Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy days

This has been a good knitting month for me. First was Maryland Sheep and Wool.  How cool to visit over 125 vendors and all the sheep. Plus share the weekend with over 50,000 people! I do want to go back, but in a few years. It takes hundreds of dollars to buy what you want without much worry about a budget. But, I also had specific things I wanted like a set of needles and cashmere that cost quite a bit. It was very worth it though!

The other happy thing is this picture.

This was the hat I made for my niece. It looks great and it looks big enough. I am soooo happy with how it looks. This may be my go to baby hat pattern. The yarn may also be my go to for baby hats in the future.

The last happy day was going to a yarn shop in Pittsburgh where I was "professionally" measured in order to knit myself my first sweater. Here is a picture of what I want.

I want something so simple I will have a hard time messing it up. All it is is stockinette stitch for the body and ribbing for the collar, waist and wrists. I can do that! The reason I am getting measured is because there is a program developed called Custom Fit. You go to a yarn store where the workers have been trained to correctly and thoughly measure you. Then they put all the info in the computer and say what kind of sweater you want, how long you want it, if you want positive or negative ease, do you want to knit it in pieces or in one piece without seaming it? Then you pay $11.00. If I buy the yarn at the shop, I get $10 off the cost of the yarn. I had the money so I bought the yarn. 

Then you go home and knit a swatch to determine what size needle you want to use based on the thickness of the fabric you made. You wash it, dry it and bring it back in. 

They measure your swatch (they explained it but I still don't quite understand it. Something about knitting to your gauge and not the gauge of a typical pattern) and put in more info and then finally print out a pattern for which you pay $10.00.

Ok ok so it's not a cheap process. But if I 
can make a sweater I love it will be worth it.

The yarn I choose is from American Columbian breed sheep that live and graze in Oregon. The coolest thing is I will be knitting with the same yarn (but different weight) that the Olympic sweaters were made from! Now, they were dyed and put together in other places but the process started with this yarn! Here is a picture of it and the color I choose.

I choose this color because the sheep are naturally this color:

These are the sheep that make this wool.  I figure, why mess with nature and buy dyed wool. Plus it should go with most things. I started my swatch:

The lady said to make multiple ones with different sized needles. This one is on size 4 needles. This is my regret. I listened to a lady who told me that if you are heavy to not use thick yarn as it will make you look bigger than you are.

I had the chance to go with a DK weight which is one tick up from what I bought. The fabric I am getting is very stretchy but not quite as thick as I'd like. I will continue and try a size 3 needle next and see how I like that. I am mad at myself for having blinders on and listening too closely and not thinking about it more. The thinner the yarn the longer it will take to knit. I want this done by winter. I could take 3 of the skeins back but I had them wind up 2 so I couldn't return those and each skein was $21.00. The yardage on this yarn is nice at 395 yards. The holes in the swatch are neat little indicators. There are 4 holes which means I used a size 4 needle! Pretty slick huh?

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted.