Wool in my soup

I am a 67 year-old grandmother living on Vancouver Island. I have crocheted, cross-stitched and rug hooked, but I always had yarn on needles. Recently knitting has become my primary hobby!

Location: Canada

Monday, April 30, 2007

Knitting in Progress

My granddaughter, Kate, is celebrating her 17th birthday in July and I wanted to knit her something, as she loves to knit herself. I had looked through many books, and when I borrowed this book from the library and came across this pattern, I knew this would be for Kate. The book is "Classic Knits" by Erika Knight. I like Erika's designs and the yarn I am using is Grignasco Merinogold . This is a favourite yarn of mine, and our Kate is a redhead, so I think this Robin's egg blue will be perfect.

I like one of the details that Erika suggests! Instead of making increases and decreases at the first and last stitch of a row, she suggests - K3, k2tog (or Increase 1), k to last 4 or 5 st, k2 tog tbl (through back of loop) or increase 1 and then K3. I started some time ago to k1 and then do my increase or decrease, but I like this method too, as you use your increases and decreases as part of the design element!

This is a little sweater from another Erika Knight book - "simple knits for cherished babies". If you read Knitting Iris's blog, you will see that she has knit this little rosebud sweater at least 17 times. A while ago, she had some notes on her blog about some of her adaptations she has made to the pattern, such as knitting the back and two sides together and then using dpns to knit the sleeves. Also, instead of only 4 stitches in the button/buttonhole band, she uses 5. One thing I learned from a Sally Melville book many eons ago was that when knitting garter stitch to start the first stitch by slipping it purlwise and then you get a nice little chain stitch along the edge. Iris pokes a knitting needle into the buttonhole band after knitting the sweater and in several sweaters she made a little daisy to keep the little hole open. However, I am only going to put two buttons near the top, so I will knit them onto both sides near the top and then once I know the sex of the baby (due in August) I will sew on the button to the appropriate side.

I am knitting this little sweater in a deep jade colour using Garn Studio Muskat 100% mercerized cotton! Of course, this little baby already has a big sister and I would like to make big sister a little shrug!! There is lots of yarn in the stash for such a project!

Both these knitting projects are great for taking out into the sunshine to knit. In fact, I just got in from the garden and once I post this, I am off to make some lunch to take outside to eat and one of the knitting projects - probably the shrug, as it needs to be in Germany by July 10th. How did I get so lucky to have grandchildren?!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Two sweaters and hats in two days!

I wanted a quick little gift for our friends' twins. I remembered these patterns in the "Oneskein" book and went to my stash to see what I could find.

The little raspberry pink set for Megan is knit using 1 2/3 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay! It is lovely and soft, as one would expect from 50% cotton, 35% viscose and 15% silk. I wonder if any of you have difficult seaming cottons - they do not give the nice effect of wool!

The little navy set was from a cotton I had in my stash - ball band long gone and I had only about 12" of yarn left after I completed the project.

As the twins have just reached 6 lbs. I think these little boleros will be fine. The thing about them that I really like is that they are nice and large in the sleeve, so no pulling and tugging on the baby's arm to dress them.

I will pick up a couple of 'board books' - one will be "Goodnight Moon" to add to the gift and take them to their Daddy's office tomorrow. At this time, I do not feel the parents need to contend with visitors. Megan is just home from hospital and Conor, or perhaps it is Connor, has been home a week. I remember company when my babies were little - not always fun!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kn itting from my stash!

