Monday, February 27, 2006

16 days, a knitter, the birth of a sweater!

She bathes in the glow of the light bulb.





I finished, it's true. My sweet sweater is drying as we speak. Preliminary modelling sessions have deemed her a success, with reservations. The final ruling has been held for the post-block runway show.

Initial Parting shots:

1 - Fabulous yarn (details to follow) well suited for this project. Knit on size 8 needles with a pre-blocking gauge of 21 sts / 4 in and 25.2 rows / 4 in. I used ~1100 yards (this is a VERY rough estimate.)

The yarn is a single ply yarn from Habu Textiles in NYC. I believe it is called "a-80 wool", is listed here on Habu's website. It was ~$26 for 17 oz or approximately 1752 yards. Otherwise known as dirt cheap. I have Elisa to thank for this yarn. She and Kellee tackled the wall o' yarn at Habu during our trip to NYC. I just glazed over and marvelled at the silk cocoons. Fortunately they found this fabulous deal.

A second note on this yarn: it is listed as a fingering weight. At first glance I might agree however, the swatch in the store was not knit on anything smaller than US6 needles. I swatched on US7's and US8's (a normal person's US8 and US9)- both produced a lovely fabric with beautiful drape. Blocking created a denser fabric. Honestly, I cannot imagine knitting this on the recommended US1-3 needles.

2 - I need to continue to knit for myself AND knit items that fit. This is the first sweater that I have knit for myself. I love it. Not to mention the realization/confirmation that negative ease is the way to go. I will continue to experiment with this as I choose more sweaters to tackle.

3 - When modifying a pattern to fit my gauge and my body Excel is way more fun than the 80 million scraps of paper I normally use. The infamous spreadsheet was easy to do and created a nice diversion. Knowing how many stitches I had to go was motivating rather than crippling. I loved tweaking it and plan to polish it up a bit for future use.

4 - I need challenge and motivation - the Knitting Olympics fit the bill.

5 - I cannot blog and knit and work successfully. Unfortunately or Fortunately the blog is the first to go.

6 - Team Boston is filled with warm, friendly, and encouraging people. During our closing ceremony fashion show yesterday a knitter (Lucia) was tackling her first sweater. A baby sweater that she choose to conquer her fear of the sweater and the dreaded seaming that is inevitably a part of many sweater patterns. Upon voicing her phobia the room echoed with people encouraging her and offering lessons right then and there to help her along. Truly a fabulous team.

The sweater will be photographed after it has dried.

We're busy here gearing up for a fun weekend in Vermont as I approach the official anniversary of my birth and the close of my 3rd decade on this Earth. T-minus 3 whole days to my 30th birthday.

Someone pass the tequila.




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30 Comments:

Anonymous Cara-ISH said...

Wendy, my love, I am SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU! So proud. When we drove by DF on our way up to Peabody (yes - we had clams again) I waved to you and blew kisses. I love you.

2/27/2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger goodkarma said...

Happy birthday and congratulations on completing your sweater! I can't wait to see it on you. I just know you're going to look like a million bucks. :)

2/27/2006 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Feliz cumpleaƱos, chica!! Can't wait to see the post-blocked sweater. Team Boston was totally awesome -- so much generosity and fun!

2/27/2006 9:27 PM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

Kudos for finishing your first sweater for yourself! What a nice birthday gift....

The 30s are way better than the 20s. I'm sure you'll enter them with grace and style

2/27/2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger Warrior Knitter said...

delurking to say CONGRATS!!!!
and
HIPPO BIRDIES EWE EWE!

Will you post a link to "The Spreadsheet". I like spreadsheets, too.

Am looking forward to the pics!!

2/27/2006 10:22 PM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

Ah, to be 30 again; hell, to be 40! Teehee. It's not so bad, Wendy. And, anyway, who will be THE cutest homemade-pasta-making, headlamp-wearing, spreadsheet-wielding, 30-year-old knitter ever? Huh? And wearing a frickin' new sweater to boot!

OMG, I was exactly the same way at Habu. It was completely overwhelming for a small town girl -- at least on first go 'round; I'd definitely like to try it again, though. ; )

2/27/2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

The sweater looks amazing, I can't imagine the stiff ickiness that would result from tee-tiny needles. It's perfect as is!

