Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sweater Weather - Let's Talk About Sweaters

It's November, and even though we've been having a brief burst of Indian Summer, the late Fall air is beginning to get a wee bit brisk, the beautiful red leaves outside my front window are falling. There's frost on my car windows in the morning, because I still can't get my car into our crowded-with-boxes garage. And it's time to think about winter, and comfy sweaters to keep warm!

The one really good thing about my current job is that we get to "dress casual" every day. This means I get to wear my handknit socks and sweaters to the office every day with jeans if I want. Isn't that great? The weird thing is, although I've knit lots of socks, scarves, a few hats, several purses I don't carry and many fingerless gloves - I haven't made many sweaters - only two in fact! One was an Einstein coat for Em when she was in fourth grade and the other was the Reynolds Smile Sweater I made for myself early last Spring.

So my thoughts have turned to sweaters, and what I could make that I would really enjoy and wear. I love wearing both vests and sweaters. I am planning on making a vest, too, in Pymouth's Baby Grand Alpaca - but that's a whole different topic for another blog entry. I'm starting on that in a couple of weeks when I take it in a class at Yarn Shop and More. I'll share that info with you later.

Back to sweater talk. For over a year now, ever since I found Norma's blog, I've been wanting to make her Plain Vanilla Sweater. Here's the pattern photo of it, it's made off the Knitting Pure & Simple Neckdown Pullover pattern #9724 shown here:

And I even bought the yarn for it - last January! It's Marr Haven's Merino and Rambouillet all natural 2 ply yarn, cleaned without chemicals/all natural in the color NATURAL. But I haven't made it yet. So I'm going to get started, hopefully today, I'll make a gauge swatch and get started this afternoon. The only problem is, the pattern calls for using both size 9 and size 6 in both a 16" and 24" needle size - so I need 4 needles that I don't have a lot of. I have scads of needles in every other side, but I may actually have to dig up some of these sizes. I can't find my Denise needle set since the big move. I will do a gauge swatch because in all likihood, I will need to go down to a size 7 or 8 and a 4 or 5 on the smaller needle. I knit loose. But at any rate, if I can get the needles together, I may start swatching on that today.

Did you read what happened to Norma's Plain Vanilla sweater? (See my sidebar for a link to her blog and to read the whole story). She spilled something on it. Coffee? Merlot? I'm not sure, but she ended up dying it into the most beautiful shade of red! I love red! It looks beautiful on her, too. But I haven't ventured into dying just yet. I'll be happy if I can just end up with a wearable casual sweater that will go with anything.


Phyllis W. said...

Man, you made Emily's Einstein that long ago. TIme flies, don't it? It feels like it was just last year.

ChelleC said...

Actually, I got to thinking about it, and I started knitting again in the late spring of 2003. The navy blue Einstein was one of the very first things I knit, so it would have been at the end of her fifth grade year. I ran into that sweater the other day. It still is holding up pretty well. I made it roomy enough that I think she could probably still wear it if she still liked navy blue - but she doesn't. She never was very fond of that sweater, either. Ah well!!! I'll dig up a photo of her wearing it. It's somewhere on the computer if I can find it.

ChelleC said...

Another thing, I started swatching for the Plain Vanilla sweater. Had to go down to a size 7 (it called for a size 9 needle). I knit really loose! Gosh. But I like the fabric it makes. The yarn is lovely and will be a fun knit.

I started casting on from the pattern last night and couldn't figure out where the increases went. Arggh!!!! I'll probably be calling Mary, Jen or Laura sometime today to pick their brains.

Laura said...

Oh good! Call away! I missed seeing you, too! If you gals start meeting on Sundays, I may have to alternate my days to Java.

I can't wait to see your vanilla sweater, particularly since it IS vanilla colored. :)