Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


So many choices coming up for the collar portion! I have next to no experience with cotton to help with the advice - just some suggestions (don't you love that!). You've probably already thought of them all, anyway, I'm sure - intarsia (could be awfully frustrating depending on how many sections of colour there were); bohus-style using the odd purl stitch in with the stockinette; mosaic stitch (but this may be heavy, too); working the collar sideways (using lots of short rows, I guess) and knitting it on to the body a la EZ.

My best advice, though, one which I'm know you know - sample, sample, sample! And have fun!

By Blogger KathyR, at 8:29 PM  

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Saturday, May 29, 2010  

3 Days of Vacation Left

And I plan to make full use of them. It's been a busy active happy time with a ramble around the Northern Neck, some yarn shopping therapy, a Day at the Beach (woo woo), a day with my parents and some at home time. BD and I are reading ... well, he is reading, I am listening, the ancient potboiler Clan of the Cave Bears - yes - I skipped the whole saga when it came out - I'd just read too many saga novels at the time and I've never gotten around to it since. He reads. I knit. Good combo there. When he isn't reading, we like to work crossword puzzles together. It can keep us up in the big bed with dogs for hours and hours.

On the knitting front there is just More Brown Stockinette - so nothing to show yet. Oh - some short rows and a little extra shaping but it's still all brown. I promise - I'm only a few rounds away from color knitting and then there will be photos.

What is still up in the air is how I'll handle the colorwork. I can do stranded colorwork and have even charted out some ideas.

But - and it's a big but....

I'm not sure if I want to do stranded work with cotton yarn. I'm concerned it will be too heavy when I'm done, with those extra layers of yarn in the back. I'm also a little concerned the carried colors will show through on the other side.

I don't have to do a pattern. Stripes will work. I just... I guess I'm just always going to do fancy before plain.

Then there is the question - if I do just plain stripes - will I make them garter stitch like the hem or stockinette like the sweater body.

Ah well - we'll know soon enough. I don't have enough experience with cotton knitting to be able to tell ahead of time but I certainly have strong enough opinions once I see what I'm creating. We'll start fancy and back into plain knitting and see where we end up. I'm going to try to get it all finished by a week from Tuesday. That's my knitting group day and I'd love to show off a Finished Object and I would like to feel free to cast on something new.

So. That's where things are at TheCastle today - with 3 more days of vacation up ahead.

Hug a veteran today if you can.

posted by Bess | 8:50 AM


Good progress on your cotton top! Have you seen the Shalom Cardigan? It is a free pattern on the blog and looks very similar to the shape of your top. Maybe her shaping would be of some help to you? The pattern only comes in one size so anyone wanting to knit a different size has a little work to do on it. Your top will be very striking when it is finished!

By Blogger KathyR, at 5:50 PM  

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010  

Yes! She lives!

Though it may not seem that way from the paucity of posts emanating from TheCastle. For months now work has been a juggernaut of activity and blog posts haven't been high on my list of TTD. Then there was a scare one week, deep in the throes of Mercury in Retrograde, when I actually deleted the whole place - including my access to it. I couldn't have been the only one to eliminate myself during this recent astrological regression because the Google folk were able to restore TheQueen, TheCastle and TheAccount in a twinkling. But I was truly still too busy to post.

Happily I am on vacation this week and though the days have been full, they aren't so full I can't, at last, bring you up to date on at least the state of my knitting. Which is moving, if slowly, towards the completion of what may be the only cotton garment I ever knit.

Yes. It is brown stockinette. with a colorful garter hem, of course, but mostly - brown. I'm nearing the end of this plainness - there is the section of short rowing to be done across the front to make a bust dart and there will be a little short rowing across the back shoulders to lift the collar area - perhaps 3 or 4 more inches of brownness.

Then begins the Egyptian cap sleeve collar area. I think I will have 60 rows to work with. I'm leafing through the art books to decide what the color sequence will be and I will have to find some graph paper to block it out but I am inspired by the (heavily copyrighted image of a) collar worn by the woman depicted here, only, of course, I'll use green instead of turquoise.

