Friday, 25 January 2013

Intarsia & Fair Isle Sweater

 This was my first attempt at an intarsia project, never attempted this before though I have knit a lot of fair isle over the years.  Carrying the yarn behind was no problem, but how to deal with the turns at the end took a little practice.  Even then, you can see that some of the stitches at the end of the lines are a little misshapen, especially the brown ones, so I spent a little time with a blunt needle teasing them out and spreading the yarn so the stitches looked better.

Overall, I was pleased with the way it turned out though I did discover that my rigidity about how many stitches I knit before I catch in the yarn created some wrinkles, when I did them in the same place on every row.  Must be more unpredicatable in future!
 This was a definite boo-boo, though, made a mess trapping the yarn and it shows through.  I didn't spot it until too late.
 You can see what happened, I accidentally trapped the yarn in the same place on two rows.  But what to do?  The yarn is too short to cut and weave.  In the end I decided to leave it, figuring it is right by arm and may be hidden by the fabric.  If it still annoys me later I'll figure out what to do about it.
 Anyway, here is the finished sweater, I'm pretty happy with it and barring the slight problem mentioned above and the fact that apparently I couldn't count at times, getting too many stitches on some of the blue lines, it loos pretty good.
 Here's a close-up of the body pattern, same both back and front.
And this is the bottom, fair-isle patterning which was much easier technically albeit took a lot of concentration!  The yarn was Rowan Organic DK, a really nice yarn and good for this kind of patterning.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

  I love to crochet and try to have a project on the go if I can, it's a nice change from knitting.  I got Dora Ohrenstein's excellent book Custom Crocheted Sweaters for my birthday and decided to use up some of my stash on this motif top.  What's clever and unusual about it is that the two sides are made up of different motifs.   I'd never have thought of that.
 While some tops made of motifs use different numbers of squares for sizing, this pattern just has sides added, I confess I adapted a bit at this point with the stitch pattern.  I knew that by using wool, I would be able to block it to the size and shape I wanted,  so I made it wider at the bottom than at the top as I have narrow shoulders.
 Here's a close-up of the square motif.  Both motifs are charted, which makes it a lot easier since the book is written in American terms, which can be confusing.
This is the fan motif, which is my favourite. The shoulders are shaped using rows with different stitches creating different heights along their length, a technique I've used myself for shaping and something that simply cannot be done in knitting.  If youblike crocheting garments, this book is well worth getting as it is full of good ideas.