Thursday, 14 October 2010

Just when you thought it was all over…

You betcha! More Inishmore because I can apparently not get enough of it. Actually, I have worked on a plain sock with Knit Picks Kettle Dyed in Timber, getting the first one done and the second started. This is the same yarn that caused colour havoc, with the first and most of the second being a solid colour before the variations started popping out given the pair a sort of Frankensock appearance. However, this time, they are nice and lovely and I really like the colours that come out. These are how these socks are supposed to look.

I’ve also knit a slouchy hat from a pattern called Felicity in the left over Inishmore yarn (Knit Picks Simply Cotton Envy) for bedtime wear. I’ve never worn a hat to bed, but it used to be common practice, so I figure there must be something in it. I would have waited for pictures to post about it, but we’ve not been having good photo weather so I’ll wait until we do. That might be a while if the forecast is anywhere near right.

Speaking of forecasts, it’s autumn! And I love autumn! Cool enough to be comfortable, but not cold enough to freeze. The leaves are turning and everything is beautiful. I love kicking leaves, sometimes even wading through them, while walking the dog. The squirrels are out in full force picking up nuts off the ground and taunting the pooch. Every year I swear I see them sticking their tongues out at the dog before running up the nearest tree and holding their tirades (some of those little buggers are really grumpy!). Best of all, it’s knitting season again!

Which brings me to my latest project, another Inishmore. After having seen my choice of sweater, my aunt decided she’d like one too (in KP Simply Cotton Haze), so I cast on two nights ago and finished the back border last night. I’ll be starting the body pattern this evening. I was going to do this one in the round in order to avoid having to do those twisted stitches backwards, but I learned something very valuable from the last Inishmore that made me change my mind. Usually I sew up the side seams and then set the sleeves in, trying to make the sleeves fit the hole. This rarely works well and I usually wind up bunching up fabric in the arm pit to get it to fit in. The Inishmore, however, is one of those sweaters with sleeve saddles. I’ve not done well with these in the past, so I decided to follow the instructions to the letter and actually knit in the sleeves first. In retrospect, I have been stupid. It’s now totally clear to me that sewing the sleeves in first is the way to go. If you sew the sides up first, you have a finite hole in which you must set the sleeve. If you don’t sew the sides up first, you can fudge a bit by sewing the excess sleeve onto the “side” material. Your armpit might be a little bit further down, but at least there’s no fabric bunching. This might not work for certain, very tailored sweaters, but should work well for most of those I knit. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, but somehow I really think I should have seen all this coming and changed my ways ages ago.

The new, smarter me decided to put this knowledge to good use. The sleeves of my aunt’s Reindeer Arwen wound up terribly bunched (I wasn’t following a pattern and they were really too big I suppose) so I spent two evenings picking out the sleeve and side seams and re-sewing the sleeves in using my newfound fabric fudging method, all the while cursing my inborn fear of seams coming apart, well, at the seams (forgive me, I couldn’t help it). It took untold patience not to just pick a likely looking thread and cut, but I didn’t. I held myself together and picked out the woven in threads stitch by stitch; even though I sometimes couldn’t really see where the yarn was going (I weave into the seams “for good measure”). Two evenings later, voilĂ ! I had a sweater whose sleeves looked, if not brilliant, at least acceptable. I swear on my stack of knitting references, I will never sew up the sides first again.

All of my links are in Ravelry this time. I'm sort of assuming anyone who blogs about knitting, or reads knitting blogs, is on Ravelry. If that's not the case, let me know and I'll put in real links.


  1. Oh picking out woven in ends is a nightmare. (I almost typed knitmare. That, too.) Isn't it nice when our loved ones appreciate our work!

  2. Well done for knitting some excellent socks and for sorting out your sleeve issues. That jumper looks terribly complicated to me. But the hat! That might just be enough to make me pick up the needles again!

  3. Wow - you're going to knit another inishmore! You're so brave. Hopefully this one goes smoother for you. Yours is so pretty I bet it was worth the effort!

  4. I remember your sad episode with the kettled-dyed yarn. I liked the color then, so I'm glad to hear you've had a good experience this time. I'm putting it on my list.

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  6. Hey! I made a Felicity hat for bedtime wear! Seriously, I don't know how I made it through winter nights without hats before--nothing heinously warm, mind you; just something to keep your top toasty and stop the tossing and turning. I will share this caution: sleeping hats are like anesthesia in the morning, so if you find yourself waking up late, it may be the hat.

    ps. I think I made Lady Rook feel guilty about her stash of abandoned hat yarn. :p

    pps. I'm going to second the 'hard on the eyes'-ness of the new blog layout. I think it's the dark color of the post body coupled with the galaxy background. Maybe a lighter post body shade would help? /unsolicited two cents

  7. Dang! I tuned in, but I'm at work and haven't got access to Ravelry. BTW, this blog layout looks great! (It's got a red-orange ground with nearly white print -- much easier on 57-yr old eyes!)