Raglan with Vertical Stripes!

Child's raglan sweater with vertical stripes on the sleeves using size 3mm needles and Phildar's Lambswool, following a pattern from Phildar's Pitchoun 2003 spring catalog.

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Blue on blue raglan, 2x2 ribbing and tubular cast-on. Oh my.

I haven't been able to dedicate as much time to knitting as I usual do, but over the last few evenings I've made nice progress with my son's raglan sweater, and have completed the back piece and am about to start armhole shaping on the front piece. I'm really enjoying knitting something on smaller needles again, even though the ribbing for the hem is done using 2.5mm needles. To add to the fun [as Gwen noticed] I did a tubular cast-on for double rib on this sweater, which is time-consuming. I don't always mention it, but I do a tubular cast-on for all garment pieces that begin with double or single rib, and do a matching bind-off for collars. I don't mind the extra effort as the edge looks neat, is elastic and doesn't become stretched out with use. There are several methods to do the tubular cast-on for double rib, and so far my favorite is the one described on page 79 of the Knitter's Handbook as the "stockinette stitch tubular cast-on". Most tubular cast-on methods for double rib show a slant, but of all the methods I've tried this one shows less of a slant, I think. And don't I sound fancy with all my knitting lingo?

In other (somewhat sad for me) knitting news, who wants the Muppet Pimp Coat? It's one of the nicest things I've made and I do love it, but today when I put it on I feared for the mohair trim on the sleeves and hem as my son ran up to me and tried to climb up into my lap several times. So it looks like this sweater is destined for the drawer of never worn garments, unless someone else who would be able to wear more often than I can would like to own it. I wish I could send it to my sister, but with the year round hot weather where she lives it would be almost cruel to send her such a warm fluffy sweater. It's size small, and fits 32/34 inch chest circumference. If you're interested, send me an e-mail and we'll discuss a trade.

Update: Wow! Thanks to all who showed an interest in my Muppet Pimp Coat. I've decided to send it to Alison Gresik, who will not only give it a good home, but is including an autographed copy of her book among the wonderful things she's sending me in return. [Thank you, Alison!]

Seaming! For Joy!

I've got a date this weekend with a particular pile of sweater pieces for a hopping seaming session. They've been sitting on my little work table for a week, all blocked and dapper and wanting me to piece them together now, now, now. And as is my nature, I put it off. [Oh, seaming! For joy!] Saturday or Sunday evening, for sure. Fret not. Many kirs royals shall be imbibed to keep the party hopping. No more than three, though, lest I sew the wrists of the sleeves to the neck, or something similarly daft.

I've been putting off seaming, but not knitting. Here's another sneaky peek at the back of Carolyn's fuzzy sweater:


Miraculously enough, I'm spot on gauge and haven't had to rip out my work once, not even a stitch. And it's mohair. [Ripping out mohair! For joy!] I deserve a prize, so it sounds like another kir royal is in order for celebration purposes. Send TUMS.

Two or three aspirin oughta do it. Yep.

Seam this for me and I'll give you chocolates.

Finally got off my lazy bum and am halfway through seaming my son's raglan sweater. After spending a somewhat hellish time sewing the sleeves to the body of the garment, which were - I must point out again - knit from side to side and shaped via short rows and knitting on stitches because we all like to be fancy in our knitting from time to time, I am convinced that the knitted objects that have provided me with the most hours of fun-filled sewing are:

1) The skinny-legged toy ostrich.
2) The pocket of my son's tweedy jacket.
3) The sleeves of my son's raglan sweater.

Admittedly, the actual knitting of the sleeves was fun. But the short row shaping and increasing stitches at the end of rows via a cast-on method on the sleeves has made for a funky seam. Further, this particular raglan armhole is not a straight diagonal line like most other raglans; it's a CURVE. On the body of the sweater, the raglan starts out as a straight line up to the chest area, and then it curves inward until it reaches the neckline. Obviously, the sleeves curve in a similar manner to fit the body of the sweater. All this makes, I'm sure, for a very nicely-fitted garment. It also makes for pain in the ass seaming for someone who's obsessed about impeccable finishing. And aren't I the little whiner today? Send aspirin.

