Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hey, Alice,

Are you up for a trip down the rabbit hole? I'll take you along on the "design" process while I come up with a sweater.

I have a lot of this horned Dorset wool that I spun and dyed and plied, and want to use up. The orphanage in Roumania always needs warm sweaters, and no matter what size the sweater turns out to be, they are sure to have someone it will fit.

OK, the yarn is unevenly marled. It will knit up into stripes. I like vertical stripes. Therefore, I will knit the sweater from side to side instead of bottom up or top down.

So I measure out how long I want the side to be. (I don't always use a yardstick. Sometimes I just stretch out the yarn and frown at it till my hands are the right distance apart.)

Then I triple that ammount.(This is how you guesstimate how much yarn to use for a long-tailed or "slingshot" cast on. Just triple the length you want the finished fabric to be.)

Make a slip knot and insert the point of your needle.(I'm using the "Dressy" needles made of purple heart with zebrawood finials just for the photo. They are a bit heavy to knit with, and I much prefer circs anyhow.)

Since I am knitting from side to side, I use garter stitch on the first and last stitches (ten each end on this sweater.) to form ribbing. Sometimes, I just knit the whole thing in garter, but I feel a little fancier today, so I knit a row, purl a row, knit a row, purl a row, knit three rows, and repeat. This gives a little more textural interest to the fabric and adds some stretch, (so it will grow with the wearer.)

(Check out my awesome stitch markers! My beading friend Beth made those for me. It's like jewelry for the knitting process. Too cool!)

(Oh dear, are the grammer police gonna get me for excess use of parentheses? But it's how I THINK! All the voices in my head keep adding their two cent's worth as I go along. And that last apostrophe is correct, guys!)

So now I will knit until it looks wide enough, and then bind off and pick up sleeves. I don't start with the cuff and knit across because I don't know how far the yarn will go, and a sweater with two differently colored sleeves is a design choice, but a sweater with one differently colored sleeve is pretty clearly a mistake. Though I don't know - it could have a certain charm. . .

Tomorrow, we share the progress. By the way, I am using my best beloved size 10 Susan Bates nylon circ.s and knitting back and forth. Looks like an average of 4 stitches to the inch.

I like textury yarn, so I have never bothered to learn to spin perfectly even, perfectly smooth, perfect yarn. When I want machine-like precision, I will get yarn made by a machine. (How's that for a well reasoned rationalization by an essentially lazy spinner?)


  • At 10:21 AM , Blogger Lucia said...

    I can't live without parentheses either, but your two cents have my head swimming. I believe it should be two cents' worth, but now I must go consult all my online references.


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