Laura (lauralkeet) knits a lot in 2021

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Laura (lauralkeet) knits a lot in 2021

Dic 26, 2020, 8:18am

I'm in the "home stretch" of The Knitting Guild Association Master Handknitter Certification program and hope to submit my work for review sometime this year. I always have at least one other project on the needles, usually something fun that doesn't require as much concentration. The photo shows some of my favorite projects from 2020. Clockwise from top left: Longboat Key Tee, Purl Strings Sweater, a Fair Isle hat (original design), and a Gansey sweater (also an original design; the photo is a closeup on the sleeve).

Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 9:33am


Master Hand Knitting Program
My final project for the program is an original design for an Aran sweater. The requirements are:
* A minimum of 4 different cables
* Bobbles
* A background stitch for the cables, such as reverse stockinette
* A "filler" stitch that is not garter, reverse stockinette, or stockinette.

Besides designing the sweater, I have to knit it (of course), and write a pattern. I have the design worked out and am currently knitting the back section.

Tiglar Sweater

This Tiglar sweater is my "fun" project, using navy blue Icelandic yarn my daughter gave me after a trip to Iceland, and two other colors purchased from River Colors Studio in northeastern Ohio, a shop Ravelry suggested as a source: a light gray tweed for the body, and a denim heather (the navy and denim will form the diamond pattern shown in the photo). I'm still waiting for the denim heather to arrive so I haven't done much on this yet.

Dic 26, 2020, 4:11pm

Those really were some nice projects from last year. Hope you make good progress on your class and looking forward to this year's projects.

Dic 28, 2020, 2:13pm

Agree with Betty, those were indeed some gorgeous projects. Looking forward to seeing all your work in 2021.

Dic 30, 2020, 7:12am

Hey Laura - Our food section of the paper this am had a recipe for a winter French 75. Thought I'd pass this along:

Winter Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 clove
1 cinnamon stick
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon

Cognac French 75:
1 ounce cognac
1/2 oz (1 TBLS) lemon juice
1/2 oz (1 TBLS) simple syrup
3 oz sparkling wine/champagne

I've been intrigued since you mentioned this cocktail, but haven't gone anywhere to order one.

Dic 30, 2020, 7:51am

>5 dudes22: ooh, a winter version! I love this idea, Betty! Thanks for sharing it.

Dic 30, 2020, 2:34pm

Aran Sweater

Here's an early look at the Aran sweater I've designed for the Masters program. This is the back. There's about 2" of ribbing, and then the cable patterns will repeat all the way to the top.

Finding cable patterns that I liked, and that played nicely together, required a lot of swatching. I've also included a photo of the yarn that is more true to color than my photo above. The name of the color "crabapple," but I think it looks more like rosé wine. 😀

Dic 30, 2020, 3:56pm

Wow, that looks fantastic! My head would spin right into orbit, I think, trying to keep up with all those rows.

Dic 30, 2020, 5:56pm

I like the color. How interesting that it photos differently. I'll bet there's a way you could put all those swatches together for a wall hanging or a pillow maybe.

Dic 30, 2020, 6:24pm

Thank you, Amber & Betty.

>8 scaifea: keeping up with the rows isn't as hard as it looks. Think of it as different "panels": a center lattice pattern, a group of 3 cables on either side of the lattice, and moss stitch at the far left and right. All of these are charted row-by-row, and I use highlighter tape to mark the current row on each chart.

>9 dudes22: I think lighting has a big impact on how the color turns out in the photo. I've tried tinkering with photos to adjust color, but I can never get it quite right. With my skills, it's just dumb luck when the photo comes out accurate.

Ene 3, 11:52am

>7 lauralkeet: I love designing and knitting Aran!
Are your various panels are multiples of the longest pattern repeat; that is if one panel is 24 row repeat, you might have 8, 6, 4, and 12 row repeats in the other panels? It looks like your D and F are with the E, and the B, D, F and H are with the C and G. Nice work and Cascade is a good weight.

I was interested to see that bobbles are a requirement. For some reason, with nothing behind it at all, I never think of them as a "required" component - maybe because they seem to ornamental for a working sweater and are in danger of being snagged.

I like the detail work on the Gansey sleeve. Looking forward to what you knit this year.

Ene 3, 1:26pm

>11 SassyLassy: Nice to see another Aran fan! I've always enjoyed knitting cables. Designing has been a big challenge and the jury is out whether I enjoy it enough to do it again!

