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It is herself

Yar, well, that's she:

The bust increases are almost done, and I'm only a couple inches away from starting the armscyes. Guess I ought to start figuring out the numbers for those, eh?

I'll show the princess shaping in detail once the pattern is re-established above the shaping, since that helps give a sense of how the shaping works. For now, though, you can see it, a little bit, in the left half of the jacket - because I wanted to keep the decreases and increases going down the centerline of a diamond, the shaping lines are a little off-center, more towards the edge than the middle. It's a bit of a compromise, but it preserves the integrity of the colorwork better than putting the line smack-dab in the middle would. The shaping is fairly severe - about 40 stitches, or 5.5 inches, difference between bust and waist - but the pattern remains (almost) intact.

My gauge has gone up from 9 stitches/inch to 7 stitches/inch - I reswatched on Friday, and found that the oily coned yarn blooms much more nicely at 7 stitches. At 9 stitches, the unwashed fabric was already fairly compact, and washing fluffed the stitches considerably but gave them nowhere to go. Right now, at 7 stitches, the fabric (particularly in the 1-color portion) is open, almost mesh-y, but blocking will fill everything in and make for a structured, smooth piece. A good thing, too - the knitting is woefully uneven right now, even in the plain band. I suspect the yarn - I've never worked with a coned yarn before, and the oily, peculiarly papery feeling of it is a new thing to me. The stuff is almost stiff as it comes off the cone, more like knitting with twine than with wool, hard to keep even and difficult to knit with for long periods.

You can see the bumpiness of the work here, in the front steek:

The steek is quite narrow, only four stitches flanked by border stitches to either side. The narrowness is a little nerve-wracking, but it serves a purpose - I'm planning a front band fitted with closely spaced hook-and-eyes, and I want the clean look of a hem-style band folded in half and turned under. The cut steek stitches will end up inside the hem - hence the extreme skimpiness, the desire to avoid any kind of bulk. This wool, Harrisville New England Shetland, is wonderfully sticky and felt-y, so I don't think any kind of securing will be needed before cutting...in theory, encasing the cut ends inside the front band will promote rapid felting and stay-put-ness. In theory.

From the comments

E to the M asked, "...do you pick or throw?

For this project, both :) I knit continental-style for one-color projects, but do most colorwork with the two-hand method. I'll occasionally tension both colors in my left hand, since that's the easiest way for me to weave every stitch - I find the movements of two-handed colorwork to be much more elegant and economical, though, so I save all-picking for when I really need to avoid floats: the toes of socks, baby garments, and gloves/mittens.

Comments

I eagerly await your next installment - it's a definite nerve wracking thing, THE CUT! This is really a beauty - have to admire you for seeing something in MacGregor's book and knitting it right up!

This thing is so freakin' beautiful I can hardly stand it. jesus!

I'm really enjoying watching this project develop--it's absolutely gorgeous. I never would have thought to put those colors together, but I love the effect.

As usual with things you knit, I am in love! I'm definitely buying the pattern if you ever decide to sell it! This is just breathtaking, and it's not even complete!

I had to swollow hard when I saw those steek stitches. Talk about nerve wracking.

The odd feeling of coned yarn has prevented me from using a cone of cashmere wool I have...

Beautiful knitting! It's so exciting watching your progress.

I am continually amazed at the speed with which you crank out complicted projects! Gorgeous sweater so far. I can't wait to see the full effect with the shaping. I'm not one who enjoys color work, but looking at your projects stirs something in my fair isle soul that may just need to come out. Glad to see you're back posting!

Wow, I am enjoying seeing this wonderful project come to life!! Congrats and I can hardly wait for the details!!!

Simply amazing-what more can I say-except can't wait to see the finished product:)

Hi Eunny, I've been reading your blog awhile but I don't think I commented, just wanted to say that your knitting is so impressive! You're so fast! Are we going to have the chance to get this pattern too? I bought your vest pattern but haven't found yarn I like for it yet. I love your patterns because I really want to do more with colorwork and fair isle but so many patterns out there are so old lady and shapeless. Anyway I'm loving the sweater, and I also can't wait till you get back to the brocade jacket because I love the contrast of the colors on that one!

OOOOOOOOOOOOhhh...*DROOOOL*

Absolutely stunning! I enjoy very much reading about how this project evolves from the picture through swatches into the knitting. Can't wait to see the finished product. A question: How long do you let the floats be before weaving on the backside?

This looks lovely! I've always wanted to work with some really oily yarn - does it moisturize your hands as you knit?

So pretty - I love the yellow and blue together - muted just enough.

I recently discovered your blog - while searching for lace-patterns ... (your potw version is already on my needles - though with a different yarn than shown in my blog..)
It's absolutely stunning - both your blog in general and this fair-isle jacket you're making. I follow your progress with great joy and admiration. The colours you picked are so well balanced and give the garment a truly unique and elegant appearance. The subtleness of the colours makes it look wonderfully antique and the shaping looks beautiful!!

Lovely work. Brava.

Regarding the Harrisville off-the-cone feeling, have you thought about skeining and washing the yarn in advance of knitting? I've tried that with some Hanne Falkenberg yarn that was bothering me. I tried it half way through a project, and liked it so much better that I soaked the unfinished sweater, on an Addi turbo, in shampoo and water, air dried it, and went on knitting with the washed yarn. The guage seemed to match. The only problem is that you will have to make skeins, so you will lose the continuous strand. You could splice, of course.

Your jacket is absolutely gorgeous! Sorry that you are having gauge problems. I hope that you plan on selling or offering the pattern when it is done.

Beautiful beautiful work... I am inspired and a litte frightened.

LOve the pattern for this. It almost looks like a bustier from that photo. love your blog by the way!

I vaguely remember my first true knitting teacher (a guru actually)telling me that for best results when using a coned yarn, to wind it off into centerpull balls and let it sit for abit. She felt that the machines tighten the yarn when putting them on the cones. The yarn needs a small amount of time to breath and relax before hand knitting.

I admit it was a pain in the butt winding off 1lb cones (did I really need to do the whole thing, only to have it sit in my stash for 3 years? lol)but it's worth a shot to try it out. In the picture, what your noticing might just be the yarn itself untwisting the overtwist and relaxing. It's ok, you are allowed to mutter some naughty words at the yarn if needed.

On the whole steek issue. Are you sure you want to be so brave and just cut? Guess I'm just suffering from a case of Steek shock trauma from a sweater that had an attitude problem and made my life miserable while trying to sewing the front band on to encade the nasty ends that wanted to be free-range yarn.

I love your work, and don't believe there's been a time I've visited your blog and not been truely inspired.

Thanks

I've always heard it recommended that you wash coned yarn before knitting with it, to get rid of the twiny feeling and be able to assess eventual gauge more accurately. Sound like a lot of work, though.. :)

I've always heard it recommended that you wash coned yarn before knitting with it, to get rid of the twiny feeling and be able to assess eventual gauge more accurately. Sound like a lot of work, though.. :)

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