Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Returning to the Fold 

Believe it or not, it's been more than three months since I declared that, "I will have a new sweater for New Year's, so help me God." Well, let's just say that it sucks to be made a liar of on your own blog. I'm sorry that I haven't been around to fill you in on what's happened in a more timely fashion, but please do know that I missed blogging and the dialogue that occurs in this space very much!

When we last left things, I tried to recalculate the sleeve caps for my Swirled Pentagons Pullover using the instructions from the Vogue Knitting Bible and failed miserably. I then got the Winter issue of Interweave Knits and set out to use the directions from Pam Allen's excellent article on set-in sleeves.

I recalculated and graphed and was feeling very confident in my results. My second sleeve, left, had a lot less fullness than the old one.

Old and New Sleeve Caps

Unfortunately, disappointment came again when I sewed this sleeve in, and I once again had the weird Star Trek ridge in my sleeve cap.

Second Sleeve Cap - Wrong!

I figured I had two options at this point: make this project into a Swirled Pentagons vest, or try out Barbara Walker's top-down sleeve cap method. I had originally thought about doing the top-down cap, but ruled it out because I wanted to make these sleeves the "right" way. In reality, I think that the shape of the pentagons made for a strangely-shaped armscye, a rather triangular shape, that just didn't match the shape of a traditional set-in sleeve cap.

I picked up stitches around the armscye and started knitting down. I already had the sleeves knit up and planned to just graft the cap and sleeve together. Unfortunately, I had to pick up many more stitches around the armhole than I had on my sleeve already, so I had to make a dart in the middle of the cap.

Top-Down Sleeve Cap

This resulted in a very strangely-shaped sleeve cap - one that did not look like it would easily accommodate a human shoulder!

Strangely-Shaped Sleeve Cap

Thankfully, I persisted and on January 21st, while Cobra and I were enjoying an MLK Day drive through the Cascade Mountains, I finally finished.

Smiling in Pentagons

Swirled Pentagons Pullover from Knitting Nature
Botanical Shades Silk Wool Mohair Blend (purchased at MDS&W 2006)
Size 6 and 7 Needles

Swirled Pentagons Close

The smile on my face was very genuine when these pictures were taken and not just because I was so durned relieved to have this out of my WIP pile. I was happy to have created such a beautiful, nicely-fitting garment. The waist shaping I added and the omission of the turtleneck resulted in a sweater that is stylish, unique and beautiful.

Swirled Pentagons Back

I love the detail of the additional half pentagon in the back. It adds an extra bit of warmth and completeness to the sweater.

Back Very Close

This mohair-wool-silk yarn was gorgeously dyed with natural indigo (you may have seen the similar alpaca blend that Lolly made her gorgeous Aftur Pullover with). Apparently, this company is no longer making yarn anymore. Very sad news, as their product was wonderful to work with! I definitely got a little halo while I was knitting, and the singles were weakened a bit from all of the ripping, but otherwise, it was great and has held up well over these few months.

There's something else blue around my place these days. About a week and a half ago, I got my first ever car.

Keys to my New Car!!!!!

This is my 2008 Honda Fit in Tidewater Blue Metallic, which I have named Filbert 3000. It's a very strange feeling to have a car now after relying on public transportation for so many years. I'm already seeing the benefits, though; my commute has gone from being 50-80 minutes one way to 20 minutes flat. More time for blogging!

As a thank you for those of you who haven't unsubscribed from my feed over the last few months, I want to have my first ever blog contest. As a prize, I'd like to offer up this skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight in a Rare Gems colorway, a mix of red and orange, along with a few other goodies.

Rare Gems

To enter the contest, leave me a comment describing what keeps you inspired to write or read knitting blogs. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, April 22, 2008 at 10:00PM Pacific time.

Talk to you soon!

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