You are spot on about pattern repeats. One of the design books I read said you'll make your life easier if you design based on the longest pattern repeat. In this section, the center "snug lattice" motif is 8 rows, and the cables on either side are 16. Moss stitch is 4. So they all follow that guidance. For the front I'm planning to use a different center motif with a 24-row repeat, flanked by the same moss & cables as on the back. In this case the 24-row motif will stop at the neckline and the other cables will extend up to the shoulders. So I should be okay there.

I agree with you about the bobble requirement. They're not my favorite thing! Some knitters have gone crazy with bobbles, others have placed them "out of the way" on the sleeves. I'm planning to use them in the center motif on the front, and based on placement there will only be about 6 bobbles.

Ene 4, 12:25am

Thanks for sharing your knitting process. Very interesting to read. Very glad that I have resisted learning to knit or crochet or tat or anything similar in any way, shape, or form. The better to appreciate the work of others. I hope you complete the certification this year! It's all so beautiful!

Ene 4, 7:29am

>13 justchris: Thank you very much, Chris. It's nice to have a new visitor and I appreciate your kind comments. Knitting is both a relaxing and mentally stimulating hobby for me, depending on what I'm working on. A bit like reading in a way.

Ene 4, 2:27pm

I am eagerly awaiting more posts about your sweater! It's so fun to see it come together when it's not me cursing a blue streak. lol

Editado: Ene 4, 5:14pm

I've done my share of cursing over this and I'm pretty sure there will be more curse-worthy moments! But I'm happy to share photographic, curse-free progress. Everyone here is so supportive and encouraging.

Ene 7, 8:10am

I know this is a small problem in the midst of all the larger problems in the world but ...

I am still waiting for yarn for my Tiglar Icelandic sweater. You might remember from my previous thread, that I had navy yarn in my stash, and needed two more colors. I thought I'd use gray and white, but the white didn't look right. I contacted the yarn shop I ordered from and with their help chose a denim blue. I received a shipping notice right away. That was December 16.

I didn't think about it much more until after Christmas, especially given the severe delays we're currently experiencing with the US Postal Service. But when I checked on the status, it looked like that the package hadn't left the shop. Sigh.

I contacted the shop, they said they would look into it, and a day later the tracking information showed the package had been accepted by the local USPS facility. I was disappointed that the the shop never offered an explanation or apology, but at least it was on its way. That was December 28.

By the next day the package had moved one stop along the way, from a local USPS facility to a regional one. And it has sat there ever since. I'm sure the New Year's holiday had an impact, but I'm surprised the package didn't start travelling this week.


Ene 7, 8:23am

>17 lauralkeet: - I hear you. I sent some cookies to friends in AZ. I went to the PO on 12/24 and sent it Priority Mail. It got to Mass regional facility on 12/26 where it sat saying "in transit" until today when it shows it's made it to Tucson. I would be more understanding if I hadn't paid good money for Priority.

I know some of the places I order fabric from are upfront on their web sites saying it will take longer for them to process an order. I hope your yarn is faster than my cookies.

Ene 7, 6:32pm

>18 dudes22: I've heard horror stories about priority packages not being prioritized this year. I think you should complain to USPS and ask that they refund the difference in parcel post and priority mail.

Ene 7, 8:05pm

>17 lauralkeet: We had a similar issue with one of our purchases from BestBuy. They shipped the item and it traveled one leg of the trip but then got stuck in Ohio for almost 2 weeks with no updates. It showed up at our house with no intermediate scans on the rest of the trip. I heard some facilities just don't have the bandwidth to do scans and some packages are prioritized lower. I hope your yarn arrives soon!

Ene 8, 7:31am

Thank you for the sympathy! I checked the tracking this morning and my yarn has finally left the regional facility in Akron, OH. But it's likely to languish in another sorting center once it arrives in Philadelphia. I'm waiting on a couple of other packages in that situation. If only I knew which Philadelphia facility and where it is located. I'd consider going there and staging a sit-in until they handed over my stuff ha ha.

Ene 8, 7:48am

>21 lauralkeet: I was tempted to drive to Atlanta once my package showed up, but I hoped things were normalizing--and they apparently were.

