sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

easter wool

I had such a fun time dyeing eggs with my son this weekend that I couldn't help but break out the acid dyes when we were done. (secret: it was partly to override the smell of boiled eggs! i can't stand the smell of boiled eggs...) I picked superwash merino to dye this time since I love how brightly and fast the colors strike, but went for overall darker values even though Spring has arrived :)

IMG_9145 IMG_9149 IMG_9130
IMG_9138 IMG_9115IMG_9112
IMG_9100 IMG_9097 IMG_9104

All available at my etsy shop.

Back with more fiber stuff in a few...

PSA #1. Check your local drugstores for easter egg dyes at 50% off! Nontoxic and safe to use with kids and your standard cookware. Next week my stores go to 75% off... I'm not going nuts like last time. (ha!)

more on my previous easter egg dyeing of yarn here... and a search of this blog and "easter" has some socks knit from easter egg dyed yarn as well. the dye jobs on all have held up well over their lifetimes :)

PSA #2. Bay Area? Article Pract's "yarn tasting" for next month just opened for enrollment-- featuring some yarns from the new book Closely Knit as well as the author (and a free pattern from the book, and discounts, AND good times. :))

Monday, March 24, 2008

fainting in supercoils

I know some are pics you've seen before, but I think it makes sense as a story :)

I started this project with 8 oz of delaine merino/mohair from Black Bunny Fibers-- this was the first fiber club installment of the year. Carol's got a good club going here... members get the same base fibers but we all get different colorways; yall know me and orange so she hit the nail here :)

IMG_8398 90/10 delaine merino-mohair, "marigolds"

I dipped my toe into spring by buying a fleece (ha! three now, and Lambtown has my name ALL over it this year...) so wanting practice I broke out my Strauch handcards (...foreshadowing, wait for it...) and carded the roving into little cloudy rolags of happiness.


This was a nice way to practice on clean fiber, as well as separate colors because each rolag has so little actual weight I was able to really get the colors to stand out from one another without blending out Carol's beautiful dyejob.

I had wanted to try some artyarn techniques after getting my hands on Intertwined... I was *so* inspired by this book. Yall know me and my utilitarian bent on spinning and knitting, but here I was loving every crazy novelty yarn technique in there. I finally settled on spinning the 8 oz of fiber into a supercoil yarn, where you spin a single and tightly coil it around an inner stabilizer. (Vague on purpose, detailed instructions in this book.)


This was my first attempt, as well as the first bobbin of singles. After coiling, I found that the rolags really aren't ideal for this kind of yarn-- the typical woolen spun fuzziness obscures the coil effect in parts. I also spun this first one with lots of slubs, thinking that the 1-2" or so unspun bits would work well but instead finding them too short and too soft-- they look like gigantic pills on the yarn when coiled, and you can't see the coiling at all in them.

I took what I figured I learned and spun up the other 3 bobbins of singles with an eye to coil all of it... and to be honest? Once I finished another 2 oz of supercoil yarn I was kinda over it and just took the remaining 2 bobbins of tightly spun singles and plied them together. I wouldn't have normally spun these singles so tightly for a 2-ply, but I really just couldn't hang with the orange coiling any more!

Even worse I tried to loosely ply the singles-- the coil yarn is like rope with little drape, and I did actually want to knit this yarn and thought if I was able to alternate between the tight coil yarn and a more limp 2-ply, it would be visually interesting in a project as well. Doing so means the plying didn't take much twist out of the singles and the resulting yarn has a harsher hand than if it had been more softly spun in the beginning. Still nice to look at, but when the fiber first crossed my doorstep it was SO plush and squishy, so I'm a bit bummed thinking I may have ruined that aspect... Anyways! :)

All of this talk of tightness and plying and such, but a picture is better.

left: 2-ply. middle: 2nd attempt at supercoiling yarn. right: 1st attempt.
all unblocked.

Now, these hanks are all technically the same circumference... see?

as above, but with a weight

These are all unblocked-- the 2-ply is hanging the most true/balanced, but see how much the coil yarns are drawn up compared to the 2-ply (the first attempt moreso than the second)? I'm a low-hanging girl and couldn't help but be intrigued. Is it because the singles were more soft even though they were just as tightly and consistently coiled? Not sure. In any case, the first attempt is softer, but doesn't look as good (in the sense you can't see the coils as well as in the other.)

