Monthly Archives: May 2012

Zest Cardigan, Part 1

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I finally got the chance to start on my summer sweater the other day. Of course, it’s the sweater that I wanted to wear during the summer, but it will probably still be wearable well into the fall ūüėČ Plus, the fact that it’s mainly made of lace will probably make it a good summer project. In case you were wondering, it’s the Zest Cardigan by Jennifer Thompson, better known (to me) as Fern Knits. Way back in January she was generous enough to gift patterns to several of her blog readers, and I was lucky enough to score a copy of Zest. Needless to say, I grabbed 6 skeins of Knit Picks Palette (100% Wool) in black within the coming weeks. And then they all sat in my stash. Finally, finally, finally, that sitting is over!

What my Zest Cardigan will hopefully look like, snagged from the ravelry page (link above)- I hope that’s OK, Jennifer!

I’ve decided to go up a size to the 38″ so that, hopefully, I’ll be able to make closures for the whole cardigan, not just the bust area. I don’t usually like how that style looks on me, so I’m going to try to do buttons all the way down the front. Just in case that makes it too big, I’m going to sub the seed stitch that goes between the fronts and the backs for ribbing to pull it in a little bit. Besides that, the only mod I’m making going into the pattern is to shorten the bottom of the sweater by about an inch- the finished measurements are just a little too long on me. (Btw- her measurements are fantastic. She has info for everything you could think about modifying, PLUS there is a different size every 2″. No more trying to decide between 3″ of positive ease or 1″ of negative!) Oh, and I had to go up a needle size- my swatch was just a tad too small, so now I’m using a size US 6 instead of US 5.

My progress. It’s as small and insignificant as it seems ūüôā

For now, though, I’m in seed stitch purgatory. It’s a seamless cardigan, but it’s worked from the bottom up. That means I have over 200 stitches in fingering weight for each row…ouch. Luckily, I’m almost done and should be able to start the lace soon! Unfortunately, I’m going away for most of next week, and we’re flying. I think I’m just going to bring along a much simpler pair of socks than tote around the whole sweater. And then, after that, I start my full-time summer internship. Basically, this sweater is probably going to be in the works for a while. But I’m still really excited about it (let’s see how long that lasts)!

Mostly FO: Corona

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Yesterday I did something that was pretty big for me: I went back and finished up a project that I had written off as dead. For some reason, just when I was doing the finishing work on my Corona Sweater, I decided that it just would not fit. I’m not sure what brought me to this decision, but when I unearthed it while I was unpacking my knitting, I decided that I needed to come to a decision. Either frog it and reclaim the yarn or finish it. Ok, then I decided to put off that decision. I decided that I would finish it AND THEN decide whether to keep it or frog it. And yesterday I did!

Sorry for the awkward mirror shot, but you can tell the fit much better on me!

All I had to do was sew up the seams on the sleeves and graft the underarm stitches together. It only took a couple of hours, and I had a finished sweater! To my surprise, it fits pretty well. Ok, it’s just a tad tighter than I would like, but you can’t tell how much it pulls across the chest if I wear a black camisole underneath it. And I would like it better if it had an extra inch, both on the sleeves and the body. But as it is, it is definitely wearable. Better yet, it is a work-appropriate¬†sweater (with camisole), and I always need those!

cable detailing on the v-neck and collar

The original sweater had a hood, but I nixed that (maybe I thought it would pull too much on my yarn?), and followed someone else’s mods for making the collar go around. I feel really, really bad because I cannot remember who that is, and they had excellent instructions for how to modify the pattern. Besides that, I don’t THINK that I did any other mods…on purpose.

full on

For those of you who are wondering, I used Knit Picks Comfy Worsted (75% cotton, 25% acrylic) in the fedora colorway. None of the pictures here really do it justice- it’s a wonderful chocolate brown. My project page says that I bought 11 skeins, and I still have 3 left, so that is pretty good. My project page also says I made the XS, but I had enough stitches on my underarm grafts for the S, so something must have happened there. God, a year seems like forever in knitting time!

sleeve

And, ok, it’s not completely finished- I still have to sew in the ends. I’m going to leave that for a time when it is NOT 80 degrees outside, and I’m much closer to actually getting to wear it. For now, there are just too many ends for me to even think about when I’m not going to wear it soon ūüėČ

Swirch Hat

OK, and one more shameless request for test-knitters. If anyone is interested in testing my Swirch Hat Pattern, please, please, please check out the page in the ravlery free pattern testers group. I would really appreciate it!