Ene 9, 8:03am

I haven't had much trouble with packages getting stuck in warehouses and other facilities, but I've been highly annoyed by the shipping companies that don't seem to care about your requested pick-up places. Depending on which company you use, there are quite a lot of places both in town and here in my suburb where you can pick up packages (direct home delivery is usually very pricy and often not available anyway). All good there, but some of the places aren't convenient for me since they're across town or located in a place that's more for drivers than pedestrians like myself. So I always click on the place that's best for me. Do I get to pick them up there? No, they're still shipped to the places that are the most inconvenient for me. Why give me a choice if you won't listen? It's mind-boggling.

Rant over. Sorry.

Ene 9, 4:51pm

>21 lauralkeet: Your package wait is far worst than mine. I'm waiting for a 2nd fabric order from Virginia that seems to be somewhere between Maryland (the regional facility) and here -- for almost a week (I'm so impatient! I suspect it is coming by dogsled) The one from Mississippi came lickety-split but the one, done the same day, from Virginia has not. I hope yours arrive very soon!

Editado: Ene 19, 10:47am

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Ene 19, 8:59am

In the "getting old sucks" department, it appears I am dealing with the beginnings of arthritis around my left thumb. Damn.

A while ago I started feeling pain in my left hand while knitting. I had been working tons of cable swatches to design my Aran sweater, and thought I was probably gripping my knitting too tightly and just needed to chill out. But stretching and relaxing didn't have much effect. Fortunately, one of the women in my knitting group is a hand therapist and was willing to do a bit of consultation over the phone. She asked a bunch of questions and had me make certain movements and tell her whether they caused pain. She was pretty certain it wasn't tendinitis, and it sounded to her like thumb arthritis. She recommended the Comfort Cool Thumb CMC Restriction Splint as well as some ergonomic adjustments like knitting with a pillow in my lap to take the weight off my hands.

She also offered wise words about needing to perform activities "with respect," and save my joints for what I most want to do. With that in mind I've intentionally shortened my knitting sessions and am taking regular breaks as I work.

So far these recommendations seem to be helping. I plan to discuss this with my doctor at my next regular checkup. But I sure don't like having to think about this! Anyone else dealing with arthritis in their crafting?

Ene 19, 9:49am

>26 lauralkeet: Sorry to hear you dealing with that. I don't have any problems with my hands yet (thankfully) but I have had problems on-and-off with my knees for the past 20 years (since my teens). It's mostly been as a result of sitting still too much but I've also had problems when I've been running (physiotherapist said the muscles in my knees were too weak so I have exercises I do every day). But lately they've started hurting even when I'm not sitting and while I'm still leaning towards it being a result of sitting too much there is still the possibility of it being - arthritis. it runs in the family so I will most likely get it eventually, but I really hope I have a couple of decades left until then.
Will see a doctor about it when the situation with the pandemic starts to cool down.

There's been quite a lot of talk about arthritis/hand pain in my FB knitting group and the things I remember being mentioned as helping are square needles, using circular needles instead of regular ones, short bouts with breaks in between, exercises for the hands and the pillow underneath that you've already mentioned.
I hope you find some way of managing it so you can still knit as much as you want.

Ene 19, 10:19am

Thank you Paws! I recently had a baseline bone scan, which found indications of possible arthritis in my future. I just didn't think that meant "now," darn it. Thanks for sharing those tips from your knitting group.

I've also been down the knee pain route, having torn my meniscus in 2019 during some overzealous running on a treadmill. I tried physical therapy and a brace but ultimately had a cortisone injection which worked wonders.

IIRC you're considerably younger than me (I'll be 59 next month), so hopefully you'll be able to keep arthritis at bay for some time.

Ene 19, 10:52am

>28 lauralkeet: Yeah, I'm 36 so hopefully the day I get arthritis is still some time away.
I had a co-worker who took regular cortisone injections in her knees (4 times a year, I think), which worked well for her, but I hope I never have to use cortisone. I already have issues with, or am at risk of, several of the issues that are on the list of side effects for cortisone.

Ene 19, 12:24pm

>29 PawsforThought: - We have a neighbor who gets regular shots for his knee (knees?). Trying to avoid knee replacement. He says it works well for him and for right now, he's willing to take the shots.

Sorry that you're having problems with your hands, Laura. I have one joint at the base of my right hand thumb that seems enlarged compared to the left hand, but no pain yet. I know the natural herb arnica helps with muscle pain but not sure it would work for joints. I used to send our granddaughter to college with a new tube from the organic place I order from every year. She played field hockey and said it really helped.