I was sent some beautiful Irish Bainin by Jo and then when I borrowed Cheryl Oberle's book "Folk Vests" and saw this vest, I knew immediately that my Irish Bainin would be made up into this wonderful vest! I am definitely going to buy Cheryl's book on vests, as there are about three more that I want to knit! I had planned to knit the Bainin into a cross over vest from Sally Melville, but you know these cross over garments look lovely in the photo, but tugging and re arranging them does not look lovely! It is like tied scarves - looks easy in the books and some women can pull it off, but not me. Now why this is underlined - beats me!!Friends of ours, actually Bob is our computer 'geek' , just had twins. A dear little boy and girl! I wanted to knit something for them, and I was thinking about it and remembered my book by Leigh Radford - 'Oneskein" and I knew what I would make for the twins. I have some left over deep raspberry cotton from my Green Gables sweater and a ball of a beautiful navy cotton - all in my stash. The little hat, I have made it before, and it is easy, fast and really cute. The sweater is going along well, so I think I will have these little garments finished really soon. The little boy is home from hospital, as he reached the magical 'six pounds'. The little girl is still in hospital, as she has a cleft palate, so her feeding problems are being sorted. She can suckle well, but if she regurgitates, it can go up through the nose and that is not good. She has also reached the magic number, but should be home in the next few days!

I think they will get some use from these little clothes, and it is so nice to knit small things!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heavy on photos, but light on knitting!

For all who were sending good wishes about our sale - we raised $18.900 plus small change! However, we are pleased with our efforts - tired and exhausted, but proud and pleased. This was our most productive sale in the 22 years that the Friends have been in existence. We are the only Friends of the Library on Vancouver Island that can raise these kinds of money for their libraries. We purchase all the little 'extras' for five libraries with our efforts.

There are two large libraries in our Valley and three small ones. We buy furniture, stands, micro fische readers, magazine holders, computers for the patrons, prizes and a party for the summer reading programmes, etc. When we buy furniture, we have to buy commercial grade, which can make a comfortable reading chair cost in the vicinity of $1,000.00 - we usually go with leather or a heavy woven fabric that can be cleaned once or twice a year. It is my main volunteer activity, so I give it my all - three days in a row of eleven hours each day and a few five hours days at the beginning and the end makes a knitter tired. However, every evening I did a bit of knitting. It is so relaxing and even though my hands are swollen from handling so many books, they can still hold the needles and twist yarn about!!

This photo is of Nathalie and I standing at the table for bagging and tallying just after the crowd has entered. We tallied each customer and then gave them a slip with their amount owing and then they moved up to the cashiers. paid and returned several times during the sale. We love return customers! That system seemed to work well and I know other sales of plants, books, fleas, etc. use this system. We had about six tally people on Friday morning and two cashiers. Friday we get folks who buy $200+ of books - they are dealers, but their money helps our libraries too! After the big push on Friday, you can get buy with one cashier and a helper or two to bag and tally! Yesterday, Sunday, it was simple - everything you could put in a grocery bag for $1.00 - many folk bought 15 or more bags!!

A view of the crowd - as you may have gathered, we held it in our gym (actually we used both gyms)! The Friends are easily identified, as we were yellow or neon green t-shirts!!
One of our local grocery stores sent us this tray of meats, cheeses, pickles and some crackers for the workers! Much appreciated! We also had lots of bottled water, apples, strawberries, bananas, cookies, homemade blueberry muffins and tea and coffee!
Another view of the crowd. We get boxes from our local dairy and stand the books with their spines up in them. It works well. Of course, with the children's picture books, we just stand them up straight!! We make good use of 'liquor store' boxes for packing away our books as we sort and also cut down smaller boxes for holding paper backs, etc.

Oh yes, in case I did not mention it, our children's books are 25 cents, pocket books 50 cents, CDs, videos $1.00, jig saw puzzles 50 cents and everything else (except specials) is $1.00.

This is why we have the sale and also why all our children's books are only 25 cents.

This is Charlie and he is just enjoying his new book! You cannot see his face, but you know that little boy will probably become a reader!

Thanks for the wonderful compliments on French Vanilla. Annie, I hope you enjoyed your visit to our beautiful province. Also, if you knit French Vanilla, I suggest you try what I did. Instead of picking up stitches for the button and button hole bands - add about 6 or 8 stitches to the fronts. Knit the left front first, mark the button spots, then knit the right front and place the buttonholes to correspond to the marks on the left side! I think it is easier and neater and I will certainly use that technique on more of my cardigans.