After finishing in hot-hot water and some kookaburra the skeins hung relatively evenly-- I had planned to block the yarns with a weight as they dried, but didn't and I'm glad... don't need them to lose any more loft ;)

I dig this sisters pic, reminds me of this and something else...


The 1st coil yarn is on the right... you can see what I mean about the slubs looking like "pills". The second coil yarn's coils just look "tighter" even though they're really not-- spinning its singles with a special eye to firmness and no slubs (but varying thick/thin widths over stretches), but I don't think that the skeins will be distinguishable in the final project. I'm kinda-sorta planning on making this "Go Diagonal" scarf-- it was featured in Intertwined, but is a free pattern online. That, or sort of a hoodie that winds into a scarf... there's one in Intertwined (and one like it here-- Nomadic scarf in IK Fall 2007), but more rustic and simply in garter.

Really though, spring is here and spinning's winning over knitting... we'll see. It must be cold somewhere :)

The supercoil yarn is a really interesting way to keep color repeats separate-- since you're not plying, you can get dramatic stretchy stripes of color together as well as stack bunches of different ones together... it would be really fun to play with different lengths of colors in a single that was supercoiled and see the effect. I planned to supercoil the black magic baby/confetti batts from, but instead I think I'll do something else and intersperse coils as an accent. Definitely something novelty though... Intertwined has hooked me :)


My supercoil may have been on the thin side since I used a silk sewing thread, a heavier weight stabilizer like a mercerized crochet cotton would prolly give a thicker look. I think I also spun my singles too finely overall, a heavier single would need less twist to be "tightly spun" and would make a thicker yarn in the end (notice how the 2-ply is thicker than the supercoiled yarns?) It's all still bulky, but a really bulky supercoil would be great, as well as softer. I don't know if I'd use a superplush fiber supercoiling again though, you do lose the softness in anything that's overspun.

But, orange fun :) One more...


I was able to find more (big!) pressed amber nuggets for stitch markers for my shop, I love these on big needles since they're so light but super dramatic. Convo or email me if you're interested in a set, I haven't gotten around to making them yet or do anything but dye eggs and superwash merino this weekend (updating my shop with some handdyed rovings tomorrow afternoon)...

Til then! :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

etsy friday

Superwash merino (koigu, yall!) overdyed by

I don't really buy yarn anymore.* I'm just going thru a non-yarn phase, but really... Alyson said she had done some overdyeing of koigu and louet sport for TheYoYo shop and I was like, oh that's nice but I wasn't going to buy anything (or even look!) since, well... no yarn thing. Then I saw these when I logged into etsy a few days ago to upload new stitch markers and was like some gunslinger hitting the buy button, I didn't even write a little dorky comment like I usually do when I buy from her shop for fear someone would snake this yarn from me.

Sort of a moody pic I know, but my cam doesn't do purple and this is the royalest royale with cheese purple (not eyesearing like that machine knit one at stitches, but I can hang)... hers is better. Also better is the little swag she sent along...

paper coasters, letterpress with knitting motifs by

Alyson usually sends pretty rad gifties along with stuff you buy from her shop... how do I know? Pretty rad = stitch markers from ;) I'm a big paperedtogether fan myself, so these were a treat.

Further on in etsy letterpress fandom...

"I'm all heart, baby" letterpress flat card from

Oh yes, I am :)

This is just gorgeous though. I tried hard to capture the quality of the paper, and that lovely indenting that letterpress effects on it. The heft makes me almost as happy as the heifer ;)

"A little night sky for you" letterpress and appliqued paper card from

I have to admit I found kseniya's shop when I saw this card... I was going to buy it but it makes no sense or context for me, but Morrissey! Smiths! I may go back and get it and send it along even though it is a bit of a headscratcher. The letterpress quality will no doubt blunt that. :)

There's a debate on the etsy ravelry forum (well, not debate really but you know...) about sellers sending extras, little gifts along with packages. I do as a seller send "gifts" with purchase, nothing choking or bankbreaking-- I'm sure it's as much fun for me as it is for buyers. I don't mind either way as a buyer, it is always a nice surprise but doesn't keep me from returning to a shop if nothing "extra" is included. I often get little extras in my purchases and usually don't share them during etsy fridays, thinking it sort of ruins the surprise... but. Kseniya sent this little letterpress extra along and I couldn't help but try and photograph it...