Ene 19, 12:32pm

>30 dudes22: Betty, I just googled arnica and WebMD says it can help ease arthritis symptoms, so I'm going to look into that further. Thank you!!

Ene 19, 5:07pm

I know we're not supposed to push companies but I got it from Moon Valley Organics. It's a muscle rub.

Ene 19, 5:25pm


Editado: Ene 20, 2:56pm

There's plenty to celebrate today with the Inauguration and all, but also: the yarn for my Tiglar sweater FINALLY arrived!

ETA: here are the colors side-by-side.

The main color is gray heather and the contrast colors are navy and denim heather. The pattern photo in >2 lauralkeet: shows how the colors are used together. In my sweater the navy will replace the black and the denim replaces the white.

Ene 20, 3:18pm

Those are great!. I think it will look much better than #2.

Ene 20, 3:21pm

Thanks Betty! The pattern photos is very masculine, IMO. You could also go really crazy with colors on a sweater like this, using colors that "pop" more. I started out thinking along those lines but was somewhat limited by what was available. In any case, I'm very happy with this combination.

Ene 20, 4:34pm

>34 lauralkeet: Hurrah for yarn arrivals! The colours look superb, and now I really want to make an Icelandic sweater myself.

Ene 20, 4:59pm

>34 lauralkeet: Those colors look great together and I can't wait to see the finished sweater. Well, obviously I CAN wait, because you have to knit it first, but you know what I mean. :-)

Ene 20, 6:56pm

>37 PawsforThought:, >38 rosalita: Thanks Paws & Julia. I started this sweater while waiting for the yarn, because the ribbing starts with several rows of navy. I thought I'd have the yarn by the time I needed it, but then I had to swap out the white for denim and ... well, here we are. I'm looking forward to getting back to it soon.

Ene 20, 7:59pm

Ooh, lovely yarn! Alafoss is so much fun to knit with and comes in such great colors. (Also easy to splice when I inevitably break it. Although it's much better than than plotulopi.)

Ene 21, 8:04am

Yay for the yarn delivery! And I *love* those colors together!

Ene 21, 9:03am

Thanks Amber!

Ene 21, 1:37pm

Re: the arnica - My hubby went to the ortho yesterday. He's been having trouble with his ankles and thought it might be arthritis. (He fell off a boat in drydock many years ago and broke both heels. They told him then he would probably get arthritis or have to get his bones fused eventually) Anyway, the doctor gave him a brace to wear and some cream to use and guess what's in it? Arnica.

Ene 21, 9:41pm

>43 dudes22: well that's a funny coincidence, Betty! I hope it helps him. I ordered a gel before you posted in >32 dudes22:. I looked for a product that specifically mentioned arthritis. There were many that mentioned only bruises and muscle pain. I really appreciate your recommendation and will let you know how it works for me.

Ene 22, 1:10pm

>7 lauralkeet:: You do such beautiful work. I agree with the person who suggested making your swatches into a cushion cover. It would make such a lovely winter piece.

Editado: Ene 22, 1:42pm

>45 tiffin: Hi Tui! Nice to see you around these parts. Thanks for your kind words, and thoughts about the swatches. I'm in no hurry to do anything with them, but who knows, maybe I'll feel sentimental when I finally finish the program.

Ene 22, 2:44pm

>45 tiffin: is that 'tiffin' I spy?! I was just noticing the old threads at the bottom of the list of threads, one of which is hers.

Feb 6, 8:36am

Thought I'd share a photo of my Tiglar sweater. This measures about 25cm from the bottom edge. I'll knit 41cm before setting it aside to work the sleeves, and then come back later to work the yoke.

Feb 6, 9:21am

Oh gosh, that's so gorgeous. I love the colors so much, and look how neat and tidy your stitches are (as usual, I should say)!

Feb 6, 9:48am

Wow! I love those colors. Great choices.

Feb 6, 10:01am

I'll add my voice to the chorus of "you picked fabulous c9lors that work together beautifully". Of course, as usual I've managed to use twice as many words to say the same thing — my editors loved that about me (not)!

Feb 6, 10:12am

Thanks Amber, Betty, and Julia. Kudos to the yarn shop for helping me choose that denim blue. I really like the way the gray is knitting up with those tweedy flecks.