Sorry I have not always responded to my visitors lately, but the sale had taken over my life for the past few weeks. As you probably gather from my knitting - when I do something, I do it with gusto!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

French Vanilla with Pearls!

I know, I am busy getting ready for the book sale, but I need some down time too. I started French Vanilla on April 5th and completed it on April 16th. These photos were taken last evening in the garden and so they are a little 'dark'. I am thrilled with this knit. I like the simplicity of the design on the bottom of the body of the sweater and the sleeves and then a nice collar with the pattern! I tried mattress stitch in closing the side seams and I really like the result.

This sweater was knit from Marks and Kattens Orkide. The yarn is 20% silk, 40% Merino Wool and 40% acrylic microfibre. It was lovely to knit with and feels so nice next to my skin. The yarn was on sale for $2.00 a ball, so a sweater for $14.00 + $4.00 worth of buttons is a great little addition to the summer wardrobe. It can be worn open as well. I knit it according to the pattern with only one small change. I did not pick up stitches for the button and buttonhole band. I first knit the left side and added 8 stitches to the front edge and knitted them in seed stitch. When the left was completed, I marked the button spots and then knit the right side and worked in the buttonholes to correspond. I am thrilled with this and I think my method looks better than the picture in the book. The pattern is in Knitter's Magazine Summer 2006. I got this summer skirt I am wearing and it was one of those colours that you just could not seem to get a t-shirt or sweater to go with it, but voila, I am all set. Glad my DH did not get my 'white' legs. I think I must get out and get some self tanning lotion for the legs, as hopefully bare legs and toes will be possible!
Thanks to all who commented and wished us luck with our book sale. I, for one, think that libraries and books are the best!

Finally my hair is growing down past my back hairline. The hair at the bottom is dark, but the longer hair is white, so it will soon win out and the dark hair will be covered! I am still adjusting to longer hair - it has taken time to grow it, but every once in a while when it moves from its own weight, such as when you bend over and the hair swings forward, I am surprised!! Of course, it was only about two years ago that I had my head shaved!!

Also, I think I have swimmers' shoulders - how did they get so broad!? Swimming three miles a week will do that, I guess.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I have been knitting!

Perhaps you thought I had gone on vacation. No, I have been knitting and reading and listening. I saw so many knitters doing Calorimetry from Knitty this past winter, and I thought it would be a good little gift for my granddaughters. I did knit them the Fetching
gloves last Christmas and they were apparently popular. I do not see them as much, as they live in Germany just now and I am in Canada.

This little set in Chartreuse - the name on the ball band - is almost identical to the pair on Knitty. To make the hat and gloves, I used 2 balls of Phildar Pegase+ and since it only cost $2.99 a ball, I think that is good value for the money. I know there is a high proportion of Acrylic in the yarn, but I never buy yarns that need extra care for teens. The tears shed over ruined garments made from those special yarns are just not worth it. The aim of the game is to give them something hand knitted by Nana that they can enjoy and Nana does not worry!! My one GD is a beautiful red head, so perhaps this set will look good with her colouring.

The yarn for this set actually looks more 'rosy' than it appears in the photo. I did not do cables on these gloves, as the yarn was just so 'fuzzy' in places, but in hindsight, perhaps the cables would be better. This is not a yarn that will frog well, I think, so straight ribbing it is!! For this set I used Phildar Midland, which also has a high percentage of acrylic. It took 2 balls that were on sale for $4.00 a ball. I do not think I would work with this yarn again - I just did not care for the fuzziness, but it looks good and I think my beautiful blond GD will enjoy this set. My family does not read my blog, although they know about it!

