Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sticks and Stones

Well, here is the sweater so far. What do you think?

I hope you can't see my mistakes in the cables. Haha. I thought about going back and redoing it, but... I think it would be too depressing. It took too long to get here! Good thing they tell you to do the "back" first. I'll never see this side - and hopefully I'll be better at the pattern by the time I get to the front. As some of the Ravelry ladies say, those little mistakes will just be proof that it was knit by a human instead of a machine. =)

Progress is slow not only because of the complexity of the cable pattern, but also because I got sidetracked by a few other things. I decided at one point that I wanted to finish one of my many other undone projects before I really started this new one. So I put the sweater down and spent some time on the baby quilt for my son. If you count the time I spent thinking about it, it's been about 2 years in the making. But I didn't start sewing it until about 8 months ago. The hand-quilting is really what took so long...

Here is a full-length shot. He got excited that the camera was out and wanted to be included. Awwww! ;)

Here is a close up of the blocks. The tan and grey were the original colors. I added the rest to compliment.  

I asked God for a theme or a special blessing I could put into it. He gave the image of Rock and Stone. The colors in the quilt are very earth-toned, the same as stone, sand and rocks. I arranged the blocks in a simple "brick pattern," and used a grey thread to do the quilting, symbolic of the mortor that would hold bricks together. I know the copper satin binding kinda throws the earthtone mood off a bit. Well, it looks brighter in the photos than in real life. And I thought it kinda added some... pizzaz to it.
 I looked up several verses that describe the Lord as our Rock and also His people as rocks or stones. I plan to hide these references within the quilt. I might use a fine-point pen and tiny letters to write them on a few of the dark blocks where you wouldn't really see it right away unless you were looking... maybe I'll just tuck them inside where no one will see.. like a secret prayer. =)  

"Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house... " 1Peter 2:4,5

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer..." Psalm 18:2

"...And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." Revelation 2:17

Monday, February 1, 2010

Inishturk sweater started...

Finally got the yarn on the needles baby. Wasn't as easy as it sounds though.

First the crazy gauge. This is my first Knit-along, so I've been pretty excited about the sense of community and connection with other knitters. And one thing they've all been saying is that this gauge is a joke.

It's suggested that a size 8 needle and 16 sts across will produce 4" in a Double Seed stitch.
With 8s, I got 3" and with 9s, I got 3.5" (Here is the rest of the math, for my fellow Inishturkers)
I thought about going to 10s or even 11s, as some people have, but wanted to keep the definition in the cables. Some people have opted to use the 8s, but make a larger size to compensate. I was looking for the Size Small (40 in chest), but at the gauge I was knitting, I would have to knit what Lion calls a 1x in order to get a size small sweater... really?? Sounds like alot of stitches to me... I made a compromise. I decided to use size 9 needles and knit a "medium," which would give me close to a small size.

THEN, after I finally figured that out, I got to deal with this whopper of a pattern. Whew! Of all the projects I could've picked for my first knit-along, my first sweater, my first real cables... it had to be this one. Nothing like baptism by fire.

The whole process is much more complicated by the fact that for some reason, the instructions are basically given in an UP DOWN pattern, when everyone knows we knit SIDE to SIDE. Who wrote this thing???

So I basically burned 2 or 3 hours of my life on earth converting each cable pattern into its row sequence one by one. I really hope I am not the only one who will ever benefit from this, so I uploaded it to share with the world:
Lion Brand Knit Along Inishturk Stitch pattern Conversion -

Hopefully I'll have more progress to show soon. o_0
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