Blog Week in Review 5/19-5/26

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Before I get to the Blog Week in Review, can I take a chance to talk about my current WIP? I’m sort of designing it as I go, and I kind of love it. I’m making the Chrolla Hat out of some Knit Picks Chroma fingering, a self-striping, single-ply yarn. The colors are electric, and they seem to be working really well with the somewhat repetitive pattern. I love the stitches that I picked, and it’s been going pretty quickly considering the fact that there are over 200 stitches and the stitch pattern is pretty intensive!

a lace mesh and cables and everything nice in the world

Right now, I’m almost to the point that I’m going to start the decreases. I’ve already decided not to make the crown too pointy as I’m trying to go for a beret kind of look, but what I can’t make a decision about is exactly how I want to do it. Right now, I’m thinking that I’ll decrease starting with the meshy part in between cables, but I don’t know if I want to do it from one side so the decreases spiral, or over both so the cables come together a bit more evenly (squarely?). Do you have any thoughts? I’ll probably pick one, but put in a lifeline before I start so it will be pretty easy to pick up once I decide that I don’t like it ūüėČ

I feel like my baby’s growing up!

Anyways, before we get to the main event, I just wanted to do some shameless pleading for test knitters. Right now my Swirch Hat only has one tester, and I would really, really, REALLY appreciate a couple more eyes on the pattern to make sure all of the numbers work out and everything. If you are at all interested, please check out the page on the Ravelry Free Pattern Testers group. Thanks!

And now, for the moment you have all been waiting for, the Blog Week in Review! This week has been¬†incredibly¬†inspirational, so I have a lot to show you guys! As always, if you would also like to participate in the Blog Week in Review, please click on the Mr. Linky below and add your site. I’m really excited to see what inspires YOU!

I don’t know if it’s the¬†weather¬†or what, but I have a bunch of baby knits to show you. First, Knitted Bliss talked about her trials in trying to get her kitten hat to fit her newborn. Adorable pictures abound (both with and without the hat), and it’s pretty much just adorableness!

Being Careful not to Twist (great name, btw) is showing off her new baby vest, which, beyond the adorably baby pink colors, has a row of elephants running across the bottom. Everyone, say it with me- awwww!

I don’t know if this counts as a baby knit or not, but Rip It Good’s Bouncy Rabbit is¬†incredibly¬†adorable. I haven’t been hit with the urge to knit a toy since my¬†disastrous¬†adventures making a sock monkey, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate something as cute as this.

To get away from the baby-theme, Chronicles of a Fiber Engineer’s Hat for a Sister-In-Law is beautiful and lacey and everything you would want in a gift from a knitter. Just, sigh, beautiful.

I love Minding My Own Stitches‘ new shawl. I don’t even know how to describe the color (beyond purple-ish)…I just know that I like it! And the yarn sounds like a knitter’s dream (whatever Karakul is, I’m sure that it’s soft and yummy!).

And if you want to see four (yes, FOUR!) pairs of fantastic finished socks, you have to head over to Knitting in Color. Combined with the fact that they are all made with wool-less yarns, and I can’t help but be impressed.

FO Friday: Locke

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It has been a long time coming, but I finally (FINALLY!) have a finished sweater to show you. Can I introduce you to my newest love, the Locke Cardigan? It’s taken several months (almost exactly 3, according to ravlery), but she is finally finished. Just in case you’ve forgotten, this is the Locke St. Cardigan from Glenna C’s Urban Collection make out of about 13.5 skeins of Knit Picks Swish DK¬†(100% Superwash Wool).

Modeled shot! Boy, was that timer hard to work with. Maybe I should invest in a tripod?

Almost from the start, I knew this was a match made in¬†heaven. I got¬†gauge¬†with the suggested needle size, and cast on right away. Of course, it was slow going. DK weight on US 6’s doesn’t exactly knit up quickly, and the pattern had you start with the sleeves, which are hardly the most exciting part of the pattern. Still, if I knit it again I would still do it that way. The cables are slightly simpler on the sleeves, so it felt like I was just dipping my feet into the crazy-ness before I jumped on to the fronts and back.

the front

But the slow going kept my attention for almost a whole semester, and this is what I got out of it. I did almost no modifications, although I did run into a couple of problems. I’m not sure what happened, but my sleeve caps were much smaller than the corresponding side on the fronts. Of course, I didn’t notice that until I was sewing them in (lesson to myself- always block both before AND after you sew), so I ended up having to unpick the BO on the sleeve caps and add a little more length. When I tried it on right after there was some strange puckering in the sleeves, but I paid special attention to that when I blocked it, and I think that mostly went away.

