Category Archives: finished object: sweater

Take Two

I told you I had another thing to show you that I was getting done for this weekend’s Knitter’s Fair in Kitchener-Waterloo. Lo and behold, it is done, though I regret muchly that I wasn’t able to wrangle a clothed-person photo session with it. I can ensure you that I have in fact put on the final sample and I love it and am very glad Kim is letting me hang onto the sample, otherwise Things might Happen and one doesn’t like Things to Happen when there are precious skeins of yarn hanging around.

Sept10-StageDoor4

This is the Stage Door cardigan, for Indigodragonfly yarns, and will be available at the fair tomorrow in print copy, as also will be the yarn I made it in. It is delicious. Merino/Silk DK, in a colour named “I am filled with ennui (dramatic sigh)”. Kim took the name inspiration from a Glee line spoken by (I think) Kurt, ergo the pattern name had to take theatrics into account, n’est pas?

[ETA]: Now available on Patternfish, and in my Ravelry store.

I’m quite happy with the end result. It’s long, shaped (high waist), and very easy to throw on and then pull off again. I kept the foundation simple with stockinette because quite frankly, when there is 50% silk in the house, drape is what you want. Mmmmm, silk.

Sept10-StageDoor2

The detail around the neck and collar are also a win for me. Just enough interest and texture to keep you paying attention, but not overwhelmingly so. And it’s very comfy. At 20 sts/28 rows over 4 inches, it’s also pleasant as a fall-to-winter knit.

Sept10-StageDoor5

And with that, my weekend is drawing very close to starting. I’ll be back next time with more purchasing details on this and the Allons-Y shawl/scarf from my last post. I hope your weekend is knit-a-riffic, whatever corner you’re in!

19 Comments

Filed under design, finished object: sweater

Royale

Okay, so usually when I finish a design and then put it out into the world for public consumption, I am immediately filled with a strangling mix of glee and terror, when all my insecurities about things I could have done differently/better/while inhabiting a different personality/with more Zen/whatever immediately jump up and down on my head.

Not this time. Or, at least I can say that the glee part of my brain is winning, for the moment. I love this pattern. I love it to little tiny bits. This is the ‘Royale’ pullover, (available here in my Ravelry store, and here on Patternfish) and my second of two designs for Tanis Fiber Arts this season (just in time for the Knitter’s Frolic on Saturday!)

May6-Royale11-Full

I’d been wanting to do a pullover pattern of some kind for Tanis, as I’d done a cardigan jacket for her last fall, and I also knew I wanted to do something with cables. Once I got the yarn in my hands – this is a “new and improved”, deeper, richer version of her standard ‘garnet’ colourway – I knew exactly what this needed to be. No wimpy cables here. No no. Regal, royal, decadent cables. And nice and fitted, yes please. Tanis’ superwash Aran is wonderfully comfortable to wear and there’s no reason not to put it into a nice modern fit. I’m a particular fan of the 3/4 sleeves and scoopneck, if I do say so myself.

May6-Royale9-Sleeve

The front and back each feature a large cable motif framed by a smaller one, and the smaller cable motif is then repeated along the centre of each sleeve. Additionally, I’ve written the pattern so that the tiny cable twists from the motifs grow from the ribbing at the hem and cuffs. The cable patterns are all fully charted, and once again I strongly recommend cabling without a cable needle to speed things along, which I’ve talked about recently as well.

May5-Royale1

I’ve included instructions for 6 sizes, between 30″ and 49″ (garment bust size) and recommend that this be made for slight negative ease or zero ease if at all possible. Schematics are also included, so feel free to modify at any time if you wish – i.e. change the length, change the height of the neckline, etc, if you feel you would achieve a more comfortable fit this way.

This is certainly a skilled knit, but one that is not too far out of reach of any knitter who has a few sweaters and a few cabled pieces under their belt. Once you establish the cables and get started, everything repeats and you start to get into a rhythm. There is waist shaping, and the body and sleeves are each worked in the round, then once you reach the neckline and armholes the front and back are worked flat, back and forth, as is the sleeve cap once you reach that part of the sleeve.

May6-Royale1

As usual, please let me know if you find any errors or concerns. This has indeed been through a test-knitting phase by a friend of mine, but naturally there is always the possibility of something slipping through the cracks. Contact me at crazy.knitting.lady[at]gmail.com and I will do my best to help with any questions.