Feb 6, 1:01pm

>48 lauralkeet: Your yarn is knitting up beautifully, Laura. I’ll keep popping in to see your progress. I’m just getting back into my knitting. Last year really put a damper on everything I enjoy doing, but I think I’m back on track now.

Feb 6, 1:24pm

>53 NanaCC: Hi Colleen, it's so nice to see you here. I'm glad you're getting back into knitting and, more importantly, that you're feeling "back on track" generally.

Feb 7, 12:52am

>48 lauralkeet: I too ama fan of the blues! Happy knitting!

Feb 7, 7:23am

>55 justchris: Thanks Chris!

Feb 7, 9:02am

>52 lauralkeet: I agree about the tweediness - I love that look so much and love working with tweed yarns.

Feb 7, 9:15am

>57 scaifea: Yeah, this has renewed my appreciation for tweeds. I was just chatting with Chris (my husband, not justchris !) yesterday, about knitting him a sweater after I finish this one. More discussion needed to see what sort of pattern he'd like, but maybe there will be tweed in our future.

Feb 7, 2:53pm

>58 lauralkeet: I think you both need new tweed sweaters to match that cozy new cottage you're moving into...

Feb 7, 4:11pm

>59 scaifea: Sure we do, Amber!

For those wondering about the "cozy new cottage" Amber referred to ... here's what I posted on my 75 Books Thread earlier today:

Some Personal News

Last fall, Chris and I started talking about finding a vacation home that would allow us to occasionally escape the city and connect with nature. Our search led us to parts of Virginia near the Blue Ridge mountains. We found a lovely property but as it happens, it’s one that is best lived in year-round. So we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of a relocation. Our current house has just gone on the market, and we will be moving to northern Virginia in the next couple of months. Fortunately, in our last move we purged a lot of our excess stuff so at least we don't have that to deal with this time around. But still, this all happened MUCH more quickly than I would have guessed!

The house was originally built by a Pennsylvania Quaker, and the original section (first photo) dates to 1791. The second photo is a 1970s addition. It extends behind the vine-covered part of the front, forming an L-shape. The entrance to the 1970s addition is the one we’ll use day-to-day; it leads into a sort of foyer/small sitting room. The current owners remodeled the kitchen and it’s very nice. There’s a patio off the back. We lived in a semi-rural setting before moving to the city, and ended up missing the gardening and backyard wildlife more than we expected. This place offers lots of opportunity in those areas.

Editado: Feb 7, 4:17pm

That's a big house, Laura! Lots of luck. You should be able to have plenty of room for yarn. 😉

Feb 8, 9:34am

>60 lauralkeet: What a great house! I found it using the clues you dropped about it and viewed the online video, photos, and floor plan. Looks like there are a couple of small built-in bookcases, but it definitely needs more.

Feb 8, 1:50pm

>61 dudes22: Thanks Betty. One of the things we like about this house is that the master bedroom is on the ground floor. That leaves the upstairs bedrooms for guests. And yarn. HA1

>62 thornton37814: Thanks Lori.

Feb 9, 6:49am

That's a lovely house, Laura, and so much room (for both books and yarn)! I wish you all the best in your relocation. Is it a long move to the new house from where you live now? I hate moving with a passion, and am dreading having to do it soon-ish, even though I do *want* to relocate and I'm not going far at all. But the packing...

Feb 9, 7:50am

>64 PawsforThought: It's a 3-hour drive, Paws. It's not insignificant, but not like moving across the country either. Would the be considered a "long move" in Sweden?

Feb 9, 9:46am

>65 lauralkeet: I wouldn't consider it a long move, but I live up north, where towns are about 2 hours apart by car. I've gone to the next town just to catch a movie, and commuted there for university for two years.
The south is more of a cluster of towns so 3 hours would be a bigger deal there, but still not "long". My brother's family are planning on moving up from Stockholm, about 9 hours to drive. That's definitely a long move.

One really good thing about not moving very far is that moving is tiring enough without having to spend a whole day (or several days) on the road. You can pack up the last few things in the morning, get to the new place and have the essentials unpacked before you collapse from exhaustion.

Feb 10, 5:28pm

Aran Sweater - Back

I finished the back of my Aran sweater today. Yay! This is a drop-shoulder design, with saddle sleeves, so the back is just a big rectangle. The front will have shaping for the neck and shoulders.