Can you see that puckering? No? That’s because of the MAGIC of BLOCKING!

The other problems that I had were probably mostly my fault. Usually, I like my sleeves a little bit long (I like the ends to brush the bottom of my thumb), so I didn’t really pay attention to sleeve length. Boy, was that NOT a good idea. Luckily, they are almost a perfect length when I fold the ribbing back on itself. ¬†The other thing that I wish that I had changed has to do with the collar. The pattern suggests that, if you want a deeper collar, you should just add on extra short rows. I had PLENTY of yarn, and I considered doing it at the time, but I didn’t (maybe I was just ready to get the cardigan done with?). If I ever feel like it, I may pick out the last couple of rows and add some extra shaping on the collar…hmmm.

Close up on the cables on the back

But besides those little things, I freaking love this sweater. The cables are intricate and luscious, and it fits pretty well. It’s not so tight that I won’t wear it, but it’s not loose and baggy, either. Just the proper¬†balance¬†of ease! Of course, now that it’s almost June and 80 degrees outside, I’m going to have to put Locke away from a couple of months. Darn it.

buttons!

For more FO Fridays, check out Tami’s.

WIP Wed: Welcome to Hat Town

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So I’ve been keeping up with my summer goals pretty well, I think. Specifically, I’ve been working on the two designs that were accepted into the Knit Picks¬†Independent Designer Program. It’s going pretty well!

First of all, there’s Swirch. I was thinking about combining both traveling cables and ribs, and I was fooling around for a while until I came up with this swatch:

Swirch swatch- alliteration!

Since the swatch came out pretty good in leftover Swish DK, I figured that would be what I made the hat out of. For a superwash wool, it feels soft and wooly, which I really, really like. Plus, the finished hat is going to be slouchy, and the elastic properties of wool will make sure it doesn’t just fall down your head, which is always a plus. And the name? Swish + Slouch= Swirch (sort of). Anyway, I like it, and I guess that is all that matters. The pattern is currently up for testing, so if you would like to give it a try PLEASE check it out in the ravelry free pattern testers group. Please. Right now my sample is still blocking (there may have been an incident where I left it out in the rain), but here’s what it looks like!

Swirch sample… blocking

The next design is also a hat. This one is something that had been running around in my head just a little bit longer. Ever since it came out, I’ve wanted to get my hands on Knit Picks’s striped Chroma yarn. When they came out in a fingering weight version, I knew it would be perfect for a light-weight hat…also slouchy! I was still on the cable kick, but I was thinking that, instead of putting the cables on a standard purl background, I could try to experiment with some mesh lace. Thus, this swatch was born.

Swatch!

Although settling on a lace pattern was pretty easy, it took me a while to decide which cable to use. At the begging, I was leaning more towards a 3×1 cable (center), but I think it’s just a little too matchy-match with the stitches that are passed over in the lace. It was getting a little lost, especially when you add in the color repeats. Instead, I chose the 2×2 over 6 rows (left). I think it stands out much better- it’s dense enough to provide a different texture than the lace, but not so dense that it looks like a larger version of the lace.

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God, those stripes are pretty.

So far, I’ve gotten through the ribbing and about half an inch of patterning. Still, I did decide to make the largest size (which I usually do, just to make sure that there is enough yarn) and it’s been a pretty enjoyable knit. I’m looking forward to it taking some time to chug through- it’s been a while since I’ve had an interesting long-term project! Oh, and my tentative name is Chrolla, a sort of feminine take on Chroma. Thoughts?

For more WIP Wed. posts, check out Tami’s.

Summer Goals

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So, I’m finally getting settled into some sort of routine after an especially hellish finals week. Ok, so after that, I needed another week to recover. But I think things are back to normal. I have a little less than a month before I start my summer internship, so I thought I would set myself some goals.