It's a flat card on that excellent paper, printed on both sides, about letterpress. Also, little blank "calling cards" (business card sized), blank with a beautiful pattern in the corner... already seen some use, and will see some more. Those are my favorite things, the extras I can use and know others will enjoy receiving when I pass them on.

And onto favorite things, my etsy pick of the week from a buyer from my shop who is a seller on etsy...

Moth gift set-- dpn protector, stitch markers and sachet by
(pic by lunastrixae, used with permission)

I use my Lunastrixae/Three Owls Knitting double pointed needle covers/protectors all the time-- but I hadn't seen this gift set before. I like the "theme" of moths-- the set includes the dpn protector and stitch markers, but also moth guard potpourri sachets! :)

As far as the needle protectors go-- I use my Three Owls Knitting dpn protectors when grabbing my knitting on the go and still love them after all this time, not so much to protect me against needles poking thru my bags (has happened!) but to keeps the stitches on my sock needles. I usually have my knitting packed up for transit, or sitting in the car, and *hate* trying to pick up dropped sts in a moving vehicle... Sherry's dpn protectors save me from that fate :)

It's getting dark here, another late etsy friday but, no matter :) See you soon, miss you despite it all.

*I am not only on a non-yarn buying kick, I am on a spring cleaning jag and have listed a BUNCH of sock yarns from my stash at ... including a bag of rowan cork. likely more to come, i may now own 3 raw fleeces and... well, that's a lot of wool to make room for and spring has just sprung! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a few handspun sock yarns

I've wanted to show off this skein of handspun since finishing it weeks ago, but had as hard of a time capturing it as I did the batts. Finally today I could, a glimpse at least...

Handspun dk weight, 2-ply. 4 oz, 300 yd
"Raven" batts by -- black superwash merino, glitz and sari silk

Finally, the black-black of the superwash merino, and the magenta and purple sari silk, and even true hints of the lovely glitz (but yall know how hard glitz is to capture, anyway). I am just as excited about this yarn as I am the batts... I mentioned a while back that I didn't think I could spin a 96% black yarn, but writing that I had already spun part of these batts; I don't consider this a "black" yarn, even though it very much is. It's just that I don't really get excited about solidly dyed fibers, and that's what I meant... it is really hard to express in word and picture that this isn't a black yarn, but a yarn (and fiber) that uses its solid palette to let shine the ethereal and varied colors it has been blended with.

Every inch, no... every quarter inch or more of this yarn had color from the sari silk or glitz in it. I've bought fibers that have said additions were blended throughout but really weren't-- Enchanted Knoll's fiber truly had color throughout the batts' layers, all the way thru. The sari silk was also really well distributed-- there were mainly individual strands of sari silk, and no more than a few strands together at a time (where sari silk tends to come bunched and tangly, this isn't at all in the batt.)


I also really want to say something about the batts themselves as well, the fiber. I am used to fibers in roving or combed top form, where they are slightly compressed and need some love to get drafting nicely just because they've been dyed and rinsed and dried and handled til they get smooshed and a little uptight. A plus about these batts is that Josette uses a commercially dyed sw merino top (a guess! tell me if i'm wrong, k?), and with its already aligned fibers being opened up and sprinkled with the glitz and sari silk on her drumcarder, it is *crazy* open and soft, and drafted like no one's business. I love spinning sock yarns from handdyed, combed top, and have found spinning from batts to be less ideal for me (just the way I spin and how I prefer aligned fibers' look in the final product)... but these batts are the exception to that rule. You can look closely and I bet you wouldn't guess this was a fiber from a batt, as smooth as the final yarn turned out.

I even plied them a little less tightly than I would normally...


...the singles were so limp and soft that I really couldn't bear to ply them as tightly as I normally would. Again, not a great pic of the black merino but you can look closely and see what I mean-- there is no part of this yarn that is a solid black at all and isn't super smooth.

Seriously going to make some gorgeously bling socks, that's for certain.

And even though it's hard to follow that, I have one more handspun sock yarn asking for attention :) You can see it above, getting my camera to behave for the true color of the Enchanted Knoll fibers...

Handspun dk weight, 2-ply. 4 oz, 300 yd
80/20 superwash merino/bamboo, dyed by (me!)

You look closely at this one and there's something off, and you're right. I took this...

100% superwash merino, glass tyger by

and this...

