September 13, 2013

Sweater Weather

As my studio still awaits baseboard installation (this weekend!), the room remains empty of furniture. Which means unpacking and studio set up cannot proceed. Which leaves me with the need to make stuff but without materials or tools to do it. Except knitting. The needles are accessible. Instead of tackling one of the many ideas I have for Odd Bird Studio wares (oh, I hope these ideas do not lose momentum due to neglect, as is typically what happens when I don't follow through immediately), I am making something ambitious for myself. (Hmm, anyone else go through convoluted justifications for granting yourself permission to make something for yourself? Just curious.)

I've never attempted to knit a garment before now. Reading through the pattern, some of the instructions don't make sense to me. I figure (hope) they'll become clear as I attempt to work through them. And just to make it a little more challenging - no, not really, but somehow this is what happens - I did not choose one of the 4 recommended yarns. I think (please, please, please) I purchased enough to complete the sweater, but only time will tell.
The recommended needle size is 7 to make gauge. Since I knit a bit tight, I started the swatch with size 8. I measured incorrectly and thought 8 was too big. The next section is knit with size 7, WAY too small. Re-measured the 8 and found it too small as well. Size 9 needles are the winner.

Maude is knit from the bottom, up. On a sweltering hot and humid day earlier this week - just the weather for sweater knitting (insert extreme sarcasm here) - I cast on 207 stitches and continued knitting. I got 9 rows in and frogged it. The bottom band consists of 4 rows of 1 x 1 rib. Mine was horribly sloppy. The edges, which will not be seamed as Maude is more like an apron than a sweater, are also 1 x 1 rib. Because the pattern does not call for slipping the P stitches at the beginning and end of each row, I didn't slip them. This made for a wonky, messy, bumpy edge. 

This here is take 2, started yesterday. Much neater bottom band and clean, slipped edges. Could it have anything to do with the rainy, stormy weather?
Here it is after finishing one ball of yarn. About 5 inches. Thank goodness. The total length should be 29 inches. I bought 6 balls of yarn. Five inches per ball will get me there. Especially since much less yarn will be required for the final 9 inches of neckline and shoulder straps.

Doesn't it feel good to try something new outside one's comfort zone? What new, challenging projects are you tackling? 

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