Tag Archive | sweaters

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

A New…Sweater??

Well, apparently I’m crazier than I realized. After knitting my first sweater last year, I said I never wanted to do it again. Getting gauge, determining size, having enough yarn, miles of endless stockinette, the hassle of sleeves…why would I want to do that again?

I still don’t know the answer, but I now have a new sweater on my needles. I was browsing Ravelry the other day and was overwhelmed by the urge to make a pullover. I didn’t want to have to buy yarn for it, though, which limited my options. Since I never committed to being a sweater knitter, I don’t buy sweater quantities of anything. That made my decision easier, because all I had available was some value-pack acrylic from Joann. (I know, I know, I prefer natural fibers too! But this is pretty good acrylic, feels soft and not too plastic-y. And I’ll be able to machine wash and dry without worrying.) I had 2100 yards each of purple and gray, more than enough for a pullover. Once I put all the filters into Ravelry, I started browsing and the only one that caught my eye was this Textured Pullover by Joji Locatelli.

My gauge came out pretty darn close on the first try, close enough that I was willing to take the risk. I decided to do gray with purple stripes, and cast on over the weekend. It was exciting! My first pullover! The short rows, never my favorite, went smoothly and the yarn was pleasant to knit with. The textured pattern is perfect, because it’s not all stockinette so I’m not getting bored out of my mind. The stripes help a lot with that, too. For the last few days, I’ve thought about this project when I wasn’t knitting on it, and it’s the only thing I worked on at home. Last night I was so excited because I got to the point where I was ready to divide for the sleeves, and just to double-check, I counted my stitches. They’d all been right after each previous section, so I felt confident. Wrong. My stitch counts were all wonky.

I went back and re-read the pattern, looked at my sweater, and realized that my BOR marker wasn’t in the right place. Somehow, mine was between the back and the left sleeve, and it was supposed to be between the back and the right sleeve. Nope, I don’t know what I did wrong. And yep, it made a difference, because for the last 10 rows, I’d been increasing the sleeves when I was supposed to be increasing the front and back. ARGH. There was no way I was going to frog back farther than absolutely necessary, so I found a smaller needle and threaded it through the stitches of the row where I wanted to start over, and frogged back all 10 rows that I’d just knit. By then it was after 10 and I was tired and annoyed, so I set it aside. But all day today I’ve been thinking about it, waiting for when I can get home and get it all straightened out. I think this sweater is going to be finished a lot faster than my first sweater, and with any luck, it’ll fit better too. And if it’s happily ever after, then I’ll feel confident enough to buy a sweater quantity of GOOD yarn! (Malabrigo, here I come!)

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Cotton Cardigan, pretty in purple

I’m a small-project knitter. I like immediate gratification, I like being able to finish projects quickly, I like being able to start new projects quickly. But sometimes a certain yarn has something else in mind.

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I found this Cotton Supreme Splash in the Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe in Columbia, Missouri over a year ago. It’s purple, it’s cotton, it’s soft–it’s everything I love in a yarn. I bought two skeins with no idea what I was going to do with it. Soon after that, I saw the same yarn at Knitcraft, my LYS, so I bought three more skeins. With that much cotton, it was obvious this yarn wanted to be a bigger project. I had crocheted a cardigan, so maybe I needed to knit one.

The yarn hibernated for a long time, months, while I waited for inspiration and the right pattern. For my first knit cardigan, I didn’t want to take too many risks, so I wanted a pattern using yarn the same fiber and weight as my yarn. When I found the Lilas Cardigan on Ravelry, I knew it was the right one. Even though I almost always use free patterns, I happily paid for this one. I found one more skein at my LYS and grabbed it, just in case. I cast on quickly, thinking I could maybe get it done in the couple of months before my summer vacation.

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The pattern starts at the floppy collar and it knit up quickly.

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After the collar, the pattern moves into the yoke. With the size I’m making, I had 30 increase rows to do, and after the first couple, I had the hang of it, and found it…a bit boring, I hate to say. It was a lot of stockinette stitch. I got about eight rows into that section and couldn’t stand it anymore. It would be too hot to wear in the summer anyway. So into hibernation it went, and I ignored it for the next two months.

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I did pack it when I went on vacation, thinking I could work on it on the train. I didn’t work on it at all, but getting it out reignited my interest, and I started knitting on it again when we got home. I powered through those boring increase rows and finally yesterday I made it to the next section of the pattern. It’s still the yoke, still working on increase rows for the sleeves, but I can see the progress.

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I can see that it’s growing into a real sweater, with sleeves and everything, and it’s exciting.

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I can’t wait until I get to divide for the sleeves! And with any luck, I’ll have a lovely new cardigan to wear in the fall!