Tag Archive | sweater knitting

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.

Am I crazy?

Yeah, I think I might be a little crazy. After thinking about fade sweaters recently, I was idly going through my stash to think of other yarns that might make good sweaters. And it hit me that I have a large quantity of yarns that all go together beautifully:

img_1496Now, maybe you’re thinking, Hm, I think I’ve seen that combination of yarn before! You have! This is the yarn for my Mermaid Shawl, which has been on my needles since September 19.

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And that’s pretty much where I still am. I’m on row 18 of the first color. That’s slow progress for me. I worked on it last weekend and only managed about three rows. I’m not sure I like enormous shawls that start at the outer edge. Each of these rows takes an eternity, and clearly I’m not loving this project or else I’d be itching to work on it.

What if…I frogged it?

Eek! Scary! This mermaid shawl idea has been in my head for ages, but…what if it was a Mermaid Cardigan instead? I think I’d wear it more often, and it would be the same gorgeous fade of colors. I’m thinking something like Gelato, though mine would have to be a little shorter, but I suppose I could find any cardigan pattern I like and make it a fade.

Tell me: Should I frog? And if so, what’s your favorite fingering-weight cardigan pattern?

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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Bad knitting

All of my knitting is misbehaving lately! My sweater got put in time-out last week because I messed up the stripe pattern, and I needed a break before pulling out three rows of sleeve. (At least it’s only sleeve and not body.) Yesterday I wanted to work on something bright and interesting, so I pulled out my magenta Malabrigo Heart Check cowl. I merrily knit about ten rows before I realized I was omitting the knit rows between each pattern row. I was supposed to have little purl hearts, and I did not. I assumed it was because of my error and I ripped back and reknit the 14 rows of the pattern. Huh. Still no hearts.

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Look like hearts to you? Nope, me neither. Now, I’d read the comments and knew that there were two errors in the written instructions, but the designer said she’d corrected them, and my PDF said “corrected”. My error was in not double-checking that the errors were actually fixed. One row was correct, and one was not. If I were a chart knitter, I’d have been fine, because those were correct. Alas, I prefer written. So, now the pink cowl is in time-out while I decide how to proceed.

After that disappointment, I turned to my new fur yarn. There weren’t a lot of patterns for this yarn, and I just wanted something simple anyway. One person cast on 15 stitches for a two-skein cowl; since I have three skeins, I cast on 25.

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Nope. After one skein, I knew it wouldn’t be as long as I wanted. Cast on again with 20. Decided this morning, halfway through the second skein, that it still won’t be long enough to wear doubled and that’s the goal. Now the fur has been frogged and put in time-out. But I need a win so I’m circling back and I’m going to frog those sleeve rows and get at least one project back in rotation. I hope you all are having better luck with your yarn than I am right now!