Monday, July 30, 2007

finished and photographed

here's my completed ester, finished at the end of june, but languishing without a photograph since then. although i have some of the same fit concerns that others have mentioned, mine is just big enough that i think i can avoid the potential dumpy look by wearing it a bit off the shoulder. i brought ester with me on a bus trip from NYC to upstate NY and found it very useful. small enough to fit easily into my bag, but really warm, out of all proportion to its size. i really love the *concept* of this piece and for that alone i think this is going to be a fall/spring staple for me. hmmm, appropriate, i guess, since i teach conceptual art. best of luck with all the esters in progress!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Just Checking In...

I'm still poking along behind everyone, but finally making more progress now that I'm back from vacation and well from a cold! I've just finished the body section before the extra stitches are cast-on, and I'm still so happy with the color and the way the Skye Tweed is working out.
I would have been further along but frogged and restarted the L size after everyone had all of the sizing issues - I'm too in love to have it not fit in the end! Also, I've finally gotten into a rhythm with the cable-needle-less cables, and it really does make a big difference! Hopefully, I can focus on Ester only for a bit and get it done soon, while a few of you might still be checking in! :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ester on the block

Ester is now lying on my table, for want of a better blocking board, and exsuding that wonderful 'wet sheep' smell of humid wool. We'll have to see how it fits later...
Ever since knitting it in purple, I'm experiencing a purple wave, crocheting or planning projects with purple. Sometimes a project makes you 'discover' a colour like that.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Green Ester

Here's my Ester in Green. I'm not sure I like it. The front is cute enough - I curled the edges over so that it does not have to close in front. More of a little shoulder shrug look.

The back... ugh. It looks to tight and does NOT flatter.

I really enjoyed knitting this project. The cables were a first for me and quite fun to learn, and the yarn was really pretty. I don't think I'd ever knit this pattern again and I doubt I'll wear this shrug or even give it away... we'll see what happens. Maybe in the fall I'll feel so inclined to throw it over a tee as a little cover-up for some grocery shopping.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Well, she's done. Feels a little small and a little big at the same time.

I'm a 36 chest but it feels tight, barely stretching to meet in the front. Not much collar fold down, although I can, perhaps, adjust that.

I'm happier with the sleeve "edge" than I thought I would be (a result of those slipped stitches) but am still considering (given my extra yarn) adding ribbing to match around the sleeve edges. Would love to hear your perspectives.

I'm less happy with the results of my "slip the stitches at the selvage" modification which, while making it pretty while I knit it, gave me a less than ideal sewing edge.

The back seems a little short and wide. Maybe it's just my proportions. Or maybe I just need to move it around to get the right fit.

It's so great to see everyone's work coming together! Let me know what you think about adding the ribbed sleeves... :-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ester finds a home

All was not lost - my friend is pretty happy with this "hand-me-down", so the fit issue has been resolved. I ended up just using a kilt pin style fastening which seems to work pretty well.
I love the way that the subtle striping curves over the bust. I think this yarn really was a good find.
I haven't given up on the idea of making another Ester for myself, but when I do, I plan to make a couple of adjustments. One to the overall length of the piece so that it actually does make it across my chest and also increasing the width (especially of the upper section) so that it takes into account my "generously" proportioned upper arms.

Monday, June 11, 2007

On to her new home!

Ester was finished on Knit in Public Day. Though oddly enough, I was done knitting and merely sewing up and weaving in loose ends. But, people saw me with a hand knit garment.

I used my cable needle to hold the front closed, though I did see some cute pins on the Loopy Ewe. The person who will receive this has tons of brooches and pins.

This just closes on me, it's an XL, and when I measured myself, I'm 42". So extra blocking could bring this to a more manageable overlap. I've decided to send this to my more petite grandmother, so overlap shouldn't be a problem. Also, on a thinner body, I'm assuming there would be more fold down collar action going on.

But I enjoyed working on Ester. I think it turned out beautiful. It made me feel so smart to be able to drop down a row or two and recross cables. I loved the chance to see Ester worked up in so many beautiful yarns. This is my first KAL, and I'm really glad I joined. Thank you all for the great support!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Alas, to block

Ester is blocking.