60/40 superwash merino/bamboo, glass cleopatra by

...spun a single of each and plied them together, same idea behind this yarn except these rovings weren't dyed at the same time. In fact I forgot I had one predominantly orange fiber already stashed and dyed another for myself. They found themselves culled out of the fiber shelf at the same time when I was trying to decide what to spin next, and I couldn't resist pairing them up. Made for each other, I'm certain :)

Before I started spinning I expected a very orange skein of yarn, but this is more... tangerine? No, a fifty-fifty bar... the bamboo ply is definitely lighter and carries with it a light, the need to reflect light and shine-- much more than the seacell ply did in the mercutio yarn.

It's a fun looking yarn, but it may be too... shiny for me knit up. We'll see. In the meantime I have 2 oz each left of the colorways... next time, I think I'll randomly alternate lengths of 100% sw merino and the bamboo blend in each single-- it should ply up superfun with places where the bamboo blend and the 100% merino blends match up with one another.

Til then, a tangerine...



Friday, March 14, 2008

etsy friday

Spring's creeping up on my brain... I forgot it was etsy Friday :) I didn't want to let this one slide though, look how fun!

2 sets of infant booties, handknit by

So, along with the twinned out Baby Surprise Jackets, I thought a mirror image set of booties would be so cool. I was planning on knitting them myself, then Kathie from Shake Your Booties contacted me about setting up a custom order for stitch markers-- I spied on her shop and begged her to swap with me! :)

This was a custom order, I asked her to make a set of blue with green stripes and green with blue stripes for undoubtedly the cutest twins to grace my family tree ever (til mine, of course! ;))... I think she said the yarn was Dale Baby Ull? It's very soft, and totally appropriate for tiny feeties.


The detailing is fantastic, from the little drawstring thru eyelet holes around the ankle, and the really sweet packaging-- they're being gifted just as is.

It's funny, I never ever thought I'd buy something handknit cos, you know-- we can do it ourselves! Really though, I wanted to knit something like this for the kids but hadn't gotten around to it, and the workmanship is stellar AND they're still handknit (no, I'm not going to try and pass them off as mine!)... so the gift really does keep with the spirit of me trying to foist handknits onto these kids ;) The purchase has definitely opened my eyes to looking more closely at finished handknits on etsy, though I haven't bought another (yet).

And now on to something I buy too much of :) I was on a self-imposed greeting card diet, having a brick of postcards to work thru an inch thick*, but I really, really missed buying cards on etsy. So, my first trip and fall card buying binge started with my favorite card vendor on etsy, Creative Apples...

Robot Notecard set number 2, from

Robot Notecard set number 2, from

Can you blame me?

Didn't think so. :)

Seriously though, April's work is always reliably top notch-- I've bought enough cards to know :) She also always has new stuff and a flickr stream chock full of more she'll do custom orders from, so... yeah. I couldn't help myself!

In the same vein, my etsy pick of the week (highlighting an etsy seller who has purchased from my shop)...

Creamery-- Handknit, Felted Vase by
(photo by bm, used with permission)

Falling in line with the idea that handknits are not inappropriate for knitters to buy, I just love this little vase. It just looks like a perfect little organic cache for special pendants to leave at the bedside, for those tiny things that need as special a place as they are. I'm also pretty jealous of the simple beauty of Black Mustard's presentation and photography, but in a good way.

Black Mustard
has a lot of felted (both wet and needle) items (like this clutch that is too awesome), as well as handspun yarns... I like the idea that I'm too chicken to needlefelt, but could have something awesome (and even custom!) with blackmustard's help.

That's it for now, have a good weekend! Miss you :)

*and now for the political portion of our program, feel free to tune out. Barack Obama's campaign is asking for 100k postcards from women around the country to be delivered to undecided voters in Pennsylvania-- you can read more here, and see mine here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

bitten by my Schacht Matchless (and tumblr)

Okay, don't tell anyone but I don't want to knit any more. :)

It's totally a spring twitter*pated thing, no doubt an obsession with a big sturdy addition to my life thing. He makes me grin uncontrollably with his presence, attention, love (and it hasn't waned!!)... He's been around long enough and deserves an introduction.

my new-to-me Schacht Matchless

Everyone's got a name and gender for their wheel (well, not everyone!) and though I haven't named him, he feels like a boy. My Ashford Joy feels like a boy too, still nameless :)

I wasn't looking for this, this new obsession but it has hit me hard and to my core. I bought the Matchless from a seller on Craigslist who was local to me and had too many wheels to care for-- he came with two extra bobbins, a high speed whorl, and a price that made this unreachable wheel possible. I've since given him a good once-over rubdown with Wood Beams (I could tell he loved the pampering, as much as he laid back and drank in the oily wax I rubbed in!) and added a scotch tension setup since it was missing.

