Tag Archive | sweater knitting

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!

Reading AND knitting

I’ve read two and a half books in the past week, and two of them were actual, physical books! I’ve been trying to encourage myself to do a little bit of reading at night, after some knitting, and I like it. I like spending time with a book in my hand. Going forward, when I take a break from knitting, I’m going to try to redirect myself toward a book instead of my phone, and we’ll see if we can get back into the reading groove. But photos of books aren’t as interesting as photos of knitting, so I’ll share some of that too. Since I finished my Granola socks, I switched my focus to my Clarke pullover and made good progress.

HQueF4y2TLe9Bv6jH78L4wAck. I just realized how bad this photo is. Well, whatever. It shows that I have an almost-complete sweater body anyway! I have just a few rows and then a split hem, and the body will be done. It’s so close that I might just work on this today and see if I can power through it.

I also worked on another sock project, but it’s still in the beginning stages, just a bit of leg. The yarn is Tibetan Dream sock yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch, and it’s a yak/nylon blend. I’m loving these purples! Stay tuned — I’ll have a review later this month.

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More snow fell overnight, so we have a couple of inches of bright, powdery snow. It’s pretty but I am tired of it and it can go away now. The only good thing about it is that I can stay cozy on my couch with a blanket and my knitting and not feel any guilt, because that’s what you do on snow days! Hope you’re all safe and warm too!

 

Pullover Progress

I got some wonderful comments on my journal post yesterday, as well as some on Instagram, and I’m excited to get started today! I do want to get some Christmas decorations put away first, and then I’ll journal as my reward.

Last night and this morning, I spent some time with my Clarke pullover, which has been sadly neglected for far too long. Though it took me a few minutes to figure out where I’d left off, I have now managed to separate the sleeves!

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It’s looking more like a sweater-type object! I’m now ready to knit ’round and ’round on the body for many inches, making this perfect mindless knitting. It will be great for game time on New Year’s Eve, as well as lunch break knitting at work. Can’t wait to have a new handknit sweater in the rotation!

WIP Progress

I haven’t shown much off but I have been knitting and knitting over the last several days so I thought I’d share what I’m working on. My top priority is my Late Harvest shawl with the Manos del Uruguay Feliz yarn. Loving this yarn, and liking the project more now that I’ve moved on from the endless garter stitch. This is really cool:

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I’ve got three more pattern repeats and then it’s done, so that’s only about 21 rows. I can do that easy this week if I work on it every night. But I’ve been distracted by my new sweater project. I’m making a Clarke Pullover with Lion Brand Jeans yarn and I’m in the newlywed phase where I want to knit on it all the time. I just made it to the join-in-the-round point.

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It would be awesome if I could do this as a NaKniSweMo project but since I need to finish Late Harvest, I’m not optimistic. We’ll see. If I can be monogamous after I finish the shawl, it’s a possibility.

During the work week, I’ve been knitting on my Goth Kitty sock, done with my favorite Vanille Latte pattern and Felici yarn.

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I don’t love the way the stripes fell–I wish I’d had a gray heel and more of the purples on the foot, but I can always do the second one that way and have fraternal twin socks instead of identical.

And this post really brings home the fact that I need to stop saying “I’ll never…”. I said I’d never get into making sweaters, and though I don’t do them often, I’m liking it more with each one. I said I’d never want to make socks, and now they’re my favorite thing to knit. I said I’d never love knitting with fingering weight yarn, and now I have more of that in my stash than anything else. I need to remember that every time I say I’ll never do brioche, or cables, or intarsia!

Before I run off to knit for the rest of the morning, I want to share something the mother included in an email yesterday. It expresses some of the darkness I’ve been feeling in my head:

“And in despair I bowed my head.
There is no peace on earth, I said
          For hate is strong
          and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

It was written in 1863 by Longfellow, and as she wrote, “The country survived then and we’ll survive this.”

FO: Tea with Jam and Bread Sweater

I finished my sweater yesterday! I’d set it aside while we were the throes of a heatwave, as many of you are too, but since it’s relatively tolerable right now and I’m in Finish Everything Mode, I picked it up yesterday. Only one sleeve was left, why let it linger in the WIPs for one little sleeve?  In between laundry and taking the girl shopping for dorm supplies, I knit around and around and around. After dinner we watched Troy, and I knit around and around and then somehow I was binding off even before the battle between Hector and Achilles. It needs washing and blocking but it’s done!

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I ended up liking the color combination a lot, even if the tonal stripes seem a little unusual. And I like how the navy stands out. Really, I think they all play well together. And best of all?? It has pockets!

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The two main colors are Berroco Ultra Alpaca and it’s not my favorite. It does play nicely on needles, not slippery at all, and has great stitch definition. It’s a more earthy yarn, with a rougher texture, so not only does it grab and hold onto dog hair, but it’s also scratchy against my skin. I tried it on to make sure it fit, and it does, but I definitely won’t be able to wear it without something long-sleeved underneath.

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It’s not a perfect fit. There’s not as much positive ease in the body as I’d wanted; the result of swatching flat instead of in the round. The sleeves are long, maybe even a tad longer than I like, and I’m not convinced they match each other, but I’m also not convinced you can tell by looking at it. The bottom edge has a terrible urge to fold up, and I really hope blocking takes care of that. But even with all of that, I look at it and I love it. I made this pretty little sweater! And now I feel confident enough to make a sweater with better yarn, maybe Malabrigo, that won’t be itchy against my skin!

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Pattern: Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirmaier

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Ultra Alpaca Tonal, Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted