NaKniSweBloPoMo Fini!

Headoverheelsforscoop

I've fallen head over heels for Scoop!

Scoopfullbodyshoy_2 Scoopfromtheback_3 Scoopfavoritesweater

This was a fun, fast, classic knit that went together so smoothly, so nicely and I'd love to knit a second one, right now!  I've been wearing this sweater almost everyday since she crossed the finish line.  The fabric, the fit, the warmth, and style, are to live for. She's the perfect, dress up, dress down, always lookin' good sweater.  If I ever knit with Peace Fleece again you can bet it'll get the rough treatment.  It softened wonderfully and the itch factor vanished!

Scoopbuttonedandlookingood
Scoop Pattern: Scoop du Jour by ChicKnits
Yarn: 6 skeins Peace Fleece, Blueberry Borscht
Size: 40
Needles:  As per pattern 5-8 Addi Turbo
KALs: NaKniSweBloPoMoFo
Time to Knit: November 1- November 22, 2007
Modifications:  Lengthened body and sleeves 2"

Grrlsjustwannahavefuntoo

Love it!!

NaKniSweBloPoMoFo wasn't too bad, but I think I'll take it easy in December.  Have a good weekend!


Scoop du Blueberries Finishing Details

Scout de Jour was finished just minutes before we left to have Thanksgiving Dinner with Anne's family.   I didn't rush, didn't push just so I could wear it, it just happened that way.  The perfect buttons were found on Wednesday and the perfect buttonholes executed on Thursday.   

I know you're just dying  to see the finished project, but every time I knit a sweater I'm asked how I get them to fit...so, don't you want to know my secret?  I'm also going to share with you how to make a good button band the first time.  I'm no expert, it's just that I really don't like doing things twice, if I can avoid it at all.  My methods aren't fool proof, but they will improve your success rate.

Scoopswatchandbeginning_2 First, do the gauge thing folks...just do it.  Knit a 4 to 6 inch square and treat it the way you would your finished sweater.  I like to wash my sweaters on delicate, cold water, in the washer and lay them flat to dry.  That's what I do with all swatches.  It tells me how a yarn will react and helps in judging what size to knit.  Knitting math is as easy as basic math...you can do it, if I can, you can. 

Take your favorite fitting piece of clothing and measure it.  That will give you a good idea of what size sweater to knit.  Claudia used an already finished sweater as a template when she knit Thermal...that's a perfect way to insure your sweater will fit. While knitting I check my gauge often, to make sure the stresses of life (or the extra relaxing times) aren't taking a toll. I also try the pieces on if I can.  Every piece is measured when finished and, I block as I go, which is a good way to to make sure all pieces are the size they should be.  Measure, measure, measure...it can't be done too often.  Count rows to make sure you sleeves, and the pieces of the body are the same length, so that everything will sew together smoothly.  All in all, that's pretty basic knitting advise...Knitting 101.

Buttonsandbuttonholeonscoop_2

(I deleted my math as several people let me know it was wrong. It was messed it up...I can't do math, evidently...but, some how I did get the right number of stitches picked up and the sweater looks great.)

The way I placed the buttonholes is a little less scientific. One button is in the neck band and the last button is 2" from the bottom edge.  With the 2x2 rib it was easy to space the rest by counting the ribs. I can't tell you how much I love this sweater, but I'll try (on Friday). Nancie Wiseman's book, Finishing Techniques, has been my go to book when it comes to finishing details and her one row buttonholes can't be beat.  Don't skimp on knowledge when it comes to doing a good job of knitting and finishing.  That's Basic Knitting Advice, Knitting 101.


Scoop - The Finishing Touches

Blueberryscooblocking Sunday, while pinning the body pieces of Scoop to the floor, I noticed a glaring error.  The back neck 'scoop' was as deep as the front neck 'scoop' and I knew that just couldn't be true.  Upon inspection of the written pattern, the error of my ways became clear...the extra two inches of the body length had not been added into my calculations before starting the neckline.  That meant the a reknit!  I had just given the sweater a good dunking, with agitation, in order to fuzz up the finish and help the yarn blossom to its maximum.  Would it be possible to pull back and reknit? Would the yarn be felted together? 

Blueberryscoopyarnreadytofix After allowing it to dry thoroughly, I cut off the shoulders (much easier than trying to rip back) and raveled until just below the neckline.  The yarn was fluffy, slightly fulled, but not felted to itself....thank goddess!  However, I knew the problem would come in reknitting the area with yarn that hadn't been 'processed'  for maximum bloomability.  To that end, I wound off what remained of a ball onto my niddy noddy, tied the skein in several places, and proceeded to dunk it in a bath of hot water and soap. I stirred the waters wildly for a minute or two and checked the yarn.  It was perfect and looked very much like the finished fabric. 

