Category: Blog

Sweater Surgery

The other thing that I have been working on for The Shepherd is downsizing a vest that I knit for him a couple (few?) years ago. When I first considered the alteration, it seemed pretty straightforward. But of course, the devil is in the details. 😉

And when it comes to cutting into knitting, you want to be pretty sure you’ve got a good plan.

So this vest sat quite a while, as I knit the new one, and considered the best way to approach the resizing.

When it came time to get down to business, I started by pinning it to the desired dimensions, to see how much fabric I’d be taking in.

Once I had a good idea about how much I’d be taking it in, I removed the ribbed hem and armhole trim.

After this I decided to mattress stitch the new seam right away, Which I immediately realized was a mistake, because I found it kind of awkward trying reinforce for the edges from the reverse side of the fabric. So i pulled out that stitching, but no harm, no foul, because no cutting had happened yet 🙂

After refreshing my memory on streek reinforcing techniques, I decided to go for a row of single crochet, which would also give me a clear definition for where the new seam would be stitched and an even selvage on the inside. Should have taken a picture at that stage, but I was kind of in the thick of things and didn’t think of that (sorry). But after reinforcing what would be the new edges, here are the bits I cut out

The seaming went much more smoothly the second time, since I had a clear guide in the from the line of crochet.

scar tissue inside
but fairly inconspicuous on the outside

Now I’m reknitting the ribbed hem. Once redo the armhole trim I think I’ll go back and whip stitch the inside edges of the seam down with thread, so they lay nice and flat.

So, a little ways to go yet, but I’m pretty sure that the patient is going to make it, and continue to keep The Shepherd warm for a good long time yet. And I learned a few things along the way as well, which is cool.

Hot Off The Needles

It’s a vest! at long last, it’s a vest!

Still needs a final block and weaving in of ends, but it is functionally complete 🙂

Took me a couple tries to get the centered double decrease right, but am really happy with the finished neckline.

That’s all I’ve got tonight folks-

Have a good week!

Fleece Tea, Anyone?

When last I reported on the mystery fleece, it was relaxing in a cool bath. In the intervening time, it has continued to soak, with daily changes of bath water.

And the water, which I’m calling Fleece Tea, has been a special treat for the roses in this hot and dry weather. I’m crediting the tea with this week’s arrangement of late summer blooms

I’ve been working through washing it in batches, and am almost through. Second to last bunch drying now in the hoophouse

Underneath the dirt and grease, it’s really a quite nice bunch of wool. Shades of gray, fluffy and crimpy. about 3-4 inch staple. I couldn’t help but spin some up already (i do love sampling) and that led to knitting up simple comfy cap.

It’s quite cushy and fuzzy. I kind of love it.

Anyway, in case I want to make another, project notes to self: singles spun on Moto (speed setting 3), yarn chained while knitting to create a three strand thickness, 84 stitches, on size 6 needle. Crown shaping, 6 section spiral decrease every other round first 6 times, then every round until 6 stitches remain. Was really pleased with the look of the spiral- here’s another shot for posterity

Also happy to report that I have made some significant progress on The Shepherd’s Vest!

In the home stretch now- just neck and armhole trim to go! Nice to see it coming together-

And I’ll close it out this week with some garden gems

Okra flowers are so pretty!
Super Beefsteak maters and zuke

The heat-lovers have really been appreciating our weather lately. Think we’ve got rain in the forecast for tomorrow though. 🙂

Give Fleece a Chance

Today a fellow vendor at the Alger Sunday Market offered me a mystery fleece.

Been a while since I’ve taken in a stray, but you know me- always willing to give fleece a chance 🙂

It came to me straight off the sheep, and stuffed in a black plastic garbage bag.

Was really heavy, so I figured it might either be damp, or have a lot of dung tags. But after a bit of skirting and sorting, there was still a whole lot of it. A mountain of greasy fleece.

Didn’t weigh it, but I’m thinking 8-10 pounds? Lots of dirt and grease in there.

But it looks quite promising. Nice staple length, shades of gray, and a Romney-ish crimp

Seemed like it might be a little damp, so didn’t want to delay in getting it cleaned up.

For now the newcomer is relaxing in a cool bath.

Hopefully will have a chance to hot wash a batch tomorrow. I do love to sample new fiber.

Was nice to see so many folks come out for the market today despite the rain.

And thank goodness there was interest in eggs- the girls are laying over a dozen a day right now!

Have a good week everyone 🙂