Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NaKniSweMo - Day 25

In which a sweater is complete.

Pattern: Cosima from Berroco #281 Cuzco & Peruvia Quick
Size: 44
Yarn: Berroco Cuzco -Achiote - 7 skeins
Needles: Size 8 and 10
Stitches: Approximately 30,000
Knit as per pattern with no modifications.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

NaKniSweMo- Day 9

And on the 9th day she rested.

The back and both sleeves are complete. I've used almost 4 of the 8 skeins of yarn and have knit almost 17,000 stitches in the last 8 days.

Tomorrow I will begin the left front.

Friday, November 7, 2008

NaKniSweMo - Day 7

Posting every day is more than I am able to accomplish but I have knit every day of November. So one campaign promise has already been broken. I had hoped for a photograph of each day's progress as well but work days don't allow the necessary time or light. After dinner is prepared and eaten I've been able to spend at least two hours every evening knitting with election night being especially productive.
The back is now complete and both sleeves are in progress with approximately 5 inches knit. I'm tallying just shy of 12, 000 stitches as of last evening. Finishing the sweater in a month appears to be a very realistic goal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

NaKniSweMo - Day 3

No pictures today as there was no daylight left by the time I got to knitting. Back is progressing well with another 20 rows knit this evening. I measure 12" with only two more inches until the armhole.
Total stitches - 6447

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaKniSweMo- Day 2

My extra hour, courtesy of the end of Daylight Savings Time was used to continue knitting in pattern on the back. The pattern repeat is 44 rows and I've not yet completed one repeat but should reach that milestone tomorrow. Cuzco is a very pleasant yarn to knit - 50% merino Peruvian wool and 50% alpaca with a mostly uniform twist and good elasticity. Although this is a bulky yarn it does not feel heavy.

I'm starting to be suspicious that my sweater does not contain 50,000 stitches. I'm about to finish the first hank of yarn (8 required for my size) and I'm only totaling just over 4000 stitches.

Yarn color today is a much more accurate representation of the true color ( on my monitor anyway). The color name is Achiote which prompted a little Internet research.
Per Wikipedia, achiote is a small shrub or tree native to the tropical region of the American continent. Best known as the source of the natural pigment annatto produced from the fruit and used as coloring for foods such as cheeses, butter, and salad oil. The achiote flower is pink, the fruits are described as brown or reddish-brown and the seeds are orange-red. I would describe this color as a purplish red.

Stitch total to date = 4147.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaKniSweMo -Day 1

In which I return from a long blog absence to document my adventures knitting a sweater in one month.

Knitting has been continuing but life has been busy and many of my projects need to remain secret for a while longer so I've not been posting here. Today I've embarked on a new challenge and want the public accountablity factor to influence my progress so I'm committing to posting daily or until my project is complete.

NaKniSweMo is National Knit a Sweater in a Month and occurs simultaneously with NaNoWriMo in which participants write a 175 page, 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I'm not a writer but I am up for a challenge and work best when I have a deadline so I'll be attempting to knit a 50,000 stitch sweater during this month.

I had hoped to knit two sweaters this year and while I've completed 3 baby sweaters and started two adult sweaters for myself (both are languishing on the needles) I've not accomplished what I hoped for 2008. My goal for November is to complete the lovely Cosima in Berroco Cuzco yarn which I purchased on my trip to Webs, aka Yarn Mecca, this summer. Although I don't know the exact stich count for this sweater I"m assured that most adult sweaters meet or exceed 50,000 stitches so I've decided to aim for 1500-2000 stitches per day and attempt to track stitch totals while I knit to see how close I come to the target.

Last week I wound my yarn into cakes and swatched so I knew the recommended size 10 needles would allow me to get gauge. Some of my fellow knitters began at midnight but I'm too old for late night knitting. I woke early this morning and eagerly cast on the requisite 122 stitches for the back and began knitting 2 x 2 rib for two inches and then decreased to 85 stitches to begin the pattern rows. At this point I was supposed to switch from size 8 to size 10 needles and was very chagrined to discover that I had knit the ribbing on 10s. Not an auspicious beginning but I frogged and began again. Wish I could count the stitches I knit twice! Found this on-line calculator very handy for achieving even decreasing without too much math on my part. Finished the ribbing and knit another two inches of pattern rows. I'll leave you with today's progress ( 2447 stitches to date).

(Disclaimer - The yarn color is not very accurate in this picture. I'll be trying for a better picture tomorrow.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Out of Hibernation

It's been a long winter in Rochester and I've been away from blogging for a long time. I'm still here and I've been knitting. My plans for the year were ambitious and it's a good time to take stock.

I first want to knit at least 12 pairs of socks this year and reduce my sock yarn stash.

To date I've knit 6 pairs of socks and have another two pair on the needles but I've not reduced the stash. Trips to Virginia and Pennsylvania provided opportunities for stash enhancement which I couldn't resist. These lovely pink lace socks were a result of one of these purchases.

The yarn is Reynolds Soft Sea Wool and the pattern is Laced Cuff Socks by Veronik Avery. I enjoyed working with this tightly twisted DK wool which has great stitch definition and look forward to wearing the socks.

In terms of new techniques I've tried knitting on two circulars but really prefer my trusty DPNs. I did try a afterthought heel and will use that technique again.

Second, I will knit at least one charity item each month.

I've knit two pair of children's socks and four adult hats for charity so I'm on track here. (A little double dipping here since the socks also counted toward the sock quota but who's counting.)

Third, I will knit a lace shawl or stole.

No lace shawls or stoles yet but I did jump on the Spring 2008 Knitty band wagon and created a lovely Lace Ribbon Scarf from some gift Seacoast Handpainted Merino Tencel sock yarn.

This scarf has a wonderful sheen and drapes nicely.

Fourth, I want to knit two sweaters for myself this calendar year.

I was unable to sustain momentum on my sweater in progress and it is still in my knitting bag waiting for some attention. I have however completed one sweater but not for me . There will soon be a new addition to our family...granddaughter #1 is due any day now...so I've taken a side track into baby knitting. Today I finished up Daisy in the 0-3 months size . The yarn, Tahki Cotton Classic, was a joy to knit and I'm very pleased with the finished product. Seaming and finishing are still a challenge and this was a good project to practice those skills.

Another baby sweater is on the needles and will appear here soon.

I'm on summer vacation for the next three months and I look forward to knitting, some travel, and appearing here more often.