Ooh La Laar

I wasn't going to do it. Not so soon. Start my Laar cardigan that is. But it seemed expedient to have something mindless to knit while watching TV, chatting with family or friends, or travelling in the car. And the first part of this project certainly fits into that category.

Twenty-five centimetres of stocking stitch over 300+ stitches equates to knitting that allows the mind to be engaged elsewhere. Once you get over the picot cast-on that is. I had trouble with that. Not that it was difficult: it just required a certain degree of concentration that was lacking as we watched Dr Blake's Murder Mysteries. So ... I undid it after several attempts and cast on the 300+ stitches required. But I still wanted a pretty edge and remembered that several years ago I had knitted a gorgeous cardigan for The Most Adorable Granddaughter#3 that had an easy picot edge which I decided to use for this project.

In this method you cast on using needles a size smaller than those used for the body, work four rows in stocking stitch, then work the next row thus: knit 1, *yarn over, knit 2 together* repeat between *'s to end of row. Next row, purl, change to larger size needles and work as for pattern. It can be worked at the top edge of a garment (or for sleeves that are knitted top down) by using smaller needles and working the same yarn over row followed by four rows of stocking stitch beginning with a purl row. The picots come later when you turn the edge under at the row of eyelets and slip stitch it in place. I'm wondering if this would be a more durable edge than the one given in the pattern since it's double thickness? (I'm just trying to justify my decision.)

This is not the only change I've made to the pattern (are you really surprised?). I'm also knitting  the bands at the same time as the body of the garment. This is actually because I cast on for a larger size (I'm between sizes which doesn't make decisions about which size to knit easy) but, despite doing tension/gauge samples, I realised a few rows in that the finished garment was likely to be too big. Not wanting to undo 300+ stitches and start again I decided to take eight stitches from each edge for a 1x1 rib band and gradually absorb the extra seven stitches into the rest of the body as strategically placed decreases.

Time will tell if this was a good move. Unravelling this yarn has so far resulted in breakage so it's something I want to avoid if possible - something to keep in mind when it comes time to do the lace panels. A high level of concentration will be required then.

By the way, I estimate that when finished this cardigan will weigh only 150 grams (without buttons)! Just imagine how many you could squeeze into carry-on luggage on even the strictest airline!

This is not the only creative venture of late. After returning from our trip I decided to make myself some bags based on a souvenir bag I brought back (the light blue one on the right). I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out. The one in the middle is an everyday bag and was my practice one (once I worked out how to put the outer and inner pieces together everything was sweet) but both were made from skirts I no longer wear. I have my eye on some shirts that my sons grew out of years ago but which were never thrown out. I think they could make a wonderful knitting bag for my latest projects. I never thought I could get addicted to bags ... but it seems I can!

So it seems I have several projects on the go ... which is just how I like it! They are as follows:

1. Vintage Rouge quilt (search for it online and drool over all the gorgeous examples). This is a Block of the Month (BOM) quilt that I have only one month left to go. It's gone together quickly and I've enjoyed it (except for the first month where I was short on fabric but this was quickly rectified in a later month where I had surplus of the required fabric). The plan is to make a few different quilt tops (perhaps all BOMs) and put aside and not quilt them until a son or two starts seriously courting. Despite their grandmother's admonitions that she wants to see them married before she sees heaven, nothing is happening in that quarter yet.

2. Thousand pyramids scrappy quilt. I made one of these when I first began my quilting journey (over 22 years ago) and I hate it. However, it still hangs in our room because DH loves it. I have lots of tiny fabric scraps that I want to use so I decided to do another quilt in a similar style. I haven't yet decided whether I'll attempt a colourwash effect or perhaps have all the pieced pyramids on a black background or just what I'll do. I have heaps of time to decide as this is definitely a long term project and not one I'm in a hurry to finish. Some times it's nice to have some stitching that you can just pick up at short notice and do a little and then put down again and forget about for months at a time.

3. Geese in the Garden quilt. I began quilting this last year after the epic quilt marathon to complete Son#3 and DIL#3's wedding quilt. It's not a project I can do easily at night since now that I'm getting  [ahem] ... older ... my eyes just can't seem to see the lines or the thread (I find little loops in the thread the next day where I haven't pulled it completely through the three layers). It will however be ideal for those Saturday and Sunday afternoons when it's too cold to venture outside and all I want to do is sit in front of the fire. (By the way, it's the only quilt that I have un-quilted at present which must be a record!)

4. Dunmore Lace Scarf. I began this last year for myself using beautiful Malabrigo yarn. Every other female adult member of my family has a scarf in Malabrigo yarn but I don't. I didn't want to be left out. It should only take a few nights to complete but I'm saving it for colder weather (don't ask me why when I'm already knitting). Since it's fine yarn on fine needles it's good to have other knitting options to turn to to give the hands and wrists a break (which is where the next two projects come in. See, I can justify every project.)

5. Diagonal Scrap blanket. I just have to use up all those scraps of yarn left over from other projects. Since last year (or was it the year before?) I used a whole lot of scraps up in my Sediment Blanket, I don't have a lot left over, and I've vowed not to buy any to complete this project, so this might also be another long term project. I wasn't happy with the red stripes to begin with, but I'm getting used to it. As DH says, it's a blanket. Does it matter if it's not pretty? (Sadly our dog does not use a blanket.)

5. Laar Cardigan. I've already written about this one. But here it is in progress ...


 It seems like a lot but a girl can't have too many projects on the go at once. And I know from past experience that they will all get completed ... eventually.

(These projects do not include the yarn I have for a cardigan/sweater for The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 nor the yarn I have set aside to make two scarves/cowls/baktus. Not a big stash by any means but I felt I had to declare it - even if these projects are as yet still in the dreaming stage.)


SchnauzerMom said…
Wow you really have a lot of projects in the works. I gave up knitting and quilting because doing them hurts my hands. But I enjoy looking at what others have done.

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