Good morning. Good, cold, February morning.
It's good for me because Pumpkin Ale is in a good place. I've finished the back and the fronts and now all I have to do is pick up sleeves and finish the pockets. That's a good place.
As of last Thursday at this time, my knit along, which has the capacity for 30 people over two time slots was a little more than half full and slated to start on Saturday.
Enter, again, the cold weather and by Saturday morning, the Saturday session was full and the Wednesday session was more than half so.
So, this cold is good for something, and that something is this: people want to stay inside and knit. Yay me.
As much as I've fought with this sweater, and I have fought with it, it's turning out nicely.
Problem the first, the directions for sizing are a little confounding, but something I learned in New York last month made me pretty confident in choosing a size and I've nailed it. Anne Hanson talked about fit in her sweater class and she contends that the between the shoulder measurement is key to fitting an unstructured sweater such as this one, not necessarily the bust measurement. I tend to agree. Sizing of this piece can be adjusted across the bust if necessary, but the across-the-shoulder measurement is something that's fixed.
That said, the pattern does not provide that measurement, only the slightly vague instruction that the sweater fits specific bust numbers with an inch or so of overlap and that the model is worn with one inch of ease. Yuck.
The good news is that the first 32 rows of the back are only slightly (like 8 stitches) smaller than the piece will be at the top. So, knit the first 32 rows, steam it, hold it up between your shoulder blades, and voila... Well. That worked for me.
And it's why I knit these pieces ahead of time ... so that I can start participants on the right road fit wise from the start. No one likes to spin her knitting wheels, so to speak, and I think that's why folks take these classes. I spin my wheels ahead of time so you don't have to. Worth the $40 I think...
Back to the sweater. I love Ysolda Teague's patterns and design sense. This piece is nicely tailored and fitted across the back, where I actually have a waist, and not too fitted across the front. Perfect.
The table top does not possess my curves, so you can see the amount of shaping knit into the garment. Hangs pretty nicely unblocked. Blocked, it will be perfect.
My Saturday students have had some trouble with the charts. Many want to write the charts out word for word, row for row, which is fine for now. My goal is, over the next several weeks, to get them to see that the charts help them keep the cables on track visually. I think that some of the techniques alone overwhelm relatively new knitters, so add to that the new skill of translating a chart into stitches, and they balk. Also, I think some folks are more comfortable with words than images. Myself, I get lost in that alphabet soup, so I chart everything. I think it's my job to teach them both ways and then let them choose a preference from the position of experience. But some come kicking and screaming... ; )
With this sweater at a stopping point for now, I think I'll pick up some Olympic knitting. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm supposed to call it 'Ravellenic'. Well I'm not. Come get me, IOC.
I'm not really playing by the rules as I did not wait until tonight to cast on... Sue me. I had a snow day at home yesterday and I used it to knit the first two charts of the center motif on the Dahlia Cardigan from Interweave. This is some old hand spun wool and silk. I think I spun it after my hip replacement but I can't remember. Those of you who saw me after my hip replacement know why I can't remember.
It's some combination of Hello Yarn and Spunky Eclectic club fibers, but that's as far as I know. And it's 16 ounces of fingering to light sport weight yarn. A lot. I must have been spinning like crazy. It shades through hot and cool greens, tans, navy and sky blues. Perfect for spring. Which I'm sure will be cold with the winter we are having.
Anyhoo, I think that Dahlia will be the spring/summer knit along. And being a step ahead of that game might mean that I can offer two sweater knit alongs at the same time -- one easier and one harder. It's a plan, anyway.