b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  still kickin'
yes, i'm still here. its been a while though. i've been balancing work and hosting my mom which hasn't lent itself to much time for photographing my work, or writing about it for that matter. but, the good news is that while my mom was here, i did secure a healthy amount of knitting time. hooray!

while my mom was here, she raided my knitting book collection and copied a bunch of patterns, so she'll be set for awhile (especially after her new acquisitions from school products and purl). you'll be happy to note that, of all the yarn shopping we did together, i succeeded in not purchsing any additional stash enhancers! although, at times, it took an act of sheer will to get out the door of the yarn store without even one measley ball of wool for yet another hat ... just one more?

most of my knitting time has been spent plugging away on the urban aran. and i'm still not sick of that awesome cable motif on the sleeves and center of the body (although i was very happy when the wider cable panneling was finished on the front and back pieces... wasn't my favorite thing). i'm definitely to the point where the end is in sight, but theres still a good chunk of stitches to make. so despite my urges to work on my other projects, i can't do anything but work on this sweater because i want it to be done! and i'm losing the weather-motivation... i actually thought that i might be able to wear this at least for a couple of days before the heat is here to stay... but i'm thinking that is less and less a possibility. the forcast in the city today is for 80 degrees. *twitch*

Urban Aran Pieces
the pieces all laid out

pictured above from bottom to top: the back, front right, front left and the two sleeves (being worked at the same time) still on the needles. i've added about 5 inches to the sleevle-lings since this photo was taken yesterday afternoon. the end is so close i can taste it. and i'm 90% sure that all of my modifications for male sizing are going to be successful.. but of course there's always that slight fear that i might have to redo something (the sleeves are the only thing i have a tiny intuitive snag about... but we'll see). with so much ribbing, i can get away with murder while blocking.

here's a question about blocking: i block virtually everything using the TOTAL IMMERSION method, aka soaking each piece in a bath and pinning it out to dry (for a few days). i've had the best results with this and i like it because i feel like i have the most control. but this pattern calls for the collar to be worked after seaming (and hence blocking). since its a ribbed collar, i'm worried about getting it to behave like the rest of the blocked piece after i knit it. i dont want to immersion-block the whole thing again, but i feel like steaming or spraying the collar alone will be frustrating and ... less than desirable. since my other sweaters have been top down and in-the-round, i haven't really had this problem before. i always blocked after the whole thing was done. and the ribbing is what really makes it interesting (or frustrating.) any suggestions? (this probably shouldn't be a problem, i'm just sooo anti-other blocking methods.)

in other news: my roommate asked me to teach him how to knit(!) - i was wondering if the day would ever come. it was probably just a matter of time being around me night after night on the couch. producing something with my hands while watching this or that. ha! chalk one up for our team! he actually picked it up a lot faster than i thought he would, and definitely faster than my first time! dont tell him but i took a picture of his first swatch.

M's First Swatch
m's first swatch

and, if you're still reading this long post: i'm still working on forbes, every once in a while. when i need a little merino dk love in my life.

Forbes in Action
forbes forest in all of its curling glory...

stop by and say hi. and keep on knitting.


The Urban Aran looks great! As for blocking, I use the "soak-spin-pin" method and just recently had a similar collar experience. I just used steam from my iron and the ribbed collar behaved just fine. I would suggest using a damp tea towel to cover the area to be steamed. I didn't do that and my fabric came out, well, kinda ironed.

That Urban Aran is looking better all the time, so much so that I'm thinking about adding it to my "must do" list.

i can't wait to see that finished urban aran! never fear - it's going to be cold and rainy this weekend.

and totally hear you on immersion blocking - i've never had much as success with any other method.

Ooh, Urban Aran looks amazing! I'm drooling as I write this. As for blocking, I've blocked sweaters minus a collar, knit the collar and wore immediately and thought it looked fine. If you're not happy, I think Kim's suggestions would work fine. Good luck. I can't wait to see the finished result:)

Urban Aran is looking awesome! It will be all set for.... next fall. and excellent job getting your roommate knitting! My roommate has been watching me knit for a long time and has yet to request lessons, though she is down with requesting knit goods.

the Urban Aran is looking really nice! I like immersion blocking the best also! You've brought another knitter on board! Yay! I can't even find other knitters my age in my town! I know they are hiding somewhere...

Wow.. that sweater looks like it´s going to be really warm and cozy!

You're making great progress on your projects. And way to go - being so strong in the face of so much temptation. I like a good ol' wet block, but then I use the tea towel/iron method for collars and it's been fine (and every once in awhile I just don't block the color - gasp).

I agree with Kim about the steam blocking with a damp towel. Urban Aran is looking great. You definitely need to finish because I can understand how the weather will deter you.

I'm an immersion blocker also. I'd pin down the collar, spray the heck out of it and then steam it! Double dose!

That looks great!! I'm adding it to the must knit pile.

Love the urban aran...looks fantastic, as well as forbes. Yea....another knitter in the house!

Your urban aran is looking fantastic so far! Love the pattern.

Sounds like you had a great time with your mom. Congrats to you for holding out against the yarn calls...I would have fallen for sure! Case in point: I just visited a yarn store on my lunch hour. Was looking for a specific book which they didn't have. Instead of walking myself out the door, I walked myself downstairs to the sale bin. And ended up with more yarn!

Happy Knitting!

You've been quite busy. (I think this is your chattiest post EVER!) Glad you are safe and sound and still knitting away. The sweater is a real work of art.

Many impressive things here... probably most impressive of all - no stash enhancement during mom's visit. As for collar after blocking - how do you feel about it? Personally, I typically wouldn't really care and leave it unblocked. If I felt that the stitches could use a little evening out and stretching, I would dip only the collar (and a minimal amount of the rest of the sweater) in a bath for a second blocking.

Oh my God!! Your Forbes Forest just looks exactly like mine!!

Wow, you're really moving on the Urban Aran. So cool that you taught your roommate to knit!

I think if you take a spray bottle and really saturate the collar, it will have the same effect as immersing it. Trust me,it works on hair, and if you could see my hair, you'd have no doubt that it will work on mere yarn! Good luck!

Please, for the future, read copyright issues regarding copying patterns.
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