May all your finished objects be received with this kind of joy:
In terms of knitting experience, the Classic Elite Star worked up very quickly. It is a bit hard to knit because of its elastic component. I ended up stretching it as I went along. My stitch gauge was pretty close to target, but my row gauge was off, with more rows per inch than I thought I’d get. The crinkly finished look mostly obscures stitch texture. There’s no point using this for anything much more complex than stockinette or garter stitch. Intarsia type colorwork would work although it would look best with large, clean shapes rather than anything fussy. Stranded colorwork would probably be problematic, because of the uneven appearance of individual stitches, and the gauge complexity of using an elastic yarn evenly in stranding. Still, the yarn was enjoyable to work with. I’d use it again.
I have had very little knitting time over the past two weeks, but 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, I did manage to finish the sleeves of Smaller Daughter’s Squeaky sweater. It’s urchin-baggy, just the way she wanted it, and I had **just** enough yarn to finish. I’ve got a half skein of a couple of the colors left over, but I used every scrap of dark blue, yellow, dark green and light green – which is why that last light green stripe on the shoulders is only half-height. Not only was I out of light green, but the color itself may have been discontinued. It was flat out unavailable from any of my usual sources, so I made do. The sleeves are just long enough. I may have to go back add length to them in future years as target child grows. Or not if this piece ends up being loved to death before it gets outgrown.
I will not be posting this pattern here. After the last post about it I was directed to KnitNet, where this month a similar looking toddler dress is being featured. Since my sweater looks a little bit like it, I’ll avoid stepping their toes. Besides, no one reported being interested anyway.
Larger Daughter is now clamoring for something. Her tastes run more to camo, black, and khaki – far more aggressive than the happy-unicorn-rainbow suite favored by Smaller Daughter. She has combed through my stash, and come up with this:
The Saba is an old Tahki yarn, probably from the late 1990s. It’s a thick/thin single-ply in construction, 100% wool 89 yards per skein. Recommended gauge is 4 stitches per inch on size 9 US. It’s very soft, and if I had to guess (not being sheepy myself), I’d guess that it has a high Merino content, though the type of wool is not marked. I got this lot for free via the local town on-line discussion list. Someone posted that they were putting it out on the curb, available to the first taker. Being just down the street, I zipped over and rescued the bag of 12 skeins steps ahead of the trash truck. 12 skeins is about 1,068 yards total.
The buttons were part of this year’s holiday haul. I ordered two 95-cent lots of assorted shank style military buttons from American Science & Surplus. Between the two lots, I got enough of three different button types/sizes to furnish four sweaters. This particular group of four bears Air Cadets Canada markings and insignia. The others I received had Soviet stars. My guess is that they’ll eventually end up on other sweaters for this same daughter.
What to make with this yarn? A vest has been requested. Something a bit on the long side, with waist shaping, a deep V-neck and (obviously) four buttons. Maybe with a simple cable running up both sides of the button band, and a hem facing on the bottom rather than ribbing at the bottom edge. Final decision on those last details has not been made. Since this yarn is relatively soft and a single, I am expecting it to pill somewhat. I haven’t swatched it yet to determine optimal gauge, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that it looks better knit a bit tighter than the label directs. I’d hate to totally obscure the thick/thin texture though.
Open invitation: Style pointers for this project from those of tastes and ages similar to Older Daughter would be greatly appreciated, in part because anything I suggest has Mom-Taint attached. She’s far more likely to entertain suggestions from other sources than from me. The constraints are the limited quantity of this yarn, a rather shapely size 14 target currently in high school, four military buttons, and the basic concept of “buttoned vest with a deep V neck.”
Since my broken-field run through the deadline swarm at work is not lessening, I don’t anticipate quick progress on this project. But I’ll try to document some of the interesting bits and decision points as I go along.