Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Staying Faithful to Agnes

All I've knitted on over the past week or two is my Agnes sweater.  Very unlike me, but it's quite a lot of knitting and I know that if I put it down and do something else (like cast on the second sock of the current pair I've been knitting) there's a good chance I'll get too sidetracked and won't pick it up again this side of Christmas.

So, I've been faithful (despite the two balls of handspun yarn I've got downstairs which are giving me come hither looks) and it's paying off:

Yes, there are one-and-a-half sleeves there!  60-odd rows of sleeve number to to go, then sewing up, a neckband (garter stitch) to be picked up (in the blue, I think) and knitted and then blocking.  The pattern says to wet block the pieces before seaming, but I'll probably steam-block using my iron and then give it a wash and block afterwards.

I have done some spinning over the last few weeks though, when my wrists and shoulders have told me I need to have a break from knitting, although the spinning's nothing particular exciting at the moment as I'm working my way through 500g of prepared natural/cream coloured merino.  

The yarn I'm making is a 3-ply, so I'm weighing out around 35g of fibre for each bobbin and then, once I've got three, they get plyed together, then I count how much I've got, work out how many metres per gramme that equates to and hope that it's similar to the other skeins I've already made before washing the skein and then drying it before putting it in the bag with the others I've made.  In the picture is the second of the three bobbins I need to make the fourth skein of yarn and, once that's done, I might not have to do that last 80 or so grammes because I think I might have enough yarn to make the sweater.

Sorry for the quality of the photos; our lounge doesn't get a great deal of natural light and it's fairly dreary outside today (typical November weather).  

I'm hoping to get the second sleeve of Agnes finished tomorrow.  I've been catching up on one or two podcasts and have started watching the Welford Purls ones (spinning related) on the recommendation of my friend Irene and am finding that I'm getting lots of sleeve-knitting done whilst I'm watching.

Hopefully, my next post will be of a finished sweater.  In the meantime, thanks for reading.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Agnes: a sweater

I've let my blogging lapse in recent weeks, yet again.  2016 just seems to have flown past.

Anyway, I'm back to share with you the sweater I'm currently knitting.

You may have noticed that, like many others, I have favourite designers; particularly Kate Davies and Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed team.  There's something about the style of their designs that particularly appeals to me.

Ages and ages ago, I spotted Agnes in one of the Brooklyn Tweed collections that was released, and it went into my Ravelry favourites page.  I knew it was doubtful that when I got around to knitting I'd use Brooklyn Tweed Loft yarn because it's flipping expensive to buy in the UK (the only supplier is Loop in London, as far as I'm aware).  When Wool Warehouse had one of their Drops yarn sales, I chose some colours and bought enough (in truth, more than enough; I bought four different colours so I could decide which ones to use once I was ready to start knitting).  Once they'd arrived, I decided to go with the brick reddish brown, the blue and the green:

As usual with Brooklyn Tweed designs (particularly those by Jared Flood), I needed to use different size needles to those stated in the pattern and, although it's suggested to use 4mm needles to get a gauge/tension of 24 sts to 4 inches, I ended up going down to a 3mm, with 2.75mm as the smaller needle.

This sweater involves a lot of knitting --- backwards and forwards; row after row of stocking stitch as it's knitted in pieces and will then need to be sewn up.

It took me a good three weeks to knit the back:

I'm now about halfway up the back:

As you can see, the colour placement is different on the front and back.  I decided to have the green closer to my face on the front (the change in colours does, of course, mean I'll have to be very careful to sew it up neatly).  From memory, the sleeves will be knitted in green and blue -- I think.

You might also spot that the colours of this sweater are very similar to the colours of the Stopover sweater I made earlier this year.  Completely unintentional, I promise; maybe those are colours that are calling to me at the moment.

The weather in October was lovely; fairly warm and sunny, but with a crispness to the early mornings, but that's all changed now and the sky has gone from blue to grey and it's nearly dark by 4pm.  It also feels rather damp and every time I got out to walk Jess I seem to traipse a few damp leaves into the hall as they get stuck to the bottom of my shoes.  I took these photos on 17 October, as the leaves on the trees (they're at the front of our driveway, which we share with two other houses):

Oh well, once November's dreary, damp days are over, maybe we'll get some crisp, dry December and January days.