I have admired this soy/wool yarn from Paton's for some time, so I bought one ball and I have another Calorimetry. With this one, I did not do as any short rows, so it will not be as wide, and perhaps that will be better. I have some black yarn and I think I can eke out a pair of Fetching with the cuffs in the Paton's and the body of the glove in black. I am glad I tried this yarn on a small project, as I find it almost 'unspins' in working and is very splitty! However, it does have beautiful colourways. It is Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) and is 70% wool and 30 % soy. It recommends hand washing, so perhaps this Calorimetry will live with me. It is very soft, and should be great to cover one's ears on a windy day!!

All these hats were knit with a 5 mm needle and the gloves done on 4 mm dpns. A quick and easy knit, and I can see lots of yarns in my 'charity' knitting tub that will be great for these sets.

This may be the last time I post for a bit, as I am a Friend of the Library in our Valley and next weekend is our annual sale. We ask for donations of used books from the public, sort them into categories, and then mount a 2.5 day sale. It is hard physical work, but we raised almost $19,000 last year to buy those things for the five local libraries that are not covered in the regional library system. On Vancouver Island, there is the greater Victoria library, and then all the rest of the Island and some of the Gulf Islands and even the Queen Charlotte Islands are covered by the Vancouver Island Regional Library system. Actually, I think we are very, very lucky belonging to such a large library system.

Three years ago, we got a new library in Courtenay, the city in the valley, all the others are towns or villages. We put in a gas fireplace, leather seating (most comfy) and locally made tables. We also have local artists place art on the walls above and beside the fireplace. It is a very popular area in the library, as many people go there to sit and read the daily papers.

This year, we are hoping to do something similar in the new library in Comox, the town I live in. Perhaps you can realize just how large an effort this is, when you find out that we sell all hard and soft cover books for $1.00, pocketbooks for 50 cents and all children's books for 25 cents. We do have some 'specials' and they consist of old, special, coffee table, or books of local interest. As three of the main industries/interests here are the military, logging and fishing, I am sure you can appreciate that any books on these areas are sought after and we can get a little better price. The new 'trade backs' are really starting to come in with great regularity. You might be interested to know that 'The Da Vinci Code' has about 40 copies in our 'stash'. For the past two years, the big book in was 'Angela's Ashes' - sorry Mr. McCourt, but they just do not sell now even for 50 cents! We also sell magazines ($1.00 a bundle of 10 or more), CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games.

The lounge in our Comox library is well used, as we are a five minute walk from our Marina, where fish boats (commercial) and pleasure boats tie up. The fishermen and visitors use the library to read the paper, use the internet and borrow reading materials. Also the sale is popular with the loggers and fishermen and those who holiday in RVs and trailers. They can fill a box with pocket books and they have enough reading for a year. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that on the Sunday for four hours, it is everything you can put in a bag for $1.00! That is when the romance novels 'fly' out the door!!

At the cost of our children's books, we get lots of homeschoolers come in and stock up their little libraries. We also get lots of books on homeschooling that are popular. It gives all the Friends a big smile when we see a child off in a corner, or even sitting under the table surrounded by buyers legs and feet, reading their new book!

I work all the opening times of the sale, as I can lift boxes of books, and many of our workers just cannot. Our average age is about 52 - and we have two workers in their 80s!! It is a great opportunity to buy some excellent reads, knitting books (not many come in) and to chat with others who love books! I am always on the hunt for new authors!

One thing I want you to know about my library - in the past two months, we have got E-Audiobooks - which means that I can (well actually my DH does it) download books from the library without ever stepping my foot in the door at any hour of the night or day. I just finished listening to 'Family Tree' by Barbara Delinsky - it has a yarn shop in the story! I also listened to 'Nature Girl' by Carl Hiaasen, an author recommended by two other sorters! I think I have it made when I can sit and knit and listen to a book.

As I get older, and that is what I pray for everyday, I realize that the nicest things in life are 'priceless'. When you read about what economists tell you is the amount of money you need to retire, you get the feeling no one can ever afford to retire. We retired about 12 years ago from going out to earn a paycheck, and I think we live very well and probably an amount that is less than an economist would recommend. I heard an article on the radio last week that said that if you had five economists in a room with a problem to solve, you would get seven different opinions. I agree, as I have taken the odd economics course!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Drum Roll, Please!

