The more things change…

Before starting this year’s posts I looked back at last year. Last year I was knitting Kiama in Origami. This year I am knitting it again.

Kiama

I say again instead of still because I ripped it back and started over. I made some bad choices about reversing the stitch pattern so I would have a knit across row instead of a purl across and even more problematically, I chose to use my signatures even though the size wasn’t quite right. Hopefully this time I will actually end up with a sweater!

The other thing I was knitting last year was a skirt. It is all done except for the elastic in the waist. It is finally getting cold enough that I should finish that’d up and wear it. I will make that a goal before the month ends. You heard it here first.

NaBloPoMo Day 8: the wonder of yarn construction

I was hoping to have a progress picture for you of my sweater sleeve. I sort of do. I mean, I have a picture but you can’t really see the progress. Sweater sleeves that don’t have a cable or something are pretty boring to watch being knit. I sometimes wonder if knitting progress pictures are like watching paint dry. I kind of hope not.

With that wonderful intro, here’s my progress.

Kiama sleeve continued

I’m kind of mesmerized by this yarn. The more I look at it the more I wonder why I thought i could produce the same garment with this pattern with another yarn. The yarn is Berroco Origami. Since I decided that I love it, it has, of course, been discontinued. Such is my lot. In any case, it’s about 10 plies or variously colored and textured yarns held together by a single strand of something (I’d guess it’s either cotton or nylon). The result is intriguing to me.

origami yarn

The frustrating thing is that I can’t think of another yarn constructed this same way. A friend was looking for something similar for a project she wanted to knit (as I mentioned a few days ago) and I was knitting something with ArtFibers Brogue, which is another yarn with an intriguing construction. That one is a core of fluffy, unplied microfiber encased in a knitted tube of cotton. The cowl I knit out of it is squishy and warm and the yarn holds lovely stitch definition but is also quite stretchy. I would love to knit a sweater jacket out of that too but that would break the bank. Bank breaking aside, I was wrong about the constructions being similar. They are only similar in that they intrigue me.

I consider intriguing yarn construction to be both one of the blessings and curses of knitting without wool. Wool yarn tends to be straightforward. It’s sometimes spun with unusual fibers but as far as I know most of it is plied to varying degrees. With the nonwool yarns you get a wide variety of construction methods. Many of which are discussed in Amy Singer’s wonderful No Sheep for You. She includes much discussion of her favorite nonwool yarn: calmer. Which has, of course, been discontinued.

Those yarn manufacturers sure know how to keep us on our toes!

NaBloPoMo Day 3: current WIP

My current work in progress has been a long time in the making. I saw the pattern (Kiama, from a Berocco booklet) at Stitches West 2011 and bought a different yarn for it. You would think I’d have learned my lesson when I knit Pucker in a cotton yarn of approximately the same gauge and hated it. Alas, no. At least I didn’t get very far in before realizing that I hated this too. At which point, I knit the yarn into a scarf that I ended up giving to Kristi and, later, the rest of that yarn too. I want to like orange but I can’t wear it. It just doesn’t work on me. Luckily, last summer I found the yarn Kiama was designed for, Origami, on clearance in Philly, while visiting my brother and his family. It’s really only sort of lucky since it was on clearance because it was being discontinued. At least I have the yarn! Finally, a few weeks ago a friend of mine asked about a substitution for Origami since she had a pattern that called for it and it is, as I mentioned, discontinued. I thought the yarn I used for a recent cowl was similar so I pulled out the Origami to compare and realized that, hey, I want to wear that sweater I was going to knit so when I finished the cowl, I cast it on.

Kiama sleeve

In my normal fashion, I am not knitting it as written. I looked at the sleeve dimensions and realized that I’d prefer a slightly larger sleeve so I cast on more stitches for that and now I’m thinking I’d prefer a longer sleeve too so I am considering knitting longer as well. I think it should be fine, I have approximately two extra hanks of the yarn. Keep your fingers crossed for me!