Monday, December 17, 2007

Finally pictures

hey all this is my progress so far on the bodice. It is going well, slowly but well. I am probably going to repeat the chart 2 or 3 times for my bust, but that should be pretty, more color and less green.

here is a nice close up

Monday, December 3, 2007

On to the colorwork!

so I had put down my sweater for about a month to work on some other projects. When I picked it back up I thought I had along way to go in ribbing but it turns out I only had about 4 rounds left. I am now on the color work and it is turning out great. I will post pictures soon because my employer blocks flickr. I think I should be able to finish this before the really cold weather gets to Ohio. I will probably add another inch or two to the bodice to make room for my chest, its better to have more color work than more ribbing any day of the week. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Modeling the Bodice

It took like 2 days to dry, but the bodice is finally ready for modeling! Here I am in my sweater--don't mind the serious expression--it was taken early in the morning (why yes, those ARE pajama pants!) :)

I think the sweater came out beautifully. The unevenness of my colorwork went away in blocking, so that's awesome. I did that extra 1" in the bodice, and I almost think I could've done a little more! The only thing I'm concerned about is the fact that it seems to bulge a bit at the point where the ribbing ends and the colorwork begins. It did it pre-blocking as well, so I'm not sure what's up with that.

Can't wait to see everyone else's when they finish! :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Finished Bodice!

I can't believe it--I finally finished my Mirepoix Bodice! I just finished the neckline maybe half an hour ago. I still need to block it, but it's done! I tried it on and it fits--the sleeves seem a bit tight, but I'll try to block those a little larger or something, though even if I can't it just makes it more fitted I suppose.

Just trying it on, I'm really glad I added the extra 1" to the bodice part before I began the steeks--I don't think it would've covered my chest fully otherwise.

Anyway, below is a picture of the unblocked sweater. I'll take a shot of me wearing it after I block it. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I've put aside the Mirepoix Bodice for a little while so I can work on some Christmas presents. I also have a lot of family stuff happening (as I'm sure we all do!), and I've just decided to focus on the things I have to have done, which means fun fair isle sweater for me are on the back burner. Posts on here have really slowed down, so I think I'm not the only one! Anyway, I'll be back at it once the holidays aren't looming on the horizon. See you all then!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sleeve Problem

Last night I thought I would start on a sleeve, because it's more portable then all the fair isle, and it always takes me forever to knit sleeves, and when I cast on I thought I had way to many stitches. So, I looked at the schematic, and it has my size knitting 10 1/4" around the cuff. My wrist is only 6" around! In the pictures it looks like a normal sleeve; is there something I don't understand here? I can figure out how to fix it to fit, but it just seemed so wrong, I thought I must be missing something. Does anyone know?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fair Isle Progress!

I've been working steadily on my Mirepoix Bodice, and I finally have something to post about it! I have a little more than seven inches of the fair isle completed. I've established the neck and armhole steeks; they are about three inches long, and my shaping is almost done.

I'm still really happy with the color substitutions I made on this project. I had a difficult time getting an accurate picture of the colors (for one thing, the orange looks much more garish here than it does in person). I'm also really pleased with how the fair isle looks. I haven't done this technique before, and I was nervous about how it might look. I started off a little loose, but I've gotten a little better at regulating my tension, and now it looks really good.

The alpaca is also behaving better then I had thought it would. It's not sticking together like shetland or anything, but it is felting a little. I'm still going to sew my steeks before I cut, of course, but it gives me a little piece of mind knowing it will hold a bit on its own. I think it's at least as nice for fair isle as superwash wool.

I have to say, this is one of the most satisfying sweaters I've worked on in a while. I'm surprised at how much I like doing fair isle; I guess I can quit avoiding it now! It looks very pretty. I can't wait to get finished and wear it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Steek Stall

Well, I have now completed knitting the bodice part of sweater, but I still have yet to cut the steeks. I don't own a sewing machine, nor have I used one in years, so I plan to persuade my mom to sew the steeks for me on her machine when I visit in a few weeks.

So in the meantime, there won't be much progress on that front, which is a shame, because I really am anxious to see how it turns out. I just started on the sleeves, but there is not much to see yet. I suppose I took my time getting started on those because I knew I wasn't going to be sewing them in before November.