And now, I am off to put the finishing touches on one last thing that I’ll show you tomorrow. It’s been a busy little while here at Knitting To Stay Sane, and I’m just glad to finally be able to show a few things off.

Happy knitting, as always!

44 Comments

Filed under cables, design, finished object: sweater

Finishing is Fun

Although I’ve finished a few projects in the past month, I’ve been a little bit slow in getting the FO photos together. My Cassidy cardigan is one such casualty. I finished it in time to wear at Rhinebeck – yea verily, I was sewing on the buttons the night before – which was darned useful as I knitted it in Ultra Alpaca and it stood me very well as a warm outdoor garment.

This past Saturday I wore it into Toronto for my yarnly engagements – a class at the Naked Sheep, and hanging-out time at the Purple Purl – and got Jennifer to take about a bazillion pictures of me while I was at the Purl, figuring that there would be at least a couple of shots that turned out. Turns out yarn shops make good photography backdrops, as one might well anticipate.

Oct31-Cassidy6

Pattern: Cassidy, by Bonne Marie Burns / Chic Knits
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca, ‘oceanic mix’ colourway
Needles: 4.5mm Addi Turbos
Cast-on: September 12, 2009
Cast-off: October 13, 2009.

Modifications: The only thing I did differently was to add length, as I usually do. It adds up to about 1.5 ins added both before and after the waist shaping. The waist then sits where my actual waist is, and covers my hips comfortably. Tall girls unite! Modifying patterns for length since time began.

Oct17-RhinebeckATouchOfTwist

This is a very comfortable sweater, the Ultra Alpaca is a gorgeous, heathery shade of turquoise, and I have been getting nothing but compliments on it when I wear it out and about. I am even contemplating doing a second one some time in the future…or at the very least, more Ultra Alpaca sweaters. I love this yarn to bits and pieces.

While I’m here, let me just put in a PSA for the benefits of working sweaters in pieces. Now, there are different forms of sweater construction and I’ve done several of them. I think there are times when working a sweater in the round is appropriate and enjoyable, and I’ve done many sweaters in the round. Sometimes it’s because the pattern told me to, other times it’s because I’ve preferred it in the round and modified the pattern to suit my interests.

Cassidy directs you to work in separate pieces which are then seamed together, and I went with this. Here are my reasons three:

1. Portability. I knitted about 2/3 of this sweater over 2 weeks, largely because every time I got on a bus or train, I pulled this out of my bag. It is a lot easier to carry around a piece of a sweater to knit one at a time than to eventually be carrying around most of an entire sweater, which you will be doing at some point if you work it in the round.

2. Structure. Here i used Ultra Alpaca, which is 50% wool/50% alpaca. Alpaca is wonderfully warm and drapey, but also much less elastic and springy than wool. As a result, things made with alpaca and, to a certain extent, alpaca blends, will want to sag and stretch a little bit more than things made with plain wool, which bounces and blocks right back into place after you handwash it. Seams add structural integrity and strength to the garment, and sometimes you want a little bit of extra of that to go around.

Oct31-Cassidy4

3. Control. Cassidy, as you can see above, has a hood. If I had done the sweater all in the round bottom-up and attached the sleeves as I went, I would have ended up working the hood with the entire weight of the sweater in my lap. When you’re working the hood back and forth up there at the neck, you’re flipping back and forth and it can be cumbersome to do that with a whole sweater. Here, I seamed up only the body, worked the hood, then attached the sleeves last.

And you know, the truth of the matter is, I don’t mind seaming. Well, I mind it in the same way that I mind pretty much any finishing steps in the sense that it is the thing standing in the way of me wearing the item and this sometimes annoys me enough to avoid it as long as possible (seriously, I have been known to procrastinate 2 weeks on two little ends to weave in on a shawl. Two), but now that I know how to do seams and how they should look, I don’t mind them as much as I did when I was first knitting sweaters as a new knitter. It gets easier and better with practice, like most other things.

And then when you finish it all, you have a really comfortable and pretty sweater that even Fiona Ellis herself will compliment you on when you wear it to her class. More on that tomorrow!

May your Monday be as painless as possible, with knitting waiting for you at home.

