Sweater stretch

I’ve been on a knitting tear since the summer on Protection Island. I think I made four adult sweaters since April.  I started the Dublin Pullover in August. I knit it with Jamieson’s Shetland spindrift yarn, which turned out much softer than expected and will definitely use again. It took me about 5 months to knit and a week to sew in all the ends. Here’s one night’s waste yarn.


I needed a wooly board to block it and found plans online. You can buy one for $150 or spend $8 on material and have fun in the process. Mine can block sweaters from 32″ to 48″. I will warn you however, dowels in the hardware store are WEAK! They snapped in seconds on my first attempt to stretch a sweater. I perused the hardware section (one of my pet pleasures) and found an alternative, a 1/4″ metal something or other.


I initially hang the sweater in the boiler room, because there’s a drain in the floor,  then move to the wood stove where it dries in 1/2 a day. The stretcher doesn’t stand on its own but balances nicely.

This is the Dublin pullover.


It fits Tim much better than me so he wins.

This vest had gradually gotten smaller and shorter. Now it fits again! I’m pretty sure it was the sweater shrinking, not me getting larger, although I’ve been a little lazy this winter.


In contrast, this last sweater, knit in Lopi bulky yarn, took one week to knit! It was a little big so I purposely shrunk it but went a bit too small. The wooly board let me stretch it to a proper size. The neck remains a little wonky and I have to do something about that. Back to planning and looking for more sweaters to knit and stretch.






Home stretch

The Ivy League Vest is almost done. Only a few more thousand ends to weave in. It looks great and it is still in the 20’s in the morning so I wore it with the ends waving in the breeze yesterday. It’s fitted and won’t give much room for, ahem, expansion so I want to block it right. A see a woodworking project coming up, unless this planter stand is the right diameter to stretch the sweater.


I found these instructions from Knitting Beyond the Hebrides to make a simple wooly board from dowels.

So here is a truncated picture, to exclude my jammie’s and waddle neck, of my finished vest.


I used spare time yesterday to begin a tea cozy. I’ve become a tea totaler and always have a towel draped over the teapot. Then I found this adorable pattern and have plans for knit vases and flowers to cover all my kitchen appliances.

This off the shoulder sweater is complete. Not for me but will look wonderful on the recipient.


Another adventure in steeking

I am rounding the home stretch with my hand spun fair isle vest, the Ivy League Vest designed by Eunny Jang. It is knit like a tube with placeholders where the arms and head will be. When the knitting is finished, you cut apart the placeholders and turn the tube into a vest. It’s a fabulous, fitted pattern with a lot of lessons learned along the way.


Because I used all sorts of yarn, which could be slippery, I stabilized the knitting by crocheting stitches on either side of the planned cut before I snipped .


Then I gingerly cut between the crocheted border and it worked! A mantra from my surgical days resurfaced. Don’t cut unless you can see the tips. Works on knitting as well as bodies.


The pattern included waist shaping, happily I could use a few decreases, a deep “V” neck and fits like a glove, or a vest.


Better to be bit by a bug than a coyote

Last week didn’t exist for me – or I didn’t really exist last week. Imagine, no knitting for a day due to either a virus or parasite that knocked me for a loop and caused me to sleep 18 hours a day for four days. But, I’m back, feeling mended and ready to charge back into the work week.

Better a bug than the coyotes. They howled across the road the other night. This is what they sounded like from our porch.

I managed to get some work done on a few projects. I spun and plied some luscious blue faced Leicester on its own and with some local alpaca. Since Tim lost his f***ing deer hat, Some of this may be used in the replacement.


I was ready to dabble in some pretty fiber colors in preparation for this Fair Isle Vest I want to knit for myself by Eunny Jang. I plan to use the organic merino I spun on my drop spindle on Deal Island and then dyed with all the onion skins we used during our three month stay. I may use some navy and this rose yarn as well.


I’ll be visiting my darling daughter and need some handmade items for her. I’m working on a knit market bag and may need a few for myself. Maybe I’ll actually remember to bring my own bag into the store if I made it myself!


This rug may be finished by next winter but chicken little is running around saying, ” the cabin is falling, the cabin is falling!” I hope not.


In case my coyote sound track doesn’t work above, here’s another way to hear it.
Coyote songs