Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Teeth galore

Side join
Originally uploaded by Asplund
"Jaws" is taking shape; here's the side join.

I made the steek rather wide, since I didn't want to cut it open in the middle but to cut out the middle part of it with all the dangling threads.

Then I picked up stitches along the whole front and the whole back and started knitting the side panels vertically. The original design has garter-stitch side panels, but I prefer stocking stitch. (It's the same thing with the yoke). The first and last ten stitches are garter stitch, though, to blend with the bottom border and to keep it from curling. Also, I chose to have a split, which isn't in the original design. 

This is what the wrong side looks like.

I first tested making the side panels all brown, but changed my mind: I wanted to accentuate the construction with some stranded colourwork and decided to knit more "teeth" before a few all brown rows. I ended with a purl row (or, rather, a knit row on the wrong side) before casting the sides off together from the wrong side.

Ron asked about the sleeves. They will get more "teeth" (the more, the merrier) possibly turned into simple lines. Maybe a splash of orange or yellow... I'm surprising myself by not deciding very much in advance - I usually like deciding most things in advance but leaving some room for improvisation and changes.

Friday, 21 January 2011


WIP: Andes by Marianne Isager
Originally uploaded by Asplund
All the borders with white triangles suddenly made me think of sharks and their multiple rows of teeth, so I'm going to rename the sweater Jaws.

The centre back and front sections are finished; right now I am crocheting "seams" in the steeks before cutting them to secure the strands. Next step will be joining the shoulders and then pick up stiches along the whole back and front to knit side panels and sleeves.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Hello sunshine

"Andes" wip
Originally uploaded by Asplund

The sun made a guest appearance today (it's been very cloudy recently) so I managed to take a photo of "Andes" that shows the colours properly. There will probably be 12 borders of white "teeth" in all, and I'm going to frame this section (shoulders, side panels and sleeves) with the greyish brown used in the split bottom border.

Let me tell you it's quite satisfying looking at all the dangling ends in the middle of the steek to the right knowing I won't have to weave in a single one of them!

In a comment on my previous post Ing-Marie i Säter asked me if the small project was a sleeve or a swatch. It was a swatch, partly to test gauge but mainly to try different ways to combine my colours. (Photo of the original version here.) These are my thought behind my colour choices:

1. My stash: 7 skeins of greyish brown, 3 natural white and 1 warm brown means lots of greyish brown for the frame, side panels and sleeves; leftover colours concentrated to the back and front centres.

2. Natural white used in all the borders for stability and to combine the other colours with (they all look good next to it) - and simply because I have quite a lot of it.

3. Two shades of brown (cool greyish and warm yellowish) alternating for variation.

4. Two purl ridges in differerent colours below each brown section. Yellow and orange looked nice with warm brown, and light brown and dark brownish green looked nice with cool brown.

5. Colour sequence alternating for variation: yellow-orange, brown-green, orange-yellow, green-brown...

There are many good challenges involved in this project. Apart from testing different ways to use the colours and trying a new way to construct a sweater, it's good to practise getting even tension when stranded colourwork and plain stocking stitch is combined.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Returning to Marianne Isager

Isager swatch
Originally uploaded by Asplund
First of all, thanks for all the wonderful comments on my last post!

Knitting lace shawls is great, but so is variation - so I've been looking for inspiration in my knitting books. Trust Marianne Isager! Here's an intriguing design in "Inca Knits" that I haven't paid much attention to before, but which kind of gave my stash a come-hither stare.

The construction is one I haven't tried and never would have thought of, for that matter. First you knit the multi-coloured sections of the back and front; then you pick up stitches along the sides to knit not only the sleeves but also the side panels.

Any modifications? Yes!
1. Colours. I'm using greyish brown and natural white Shetlandsuld I bought about half a year ago when my LYS celebrated 25 years. I'm spicing it with some leftovers from Zaire. The photo to the left does not do the colours justice, but will at least give you an idea.
2. I'm not knitting the multi-coloured sections back and forth, but in the round with steeks. A bonus is not having to weave in any ends: I start new rows in the middle of a steek and will simply cut the steeks open and trim the edges.
3. Minor modifications in the pattern with an extra colour and two stocking stitch rows skipped between purl ridges.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Estonian shawl finished

Estonian shawl finished
Originally uploaded by Asplund
This is how my knitted-on edge turned out. Not sure how far my yarn would last I decided to knit a pattern that could be cast off practically any time; this one consists of two different pattern rows and two plain rows.

There was more yarn than I expected, so I ended with a few pattern rows with extra increases for more pronounced points. I'm pleased with the edge (I wanted something airy to balance the fairly compact main pattern) although I think the original design is prettier.

That goes for the whole shawl, by the way, even though I'm happy with my modifications - and even happier that I've left my old fear of experimenting and taking liberties with patterns behind. I've learnt a lot (and still do) from following instructions, but it's nice not to have to depend on them all the time.

My modifications in short:
1. Variation star motif used. It's bigger, so I made this shawl five stars wide instead of seven.
2. Garter-stitch border skipped.
3. Centre "grid" pattern resized to blend with the stars, and I added different groups of nupps to it.
4. Edge knitted on instead of made separately and sewn on. (Which keeps this from being a real Haapsalu shawl, but I guess it's safe to call it Haapsalu-ish!)

The finished shawl measures ca 115x105 cm (45x41 in).

Monday, 3 January 2011

Living on the edge

Estonian shawl wip
Originally uploaded by Asplund

Here's my first attempt at a border around the Estonian shawl. I really like the one in the original design (easy to see in the shawl knitted by Flickr's annalore) but knitting it separately and then sewing it on - no thanks. So, I decided to pick up stitches around the shawl and then knit the border pattern upside-down instead - and resize the pattern to match my number of stitches. (Anything to avoid sewing.)

Unfortunately, knitting a pattern with nupps in the round didn't work,at least not for me: no matter how I try one of the stitches next to a nupp becomes enormous, looking like a big hole. I thought about knitting this section back and forth instead, but finally decided to try something completely different instead. What I've done so far looks promising, but I haven't knitted enough for good pictures yet. Will get back!

Frogging the edge at least gave me an opportunity to take a picture of the shawl. I'm quite excited about it and wonder how big the finished shawl will be. Unblocked and without a border it's about 70 cm (27½ in) wide. I've knitted lace shawls with this yarn before and they grew considerably during blocking.

This one may not grow quite as much, though, since I'm using slightly thinner needles (3½ mm/ US 4) and I don't know if the nupps will make a difference.

Here are some basic notes how I knitted the baby cardigan:

  • I cast on ca 90 stitches.
  • After getting the desired width I knitted about 1/3 of the stitches with a separate thread (for the sleeve) and then went on as before.
  • When the back was wide enough I did the same thing for the second sleeve and then went on to knit the second front.
  • Strand removed and stitches picked up around the armholes; sleeves knitted in the round to desired length.
  • Shoulder joins sewn together.
  • Buttons sewn on and loops crocheted.
  • Strings crocheted to be able to tie the two fronts together on the inside.

Happy new year, everyone!