February 28, 2015
I finished this in time to wear it during February:
When I first began knitting a few years back, there was a yarn called Berroco Foliage. It was a lovely thick-thin pencil roving type of yarn in multi-colors. The first few years it was available, the colorways WERE all named for foliage and trees: Autumn Forest, Japanese Maple, Joshua Tree, etc. Then, they started to changed towards garden plants: Coleus, Russian Sage. Finally, the designers gave up and, in desperation, got away from the multi-colors and the foliage names. The colors became all the same suite: Cranberry Bog, for instance, was all shades of maroon and burgundy. Finally, the designers jumped the shark with “Soapstone,” which was a blend of muddy blue with a name not even remotely resembling anything to do with foliage.
Not surprising, the line went out of print. But one of the later colorways was this one, called “February.” It is not truly grey, but a grey-blue variegated to black. I had a bag of 10 skeins tucked away because I loved the color and had a sort of vision of what I would knit from it. Finally, I came across a pattern book called Classic Elite Knits that contains a pattern, “Rising Stripes.” The big, round turtleneck collar was exactly what I was after.
I used the size small pattern (where in commercial sizes I am a large!), and it fit perfectly. I used a size 7 needle to compress the yarn a little. Having knit with the yarn before, I knew it tended to get a little fuzzy if you knit too loosely with it. A size 7 packed it down a bit. I knit the body in the round until it split for the front and back. I didn’t use the set in sleeves, but picked up 60 stitches around the sleeve opening and knit from the shoulder to the cuff. It is a very simple sweater but very effective with the stripes.
I pushed to finish the February sweater so I could wear it in February. The witch hazels are in bloom. The days are getting longer. February is fading away, but I have a nice new sweater to get me through the chilly days of spring.
February 24, 2015
So. I needed a couple of raffle items for my reenactment unit. The unit is a little unusual in that they do two regiments: the 2nd Pennsylvania colonial regiment and the 43rd of Foot British regiment. I had knitted Monmouth caps and Machault caps, but wanted to do something … modern.
I took the logo of the 2nd PA and took the standard King’s Broad Arrow British design and ran them through a chart software. The results were pretty amazing.
I had to go in and duplicate stitch some of the detail on the 2nd PA logo, but other than that, they both worked up really well.
I knitted them flat using KnitPicks Palette Yarn. Once I knitted above the stranded colorwork logo, I joined and knitted in the round for what seems to be miles. Three skeins of the main color. And I learned something that would have helped with the Rhinebeck sweater — when you knit a tube, and wet finish, it will grow longer. Now I know how I misjudged the sleeve length! These grew to exactly the right length.
A little thornier was the logo for the Royal Artillery. This took some thought but was well-received by a deserving artillerist!
February 24, 2015
Lots has gone on here since I last posted. Much has to do with health issues, both mine and family members. Some has to do with my 96-year-old mother-in-law who is concerned about what will happen when she gets old. Not sure when she expects that to be; I’d think 96 was pretty well into it. Add to this the general insanity of life and work and death and it left little time for blogging.
However, I did want to close a loop here — the famous Rhinebeck sweater that my husband insisted on. DONE!
The sleeves came out too long and are in the process of being reworked, but given the compressed deadline and my former lack of knowledge about cables, I was pretty happy how this turned out.
I would be inclined to knit a scarf with just one column of this cable pattern. I really liked working with it and feel like I’ve done dozens of other cabled projects since then. Conquer your fear of cables — just knit a whole lot of them!