A sweater for me update #3

Last night I thought I had used up all my skeins of yarn with 1.5 sleeves finished and was saddened to have to spin more. I now know that my yarn is quite overspun and have no desire to sit down and purposefully do that again. I like the feel of properly spin yarn and this not so much. While looking for my pattern for my SSSSP (super secret santa sewing project), I found my swatch for my sweater, now I have a smallish ball of yarn to work my sleeve with, I’m optimistic.

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My new favorite thing of the day

A few years ago I purchased 2 sets of Boye Needlemaster interchangeable needles. I was able to find them on sale at a closeout store and love that I have two of every size from 2 to 15. One major drawback is the cable, all the Boye cables are a bit inflexible and have a weird join that adds to the length of the needle at a weird angle. On regular circular needles, it doesn’t bother me because they are glued together. On my interchangeables, I’m constantly grabbing the key and grip to tighten the join up because my pinky grabs at it and untwists it while I knit. A week or so ago I read a tutorial for making a flexible cable from weed eater cord and a few other parts. I love that Sarah decided it could be done and knew what materials to try. Her post makes it sound as if she tried a lot of things that didn’t work before she settled on what did work. I’m so excited about these new cables. I made a rather long one tonight so that I could try it out on my sweater. If you own a set of Boye Needlemaster interchangeables, I strongly recommend heading over to her site and making some new cables for yourself.

I’m currently working on the sleeves a la magic loop because I didn’t want to make a short cable tonight and a longer one in a few days when I was back to the body of the sweater. It’s been a bit since my last sweater update, I’ve got a lot of length on the sweater. I used up the second ball of yarn left it at an edge and decided it would make more sense to leave the stitches live and head up to finish the neck and sleeves. I followed the pattern for the neck and didn’t like how short/small it looked so I added a few more rows in pattern. Then I started on a sleeve with the plan to finish the other sleeve and try on the sweater while looking at the ball of yarn I have remaining. I should have enough yarn already spun so as long as I plan to leave enough for the bottom edge and bind off. I’m using approximately 8 yards per row so I should be able to accurately plan to make it as long as I want it or use up all the yarn, whichever comes first. I had hoped to finish by Nov. 26th so that I would have make a sweater in 30 days, unofficial NaKniSweMo and all, but I don’t think I can finish my current sleeve, make a second, finish the body and make the ties in 3 days. I knew it would be close and I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made. My new target is Nov. 30th so that my final NaBloPoMo entry will show a finished sweater. I’ll plan my sweater making project in 2011 so that it is completed in the month.

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A sweater for me

Threaden (a.) Made of thread; as, threaden sails; a threaden fillet.
Yarn (n.) Spun wool; woolen thread; also, thread of other material, as of cotton, flax, hemp, or silk; material spun and prepared for use in weaving, knitting, manufacturing sewing thread, or the like.

In 14 days I will quietly celebrate my one year anniversary with my spinning wheel. I bought 2 pounds of inexpensive Shetland sheep fiber with the wheel so I could practice on something that I was not emotionally or financially attached to. The lovely woman who sold all of it to me informed me that 2 pounds was enough for a sweater. I quietly giggled and said, “Oh no, no sweater for me, too much work. I’m just going to make little things here and there-mittens, hat scarf and what-nots.” Then I sat at the wheel, 10 minutes a day for several months. I had enough yarn to make a hedgehog for Boo with a bit left over in yarn form and over 1.5 pounds in fiber form. A sweater was suddenly a real possibility because I didn’t want to try to come up with many uses for all that fiber. I took much of late winter/early spring off from spinning and picked it up again in the late spring. I made it a goal to finish spinning my yarn by mid-July and did. I also bought a little bit more fiber as a cushion in case I need more than I thought I needed. Good plan as the lovely woman who sold me that fiber out of a huge bag of it is finally out of it.
My poor yarn is quite over spun. I was so fearful that it would pull apart that I treadled like mad. I feel confident that my sweater will long out last me and I don’t plan on going away in the near future. I washed and whacked and swatched. I picked a needle size, tried it out and tried out two smaller sizes then tried the other two again. I went with my original size and started last weekend.
During the month of November every year there seem to be many -alongs to encourage people to push and accomplish goals. I participate in NaBloPoMo because I like to push myself to post interesting things every day for a month. Some people attempt to write a 175-page novel during the month, NaNoWriMo. Some try to knit an entire sweater in 30 days, NaKniSweMo. While I cast on in the last parts of October, after I started blogging for November, I set another unofficial goal of knitting my Shetland sweater in a month and reporting here at least once a week, Thursdays.

The pattern:
I am knitting # 263 Wrap Cardigan Top Down from Knitting Pure and Simple. As of the writing of this post, my sweater is the last sweater in the third row.

The yarn:

The progress:
I have 5.5 inches, almost to the row to divide out stitches for the sleeves.

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