Tag Archives: Gathered Mesh Polo

Snow In October: Why Bad, Why Good? Discuss.

I can only think of one thing that’s more bizarre than snow before Halloween, and that’s trick or treating on a day other than Halloween.  But I digress…

Why is snow in October bad?  Because if it falls on the day that you planned on traveling an hour north to lovely Milton, PA to interview a Sheep To Shawl team whose members happen to be the reigning champions of the Farm Show contest for the past 3 or 4 years, it’s really, really, really disheartening when such freakish snow cancels your plans.  But… while I missed my chance to interview the entire team as they practiced for the Farm Show contest (insert expletive here), I may still get the chance to hang out with the team’s weaver, Libby Beiler, sometime in the near future.  A good time and a great interview will ensue… keep watching here for details.

Why is snow in October good?  Because if it cancels your plans to travel to Milton, PA, you can always…

… finish your Cable Detail Sweater 

That sleeve on the right side was completely re-knit... much better now. I'll be wearing it tomorrow... WOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!

… sew a button on your husband’s suit jacket

Not as exciting as the sweater, but my husband was simply thrilled with my handiwork.

… sew an ear back onto your daughter’s stuffed animal

Atta boy, good dog!

… re-gather your Gathered Mesh Polo (it mysteriously un-gathered recently)

These gathers should hold for awhile... I hope...

… clean your house in preparation for your 2nd round of trick or treating with friends, clip coupons, pay bills, do laundry, go through email, post pictures on Facebook, and… write a new post for your blog.

A somewhat disappointing weekend, yes, but also rather productive, wouldn’t you say?  Here’s hoping that your plans weren’t similarly affected… along with the electricity.

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KDO.

I have been a very busy knitter.  After finishing my Gathered Mesh Polo, I had to finish up the Harrisburg Academy sweater for the lucky auction winner.  Then I had to get moving on… my homework.

When I received my Knitters’ Day Out catalog in the mail a few months ago, I decided right away that this year, I’d finally register for classes.  It took about a half an hour to read through the catalog and make my class choices:  New Ways to Knit, and Intro to Sweater Design with Numbers.  So I filled out my registration form and popped it back into the mail… the same day.  Hey, what can I say, I reeeeeeally wanted those classes, and I knew everything would fill up quickly.

Received my confirmation shortly afterwards… got my classes.  And then I had a lot of time – like, 2+ months.  So I worked on my sweater… and I worked on the auction sweater… and then suddenly I had only 1.5 weeks to:

  • Knit a child’s hat for the Caps for Kids donation;
  • Find a suitable ball of yarn, in my very messy and unorganized stash, to learn new knitting techniques with in my New Ways to Knit class;
  • Knit a 6″ x 6″ swatch, in a pattern of my choosing, to use in my Intro to Sweater Design class.  I had to make this difficult – I couldn’t decide between a lacy, chevron pattern, or regular stockinette.  So I did one of each.
  • Fanagle my budget enough so I could do some, but not too much, damage in the Knitter’s Market.
  • Make absolutely sure that no one would require my presence at my day job. Mine is typically a Monday through Friday kind of job, but we’ve been having… issues… lately.

I managed to have all of the above list done with 1 day to spare.  So off I went on Saturday, approximately 15 minutes down the road, to Enola, for what really was a true Day Out for me.

The day passed so quickly, but it was AWESOME!  I discovered that I really love Portuguese knitting (I even won a knitting pin, to be used while knitting in the Portuguese style, as a door prize), and that knitting Continental style isn’t hard, but I need to practice it.  I discovered that you don’t necessarily have to buy a ton of yarn at the Knitter’s Market to feel fulfilled – you can accomplish this by buying 3 magazines, 2 shawl pins, and a knitting journal.  I discovered that designing your own knitwear really isn’t rocket science… if you’re anyone else but me.  Seriously, it’s not too bad, but there’s a lot more to consider than I thought.  And Gwen Bortner is hysterically funny!

A great day… can’t wait ’til next year.  I wonder if there’s any way I can make room in my schedule to be a KDO volunteer… hmmmmmmmm

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What Goes On.

sigh.  OK, time to catch up… again.

First, the good stuff.  I finished my Gathered Mesh Polo about 3 weeks ago… and it ROCKS!  What do you think?

It fits! It fits! It fits!

My first sweater-in-the-round was a huge success… after I had to frog it and start again on bigger needles.  This is really a great pattern, whether or not it’s your first sweater-in-the-round.  I’ll definitely keep an eye on other patterns from Cathy Carron.

Next up… another Harrisburg Academy sweater, this time for the lucky auction winner from the school that bears the same name.  Can’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but after getting a lot of thumbs-up from my daughter’s friends (and moms), I thought I’d offer a custom-knit sweater, a la my daughter’s, in the school’s annual fundraising auction.  And the winner happens to be one of my daughter’s classmates, who chose the sweater over being Head of the School For A Day – does that kid have taste, or what???

My daughter modeled the sweater wearing a pair of shorts... in March. She's such a good sport!

And more yarny stuff:  I was checking out one of my favorite yarn shop’s website, and on their home page is a long bio/description of some locally-produced sock yarn.  Dyed Bright Here is the brainchild of one Sue Taliaferro, who basically sounds like a yarn prodigy.  After I read the piece, I kind of hated her.  I mean, she caught on to knitting/dyeing/spinning so fast, and that’s so unfair to those of us who… just haven’t gotten around to all that yet.  So when I visited the yarn shop, I checked out said sock yarn… and it’s soooooooooooooooo pretty!  How can you hate anyone who makes such pretty-colored stuff?  Now I’m really… intrigued.  Maybe she’ll be at…

KDO!!! Knitter’s Day Out 2010 is coming September 24-25, and finally finally finally, I’m a registered student!  I’ve gone in the past, but only to the Knitter’s Market (which is awesome).  But now I get to attend classes – New Ways To Knit and Intro To Sweater Design – and go to the Market.  It’s a serious Mommy’s Day Out for me!  Anyone else goin’?

And some non-knitty news:  my daughter turned 5 last weekend.  Overnight, she went from watching Nick Jr to iCarly.  And she says things like, “Yeah, baby!” and “Oh… My… GAWD!!!”  She’s such a big girl… for such a little girl.  And she’s awesome.  Love you, JoJo.

My daughter graduated from Junior Kindergarten... so cute!

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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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