So that is the state of TheQueen's knitting. I am still not a fan of knitting cotton, although I have at least accustomed myself, a bit, to it's unyielding nature. I'm knitting this stuff up on #2 needles. It took something that small to even approach a gauge tight enough to hold up to cotton's insistence upon stretching. I may not banish cotton forever if it holds up under wear but I will be deeply happy to get back to nice springy conforming pliant wool again.

Maybe this delicious sock wool,

picked up at a darling little shop in Irvington VA, The Bay Window, where BD and I stopped yesterday, on a ramble through the Northern Neck. We had planned to go to the ocean but it was just too rainy yesterday. We'll head off today - and even if it isn't very warm, I am going into the ocean. Too many years go by between one dip and the next. This will not be one of them.

Another discovery we made was a source for magically delicious coffee! Locally roasted by the folks at Mobjack Bay Coffee. Yum. We picked this up at a darling little sandwich shop in Deltaville but I forgot its name. Cafe on ___ ____. dang. Had the best ham and pineapple sandwich for lunch, sitting on the beach looking across at Windmill Point.

In Kilmarnock we stopped at The Book Nook (isn't it nice that we are both book hounds?) where BH got a book of poetry and I got a birdsong identification book. I'd been leery of buying one of those because most portable digital animal reproductions are pretty dreadful. This one is not. In fact, it's very realistic and I've been playing with it already this morning.

posted by Bess | 7:06 AM


Cotton - not my favourite fibre to knit with by any means. I don't mind wearing it in summer, though. Your design certainly looks interesting - very reminiscent, as you say, of an Egyptian collar. I'll look forward to seeing your progress!

By Blogger KathyR, at 6:14 PM  

Yay! You're back! xxoo

By Blogger Jennifer, at 12:32 PM  

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Monday, May 03, 2010  

This IS a knitting blog

And I am a knitter. Just not a very chatty one these days. As proof of what's going on in the Life O'th Queen, here is a photo of cotton yarn that I indulged in as a sort of last fling at trying cotton knitting. I have dreams of a hand knit cotton cap sleeved top - like I had dreams of one in a rayon ribbon a year ago. I simply hate that rayon ribbon and it will become a gift to someone soon. But the geometry of the top is one I truly love.

You get the idea, and if you knit EPS sweaters you see it's nothing but the yoke sweater sans sleeves. But done with colorwork of some sort around the yoke I think it has an Egyptian collar look to it and in fact I've been inspired by this:

So when Elann dot com had a sale on their cotton yarn I thought .... well... why not give it one last try.

I like the colors - they look so much like the ones in the necklace.

I'm not feeling the love though, of that yarn. Not that it is bad cotton yarn. It's just that it IS cotton yarn. To get the gauge, which is supposed to be 5.5 to the inch, I have to use a #2 needle. Feels mighty strange to be knitting such a thick yarn on such tiny needles. I've put a garter stitch band around the bottom and it is tediously slow to knit. I hope the straight stockinette stitch will go a tad bit faster .... or even a whole lot faster. But I don't like the fabric I get knitting it up at any looser gauge.

The sad news is that I cast on for a 40 inch sweater, forgetting how little stretch I'm going to get from this yarn. ALL the snap back and give will be in the geometry of a stitch - zero in the fiber itself. I am going to have to rip out everything I've done and cast-on fewer stitches because this thing is going to be too big otherwise. Flaring flapping loose knitting will not look good in a cap sleeved top like the one I've sketched above. I don't want it too tight either, mind - but definitely not too loose. Baggy is never beautiful on me.

So to the frog pond I go.

In the den, though, was a rather pretty round hatbox that had sat all winter on a little stool.
I had to peek inside, and here's what I found.

Ooo la la - more wooly goodness. Those 3 hanging over the edge were a gift and the yarn is something nice and wooly by Classic Elite. It just cries out to be stranded colorwork.

So. That is the State-0-TheQueen who did not get to go to MS&W this year. She was on parent dooty while her hard working sister took a well deserved break. I will go next year.

posted by Bess | 7:20 AM