Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Timeless Tuesday

Well, lets see if I can get the picture to post today.
Yeah! There she is! In all her acrylic glory! Kaffe Fassett's Whirling Stars.
I started this in August 1995. I went crazy buying all the yarn. His books are eye candy for colourholics. He says the more colour and texture the better. But I was still too unknowledged to be able to skillfully put it together on my own. I bought a huge pile of the yarn at LewisCraft. The clerk says to me "Are all these for one project? You've got several different weights here." I responded with something like "That's okay, with this pattern, if I run out of one early, I'll just get something else. I'll just use less of the small balls." I had no clue that she meant thickness when she said 'weight'. Most of the yarns I used were worsted weight (Canadiana), but some were DK (Astra) and some were even thinner (perhaps Kroy 4 ply). I don't remember if I got gauge or not, LOL.

The pattern was for a pullover, but I wanted a cardigan. No problem, there were some of those in the book, so I just photocopied the pattern, and drew the cardigan outline on the chart. Good idea, but the cardigan was a man's pattern, and the neck shaping is very deep.

I started the actual knitting when Rob and I headed out on our first road trip vacation as a couple. We met in late May, went away together the first time in late June, then just about every weekend after. Yeah, we were a little crazy, but not as crazy as my idea of knitting this while being the navigator!
I quickly realized that I couldn't work with 20 balls of yarn in the cab of the pick up. So that's what they mean by 'make bobbins of each colour' LOL. I made a bunch of little balls. But they kept unraveling. So I bought a pack of jumbo safety pins, and I'd pin each bobbin so it wouldn't unravel. I could also slide the pin on the needle after doing that section, or open the pin and put it on afterwards. So that worked out good.
There was still a lot I didn't know. This is one of the raglan seams. I had learned to do the decreases in one stitch from the edge, and I did learn how to mattress stitch the seams with this project, but I didn't know how to incorporate the colour work with the decreases, and ended up with some pretty icky sections. I solved this with the sleeves, by doing the colour pattern only where it was not affected by the raglan decreases (ie--up the center), and either side was done in dark brown. The decreases on the other raglan seam look better--they were the k2tog--I'm not sure what kind of dec. I used on this side! I think I did k2tog, but because of how they don't line up, it gives a twist to each one.

I used a doubled stockinette button band, like the pattern said to. It's very bulky. Although it's fairly flat and even, I probably picked up whatever the pattern said to. I do remember reading "Knitting In Plain English" by Maggie Righetti when I was putting this together, and the instruction to divide the edge into quarters and mark them, then pick up 1/4 of the sts needed for the total between each marker. Great advice. On something this big though, I'd divide it into even more sections! And, don't forget an increase point where the band goes from straight to angled! And do the backside of the band with a smaller needle. I think the pattern called for a turning row, but I didn't know why, so I didn't bother. You should bother!
A while after this sweater I took a workshop with Lucy Neatby on her Magic Buttonholes (try www.tradewinddesigns.com I'll check later for it). It was so clever, and tidy! But I wasn't about to rip this out, and I haven't done anything since in a double band of stockinette, and it doesn't work in other patterns.
I remember finishing this on Christmas Eve, up in the very cold sitting area upstairs at the old house. It was for my Mom! It fit, but it is very oversized. She recently gave it back to me thinking it'd be better for me to have it/do something with it, then to let it sit in the closet. So, I'm going to update it!

Around this time I also started knitting baby things for Guardian Angels--a charity that gives premmie outfits to hospitals (run through a drug store chain called Guardian Drugs). I didn't take pictures of those, some of them were pretty sad! I also discovered the big Vogue Knitting book at the library (where I fell in love with Kaffe Fassett). I decided I was going to work through a bunch of the stitch patterns by making squares to turn into an afghan. In cheap, bright acrylic. Some of them were pretty sad! I made 8 , I think. They hung around, and finally last year, I sewed them together into a mini afghan. Hideous. I thought I'd donate it to the animal shelter. Not sure if it went when Rob took a bag of dog food. I'll check later.

From here on in, projects overlapped considerably. It's hard to put them in a precise order. Especially since I still can't find my brag book! I know I made Allie's baby blanket and Christening gown in the second half of 1998...but what all came between 1995 and 1998? Oh yeah....another Kaffe Fassett design...or two....Next week!

1 comment:

Lucky Canuck said...

Wow! Even in its acrylic glory, it's still a fine specimen. Whatcha gonna do for updating? Big cardigans (belted) are in right now. Maybe you could knit a tie wrap to go with it??