Follow my unending quest to knit up my fiber stash.

Throwback Thursday – The Unbalanced Edition

In a past life, I used to spin.  Not as much as I knit, of course, but enough to justify the purchase of copious amounts of unspun fiber.  A friend recently developed an interest in wet felting and I was more than happy to gift her some of my unused fiber.

The process of sorting through the bins of roving rekindled my interest in spinning.  The result: a full bobbin of plied yarn!


There are 350 yards of yarn in this 200+ gram skein.  It’s not soft enough for a cowl, but there’s plenty for a pair of mittens and a hat.


Because my spinning skills are a little rusty, the yarn is not quite balanced.  So I’m thinking a Rikke hat, or something else in garter stitch.  Because, as I discovered in 2008, unbalanced yarns do, indeed, bias when knit in Stockinette Stitch.

For reals.



There are two reasons why my red sweater still lacks buttons.

First, as you probably guessed if you followed the link on my last post to my Ravelry project page, the fit is less than perfect.  So I wasn’t really motivated to finish it.  Although the armscye and shoulder area of the contiguous construction fits better than with a Top-Down Raglan, the front is still a little cattywampus when the sweater is worn unbutton (which is how I typically wear a cardigan). Yes, I know it looks like it hangs straight in the photo.  But I had to adjust it repeatedly on the hanger and take nearly a dozen shots to make it appear that way.

Second, I had a hell of a time finding buttons I liked.  The yarn I used is from the stash of my elderly neighbor.  While it’s not a color I typically wear, it’s the perfect color for Ute basketball games.   Although it doesn’t appear so in the photos, the color is quite bright.  I needed buttons that would blend into the background.   I searched the fabric stores and my LYS to no avail.  And then one day . . . 



Don’t you just love vintage buttons, especially when paired with vintage yarn.

Best of all, they fit perfectly into the buttonholes and they’re fairly inconspicuous.


Now I just need to find the leftover ball of yarn so I can sew them into place. I figure I have at least seven months before basketball season starts again.

Throwback Thursday — The Controversial Edition

I rarely seek out controversy, either on the blog or in real life. But I got a bee in my bonnet a few years ago and shared my opinion on top-down sweater construction. It turned out to be a post that really stirred the pot.  You can relive the drama by clicking here.  Don’t forget to read the comments.

For the record, I still feel exactly the same way about 99% of top-down sweaters–especially cardigans.  I just hate the way they slant to the back when they’re worn unbuttoned.  I hesitate to single out any one design because there are plenty to choose from on Ravelry, but this one illustrates my point about the funky way most top-down cardigans hang.  See how it slants in the front at the bottom and flares out in the back.  Yup.

I also think much of the blame for ill-fitting TDRs lies with designers who simply instruct you to increase for the front/back at the same rate as the sleeve.  Unless you make a small size or have figured out through trial and error how to adjust the pattern for your body type, your sweater will likely be very bunchy under the arms.  It’s so much easier to adjust the fit of a sweater if you knit in pieces and seam.  And, really, why go to all the bother of knitting a sweater unless you’re knitting it to fit your body.

Since the original post was written in 2008, a clever soul named SusieM has shared an ingenious method for knitting top-town sweaters. She dubbed it the continguous method and you can find several designs on Ravelry that incorporate her idea. There’s even a Ravelry group dedicated to discussing the method.

I’ve only knit one sweater using the method.


I believe I finished it in 2012. And, as you can see, it still lacks buttons.


Is that a commentary on how it fits compared to a bottom-up, set-in sleeve sweater? You decide.

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