I'd been putting it off - stalled a little. Then I found Eunny's tutorial. Check it out.

She's the first item I've actually ever blocked and I'm totally ecstatic. Loved laying it all out. I may even have gone a little "pin-happy" but better safe than sorry.

Also watching a hand carved scarf pin on Ebay - if the stars align it will be mine.

Next stop - mattress stitch.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sewing Question

No longer gawky, Ester is blocking and the measurements look fine. This is an XL, and I'm dubious about the armholes and chest. But, patience leads to answers.

So which sewing stitch will you be using? And how did you come to that determination? Being my first non-scarf or hat, your thoughts on the best stitch to use would be appreciated.

Friday, June 1, 2007

11 Rows Left!

Only had to drop stitches twice to recross cables. Not too bad. Loving everyone's photos. I'm wondering which grandmother will actually be getting this due to the same size concerns. But, still blocking to come....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Making an Executive Decision...

All of the talk about the sizing problem is getting to me. I am really looking forward to this being my first sweater for me, and so, I'm going to rip and cast on again for a larger size. My gauge swatch was right on, but like others have mentioned, I'm only measuring 15" for the width of the back instead of 17" for the M, and I'm just way too nervous it will be too small.

Thankfully (?) I didn't get much knitting done over the holiday weekend due to some unexpected things that came up, so I'll only be frogging the ribbing and 1 cable pattern repeat.

Looks like I'll be taking my lunch on a lily pad today - wish me luck!

Ta Da!

Finished! Looks much better when pulled together across the bust- luckily I was not blessed with a well-endowed chest (probably the only time I will say this!) I found the ribbon, which looks quite good, but I still think I will head into town to the Bead Shop and make a Kilt Pin or similar to go in it's place. Looking forward to seeing the rest of them as the emerge!

Monday, May 28, 2007

too small

Well, I've finished the project but I'm having some trouble with the sizing. I have a 46" bust and I like things a bit generous, so I worked mine to be somewhere between an XL (to fit 46" bust) and a 2X (to fit 50" bust). Note that I got gauge according to the pattern and that I blocked successfully to the dimensions outlined on the schematic included with the pattern.
Problem 1.
ester me front

It doesn't come anywhere near meeting across my bust. So we tried it on my mum who's littler than me (44" bust). No chance of meeting on her either.
Ester Mum front

Problem 2.
ester me side

The allowance made for the arm hole is not sufficient for a "generously" proportioned upper arm. I had a suspicion that this might happen when I was knitting it but I ignored my concerns and trusted the pattern. Even Mum's arms, which aren't as flabby as mine, are still an overly snug fit.
Ester Mum side

Problem 3.
Ester me back

Just too damn tight across the back on me and not much better on Mum.
Ester Mum back

The pattern at one point notes that the length of the back piece should be equal to one quarter of the desired chest circumference. This doesn't work for me. I think that if I try to make this again, then I would need to a) cast on a slightly wider back piece and b) make the wider section much wider to make larger armholes which would also increase the coverage across the bust.
All is not lost though. One of my best friends is much littler than Mum or I and this colour would really suit her, so hopefully the Ester will fit her.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Weaving and Blocking

I cast off this morning using the knit-2-tog-tbl-then-slip-st-from-right-needle-back-to-left-and-repeat method. Then I spent about half an hour weaving in the ends.
ester weaving in 02

ester weaving in 01

Now I've got it blocking.
ester blocking

just beginning

i finally cast on my ester yesterday! i'm using knit picks wool of the andes, in arctic heather. i had swatched on 7s last week, which was much too small, so i swatched on 9s yesterday, and with blocking, it should be ok. i'm almost done with the ribbing section, and then on to the cables. it's not worth taking a picture yet, but i will when i'm a bit further along.
hopefully i won't take too long on this...i tend to have a lot of projects going at once. part of the reason it took me a few weeks to get started is because i cast on for wicked right after i ordered my ester yarn. now i'm about halfway through wicked and i don't want it to languish forever. so i'll be switching back and forth between these two projects.

i'm loving seeing everyone else's progress. this *sweater* is really perfect in any color. if all goes well, i hope to make another one.

