Saturday, March 14, 2009

The return of Branching Out

Hello! Another sunny weekend morning! It feels good! I hope you all had a good week.

I had a good post-Thermal week! On Wednesday night, I met with the North Shore Knitters and continued Lilas. The back is almost completed. I really look forward to knitting the fronts!

On the other nights, I started a new Branching Out with the remaining skein of Gloss. Half of it is knitted already. I started a Branching Out in 2006 with a thicker yarn (Bernat Satin). It will be frogged. It didn't do justice to the pattern. It was my first lace project however and I can appreciate the hability I've acquired while knitting this other version, soon to be forgotten ;-)

Here is a photo I took this morning. As you can see, I keep my magazines close... What will be next? My first pair of socks? There is also Habanero and the Millefiori Cardigan that I am much interested in. After Lilas of course. I will not say more before I make up my mind. I'm surpised I didn't see many Habaneros on Ravelry. I think this pattern is very interesting.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Knitting sweaters

I can't believe I will no longer need to say to myself: I should be working on Thermal ;-) That will make me think seriously, next time, about starting a new sweater or any long project. I will knit more sweaters and tops for sure. I already feel like I have more experience: the gauge, the length, regular checks to ensure it fits, etc. But you have to love the pattern and the yarn.

So, here are a few photos:

Pattern: Thermal by Laura Chau
Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss
Needles: US 2.5 / 3.0 mm
Color: Black
Start to finish: October 2007 - March 2009 (yes, it took me that long)
For: Me
Notes: The pattern is very well written and provided answers to all questions I had. I've made a few modifications: no buttons, 3/4 sleeves, grafting instead of 3-needles bindoff for the shoulders, and more length to the body. And although I made the body in size A that made it very adjusted due to the fact that I knit a bit tight, I switched to size D (!) when I started doubting that my arms could get into the sleeves of size A. I think it explains why the collar does not go very low: smaller size made longer.

Here is also a closer look at the stitch pattern, collar and shoulder. I have to say I am very satisfied with the result. Very proud also. Every defect I detected, I corrected. Even if it meant hours in some cases. To give an example, I picked up the collar stitches 3 times (and there were about 250 stitches for the collar): the first time was for practice (!), the second time I did much better except for the back which explain the 3rd tentative (after knitting half an inch I decided that I wasn't satisfied with the back). Every time, I was so glad I did it again.

Another thing I learned is that knitting is not a matter of life and death ;-) When I put the center front on a stitch holder to knit the sides, I lost many stitches without realizing it. Can you imagine my unpleasant surprise when I realized that the stitch holder was not holding the stitches? I was so discouraged. It did not occur to me then that I had the capability to fix it. This yarn is so small and dark. I waited a while and then, a co-worker explained to me what I had to do and with a lot of work (and countless hours), I was able to fix it. That teached me that knitting is a hobby. If I want it the easy way, I can always go buy a nice sweater at the mall. If I want to learn and achieve new habilities, I have to work hard and mistakes are part of it. Isn't it a nice conclusion?

I hope that this will inspire other people to knit this sweater. After all that time and hard work, I'm really glad I did!

Thermal: check!

Thermal. Completed. Except for blocking but I will do that later. I'm so happy and relieved. It will definitely be good to move on to other projects now.

Also, it fits. It's adjusted though. I will have to be careful so that it doesn't get smaller than that. There is still a bit of room, but not plenty.

I've made a few modifications here and there. I will post a more complete summary later today with some pictures of me modeling it!

Wow! It's sunny outside and Thermal is complete! I looooove spring!