Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall and Leafy Sweaters

I've been knitting up a storm these past few weeks knowing that I might not have the luxury of spending undivided attention on what's on my needles the next few weeks with a new puppy in the house.  I'm rather hoping that he will want to snuggle on my lap but NOT want to attack my yarn but I'll let you know if my hope and the reality happen to coincide.

Anyway, with the leaves turning colors here in Pennsylvania, what better project to finish then a nice comfy garter-stitch sweater?  If you aren't a knitter, I'll give you fair warning.  Most of the rest of this post is going to be about knitting.  You have my permission to wander off, make yourself a nice cup of coffee and cuddle with your furry friend(s) or your honey.  As I was saying, this particular pattern is called Lily and it is from the book Essentially Feminine Knits.  It features easy-peasy garter-stitch knitting until you get up to the yoke of the garment and then a very easy lace pattern.

The lace chart is just 38 rows and it results in a lovely border of leaves going around the sweater.  What could be more perfect for Fall?  And my goodness, is this sweater ever comfortable.  I can already tell that it is going to be one of my "go-to" sweaters this fall and winter.

The knitting is quite easy.  I only had one hiccup.  I'm not terribly sure how it happened but, when you get to a certain spot on each of the garment pieces, you have to bind off a certain number of stitches on the right side and then put the remaining stitches on a holder.  I did that for each piece.  However, when you are ready to do the yoke, you put all the pieces together again on to one circular needle and start knitting the yoke.  After a few rows, I realized that I had one spot where my garter-stitch wasn't right.  It looked like I had a row of stockinette on just one section.  Of course, it would be right in the front.  AARGH!  I ripped out a row and tried to undo and redo the offending stitches to make them be purls instead of stockinette but the end result was a raised area in the front and a small 2-row section of stockinette in the back.  Hey, at least the stockinette was no longer visible on the front.  I could live with the raised area.  I call things like that "design elements."

Here is what I think happened.  I think I bound off the number of stitches required in that section and then FINISHED KNITTING THE ROW before putting those stitches on a holder.  For the rest of the sections, I must have bound off the stitches and stopped at that point and put the rest of the stitches (not yet knitted) on a holder.  That is the only way it could have come out differently.  So be warned if you are making this pattern.  STOP after you have bound off the stitches and put the rest of the stitches on a holder.

There was one other thing that had me a bit confused.  When the time came to put all of the pieces onto the one needle, I wasn't quite sure how those bound off parts were supposed to line up.  There are some pictures shown but I guess I needed a "blow-out" section showing all of the pieces lined up for assembly.  I took a gamble and lay it all out with bound stitches to bound stitches when laying it out flat and then took my circular needle and picked up all the stitches that were on the holders as I came to them.  I STILL couldn't quite visualize how it was all going to be seamed but lo and behold, once it was finished, I just seamed up the side seams and then I seamed the sleeve seams and that left me with one obvious small seam under each arm that I seamed and everything was good.  Yay!

This particular sweater was knit out of Cascade 220 yarn, a wonderful workhorse of a yarn in my all-time favorite color, which I call "Spring green."

On the dog front, my fellow "expectant puppy mom" mentioned that she had purchased a pink Bobo for her puppy.  I'd heard of these Bobo toys and most of the comments about them were that dogs found them irresistible.  So when I went over to the pet store today to pick up something, I decided to swing over to the toy aisle and check them out.  There were quite a few in many styles.

I was looking at this one and trying to find the squeaker to check out the sound.  I finally located it and boy, did it have a great squeak.  Just then I heard whining.  I turned around and here was a lady and her dog.  The dog was going nuts.  He was doing everything but crawling on his belly over to me.  He was whining and looking at me with a big grin and finally he sat on his haunches and gave me a look that said, "Please, oh, please....could you toss it this way?"

"Well," I told his owner.  "If THAT isn't a ringing endorsement by a doggy customer, I don't know what is.  This Bobo is definitely going home with me."


1 comment:

kristieinbc said...

I love you new sweater! Isn't garter stitch wonderful? I can see why Elizabeth Zimmermann was so taken with it. One word of warning about wool sweaters and new puppies. Watch that the puppy's claws don't accidentally get hooked into the sweater. I can tell you from experience the outcome is not good. :-)

I am going to see if I can find a Bobo toy for Fergus. Thanks for the tip!