The great sweater dissection project, Part I

So, we have previously discussed J’s penchant for brand names. Ralph Lauren hand knit sweaters are a big favorite of his. But he won’t pay full price (be still my beating heart!!!) so we look for deals.

All summer long we have been looking at one Ralph Lauren hand knit sweater. It originally started out at $200 but when we first saw it, was around $150. At that price I was sure he wouldn’t buy it. He decided to watch the sweater. A few weeks later it went down to $50, and he contemplated buying it. Lovely black, white, and red colorwork (insert joke here) but I couldn’t get past the neckline. He agreed. I don’t know what it was about this neckline, if it was just too much for the sweater as a whole, or too feminine for a men’s sweater, or what, but I just didn’t like it. He agreed. I asked him if he would wear it with that neckline. He said that he probably would not. A few weeks later it was still $50 but we could take an additional 10% off. We discussed it again. We decided no, neckline issues. He said, “If it gets down to $35, I will buy it.” Which made sense. 100% lambs wool, it was very soft, and the colorwork really was nice.

Fast forward to this weekend. Where we stumbled across the sweater for $34. So we again had the neckline discussion. Nope, he still wouldn’t wear it with that neckline. I told him that it isn’t a deal if you won’t wear it. Then I had a brilliant idea. I mean, I am a knitter right? So why wouldn’t I change the neckline if I didn’t like it? What was I thinking? At $34 for 100% lambswool, I could recycle it and make it into something else. It ends up being too good a deal to pass up. So I look at the neckline and decide that, indeed, I would be perfectly capable of taking it apart and reworking it.

So begins the great sweater dissection project!

Original sweater:
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You can see that the neckline is funky. Maybe on a plain sweater it would work. But for a guy, it is still iffy if you ask me. There were also buttons, which added to the melodrama. It is just too much!

So plan is to unravel the neckline and use that yarn to make it into a plain turtle neck. 2×2 rib. In addition to that, to follow the cuffs and bottom of the sweater, I will do 6 rows of garter stitch before I start the 2×2 rib.

So begins the unraveling. It went smoothly for the most part. I had to do it in 3 parts as the split had a knitted border on both the front and back. Best part? I have 5 new buttons to use on some other project. How nice or Ralph to provide me with extra!

Here is what I had left over:
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I suspect I will need to skein that yarn and wash it. It is awfully kinked. Get on that yarn swift Nick!

In the end, I only had a few stitches to pick up at the front of the sweater, the rest of it was already bound off.
It looks better already if you ask me!
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Chameleon Colorworks update

Well I do need to post an update on the Chameleon Colorworks sockclub fiasco.

The shop owner assured me last week that she sent both September and October kits in the mail. She said that the post office doesn’t seem to like my work address. That could be, it has happened with various sellers at amazon.com as well.

Today I got my September kit. No sign of October kit all day. Maybe tomorrow. The yarn, to her credit, is really quite pretty and I was pleased with the sock pattern as well. Very cute, I will enjoy making them. Unfortunately the whole thing has left a bad taste and I will not be continuing, especially since the price has gone up.
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Pretty yarn, one cannot deny. What a series of unfortunate events. I am a bit sad over the whole thing, sort of like a potential relationship which sadly went awry before it really began. Weird.

Creatures of the deep….

Today at work I started the spanish christening shawl. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I needed something light. I needed a pattern I was familiar with. I needed some good ol’ lace knitting after working so hard on the “project.”

Enter Creatures of the reef! Yes, it has been a long while since you have had an update on this project. It was never really hibernating, I was just officially ignoring it. But it sure did come in handy tonight, and progress was made.

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It continues to be a pattern that I am enjoying. I don’t think that will change no matter how long it takes me to complete it.

Moving right along, from Nick

I mark the bottom side of the top circle I just chose. Why the bottom? Because you won’t see it once it’s assembled.
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Time to see if my plan to mount the bearing between the two circles will work. This is the part that I had to figure out in my head while at Lowes. I had to make sure it was going to be physically possible before buying the materials.

Fist I’ll mount the bearing to the underside of the top circle. Here the top circle is clamped down to the table and we are looking at the underside with the bearing roughly centered.
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I was not sure how I was going to center the bearing perfectly. But I figured if I had a truly perfect circle the corners should be the same distance from the circle’s edge. I also figured that if I screwed up I could just move the bearing and try again since this surface is hidden.

I get to used another fun tool. A set of digital calipers. This allows me to measure each corner and adjust until they are the same distance from the circle’s edge.
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Once I’m sure the bearing is centered I clamp down two comers to keep things in place.
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Now I can screw down the other two comers while everything stays centered.

1st I made an indention in the center of the mounting hole with my trusty hand drill.
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The indention helps guide a small drill bit for the srcew pilot hole. Only drill about half way into the wood. If you don’t trust yourself you can mark the drill bit depth with a piece of tape so you don’t drill to far and come out the other side.
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The pilot hole helps the screw go in straight. It also prevents the wood from splitting.
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Here’s the top plate of the bearing all screwed in.
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Now that the top plate is mounted I need to make access holes in the bottom circle so I can screw this thing together with the bearing sandwiched between the circles.

Before you say WHAT? You are making holes in that nice piece of wood? Keep in mind this is the bottom and eventually the holes are going to be covered anyway with some kind of anti-skid material (most likely some kind of cork shelf liner). And the holes are necessary for the final assembly.

I start by centering the bearing again (this time the bottom circle) and marking the centers with my hand drill.
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Next it’s over to the drill press to drill small pilot holes for the larger access holes. When possible I like to drill pilot holes 1st. They are easier to initially drill though the wood. And the also guild the larger bit as it bores through. Making the holes come out straighter.
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Here the larger access hole is being drilled. A 1/2” hole should allow for enough room (if everything lines up nice).
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With all 4 holes drilled I place the 2 circles together. Whew, The access holes line up perfect!
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Making the rough, smooth, part II from Nick

Or more building of the swift!

Switched to fine sandpaper on the disc sander. This cleaned up the edges nicely and allowed for some precession sanding to the line. Here are the edges with the circles still clamped together.
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Finally! Our square wood is now round!

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Now it’s decision time. Out of the 4 surfaces of the circles I need to choose the top of the Lazy Susan. Since this is the only surface that will be seen I choose the one with the most consistent color and grain.
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