Tag Archive | sweater knitting

FO: Riprap Top

My Riprap top is blocked and dry and I even managed to get a couple of photos! They’re not great photos, mind you, but they’re photos. Voilà!

I used Malabrigo Arroyo, which is superwash, which grows when it’s soaked, so I knit the smallest circumference and extended the length by about four inches. I meant to extend it by two inches but things happen and it’s four and I’m not mad about it at all. As far as yardage goes, I didn’t need the fifth skein I purchased, but I’m glad I got it and mixed it in so the color changes are more subtle. It’s designed to be cropped, which is not the best look for me, and I love the length now. I soaked it in Eucalan, put it through the spin cycle of the washer, and put it in the dryer for five minutes before pinning it out to dry. And the nice thing is that if I decide it’s too oversized, I can just soak it again and dry it for longer!

I had it on for the photos and didn’t want to take it off. I think it’ll be great for late summer/fall with a sleeveless tank underneath, and then in winter with a long-sleeve tee. I kind of want to knit another one now! Maybe in non-superwash worsted weight? That could be interesting!

Happy Monday, friends.

Adventures with Malabrigo

While in Omaha last weekend, I happened upon some Malabrigo Arroyo in Lavanda, which just happens to be what I’m using to make my Riprap, the sweater with the unfortunate color change. I took a chance and bought the skein that looked the lightest, just in case I could use it to balance out the shift. In skein form, it looked lighter but once I wound it, I wasn’t so sure. Was it worth frogging over 4 inches of lace? Eh, what the heck, it’s DK weight and I knew the line would bother me forevermore if I didn’t at least try. So here’s where we’re at now:

As you can see, it’s not a huge difference but it’s enough that I’m glad I did it. At this point, I’m very glad this sweater does not have sleeves, and I’m looking forward to being done soon!

Happy Saturday, friends.

You’d think I would know better

I’m disappointed in myself. Some of you may remember that I’m a big fan of Malabrigo yarns. Love their colors. I KNOW that they don’t do dye lots, that their yarns are kettle dyed in small batches. I KNOW that when you knit a larger object with multiple skeins, you really need to alternate skeins for a balanced color. I know all that and yet this is where I am right now:

Nothing subtle about that switch! I had four skeins of this, bought at three different times, and one skein is obviously quite a bit darker. Now here’s the thing: this sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up and then you split for the front and back and knit those individually back and forth. I did pretty well with the first side — I alternated skeins until the last inch or so of ribbing. One skein ran out and I figured I could get by with just the one color.

The darker color is there, but not quite as strikingly obvious as the other side. The problem is…well, the problem is me. I chose this pattern (the Riprap Top) because I could make it with just four skeins, but as I knit, I realized it was designed to be rather short. Oh, I can add a couple of inches to the length, no problem, I thought. And it probably would have been fine…if I hadn’t also accidentally made the front two inches longer. All of that means I now have one skein of yarn remaining, and it’s the disturbingly dark one. I don’t even know if it will be enough to finish the darned thing. Once I finish the back, all that’s left is ribbing around the armholes and seaming the shoulder closed, so those might not look quite as bad with the stupid dark yarn. I do have a small bit of a partial skein, so one option is to rip back those four inches and reknit, alternating as much as I can to at least ease into the dark and just assume that nobody cares what the back of my sweater looks like.

Another option is to buy another skein and try to color match the lighter skeins, but that defeats the stash-busting purpose a little bit.

The option I have currently chosen is to put it in timeout and work on something else. Before I choose either option for moving forward, I’m going to sort of try it on and see if I even like what it is so far.

So friends, if I have taught you nothing else, I hope I have taught you to alternate your skeins of Malabrigo if you didn’t buy them all at once!

Afterthought: Happy Friday

I logged in today to discover that the post I thought I published Monday was still stuck in draft mode. Oops. I guess I’ve forgotten how to blog. Anyway, I’m learning a new knitting skill this year! I cast on for a Douglas cardigan and the pattern calls for afterthought pockets. Because I’m obsessed with my yarn choices and can’t stop knitting this, I’ve got my waste yarn and lifelines in (look down in the lower right part of the sweater), and I’ve moved on to separating the fronts and back. So far, afterthought pockets are super easy and I don’t know why I’ve avoided afterthought heels on my socks all this time!

Also, that yarn?? Omg. It’s Old Rusted Chair Squish DK in Bijou (purple), Offworld (speckle), and Ridin’ the Storm Out (charcoal) and it’s SO yummy to knit. This week I’ve also had something of an epiphany. I would like to read more, and I would like to not get bored knitting stockinette sweaters. Enter Libby, the library app on my iPad! I can easily and happily read while I knit simple and boring stockinette! This might be a game changer for me. I’ve already read four books this year (one was a re-read but still counts, right?) and have made so much progress on my sweater. I don’t think I’ll finish it before I go back to work next week, but I can get awfully close.

Speaking of next week, this guy will be having surgery on Monday.