My Ashford Joy is setup for scotch tension, but I've since really come to appreciate the double drive of this wheel (it does both). I'm actually using it in a hybrid double drive setup now...


...stretchy drive band around the flyer/whorl, and the cotton Matchless band cut down and wound around the bobbin-- two separate loops but still spinning in double-drive mode. I like the idea of double drive, spinning without having to adjust the takeup tension, but I wasn't getting the amount of uptake I like. I spin a longdraw method, letting the wheel draft the non-predrafted fibers out as I pull back with my fiber holding hand and leaving my empty hand free to help when needed... The tensioned pull between us helps me put more tension and less air into my singles, so they aren't as soft and wooly as long draw spinning would usually make them. I found this sweet spot in spinning on my Joy, and didn't want to change my style of spinning just because I was on a new wheel.

In the Matchless' 'regular' double drive, I'd have to ratchet up the tension to the point where treadling became difficult when I found the amount of pull on the fibers I liked... with the hybrid setup, I can tie the cotton band more tightly (than the tension of the stretch band) and still manage the tension knob to finely tune the takeup-- it's working well.

I bought the drive band material (as well as the Schacht's scotch tension spring, Wood Beams, extra cotton drive bands and a slow speed Matchless whorl) from the super kind folks at Mielke's Fiber Arts who had everything in stock and shipped lightening fast. I cut the drive band to size (it came in a loop for another wheel, and I have the same amount left over)... and melted the ends with a lighter. It *only* worked when the plastic melted and blackened, not when the plastic was just soft-- but once it did and the ends were sealed together, it has held well.

I do have 2 separate cotton bands for the whorls (you'll see the spare hanging out in the first picture); since I have some high speed bobbins, I needed two circumferences of cotton bands to get the proper tension for each size bobbin whorl. No big deal, but that's what that is, if you were wondering :)

Back to my new Matchless, or really, to his back...


He's an older style matchless with a walnut insert at the back. Scoping the new Matchlesses (matchlii? :)) at Stitches West, I saw the newer ones had an all-maple back with walnut accents, exactly the same cut but just different colored woods.

How much older? According to the Schacht Spinners group on Ravelry, Schacht started official production on the Matchless' in 1988, and his birthday is 12-6-1988 :)


...backing off since I'm setting myself up for daddy jokes again, I'll just say I'm in love.

Proof? Okay.

Handspun 2-ply sock yarn, superwash merino from Fiber Fiend-- "Mars"
(looks like a heart! or...)

Handspun 2-ply sock yarn, superwash BFL from Dyeabolical Yarns-- "slither"

Handspun 2-ply worsted, Polwarth from A Verb for Keeping Warm-- naturally dyed with indigo and organic correopsis
(thank you so much Kristine!!!)

Handspun 2-ply superbulky, Corriedale from Black Bunny Fibers-- "Audacity"
(Barack Obama fundraiser colorway, all proceeds go to Obama campaign and Carol takes custom orders for yarn and roving for this colorway)

...there's more but whew, later! :) Need to refill that swimming pool.

Also need to go tinker with the blog layout-- I "upgraded" (ha) and hate it. There's no other good way to get the "older posts" links when viewing my tags though, and it's important for me that people be able to browse past Etsy Friday posts. So... I know it looks weird, and I can't get the archives centered, and the text looks wide even on my widescreen monitor, and and and. :)

So off to that, and to tumblr... my new ancillary obsession. I'm not sure if I'll keep it up, but I started a tumblelog clipping the news and information clouds I chase on teh Internets daily, previously shared with my audience of one. Please note, these links and pictures are not only political and personal, but also some 18+/NSFW stuff will undoubtedly show up along with stuff that's just boring and weird to most and very little knittingwise (so if you don't want to see that side of me, and that's OKAY, just be warned... I keep this blog quite neutral on purpose.)

