Tag Archive | handknit sweaters

Birthday Penny

When I went downstairs this morning, I saw a little red car parked out front, and that gave me a much-needed perk of happiness, because that means the girl is home! She made it home last night and it feels good to have all my people in one place. We had to cancel a birthday gathering tomorrow night with the grandparents, and I’m disappointed and sad. But my mom is over 80 and the husband, girl and I have all been around way too many people lately to feel comfortable visiting her right now. It sucks a lot. But with any luck, she’ll stay well, and I’ll just hang out at home with the kids and the dogs, and sometime in the not-so-distant future, everyone will be able to spend time together!

Last night I cast on the sweater I’ve been planning for about six months, the one with my birthday sweater yarn. It’s Malabrigo Arroyo in fucsia and it’s going to be AMAZING.

55BDC317-0B45-49BC-B969-BFCFC6FD63EE_1_201_aThis bright, saturated pink is one of the hardest colors to photograph, but this is pretty close. The pattern I chose is Penny, a lacy v-neck. You start with the sleeves and body all separate and then join them. I started with the body because that’s always more fun than the sleeves. But the sleeves will be done on DPNs, so if I get bored knitting the body, I can switch back and forth with sleeves.

With all the yarn events being cancelled, I’d probably be doing a bit of online shopping to support small yarn-related businesses. But I’d been planning to shop at Knitting in the Heartland next month, and so far, it’s not been cancelled. (Which seems crazy to me and I hope they end up cancelling it soon. I mean, who among us wants to be responsible for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee getting the virus??) If it does get called off, I know I’ll be supporting some independent businesses! In the meantime, I’ll just keep knitting my from stash.

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Happy weekend, friends. Stay safe, stay happy, stay well.

FO: Faded Boxy

Six months. Six long months. That’s how long it took me to knit my purple faded Boxy sweater. But you know what that means? IT’S DONE! I wove in a ridiculous number of ends yesterday — it took two and a half episodes of E.R. — and now I just need to block it! But will I wear it once first? YES. Yes I will. I have to wear it to work tomorrow to show it off to my knitting group!

8f3593f5-525e-450e-8d40-e5f1d16578f6This used up five gorgeous skeins of yarn from stash. Well, I have enough of the solid purple left over to be sock accents for a couple of pairs of socks. And I had to dip into an extra skein for the top when I lost at yarn chicken with the last color. Thank goodness I had two skeins of a variegated purple from my last trip to my own LYS! It wasn’t a perfect match but it blended well enough.

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I have slipped it on and I think it’s going to be perfect fit. That might be easier to achieve when it’s a loose, big, boxy sweater like this, but still. I’m quite pleased with it.

img_7149I’m sure I’ll share more photos later, with me wearing it and after it’s blocked. Happy Monday, friends! Hope your weekend was productive too.

Boxy Issues

Yesterday I turned on the tennis and settled in with my Boxy fade sweater. I was ready both to split for the sleeves and to start fading in the last color. I knit across the stitches for the front half and hit a roadblock: I needed one row per color, but there wasn’t an easy way to do that when you’re knitting back and forth with two colors of yarn. It works perfectly when you’re going round and round, but I didn’t even think about how it would have to switch to back & forth later. So, I was in a pickle. Now, I’m sure there are smarter knitters than I who have a good answer, but my answer seems to be working for me: I knit one color across, then I knit the other color across. Then I purl color one across, then purl color two across. Whatever works, right?

My second issue is one of color. When I chose my five colors for this fade, I alternated variegated with solid. The first solid was at the bottom and it’s fine. But then I have the second solid up here, separated by variegated/fades, and it’s just this stripe of lavender. I can’t decide if it stands out a lot because I’m looking for it, or because it’s obvious.

img_6752Maybe it will calm down once I get the rest done. I sure hope so because I am NOT interested in frogging 22 miles of stockinette just to switch the order of the last two colors.

And that’s as far as I got yesterday, because of Issue #3: my elbow. I had a bad case of tendinitis several years ago, and every so often it’ll flare up a bit if I’m not careful. Apparently I’ve been doing a lot of knitting during Duncan’s recovery, and they’re longer stretches of knitting, and now I’ve got this pain in my elbow that says “Hey! Time to take a break!” So instead I caught up on some TV and read a book, like a real book with pages and stuff, and that was nice. I’ll give it a couple more days with limited knitting and all should be fine. Maybe switching to my worsted weight cowl will help too, since I hold the bigger needles more loosely than the smaller ones I use for fingering weight. And really, it will work out all right because I’m getting my purple hair refreshed today, so that’ll be about five hours with little to no knitting time!

