Tag Archive | WIPs

WIP Wednesday: Sweater Progress

The sweater WIP is still going, and I’m enjoying it more than my first sweater experience. I love my Harvest cardigan, but so much stockinette is just not my favorite knitting. So this new one, the Textured Pullover, is a 10-row repeat that keeps me going with color changes and alternating stockinette rows with k1, p1 rows. I zipped right through the yoke, discovered my stitch counts were wrong because I’d put my BOR marker in the wrong place, frogged about 10 rows, knit them again, and was finally able to put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn.

IMG_5687

Look at this pretty raglan sleeve detail!

fullsizeoutput_f39

I’m not convinced it’s coming out big enough to fit me, but if not, I’ve got a girl who might wear it.

fullsizeoutput_f38

Now I’ve just got about a foot of the body to knit, and it makes for perfect knitting while I watch the Olympics!

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!)

img_5853

 

Warrior Shawls

I have gone off socks, it would seem. Don’t worry, it’s temporary, I’m sure. I’ve been working on a pair that has not been very fun, not intuitive for me, which means I have to put more mental effort into it and then it’s not good travel/lunch time knitting. And the pattern insisted I cast on more stitches than I usually do, so I’m worried it won’t even fit after going through all the trouble. And even if it does, I’m already dreading the second sock. And now that I’ve verbalized all of that, I’m wondering why I’m not frogging it and picking another pattern. I did use a hot pink contrast yarn, and I cut the yarn after the cuff and heel, but if I reused it for a pattern with fewer stitches, it should be fine, right? Right. Anyway, I needed a break from socks, so I’ll worry about that another day.

In the meantime, I’ve got a mindless cowl on my needles. It’s the Chunky Basketweave Cowl and I’m using gorgeous ivory Ella Rae Cozy Alpaca, which is some of the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve used in a long time. It is very splitty, but I can work with that. I want it to be long enough to wear doubled, and I’m using smaller needles to make a denser fabric, so I started out with a cast-on of 180 stitches. That was too short, so I frogged and started over with 200, and that should be just right. I can’t wait to wear it when the temperatures cool down!


And for fun knitting that makes me think, I’ve been working on my two new shawls. The Rainbow Warrior is addictive. I’m so glad I waited until I could get the beautiful Miss Babs yarn, because I’m in love with how it’s turning out. I’m already planning other color variations! (Gray with purple variegated and black with rainbow are the top two, I think.) I’m on slipped-stitch section four of eight, so it’s coming along nicely.


Then there’s Wonder Woman. I took a short break because it was time to do wrap & turn short rows, which I’d never done before, and I was a little nervous. But last night I decided I didn’t want to wait forever for my wrap and just pushed through and did it, and it looks great, IMHO! It wasn’t hard at all, just fiddly, and I had to really pay attention to where I was in the pattern. I did mess up, because I somehow hecked up my stitch counts (off by three stitches), so the row after my triangle was a little tricky as I fudged to get the counts back to where they were supposed to be. I think it’ll be okay. Thank goodness it’s just garter stitch and not a complicated lace pattern.


So those are my WIPs for the week, but I’m already itching to cast on another new shawl! And as soon as the temps drop a little bit more, it’ll be time to pull out the alpaca for cowls. Fall is the best time for knitters, I think. So much delicious anticipation!

Zuzu’s Petals

I started the week on a high note, finishing my Zuzu’s Petals cowl on Sunday. It was a fast knit, but not quite simple enough for lunchtime knitting. I could definitely see myself making another one. It seemed a little small at first, but then, through the magic of blocking, it became the perfect size, and quite magnificent!


I love the lace, the points, the colors. I love how easy it is to wear, giving you the look of a shawl with the ease of a cowl. This was the perfect way to use this special skein, a souvenir yarn from our first college visit with the girl.

Pattern is Zuzu’s Petals. Yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino DK, in color 206. I used about 3/4 of the skein, and that was adding two rows at the end too. I’m not sure I’d make it any bigger.

Something else fun: when I finished this project, I officially had zero WIPs! It was the craziest feeling. It was satisfaction in a job well-done, plus the exhilaration of knowing I could cast on for whatever I wanted with no guilt. I don’t know if I’ll ever experience it again, and it didn’t last long: I cast on a new sock Sunday night, so I’d have it ready for Monday lunchtime knitting.

Have you ever finished all your WIPs at one time?