Here is my finished version of Cul de Sac. Unfortunately, the photographer did not tell me that the fronts were not lined up, as they truly do line up!! The vest is a bit too big for me, and I want suggestions about making a larger side seam! I wonder if Silk and Cashmere would steek well, as the vest could have a one inch seam on each side, which would lose four inches in the body of the vest. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Cul de Sac is quietly resting in the cupboard and probably will be there for a bit. I have moved on and think we need a bit of space.

This is a view of the back - again, I do not have a dropped shoulder, at least I do not think I do, but that is what it appears to be in the photo.

This is one of those projects that the best thing you can say about it at the moment is - it's done!

I look forward to comments on making a larger side seam, but somehow getting rid of the bulk!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Little Stash Enhancement!

While I was at the Knitters' Retreat, I did buy a little bit of yarn for the Stash! This white 100% silk, lace weight from Pagan Creations is for a shawl for my GD, who will graduate from high school next June. I am planning on a long rectangular shawl, as I feel that if she does not wear it, she can always use it as a runner on a dresser or table. I am awaiting the book on Victorian Lace Today to choose a pattern.

Pagan Creations is a little shop run by a gal in the Campbell River area of BC and so if I need more I can easily get it for the shawl. There are approximately 593 metres on this skein, so I will see how far it goes with the pattern I choose.

These five skeins are from The Plymouth Italian Collection Turino Silk. I was told that it might drape a bit, but if it is washed in the machine, tossed in the dryer for a wee bit and then put out flat to dry that it would 'get back into shape'!

The lighter colour grey mix will comprise the body of the sweater, and the dark and medium grey mix, along with the deep turquoise will give me a bit of colour work! I have been seriously thinking of making a Sitcom Chic cardi with some colour work on the bottom!

I am loving this sweater that I made from the blue denim and I will change a few things on the pattern and I think it could be a winner. I will knit the entire sweater with the same size needle - using a smaller needle for three rows of ribbing on a 3.75 mm needle and then changing to a 5 mm needle gives a 'pulled in' look to the bottom of the sleeves and body. I will change the ribbing to a seed stitch finish for 5 or 6 rows on the body and the bottom of the sleeves and knit about 6 stitches in seed stitch up the fronts of the body - there is only one button near the top, so button placement is not a big issue. I think I may have written about this before. I will finish the neck with an I-cord treatment. In the original pattern, you picked up stitches for the front - no need to go there again!

I finished stitching up the Cul de Sac vest, and I am so not liking this picking up stitches around finished work. I changed the pattern on the French Vanilla I showed you, as it was designed to knit the two fronts and then pick up and knit the button and buttonhole bands. NO!, I refuse to do that - I am knitting the left side first and I added eight stitches to the front edge which I am working in seed/moss stitch. Once the left side is completed, I will mark the spots on it for the buttons and then on the right side knit the buttonholes into the band as I work up the sweater!

I was telling Shelley, who ran the Knitters' Retreat that I would appreciate a workshop on finishing edges, along with the various methods of casting on and casting off and when they are the best method. I usually knit the side edges of stockinette stitch by knitting garter stitch on the first and last stitch of the back and then the side edge of the fronts, as I find this edge to be neat to sew up. Now what about an edge that needs stitches picked up when the body is knit in stockinette stitch? I learned from Sally Melville books that when knitting garter stitch to always slip the first stitch as if you were going to purl, put the yarn to the back and knit across. This makes for a lovely finished edge and an edge that makes picking up stitches so neat and easy.

I know there is a book out there on finishing, and perhaps that is what I need, but I wonder how you finish your edges.

Jo, of Celtic Memory Yarns and I did a swap of dyes and yarn and I got the beautiful Silk and Cashmere that I knit Cul de Sac from and she was also finishing off her Cul de Sac off yesterday as well! I know she had tried other methods, and was talking about an I-cord finish, so I will be anxious to see how she made out.