Really ready to block

A few end to weave and then to block. I resolve to have it set and pinned by the end of the long weekend.

Off to google "shawl pins". Anyone found anything yet?


Friday, May 25, 2007

Finally, I'm Really Playing!

Ok, so now the deadline knitting is over (check it out) and I have really and truly started on Ester...I know I'm just a bit behind everyone, but seeing as how I live in Georgia, there will be no need to wear it until October......

I've cast on for the medium size and just started the cables yesterday. I'm still getting used to the cables w/out a cable needle, but I think once I get the hang of it, it will definitely be easier than using one of those blasted little curvy things.

The yarn is a little scratchy to work with, but it's so beautiful stitched that I'm being very forgiving about it.

Can't wait to spend some quality time knitting over the long weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thank Goodness That's Over!

I'm free! I finished the cable rows, and the p2tog, remove your markers row. Free! Not that I didn't love the cables, but there. were. just. so. many! (My first cable project- not too ambitious ability wise, but stamina, sheesh!)

In the last few days I picked up momentum as I began counting down, not up (28 rows = 7 rows to go!) I highly recommend it.

And my favourite thing about this is that the cables are perfectly topped off by a centered purl stitch.

Beautiful symmetry.

Now bring on the ribbing!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Vintage Inspiration, Anyone?

Fellow Ester-ers! I believe this is the vintage wrap that provided inspiration for Alice's pattern. It's knit in the same T-shape and constructed the same way. In this pattern, a fastener isn't used, and I'm tempted to see if I can block my Ester in such a way that I do not have to use a fastener (this answers the question in Paisley's last post: I plan to use no fastner at all!)

weaving in ends?

my ester is coming along now that i have returned to it from other knitting distractions. as you can see, i have many hanging ends. usually i knit in the ends when possible or weave them in as i go. any suggestions for neat, invisible ways to weave in ends on cable pattern knits? thanks!

Getting there

ester 04
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I've got about 2 pattern repeats left to go on the long section before I start the ribbing.
It's been interesting to watch how the colour variations fall in this longer section. The more purpley bits have tended to land mostly in the middle and there are some orangey bits at the ends (not seen in this photo).
I'm looking forward to seeing how this all comes together at the end. I have a theoretical understanding of the construction, but I'm still curious to see how it will fit together in practice.
Has anyone given any thought to what they plan to use as a fastening?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Can you spot the issue?

Doesn't she remind you of an Egyptian Deity?

Feeling really good heading into the home stretch. Have my spray bottle and flat flower pins ready to go. Hope to finish knitting and block this weekend. Not sure if that's realistic but it's good to have "stretch" goals. :-)

Special prize for the first person who leaves a comment identifying what I've done wrong in the pattern. Hint: The error is in every cable pattern repeat.

Not that I have any intention of frogging and starting over...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Slow progress now

Ester progress
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Has anyone else noticed that although the number of stitches has now effectively tripled (almost), it seems to take five times as long to do a single row?
On the other hand, I'm finding this project to be nice mindless knitting - with enough interesting-ness to stop it from being mind-numbing. Excellent for teaming with a spot of TV watching in the evening and as a respite from the really fiddly socks that I'm also wrestling with.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Let's try this again

It may not look like I've made much progress but remember: just days ago I frogged the whole dang thing!

Much happier now.
The cable-less cable-ling feels natural and fast and satisfying.

And those slipped edges?...

So clean.. so smooth...

Now I just have to knit like a fiend so I can catch up with everyone :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Green Grass, Green Ester

I too am at the awkward "T" phase of Ester. Things are going much slower than previously, but I am still absolutely in love with my green yarn. It reminds me of the spring grass turning greener in my yard, the budding green lilacs outside my front door... the fact that I should probably be landscaping instead of knitting! I haven't used stitch markers. I never have, and I fear that I am much too "cheap" of a knitter to ever use them in the future. I can see their benefits, but to me they seem like they would be a cumbrance. Any thoughts? Pro stitch marker? Fellow anti stich marker-ers?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Akward Stage

After casting on a gazillion new stitches, and feeling pretty happy about achieving the "T" shape. I had to order extra stitch markers to make it all work. There was a slight peeved moment when I found a knot in the yarn. But, it was a small join, and not noticable in the fabric.