It's getting close to completion, and yet there are still a few more things to do, like the neckline, and weaving in tons of ends.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Started the Fair Isle Section!

I started the fair isle section on Mirepoix - as this is a pretty small gauge and none of the floats are carried over more than 4 stitches, I haven't been doing anything special to strand them and I think it looks a little loose on the wrong side but still OK. I guess that is better than being too tight and puckering on the right side.

102107 001

102107 002

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Help Please....

Update ~ thx to everyone for your suggestions. I'm still don't see a suitable choice for me and I don't have the time or energy to do a lot of searching so I will postpone this til November. I'll be around checking out everyone's progress so when I'm ready I've got some examples. Thx again. ;D

ok ~ I was all set to make mine but now have a dilemna. I went to my LYS to p/u my yarn but it wasn't in yet. Then I was informed that the yarn I choose is too heavy. Then I realized that I hadn't ordered enough since the Takhi Cotton is 106yd a skein and I need 225 yd. Help!!

I really am not interested in the KnitPicks Telemark but that is comparable in cost. I don't have the funds for the Louet but I really want to make this lovely item. Any suggestions would be appreciated so that I can get started.

Thx ~ talk w/you later.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Started Mirepoix - Finally!

I cast on for Mirepoix yesterday and I have about an inch of the ribbing done (SO not worth posting a picture of - LOL.) My question is, for those of you that are using the Louet - any tricks or tips to stop the yarn from constantly twisting up on itself? I've tried setting the ball farther away from me and that helps a little, but not that much. Any other ideas?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Established Steeks

After discovering my steek mistake, I wound up just ripping back the 2 or 3 rows I had completed and then binding off the last BO stitch and starting the steeks again. I actually had two different colors connected to the sleeve edge, and I just felt that it was easier to do it right than to try to salvage a few rows.

I've completed all of the decreases, and since I'm a tight knitter and making the smallest size, I'm finding that I almost wish I had a smaller circ for this part--I'm having to push and pull my work over a lot since there are barely enough stitches for it to be workable on these needles. On the plus side, all the pulling on stitches is actually having the one side benefit of somehow evening out my tension!

I've completed about 4", so only 3 1/2" more to go! While I got stitch gauge, I'm finding that I didn't quite end up with row gauge, so that, combined with knittting an additional 1" before establishing the steeks to make sure I wound up with a true empire waist and not bisected boobs like Interweave's model, means that I'm ending up with more repeats of the pattern than I would otherwise.

I'm so close, and can't wait to finish this beautiful sweater! Below is a picture of my progress since establishing the steeks:

I cut my steeks!!

Well, I cut my steeks. It wasn't as scary as I thought. Although I did run two lines of machine stitching, just to ease my nerves. But everything went according to plan, and I'm ready to do the neckband. There are tons more pictures at my blog, but I didn't want to overdo it here :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Yahoo Group

I thought I would mention that there's a fair isle knitting yahoo group that is pretty active (I get emails every day from it) called "fairisleknitting." There was a discussion a few days ago about steeking, specifically with alpaca, which I thought might be interesting or helpful to those who substituted an alpaca yarn.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Aah drats!

I've been MIA and now I feel lefted out. You all have started w/o me. LOL I've chosen my yarn, finally and will pick it up next week. Too busy this week to do it. I will be using Tahki Stacy Classic Cotton is some lovely colors. I don't have a camera at the moment but I'll figure out how to post the pick of the yarn. Progress is looking good for those of you who have already started. I hope mine works out great too.