Am I thrilled with this vest! The fact it is completed, except for the buttons, puts my mood high on the scale. The finishing, I am not thrilled much - could I have done better - I am not sure - mood a little lower on the scale! Will I wear it, probably next fall/winter when the agony of this vest is a memory - mood mixed! I want to do another garment with Celtic Knots and it will probably not be for a bit! Today I plan to visit my LYS for some simple buttons for the vest and once they are sewn on, Cul de Sac will make her debut on the blog.

Jo and I were not sure why Elsebeth Lavold called the vest Cul de Sac, but after time spent with the finishing, Jo, I begin to think it could be a cul de sac that you enter and then can never find the exit!! That is how it felt yesterday, as I knit with ever diminishing amounts of yarn. I did not knit four rows on the two arm openings as called for, because I would have run out, but I am happy with the number of rows I knit - a pick up row, k 2 rows and a cast off row! She's done - 'nough said!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Do you like French Vanilla Ice Cream? I do!

I purchased this Knitter's magazine (Summer 2006) last year and had always admired this sweater, so I decided to cast on, as a short sleeved, off-white cardigan is always useful.

I am using Marks and Kattens Orkide from my stash. I love this yarn, as it is so soft and easy to knit with. It is 20% Silk, 40% Merino wool and 40% Acrylic Microfibre! It is a 'spun' sort of yarn - or rather twisted, but it is not splitting much and flows through my fingers nicely. There are now at least 6 more inches on this back, as it is rather a quick knit, even though it is on 3.75 mm needles!

It would probably be lovely in a purple, but this off-white was one of those buys a girl just cannot go past as it was regularly $7.99 per ball on sale for $2.00!

In the pattern, the top button is down about 1.5 inches, but I think I will plan on moving it up nearer to the top and the selection of a button is going to be difficult, as it can make or break the sweater! Again, like Cul de Sac, the front button bands are picked up and knit on - perhaps I will knit the left side first and add four more stitches in garter stitch, mark the button placement and then knit the right side. I am never that pleased with picking up stitches and then knitting button bands - you often, at least I, have to press the devil out of the band to get it to lie flat. Any suggestions welcome.

The sweater is called "French Lilac", but I will call mine "French Vanilla", like the delicious ice cream!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sitcom Chic - completed with a few laughs!!

I was lucky enough to 'win' this blue denim cotton from Jo on ebay. That was my first ever purchase on ebay, and I am afeared I might get caught up in the crazy bidding, etc. so I am now sticking to my knitting, as they say.

The yarn has a real slub to it and I tried a lacy pattern, but this was not going to work. I had printed out Sitcom Chic from Knitty many months ago, as I liked the simplicity of it and that is what this yarn needed.

The sweater is knit from the bottom up, sleeves knit on dpns, all joined and then you knit to the neck. I will change some things on this pattern the next time I knit it, as I like the design and it is very adaptable. The pattern called for 3/4 sleeves, but I wanted long sleeves - an easy fix. You picked up stitches on the fronts and neck, and I would do something else in this area - probably three or so garter stitches at the front of each side, and then work the button hole at the pattern detail. I might do an I-cord finish for the neck.

It is a sweater with lots of possibilities. you could knit a pattern of stitches, or even some colour work at the bottom and up the fronts. There could be a bit of pattern at the sleeve cuffs. The next sweater will be all knit on the same size needle and I would do some garter stitch or seed stitch for the bottom of the sweater and the sleeves. I find in the cotton that the ribbing (even though it is only 3 rows) knit on a smaller needle does not lie flat. In another yarn, this would probably not be a problem. I think this sweater will be given a good wash from time to time, tossed in the dryer for a few moments, and then put flat to try. I think it will lose its shape easily, which is probably from the fact it is 100% cotton! I love the sweater and can easily deal with these little problems.