33 Comments

Filed under cables, finished object: sweater

Patterns Ahoy

It’s been a productive summer in many ways. I’ve had a bit of extra time to work on knitted things, and in between bits of ‘real’ work and cat-sitting stints and Sock-Summit-ing, I’ve had the time to do some pattern design work behind the scenes. This is on the one hand, exciting and creative and fun and vaguely terrifying and all the normal things that designing is. On the other hand, I am rarely known for excelling at being patient, and waiting to announce things that have been in the works for a few months is enough to drive me just a little bit batty.

Thankfully, I’m finally at a point where I can start showing you some of the things I’ve had in the works. Over the next few months, I’ll have the extreme pleasure of announcing no fewer than 4 and possibly up to 6 or 7 knitted patterns of my own design, in all sorts of garment styles and yarns. Some will be going into publications, others I am planning on self-publishing, and still others have been developed in collaboration with some wonderful Canadian dyers. The one I have to show you today fits into this last category, and is one I’ve been working on with the extremely talented Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts.

The first thing you need to know about Tanis’ yarns is that they are AWESOME. No really. They’re some of my favourite yarns that I’ve ever worked with and I’ve only known about her stuff for a little over a year. You’ll come for the beautiful colours, and stay for the fantastic quality. I have had the good fortune to correspond with her over the last few months, and we are in cahoots to develop what will, hopefully, eventually be a line of original patterns designed with her yarn in mind. The first of these designs is what I am able to show you today:

Rendezvous5b

This is the Rendezvous Jacket. It uses Tanis’ Aran Weight yarn, and is shown here in the excuse-me-I’m-going-to-get-really-noticed-wearing-this ‘Peacock’ colourway. It is available for download purchase here in my Ravelry store online (this uses Paypal), and will also be sold in hard copy by Tanis herself after this weekend. The cost in both locations is $6.00, and the pattern comes fully formatted with a colour cover page, instructions for 6 sizes (35-50″ garment bust), and pattern schematic. Tanis will be taking the pattern (and the lovely sample) this weekend to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair this coming Saturday, so if you’re planning on being there you can definitely stop by her booth and ponder it in person.

(In fact, regardless of whether you knit this pattern, you should really go look at her yarns anyway. Have I mentioned that they’re awesome? This is a superwash yarn and has already had a hand-wash and machine-dry and it still looks fantastic.)

When I planned this pattern I wanted it to fit somewhere in the category of a little bit classic, a little bit modern, a little bit casual. Because Tanis herself is going to be distributing this pattern in hard copy when she takes her yarn to fairs and shows, I wanted it to be able to fit with a wide range of skill sets and ages. Aside from the two 6-stitch cables that frame the central panels, the entire pattern uses only knits and purls, increases and decreases, which means that even an adventurous beginner knitter should be able to take this on.

Rendezvous1b

Most importantly, I wanted to use a bit of texture. The jacket features a double-moss stitch panel on either side of the front, and down the centre of the back. This is matched by similar panels on the cuffs of the 3/4 length sleeves. Tanis’ yarns have a wonderful semi-solid tone and really need very little help showing off.

Rendezvous4b

The shape of the jacket is slightly flared at the hem, which tapers gradually to a slightly raised waistline. This is then emphasized by the button closures near the bust. (Though I know that with just a bit of thought, crafty knitters could modify this and place the waist and buttons where-ever the heck they want. Personalize away! In fact, I probably would do so if I was knitting this for myself – you know, with the adding the length for the tall gal.)

Phew. Turns out I had quite a lot to tell you this morning. With that, I’m going to help my brain re-settle and turn to a few non-knitting things for the rest of the day, and continue to look forward to Saturday at the knitter’s fair. (I mean it’s been a whole month since Sock Summit, now, a girl needs some multi-vendor yarn buying opportunities on a regular basis!)

Happy Wednesday! Keep the knitting close by.

41 Comments

Filed under design, finished object: sweater

Pardon me, I couldn’t hear you over how awesome my sweater is

Legendary, folks. Legendary. It is done, it fits like a dream, and it is going to kick all kinds of ass when I wear it at Rhinebeck this fall. This is Autumn Rose.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Pattern: Autumn Rose, by Eunny Jang (published in Jamieson’s ‘Simply Shetland 4′)
Yarn: Palette fingering weight, from Knit Picks
Needles: 3.25mm Addi Turbos
Cast on: April 25, 2009
Bind off: July 23, 2009 (then a couple more days for washing/blocking)
Modifications: Many.

