Tag Archives: Blue Sky Alpaca

Cotton. Why’d It Have To Be Cotton?

Do you ever feel that, no matter how much you prepare for something, it’s just never enough?

On Friday, April 9th, I visited my LYS to pick up my special order of yarn:  Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed in colorway Zinc (#304).  That night I began knitting my test swatch, which took a couple of tries because it was really supposed to be knit in the round.  I don’t have a set of size 5 dpns (” …wasn’t I just at my LYS a few hours ago?“), so I had to knit the swatch flat, and therefore change the pattern slightly.  I even washed the swatch and remeasured my stitches/inch a day later… did I get gauge?  Well… kind of.  I was 1 stitch off.  But, hey, this was knitted flat, I’ll be knitting in the round, it’ll correct itself, right?  Right?

I began the actual project last Sunday.  And I’ve been rather consumed by it, having never knit a sweater in the round before.  “Is it really that much different than socks?” I asked myself.  Well… kind of.  For some reason, I had a really hard time conceptualizing where the heck I was in the pattern when it was time to join the collar and neck stitches in the round.  I think I got past it.

Gathered Mesh Polo, front. And upside down.

I’m just about at the point in the pattern where the upper body is complete.  I counted stitches after every 12 rounds or so, and used a stitch counter to make sure my increases were on target:  so far so good.  I also remeasured my stitches/inch every 6 rounds or so:  so far, so… uncertain.  Yes yes yes, I understand the obvious now: it’s hard to take an accurate gauge when your round work is still on your round needles. Maybe impossible.  I think I’m close.  I’m trying to relax my stitches a little since there’s no give at all with this yarn (“Cotton.  Why’d it have to be cotton?”).  So even though I took the time to swatch… and swatch as accurately as possible without size 5 dpns… and even washed the darn thing… I’m actually more nervous than usual about my gauge.  Because there’s only one thing worse than having to start a project over from scratch, and that’s… admitting you messed up… AND having to start a project over from scratch.

Pray for me.

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The Shawl Is Finished… What Next?

I’m late in reporting this, probably because I’ve been celebrating for a full week, but…

THE SHAWL IS FINISHED!!!

Completed on 03/27/10, it measures 83″ x 16″ after blocking. And I just love it. For my first lace project, I can’t help but feel a real sense of accomplishment.  I wore it to work on Thursday, and, predictably, nobody took notice of the long swath of cranberry  tossed carelessly around me.  But no matter.  I’ll be wearing it a lot.  My coworkers will notice eventually…

[remembering that I work with J2EE architects and Java developers…]

… no, they won’t.  The heck with ’em, I love it, I’ll wear it no matter who’s noticing.

Here’s the old picture.  I’ll update it the next time I wear it.

So, now that this project is done… what happens next?

  • Socks, knit with Austermann Step.  I try to always have socks on the needles, because it’s by far the best travel project around.  I shove the yarn, 5″ sock needles, and tape measure into my little Goknit pouch, attach it to my purse, and I’m ready to knit anywhere.  And I do.  The socks will be for my husband, picture to follow.
  • Cathy Carron’s Gathered Mesh Polo, from Interweave‘s Spring 2010 Knitscene mag.  I chose this project out of, like, 8 other finalists for my big Spring project because it’s utterly wearable 3 out of 4 seasons of the year, and presents a new challenge for me:  seamless sweater construction.  I just ordered the yarn – Blue Sky Alpaca‘s Skinny Cotton – in an interesting grayish/purple-y color they call Zinc (#304).  Should be starting this next Friday, and I absolutely can’t wait.  It’s the only thing preventing me from splurging on new shoes.  Oh wait, I did that, too…

Anyone else starting anything new for Spring?

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