Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sweater Diary: Camel Gansey

I'm going to try an experiment: create this one post as a placeholder for notes, updating it as I progress. I think this is a better plan than separate posts that no one really cares about or wants to read, but it lets me create a record for myself. See my Camel Gansey Flickr set for pictures.

After my recent happiness using the Zimmerman Percentage System, I wanted to jump right in and do another, possibly one with ribbing like the Leo sweater from But I bought the yarn a couple years ago specifically because I thought it would make a good gansey/guernsey/jersey, possibly the one by Penny Olman on page 78 of Arans & Celtics.
Yarn: Jo Sharp Luxury 8 ply DK Pure Wool
Shade: Camel (005; dye lot 2)
Gauge: 5.75 st/in on size 6 (4 mm) needles

Chest: 41 + 2 inches ease = 250 stitches
Ribbing: 224 stitches
I want split welts at the bottom, in a double-garter rows (purl rows 1&4, knit rows 2&3). So I cast on 113 stitches (doubling the tail for a stronger edge), knit the welts, then combined them into a circle, overlapping two stitches on each side for a tighter join. Rather than increasing all 30 stitches at once to get the chest measurement, I'm creating a more tapered look by increasing gradually, 4 stitches (a stitch on either side of the side seams) every inch (eight rounds).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Good enough to wear to work

I've been saying that the sweaters I've made are too casual to wear to work. Friends have been telling me I'm stupid. So in their honor, I wore this to work today.

I'm having a hard time getting a good picture of this, but I really like how it looks on. And even with all the fussing I did with it (reworking the bottom, doing the sleeves backwards, starting the yoke over after I'd already knit 3 inches), it ultimately was fairly easy.

I'm not thrilled with the collar. I'm not thrilled with any collar I've ever made on any sweater at all, so I think I need to be on the lookout for one I do like.

Meanwhile, I've knit the gauge square and done some test cables for my next sweater: possibly a gansey, but maybe just another EPS sweater, maybe with vertical ribbing.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Best Thing about February

This is what February is good for.

Graeter's seasonal flavor for the month: Cherry Chip.

Just in time, too, because I'm running out of these:
Frango chocolates packed with little tiny beads of peppermint candy cane.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My commute

Twenty miles, 30-40 minutes each way.

My day really does feel an hour shorter, but I'm generally enjoying the commute. You'll probably be seeing more audiobooks show up over on the right.

Nancy Pearl came up with the Rule of 50: "...time is short and the world of books is immense. If you're fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up." I've been giving audiobooks the length of one disc to convince me whether I want to spend any more time in this world or with these people. The Fire-Eaters? No. Tenth Power, with people singing magic? I thought so, but 3.5 discs in, I realized I didn't care at all what happened. Just minutes after I ejected it and popped in Acceleration, I knew I made the right choice: smart narrator with a fresh perspective worth listening to (he calls the books in the subway lost-and-found "the library of forgotten books") discovers the diary of a serial killer.

On the knitting front, I got inspired to take this sock...

...and fix it.

I re-knit the whole heel and cuff. Seemed easier than darning and grafting. But ultimately a pointless exercise: the other sock is about to wear through as well, and even this new heel won't hold up. Lesson learned: Jaeger Matchmaker merino isn't good for socks.

Meanwhile, sweater has new bottom, and I'm ready to start sleeves.