Julie knits and writes and knits.

Archive for July, 2007

Sketching Peacefleece Sweater

Sketching Peacefleece Sweater

This little project has been months in the fussing. Started with a nice trip to a lovely yarn store in Blue Hill, Maine, while on vacation last year.

Fell in love with any shop owner who would understand knitters so well she would leave this sign on the door….

so bought out most of her horde of Peacefleece. It was their old dyelot, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to match the yarn, but I bought a bunch of colors thinking I’d make a lovely stranded something for my husband. Musky, earthy, lanolin-rich colors of dirt and nature. Pine, peat, brick, cement. Right?

And I began to swatch and sketch right away. I’d sketch and show him, and sketch and show him. Twenty-four years together means I can read this guy pretty well. He admired the sketching, but wasn’t sure he’d wear any of the sweaters I showed him. I let it drop for a while.

Weeks and weeks later, I started picking up patterns of stranded and banded and striped sweaters to show him. “Hmm… not bad,” he’d say. “That’s a nice sweater…” he’d say… But not “I really want that.”

I was sifting through my Zimmerman library a few weeks ago, just admiring it all, and he looked over my shoulder at the good old plain old saddle shoulder sweater, and said “I want THAT.”

Yes. That was it. Of course. We all know this. What he wants is a plain gray sweater. Just gray. Just plain.

All well and good. He shall have his plain gray sweater. All I had to do was find some more grey Peacefleece, which was bound to be available through Ebay or Ravelry, or… from the manufacturer, or… in my yarn shop’s basement?… or no? No?

The best offer I had was from Gary at Peacefleece who actually offered to buy back my ancient lot of yarn and replace it with the new colorway, which I thought was outrageously cool of him, but I couldn’t let him do that. I believe that if you’re going to horde yarn, it’s kind of your responsibility to figure out what to do with it, and not make it other people’s problems if it doesn’t work out the way you envisioned it. God bless all the patient yarn store owners and yarn manufacturers out there, but their margins are too skinny for my bad planning.

So Mr. will get a different sweater in a lovely grey shetland yarn or local handspun.

Now, what to do with this peacefleece? Sketching and swatching. A tunic felt right for yarn spun from Russian and U.S. fleece.

The colors, however, were all too dark to play nicely together. I didn’t really have enough gray to stretch into the tunic for my ladies large self. I used the cuff to swatch, knitting and ripping it back at least 7 times. Charting, weighing the yarn, ripping. I realized I needed to dump the peat color, find another color to use, and went to my yarn shop, which used to carry Peacefleece. They don’t any more. But they took one look at the yarn and said, You sure that’s not Philosopher’s Wool?

It’s not — Peacefleece worsted is a little lighter in gauge and a lot softer — but there were hanks of Philosopher’s that very nearly matched the grey. Not enough to use it in the straight runs of color, or even alternating rows, but a good substitute for the background color in the chart work, which made the other colors pop.

The chart on the top in the top photo is what I would have preferred to knit, but after knitting that cuff and weighing the yarn, I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the brick to make that work.

Anyway, this is where I’m headed. A nice Zimmerman EPS Tunic whose neck-and-shoulder decreases I have yet to figure out. Kind of want to combine raglan and yolk, but don’t know if that’s a good idea…. Anybody?


Noro Cardigan WIP

Noro Cardigan WIP 1

Well, it’s coming right along, right along. Should have been done by now, of course, but this is me we’re talking about, and maybe a dozen projects have taken the spotlight between starting and now… Think we need big patch pockets on this baby, and quite a long hem of cables, which I have now cast on. Found the perfect buttons. Will post those when I’ve finished the buttonholes…

‘nother zeebee

‘nother zeebee

Oh this is a fun and squisy hat, making the most of garter stitch in soft, soft Merino with a high twist. I like it. It’s warm. It covers my ears. I can see how this could become my main hat. A little more than one skein of Tahki Baby on size 15 needles for this one. I think I’ll have a nice little neck warmer from the rest. Wish me luck with that…

Stitch N Bitch Calendar

Stitch n Bitch calendar page for today (on my office chair from dear Marie-Claire) has the lyrics for this old Glen Miller song. My worlds collide here. All the Glen Miller my Dad played all my life, and I never heard this one…

Flickr Alpaca Show

Killer Flickr Slideshow: Please take a moment today to appreciate Alpaca.

Other Peoples’ Stuff

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The only thing better than finishing something you did, is aquiring something somebody else imagined and then made with their own hands. I’ve got two lovely pieces, which arrived around the same time, from two of my favorite artists… This lovely hat, whose yarn and stuff thrifted from other places and things, from Cosette Cornelius-Bates, above, and below for my daughter, Mimi, a lovely piece from Helle Jorgenson of Gooseflesh. Good snags, both from, where there is a world of original stuff and gifts and genius.

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Julian gets a zeebee

Bigger photo at flickr

Baby twin Julian models one of the zeebees for Daddy Dave. They like this hat for the newborn (in Koigu), because of its softness, and because it’s so stretchy/springy, it doesn’t squish baby’s ears.

Used measurements of 12 inches circumference and 4.4 inches for the length of the beanie with my swatch numbers to get these.

Specifically, then, working Koigu on size 3 needles, I cast on 28 stitches, and had 156 rows, 10 crown wraps.

If you’re in love with zeebees, as I now am, you may notice that the number of crown wraps are 1/16 of the row number… And length is whatever you want. That’s making it easier for me to do zeebees without the calculator…

But you do need Schmeebot’s wonderful pattern to get this hat under your skin. You shouldn’t miss it…