Backlooksfinewithnewyarn Monday evening I began reknitting, found the yarn worked well and left no line of demarcation.  What a relief! The neck was finished quickly, the sweater pieces sewn together and the front plackets begun.  The photo shoot should happen right on schedule...if I can find buttons! I forgot about buttons!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!  I'll be back tomorrow if you want to stop by...it is NaKniSweBloPoMoFo, ya know!?


It Won't Be Long Now - NaKniSweBloPoMo

Can you tell this picture is of Scoop de Blueberries, her back and both sleeves?  I thought not...it's so hard to get pictures on the fly and in poor light.  The first front is coming along nicely, which means the sweater could be finished by this weekend. However, I have no plans to push myself and this week is extra busy.  It's been very enjoyable to watch the inches grow, row by row and progress continues even as there has been backtracking.  The first sleeve was knit waaay too long and the second sleeve was started with the wrong size needle.  Six inches of ribbing had to be redone, as did the first sleeve cap and yet, both sleeves were finished in about 3 days.

Abadpicturesofscoopdublueberries

You just gotta love that!  PF isn't a very soft wool and it's a bit harsh to knit and in the fabric.  After washing it softens and blooms.  I took things a bit farther than just a simple wash and let the finished sleeves agitate in warm water for a minute or two.  The fabric softened even more, fuzzed up a bit (like fulling), but didn't obscure the stitches or shrink.

Stitchesareblurredbyfulling_3

The result was just as I'd hoped and I'll now do the same to the back and front pieces before sewing them together.  We're aiming for a Thanksgiving photo shoot!


What are Friends For?

Monday through Friday for 3 and a half years I've been talking about me, my knitting, my State...whatever comes to mind...and then I join NaBloPoMo and the mind goes blank.  Thoughts disappear, ideas evaporate, and to top it off,  Norma brags about being organized and ahead of the game. Bitch. We all know how easily words come to Norma, and now I know what writers block is.  The ideas are there, knitting continues and grows, I have a bunch of fun fibery stuff to show off...but no words come.

Today is Vicki's birthday! It's also Laura's birthday, and I do believe it's Deb's birthday, too!  Deb has a thing for November calenders...so here you go Deb....three favorite calenders.  Oh, and it's Beth's  birthday, too! Is this a record for birthday's in blogland?

Gokcalenderfordeb Janescalenderfordeb Computercalenderfordeb

Colorofscoopintheafternoon_3 The weekend was spent very quietly and, often, the only sound was the clicking of knitting needles.  Scoop is growing so quickly...gotta love size 8 needles and worsted yarn, and I'm totally in love with her good looks.  The back is finished, even blocked and I've cast on the one of the sleeves.  Everyone has a mind game they play with themselves to insure all pieces of a sweater are finished.  My game is to knit the back, knit the sleeves and then the front(s).  In this case, I might mix it up a bit and live dangerously by knitting a sleeve, one front and then a sleeve again.  Knitting should be entertaining, so why not have some fun.

Blockingscooplastnight

Because PF  is a little harsh in its state of skein, it felt right to wash and block the back.  It bloomed! It softened and it looks so pretty!  Seeing the back in a more 'finished' state is a real boost to knitting progress. I can't wait to have Scoop du Blueberries on my back. 


NaKniSweMo

Scoopswatchandbeginningofribbing_2

This swatch is the first step of the journey, the first step for Scoop and NaKniSweMo.  The yarn is Peace Fleece, in the yummy color Blueberry Borscht. While I've knit with PF before, I couldn't help but be a bit skeptical while knitting this swatch. The yarn was harsh, hard and the color seemed dull.  After washing and blocking all worry disappeared as the swatch bloomed, softened and brightened.  The resulting sweater will be warm and pretty.  What you barely see in the photo are the subtle, tweedy, underlying colors of purple and blue/green.  Right after work yesterday all other knitting was set aside and I cast on for Scoop. This is going to be a very quick sweater and I might just be wearing it by Thanksgiving! 

Allwipsreadyforaction The other projects have not, and will not, become UFOs.  Here is an accounting so you can monitor the situation. The Kelly Cardigan may not grow much this month, but she will be finished before years end. She's too beautiful to leave for long, and just might be a nice Holiday sweater, as she's so rich in color.  The Shockwave Socks aren't much farther along than yesterday's photo shows...they will grow...I'm using self-discipline, teaching by example, (ha!).  As predicted, the Portrait Scarf grows so, so slowly...little progress can be seen. I love her truly, so she will get daily attention (if possible) and her day in the sun will come. (note to self: There's a lot of pink in that  photo!)

That's about it from here.  I'm looking forward to the extra knitting days we'll have during the long Thanksgiving weekend. (Yes, I realize it's still three weeks away.) That extra time will help me to reach the goal of having almost everything off the needles by the end of the year....that's 60 days away.  However, in a moment of delusion, I may have cast on for something else.

Mittenbeginninginmanisehandspun