Now Ester has entered her akward teenage phase. Limbs that seem too long, not graceful. But she will eventually fill out.
For now, it's slow goings with soft yarn, watching Ester slowly blossom into her true form.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I hear frogs in the distance....

So... things are cruising along nicely except for some trouble spots.
A frogging we will go.

The red circle highlights an interior rib stitch where I purled when I should have knit. It will drive me insane if I leave it.

The red rectangles illuminate errors in yarn carrying. I'm slipping each first stitch rather than knitting/purling because it give a cleaner, flatter edge. If you do it correctly, that is.

Lastly, I measured the bottom edge. The pattern says I should be at 17" for a medium. I think it will be more like 15" after blocking. I may recast for a large. I am at a 36-38 bust but have the shoulders of a linebacker.

Has anyone else measured?

All is not lost, however. I'm really digging the cabling without the cable needles and this preliminary jaunt gave me a chance to "perfect" that method.

Tonight, I begin again.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Step 1

I've finished the lower back and am about to start with the upper section. Kind of giddy.

This yarn is so lovely to knit with. It's half alpaca half peruvian wool. It feels fantastic in the hand. I was using the cable needle-free version of cabling from Wendy Knits' website ( But the yarn just couldn't handle it easily. So I've ordered a cable needle set from Knit Picks and until then am using a dpn. I forgot to bring it on a car trip yesterday and ended up using a pencil. Worked just fine. But definitely look forward to the shorter cable needle when it arrives!

I've decided to make the XL.

Loving all your pictures. Happy knitting!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Yarn is Ordered!

First things first - everyone's pics so far are great! I can't wait to get started - I'm having to hold off on my cast-on because I have a strict deadline of May 18 for a gift for my Dad.

I did order my yarn today and couldn't be happier - WEBS has Classic Elite Skye Tweed on overstock ($3.99/ball), so I jumped on it. I love purple anyway (not to mention the purple in the pattern pics), so I went with colorway #1295 (Grampian Purple).

And, if the Skye Tweed comes out looking anything like it did for brooklyntweed's sweater, what more could you ask?

A lazy Ester

I have started my Ester with a gorgeous 100% superwash wool from Lana Grossa and have only knit a few rows so far. The real fun will begin with the cables...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

View of Ester in Chunky Al

I had to rip out last night thanks to the lovely efforts of not paying attention, apparently once, to which side I placed the cable needle. *Sigh* But I'm back on track with soft yarn and promising cables!

Paisley's Ester begins

I made a start on my Ester last night and did some more work on it this morning. I've finished the preliminary ribbing and done one pattern repeat so far.
ester 03

The cabling without a needle has proved to be pretty smooth, far less cumbersome and speedier than wrangling with a cable needle. I think my transition has been helped because I'm also working on Eunny Jang's Bayerische socks which have tiny cables all over them and so I've just learnt the cable-needle-free method from her instructions (I don't think her instructions are quite the same method as the Grumperina instructions which Alice linked to, but the effect is the same). The Ester cables, on much chunkier yarn, seem like a doddle in comparison!
ester 02

As always, photographing red is a big challenge. The true colour is probably somewhere in between these two photos. Top one - a smidge too dark, bottom one - a bit over-exposed.

Friday, May 4, 2007

mis-crossed cable disaster averted

last evening, just as i got used to the cable rhythm, i noticed a mis-crossed cable--6 rows back! after a brief moment of panic (a serious mistake, so soon!), i discovered the yarn harlot’s photo guide to solving this problem. fiddly and anxiety-producing, yes, but worth avoiding the re-working of six cable rows. i think the tension is a bit tighter there, but i don't think it's noticeable. here's the saga in images: