Since devising a plan on how to approach my new sweater project, I have cast on for the first sleeve three times. Here is my latest start-

Layton beginnings

I don’t think that it’s any fault of the pattern, it’s just me and a bit of a problem with focus. And not having a lot of knitting time of late.

I hope that as the days lengthen my attention span will as well!

In the meantime, I have been able to do a little bit of stitching to support the Bellingham Sock Monkey Project

I always give them curly woolly hairdos that make them stand out in a crowd -and normally I would embroider the eyes, but felted peepers like the ones I gave the sheep puppets were right at hand and so were an easy answer. They still need some details, but are shaping up nicely.

Hopefully by next week I’ll be moving on from monkey business. 🙂

February Cheer

Valentine flowers from The Man

and some pretty little things that I picked up In LaConner on a field trip with my knitting peeps 🙂

indigo dyed handkerchief
short incense in lotus leaf canisters
yardage of flashy ribbons (for button band facings?)
“Kandinsky” colorway

and for the weekly chicken content- I wanted to share these couple of fabulous pieces on display at the quilt museum

Here’s to finding bright spots in these soggy days of late winter!

Wool and Roses

I spent a fair bit of time this past week thinking about how to approach the Layton project, vis-a-vis the gauge issue.

After looking at the schematics and instructions in the pattern, it occurred to me that by adjusting the frequency of the increases and decreases to accommodate the difference in row gauge I could preserve the intended shaping of the garment pieces.

The next challenge was to figure the approximate yardage that would be required and how I’d use the various shades of Dottie to best effect

I originally thought perhaps I’d knit the body in the lightest shade and go darker on the sleeves, but the yardage distribution didn’t work out in that scheme. So I think I’ll go with a gradient- dark to light, bottom to top.

Still need need to work out exactly how much of each piece will need to be worked in the darker shades, but I feel like I’m on the right track finally.

Also finished up spinning Teo’s wool for The Shepherd- here it is in all of it’s soft and squishy goodness- almost 700 yards of it at an average of about 85 yds/ounce.

And,,,,, here is the roses bit! You remember a few weeks back when i potted up those rose seeds that had been sleeping in the fridge all winter?

Well, one of those little guys has woken up!

So here’s looking forward to spring!

And until then, I’ll keep mucking out the shed and spreading fresh new straw, with the help of the chicken crew.

and we’ll try to enjoy whatever little bit of sunshine comes our way

Layton swatching

I’ve just signed on for a new sweater project, Julie Hoover’s Layton, and was really hoping that perhaps the Dottie yarn I’d spun up earlier this winter might fit the bill.

Dottie two-ply

But now that I’m swatching, I’m not sure if it’s going to work.

Pattern gauge is 23 st/ 4 inches, 36 rows / 4 inches.

My swatching results were kind of interesting.

I tried size 5 needles first, and got 20 st/ 4 inches. Then switched to size three to try again, and got 22 st/ 4 inches. The looser fabric felt like it would have a better drape, so I was inclined to do the math necessary to adjust the pattern. But then I checked the row gauge.

Both needle sizes yielded the same row gauge. 28 rows /4 inches.

And both substantially different from the sweater specs.

I think it’s just a function of Dotties wool being very different in texture than the original pattern yarn (silk/merino/cashmere). So I’m not sure there’s much I can do about that.

Except perhaps going back to the drawing board.

In other news, I have made significant progress spinning up Teo’s roving for The Shepherd. Two full bobbins of singles, ready to ply!

That’s going to have to do it for this week, fiber -wise.

The sheeps and chigs say hello- I’ll try to work some critter pics into the blog next week, weather permitting 🙂