Oh, where do I start with the modifications. The most obvious one was the colour scheme. I went with Knit Picks’ Palette because I own quite a lot of it, and I quite like the colour selection now that they have been expanding the heathers line. I hope they will continue to expand further, as it can only make the yarn more versatile as a colur-work tool. The original Autumn Rose colours in the pattern are gorgeous, but just not a good fit for my own colour preferences. I tend more towards reds and purples and jewel tones and the original scheme reads more on the rustier – or, well, ‘autumn’ side of the spectrum. After much swatching and indecision, I settled on the one you see here.

In place of golds, I made use of the new green shades Knit Picks added to their Palette collection recently. The main one is clover (in place of old gold), and the others from darkest to lightest are spearmint, edamame, celadon, and green tea heather. In place of the oranges and blues used in the original, I used purples and reds. The main one is garnet heather (seen next to clover in the ribbing sections), and the others from darkest to lightest are merlot heather, bark, clematis heather, huckleberry heather, and lilac heather. (Aside: if Knit Picks ever discontinues the garnet heather shade, I may not survive. It is my absolute favourite).

Also, let it be known that swatching is WORTH IT. The only thing keeping me on the ledge while I fretted over whether it was coming out too small was knowing that my swatch did indeed block out to gauge after I washed it (when knitting sweaters remember to both knit and wash your swatches, friends, much tragedy could be saved.)

Photobucket

Another key area in which I made modifications is in the length and sizing. Essentially, if I had knitted this pattern purely according to the written instructions and not put any thought into it, it would have been several inches shorter, the waistline would not have fit me, and the shoulders would have been far too snug. This alone does not make this a bad pattern – it is extremely gorgeous, make no mistake. It simply means that this pattern is designed for a person several inches shorter than me. This is also a pretty common thing for me, the only difference is that with a fair isle patter like this, you can’t exactly rip out a few inches and start over as easily as with a plain single colour project.

I think that anyone making this sweater would be smart to begin by drawing their own pattern schematic based on their own body and the desired measurements you want, then ensure that once you have begun and established the chart, your knitting follows the length measurements you need and the stitch counts you need for width based on gauge.

Photobucket

Never forget that when you are knitting a sweater, whoever designed it is never going to be exactly as smart as you. That pattern was not designed for your body, and your job – which you are entirely qualified for – is to know your body well enough to adjust whatever it is you are knitting to fit yourself. This concept generally gets emphasized in the context of knitting plus-sized sweaters (and rightly so), but I’m here to tell you that as a tall woman, never once have I encountered a sweater pattern that hasn’t required some modification. I’ve added length to sleeves and hems, and re-placed waistlines so often now that it’s become second nature, and I generally need to add at least an inch or more between the waist and armholes in order to ensure the waist actually sits where my waist is. The moral of the story is, if you want your sweaters to fit – know thyself! Measure your body, know your gauge, and know how much ease you want to achieve, and make it so.

Photobucket

The original Autumn Rose pattern calls for an extremely low neckline, so much the better to accommodate negative ease around the bust and provide a very modern look. I did, however, raise the neckline about 2 inches, which I have seen from Ravelry is a pretty common modification. I am pretty happy with this decision and am comfortable with how this would look over a tee or camisole from my own wardrobe. Essentially, I set the neckline to begin at about the same time as the armhole decreases. Additionally, I lengthened the shoulders by spacing out the last several decreases a little more than what the pattern specifies. I have broad shoulders, so this was a good decision for me.

You wanted to see the inside, right? Right, I thought you did, that’s why I took pictures of it. There’s the white crocheted edge of the cut steek, now tucked away neatly inside the neckline. You can also see all the ends of the yarns from all of the colour changes, which were woven in as I worked each new pair of colours.

Photobucket

Photobucket

When I learned to knit fair isle, the first project I made was a Philosopher’s Wool sweater. On their website the Philosopher’s wool folks have a video about knitting two-handed for colour-work, and this along with a personal tutorial from my friend Dee was essentially all the instruction I had on two-handed technique. I use the same general approach not just for knitting but for weaving in new colours a few stitches before the change-over (you can see where all the ends are sticking out there just before the side seam, on either side). This essentially means that you are weaving in ends as you go, which saves you from having to weep the tears of a thousand rivers weave in all the ends after you are finished the whole sweater. All that’s left is a bit of trimming, sew in the ends at the bind-off and cast-on edges, and you’re done.