Happy Knitting!
Dawn ;)

I'm zipping along

I've been zipping along on my Mirepoix bodice. I actually started knitting this before I realized the start date for the knitalong was October 1. So I'm quite a ways along. My steeks are coming along nicely, although the thought of cutting them has me a tad panicked! I had the same problem as Jennifer when I first started my steeks. The one armhome steek was attached because the instructions didn't mention the need to start the steek with a new tail of yarn. I tried to drop down two of the stitches and see if I could remedy the problem without ripping back ten rows, but no luck. I'm on the right track now, though, and have about two inches of the steeks complete. I also have knitted one of the sleeves, as I needed some mindless knitting over the weekend. Here's a glimpse of one of my steeks.
I saw one person is experimenting with color changes! Is anyone else switching colors around? I'm not brave enough for that, so I stuck with similar colors to the pattern. Although I did sub my yarn. So far I'm quite pleased with it. Can't wait to see pictures of everyone else's progress!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Steek Mystique (Mistake)

Well, my bodice is coming along nicely, I think. I also see definite improvement in the tension of my stitches as I get more practice with this fair isle. I am normally a Continental knitter, so doing English at the same time in order to do the 2-handed knitting was definitely a little slow at first.

I am now at the steeks, and had actually completed the steeks according to directions and then completed an additional 3 or 4 rows when I took a look at what I had done so far, and noticed this:

That would be a picture of the left armhole steek connected to the BO armhole by the last BO stitch. Since I'd never done steeks before, I made sure to follow the directions, and it said nothing about what to do with that last stitch (ie bind off also and start new). Even knowing nothing about steeks, I was pretty sure that this wasn't right.

I emailed another member of our KAL, Melissa, to see what she had done, as I saw on her blog that she was already past the steeks. She said she had the same problem, and had to rip back and do it over. I also decided to email the pattern author, Mary Jane, to see what she had to say about what had happened to my steek when created according to pattern and this is her reply:

"I think there is an omission in the pattern as another woman mentioned the same issue. You should bind off that last stitch, and then attach new yarn to begin the steek. You can save your work, by weaving in a longer piece on the body where it will be too short to cut, do you understand? go back 7-10 stitiches and follow along where the yarn goes, and then catch that naughty loop and weave it all in tight. Easier done than written about. It will all be in the seam anyway.In real shetland wool it wouldn't even be an issue because of it's natural felting properties. Does this help? I wish I could show you!

As an aside, I think that sometimes patterns are written or modified in an attempt to try and make them make more sense to a reader,(and to make the directions less wordy) when sometimes the knitter would actually, do it differently. I think I'd probably cast all of the armhole stitches at once, you know beginning in a previous round...but for clarity it was re-written???? or maybe I did that!"

At any rate, I am sort of glad to know that I am not the only one who made this mistake. I just wanted to post this info to ensure that no one else in our group does the same thing once they get this far. I will try to save my work using the technique Mary Jane mentioned, though if that doesn't work, at least it's only a few rows (and rows after the steeks are much shorter because of the BOs and decreases!).

Also, I just wanted to mention that I saw on Mary Jane's site that you shouldn't begin the steeks until the fair isle covers the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 of your breasts. You can try on as you go to determine this. For me, the 4" wasn't QUITE enough, so I kept going for another 1" or so.

Anyway, good luck, ladies! The KAL has now officially begun and I look forward to seeing everyone's work!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Yarn color mishap

Well this is what I get for ordering yarn online, I decided on Knitpick's Swish DK and I got most of the colors right but the "Nutmeg", and "Maple Leaf". I decided it just didn't work, so I am going to use some of my bare yarn that is the base for Swish DK and dye my own. I didn't feel like buying new yarn for my newbie mistake.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Auspicious Beginnings!

Well, I've gotten my yarn, and begun on the ribbing. I bought the Alpaca Fina that I mentioned in my first post, but at the last minute I decided to change up the colors.I went with a teal for the main color, with a lighter turquoise, a light green, a couple browns, a curry orange, and a golden yellow for the accent colors. Here is a picture of the fair isle swatch I did to see how they work together. I really like the way they look; what do you all think?

The yarn is a bit thinner than I had expected, but it's very fuzzy, so it fills in nicely. Hopefully this will keep the sweater from being too warm. I had to go up to size 4 needles to get gauge. I didn't have a pair of circular #4's, and I was already considering buying the Knit Picks interchangeable set, so I thought this would be a good time to go for it. But, before I could order them, my (very!) DB brought over my birthday present: a set of Knit Picks Options, along with some other really nifty knitting accessories!! What a keeper! I swatched right away and got gauge. Here is my progress so far:

The needles are fantastic, by the way. Anyone who likes addis and hasn't bought a set should definitely try them out. This yarn is a little splitty, but the nice sharp point has prevented any problems. I think this is going to be a really fun project! I'm so happy to have gotten started!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beginning of Colorwork

I feel a bit conflicted having already gotten to the colorwork section of my bodice, since the KAL doesn't technically start for 6 more days. But, the pattern was calling to me, and I have had my yarn for weeks and was anxious to start on what will be my first real fair isle project. I also figured that by starting early, I will probably wind up being on pace with those of you who are more experienced and therefore faster with the colorwork.

