Posts categorized "Collette"

The best sweater I never knit

If you've been hanging around And She Knits Too, you might remember this sweater.  Collette in Rowan Yorkshire Aran 4ply, from the Rowan Vintage Style book.


 Started in January 2007.  Abandoned in January 2007.  It was a case of loving the garment but loathing the process.  It was intarsia AND lace.  Little 7-10 stitch panels in different colours with different lace panels.  Evil.  I got about 2 inches in before I threw it in a bag and put it back in the stash.

Here's how far I got:

 Collette 2 

A while later my knitpal Keri told me she was looking for a knitting challenge.  She was bored with her projects and wanted something that would bend her brain.  Then, get this, she OFFERED to knit Collette for me.  After the psychological assessment, and a bunch of "are you sures?!" from me, I gave her the stuff, and told her to go for it.  I promised to never ask about it, put any pressure on her or ever comment about this sweater.  As far as I was concerned it was like I never thought of knitting it, and if nothing came of it, that suited me fine.

She had the back done in a couple of months.  I was pleased, but beyond telling her she was awesome and it looked amazing, I said nothing.

Some years went by.  We're still good friends.  The sweater is occasionally mentioned by Keri who says she intends to finish it.  I say nothing.

This year, Keri got the urge to finish the things in her WIP basket.  Including Collette.  She made completing it her Olympic project.  I felt very honoured.  And last weekend at our knitting retreat, she handed me the pieces of Collette.  Done.  Finito.  Gorgeous.

I must also say that Keri can knit Intarsia freakin' lace in rooms with other people, whilst talking.  She is amazing.  (She designed Jeanie--that tells you something about her knitting prowess).

I took all the pieces home and put them together and wove in the 10,000 ends.

How the heck am I ever to repay her?



The fit is perfect.  The colours are gorgeous. The knitting is superb.  Look at the detail.  I am not worthy.



Thanks a million Keri.  You're a great friend.  Next time you're stumped by the boredom of a plain stockinette sweater--I'll gladly knit it for you. 




WIP Roundup

I used to be a 3 projects + socks kinda knitter, but I drifted.

Thing is, I don't like the idea of having too many projects on the needles at one time--it just messes with my type-A, keep things organized, have control personality.  The other thing is, I have the urge to knit a whole bunch of new things on top of what I'm knitting now, so I need to just make a list and see where I come out at the end.

I suppose I could do all this in Ravelry, but I'm still getting thing organized over there, and while I love the whole idea of the place, I still like the blog medium better.

Current WIPs and their ontological status (from oldest to newest):

1. Colourwork classic.  I actually picked this up and started working on the sleeve again this week.  So I guess I'm not ready to let this one go, despite the fact that it's 2.5 years old and reflects my emerging skills in stranded knitting.

2. Collette.  Lace and Intarsia and craziness.  I think I want to own this one more than I want to wear it since I haven't touched it since about February.  I'm also too lazy to unravel it right now so it's in knitting limbo--fate to be determined.

3. Grey Mist.  Bohus beauty.  This will get made.  I don't like the fuzziness of angora when the weather is hot, so it might just be a while.  I already see myself wearing it this winter.  Yum.

4. Sherbie.  Simple mindless knitting that go put away for summer.  I'll finish this in the Fall and return Anmiryam's book.

5. Honey.  Soccer Knitting.  I think the sweater is going to be too short for me, but I don't want to rip back.  If it doesn't fit me, it'll look great on Mom.  I really should make this my Summer priority so I can wear it a few times before it's too cold.

And I started a sock because at the time sock knitting was what I could handle.  The Vesper Yarn was a trade with Anmiryam and I love it.  So do all the kids at the soccer games, who are amazed that socks are made, not bought at the store.


Okay, now that makes me feel a bit focused.  But only a bit.  I already have some Zephyr lace yarn on the way from Red Bird Knits (in onyx) and beads from Earthfaire to make another shawl. 

And I really really want this Hip in Hemp skirt from the new Knitty (I get to see the patterns months before you do and I've been wanting this one for a while).  Thankfully I'm stuck on colour choice.  I need to find this yarn in Toronto so I can make a decision.  I'm thinking Brown, Turquoise, Orange and Sand. 


