January 19, 2012

Two and a half month.

I've done all my classes on this Tuesday.  A little paper work (PC work, actually) is left but I got 10 weeks' off before starting to be ready for the coming school year.

Now I can catch up with my neglected knitting projects and, of course, start new projects.

First, I concentrated on finishing these socks;
admit imperfection
Pattern; Maple Sugar Socks by Karin Bole
Yarn; ONline Supersocke 100 Sierra color, colorway 01, 72g
Needles; Brittany 5 in DPNs in US #0
It's a nice, warm pair of socks.  The color is much nicer when knit up than in ball.  I had to choose size 0 needles not to change the stitch numbers while making them fit to my feet.  I felt I'm taking an extra knitting time just to avoid calculation, but the result is a good fitting pair.  I think I'll make more "size 0 needles socks" for a while.

I had a good time making up my mind to "THE project" as I finishing the socks.  I thought it's about time to "do that".

About a year ago, after I finished Colette pullover, I thought I ought to do this more.  By "do this" I mean knitting light and warm pullover for myself.  Warm, not-bulky, honest sweaters.
I've done a colorwork, so the next project should be a nice gansey.

Picking up candidates was not a hard process.  I was already eyeing on Jess's Gansey and I had Gladys Thompson's book (Patterns for guernseys, jerseys, and arans : fishermen's sweaters from the British Isles) on my bookshelf.  And then, Alice Starmore's book,  Fishermen's Sweaters: Twenty Exclusive Knitwear Designs for All Generations. (Did you know Amazon says "Fisherman's"?) I put four sticky notes on Eriskay, Nova Scocia, Cape Cod and Mystic.  I was going to "do this" by making a dent in my vast fingering stash, too.  After pouring on the pages (and made photocopies of all these patterns), staring at my stash on Ravelry, swatching and calculating, I finally made a decision. 

Eriskay, with purple yarn.
Nichibo 779 PURPLE!!!

The pattern requires knitting 5-ply (US sport) into 32 stitches per 4 inch gauge.  I think the weather on the coastal area where the garment originally developed needs those dense fabric, but here in Kyoto, I don't need THAT toughness.  I respect the tradition, but I'd go with what I have and use fingering (Chu-boso in Japanese standards), just getting the same gauge.
Miraculously, I'm getting the exact gauge on the same size of needles.  It's suspicious because I'm a fairly loose knitter so usually have to go two sizes smaller than the patten says.  The yarn is thinner, of course, so it may be no mystery at all, but still.  I guess I'm taking a risk of loose fabric with not-so-clear stitch recognition.  My swatch in stockinette stitches looks absolutely fine and nice, but still.  I know what swatches and gauges do to the knitters.

One more thing I'm anxious about is the sleeve length.  I'm OK with the chest circumference and the length with "small" sizing.  But the sleeves?  No way I can do dishes wearing a sweater with more than 6 cm longer sleeves than my size.  I think I have to change the ratio of decreasing to make them fit to my dwarf arms.

I've started it, anyway.  I have plenty of time thinking over the sleeve length while I knit up the body.
gansey project has started

This is my 200th project on Ravelry.  I wasn't paying attention which one was my 100th.

My 201st is this, by the way.
garter butterfly mug-hug
garter butterfly mug-huggarter butterfly mug-hug
A mug cozy with thick-and-thin self-striping yarn.
It's a simple garter stitch project, with any super-bulky yarn and 4.5 mm needles.  Just knits up in no time.

Here's my recipe;
CO 12 (about the height of your mug)
Knit every row for a while.
Just before the half length of the mug's circumference, start decreasing on each sides as k, ssk, knit to the last 3 sts, k2tog, k.  Decrease every other rows until the width reaches the half of what you start.  
Increase back to the original width.
Knit on until the length reaches about the circumference of the mug.
Make three (or more, or less) button holes by adding yo, k2tog on the places at your whim.
Knit a couple of rows flat, BO.
Sew on buttons.
Make sure the narrow part faces to you when you hold your mug, right-handed or left-handed, by turning the cozy upside-down if you need.  That way your lips will not catch any fuzziness, and you can show off your selection of buttons to public, your spouse, or your cat.

One more thing in my mind right now.
Since I don't have any intension to do machine knitting myself, nor I don't have any friend nor family who does it, a lot of fingering yarn in my stash means a lot (more than I want) of knitting time.  I did very good at not buying yarns last year, but I feel I'm under a heavy stress every time I skip the yarn section of craft stores and colorful websites of yarn company.  I am not sure I can bear this any more.  It was so hard to hit "delete" button in the "your shopping cart" page after I poured over the laptop screen for almost one hour and put 15 balls of worsted yarn when my inner "yarn purchase police" finally fought over my adrenaline.  That happened about a week ago.  I felt sad.  Sad to the bottom.  It was like giving up a bright future as a professional athlete to go back to my hometown and marry to an honest but boring boy next door, not with carrier-threatening injury, but just because we made a promise when we were both 6 years old. ( I'm just imagining. Wild.)

I don't have any space left in my house, this is a cold fact, so I can't go nuts and "buy anyway".  Throwing away the good quality wool yarns is never going to be my solution.  So, I seriously do double- or triple- stranding the yarn to knit, or crochet something calls for worsted yarns, to broaden my choice in patterns and re-joining the flock who buys yarns.  I'm sick and tired of telling myself "no, no yarns for you".
I've already started the research.  I got a bullet.  Wait for a hit.

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