First, I need to work on some designs. I already have yarn support from Knitpicks for two hats (one of which you’ll see Wed.), and there’s an idea for a bolero/cropped sweater thing in my head. The sweater might not get done anytime soon, but I want to get the sketch down on paper sometime soon.

Corona Sweater

Second, I am WIP busting. Specifically, there are two projects that have been sitting in my stash for a couple of months now, and I need to decide what I am going to do with them. First, I have a Corona Sweater made in Knit Picks comfy. I modded out the hood, so I think this might make a great winter-time sweater. Still, my gauge may have been off, and it’s a little tighter than I expected. Still, at this point all I have left is to sew up the sleeves and graft the underarms and it’s done. It can’t hurt to finish it up before I make my final decision on what to do with this.

cable detailing on the collar of corona

There’s also my heavily modified version of the Gemini Cardigan that has also been sitting around, mostly finished, for a really long time. It might be too long, but I’ll never know until I really get it on. First, I’m going to sew the sleeves in, and then we’ll take a look at the button band. I made it up as I went along, creating a separate button band and shawl collar. I’m not too sure it works. Once I get the sleeves in, I may just rip the collar and button band out and just start from scratch. We’ll see.

gemini cardigan, which I called the cobblestone cardigan in my pattern notes, for some reason

I also have the Locke Cardigan to finish, although I’m just waiting for it to finish drying before I sew in the ends and add the buttons. After I finish all of these projects, I might just get a chance to finally make the Zest Cardigan¬†in Knit Picks Pallette¬†I’ve been planning on doing forever. And then maybe a shawl out of my Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock yarn. Oh well, a girl can dream!

Dragon Sock- The bright sun took out a little bit of the depth of colors, so it’s actually MORE beautiful than that, if you can believe it!

My last goal is to start planning now for holiday presents. I’m going to make a list of knit-worthy people, and start thinking of projects for them now. In some cases, I already have ideas. In others, it will probably take me six months of ruminating to figure out what I want to do ūüėČ

Blog Week in Review: 5/12- 5/19

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Did you guys notice that this is the second week in a row that I’ve forgotten about posting? Let me tell you, life has been crazy here. There’s been almost no knitting progress. I’ve swatched for two designs (which I’m sure you’ll see later this week) and, luckily, my Locke St. Cardigan is blocking on my floor. Hopefully, within a couple of days, it will be ready to wear. Lets not think about the fact that I won’t WANT to wear it for another three months.

Locke Street Cardigan in Knit Picks Swish DK

The other thing that’s been taking up a lot of my time? My parents (who I’m currently living with during summer break) got a new puppy! Mocha may be pretty freaking adorable, but she’s also a handful. She’ll get into anything, so you can’t really leave her alone if you are on Mocha duty. Plus, she’s not really potty-trained at all, so you have to let her out very, very often. None of this bodes very well for me finding enough time to sit down and knit.

Mocha!

Still, even though I haven’t gotten a lot of knitting done, there are some other bloggers out there with a lot to show. Here’s the blog week in review!

Stitched Together’s Rue’s Wings Shawl is a test knit, but that doesn’t stop it from being GORGEOUS. The yarn worked really well with the pattern. Plus, it’s named after Rue from Hunger Games, which just makes it freaking awesome all on it’s own.

My Sister’s Knitter’s Pink Post may be blinding, but it really shows off her fantastically adorable new pair of socks. I just love getting a crazy colorway of yarn and making an increadibly bright pair of socks. There’s nothing better!

I am so jealous of how quickly crocheters seem to knock out baby blankets. Usually, I’m pretty loyal to knitting, but something like Knitting Sandwich’s Zen Circle is possibly the only thing that could convince me to learn how to crochet.

Autumngeisha had two fantastic FO’s this week. First, I love her Candy Ribbon Cowl. She designed it herself! I think that I am going to have to take a look at that pattern, at least to figure out how she did that contrasting color¬†dealing. Second, the Birds on Branches shawl that she test-knitted really is awesome, too. I love the striping, and how it seems to match so well with the lace edging. Congrats!

And finally, Craftivore’s Ambergris sweater is nothing short of gorgeous. Ok, so her photos are taken along a breathtaking stretch of coastline, but her lace and cabled sweater definitely holds it’s own in the pictures.

As usual, I would love to have you join me in my Blog Week in Review. Please click on the Mr. Linky to link to your blog, and I encourage everyone to click on it to see who else joined!