Insanely Amazing Contiguous

I have been obsessed with sleeve heads and the whole idea of knitting sleeves simultaneously with the body – or in some other interesting way. So there was a lot of rambling as I knitted the Red Rag, a lot of bad language as I mastered ( and adapted…) Barbara Walker’s Kangaroo Pouch Jumper, joy as I discovered top down with the Shellseeker and great curiosity as I knitted the Silken Scabbard

But this is the ultimate: Susie M’s Contiguous Method was mentioned on Kate Davies’ blog a few months weeks back, but I didn’t put two and two together that this was something I had come across (and marveled at) last year when somebody showed me their Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer.

It’s been a rainy weekend. I had been doing the weekly shopping on Friday, Patrick took Esther to basketball on Saturday and Sunday there was not soccer because the season has not started yet!

So I decided to start my own Driftwood… which required a bit of rocket science, since my yarn has got a different gauge and I wanted an in-between size from what the Driftwood pattern had to offer…

This is how far I got

DSCN7648  It is just a superb way to knit a stripy pattern – the stripes are carried to the sleeve head (just think how much time you save on not sewing in ends!). Above you see the beautiful set in sleeve. And how nice is the back? I think it is insanely amazing, actually. DSCN7650Only when I am finished I will be able to make a judgement about the back neck – it is not as rounded as with the Barbara Walker top down method.

And this picture really explains the mystery of the method: DSCN7649

So you cast on the back neck and then add one stitch each row (in knit AND purl row) to shape the shoulder (instead of the traditional short row shaping). When the shoulder is long enough, you change the point at which you increase sts, because now you increase on the sleeve side.  NOTE: here the top of the sleeve head starts with 4 sts and then increases every 2nd row one st each side – personally I think one needs at least 8 – 10 sts at the top of the sleeve head in order to achieve enough width across the top arm… so next time I will add 4 rows to the shoulder and use the extra length created for at wider sleeve head. So this is weekend’s knitting frenzy is not a stroke of a genius… I spent a few weeks mucking around sampling my new donated yarns to the point that my sample folder is nearly bursting at the seams. DSCN7651I saw a nice pattern for a Henley (traditional type of underwear top) in the latest issue of Interweave and sampled the required Waffle Stitch a bit.DSCN7655

Then I thought that actually, my donated blue goes well with the donated grey, so hey – why don’t I do something interesting using the wonderful stranded colorwork pattern from Kate Davies’ Funchal Mobius?

DSCN7652Anyway, after starting something entirely different in brown (and knitting and ripping out 1/2 back panel) … I got back to the Henley idea and got stuck into it this weekend! So never mind it was a rainy weekend, DSCN7656there were people making nice food

DSCN7659and I got to do what I really love…DSCN7662

Hope you had a great weekend!

Fast Forward – Rewind

Fast forward 6 weeks since the last post: we are too happy for words in our new home. Dogs go walking in the morning, sweaty owner jumps in the pool to cool off… we are making bread when we run out of toast, we play snooker, read, talk… Endless streams of visitors have come through our home and shared our new place and we have loved socializing, cooking and catching up with friends and family. Well, I am – we all are – on holiday, so this is not exactly going to be the day to day routine for the rest of the year…

Rewind and reflection of what 2013 has been like. Incredibly stressful comes to mind immediately. The move, a huge work project – those two things combined made it impossible to get a routine going for any of us as individuals, as well as as a family or a well run household. But alas, that’s all done and dusted.

2014 will be super, none of those stressful diversions. Lot’s of creativity, nurturing friendships, good health and prosperity to you!5180576-3x2-940x627

It is a great joy to share this news with you: I have received a gift from heaven! A generous amount of knitting yarns… donated to me from Sue. My first thought was immediately that anything knitted of these yarns are going to be for me. I have been knitting 5 jumpers/ cardigans in the last 18 months for other precious people, now I need to look after my own wardrobe. My second thought was that I am just going to knit up other people’s designs. There is plenty of nice stuff out there and I have already downloaded and printed… allocated to the new and old stash. Just have to finish Patrick’s jumper and then – presto – get on with it.

Why? Well, it’s all very well that I have fun designing my own stuff, but I have never really knitted other people’s designs, so I think it will be a great learning curve to ‘just do it’ and learn a thing or two about knitting that way and speed up production for next winter’s wardrobe.

First there is this nice light grey, and there is about 300gr per skein. Heaps for a fabulous poncho…DSCN7388

And this heavenly blue – ideal for a classic V-neck or cardigan with an interesting silhouette.DSCN7390

And 500gr of this variegated grey/ pink – maybe a very tailored 70’s top?DSCN7389

A very raw and natural look for something from this gorgeous yarn. Again, something with a really interesting (asymmetrical?) silhouette? DSCN7391

And here we have a Camel and Wool blend in the most gorgeous pink. DSCN7392

I have started. In this heat! I have started on Jennifer Hansen’s Silken Scabbard, and what a learning curve to knit with someone else’s pattern! DSCN7398

First of all, this photo documents the insanity of knitting in this heat. But I am suffering from withdrawal in the last busy year, so I just have to do it.

DSCN7403Here is a detail of the collar hem. The hem stitches are cast on with a provisional cast on, the inside of the hem is knitted in pattern, in the turning row the stitches are knitted through the back (this gives a really neat edge!) and then the knit stitches of the hem are joined in a row of 3 Needle Knitting and the cable stitches are left on the waste yarn to be firmly sewn in later.