Tag Archive | sweater knitting

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!

Trying something new

I’ve just been working on my Penny sweater this week and the sleeves are going really quickly. The first one is on hold and I’ve got the second one started. AND I even tried something new for the second sleeve: I’m knitting it on two circulars!

img_8004I got such terrible laddering with the first sleeve on DPNs that I needed to do something different for the second. I thought about knitting it inside out, since I don’t have issues with laddering with knit stitches, just purling. But I knew my gauge would be different then — I purl more loosely than I knit. I don’t even know what prompted me to try the two circs thing but after some awkwardness, I’ve gotten into the groove and it’s going smoothly. Bonus: NO ladders! I guess it’s worth trying new techniques every once in a while.

Marathon, not a sprint

I’m wiped out, guys. Between the state of the world and some stuff going on behind the scenes, my mental/emotional state is kind of a wreck. I’m really struggling with going back to sharing knitting and dogs on social media, especially Instagram. It seems so trivial and petty right now. But I’m here, and I’m knitting. Mostly I’ve been working on my Penny sweater. I’ve got the body done and most of one sleeve done.

img_7997I’ve discovered I much prefer knitting sleeves separately rather than when they’re already attached to a big lump of sweater you have to keep adjusting. However, I’ve also discovered that when I purl on DPNs, I get the worst ladders. Here’s hoping that shit blocks out.

The other day I also ventured out to a yarn store. I made all the necessary precautions (sanitizer before and after, masks, limited touching of the yarn) and it was really comforting to be back in a familiar and pleasant environment. I miss yarn stores.

img_7990It’s all sock yarn, probably no surprise there, though I suppose it could grow up to be something other than socks.

Happy whatever-day-this-is, friends. Hope you’re all staying safe and healthy.

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!

So THAT’S sleep!

Last night I forced asked the husband to sleep downstairs with Duncan so I could get a much-needed recharge in a real bed where I could move around as needed and not wake up at 4 in the morning. Guys, sleep is good. I still woke up a couple of times throughout the night, but I feel so much better this morning. Imagine what life will be like when I can do this EVERY night!! So let’s look at knitting, shall we? I’ve actually been working on my Boxy Fade the last couple of days and I’m THISCLOSE to being ready to split for sleeves. 496E95E7-21DE-4C9F-B204-5E7D1EB24CB5_1_201_aThis is usually what happens: once I the end is in sight, I get super motivated, and I’ll probably work on this most of the weekend. Because once I get the body done, the sleeves are just like half sleeves anyway and won’t take much time at all. And maybe I can have a new sweater to wear before spring!

I finished the Diamond Purl cowl the other day, when I was supposed to be working on the Fade, and it hasn’t even been blocked but I’ve been wearing it around the house, since we’re in the middle of a stupid cold spurt. It’s quite cozy and toasty, as tall as it is.

One more thing, and then I’ll be done. You could probably tell I was having a hard day yesterday. But after lunch I got my mail and found a sweet, encouraging card, and an unexpected gift, and it was exactly the boost I needed to get through the rest of the afternoon.

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These are the cutest stitch markers I’ve ever seen and I know they were made with affection and sent with kindness and really, nice people are just the best. I’ll be switching out the markers on my current projects this weekend!

I hope you all have a good weekend, however you define that. It feels like a lot of us are struggling right now, so take care of yourself, ask for what you need, and be kind to yourself!

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!

Fall = Knit all the things

I love summer and I don’t really want it to end, but I’m also kind of happy that it’s almost sweater weather! At the very least, it’s knit-a-sweater-weather. Yesterday I decided I needed to double my WIPs so I cast on three new projects, and yes, one of them is a sweater. And before you ask, yes, I am swatching before I cast on the sweater itself. I knit a proper swatch on circular needles so I can accurately measure my in-the-round gauge, since I know that it differs from my flat-knitting gauge enough to affect size.

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I decided I’m going to use five skeins of purples to make a Faded Boxy sweater. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll decide when to fade the colors, but I might just take the length of the body and divide it by five. Wouldn’t that work? Or wait, should it be 10, since I’ll have 10 sections (Color A, Color A & B, Color B etc)? Yes, maybe that would work. I just want to make sure I have enough yarn to fade the sleeves too. I know there are other Faded Boxy projects on Ravelry, so I’ll have some reference points to help. It’ll be fine. The real question is how long it will take me to get bored of miles of stockinette in fingering weight yarn!

img_5178I’m starting my Fade with the gray/purple variegated on the far right in that photo, and the swatch has been washed and is currently drying. The middle purple/gray is from Herd of Cats, a Colorado dyer. It’s a worsted merino that is going to become an Estonian Lace Medallion cowl. The non-purple blue/white is a color called Rocky Mountain High from Andromeda Socks, and I’m trying the Chevron Socks pattern to see if it creates a subtle mountain look. Now I have a wide variety of knitting to carry me through the second week of the US Open!

For my U.S. friends: enjoy the Labor Day holiday today!

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!