For those interested (Jason got me thinking others would be so that's why I'm going on and on :))... there's a sweet firefox extension called Shareaholic that makes sharing and posting SUPER EASY, not just for tumblr but also twitter, digg, stumbleupon (there's also a bookmarklet, if you're not using firefox)... I also snagged a hellotxt mobile code* from Markingegno so I can post to tumblr and twitter (and others) at the same time from my ipod, AND (last one I promise) Choka on It is now setup for updating the world's longest poem via twitter so I can do all three at once...

Mr Brown would be SO proud of my multitasking ;)

I miss you! It's been too long already (obvious), can't wait til the next time. :)

*i have five four three hellotxt mobile coupon codes... so you can use hellotxt on the go to update your twitter, tumblr, jaiku, pownce, facebook, meemi, beemood, GoZub, frazr, AND numpa accounts from your mobile handset. email me if you want one (very bottom of the page), and i'll update here when they're all gone. you only need this code for the mobile version, hellotxt works just fine from a desktop already (and even the non-mobile version works on my ipod).

Thursday, March 06, 2008

just for fun... cloud city

handcarded rolags

Anxious, last nite I handcarded the first month's fiber club shipment from Black Bunny Fibers (90 delaine merino/10 kid mohair) into this GIANT pyramid of rolags*. There's only 8 oz of fiber, and it takes up so much more space than when it did as a roving...

(Handcards? I bought a fleece. A little one!)

Off to have a good day, you do the same :)

*the rolags are rolled widthwise, easier to throw in the paper grocery bags. i'll open them up and roll lengthwise like the one in the front of the pic when i get going...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Imogen Jacket complete

Imogen Jacket by PerlGrey
Noro Silver Thaw, color 11-- 5.5 skeins
Started: 8 February 2008
Finished: 23 February 2008
US 8 (5.0mm) KnitPicks Harmony circular, various cable lengths

I finished this literally minutes before leaving for the Amtrak Stitch and Ride train to Stitches West 2008, too little time to really think if I liked the sweater or not :) It has definitely grown on me-- I steamed the jacket that morning, planning on giving it a good wetblock when I had composed myself from the *best weekend evar*-- but have been wearing it daily and haven't had the chance, enjoying it that much. I expect to love the feel of it even more once it does get a good soak; judging from the way the sample of Silver Thaw I had from Article Pract's Noro yarn tasting acted after a trip thru kookaburra, it becomes just heaven.

(Speaking of, AP's new yarn tasting is for Colinette and I'm excited to go in a few weeks... not sure if there's space but you can call the store to ask. Browsing the upcoming class list I'm all excited to see that Kristine from A Verb for Keeping Warm is hosting a drop spindle class, and that Krista from PigeonroofStudios is holding a toe up magic loop socks class... hearting the East Bay talent, yall :) I'm hoping there will be a little fiber from both for sale at Article Pract when I make in for the yarn tasting...)

...Meanwhile, back on the farm.

The jacket reminds me of the Hot Lava Cardigan (PDF!) by Blue Alvarez Designs... I knit it forever ago in Malabrigo Chunky, and it has a similar feel if not construction. Looking at that above pic, I realize that I prefer the management of the roll collar on Imogen more, though don't like the way it looks here rolled up.

It is the construction of Imogen that is so interesting and almost confounding... I had to sketch the schematics myself so I could understand how it was knit (which makes a difference if you want to alter the length or width of this unconventional pattern). It is easy when you get the hang of it-- I had *no* seams to seam up when I cast off. The entire thing is stockinette, and can be worked with no seams-- not a typical sweater, but the first adult one I've completed!

Getting ahead of myself though. I did modify the pattern a bit-- I started with a provisional caston, so later on in the pattern I wouldn't have to pick out the caston to start one of the arms/front of the piece. This made life a lot easier, I'm thinking.

Mainly, I "modified" the pattern for sizing...


They weren't real mods, just to get the pattern sized the way I wanted it to fit me. For the following size changes, I used Imogen's sizing numbers as written in the pattern, plugging them in instead of the numbers for the L size.

I knit the L sizing with an XL width... the length on the XL was too much and hung too low for my preference. Even now with the wear it's taken, it is hanging a little lower than I wanted. This was hard to come by-- I didn't really understand the construction and had to rip the back twice to get what I needed. I knew I wanted a slightly loose fit, and preferred to have more fabric across the back to manage that desire than on the front (where bulk is added on the collar as well as the front chest coverage). I'm also built like an ox, so eh :)

The back of Imogen would be awesome to knit on a machine-- a large, large square of stockinette. The striping of the Noro made the time pass well tho...


