May 24, 2007

HOW A LITTLE NEW KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO A WHOLE LOTTA RIPPING

Janine devoted some time in her workshop to how one might shape a garment that's knitted in the round. And she had given us a template pattern, based on her Acorn sweater, that would be a modified-drop shoulder and a slight amount of underarm shaping to reduce that bulky, droopy look that dropped-shoulder sweaters have.

I'm going to immediately apply this to the Sandness sweater that I've been knitting for Scott. One of the things that has slowed me down in knitting this sweater is that the pattern is written as a boxy, square shape, and I know from unhappy past experience that he doesn't like boxy sweaters. The Sandness pattern has you put only 1 stitch on a holder at the underarm, and continue on in pattern with an armhole steek -- aboslutely no underarm shaping whatsoever:

SandnessBeforeUnderarmShaping.jpg

Janine's Acorn sweater, on the other hand, has you put approximately 8 or so stitches on a holder at the underarm, and then do a few rounds of shaping as you continue on in pattern.

When I'd gotten as far as the underarm on Sandness, putting more than one stitch on a holder at the underarm, and perhaps doing a bit of shaping, was something I'd thought about. This was what I did for my Level II vest, after all. But I lacked confidence. I worried that doing this would inadvertently make the sleeve too difficult to knit.

Now, having seen Janine's Acorn sweater in person and possessing a copy of the template pattern, I'm ready to make these modifications. In fact, I began doing this at our Feral Knitters' get-together on Monday evening. And you should'a heard the screams around the table as I proceeded to rip out the last two inches I'd knit: "WHAT are you DOING?!"

SandnessBeforeUnderarmShapingCloseup.jpg
Now you see 'em . . . .

What's 20 rounds of rework, compared to a sweater that my dear husband might actually wear?

LOTS of Two Swans Yarns news:

NewYarns.jpg

First:I can't stop buying yarn! I succumbed to the luxury yarn with the narcissistic name, Me, from Naturally. This yarn is 80% merino and 20% cashmere and it is the softest yarn I have touched in a long, long time. I got in three colors that are new for 2007 -- and you can view them here. The search engine on the Two Swans site is a temperamental creature . . . it doesn't like searching on a string as small as the two letters ME, but if you search on the words 'cashmere' or even 'merino' or 'Naturally,' you'll find this yarn, too.

And, at the request of a customer, I got in a merino-silk blend. This also happens to be from the Naturally line of yarns, is called Merino et Soie, and is 70% merino and 30% silk. Two Swans is carrying four pretty colors of this yarn, and you can view them here.


Second: As I've mentioned briefly, earlier on this blog, I had begun getting in the Jamieson & Smith line of jumper weight wools for Fair Isle knitting. With all the recent rumors about colors being discontinued, I've been in more of a quandary than usual about whether to proceed with this line. On Tuesday, after the workshop, I phoned the US distributor and spoke with her, and she reassured me that NO colors will be discontinued in the US. She will continue to have the mill produce the entire color line, including the two colors (#55 and FC10) that were discontinued last year and that I was unable to get previously since I only started ordering in January of this year. I'm working on getting these yarns listed on the website, but it all takes time. If there's a particular J&S color that you're looking for, please inquire. I may well have it, and of course, am always happy to order things for people.

Simply-Shetland-4-Cover-300.jpg

Finally -- and cue up the fanfare, please!: Yesterday, Simply Shetland put up photos showing the projects in its upcoming fall pattern book, Simply Shetland 4 -- and there are some stunning projects in it. I particularly like the Duxbury pullover -- an Aran knitted at a fine gauge using Simply Shetland's new Silk & Lambswool yarn. And -- the project every Fair Isle knitter is waiting for -- you can get a look at the Autumn Rose Fair Isle pullover designed by Eunny Jang. It has shaping, it has raglan sleeves and a dramatic scooped neck -- it is a design to put to shame other Fair Isle designs. To view a slideshow of the projects, click here. The book is expected to be available in late summer.

Posted by Karen at May 24, 2007 08:44 AM
Comments

Karen,

More than 2 colours were discontinued last year. Two others I know of, #38 (Mardi Gras from Scottish Collection, sweater on the cover of Sweaters from Camp) and #1291 (Quartz from Scottish Collection).

Posted by: Marina at May 24, 2007 02:14 PM

Thanks for the info, Marina. I guess what I was trying to say came out kind of ambiguous. I meant that I had specifically tried to order 55 and FC10 in January and been unable to, but now I can at least request them (although they are backordered). I am vaguely aware that other colors were discontinued, too.

Posted by: Karen at May 24, 2007 06:30 PM

Wonderful! Wow...Scott is very lucky!

Have fun at the first Jean Wong session! What yarn are you planning on using for our first two projects?

Talk to you in a couple weeks! Happy knitting!

Posted by: Naomi at May 25, 2007 08:36 AM

Karen I'm trying to build up a stash of the discontinued shades from all the sweaters I want to knit someday... just placed a big order to J&S but if you can get hold of any #55 I'd love to know, I want to stash 3 skeins! Thanks!

Posted by: CarolineF at May 25, 2007 11:59 AM

Hi Karen,

I just had a "good look" at the new Jamieson book. Is Jamieson's/Simply Shetland introducing new yarn lines this fall ... lambswool, silk, lambswool & cashmere? Will you be getting an advanced look and feel?

Posted by: Marina at May 25, 2007 12:48 PM

Naomi -- I have several different ideas for the yarns I will want to use for our first two projects in Jean Wong's class. I plan to get started swatching over this holiday weekend . . . after that, I'll be ready to blog about them. My plan at present is to use one yarn for the vest project and something entirely different for the pullover. As for you -- be sure to wear sunscreen while you're on your tropical vacation! Have a pina colada for me!

Marina -- You're right, Simply Shetland is having spun two new yarns. One is a silk/lambswool blend, and the other is a lambswool/cashmere blend. I have received sample balls and color cards of each, but haven't had a spare moment to test-drive them. Will report back after the holiday weekend!

Posted by: Karen at May 25, 2007 08:54 PM

Your Scott is a lucky man. What a beautiful sweater!

Posted by: Kathleen at May 26, 2007 07:20 PM