Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's a sweeve! Or a slawtch?


This is my swatch for the lace wrap-around cardigan Arisaig. Funny how it turned out in the shape of a sleeve, isn't it? I'm still deciding whether I want to commit to this project. I'm pretty sure I will; after all, although it sounds like a lot of work to knit a sweater on 3.0mm needles (and smaller for the ribbing!), it's reasonably fast doing it with all the yarnovers of the lace pattern. Still, I suspect that I'm mostly just seduced by the lovely and dramatic photos of designer Ysolda modelling her version on some windswept Scottish beach.

I bought yarn off of eB@y specifically for this -- inexpensive wool made by Jojoland. (What? You've never heard of Jojoland? Where have you been?) (Quebec residents: It has nothing to do with that JoJo.) I bought ten of these navy balls of wool. It feels very similar to Kroy sock yarn, or other slightly scratchy wool/nylon sock yarns, even though it is 100% wool. The sweeve/slawtch you see above has not been properly blocked, just roughly pinned out, so I don't know how much the fabric will soften after a wash.


When you're considering a new project, do you google around to see whether others have knit it already? (And do you know about Google Blog Search, which makes that task a lot easier?) There are a few finished Arisaigs out there, and they look great, which makes me think I should follow through. For example, this modified version is really pretty (although one of the things I really love about the original design is the deep ribbing). I think I would close mine with buttons, like this version, instead of knitting the long tie. And I'd definitely sew the shoulders together, then attach the flat sleeves, and then sew up the sides and sleeves -- as alerted by the notes accompanying this version.

Anyway, you'll never guess what I did last night after finishing that sweeve/slawtch! Seriously, you won't. I'll give you a hint:


It's true! I have never had any desire to crochet, and the only reason I own a crochet hook and can do a chain stitch is for provisional cast-ons for knitting. For a month or so I've been thinking about making a small blanket for myself, as a way of using up some worsted-weight leftovers, but none of the knitted options appealed to me. And then I saw this: the Vintage Vertical Stripe Crocheted Blanket Pattern at Bella Dia. So last night I grabbed the leftovers from my EZ sweater, followed her links to learn how to do a double crochet stitch, and I was off! And look what I did!


This strip is about five feet long. In a few years, I'll have a blanket! It was fun to learn to do something new, but it did hurt my hand a little bit. I can feel a little obsession taking hold, though -- I need to read today, but my mind keeps wandering off and thinking about my crocheted blanket. We'll see if this new enthusiasm lasts long enough that I actually finish a blanket. I suppose if it doesn't, I'll come back and try to convince you that it's really cool to have a crocheted belt.

Winter weather warnings all over the place today. Be careful out there. And happy Valentine's Day to you! (Mooky thanks you for your cat-love and admiration!) xo

19 comments:

Katie said...

I've been making Arisaig on and off for about a year now. I've found it a really enjoyable knit--I think the lace is a very satisfying pattern. My extreme length of time between completing sections means my gauge has changed a bit, so I may end up having to re-do an entire sleeve, ugh. That's what is preventing me from working on it at the moment. But still I say, dive in!

LaurieM said...

I like Arisaig in principle, but in practice I don't like the gaping it does. If I were to knit it for myself, I'd probably modify it quite a bit by doing the ribbing as one tube. Then the top lace part could be crossed over and sewn to the top of the tube.

I think the color you've chosen is quite lovely. I hope the yarn softens up for you, but if not, you'll just have to find a lovely long sleeve blouse to wear under it. :-)

Thanks for the tip about the Google blog search.

Lolly said...

Ooo, lovin' that blanket! I took a learn to crochet class last year, but the whole class was spent on slip-knot! I should look at these directions... it really is a great way to use up leftovers, and I love the way yours looks so far, A! Perhaps your tension is too tight, and that causes the wrist pain? kind of like knitting... Either way, have fun with it :)

Veronique said...

Oh, so you didn't want to jump into the crochet world with something easy like, say, a potholder? I'm impressed!

