It’s done it’s done it’s DONE! I finished my Oxbow Cardigan today and it might actually have been my fastest sweater knit, at only two months. There’s definitely something to be said for knitting bulky-weight sweaters! The yarn is Cascade Eco+ and I only used 2.5 skeins of the four I purchased. I feel a bit of itchiness against the back of my neck as I sit here typing, so I’m going to give it a nice long soak and see if that softens things up.
The sleeves are about three inches longer than I would have liked, but other than that, I think the fit is great. This project definitely had some elements that aren’t my favorite (deciphering increases and decreases, short rows, picking up A LOT of stitches) but it was all good practice for me. Before this, I thought I only liked to knit pullovers, but this wasn’t bad at all, maybe because it was bulky weight? I’m already thinking about what my next sweater should be!
Also, I was introduced to a new show: the Great Pottery Throw Down and it’s SO good. In the US, I think it’s only available on HBO Max. If you like wholesome shows like the Repair Shop or GBBO, you should give it a go. It’s marvelous.
My Oxbow cardigan is growing, and as it does, it is growing into a clearly identifiable sweater object. I don’t know that I’m doing the decreases the way the designer intended, but if anything is messed up, it’ll be by the edge and probably not as noticeable. The main body of the sweater I’ve managed to keep in pattern, for the most part. There is a section of about 10 stitches on one upper arm/shoulder that morphed into about six rows of ribbing but whatever, I’m not bothered. This is meant to be a cozy comfy sweater anyway, and the texture will help hide errors.
Looking at the photo now, I think I spotted another section that got a bit messed up. Oops. I’m hoping to get through all the decreases today and maybe even pick up for the ribbing. Wouldn’t it be something if I could get this done over the long weekend??
Sunday evening I went back to work on my Oxbow cardigan and yesterday I made it to the next shaping point. I had the lower body done and I needed to start decreasing for “neck and yoke shaping”. Y’all, this pattern is messed the heck up. I mean, not literally messed up, but it’s written very poorly. I noticed it first on the sleeves, when you’re working with 4-stitch repeats over a 4-row pattern, and when you need to start increasing, very little guidance is given about how to maintain the pattern as you increase. I figured that out and thought it was the worst of it. HA.
Now I’m working flat with a 4-stitch/4-row pattern and I’m decreasing two stitches every five rows, eleven times. No biggie, except zero guidance is given about how to maintain the stitch pattern as you decrease. The first couple of decreases were okay, but now I’m losing track. I printed out charts and blank charts last night and tried to chart it out and got lost. So now I’m just at the “winging it” stage. I can read the stitches better on the wrong side of the sweater, so I’m just checking that often to make sure it stays on track. But it’s gonna get worse, because after I attach the sleeves, I also have to start doing raglan decreases at a different rate than the yoke/neck shaping. And even all of that would be doable, if she had just done a better job of explaining how to maintain the pattern during increases and decreases.
When I pay $9 for a pattern and it’s from fancy famous Andrea Mowry, I expected a lot better than this. (Side note: it’s cheaper on Ravelry than it is on LoveCrafts. Only by 84 cents though.) I’m not sure I’ll buy another pattern from her. The only reason I’m pushing through with this one is because I’m halfway done, the look is exactly what I want, and I know it can be done because Sarah has made it twice. So damn it, I’m gonna finish this sweater!
I hope your knitting is going better than mine this week!
My second finished object of 2021 is another carryover from last year, my Hopes & Feathers shawl. I started this in September and at first I was addicted to it, but then like many of my bigger WIPs, it got set aside when I got bored. Thank goodness I have these bouts of finish-itis!
It has a fun zigzag pattern done with slipped stitches. Mine isn’t super noticeable because my yarns are so close together in color; I think it would be fun to use two yarns that contrast a lot. But it was fun to knit and it made an enormous shawl!
The yarn is from LoloDidIt but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten which base. They’re sparkly so I’m guessing Sparkle Sock, and the colors are Wonka (purple) and Beetlejuice (purple/gray/green variegated). The yarn is gorgeous, a treat to knit with, and blocked out beautifully. I’m learning that the sock yarns with stellina make my feet itch, so I’m very glad I made a shawl with these instead! And I used 792 yards, enough left over to add some to my scrappy blanket.
Okay, so you know how my last post was about how I finally got to cast on for my Oxbow sweater and I’d made good progress on the sleeve? Ha. Just kidding! Turns out I was reading the pattern wrong and had done the entire sleeve in the wrong stitch pattern. There was no salvaging it; leaving it would have made it look completely different than the rest of the sweater. The next day, I frogged down to the cuff and started over. Thankfully it’s a quick knit and I’ve already got two sleeves done.
I might not have been the best at making sure the increases were at the exact same rate, but they’re the same length and I’ve tried them on and they fit, hooray! I like sweaters that are this fast. Today I’m binging Twilight movies and starting on the body.
I hope my US friends had a good Thanksgiving. The three of us celebrated with a full spread. We ate too much and still have plenty of leftovers, which will mean some yummy homemade turkey noodle soup soon. We got to FaceTime with the girl, and dropped some pie off at the mother’s house on Friday, so at least we got to be a little social. Honestly, I didn’t mind the quiet, lazy holiday, and now we can move on to Christmas! Happy Sunday, friends.