Photobucket

On my last post a few days ago when I was cutting the steek on this sweater, a lot of you commented on what an act of courage it must be to do this, or how brave I must be to be working steeks or colour-work. And you know, that absolutely tickles me because the fact of the matter is, ‘brave’ is probably the last adjective in the world I would use to describe myself. If I made you a list of all the things I’ve shied away from doing because of being too chicken, well…it wouldn’t be a very pretty list. But after knitting a sweater like this (and this may be easy to guess based on how many other possible ways there are to stress out about a project like this, as described above), the actual cutting of the steek becomes sort of beside the point. In the process, I’d forgotten that steeking is something that really does call for a bit of moxy. So, if making this sweater makes me in any way brave…I’ll take it.

And Elspeth? Since we are supposedly both knitting this sweater to wear for Rhinebeck 2009…If you don’t find a way to make this sweater yourself, even though I know you’re sweating bullets over getting gauge…I’m comin’ for you. That’s right, YOU.

Photobucket

And YOU TOO, if you don’t get out there and knit yourself some fair isle. Grab your favourite colours, grab a stranded pattern, any pattern, no matter how simple or how difficult, and DO IT. You’ll never look at knitting the same way again.

(Also, thank you all for the birthday wishes/spinning congrats yesterday, they were fantastic.)

86 Comments

Filed under fair isle, finished object: sweater

Two for two

In my head, I’ve totally been participating in the NaKnitSweMoDo (or whatever it’s called when you pledge to knit a sweater a month for a year), but so far the 3rd month of the year is coming to an end and I have only finished two sweaters. Oh well. Hope springs eternal, yes?

This is also my second from last Winter’s Interweave Knits – the Climbing Vines Pullover by Joelle Meier Rioux. I call it a win.

Photobucket

Sadly the late-March weather has been giving a lot of clouds and not quite as much outdoor photoshoot light as one might prefer, and some of the best shots came out slightly blurry. Perhaps fittingly so, given that the yarn is Dream in Color Classy ‘Blue Lagoon’, and it certainly does have an ‘underwater’ look about it.

Photobucket

I’m happy with the ease on this, I worked it for about 2 inches of positive ease and it fits comfortably. I did add about 1.5 ins of length overall and wish now that I’d added about an inch more, but I’ll live. It’s comfortable, relatively fitted, and I can happily go out into the world in it this spring. Tall girls, take note – definitely one for the modifications. Another thing I will note about the pattern is that the sleeves are quite snug. If I were to do it again I’d add 4-6 sts at the beginning of the cuff and adjust from there. The 3/4 sleeves are great for spring but are less accommodating around the muscles of your arms when they hit mid-forearm.

The Dream in Color is designed to prevent pooling, however between skeins there was the occasional variation in colour and consistency, so I alternated skeins every 2-3 rows while working the body. I still ended up with a bit of flashing, as you’ll note from the pictures above, but at least it’s an overall effect. You can see an example of this on the shoulder, where the top 2 inches were done in a new skein, and the colour changed obviously.

Photobucket

Because this was mostly stockinette, I was able to work through it pretty quickly during my evening knitting time, and the actual knitting only took me 15 days. Now I am left with the decision, once again, as to which sweater to make next. Naturally this means that I have since cast on 2 new pairs of socks and one shawl, but no new sweater yet. Stay tuned as further news bulletins occur on that front.

And finally, I am really looking forward to a bit of rest in a few weeks when the term comes to an end, as I have once again picked up the current variation of viral plague circulating throughout Ontario, and would very much like to stop coughing some time soon. Thankfully the new Sock Summit website is up to distract me, my plane ticket to Portland is now booked for August, and Rebecca and I are already plotting. How soon is August? Can it be August now?

At least April will be here soon. I see lace knitting in my future.

Keep the knitting close by!

38 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater

Sweater Time

Just because it is now officially March, it is less than a month until spring starts on the calendar, and the retail stores have been trying to convince us for weeks that it is already time to buy tee shirts and sandals and flowing spring dresses, around these parts in Ontario we can’t stand down just yet. The temperatures are well below zero this week, I’m on my second cold since mid-January, and lordy oh lordy do I have sweater stash that needs knitting up.