Just as a reminder, this is what the color really looks like:

Feb 10, 5:43pm

That is some gorgeous cable work, Laura!

Feb 10, 5:49pm

That cabling is gorgeous!

(and so is the new house!)

Feb 10, 5:50pm

>67 lauralkeet: I love doing cables, Laura. That looks lovely. I bet it was fun to do.

Feb 10, 6:10pm

Thank you very much Julia, Mel, and Colleen!

I love knitting cables too, and I have an entirely new appreciation for what it takes to design a cable sweater. It took me about 3 months, tons of swatching, and my first onset of thumb arthritis to develop a fully-thought-out design for the back and front, and a couple of reasonably-fleshed-out-but-not-final ideas for the sleeves. I'm really glad that I took part in a tutorial/knitalong about this time last year, to design and knit a sweater from scratch. This sweater has the same structure (drop-shoulder with saddle sleeves), so I was able to build on what I'd learned before. The cables added very challenging complexity, so it really helped to have some foundational knowledge.

It took just under 2 months to knit the back. I'll start the front soon.

Feb 10, 6:30pm

That's really very pretty, Laura. Such interesting cables. I used to like doing cables when I was knitting.

Feb 10, 7:11pm

>67 lauralkeet: That's amazing! I look forward to seeing the rest of it as it comes "to life".

Feb 10, 8:48pm

Thanks Betty and Paws. The front will be quite similar to the back, except for the center, where I'm using a different lattice motif and will incorporate the required bobbles (ugh).

Feb 11, 7:38am

Wow, that is gorgeous, Laura! Well done, you.

Feb 11, 8:41am

Thanks Amber!

Feb 12, 12:45pm

I'm rethinking my Aran sweater design a little bit. I mentioned in >74 lauralkeet: that I planned to use a different center motif in order to incorporate the required bobbles. This motif was actually the first one I chose for this sweater, and the rest of the design revolved around it. For reasons I won't digress into, I had to choose a different motif for the center back.

A funny thing happened while knitting the back: I started to love that center lattice, maybe even more than my first choice! I've done a bit of calculating and determined I could knit the front exactly like the back, and the neck shaping would still work out. That's appealing, because it makes the front that much easier

But I still need bobbles. They won't fit into that back/front design, but what about the sleeves? That would put the bobbles nicely out of the way, which I like. I'm now researching possible motifs for the sleeve that would a) complement the body patterns, b) have room for a bobble here and there, and c) work well with the overall sleeve length and the saddle length.

Feb 12, 1:49pm

>77 lauralkeet: If you will be wearing the garment a lot, bobble on sleeves aren't always practical. They get caught, they wear down, they wear out. Is it possible to put bobbles in the centre diamond of your long braided rope cables? That lets you keep the centre motif from the back. Naturally the bobbles would be only on the front, since the back is done already!

Love the intriguing centre panel design. Makes you just want to keep tracing it.

Feb 12, 3:07pm

I like the idea of bobbles on the sleeve. That center motif is wonderful. Could you use the motif that you had for the bobbles on the sleeve or would it be out of proportion? Maybe smaller? Do the bobbles have to be a certain size? Ok - I think those are enough questions for today.

Editado: Feb 13, 7:29am

>78 SassyLassy: That's something to think about. I'm just as worried about bobbles on the front for the same reasons. I'm often not careful enough when, say, I'm cooking.

>79 dudes22: All good thoughts, Betty. The former front center motif would work on the main part of the sleeve but I need to extend part of it from the sleeve into the saddle and I can't break it down to do that.

I've found the best approach is to swatch various alternatives to see what they really look like, and to take some essential measurements like length, width, and gauge.

Feb 13, 7:42am

Following up on some of Betty's questions, I thought I'd say more about the original motif I had planned for the center front. In the middle of the above photo is a swatch of two diamonds filled in with moss stitch (ignore the border on each side). Now visualize this repeating up the sweater. This would create a "stack" of moss stitch diamonds, and in between those, diamonds filled in with the background stitch (reverse stockinette). That's where I was going to place the bobbles. This is about 4.5" wide, a good width for a center cable and also suitable for the sleeve. However, as I mentioned, I would then have a problem with the saddle shoulder. If this pattern were, say, three diamonds wide, I could extend the center diamond up into the saddle.

