Friday, April 27, 2007

Second Heartbeat

No, this is not a reference to twins. It is my second Heartbeat Sweater. I enjoyed knitting the first one so much that I immediately started a second. The first one was a solid green, and I thought it would be interesting to do it in a variegated yarn as shown in the pattern photo.

The yarn was a real bargain from Smiley's Yarns for $1.50 per 50g skein. There was a lot of waste because of the scant yardage per skein (80 yds), and a lot of ends to weave in (ugh). It took 13 skeins, but the total weight of the finished sweater is only 550 g, which sounds like it should have been 11 skeins. And it is heavy – 550 g is nearly 1.25 pounds – I can only imagine how much it weighs wet! But it has a very nice feel and an interesting texture.

I do like the way the variations in the yarn emphasize the truncated diamond shape of the pattern.

Pattern: Heartbeat Sweater by Jill Vosburg, Just One More Row
Yarn: Filatura Lanarota Circus (85% cotton, 15% Acrylic)
Needles: Denise Size 5
Gauge: ~ 4 sts/inch
Yardage: approx. 1000 yds for 48" size
Modifications: unintentional slight contrast on sleeve edges, since I grabbed the wrong skein of yarn on the first sleeve and it didn't look bad, so I used the same skein for the second sleeve instead of frogging. It became a "design element." I thought about using the same yarn on the neck edging but chickened out.

Having knit this sweater twice, I am still mystified by the geometry. It is an ingenious design, and somehow it all works out to be the right shape for a sweater, thought there were times when I had my doubts.

And, speaking of doubts, here is the Garden Shawl from Fiddlesticks in its "amorphous blob" state. This is a scary time in the life of a lace knitter, when a huge amount of time has been invested and it isn't at all clear that the object of all this effort will look like anything but a lump when it is finished. And it isn't clear that it will ever be finished because the edging (knit perpendicular to the edge of the shawl) goes on and on and on...

Yesterday I had an odd Knitting in Public experience. On a whim I had decided to go to the Johnson & Johnson annual shareholders' meeting, something I had never done before. Since I had been warned to get there early to be sure to get a seat in the main ballroom and not have to listen to sound piped into one of several overflow rooms, I had stuck a pair of socks-in-progress in my pocketbook. I was happily knitting when an elderly gentleman sat down next to me and asked if he could put in an order for a pair. He turned out to be a retired J&J engineer who had worked in the division that made tampons (in the days when things were actually manufactured in NJ). Occasionally they had to reject spools of the extremely strong reinforced cotton string they used, and employees could take them home, so he gave some to his mother to use around the house. A few years later she showed him a tablecloth she had crocheted... from the rejected tampon string! He says he still has the tablecloth and chuckles whenever he looks at it.


Karen said...

Wear it in good health, Joyce! Love the color of the shawl -- can't wait to see it done.

Rosie said...

Hey Joyce! Will you be wearing your beautiful new Heartbeat sweater to MS&WF next weekend? Let me know if you are going. Sarah, Kim, Pat, Pam and I will all be there. I'm already meeting folks for lunch, but maybe we can all meet for a soda mid afternoon.