For the back, I took out several yards of the yellow striping from the color. As wild as these colors look to me already, the yellow just stood out even more. (These pics were taken in fullon sun, so the brightness of the yellow against the relative darker hues of green, black/grey and orange may not be obvious.) I did leave some yellow, and for the arms and front I didn't take out as much since it wasn't as jarring for some reason.

Amy said her Imogen's back slouched in that shrug way b/c of the construction, mine did too but less so. Someone who really understood the schematic/construction of this jacket and wanted to take the time could devise some short row/darting to combat that, I think... but part of the thing about this sweater is that it is sort of slouchy and comfy like that.

arm and front of Imogen

The pattern calls for you to knit the arms flat and seam them up-- there's really no good reason to, unless you like that sort of thing. Instead I just knit the arms in the round, using magic loop and the same circular I knit the back on (32"). I knit the arm lengths as recommended but put them on waste yarn instead of casting off-- I had a hard time seeing how it would fit lengthwise when both were on, and since they're knit top down and in the round, no reason not to. I'm glad I did-- I needed to take out a little extra length once the entire jacket was done and the arms laid as they would when worn.

As I said before, using the provisional caston made life a lot easier when knitting the second sleeve.

Once that was done I picked up the sts for the front using the 48" knitpicks cable.

collar (top) and back (bottom)

Even picking up a bunch of sts at the underarms to try and cut down on holes there, I was only able to pick up enough sts across the back equivalent to the number given for the M size. You can see the collar's sts are more "open" than the back-- not only from use but for a spacing that doesn't quite add up. I didn't sweat it though... I really was worried about the qty of sts across the neck, I hate the feel of bunchy fabric at the back of my neck. So much so that when working the short rows for the front, I used the M directions/spacing numbers so that they hit about 2" shorter than the L directions do (lower on the chest, so not as much fabric far up the neck/collar area) and knit the XL number of short-row repeats so I could get more coverage across my ollieollie frame without the extra roll of fabric at the back of the neck. It worked fine-- I like the amount of fabric it created there, even though I didn't get a good picture of it above.

front of imogen

The overlap in the front is enough that I can secure it if I wanted, even though I actually prefer it open. I think I may go look for some fancy closing stick though... when it's windy the front blows open too much, totally missing the point of a wool sweater.

The edges all roll since its stst-- even the lower edge of the back though its not a traditional stockinette edge. I managed to steam that flat and it's stayed, but it can be a consideration when thinking about the length you want to knit (if you have a fabric that is going to roll and not be tamped down, you may lose length). The collar of course rolls, but a stick will help-- same deal for the cuffs. I really like the castoff details PerlGrey gives for both the cuff edges and the front collar-- it rolls in so it's not really noticeable, but a nice knitterly detail nonetheless.

If you're thinking about knitting Imogen in Silver Thaw, note it has grown in length from when it was cast off during wear. Not bad, but noteable. The arms also grew from a perfect length before steaming to 2" too long... I'm a little afraid to wetblock it for that reason, too! I had planned to take out the extra cuff length, but I actually like it rolled up, that whole comfort sweater thing. The entire effect of the sweater is like being wrapped up-- picking a yarn you love and knitting this pattern in it only helps. Part of the fun of using Noro in this project is getting to see how the long striping repeats work over several different stitch counts; the back, arms and front all have different row lengths, so you get a good variety of striping widths from the same yarn.

I used about 5.5 skeins of Silver Thaw (240 yd per), probably less than a half of a skein to finish... so now I have 4.5 skeins left from the gift of yarn my sister sent :) I can't imagine another sweater in this color (it's grown on me, but yikes-- 2?!), maybe I'll track down some more for a blanket, or put it for swap or sale. It also felts well-- I spitspliced all the ends (including at least one knot per ball, one skein had 6 knots!!), so maybe a felting project. Who knows... I don't want to knit anything lately, just want to spin :)

A spinning post next, for certain...

Til then!

(ps! i'm going to "upgrade" my blogger template so i can get the tags i love so much to work properly... i didn't know when viewing by tag links my old etsy friday posts only went back 20 posts when there are twice that many. so, apologies if you see wonkiness over the next days here.)

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