Today I finally finished the back and both fronts of the Cul de Sac vest and it is now blocking. When it is dry, which won't take long, as I put the pieces fronts down on a towel, pin and then mist well, I will sew the shoulder seams. You leave the cable stitches up the front live and then knit around to join them at the back of the neck. Now with - well, never mind, you probably would look forward to this picking up of stitches as much as I do!! You also need to pick up stitches about the arm openings. I am ready to part company with this vest, so it is probably for the best that summer is coming and Cul de Sac can rest safely in a drawer and by fall/winter I will love it again!!

I am going to have to make a large side seam in Cul de Sac. I was afraid that if I made the 39" bust it would be too snug. The next size is a bit too large, but I will see how it looks when sewn up and some nice buttons are applied!

Monday, April 02, 2007

I loved you before I knew you!

Many months ago now, Berroco had sent a sample of this sweater (in this colour too) to my LYS along with the Ultra Silk that the sweater required. I loved the sweater then, but when my mind figured that the sweater would cost over $150.00 to knit, I thought for a moment and decided that we would have to love each other from afar! I would lovingly look at the sweater each time I was in my LYS - and touch her and the yarn required, but come home empty handed.

When I went in one day and the yarn was 50% off, I knew we were to become bosom buddies!! I quickly went past the beautiful pink and cream Ultra Silk and bought the blue that had won my heart from the beginning! I did not get the pattern that day - a girl's heart can only take so much at once!

Another time I went in and now the pattern was 50% off - so home it came with me! I read the pattern over a few times, felt the yarn and finally I cast on! Oh my, the Ultra Silk was such a dream to work with and behaved so well. I started the sweater on March 4th and finally seamed it up on April 1. I probably would have been done sooner, but there was a problem in the casting off of the sleeve. The loops that are carried up either side of the centre panel of the sleeve go right to the top and then when you start casting off for the sleeve, you also do the loop pattern. The problem was that at the top of the sleeve, the loops were getting too close together and the pattern was being lost! I took the sweater to the knitters' retreat and asked Shelley to help me. She did and agreed with me to continue the decreases on the sleeve cap, but to discontinue the loop pattern further back, before they started to cross over each other.

You know, sometimes we doubt ourselves in knitting patterns. I read this pattern on the sleeve cap several times, but I felt that I was doing something wrong!! Anyway, I am so pleased with the result. She is beautiful and Berroco calls her, "Cindy". I call her MINE! You know, if someone asked you to knit this sweater for them using the full priced Berroco, you would have to charge about $300. The yarn would have cost you $150.00 and the pattern $12.99. Your time has to be worth something, but that is where knitters sell themselves short! She is definitely not for sale!

Just a bit of a close up of the sleeve and you cannot really see it, but there is a similar pattern at the side seam and a bit of a side slit! I want to get a nice piece of fabric to make a summer weight skirt to wear with 'Cindy'. That is my earliest rhododendron I am standing in front of and it is called Rosamunde. My toes were cold, as my DH took this photo. Yesterday, being April Fool's Day, Mother Nature got in on the fun. From awakening to bright beautiful sunshine, before evening we had cloud, rain, snow, hail and variations on all of these. This morning I could not even really 'scrape' the car, as the final rain of the evening became frozen overnight and I would have needed a chisel - so I just sat in the car with the heater on and waited! She, Mother Nature, is supposed to be kinder to us as the week progresses, but I do not think it will be bare foot weather for me for several weeks. Blue/red feet do not go with any of my wardrobe!

I bought lots of extra yarn for Cindy - I ended up using one less than the pattern called for, but when you know your LYS is not getting any more of a yarn, I like to err on the side of having too much. I have 7.50 skeins left and I went to Knitty and found the pattern for Grace. It is a bit short, but I htink making it longer would not be a problem. The yarn has beautiful drape, as it is 20% Silk, 40% Rayon and 40% nylon. I have a few other sweaters in the queue, so Grace be patient and stand in line nicely!

Just now I am knitting with 100% cotton, which I can tell you after Ultra Silk is different, and that is putting it nicely!

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