Finally, I got to cast on for my Oxbow cardigan! My fourth swatch, which was exactly like my first swatch, indicated that I did indeed get gauge with the recommended needle size, so it was off to the races!
Except. Heck. It starts with the sleeves and I’m really not a fan of how it’s written. It’s a two-row pattern, and each row has repeats of a 4-stitch pattern, but then you also have to increase every five rows, which gives you extra stitches, and the designer didn’t explain how to deal with those new, extra stitches except to say “continue in est pattern”. I resorted to going to Ravelry and searching through the project pages, and found a few that explained what I was meant to be doing. It took a little while to get in the groove, but I think I’m there now.
The yarn is Cascade Eco and I’m using size 11 needles, so it’s growing quickly. With any luck, that means this sweater won’t take me six months to knit. I’m getting some looseness between each DPN, but I tried doing magic loop and that was even more fiddly for me. Instead I’ll just be grateful that the pattern obscures any laddering.
I have completed my holiday baking: the pumpkin bread for tomorrow’s breakfast. Unfortunately, Grace’s reach is farther than I thought, and she stole about a quarter of each loaf before we discovered it. Naughty thing! But we have plenty left for the three of us. Now the boys are in the kitchen working on pies while I get to sit and knit!
To my American friends, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Saturday morning, I told my husband I wasn’t doing any chores over the weekend, except for the usual ordering of groceries and one load of my own laundry. He agreed and even picked up the grocery order for me. I did end up bathing Jack, but otherwise it meant that I had a lot of good knitting time, and now I have two new socks on the needles.
The red and green is the Uneek sock kit. The picture on the box shows a knee-length sock but I’m not about that life, so I just made them a little taller than my usual, about mid-calf. I’m also kind of trying something new: since they’re going to hit a fuller part of my calf, I cast on a few extra stitches, and then decreased once I was past the cuff. I probably should have put it on waste yarn to try on before I started the heel but oh well, I’ll do that before I finish them at least.
The gray sock is for the boy, with some tweedy gray superwash from KnitPicks. He also wants tall socks so I did the same cast on for him, and I’ll make sure to have him try it on soon, because for him, the leg will be like 10 1/2 inches. EEK. This will be a slow knit, but thankfully he doesn’t mind.
AND! I *might* have figured out the cause of Jack’s itchy skin issues! Back when we were trying to figure out what was wrong with him and they did the bloodwork etc, I started mixing in a bit of canned dog food with the kibble to try to entice him to eat. He loved most of them, so that was great. Last week I cut out the canned food to see if we could just do kibble. He’d give me a sad look but usually ate it. Then Friday, I added the wet food to both meals, and Saturday morning there was a wet spot on by his tail, where a previous hot spot had been. AHA! So he got a Benadryl and a bath and now he is fluffy and clean and happy. And I am happy too.
There’s an exclamation point there because this was a GOOD Monday! On a whim yesterday, Sarah and I decided to do another socially distant knitting date at our favorite rest stop in Iowa. So instead of working, I was hanging out with a cool friend and knitting and hiking!
I got my Tainted Love sock to the heel flap, and the black ribbed hat to the point of decreases, so I’m calling that a productive knitting session. And the project bag was a gift from Sarah because it has the state bird of Missouri on it, which is apparently a bluebird and which I’m sure I knew at some point but had forgotten. It just makes me like the bag even more than I did already!
This might have been our last knitting date for a while, because the cold weather hits tomorrow. Glad we got another one in this fall! Hope your Monday was as good as mine!
It’s been quite a week, friends. For all of us, I think. My brain was full enough that I haven’t had the energy or motivation to blog, but I’m hoping things will start to change now — in a lot of ways! I’m sure my views are no secret, but I’ll just say that I felt an enormous sense of relief yesterday, and I felt my body relax in a way it hadn’t in about four years, I think.
Yep, I wore ALL the things to vote. It was quick and simple at my location, and everyone was polite and friendly. I finished my Christmas socks while watching A LOT of election coverage, and started a new pair. Jack sat on my knitting bag at one point, bending my needle, but thankfully the husband was able to bend it back without damage.
The sock is my Tainted Love birthday yarn from Sarah and gosh, isn’t it a great mix of colors?? I love it! And yesterday afternoon I felt so good that I decided to work on something besides a plain sock, and pulled out a lace cowl.
Though I want to finish some WIPs, I have to admit that my brain is wandering a bit and making me want to cast on some new things. I should just remind myself that now is the time to finish strong for the year, and meet my goal of using at least as many skeins from my stash as I added to it. Surprisingly, even with all the stress-shopping of this year, I’m on track to at least break even. It would be good to get a win out of 2020 … I mean, another win!
I’ll tell you what, election anxiety is socking it to me today! I made the mistake of scrolling through Facebook and it’s just not worth it right now. Unfortunately my job involves social media so I can’t unplug completely, but I’m doing my best to limit exposure. And the best way to do that is by knitting!
We’ve been bingeing Designated Survivor the last week or so, so my sock got plenty of love. We also recently watched The Queen’s Gambit and it was fantastic. Highly recommend! The black is the hat the boy asked me to make for him; he even thanked me when we decided on yarn and pattern, bless his heart! It will probably be my voting knitting, since it’s just 1×1 rib for several inches, and it will go in my new bag, which just arrived this morning.