Saturday, September 12, 2009

Double Whammy!

Do people still say that?  (Did people ever say that?)

I have two FOs to show you that have sort of been done for a while, but not quite.

The first one is Little Colonnade by Stephen West.  He asked me to test-knit this pattern along with Herbivore, but he didn't publish the pattern until just today (after "normal" Colonnade made it's debut over on Knitty), so I couldn't show it to you when I finished it a few weeks ago.

The pictures in the pattern have all the edges blocked straight, but I wanted to see what it would look like with pointed edges.  Also, as my mother had already hinted that she wanted it, I thought the pointed edges would give it a bit of a feminine look.

I used about a skein and a half (maybe less) of Regia something something Kaffe Fassett designs something mirage color sock yarn.  Yep, that's what it's called.  (Here's the real deal if you're curious what it actually is, I used the "Mirage Twilight" colorway).  US size 4 needles were employed.

I thought the pattern was really interesting to knit, and I've never done double yarnovers before, so that was fun.  I didn't understand how they were going to work until I started knitting them (they work fine).

I know people say all the time that "sock yarn isn't just for socks", but I may make an argument about this yarn.  It's not soft, it's not lofty, and it sort of held it's shape a little too well with blocking.  It kind of shrunk back down and didn't maintain it's pointy points after I unpinned it.  ...but I'm sure it would make very sturdy socks.

Of course, this being a Stephen West pattern, it was very easy to follow, fun to knit, and the results are fantastic.  I can't wait for his next design (no, I have no idea what it might be, but I'm sure he's not done designing yet.)

The other project I have to show you today is...


The zipper came in the mail yesterday and late last night I spent 3 and 1/2 hours sewing it in to the sweater.

Here are a few things I learned from the experience:

1.  It is hard to pin a zipper into a sweater.

2.  Thread is tiny, so is the eye on a sewing needle.

3.  Zippers don't stretch like knitting does.

4.  Sewing needles are sharper than knitting needles.  And they hurt.

5.  Sometimes function is more important than presentation... quiet, I've never claimed to be able to sew.

and last but not least, 6.  I think I would choose buttons over a zipper on a cardigan any day.  Much easier, much faster, much less stressful.

And for the record:

Pattern: Franklin, from Queensland Collection No. 9
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed (10 balls in Chestnut, 1 in Pulp)
Needles: US size 6

My brother wasn't around to model the sweater for me (he's in a play and is always in performances or rehearsals), so just imagine me, but taller, and skinnier, with longer arms.

...and with that, I have to go shove all of my things into my car and drive across Wisconsin.  I'm hoping to leaving in 7 hours, but I haven't really packed anything yet and I still have a few loads of laundry to do, and I need to sleep at some point in there too, so we'll see how that all works out.


  1. Way to go on Franklin! I've got the pattern book but have yet to start anything from it. Agreed on the zipper vs. button thing.

  2. Congrats on persevering with the sweater! Putting in that zipper looks like it would have been a pain. As for the sock yarn, I wonder if it didn't hold its shape when blocked because of the synthetic content. Maybe it's the 100% wool sock yarns that work well for lace shawls (just a theory, I haven't tried it!).

  3. Franklin looks great and although I love sweaters with zips, I agree that putting the into the sweater is a definite pain. And look at that still my heart!

    Travel safe, drive careful, make sure you can see out the back, take periodic breaks, don't talk to strangers...unless they have a knitting or music question...never put a fork in the get the idea.

  4. Oh boy I love a tight sweater...
    Yes, I think Jess is right. Anything from Regia is going to be a little, um, firm, but the 100% merino, or merino silk ones, would make lovely shawls. (In fact, they're so soft I WON'T use them for socks because I fear I'd wear through them too quickly.)
    Beautiful knitting, and I love your back yard.

  5. Double goodness. The sweater looks fab -- agree completely on the button v. zip debate -- and I think I like the Little Colonnade better than the regular one. Safe trip!

  6. I was excited about Colonnade, but I'm even more excited about Little Colonnade. Lucky you for getting to test knit! I like it with the slightly pointer points.

  7. Wonderful knitting! You really are adorable. Not all sock yarns are created equal. Not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind when putting projects together

    Are you on the road yet? Or still thinking about laundry? :D


  8. OMG. That sweater lying on the ground just about killed me. It looks too ridiculously skinny to fit a real human body! But it looks just fine when you wear it, and in fact James might actually have trouble filling it out. ;-)

    Nice photography, as usual. :)

  9. Wonderful works!! Franklin looks great, and I'm so glad he did a smaller version of Collinade. When I saw the big one I instantly wished there was a small one.

    Stephen does write great patterns - I can't wait to get started on another one of his!

  10. Nice job on the zipper. I actually like zip cardigans (and also button cardigans)... I've only done a small zipper on a knitted bag... easier than a sweater. You can baste it in (which means sew with big, loose stitches not put liquid on it at periodic intervals), and then run it through a machine.

    Are you leaving WI?

  11. Hope you've arrived safely!

    Franklin has such a nice fit (even if I'm picturing it on a taller skinnier you). On this design, it seems the zipper was a good call, no matter the sweat required.

    No one - at least none of the wearer's public - sees the back of the zipper. :)

  12. Love all of the projects! The last picture of you posing is hilarious! Btw, you need to convince your sister to move back to Minnesota so she can come to Stitches Midwest! =P Btw, I have a new 90/10 sw merino/nylon blend sock yarn and I need to test it with guys to see how it wears. Wanna try it for me?

    <3 <3 <3

  13. Uggh, yours fits sooooooo finely! Mine doesn't even close up to zip. :( Great job btw, you look very nice in it. All the boys will goo goo gaa gaa over you.

  14. I am totally impressed by your zipper installation! My first attempt to install a zipper was a nightmare, and I have yet to try it again.

    As always your knitting is beautiful. I hope your brother knows how lucky he is to recieve such a gift.

  15. Excellent sweater! Jess has an interesting theory that I'll try to remember. Very fun modeling. :D