I trust that everyone had a wonderful Winter Solstice (the days...they are stretching out into lazy sunshiny afternoons already) and a great Xmas if you celebrate. I love giving gifts and I always make sure that everyone I know knows that as well. Lucky for me, once the giftwrap finally settled into piles on the floor, a huge blizzard hit the city and dampered the hustle for a couple days. It was glorious. After so much hectic running around in the past month, the idea of being snowed in was downright comforting. I made a huge batch of chicken stock with all those bones in the freezer and made a vat of soup that warmed up the house and everyone in it. As long as I didn't run out of booze, all was right in the world.
This was also the perfect opportunity to sit down with the manual for my new camera. I'm pretty excited about this. There's a pretty big learning curve on a complicated electronic camera but I think I've got the basics down. I'm also glad my old SLR got some use as a model.
RIP, my sweet Dinosaur.
Which brings us to my newly finished sweater: the Eastlake Pullover by Norah Gaughan.
It's from her Berroco collection Vol 3. I modified this quiet a bit from the original pattern.
For starters, I knit the body in the round instead of flat. The less seams to clean up at the end means a happier me. Secondly, I didn't like how the fern leaf pattern ended and a decorative band bisected the sweater mid-boob. I would be constantly tugging on that to get it going above or below boob level. No one needs a line going across their boobs. So I ended the pattern early and did about an inch and a half of short rows across the front to give it more shape. Short rows are always a good idea if you have curves- it makes everything fit much better. The other modification I did was only one band of pattern over the arms instead of two, just because I didn't like the way it looked. That was more of a preference thing than a fit issue.
I love the way this came out and I've worn it quiet a bit already.
The yarn is Berrocco Inca Gold. It's a lovely blend of 80% Merino, 20% silk. It's a tightly twisted cabled yarn- 4 separate 2-ply yarns are plied together to make a 4-ply that has a nice amount of spring and shine, and it's very soft. So far, I've had no problems with pilling and it seems like it will wear well, as most well-made cabled yarns do. It also has great stitch definition. I really loved working with it and I'll be hoarding more in the future.
The specs: I used about 9.5 skeins, or 1159 yards of this dk weight yarn for the 38" size. The maid body was knit on size US 5 needles, and the ribbing was on size US 3. I had to go down a couple of needle sizes to get gauge, and a sweater on 5's does take quite a bit of time, but it's well worth it in the end. I have an extra ball and a half of yarn left, and I immediately cast on for a hat to use up the remaining bit.