Now, there *might* be a way to use this pattern in the main part of the sleeve and then continue into the saddle with diamonds filled with the background stitch. I do like the original pattern, especially the moss stitch which I've used elsewhere on the sweater. So ... this could be an option, and one I hadn't considered yet. I'm so grateful for the questions and ideas posed here, it's really inspiring!

Feb 13, 8:21am

>81 lauralkeet: I've used that diamond and moss stitch combination and have seen it with bobbles in the centre. It is quite effective. Even with two diamonds you could work it out so that the widest part of the reverse stockinette diamond was at the beginning of the saddle, and then continue the saddle with just that diamond.

Feb 13, 8:23am

>82 SassyLassy: Exactly, Sally. That's what I was trying to say in my last paragraph. You said it much more clearly!

Feb 15, 3:38pm

So, Laura - how come the colors are different in post #67? Is it because the back picture is one you took and the other is one you grabbed from online?

Editado: Feb 15, 4:00pm

Betty, I wish I knew! I took both photos although not at the same time. I always make sure there's only natural light (I turn off any overhead lights because they create shadows). The sweater was on my dining room table and the yarn on a coffee table in the living room, just a few yards away. Both tables are made of similar wood although the dining table is a bit darker. I am guessing it all came down to lighting? I tried to tweak the sweater photo to get closer to the actual color, but when I looked at the yarn photo I realized I wasn't even close.

I'm sure there's a science to this, I just don't have the expertise nor do I have any sophisticated photo editing tools. I just use what's on my phone.

Feb 15, 9:15pm

Me too. I think the local OLLI has a course on taking photos with your phone. Once we're out of Covid, I may think about taking it.

Editado: Feb 19, 6:15pm

I'm no expert; but nearly everything to do with color in photos has to do with white balance. If you are using an iPhone, the native camera app has some filters under the the three circle icon in the upper right. Also, once you have taken a photo, you can edit it. There are other camera apps with a bit better white balance control. For iPhone 7 Plus, you are looking for a setting called warmth (the icon looks like a thermometer).


Something I have done for ages is use the HDR setting on my iPhone. HDR essentially takes high, medium, low exposure; merges them for a more dynamic photo.

Two things that will help and are relatively low cost:

1. a work lamp with a daylight spectrum bulb -- I have two work lamps with the clamps on the end. Both have daylight bulbs in them. It's made a huge difference in getting the actual color of whatever I'm photographing with my iPhone.

2. a reflector set up -- something as simple as white foam board that forms a corner and a white poster board to bounce light off will work. I have a DIY lightbox using foam board and super thin tissue paper. I use it when photographing smaller things. It's a pain to leave up because it takes up vital crafting space; but I love the results when I use it.

Something a little more advanced that is worth the investment -- a ring light. You need a tripod -- even a table top one -- to use a ring light effectively; but it's worth it. My SIL has been using a ring light set up for work since the start of the COVID lockdown. She's always worked from home; but now she has a lot more video calls.

Feb 19, 2:26pm

>87 lesmel: - That's some great info. I'm going to try fooling around with some pictures and see how it works out. Usually I take the picture with my phone but edit it with my IPad as it's bigger. I'll have to check both of them.

BTW - what is that?

Feb 19, 3:37pm

>87 lesmel: Nice photo! Looks like a pink variety of oyster mushroom - am I right? I bought one of those grow-mushrooms-at-home kits for my parents for Christmas.

Feb 19, 4:39pm

>87 lesmel: this is super helpful. I don't have the time to experiment with this right away, but I would really like to so I've favorited this message for future reference. Thank you so much!

Feb 19, 6:14pm

>88 dudes22: & >89 PawsforThought: Pink oyster mushrooms, FTW! My brother and his family bought this for my Xmas present. I've never heard of pink oysters. I am beyond excited for this first flush.

Feb 19, 7:42pm

>91 lesmel: Hooray! I'm excited for you. They are supposed to be a real delicacy so you have something to look forward to. I should make my parents get theirs out and started - I've eaten A LOT of mushrooms in my life but never oyster mushrooms (they don't grow wild here).

Feb 20, 9:30am

>87 lesmel: Yep, I can usually get my photos pretty accurate, color-wise, by fiddling with a handful of those settings on my iphone, which I really appreciated when I was running my etsy shop!