Enjoy your Sunday, friends!

This is a big deal

I’m going to make a sweater! Whoa, right? No, I know, I’ve done this before. I’ve actually crocheted one sweater and knitted three. My first knitted sweater was a Harvest cardigan that came out HUGE but is super cozy to bum around in at home. My next two knitted sweaters were pullovers that actually fit the way I wanted. That cardigan I made with cotton; it was soft but still not a high-quality yarn. The pullovers were both made with acrylic yarn. I love them, but I decided that I’m ready for the big leagues now: I want to make a sweater out of GOOD yarn.

I’ve never bought a sweater quantity of good (i.e. non-acrylic) yarn before, instead choosing fun single skeins. So for my birthday earlier this month, I told the husband that I wanted a sweater quantity of yarn. He’s a smart man, so he gave me the money for it rather than trying to pick it out himself.

But what yarn? What pattern? What color? Well, the yarn itself wasn’t too hard: Malabrigo has been one of my very favorite yarns for years. For pattern, I wanted something interesting and pretty, a little more intricate than the basic pullovers I’ve made. It took a lot of browsing but I settled on Penny by tincanknits. And color? Well, at first I thought about a neutral. But then I thought, NAHHH! Let’s have fun!

img_5618This is six skeins of Malabrigo Arroyo in the glorious Fucsia, which might possibly be the most difficult color of yarn to photograph. Subtle, it is not! But it will make a gorgeous sweater and I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing some swatching this weekend!

Take time to save time

I bet all my knitters know what I’m talking about! This weekend, in between increasingly long shawl rows, I swatched for a sweater. I’ve been wanting a selfish knitting project and the Funky Grandpa cardigan has been hovering in the back of my mind, so I pulled out the Knit Picks Palette and knit a swatch. And since I had to wash it anyway, I washed some socks too!

Before it was washed, I was sure I’d gotten gauge on my first try. I was only half a stitch short, and I figured my swatch would loosen up with washing. Nope. It pulled in tighter instead, so I had 22 stitches per 4 inches instead of 24.5. Figuring out gauge makes my brain hurt, but I was pretty sure I needed to try with a smaller needle, so that’s what I did next, along with snuggling a pup.

Fingers crossed I got gauge this time!

Another Sweater

My brain is not done planning sweaters from stash. After pondering two fade sweaters, which are still on my list, I saw all the Knit Picks Palette in my stash and realized I had a sweater’s quantity, if I could just find a way to use three to four colors. Ravelry was a great help, as always, and led me to the Funky Grandpa cardigan which is awesome. And in the projects for that, I found someone who had modified it in a way similar to what I was picturing. I pulled out the yarn and started playing around.

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After that, I took my limited non-existent art skills and tried sketching out what I was envisioning. (Warning, the boy legit laughed at me when I showed him.)

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I think it’ll work, guys! And since the Palette isn’t the softest yarn, having it be a cardigan is perfect, since it will always be over another layer.

But now I guess I better start doing some swatches if I want to make a sweater. Sigh.

Planning a sweater

I loved wearing my new sweater so much yesterday that I’ve decided I need more handknit sweaters in my life. And since we’re heading into spring, I thought it was time to try a lighter weight sweater. All my others have been worsted weight. I’m a little worried that it will take forever using fingering weight, and that I’ll get bored, but I won’t know until I try. I also figured it was time to make a sweater out of really good yarn, a fine merino instead of a rougher wool or an acrylic. Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget to buy a sweater’s quantity of yarn at the moment, and I haven’t bought with sweaters in mind. It looked like I was stuck and wouldn’t be able to plan a new sweater for a while…but then, I had a brilliant idea: a fade!!

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This set of four yarns came home from Colorado with me last year, and it’s been in the queue for a fade shawl. But what if it became a sweater instead?? I could find a solid purple, which I wanted to do anyway, if I need more yardage. Plus, when I knit stripes or fades, wanting to get to the next color keeps me motivated, so this might help with the boredom issue too. I’m leaning toward Drea Renee’s So Faded, but if you have another fade sweater pattern you love, let me know!