Monday 29 October 2007


I had a very restful weekend and I have Roger's Cable to thank for it. On Thursday they put TV cable through to my neighbour and cut through my telephone line. No phone, no internet, very quiet. I am now reconnected and ready to go.

My last post was completely bogus. I talked about UFO's and maybe finishing something soon. And that's why I started something new and I don't feel bad at all. All those UFO's are still there and they are pretty happy with their state of unfinishedness. I checked and they seem fairly restful and may be ruminating on things knitterly as they sit in their baskets and knitting bags. They are on pause, in a zen state, checked out and I am enjoying it.

I started a classic Top Down pullover with my crewneck shaping in a finished sweater measurement of 36". Way too small for me but I am trying to respond to requests for teen and small adult sizing. So this pattern will be for finished measurements of 32" - 38". And I think I will put in a ribbed variation for a classic boy style.

This is a very basic sweater. I have the Take It From The Top sweater in Aran weight (same basic style Cabin Fever pattern #602) and I wear it about 4 days a week for 8 months of the year and have for the last 6 years. It's the sweater I throw on to curl, to run around town, to wear with my jeans, to go to the shop. In fact it's starting to show wear so I might just knit it over again for another 6 years (in red this time with a cable down the front?). Might be time for a variation or two on this one too.

I am sticking with this one until it is finished. Only the sleeves to go and I am enjoying knitting it. I am going to try using 2 circulars to work the sleeves. I have tried this before but since I don't mind using double pointed needles at all, found it a bit finicky and switched back. I think I didn't give it enough of a try and it would cut down on the number of knitting needles I would have to carry around for a project if I could eliminate the double points. Double points being so heavy and cumbersome to carry! Not much of a reason now that I think of it. A new technique is worth learning and mastering just for the choice it gives you. That's my new reason. Whew a close call there.


Monday 22 October 2007

UFO October 07

It's time once again to check what has piled up, been put aside and stuffed away in a corner. The Daily Knitter (Interweave) has done a survey of unfinished objects and I thought I should probably check out mine.

Here is the list:

Remake of the New Zealand sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Collar to pick up and knit. I like this one and I think once the major changes had been made I put it down.

Pink tank top which I don't like now, it's also too big. Cut it and resew to fit or Toss?

Socks: 4 second socks to make. This is not a hardship it just takes having them in my face.

One Toe-Up lace sock pattern to write up. Can't decide how to finish the last inch at the top. I have knit 5 socks to this point, all on needles in my bag, all need to be finished. Time to make a decision.

As I look around the room I see a shawl I have done about 8" on. I liked it but got distracted by the socks.
Another shawl I started with lace weight. Had a hard time getting used to that so doubled it up and started again. Still not getting anywhere. Take that one out. I shouldn't waste lace weight wool.

2 Hats with new wool/cotton blend. The wool says worsted but I wonder how it would be knit to DK gauge. Can I change needles mid-stream? Hmm.

There is also a bag with dishcloth cotton in it. There will be at least one dishcloth on the go in there.

I am now working on V-neck shaping with my new method from the Button Up Your Top Down book. They are samples and therefore not supposed to be sweaters but if I don't keep at it and work out the formula I'm looking for that would count as a UFO.

I knit the Falling Leaves out of Button Up book and it still needs 4 buttons.

The purple and lime green striped sweater I started last winter for my son. Still languishing. This year it will see snow. He still wants it but now with a hood and a zipper. Yes that can all be done but that may be why it's still in that basket over in the corner. I'm not going to look underneath it either.

Well, that puts me at about 17. I suspect I have overlooked a sock or two. There is also a long To Do list that I can't get out of my head. Work out a tweeny pattern for a top down pullover. Another sample of the Tiny Top Down in a boy colour. Knit a sample of the garter stitch, multidirectional Jwalker coat (resizing of the Baby J).

I guess I should stop writing and pick up one of these projects and finish something. Sigh.

Thursday 18 October 2007

Baltimore and Back

We hit the Baltimore Stitches East show and it was a blast.

Before the action it looks like this.

Booth is in readiness.

Then the knitters start to come in: And some lovely Cabin Fever models arrived.

This is Gayle wearing her Braids Cardigan in a lovely periwinke blue cotton.

Say hello to Annette in her green Lace Checks Shell, one of the two she has knit for herself. She loves it.

And Sarah is wearing her purple Lacey Vee cardigan with all over lace boxes, a modification to the original pattern. Well done.

I love to see knitters wearing their Cabin Fever sweaters.It keeps me coming back for more. We came home with lots of new ideas and a list of knitting to be done.

Also to a shift in the weather. The hand knit socks are on my feet and I'm glad to be curling again. I could do without the soreness of the first week though! It doesn't seem to get any easier year after year but we are back out there throwing rocks, sweeping, yelling and having a great time. (You might be guessing that we won our game today and you would be right. Yes!)