WIP Assessment

Whew, there are a lot of projects floating around my living room right now! I’ve cast on several new things lately and now the WIPs are in abundance. Here’s a peek:

img_3061

And this isn’t all of them: I’ve got another shawl and a blanket that aren’t shown. Miss Winkle, the pink/black one at the top, hasn’t grown at all in the last few weeks. She’s a little fiddly so I haven’t been in the mood for her. The purple/teal/black cowl looks finished, I know, but it’s really not. I bound off and it squished down shorter than I expected, and since I have yarn left over I’m going to try picking up stitches to add another section. The big shawl is the Hitchhiker Beyond and I’ve been working on that one a lot. It’s good TV knitting and I’m getting close enough to the end that I’m motivated to work on it. There’s a ribbed edge for a long gray cowl on the left side there, something I’m modifying from another pattern, so that’s been an adventure trying to figure out the right number to cast on. The purple hat just needs the top closed and furry pompom added. The little cuff is the start of my Hermione’s Everyday Socks, and the hot pink is another cat hat, requested by a friend.

So you can see, even though I have no finished projects to share, I have been doing much knitting, and will continue to do so as life allows! Oh, and after three swatches, I did finally match gauge for my first sweater, but haven’t cast on yet. I know that will be a more involved process, so I’ve been waiting for a time when I have enough mental energy. Happy knitting, friends!

Frogging Time

I frogged two projects last weekend. Two completed, lovely projects. Maybe some of you are shocked, wondering if I’m crazy. Or maybe some you (knitters/crocheters) are nodding in commiseration. WHY did I do this, after spending hours carefully making pretty things? I swear it was for a good cause: I was rescuing the yarn. In both cases, the yarn was gorgeous and expensive, and I wanted to be able to wear it and enjoy it.

The first project was my Hill & Dale cowl. It knit up beautifully, showcased the colors nicely–but I could not get it to look or feel right around my neck. One loop was too big. Two loops made a giant mass of fabric that felt suffocating and looked ridiculous. Plus I couldn’t get the ribbed portion to lay neatly like it does in the project photos. I tried to wear it twice and both times took it off before leaving the house. It’s very possible mine came out slightly shorter than theirs; I didn’t measure. So I don’t blame the pattern at all. It’s a beautiful pattern, makes a lovely cowl. Just not right for me. That was two full skeins of Malabrigo, knitters. I did NOT want that to go unworn in a drawer. So, I frogged it and now I have that yummy yarn to play with again!

The other was an older project, a little shawlette I called Chocolate Cherries. The pattern is Find a Penny, and again, the pattern is fine. Well-written, lovely shawl. I’d bought two gorgeous skeins of cherry chocolate yarn that made me think of my dad and his love for chocolate-covered cherries, and this shawl used one. It was beautiful!

IMG_3820

Sadly, it was also too short for me, too short to wear around my neck like a scarf. I even blocked it as much as I could and while it helped, it wasn’t enough. I might revisit the pattern and see if I can use both skeins to make a long version, since the reason I chose it was for the round eyelets reminiscent of cherries. Or I might pick something else completely different! Right now the yarn is happily resting in my stash, waiting for its time to come.

Have you ever frogged anything that looks beautiful but isn’t what you expected?

Progress on the WIPs

Yes, it is Friday, and here I am blogging! Thanks to a dentist appointment today and a book event this evening (I get to see JODI PICOULT!!! SQUEE!) I decided to just take the day off. I’ve got errands to run too, of course, but thought I’d take advantage of my rare quiet morning at home to slip in a quick new post. So: lots of knitting time this week! My beautiful new Color Block Wrap is coming along nicely. I’d forgotten what a fast knit it is. I decided to just go with the size 10 needles because I liked the resulting gauge. I figure I’ll do the first three sections, see how long it is, and decide then whether I need to add another skein or two. I don’t have more dark pink but I’ve got a light pink and more grays, so I could easily add more yardage.

img_2158

And I was a winner this week! We went to a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and there was a silent auction, and I won a new knitting tote! Yes, I totally DID need another bag, thank you for asking. Isn’t it cute?

img_2157I also won a gift certificate so I’m ordering another bag and I think I’m even going to splurge and get it personalized!

Look at this: I also managed to work on Silverleaf this week:

img_2159

Yep, that’s the leaf section! I made it through half of the leaf lace pattern, so just the other half and the final boarder left to do. I’m still loving this project. It’s just perfect. But I’ll love wearing it too!

This weekend promises to be quite busy. Another band competition (the last of the season) will give me plenty more knitting time, so look for a FO on the blog soon!