Lockdown Productivity

Progress on my Layton-ish sweater

Two sleeves knit, up to the armpits! It’s kind of hard to see in the dark yarn, but there is a little bit of a slip-stitch/cable panel that runs up the outside of the sleeve. Once the sleeves are joined to the body this detail will run up the shoulders and to the collar.

Also got those two bobbins of singles plied up so have plenty of yarn ready to get started on the body-

So that’s coming along pretty well now. 🙂

Also working on getting some fleeces washed- this is the back half of Dottie- drying after her initial suint soak and freshwater rinse

And the garden is starting to come up!

those are my just-spouted snap peas (under a protective layer of wire fence for now)

and the garlics are starting to recover from being divided and replanted.

Spinach, carrots, cukes and squash are poking out as well, but not much to see yet.

And out in the pasture, sheeps and chickens are trying to stay cool in out first really warm weather of the year. In the mid-80’s here this weekend!

They love watermelon rinds- special summertime treat-

nom nom!

Think it’s supposed to cool off and start raining tomorrow, but we’ve sure enjoyed our brief summer preview.

Layton Progress

Thought I would blog this week about all the garden work I’ve gotten done over the last week or so, but there actually isn’t much to see yet. With any luck my veggies will start germinating this week and I can share pictures of cute little seedlings.

In the meantime, I’ll document the progress of my Layton project.

Starting with the sleeves, using the magic loop technique. First time working this way, and I’m finally getting the hang of it. Little bit fiddly at the cast on edge getting everything started, but lots faster than DPNs once it’s established.

Continuing to spin yarn for the project- just filled another couple bobbins on Elsa, and will probably get that plied in the next day or two- should put me pretty close to the total required yardage.

Also managed to put the final touches on Dottie’s and Felix’s haircuts this morning. So that was cool. Should have gotten photos of the gang now that they are looking tidier, but that will have to wait for next week.

I do have a couple photos of Daphne “helping” me transplant those little cedar trees from the compost pile into the pasture-

Hey little girl- don’t eat my tree!
Who, me? I was just inspecting. Yeah, everything seems ok here 😉

Casting Off and Casting On

First off, here’s the Teo scarf I finished last week but didn’t have a chance to photograph before posting-

Very simple, I think it really shows off the color and texture of the wool, which I think is what The Shepherd was going for-

And with my needles freed up, I turned to starting again with Layton, a Julie Hoover design that was the pick of a friend of a friend. You might remember that a couple months ago I thought I’d knit this with Dottie yarn in a range of grays.

After a fair bit of swatching, I came to terms with the fact that the Dottie yarn wasn’t a good fit. So I’ve been spinning a new Chone yarn for the project.

I’ve got a fair bit of yarn spun up so far, and had re-swatched with better results, but still had some gauge issues.

Specifically, row gauge. The pattern gauge is 23 stitches/4 inches and 36 rows/4 inches. I’m ok on the stitches per inch, but the rows are kind of driving me crazy. My row count is 32.

At first I thought maybe it was a typo. But I checked the math between the pattern specs and the schematics and it seems to be consistent. Then I checked for other peoples projects on Ravelry to see if anyone else had an issue with the gauge- but it’s a new pattern, and it doesn’t appear that anyone else has posted about working on it yet.

I wouldn’t usually let this get to me, but in this case I think the impact could be significant to the shaping of the sweater, because it is a saddle shoulder design, knit in pieces and sewn up.

This had been bouncing around in my subconscious for quite a while. Then a couple days ago, I realized that I could work it according to Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Seamless Saddle Shoulder instructions!

All the sleeve and body shaping will be done according to the Layton pattern, but I’ll work the shoulder shaping in the round, so I can adjust on the fly and know that it all fits together correctly. And the stitch detail on the outside of the sleeve will still carry all the way up the saddles to the collar.

Whew! Such a relief to have a plan.

It seems fitting here to sign off with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s motto:

“Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises”

Thanks EZ, I needed that 🙂

The Garden is Calling

The garden has actually been calling for a couple of weeks now, but I’d been letting it go to voicemail while I concentrated on woolish things 🙂

The weather has been unusually sunny and warm for April, and so everything is coming on really fast- including the weeds. And I kind of missed my opportunity to get the raised beds under control by solarizing with black plastic, so this weekend I had to put my back into it.

That cartful of weeds used to occupy the bed and a half behind it now nicely turned and awaiting compost.

Mmmmm. compost. This nice aged-to-perfection pile had been my holding spot for a trio of volunteer cedar trees over the winter. Getting them planted in the pasture is another item on the garden to-do list.

Compost liberated from it’s dense covering of weedy squatters and moved to garden beds. Also spread it around raspberries and roses. Was like handing out goodies to all my garden friends.

And speaking of snacks for friends- I noticed that my Therese Bugnet rose was starting to leaf out pretty good- looked very tender and tasty.

She is such a robust rose- I think related to rugosa, but not as prickly, and spreads like crazy, so I have tons of it. Provides good sheep snacks all summer long!

On the wool front, I am excited to say that I just carded up a sample of Daphne wool, and it is lovely

There’s not a ton of it, because a fair bit of her fleece was felted, but what I have is going to be a lot of fun to play with- gray, brown, black- with mahogany highlights.

And, The Shepherd’s Teo scarf just came of the needles! Will have a finished photo for next week once the ends a re tucked in and it’s blocked.

Stay safe, and Knit On!