And then Michelle, spotter of all the good new knits, alerted me to a new Hanne Falkenberg that I will buy as soon as I figure out what colour I want (though I'm leaning toward that green because it's so gorgeous).


Do you ever feel like there is just *too* much great knitting out there that you will never get to do? 

Now back to editing manuscripts...I tend to organize for procrastination, it makes me feel productive when I'm avoiding other tasks.  But now deadlines loom, I'll treat myself to a few rows once the first article is sent back to the journal.

Not so bad after all

I took Joy's excellent advice (see yesterday's comments) and removed all the icky bobbins.  Now I pull out each strand as I use it and things stay mostly untangled.  She also suggests taking a break to untangle, pet your work and admire the job you've done.  You can admire it too:


It actually looks like a sweater eh?  I'm really happy with it.  Since this is 4ply yarn, this is going to take forever some time.  But now that I'm not totally frustrated, it's a challenge I'm up for.

Up close you can see all the lacy tweedie goodness:


Now to the sock.  It's too late for this complicated work.

All tangled up

I took the leap and went with the intarsia.  I had already casted on and was pretty sure I would stick with it, but after talking to Kirk at the daycare skating party (it's nice to have another parent to talk knitting with at lessons and stuff), I was committed.  If you saw what he was making, you would never complain about ends again.  Stunning.

That being said, I've only done two rows.  I needed to get the computer area in the basement set up so I could scan and enlarge the charts and that led to a lot of boxes being opened and well, time just got sucked away.  But at least I can print again.  Come to think of it, I never actually did get the chart scanned...

I did borrow this nifty crayola bag to keep it all together.


Good thing, because there are lots of ends.


By Saturday night my brain was too tired so I decided to tackle a tea cozy instead.  I went for the traditional pattern with a not-so-traditional pairing of Knitpicks Merino style in Blueberry (rejected as the Lizard Ridge border) with a ball of Kureyon leftover from that same afghan--I guess I can call it my reject-Lizard tea cozy. 


The pattern is really neat and creates a very dense fabric.  But it is also stranded and garter stitch so it's going really slow.  My alpaca hat will have to stand in for a tea cozy for a bit longer I'm afraid.

Slide or Intarsh?

I started Collette the other day, but haven't accomplished very much.  I'm more in the swatching, figuring out stage. 

Collette is a complicated pattern.  It consists of vertical bands of colour that are knit using intarsia.  Each band also had it's own lace pattern.  On the back, this means 11 different bands.  The good news is that each lace pattern has only an 8 row repeat.  The bad news is they're all different.

So there is chart following and a lot of bobbins.  I like the sweater enough to make it work, but should I innovate?

Friends told me of a nifty way to do intarsia strips without having to do actual intarsia.  It's called the Sliding Loop method and full instructions can be found in the Summer 2001 issue of Knitter's.  Jenna and Amy both lent me copies and I've been trying it out.

The gist of it is this.  You knit only one strip at a time.  You knit the first one as long as you need.  Each time you turn to start a right-side row, you carry a bit of contrasting yarn up to mark the little loop that happens when you bring the yarn around.


When you're ready to start your second strip, you cast on and knit one row.  Then you insert your needle into that first little loop and pull out a big long loop of your working yarn.  You knit the next two rows of your second strip using that yarn and when you're back at the first strip, you tighten what's left, pick up the second loop and do it all again.  You do this for each loop.  Basically it's like sewing as you go.

I even made a little video so you can see what I'm doing.  These videos are really complicated to make, and I ain't no Lucy Neatby, so please view it in that spirit.

My first impressions of this: Fiddly.  I feel like it ruins the flow of the knitting.  My panels are only 7-12 stitches long in fingering weight, so it's a lot of little things happening.  I'm not sure I like it.

Chloe at LK last night encouraged me to be brazen and just do the damned intarsia.  The advantages are numerous: I've done intarsia before, I won't have to re-write the pattern, less fiddliness.  The disadvantage is those damned bobbins. 

The plan is to cast on the big bad back piece and try the intarsia and get a feel for it.  Then I'll decide for tradition (how the heck can you make intarsia a verb?) over innovation.