Feb 20, 4:06pm

Aran Sweater Update

I've decided on cable patterns for the sleeve. Recall that I had decided to make the front identical to the back, and in >81 lauralkeet: was considering whether I could use a diamond pattern that I'd originally planned for the front.

Choosing the right cable patterns is tricky, because not only does each pattern need to look appealing and "play well" with the other patterns, but all of the patterns need to fit into the required length and width of the piece. This is the general shape of a drop-shoulder sleeve with saddle:

For this sweater's sleeve, I need cables to fit a 5-6" width. This panel of cables will repeat from the cuff up the sleeve and be surrounded by an increasingly wider field of moss stitch as the sleeve grows to the required width at the top. Part of the cable pattern will extend into the saddle. The cables that don't extend need to end evenly at the top, they shouldn't be cut off.

I ran into trouble making the diamond pattern fit the required dimensions. But once I worked that out and worked a swatch, the resulting design lacked continuity with the rest of the sweater. So here's what I'm going to do instead:

This swatch simulates the top of the sleeve going into the saddle. The center cable is one I'm using on the body of the sweater, so that unifies the design. And the cables on each side are a nice way to incorporate the required bobbles. The sleeve will be about 18" wide at the top, so there will be a lot more moss stitch.

The center cable repeats every 16 rows whereas the cable-with-bobbles takes 12 rows. The sleeve length requires 11 repeats of the cable-with-bobbles, and the center cable will just keep going into the saddle. The actual saddle will require two more repeats of the center cable than I've shown here.

Feb 21, 7:39am

I kept wondering what you meant by a shoulder with a saddle - now I can see it and understand what you were talking about. I really like the look of what you're planning. The bobbles aren't too intrusive and look like they fit right in. I'd like to see a little bit of that plain background on the outside of the cables so they are more pronounced unless I just can't see it in the picture. But I do like that design.

Feb 21, 9:53am

I think your new Aran plans look really good. That a good idea putting the bobbles in the cable pattern - ties everything in together.

Feb 21, 6:15pm

>95 dudes22:, >96 PawsforThought: thanks Betty & Paws!

Funny thing about the cable-with-bobbles. I found it while perusing Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Vol 1). The photo did not show bobbles but the text describing the cable said it was well suited to a bobble and even specified where the bobble should be placed. It seemed like it was meant to be ...

Feb 23, 5:26pm

Checking in to see the progress. I imagine you don't have much time right now to sit and knit.

Feb 23, 7:05pm

>98 avaland: at the moment my reading is suffering more than my knitting, Lois. I often knit in front of the TV, which we do pretty much every night. I've had less time to just curl up with a book.

But at the same time, I have to be careful not to knit too much in one sitting as it aggravates my thumb arthritis. So I do feel like I'm progressing more slowly than I would have at times in the past.

Feb 24, 8:28am

>99 lauralkeet: I haven’t been knitting as much lately as I’d like, Laura, because my hands keep cramping. I can definitely relate to having arthritis and the cramping putting a damper on the things we enjoy. I did go to a hand specialist at one point for the arthritis and he gave me a cortisone shot. That did help alleviate the arthritis somewhat, but not the cramping. Packing up your house for the move will take up a lot of your time for a while, but that beautiful house will be worth it in the end.

Editado: Feb 24, 9:01am

>100 NanaCC: Thanks for the moral support, Colleen. The arthritis is a new thing for me, and it's been much better since following my hand therapist friend's advice. I hadn't thought about cramping vs. arthritis pain, but I suppose I do have a bit of both.

I've also noticed that cable knitting is harder on the hands than other techniques. As much as I love cables, going forward it's probably best to avoid projects as cable-intensive as this sweater.

And yes, I know the move will all be worth it in the end. If only I could wave a magic wand and make it so!

Ayer, 3:39pm

>99 lauralkeet: That was when I used to knit, too. Now I pull paper off the back of the paper-pieced blocks, sort fabric, of hand stitch the binding to some quilt.

Has moving preparation bothered your hands, also?

Ayer, 5:35pm

Not yet Lois. My thumb joint is aggravated by the ergonomics of knitting, as well as (I think) gripping the needles.

Hoy, 8:15am

>99 lauralkeet: I've found that knitting at lap level helps. I used to knit at chest level, which meant the wrists are supporting the weight of the knitted object, which as you know with Aran work can be quite substantial, but having it supported in my lap takes some of that weight off.

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