Deep Space Knit

Yarn arts (knit and crochet) balled up with a heady dose of geekdom. Raise your pan-galactic-gargle-blaster and cheer!

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Location: Vermont, United States

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sweaters, Sweaters, Sweaters!!

So, I decided to make my Mother a sweater for Mother's Day.

I don't know why this suddenly struck me as the best idea for a Mother's Day gift (besides the fact that I'm completely addicted to knitting...) but something gnawed upon my brain and said "knit her a sweater!"

Now this isn't the first sweater I have knit, nor the first sweater I have knit for my mother.  The first sweater I knit was following the "Skully" pattern form the Stitch N' Bitch book, but I didn't use Lamb's Pride.  No, I use some other Mohair mixed with Acrylic, and bound together with a thin nylon thread.  I can't remember what it was called.  Not Moonlight Mohair - something else strange sold by Jo Ann's.  It was distinctly... furry.  Not like fun fur, mind you.  It looked fairly innocuous on the ball.  But the Acrylic was brushed to be fuzzy, and the mohair was fizzy and it had a sort of almost boucle type texture from the nylon binder, so all in all it ended up looking like I was wearing a beige shag carpet when I was said and done.

     I normally take pictures of these disasters and share them gleefully, but I have to admit that when I moved away from Oregon, I (ahem) conveniently forgot to bring the shag carpet with me.  In fact, I think it accidentally ended up in the big "Donate your clothes to the homeless" bin.  And I feel sorry for the homeless person who ended up with it.

Anyways, the sweater I first made for my Mother was called the "Bookworm Tunic" from the Better Homes and Gardens Hip Knits book.  I made that one out of a lovely shade of muted brown-purple Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep.  It turned out very nicely, and distinctly not furry.  She still has it, so I'll take pictures of it sometime.  

The problem was I made the size small, 36 inches.  My mother is quite small, having about a 35 inch chest.  But the finished sweater didn't have much stretch (cotton tends to do that) and she felt it was a bit too snug overall.

So, I was on a mission to find the perfect sweater for my mother and make it in a comfy size that was big enough without being too big.  So when I was shopping in Newport, NH (In a store called Hodgepodge, which is a lovely romp in the yarn type of place) I found an older copy of a Dale of Norway pattern book.  And I loved every sweater in the book, so I bought it.  The sweater I loved best was this one:

It is called "Gerbera."  It's made out of a yarn called "Sisik."  I wanted to know more about this yarn, so I called up the information on Sisik.  And from the Dale of Norway site, I found out that it was... discontinued.

That's ok, I never use the yarn the pattern calls for.  So with weight and such in hand, I tromped off to the LYS and started looking for a substitute.  

Here's where we got into trouble.  Sisik is an unusual yarn.  It is 30% wool, 30% mohair, 34% acrylic and 6% viscose.  That's an... odd combination of fibers.  It is also an unusual weight, falling somewhere between a sport weight and a DK.  It is also extremely light, and I was afraid a physically heavier yarn like the Kathmandu DK that was available would make the sweater unbearably heavy.  There aren't many yarns I found that would substitute for it.  At least not in my little town.  I needed more information on this Sisik.

So I went to the web's greatest source of weird knitting lore.  Ravelry.  And I typed in Sisik, which brought up pictures of the yarn and the label.  I recognized the bird on the label.  My jaw dropped open.  I had that yarn in my stash.

     6 balls of "pewter" (a light gray) to be exact.  I had bought them from the Herrschnerrs outlet store from their big "Hey look, discontinued yarn, cheap!" bin.  Serendipity?  I had half a sweater sitting right in my bedroom.  Now to find six more skeins of a discontinued yarn.

     I didn't get alot of choice of color, but the choice I did get was good.  6 skeins of Navy Sisik from later and I was off and running.

Oh yes, and I chose to knit the medium (39") instead of the small (35") chest size.  If this sweater ends up too big, I will beat my mother (kindly, of course) with it.

But she does look smashing, so far, no?

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Blogger Kath said...

She looks loverly indeed! Great colors.

I've yet to attempt a sweater, but maybe I can get a tank top out of hibernation and completed in time to wear this summer.

8:42 PM  
Blogger CryssyeR said...

Amazingly lovely to be exact. I totally admire it from afar...

1:35 PM  

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