This was a big motivator for me in starting the Blooming Cardigan. It was a perfect gauge match for the Wild Apple Hill Farm wool I bought at Rhinebeck in 2008 (a rustic, wooly aran wool with heathery texture), and I thought it would just be a nice way to knock out a sweater. I liked the style but didn’t anticipate loving it the same way I have known and loved other sweaters.

Well, I’m here to tell you I was wrong. I do love this sweater. I might wear it all week, in fact.

Photobucket

Pattern: Blooming Cardigan, by Sarah Hoadley, in Interweave Knits Winter 2008
Yarn: Wild Apple Hill Farm 2-ply, blackberry colourway
Needles: 5mm for the body and sleeves, 3.75mm for the ribbing and collar. If I did it again I’d go up to 4.0mm on the ribbing.
Modifications and Notes:The main modification I did was to add length. I’m 5’9″ and with most mainstream patterns, I typically add 1″ before beginning the waist shaping decreases, and 1″ between the waist and the armholes. This is one of those times where all my assumptions about what I knew about gauge, what I knew about the right length I need for me, the right spot to put the waist shaping…it all worked perfectly. It took me several sweaters at the beginning of my sweater-knitting time to figure all this out, but now that I have, sweaters are my favourite. (Well OK, except for when socks are my favourite.)

Photobucket

The other main modification I did was to change the little cable twists at the edge of the bobbled nosegay pattern, so that they were twisting in opposite directions instead of the same direction. I also moved the nosegay pattern towards the center a little bit, so that I could keep it intact after doing the armhole shaping decreases. Other than that, I did work the body in one piece, and eliminated the sash purely for personal preference, but the pattern itself is well written and suitable for a variety of skill levels. If you’ve got something aran and tweedy or heathery sitting around, give this a whirl.

This took me about a month and a half start to finish, but if I”d dedicated myself to it more monogamously it would have been finished in a few weeks. I have to start knitting at 16 sts over 4 ins more often.

Photobucket

I have to say that the more I spend time looking at this Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, the more I like it. In fact, there isn’t much I wouldn’t knit from this issue, and there aren’t many magazine issues I can say that about. I think this issue has been getting less love among knitters because whenever I hear people talking about the new Spring 2009 issue, it is often with a “thank goodness it’s better than the last issue” tacked on in passing.

Well, Winter 2008 IK, I’m here for you. Let’s be friends and knit things together, we’ll have a grand old time.

Happy knitting!

34 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater

It’s the hardest part

Not the knitting, not the bobbles, not the psychological stamina of getting through all the seaming and then remembering to still knit the sash…nope. The hardest part is waiting for the danged thing to dry so you can sew the buttons on already and call it a day.

Aran-weight wool sure is warm and toasty but after a hand-wringing and two towel rolls it still needs another day’s air dry. The Blooming Cardigan is almost there….

Photobucket

Check out that hot bobble action.

Photobucket

The next hardest part? Figuring out which sweater to knit next. It’s a good thing swatching fills that between-time nicely.

Photobucket

One more knitting week left in February. Better make it count!

17 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater, swatching, sweaters

Finishing things

The upside to a workday at home is that it is extremely easy to have a break to blog about your finished knitted things. The downside is the lack of photographers.

As a result, while I’d love to show you a fantasic Finished Object photo-shoot of my completed Twist Cardi (which has been patiently languishing for weeks while I finally went out and got buttons), the best I can show you is this:

Photobucket

I’ll wrangle a photographer later, this sweater deserves better. It turned out very comfy and warm, more like a jacket than a cardi, which is what I intended. For this shot I did a public service and cropped out my blotchy face…shady winter light is not a friend to portraits…but I can report that the hood is lovely and functions well.

On the hat front, I did indeed manage to finish the Inga Hat of previous posting, with some extra yarn that reader Robyn handed off to me last week when I handed over her blog contest winnings from last month (other winners – your yarn is in the mail! Mea culpa. I don’t know why it takes me so long to get to the post office). But sadly it is indeed too long. The blocking for cloche-effect did actually work, but the crown still sits too high. I am going to try one last effort of ripping out the last 6-8 rows and sewing it up. If that doesn’t work…Well, then it’s a fair isle felted tea cosy for me.

