Saturday, November 17, 2012

Getting serious, really.

Hey! It's me again. The old blog has been long neglected, and I'm only too aware of that. The crisp weather and a sudden burst of inspiration may change that for a bit: I'm starting a sweater after a longish hiatus.

On 6 November, which was also Election Day here in the US, I started Hiro.  It has a circular yoke with a bit of stranding in three colors in addition to the main body color. The colors pixelate upward and downward from the yoke in a way that is both cheerful and geometric, yet not too busy. Spurred on by a half-price sale on discontinued colors of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, one of my favorite warm and cozy workhorse yarns that's half wool, half alpaca, resistance was futile. The Marsh Mix (6296) colorway reminds me of the beautiful heathered wools of Scotland, very similar to Jamieson's Fern (SP249), with loden, chestnut, amber and warm blue-green heathering. It took a nano-second to decide to make this my main color. Complimentary colors are Ultra Alpaca Fennel (6249), a warm chartreuse-y green, Ultra Alpaca Cerulean (62170), a heathery blue-turquoise, shot subtly through with a gray lilac and deeper turquoise; I chickened out on my middle transition color by using Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran Cream (135) with very subtle taupe/aqua/turquoise/camel tweedy flecks. The flecks seem to pull all the colors together in the merest suggestion, as they are few and far between. I like the nuance. It didn't hurt that I already had the Cerulean Ultra Alpaca and the Cream Kathmandu Aran in my stash, either.
I knit an embarrassingly rough swatch, to see how I should place the colors and figure my gauge. The blue looks a lot better up close to my face, so I am opting to knit it like the left side of the swatch. Onward through the fog.

Having never knit a yoked sweater, this is a learning experience for me; I love a challenge. Knit from the bottom up, it's hemmed instead of ribbed at the bottom edge, a nice, elegant finish. If I only knew how to work steeks into a pattern, I'd of done that, but since I have no clue how to set it all up, I am (miserably) knitting the body back and forth in one seamless piece. My purling is looser than my knitting, so I will place my trust in the blocking gods once the thing is finished and hope it evens out with a good bath and a block.

The hem is folded and knit together with the frontside stockinette, which is a very tidy, sturdy finish. Love it! The last few days have been miles and miles of stockinette, and I've achieved 10" in length, incorporating some gentle waist shaping. My shaping differs from the pattern here and I'm working it out my own way; it'll be an inch to an inch and a half shorter in total length, too.

Stay tuned, and wish me luck.
PS: For historical purposes, Barak Obama won the presidential election. (Whew.)