now I'm pondering the possibilities for the rest of the body. How many buttons should there be? I've used I-cord cast off for the sleeves, should that be used all over? Straight edges, rounded courners or A-line with wedges of stockinette? I don't know yet, but I like knitting this way and make it up as I go along. Sometimes the result is really bad, but with a yarn this soft and expensive I try to plan ahead more before actually knitting. Here is the result so far. The sleves are a bit big, but I plan to felt it ever so little at the end to fix that and make it more durable.