The internationally traveling sweater

Pensacola is finished!  She will be on her way to the UK in the morning.  I did all but the snaps, since they’re waiting for the sweater’s arrival.

pensacola finaThe main yarn is Blacker Classic Lleyn Wool in Slate.  The contrast trim is Rowan Angora Haze in a blinding white.  That’s not actually what it’s called, but I lost the yarn label, so that will have to do.

pensacola fina-3Oddly enough, even though the pattern for this had a scant amount of information, when I followed it fairly exactly each piece did make sense when I got to it.  It was pretty fun.  I can’t wait to see it on film!  It’s called Tell Them of Us.  They’re also doing a Kickstarter fund for the film.  If you want to contribute, check it out.  I’m really proud to be part of this project.

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The Rowan Angora Haze is heavenly.  I did sneeze a little bit since it sheds a lot, but it’s softer than a baby kitten.

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I’ve been a very busy bee the past couple of weeks running dissertation stats and planning for THE END.  I will defend my dissertation on April 10th.  I scheduled a room.  It’s for real, y’all.

A sweater to fold in half

pensacolaAfter my quick love affair with the How Cold Is It mittens (which are now blocking), I’ll be returning to my steady gal, the Pensacola Sweater. This is where I’m at so far. As you can see, she will be folded in half and seamed when I get to the bottom of the fronts. I have the waist ribbing and lower body to go, then I’ll add more length to the arms with 2×2 ribbing, and finally I’ll pick up for the collar. I’m in good shape to get this in the mail in the next couple of weeks so it can make the March deadline.

pensacola-2I got some super fluffy angora for the trim on the collar and the wrists. It’s soooo soft. Here is a phone pic of the two yarns side by side:

IMG_20140206_144410I want to make something out of that angora haze and wear it next to my skin. All the time.

I’m having my doubts about launching into another sweater for a Ravellenics project. I was planning on making Matt a sweater out of Ecological Wool in a grey color. Now I feel like taking on another large muted color project may launch me into some knitting dread. I have ONE day to think of something else for Ravellenics that would be a challenge… Maybe I’ll dream something up tonight. Maybe I’ll change my mind about the sweater because designing it adds a little interest…

Mitten pictures soon! I love ’em!

A wee frog

I’m making pretty good progress on this Pensacola Sweater for the Tell Them of Us film. You can see the picture for the pattern, detailed notes about my knitting, and a link to the whole pattern booklet on my Ravelry project page. I won’t be writing up the pattern, but hopefully the details will help other replicate it if they wish.

I am chugging along. Yea for garter stitch! The sleeves and the neckline make so much more sense now that I’m at that part of the pattern, despite the scant details in the older pattern. My changes are only gauge-related in this area, and I’m also doing both sleeves at the same time by working from two separate balls. The original pattern instructs to do them one at a time. Here is a hasty Instagram shot of the progress: IMG_20140126_212030

It would have been wiser to check the length of the body on the dress form before I bound off for the neckline, but I got excited about moving to a new part of the sweater and I overlooked it. I will have to rip back about 2.5 inches tonight: an inch of the front side of the two sleeves/sweater fronts and the shoulder area. I’m adding an additional .75″ to the back side of the sleeve (making the total length 5.25″ there), then I’ll proceed to the shoulder stitches for about 1.5″, then make the front of the sleeve 5.25″ for a total of 12″ around the sleeve. The original pattern has a sleeve that only ends up being about 9.25 inches around, but I think this wouldn’t be a very comfortable amount of ease. While it looks somewhat ok on the dress form above, I was stretching it a bit in my denial. I’d rather err on the side of a little positive ease in the sleeves to fit more like the original pattern photo.

Here is a rough schematic of how this thing goes, if you’re trying to make it also. I’ve never knit a sweater this way, so I think that’s why it took me awhile to wrap my head around the construction. It’s pretty cool though. Keep in mind this is not drawn to scale. It’s essentially one big piece that’s folded in half and seamed along the sides. The collar and lower part of the sleeves are picked up and added. Pensacola schematicsAs soon as I get past the long sleeve rows this baby will really fly by! Looks like I might be able to participate in the Ravellenics without worrying about getting this done in time.

A dress form!

I’m really excited about my new dress form. It arrived early this week and I set it up immediately. It’s from The Shop Company. I wanted one that was fairly size specific and closest to my measurements, so I chose one of the pinnable professional forms. They also have some great dress forms that aren’t as heavy duty, but would serve well as a model for hand knits. I’ve wanted a dress form for a long time to shoot pics of finished shawls or in-progress sweaters because sometimes that’s much easier than trying to take pics of myself with a tripod and timer, or waiting for a time when Matt and I are both available, Z is otherwise occupied, and the light is also good.pensacola

I love the slightly industrial look of it. It’s hanging out in my living room right now, and I think I will just keep it there, changing out the hand knits once in awhile. This one has removable magnetic shoulders, so it’s easy to slip the garments over the top. I’m excited to use it to visualize sweaters-in-progress because I can pin the pieces directly into the form.pensacola-2

Right now it’s modeling what I’ve done so far on the Pensacola Sweater, the project I’m working on for the Orkney to Omaha historical knitting project. I’m really loving this sweater so far. I don’t think I’ll be writing up this pattern, but I will try to provide enough notes on Ravelry by the time I finish, that someone could replicate what I’m doing, or customize it to their measurements. If you want to check out the Pensacola Sweater original pattern for yourself, you can check out the link from knitbyahenshop (sorry, I don’t know your first name!). She commented on my last post with a link to all of the patterns in that booklet. Thank you!


This is customized for an actress in the film Tell Them of Us. She has 33-25-41 measurements, which are a bit smaller than the form on the bust and waist, but this still provides a good approximation of how it might look on her. This form arrived just in time for this project! The yarn is Blacker Classic Lleyn Wool. It’s a DK tweed yarn with some BFL. The color is slate. It’s a wee bit scratchy, but shows off the texture of the stitches so well, and I think it will look lovely on the redheaded actress that will be wearing it. pensacola-4

This is a bit of a tangent, but I was surprised by some sizing information on these dress forms vs. those of many clothing labels. When I chose the dress form size, I picked the form that fit most of my measurements, but I considered the bust to be most important out of these for accurate sweater knitting. Granted, I am still about 15 baby-related pounds away from this being totally accurate for my body, but this provides some extra incentive to get going. I learned some interesting things about vanity sizing with this form. Pre-baby, I could wear many things in a size 4 or 6 with these measurements (35 full bust-27 waist-37 hips). I thought of myself as about a size 4 or 6 since those fit most of the times in stores. I was a little shocked that these measurements were an 8 on the dress forms, but I know my waist was never smaller than a 27 and I wanted an accurate bust measurement for sure. Just out of curiosity, I tried some of my old sizes on the form. They all fit perfectly, even a size 2 dress from Banana Republic. Talk about some vanity sizing! This is more evidence that it’s best to just forget about the label and go with what fits. I’ve definitely been guilty of being hung up on sizes before.

I’m really excited to try to figure out the sleeve and neck area on this sweater next! More progress shots will come soon.


Historical knits

I’ve been swatching to make a sweater for a film called Tell Them of Us. Many knitters are participating in a project called Orkney to Omaha that involves recreating historical knits. I’ve been assigned the following sweater:
Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 9.38.33 AMHere is the yarn: historical knitI received it two days ago. Yesterday I finished my swatch and wet blocked it.historical knit-2

As with many historical patterns, this one leaves a lot for the user to figure out on her own. I’m going to have to do some strategizing, but I have all of the measurements for the actress and an accurate gauge swatch, so here I go!