Karen said...

i hope you do finish arisaig. it looks like a good pattern and i personally like pretty much anything wraparound, and i'd like to see some examples of it all knit up. i agree that ysolda is a really good model, but that's the sort of sweater that seems like it would be pretty flattering in general.

nicole said...

The siren call of crochet has been calling to me ever since I learned that it takes 1/3 more yarn than knitting. Maybe I can get through some stash that way. Last week I even bought the Happy Hooker with the idea that if anyone can lead me down the right path it will be Ms. Stoller.

I took a crochet class 2+ years ago, but like you had the wrist/hand pain and gave up on it.

P.S. I have long loved Arisaig, so thanks for knitting it. I can live vicariously through you!

La Cabeza Grande said...

The color of your Arisaig is lovely and I look forward to seeing how you'll finish it. And yes, I've been to JoJoland.

Best of luck with crochet. Once you get into a rhythm with your movements, your hand will not hurt and your object will fly!

Alison said...

I think once you get the hang of crocheting, you'll find the blanket goes fairly quickly. Most of what I crochet now are large projects like blankets. And if it's for yourself, who cares how long it takes!?

gleek said...

i wish i could knit arisaig. it's such a pretty sweater. but wrap sweaters just do not look good on me :( a crime, i know.

huzzah for the crochet blanket! i've seen that blanket and really want to make it. i'm going to have to save all of my yarn leftovers for it for sure.

Chris said...

It's going to be a very cool sweater!

I've heard that crocheting can be sort of painful...

I didn't know about the google blog search - thanks!

Nadia said...

The one thing that bothers me about Arisaig is that the ribbing pulls in on the wrap part. If I made it, I think I'd put a little path of buttons there to make it stay put.

Crochet is so fast, huh? There's a very similar one over at yarnstorm, except it ripples:

http://yarnstorm.blogs.com/knitblog/2007/02/mental_and_visu.html

It looks like you increase one on either side of the peaks and decrease one on either side of the valleys.

I love scrap-busting projects!

Anonymous said...

The Arisaig looks great so far. I have used a lot of Jojoland yarn. I have made 2 sweaters out of their Melody, which is a reasonably priced self-striping fingering weight yarn - the only other ones I've seen are trekking sock yarn and Diakeito's Diamusee Fine, and a sweater knit out of either would take most of my rent money. The Jojland eventually softens with washing but it's not merino. Not bad, though. Some pilling has taken places under the arms but this always happens with fingering-weight sweaters. Good luck with the Arisaig. As one of your previous commenters said, wrap sweaters don't look good on me. Otherwise I'd probably make one, it looks like a fun pattern.
Enjoy!

marielle said...

Hooray for crochet! I just hit up the local library for crochet how-to books. It was the idea of a blanket that inspired me, too, but now I'm seeing all sorts of cool crocheted items that I hope to be able to make.

kris said...

oh my, that is a big swatch you've got there! luverly!

obsessions ... if only mine lasted through the end of my projects instead of waning at the half point.

Michelle said...

It's a sweeve, most definitely. And it's beautiful.

Barbara-Kay said...

Your research saved me from ever thinking of knitting this sweater! Well, at least only the first, modified sweater looked good on its owner. The others made their (well-endowed) wearers look fat and sloppy. Sigh. If I had only seen the pink one, I'd be casting on! VBG!

Your sleeve looks great! Good knitting!

Elizabeth said...

Yay - Arisaig! This is a pattern I've admired for a long time, so I will be eagerly anticipating your version.

Anonymous said...

Wow! it's all I can do to cast on 40 stitches for a swatch... I always want to dive right in. I am impressed. And humbled.

I'll send you warm thoughts from here in NC. The weather is cold, but the daffodils are blooming.
Cheers, Lee

Kim said...

I like the sweater - can't wait to see the whole thing (if you decide to go through with it). Thanks so much for the tip for Google blog search - I managed to find something right away that I know I read about on someone's blog.