Below you can see some of the progress I've made with the first part of the fair isle pattern. This is actually my second attempt, as I got to about row 11 and decided that the stitches were far too uneven and that I had used the wrong M1 increase to transition from ribbing to fair isle and couldn't live with the way the increases stuck out. Better to redo 12 rows than spend all that time and money on something I already knew I probably wouldn't wear as-is, right?

So, anyway, here is the picture. I don't think it's so bad considering how new I am to fair isle. The stitches are still a little bunched up in the shot, because that ribbing and the fact that it is still on the needles meant that the pattern didn't quite want to lie flat for my photo, as I didn't pin it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just saying Hello!

Hello everyone. I just joined the knitalong today. I bought the magazine last week, ordered yarn from Elann, and cast on today. I despise ribbing, so I can't wait to get it out of the way and get to the good stuff. If anyone is searching for a good yarn substitute, the Elann Devon yarn is absolutely wonderful! Although there were a ton more colors last week when I ordered than there are right now. But it's sportweight, and I had no problem getting gauge. So happy to be joining everyone here, and can't wait to see everyone's progress.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cast On Now!

Well last night anyway. I casted on all 216 stitch last night, it took me 3 times to get it right because I kept running out of yarn. I really do love the long tail cast on but miss calculating yardage is the one downside.

I love this pattern because I love knitting in the round. I will work on it tonight and this weekend and post a picture when I get past a couple rounds. My goal for this sweater is to finish it by the end of November so I can wear it all winter long.

One problem I am having is getting the 7 st/in. I get 6 st/in but I am afraid the knitted fabric will be too tight if I go down one more needle size considering I substituted the Louet yarn for KnitPicks Swish DK. What size needles are the Swish yarn knitters using?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Swatch #2

Well, that's better! I definitely like this better than the nutmeg. I wish it were a tad toned down, but for $3, we can't be choosy. You guys like?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Intro and Yarn Sub Idea

Hi everyone! My name is Elizabeth, and I'm very pleased to be joining this knit along. I don't have a blog (yet!), but I have been knitting for several years. I actually have very little experience with fair isle though; I mostly work with texture stitches and cables. I think the Mirepoix Bodice is so pretty though, I had to try! I'm glad I'll have some "buddies" here to help, if I run into a rough patch though.

I wanted to let everyone know about an idea I had for yarn substitutions. It hasn't been released yet, but in the Elann Newsletter they showed a new line they will begin selling on Sept. 18. It is a sportweight 100% alpaca called Peruvian Pure Alpaca Fina. They have colors very similar to the Louet Gems shown in the magazine. You can look at the preview here (WARNING! .pdf).

I will be using oregano as the main color, with peridot, sepia, amber, smoky grape, sierra, and spiced wine for the other colors, but I think there are actually a few choices you could make there. They aren't an exact match (especially the amber and the smoky grape) but I think they are very close and the price is nice too! I was actually thinking of tea dying the amber, to see if I could tone down the yellow, but I guess i should probably order it and swatch first. :P

100% alpaca might be a bit too warm for some people, especially double stranded (actually, it might be too warm for me!) but I've got my yarn coming in at about $50, and that's just too nice to pass up. I hope this helps someone; I know what a pain color substitutions can be.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I swatched with the Knit Picks Swish DK, and I got perfect gauge, but I'm not in love with the 'nutmeg' instead of 'mustard' substitute. I think all the other colors work great, but that one doesn't transition like the Gems colors do. I could substitute KP's 'pale lemon.' I'll let you know how THAT goes. Sigh.

