Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Finished Object: A Tribute to Valerie

I always accuse Valerie of copying me (because she does!), but in reality, she and I simply have similar taste in knitwear and yarn. We are of one mind. I decided that instead of her trying to be me and me trying to be her, I should just WEAR her.


Pattern: Val from RYC’s AM to PM booklet
Yarn: RYC Baby Alpaca DK, 100% alpaca, color 200 Blossom, 10 balls
Needles: 2.75 mm, 3.25 mm, and 4.0 mm (US sizes 2, 3, and 6)

TubeCO.JPG• Another sample knit for Yarntopia. They wanted something relatively simple and none of the stockinette patterns jumped out at me, so I picked this one. I’m very happy with it. Such a lovely stitch pattern—the parts between he eyelets look braided to me. It was a quick and easy knit. (I could even working on it while watching movies with subtitles!)

• But just because something is easy doesn’t mean you can’t make it technically challenging. First challenging feature: tubular cast on! I have practiced the tubular cast on, but this was the first opportunity that I’ve had to use it on a garment. Boy is it pretty! However, the version of the tubular cast on that I used isn’t as stretchy as I would like. I the future, I will try other methods.

TubeBO.JPG• Challenging feature number two: Tubular bind off! First time that I’ve ever done it. Again, very pretty. It took me a bit to figure out how tight to pull the yarn during the bind off, so the first bit of the bind off is a little more sloppy than the rest. But I’m still happy.

• Challenging feature number three: Shortened sleeves. I’m sure that doesn’t sound very challenging, but let me explain. The stupid schematic made it impossible for me to easily find out the finished sleeve length. So I didn’t know if the sleeve was going to be too long or not. (Past experience with RYC patterns tells me that either I have abnormally short arms or British models are mutants with abnormally long arms.)

BraidedPattern.JPGTo determine my correct sleeve length, I measured from the back of my neck to my wrist and measured some well fitting sweaters. I needed a sleeve about 76 cm long from the back of my neck to wrist. Next, I had to measure the shoulder length of the completed back piece and subtract it from the back-to-wrist length to find the total sleeve length: 76 – 17 = 59 cm.

THEN I had to count the number of rows in the sleeve cap, multiply the number of rows by the row gauge to find the length of the sleeve cap, and subtract the sleeve cap length from the total sleeve length: 59 – 18 = 41 cm.

So 41 cm was the length of the sleeve before the sleeve cap shaping. Lo and behold, the math worked perfectly. The sleeves are the right length!

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I’m not wearing the sweater in these photos. Trust me, it fits well. I tried doing the self-timer thing and no amount of good lighting, good focusing, and good photo composition can make up for awkward poses and goofy facial expressions. So I had to resort to Scout-modeled photos.


(In case you are wondering: Getting Scout into the sweater was not a problem at all. She liked it! Her own alpaca sleeping bag! Getting her out was not as easy. She didn’t want to leave. No, she’s not a stuffed cat.)


Valerie said...

I feel so special! And slightly creeped out that you want to wear me. But mainly special.

amylovie said...

I'm sorry I couldn't see you in it. I bet you looked lovely. Thank you again for doing it.


Elizabeth said...

It is a little big on Scout, though.

Seriously, it's gorgeous. Have Peter take some pictures of you in it soon, ok?

GretchenX said...

ok, one question - isn't that going to be hot in Texas? I mean, it's alpaca!

On the other hand, it looks great, and Brutus says that Scout looks snuggled and warm! :)

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful. That's all. Beautiful.

knitseashore said...

I love a new Scout photo in pink. It is very much her color.

Re: tubular cast off -- do you find this is tighter/neater than a regular one, once you got the hang of it? I'm finding a regular bind-off is sometimes too lose on my projects, and I'm looking for a good substitute.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful stitch pattern. It looks sort of like brioche stitch, but maybe a little denser?

If I find you a pattern named "Rachel," will you make that too?

Amanda said...

If Scout looks good in the sweater I know you will too! ;) Very nice job and I love the color.

Octopus Knits said...

The sweater looks great, and I'm sure it looks fabulous on you, but OMG Scout is so CUTE in it! I definitely have that problem, too, sometimes (cat extrication from knitwear after photoshoot).

Anonymous said...

So pretty! That pattern was a good choice - maybe the holes will offset the alpaca's warmth? Maybe not.

I find it hard to believe that Scout isn't stuffed, mostly because she's so still in all your photos. Most of my cat photos are gigantic blurs, although I'm not the expertly trained photographer that you're becoming...

Meredith said...

Very pretty! Did the pattern call for the tubular cast on/bind off, or did you just decide to do them? I'd like to try those methods sometime.

Jennifer said...

It looks like Scout is saying, "Why yes, I do look beautiful in this, darling. I think the color brings out my eyes."

Karen Frisa said...

Have you looked at Alternating Cast-on in June Hiatt's The Principles of Knitting? It's much nicer than tubular for k1, p1 rib, and is easy and fast to do (once you get it). It stretches as much as the ribbing does. David Xenakis also writes about it in one or two of the Knitter's issues where he was describing double knitting. He calls it tubular CO, which is too bad because it's not tubular CO. Anyway, I think it's great!

Anonymous said...

What a pretty, pretty sweater! Many years ago I made a stole -- now long gone -- using that stitch. It looks lovely in that color and in sweater form.