Monday, 30 December 2013

Weekend WIP

Back in April when I did of my occasional, wistful knitting wishlists, I put forward my intention to knit a jumper reminiscent of the Cheshire cat in Tim Burton's Alice - not purple and pink, like the Disney version, but the slightly more menacing turquoise and grey. Here's the picture I used in that post to illustrate -

(As a reminder, this picture is not mine, and if you click on it you can see the original plus some other wonderful fan art inspired by Alice). 

This is what I decided I wanted to knit next when I realised that all I had on the needles was a 100% silk hat which is basically just a rectangle but which is knitting up excessively slowly, and Parpy Jo's black lace scarf which requires counting and concentration. So, I cast on a week ago and have been motoring through ever since. I really love top-down raglan as a method of knitting, because it gets the time-consuming, boring business of doing the yoke out of the way first, and I can try it on regularly for length.

First no flash -

And with flash....

Not bad for a week's work, especially not considering it is a week that has also included the casting on and completion of Mother Hand's Christmas hat. A generous estimate of 16 stripes is left before it's time to bind off the bottom. The pattern - Pink from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits, again (very pleased to now have knitted two patterns out of this book I have owned for over a year) - calls for ribbing at the bottom, but I think I will just do an icord bind off. It's a bit drapy for ribbing.

I had getting on for 5 50g balls of the grey yarn - Knitpicks Elegance leftover from this sparsely-worn cardigan - and 4 100g balls of the turquoise, which is Alpaca Select DK. At this point I am rapidly approaching the end of ball 3 of Elegance but have only just joined ball 2 of the DK. I have concerns. I had hoped for very long sleeves with thumb holes, having always wanted a sweater with sleeves that come over my hands, but I anticipate the yarn won't last, unless I make the bottom portion of the sleeves solid turquoise. There is some of the grey left in Ravelry destash (the yarn is discontinued now) but that hardly adheres to the rules of stashbusting, does it?

Anyway, I am considering pausing at the end of the next ball of Elegance and knitting the sleeves before I finish the body, so I can make sure I have enough grey to at least get me to elbow-length. I have a ball of mint green DK, too, which might be pressed into service, somehow.

As for that DK, it is an odd yarn. It sheds a lot. The label says it is a 50% blend of alpaca and acrylic but I am wondering if it might be mislabeled, since this yarn doesn't exist on Ravelry. Having had a look at the website, this seems like the most obvious match for it. It certainly doesn't seem to have any of the positive acrylic properties to it. I am concluding that alpaca is altogether a bit insipid for garments, at least the ones I am choosing. I think I will probably have enough leftover for a whole other garment of some description, though, so I had better keep looking out for drapy patterns.

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