These colors remind me of my mom's old Tupperware. LOL

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fair Isle Article

Hi all,
Just thought I'd let you know that there is an article on fair isle technique in the newest Rowan magazine (#42). They cover holding the yarn with one hand and with both hands.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bodice Beginnings

Hi, I'm Jennifer, and I got my yarn last week--I ordered the Louet Gems in the exact colors specified, because the thought of trying to find a suitable substitute that offered a large enough color palatte, and then trying to pick complementary colors, scared me more than the price tag of the Gems! Plus, I do happen to think the colors chosen are quite pretty.

I started knitting the 2x2 ribbing on Friday. I've only got about 5" so far, but I'm enjoying the mindlessness of it, because I know I'll have to concentrate once I get to the fair isle part!

I look forward to seeing what everyone else is going to produce--especially if they were brave enough to attempt yarn/color substitutions!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Got my yarn too!

Here is what the KP Swish DK colors really look like (the KP site's colors aren't *quite* accurate). I think they're going to work perfectly! The only color that they didn't have a good match for was the mustard (I subbed nutmeg). I almost gave myself a migrane thinking about what to do about the color difference until I remembered to relax; It's just knitting.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Yarny Goodness

This was my "Wordless Wednesday" post a few weeks ago! Just thought I'd share it with a group who will *really* appreciate it!



Hi all -
We've got a while before the KAL starts, but if anyone knows how/would like to make buttons, please feel free to do so. Just send 'em to me or Maryanne - our addresses are in the sidebar.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Nervous and Excited....

I'm excited about this KAL and I'm nervous because this is my first sweater. I know with a little help from my KYS, I should be okay.

Okay, I'm on my way to purchase the magazine and to pick yarn....

Happy Knitting....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

~ Intro ~

I'm so excited about this KAL since I've been in love with this sweater since I first saw the previews. This will be my first knitted sweater and I'm looking forward to getting help from all you veterans. I'm planning to reverse the colors for mine and I'll let you know which yarn I use once I've selected it. I will probably sub my yarn too for various reasons.

I'm off to make copies of my pattern and look for some yarn subs. Thx for putting this together and I look forward to working on this with all of you.

Monday, August 13, 2007


As you may know from reviewing the pattern, steeking is one of the techniques we'll be doing. I have only done it in a weekend workshop, but it was no big deal. Seriously! You have to remember you won't be cutting into your actual knitting, but some additional stitches (the "steek") that you've cast on at the edges and reinforced using either a sewing machine or hand sewing/crocheting.

There is a great article by Eunny Jang in the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits that walks through the various steeking methods, and I highly recommend checking it out! One thing I read in that article was that the steeks for superwash wool (like the recommended yarn) or other non-feltable fibers should be machine sewn for additional security. I don't remember if our pattern says this specifically, but I thought I'd point that out. I do think that if you don't have a sewing machine, a hand sewn or crocheted steek should be fine, provided you go over it a couple of times.

Ok, Let's talk yarn subs

I checked with Robin to see where she got her yarn from & she said Then, I saw the price of this stuff. After I got up off the floor from falling out of my chair, I started looking for some subs. It's not like I've never spent $100 on yarn before, but I'm new at this fair-aisle stuff & I'm not spending $100 on an experimental sweater. So, I found out Knit Picks has this new DK merino superwash yarn called Swish, and they have very similar color choices (and total yarn cost is $46--that qualifies you for free shipping!), and breathed a sigh of relief! Has anyone else thought of subbing? If so, what are you going to use?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome To The Mirepoix Knitalong!

Hello everyone!

Robin and I thought it would be fun to do a knitalong for this gorgeous sweater that just came out in the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits. We are looking at starting the KAL on October 1st, when the weather starts to cool a bit, and would love to have anybody who's interested join us in knitting this beautiful sweater. We're posting early so people have time to get their supplies and buy the magazine if they don't already have it. At this point there isn't a deadline as far as finishing the sweater and we can have the KAL continue as long as there is interest in it. Also, if you have already started the sweater and would like to post here, you are more than welcome to! Thanks for stopping by and we do hope you'll join us for a fun time chatting, knitting, and posting everyone's lovely FO's and WIP's! Stay tuned for updates.....

Happy Knitting,