Tag Archive | handknit sweaters

Penny FO: Pretty in Pink

Some colors are almost impossible to photograph well, unless you’ve got a lot more photography experience and knowledge than I do, I guess! I’ve tried a few different times, places, and lighting scenarios to get photos of my finished Penny sweater and the vivid pink (Malabrigo in Fucsia) just resists all my attempts to show the true color. So this is what you get, and at least you’ll be able to see the pretty lace!

AE4102DB-5D28-4EEC-AB73-54ACEB7A72AB_1_201_aThis experience taught me a couple of things. One: that shit does NOT always block out. The ladders on my first sleeve are still there. Whatever. And two: Malabrigo Arroyo, or maybe all superwash, grows A LOT in the bath. I knit this according to the pattern specifications and it was kind of huge when I first got it out of the water. I had to squish it back into a more normal size and it still seems very long. But it fits pretty well and that’s the important part!

The neckline is a bit lower than I expected, but it doesn’t bother me much since I’ll be wearing this over something else anyway. And I really like the lace detail down the middle of the sleeves.

7CC2305B-D6D8-44B0-8FCA-2C51F1E593D9_1_201_aI don’t know why but I didn’t enjoy knitting this one very much. Part of it was my confusion when it was time to join the body and sleeves for the yoke, and I felt like the instructions for the decreases could have been clearer. But I have to admit the final product is lovely, and I bet I’ll enjoy wearing it!

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!

FO: SWEATER!!!

It’s done it’s done it’s really really done!!! I finished my Clarke Pullover last night and I’m quite pleased with myself, I have to say! The stripes look so nice and even, and the bust measurement came out the way I expected it to, which is even more amazing given that I used worsted instead of DK and had to do math to figure out which size to knit!

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It got a little rough on my hands toward the end, because I had to use smaller needles than recommended for the yarn to get the right gauge. Plus I used 12″ circs for the sleeves, which was kind of amazing because they’re faster than DPNs, but my hands were feeling it by the end, just feeling kind of cramped. Still, totally worth it!!

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And I’m totally wearing it today, unblocked, because spring is coming quickly and I wanted to wear it at least once before I had to pack it away! My only minor complaint is that it’s a little shorter than I’d like, so when I wash it, I’ll lay it out flat and try to encourage it to stretch out a bit. I’ll let you know how that goes!

The yarn is Lion Brand Jeans in Classic and Vintage, and the best thing about it (besides being really soft) is that I can wear it without a layer underneath and it doesn’t itch!

Stuck on sleeve island

I really need to clear out some WIPs. My knitting is not inspiring me lately but I can’t bring myself to cast on anything new right now. It’s dumb, because I only have four WIPs on the needles, but my brain won’t let me accept more. Really, I’m a little blocked with my knitting. I recently had a big load of dirty handknit socks, so I decided to be bold and try to machine wash and dry them, partly to save time and effort and partly to get rid of most of the dog hair stuck to them. And for the most part, they’re fine, or so I thought. A couple of pairs might have felted a tiny bit, and a few looked a bit smaller, but hey, they’ll stretch. Then I found a solitary sock that didn’t make it into the dryer.

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That is…not ideal. Maybe they shrank more than I realized? I guess I’ll find out when I wear them. I think I’m just feeling a little defeated with my knitting. I love knitting socks, but they’re high-maintenance, they don’t stay snug, the heels felt, and they shrink. I don’t wear hats, you can only have so many fingerless gloves or shawls or scarves, I have yarn in my stash I won’t wear now that I have purple hair (I refuse to wear red and purple together) and what’s the point even of having so much yarn and making things?

Oof. That’s not a pretty thought. I mean, maybe my head wasn’t in a great place yesterday anyway, but I had to fight this because in my heart I know there is value in making pretty things, so I picked up my sweater. I love to wear my handknit sweaters, and since I wear a layer underneath, they don’t need to be washed with each wear like socks. Sweaters are useful and practical as well as fun. So I knit a sleeve yesterday.

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This morning I picked up for the second sleeve and I’ll work on that while watching movies I love, and with any luck, I’ll feel better about my knitting by the end of the day.

And I’m not going KonMari my whole stash, but if you’re interested in a gorgeous skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single for $30 including US shipping, let me know. I would much rather have a skein of this yarn in a color I’d love to wear all the time.

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