Incessant knitting blab is goooooood.

Pardon me, my selvedges are showing.

Random notes from all over the place:

1) The weather hit the 70s today and all I could think of as I got my hair cut [perky, flippy, short 'do, thank you] was "Damn, this is fine weather we're having. Too bad my pretty cotton jacket isn't finished because I could be wearing it right now." But here's a shot of the back piece and just looking at it gives me good vibes. I love this jacket already. Should I buy myself a pair of pants to wear only with this jacket? I think so.

2) I may be the procrastinating kind, but I'm not the quitting kind, which means that the raglan sweater is nearly seamed. After attempting (and failing) to create a smooth join on that blasted curve of a raglan by sewing from the underarm up, I decided to - gasp! - turn my work upside down and sew it from the neck to the underarm. [Ooooh....such a little knitting rebel.] But, somehow, the change in perspective worked and the seam came out nice and smooth. Incidentally, Marrije asked what method of sewing I used for this sweater. I used mattress stitch to join the raglan sleeves to the body of the garment and to join the side seams, and I'll be using backstitch (while working on the WS) to join the sleeve seams because I'll be sewing the cast off edge to the cast on edge. Ladder stitch creates a somewhat flatter seam, but I'm not sure if it would be strong enough to join those two together. Backstitch would be, but I'm a bit concerned about the join coming out too thick using that method. Right now I'm leaning towards backstitch, but I may change my mind. I'm such a fickle lassie.

On an unrelated note, I'd like to give a whole lotta public thank you's to: Suzie Q for sending me Pop Tarts, Oreos and other goodies; to Alison for sending me bamboo circs size 8mm and some Cascade Fixation [socks, people!]; and to Carolyn for sending me some Captain Crunch cereal [!] and the latest Rebecca [I see a ribbed tank in my future]. Really, it is very hard for me to get homesick when I've got such kind and thoughtful buddies. Thank you!

I see the light at the end of the seaming tunnel.

If I only had a neckband.

My husband has been home all week on vacation, and yesterday we decided to go to Place des Terreaux for a stroll with the kid, and then for lunch at the Arizona Grill, which can only be described as the Sizzler meets the Grand Canyon [and there was a saddle mounted to the wall at my left. Giddy-ap!]. I treated myself to a strawberry margarita and decided to make an afternoon of it by eating a whole rack of spare ribs. All by my lonesome. And I think I'm still digesting them. But the ribs gave me the energy to complete seaming on the blue raglan last night! I've just now finished blocking the seams and might start on the neckband and wristband facings tonight while I watch a French dubbed version of The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Jude Law [vroom!] and Gwyneth Paltrow [yawn]. And, of course, I'll be doing all facings - which are in double rib [oy, ribs] - with a tubular cast on. Then I'll leave a row of open stitches on the facings and sew them onto the sweater using free loop backstitch on the right side because, apparently, I haven't gotten enough of sewing.

Stretchy boy's new sweater.

I finished my son's raglan sweater in time for Easter! I may not like seaming sweaters, but I really don't mind investing the extra time it takes to do finishing. And this sweater required a lot of it: joining those curved raglan seams together, knitting separate wristband and neckband facings, sewing them on using free-loop backstitch...it seemed endless. But I completed the finishing touches on Saturday evening while watching an episode of Smallville [I have a little crush on Lex Luther; make fun of me, and I'll poke you with a size 10mm needle], so my son was able to wear his new sweater while hunting for chocolate Easter eggs on Sunday afternoon. My efforts were rewarded when he kept admiring the stripes on the sleeves as he moved his arms, and pointing the stripes out to everybody who greeted him. What a funny kid. (Incidentally, this is the second sweater I've knit for him to wear for chocolate Easter egg hunting. Here's the one I made last year, so it seems like I've started my own little Easter tradition.)

(The sweater is a good fit, but it's still a little long because I decided to make the sweater in the four-year-old size to ensure that my son will be able to wear it when he starts pre-school in the fall. He's exactly 2 and a half, but at 98 cm [!] in height he's a stretchy boy. Nothing wrong with being stretchy, but boy oh boy do I foresee longer and longer knitting sessions in my future. Send taped episodes of Smallville.)