27 January 2007

Sleeves, swatches and bells on a Saturday

I promised snaps of the Universal Yarn swatch so here they are -- wrong side to the left and right side below. I like both.

The yarn is Party Time in Classic Worsted Tapestry and it feels very very nice for an 80% acrylic and 20% wool blend and that's not just my opinion. It got good reviews from natural fibre types at the Whistlestop on Sunday.

Ball band suggested needle size is 4.5/5.5mm (US7-9) and loose knitter that I am, I'm working with a 4mm needle and getting a nice fabric.
The swatch is 67 stitches across and I like the self-striping I'm seeing at that width. I may push my luck and see how far I can take it before the patterning falls apart. This yarn looks like a good candidate for some of the bias, strip & modular knit stuff I've been playing with seemingly forever.

Speaking of forever, the sleeves of the subject line are part of the project last seen on this blog back in October. The now dye-lot blended front and back body of the sweater reached 11.5 or so inches last week and that means it is time to frog back the sleeve that had the same dye lot problem (only an inch or two of knitting) and start making decisions about how to shape (or not shape) the body to attach the sleeves and what I want to do with the neckline.

I've laid out the completed sleeve and the body pieces against the more traditionally shaped/constructed sweater and now I'm wondering whether the sleeves should or shouldn't be tweaked a bit. Whatever I do, these sleeves will have a more generous armhole drop than its commercially produced cousin. For the moment, I'm content to reknit the 2nd sleeve with the right dye lot, lay it out and see how I feel about the shaping then.

If I can reach a decision, I could have this one finally finished by my next guild meeting and a first draft of the pattern shortly after. Given the stops and starts of this project the time line isn't that terrible.

Last Saturday I did my usual thrifting through the 'hood tour. After I'd given into temptation and picked up a couple of too good to pass on bargains (all merchandise 50% off) , John the manager pointed out something in the case that he thought I'd be interested in -- oh yeah.

Can you say H. Walker Bell Gauge? Sure you can.

Its crest looks to be a unicorn and lion rather than the often seen Archer. It was a rather outrageous bargain and I'm delighted to have it join my other gauges in the tool pouch.

Tania, who I hope hasn't washed overboard during the cruise, mentioned trying the new Skacel/Addi lace needles at TNNA and I also had a chance to give them a try out and I was very impressed. Given the fact that I was working with cut the finger sharp double points at the time (double knit cheque book project) I was very in tune with what makes for a good point with lace or other fine knitting. I cannot wait to see these in the LYS arena I knit some rows on the sample that was on the needles and then did a p3togtbl (aka a purl 3 together through the back of the loops) without a hitch, a split or dropping a stitch. I didn't even have to do much poke about coaxing to execute the stitch so I'm seeing some of these in my future and hoping for an even wider range of sizes than their initial offering.


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