Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Felting, kinda

I took drastic measures with two of my wool sweaters. One is my Rogue, and the other is my Mariah that I just finished. Rogue has always been about 10 sizes too big, and I never wear it because it is too sloppy and huge, even though the knitting and assembly parts did turn out very well. Mariah suffered a similar fate - I wore it this weekend, and it is at least a couple sizes too big, and the sleeves were way too long.

So, I crossed my fingers and tossed them into the washing machine, set to a regular load at medium temperature. My washer is a front loader, and I'm pleased to say that no actual felting took place. However, I do believe there was some shrinkage, which was exactly what I was looking for! I'll know tonight for sure - they are drying on the bed in the guest bedroom. If it works, I'll have to try the same thing with my Lace Leaf Pullover - that thing has expanded to ridiculous proportions. It has moved beyond comfortable and into clownish territory.

Incidentally, my washer has an awesome "Handwash" cycle that works great for all the handknits that I don't want to shrink. It saves me water, work and drying time :)

I'm taking a break from sweaters and working on my Lenore socks. I always forget how much I love Blue Moon yarn until I start using it again. And the pattern is fun. I just turned the heel on the first sock last night, so I am making pretty good progress.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Finished - almost

I need to backtrack a little bit and redo the neck and collar for Mariah. I used the tubular bind off (which turned out really awesome, BTW), and tried the jacket on. The neckline is huge, and not nearly high enough. I'm going to do more research, but from what I've gleaned so far I really need to decrease more, from 164 stitches to about 100. It's only 16 more rows, then another 30 for the collar, and then I should be in decent shape. I have noticed that people had problems with the size of the neckline on the pattern, and I'm not sure that it was completely addressed with the corrections. However, it may also have to do with my gauge, since I haven't really checked that out yet.

The good news is that the rest of the jacket fits just right, so if I can fix the neck I should be in excellent shape :) I'm still pondering a button band - I think it would probably be the best solution for me and the way the sweater fits me. And the yarn washed up soooo nicely :)

Our new washer has a "handwash" setting, which seems to work splendidly with all my handknits and handwashable garments. It's so nice to have a "cheater" way to wash my clothes.

While waiting for my sweater to dry so I can tink back the collar, I got started on my Vintage sock kit in Claret. I got over the initial mental retardation with the leaf portion of the pattern last night, so I should be able to breeze through the rest of the leaves pretty easily. They're just so darn cute!