Many happy returns of the day. As a 40-something looking back on 30's, I loved em. Each decade gets even better. Let the celebrations begin! :)

2/28/2006 6:01 AM  
Blogger maryse said...

yay the sweater is finished. congratulations!

and happy early birthday!!!

2/28/2006 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Congratulations, both on the sweater (can't wait to see it) and on the birthday. Celebrate long and hard. I found 30 tough - it was a real transition to me.

Can't walk away from Habu without SOMETHING in your hand. The skeins in that back room scream for indulgence. Did you SEE the cashmeres??

2/28/2006 7:27 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

Hooray for the finished sweater. When we were driving home Dale remarked on your diligence of working on it - he was impressed! I think you should save the photo shoot for this weekend in Vermont. (I'm thinking Maria in the Sound of Music with the mountains as a backdrop) Happy Birthday, dear one.

2/28/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Varina said...

Congrats on your Olympic gold; the sweater looks nice from here. Also, what do you mean that your US8, 9 is a normal person's US7, 8?
On a book-related note: don't you just love Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Love in the Time of Cholera is one of my favorites.

2/28/2006 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Bethe said...

Happy Early Birthday! 30 was relatively easy to deal with. I had a harder time with 33 for some reason.
It was so nice to meet you Sunday, and I am sure the sweater will be even better than it looked Sunday (which, by the way, was gorgeous!)

2/28/2006 8:35 AM  
Anonymous margene said...

March is a great month for birthday's. Looking forward to see your Olympic sweater with the gold medal!

2/28/2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

You can be 29 in your head for as long as you want. Ask me how I know.

;-)

The sweater looks awesome on you, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

2/28/2006 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Can't wait to see the sweater modeled!

Happy early birthday. Enjoy your get-away.

2/28/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Kellee said...

Ooooh!

30th birthdays are the BEST, 30th years rock, and the Hourglass is (so far) one of the best sweaters ever..... How can you go wrong with such a great combination?

And I don't care what Carole says, Sond of Music be damned - I want to see that sweater right this second.

2/28/2006 9:36 AM  
Anonymous elisa said...

I can not wait to see this sweater, dude - I know it will be absolutely stunning on you. Congratulations on finishing! You rock!

2/28/2006 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

Happy Almost Birthday! Break 30 in for me, so that when I catch up in Dec, you'll have greattips and tricks for me, okay?

Can't wait to see the post-blocking sweater!

2/28/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Kat with a K said...

Can't wait to see it all done! Happy Birthday!

2/28/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Look at all of that wooly goodness! Can't wait to see what it looks like dry :-)

2/28/2006 8:09 PM  
Anonymous kristen said...

congrats on what sounds like a spectacular sweater, and thanks for the link to the yarn at Habu.

I hope you have a fabulous birthday! I am looking forward to thirty, but I reserve the right to change my mind when I'm 29. May your next 30 and 60 years be as great as the first 30!

2/28/2006 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

Congrats on finishing, looking forward to seeing it modeled!

I would not have guessed from the early sleeve that it would get denser.

Happy Birthday!

2/28/2006 8:21 PM  
Anonymous mamacate said...

Hey girl. Rumor has it it's your birthday! Happy happy happy happy!

3/03/2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger maryse said...

it's a big ole rumor.

here's a little song i made up for you... it's sung to the tune of "happy birthday"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR WENDY!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!

have a wonderful birthday. we need to celebrate!

3/03/2006 1:20 PM  
Anonymous kate said...

Happy Birthday! Enjoy the celebration!

3/03/2006 3:58 PM  
Blogger Cathi said...

Happy birthday, girl. You are the sweetest.

3/03/2006 6:04 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

Happy Birthday, Wendy!

3/04/2006 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Amber said...

Well happy birthday you lovely thing! Hope you enjoy(ed) Vt, we're going up for our birthdays/anniversary in April :)

3/04/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, old lady! ;)

The other day Liv said, "I don't want you to turn 33!"

Uh ok, no problem there! When I told her the number was 43, her face fell. "Noooooooooo!" she cried.

Enjoy your wonderful weekend.

Kerstin

3/05/2006 6:09 AM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

Oh, it's your birthday! Or was. Happy Birthday! And here I was thinking that the sweater was still not dry.

3/07/2006 6:54 PM  

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