Here is Sarah in her purple Lacey Vee Cardigan with all over lace boxes. A logical and attractive modification to the pattern.
Well done ladies. I love it.

See you next year,

- Deb

Monday 8 October 2007

Amy's Vest

I was just tossing around subjects for this blog, I am getting ready to go to Baltimore for the Stitches Fair and rather distracted and restless as a result, when I read a comment by Amy. She wants to knit an adult vest based on the Playtime Vest (ages 4 - 10 year olds) (see under Patterns and Kits.

Here is our sample from the CabinFever shop.

You CAN take a pattern which is entirely the wrong size and work it in a different wool for yourself. In general you are following the original pattern. But the particulars are up to you when you do the switch.

The whole thing is based on your new gauge. So do a square with the appropriate needles for your wool and count how many stitches you are getting in 1" (count the fractions of stitches). You might be getting 4 1/4 sts = 1". Use this number as your gauge and then when you work out the numbers for the vest change any fractions to a whole number larger or smaller, your choice.

Measure your bust and decide how much ease you are adding. Multiply the number of stitches in 1" (above) by the final measurement you've decided on. For example: If I want a 42" vest and I get 4 1/4 sts per inch then 42" x 4.25 sts = 178.5 sts for the vest body. Round off to 178 sts.

I would follow the basic instructions for the vest substituting your own numbers. If the pattern says to cast on with a smaller needle - cast on with a needle 2 sizes smaller than your body sized needle. Work the body.

This pattern has armholes bordered by 5 stitches in garter stitch. Keep a close eye on the photo because the garter stitch edging starts before you split the knitting into the front, back, front. As long as the garter stitch border when you start is centred over where the bottom of your armhole will be, you'll be fine. But check the proportions. A 5 stitch garter border on your armholes will look different than they would on a child's vest. This is where your judgement comes in. You'll need to widen the bottom cast off of the armhole so that the shoulders come in to where you are placing them. Or else work shaping beside the garter stitch border to bring the armholes in to where the shoulder should be.

The other spot to watch is the back of neck. Measure the back of your neck and add an inch or two to accommodate the border you are going to work later, multiply by your no. of sts in 1" and work the back so that this is the number of stitches left for the back of neck. On the Fronts, work the V-neck shaping until you will have the same no. of stitches for the shoulders that match the back and work straight up.

I am still rather disjointed here. What I might suggest is that you work up the small size and then you can see what is involved in the pattern. You will have a better idea of the changes you will need to make.

It's not as hard as it seems. You have to look as you go and make the adjustments you think will give you what you envision. I would advise making a schematic of a vest (just a simple drawing will help a lot) and measuring a vest you own to get the armhole depth and back of neck measurement.

Check, check, check as you knit so you can see how it's going to look. I think this is a great project for changing gauge and size.

This is your mission if you decide to take it. This message will NOT destruct in 5 seconds. Good Luck Amy,


Thursday 4 October 2007

Now Where Was I

I'm back and trying to pick up the pieces. I'm painting my living room and it's a mess. At the shop I'm teaching 2 afternoon classes a week and I went to 2 guild meetings this week. That's where the time has gone.
It seems like I have done very little designing and I have to get back to finishing up some projects. My socks want to be knit starting at the side seam. Is this totally weird? I don't know. But every time I pick them up I start at the centre back, knit to the side and then say OK here we go. So these are going to be written from the side and we'll see what happens. My fingering lace socks are finished but I'm going to do them in another colour for the photograph and final writing.
I redid the lace sock in DK Wellington Fibres 60/40 mohair/wool and they feel very luxurious on. They'll be house socks for the winter. And now I must get it down in writing.

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Thanks Houston.

"We knit in Houston", Vicki wanted me to tell you that. I saw lots of evidence too.

Although it was very hot to me (91 degrees - if that was here in Ontario we would all be warned to stay at home) but it's business as usual in Houston. Several knitters were wearing wool socks which totally surprised me. We all wore sweaters in class because of the air conditioning and one of their guild projects recently was a shawl and I saw several beautiful ones being worn.

Here they are with their scaled down sample top downs and one on a doll. Terrific.

Vicki was my welcoming committee and started off my weekend with wonderful stories of their group. Betsy and Judy wined and dined me and we had a marvelous time.

Mary Lee and Amy are the retreat coordinators, past and present. Thanks for inviting me and everything went smoothly due to Amy's hard work. And I met Kaki Gemmell - can you believe that! We figure somewhere we must be related - so nice to meet you cuz.
And Laura gave me a great idea for putting darts in a vest and now this project has jumped into my project bag and I'm casting on today.

It was a terrific group and lots of very interesting questions came up in class which was wonderful. An engaging and friendly group. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thanks to everyone.

And if you make a top down send me a photo and we'll put it on the bragging board.