Two years ago at this very same time of year, Duncan had to have TPLO surgery to repair a torn CCL in his left leg. Well, he started limping on the right leg on New Year’s Eve, and sure enough, we’re set for a second TPLO. And this time, since I’m in a new job, I can’t exactly just say “Hey I need to work from home for a week!” so we’ll be muddling through somehow. I will be working from home at least two days a week, maybe three, and I’m hoping my first week will be a little light. When he has to be alone, he’ll be contained in a tiny nook of the kitchen, doped up a bit with a mild sedative, and I’ll just have to check on him as often as I can. The boy will be around periodically too, so he’ll be able to help. Last time, I slept on a mattress in the living room with him because I felt bad for him being in a cone and contained so much, but I can’t do that again. I didn’t get nearly enough sleep doing that and I need to be able to function during the day. I’ll still feel bad, but he’ll be fine. It’ll be fine, it’ll all be juuuuust fine. Right? Right. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to visit the liquor store to stock up on essentials.

Happy Friday, friends.

Sweater Sunday!

Oh sure, I could have saved this for next Friday, but I was too excited to share: I finished my rainbow sweater!! This is the Apogean sweater in Manos del Uruguay Alegria in the color Locura Fluo.

I’m so happy with how it turned out! The fit is perfect, I love the v-neck, and I love the wild and crazy colors! This is probably my best effort at sweater-knitting; it’s nice when you can see your experience making a difference. I really liked this pattern too. It was simple and easy to follow, and even though at first I wasn’t sure about how the neckline was done, now I think it’s fantastic. I do wish she’d given more guidance about how many stitches to pick up around the neckline instead of just “pick up the stitches around the neck and knit” but I’m gonna say I nailed it. I could definitely see myself making another version of this pattern.

Now I have a sweater, a scarf, and a cowl in this colorway, and I’ve got socks on my needles in a yarn that’s very close. But I have two skeins of this yarn left — what should I do with it?? Maybe a hat! And fingerless gloves!

Oh yeah, I also have something else new to share:

This is Bella. She’s a Dodge Challenger in a color called Hellraisin that’s prettier and more sparkly in person. She’s also zippy and super fun to drive, and has all kinds of modern features my older car didn’t have. I think this is what’s called making lemonade out of lemons.

Happy Sunday, friends.

WIP Wednesday: Apogean

Along with socks, I’ve been plugging along on my Apogean sweater, the one with the Manos del Uruguay Locura Fluo. I’m sill in the thick of the long stockinette body, just going round and round. After my last post, I got some suggestions to try helical knitting to help with pooling and that’s been both fun and helpful. Though my first effort at googling helical knitting didn’t lead me down the right path, Kath set me straight and shared a great video about how to do helical knitting with two strands (which she also calls the jogless join) and guys, it’s so cool!

The last inch or so is with the helical knitting, and as you can see, I’m still getting some pooling so I’m not sure it’s made a huge difference, but I love the look so I’m just going to roll with it. I have also discovered the secret to happily knitting a lot of stockinette: really fun yarn. I can’t believe I’ve done this much already and am excited to do more!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

WIP Wednesday

Darn it all, my fun and easy sweater is giving me grief. This is my simple pullover in the crazy-bright Locura Fluo yarn, and I thought I could just knit along and let the colors fall wherever they wanted to. That worked great until I got past the yoke and joined to work the body in the round. Two things happened at the same time: I started a new ball of yarn, and I settled into the body stitch count. I think my stitch count is just the right number to make the yarn start pooling in a stripe-y way, which isn’t how the yoke looks and isn’t what I envisioned.

At first I thought, oh I’ll just disrupt it, and I broke the yarn and rejoined a couple colors later. Duh, of course it fell back into the pooling after the first round. I joined a second ball and started alternating the two, and all that did was alternate the pooling colors. So now I’m fussing with it the whole time, trying to adjust my gauge enough with each row to prevent the pooling. Some rows I intentionally knit tightly, the next I’ll knit more loosely. In other words, it’s not the simple mindless knitting I expected.

Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind pooling (in theory) except that it seems like it would look so much different than the yoke. But maybe I should just give it a whirl, and knit several rows without trying to prevent the pooling and see what happens.

What do you guys think? Embrace the pooling, find a different pattern, what do I do now?

A new project!

Today is my knitting anniversary! Eight years ago today, I finished my first knitting project, a mug cozy with a button. My knitting SIL taught me to knit, and this project taught me the knit stitch, decreasing, increasing, and a simple button hole. If I remember right, this was an inexpensive wool/acrylic mix, and I borrowed some bamboo straight needles from my SIL because I didn’t have any yet. That didn’t last long, though!

Knitting and I have been very happy together for the last eight years!

I’m not sure what motivated me, but I cast on a new project this weekend. I’ve been collecting Manos del Uruguay in the color Locura Fluo for a while now, planning to make a super bright, fun sweater. I started the gauge swatch months ago and then it went into hibernation for ages. Happily the gauge swatch, which was my second, gave me the right gauge, so I was able to cast on right away. I want the yarn to be the main focus so I chose a simple pullover called Apogean. I’ll do a long sleeve version but I haven’t decided if I’ll do a solid color, like gray, for the ribbing.

I’m almost to the part when I get to join in the round, and then it will just be lots and lots of colorful stockinette! I think I might enjoy it with this yarn.

Happy Monday, friends!

Sock It To Me Monday

With my cardigan done, I switched focus last night to the boy’s gray sock and I feel confident that I can get this first sock done today.

I have about half an inch left before I start the toe. No problem! Except I got distracted thinking about my next sweater. I want to do a colorful striped sweater so I started playing around with color choices.

I think I’m leaning toward number three. What do you like best?

Still a little dumb, but cool

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??