25 November 2006

No seams here!

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I, for one, am thankful that I'm not a homeowner yet. Yesterday we found our basement flooded with 2 inches of water from the leaking hot water heater for the downstairs apartment. I am also thankful we don't live in the downstairs apartment.

I haven't blogged in a while because I haven't had anything of interest to show. Just slow progress and no finished objects. Tonight, however, I think my progress is interesting, at least to me.

Remember that hoodie I've been working on? Well, after consulting with a friend who is a huge Elizabeth Zimmermann fan, I decided that I needed to continue in the round. My non-driving car time over Thanksgiving was spent knitting sleeves in the round, which I finished earlier this evening. Now the fun can start!

It's hard to tell from the picture, but I've united the sleeves and the body onto one needle so that I can continue knitting in the round. I've reserved 12% of the body stitches on scrap yarn on both the sleeves and the sides of the body. They will be woven together seamlessly at the end.
If you Zimmermann fans out there are wondering why I did 12% and not 8% as EZ prefers, the answer is that I am also following the Yarn Girls' pattern as a guide and they had 40% of the body stitches for the widest part of the sleeves rather than the 33% typical of EZ patterns. Therefore (as EZ explains), I had to increase the underarm bit to 12% to account for this.

Now I can just knit on in the round, AND still make the sleeves set-in as the pattern calls for. It's so cool how it works out. Seamless perfection.

I actually think I'll switch to going back and forth when I get to the V-neck part because I don't feel ready to baste and cut yet. I feel like I've untaken quite a bit with this project already and don't want to press my luck or make my head explode.

08 November 2006

Four years!

It was four years ago this month that I picked up needles for the first time and, under the watchful eye of my friend Bia, learned to knit. This hat was my very first project.

Not too bad, eh? It was a good learning project. It really is amazing though, what I have learned in the intervening years. I even look at projects I did last year and surprise myself by thinking, "if I had only known what I know now I would have done this or that differently" or, more often, "what was I thinking???"
I think the real turning point in my knitting came when the Tuesday knitting group formed at my former workplace. Being in regular contact with many knitters was both inspirational and very helpful. Then Ms. Bestitched introduced me to blogging and the rest is history!

As for what I am knitting now, I will share it with you only if you are NOT my sister-in-law. (I don't think you read my blog, but if you do, please avert your eyes).

Surely you must have seen the falling leaves shawl and scarf pattern on the back page of the last Webs catalog? Loved it! I zipped over to Webs (so convenient that it is my LYS) and bought some Valley Yarn Stockbridge so I could get the pattern. I decided to do a scarf in "boy blue" for my SIL for Christmas (or possibly her birthday in January depending on when I finish). I do plan to make the shawl for myself someday in red or orange. I really really like this pattern and it should look awesome when blocked. I'm about a third of the way finished.
I have also been making progress on the hoodie pullover from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits. I chose to do it in the round and so far, so good.
I am approaching the point when I must start making the armholes and decisions must be made. Obviously I can switch to back and forth knitting for the upper portion of the front and back, but that defeats the purpose of doing it in the round as I would still have some major seaming to do. I shall probably end up turning to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop.

I just need to get the book and figure it all out.