But I did finally get to another hat, after perusing Ravelry and discovering the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat (Ravelry free download link) from Tiennie. This one worked. I did have to pull out the first attempt after a couple of inches once it was clear I needed to go down in needle size, but once I got the circumference worked out the rest was just fine. Thanks to the 2/3 of a skein of the same petal pink Patons, which just happened to be sitting in my stash from last year, I now have a hat to go with the gloves I finished a couple of weeks ago.

Photobucket

I figure if you’re going to make the decision to make an earflap hat, you might as well go full tilt and add pompoms to the i-cord tassels. (A decision which I feel is validated by other Ravelry users doing the same thing). My only concern is that the combination of tassels and the pink shade may have resulted in a hat more suitable for someone closer to 13 than 30, but I’ll go with it for now. It’s warm, it fits, and I’ve got all winter to make Hat Attempt #3.

The pattern is very well written, and gives you 3 child circumferences and 3 adult circumferences, and is infinitely variable in colour combinations. Since the fair isle section is only 15 rows, it is easy to adjust length by adding or removing rows to the solid colour sections. I call this one a win.

Although I still have quite a bit of work to get done in the next few weeks, and a Mt-Everest-sized mountain of prep to do for next term, I’m very much looking forward to the fun parts of December. Knitting, baking, and hibernating ahoy!

7 Comments

Filed under finished object: accessories, finished object: sweater, sweaters

Soon. Soon.

In 2 more sleeps I will be on my way to New York City, to the waiting and generous spare bed of my knitting pal Rebecca, then on Saturday it will be off to the New York Sheep and Wool festival, aka Rhinebeck. Wait, there’s something missing in that description, what was it…oh yeah: WOO HOO.

I am so excited. I’ve been looking forward to this like whoa. It’s smack-dab in the middle of the term when both students and profs alike are getting a bit weary, and so far I haven’t had a bad trip to New York yet (knock on wood). For about a month I’ve been saying “I wish Rhinebeck was right now”, and soon it will be, yee-haw! I’ve got two or three vendors in mind that I want to get to first, and after that will be very happy to browse at leisure, and I’m hoping to run into a few of you fellow knit-bloggers out there too. Also, word on the street is that it’s going to be sweater-weather this weekend, which means a wonderful parade of knitwear will be waiting to be ogled.

Photobucket

Thankfully, my own Rhinebeck sweater has been completed and ready and waiting for a week now, and lo and behold, it is lovely. My Cabled Swing Cardi fits beautifully and I think it looks darned smashing. Sadly it’s a bit grey out right now and this is probably not the best light for photography…and it would be even better to be wearing it IN the picture, but a photo session just hasn’t been in the cards the past few days. I’ll try to make up for that on the weekend.

Photobucket

Pattern: Cabled Swing Cardi by Norah Gaughan, in The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.
Yarn: Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, colour “Lobster Mix”, 6.5 skeins. (This is much less than the 9 skeins the pattern calls for in the size I made. All evidence on Ravelry points to extremely generous yarn estimates for this pattern). I bought this yarn on sale at WEBS in the spring, and still have 3 skeins left. I’m sure I”ll think of something for the rest of it. It’s an extremely heathery brown, with shades of purple and red all mixed in, I’m pretty pleased with it considering I hardly ever wear brown.
Needles: 4.0mm for ribbing and 4.5mm for the rest.

Mods: The only changes I made were to add a couple of stitches on either side of the back to give it just an idge more ease on my shoulders – I have a fairly slim waist but slightly wider shoulders than most standard sizing accounts for given the size of the rest of me, so that’s a pretty common modification for me. I also opted for i-cord ties on both the inside and the outside front edges, instead of the button on the outside which the pattern instructs. I did this to allow more flexible ease to let me tighten or loosen the fit at the bust according to preference.

All in all, I call this pattern a win. I completed it in just over a month and probably could have had it done quicker if I’d worked on it more dedicatedly in the beginning. The cables are surprisingly intuitive on the front and once you’re finished those, the only other cabling is a small amount on the sleeves. I really like the double seed stitch texture at the top of the bodice.

I have, naturally, already cast on for another sweater. We’ll see if it comes with me this weekend to keep me company in airports.

Photobucket

If I don’t get back to the blog before the weekend – have a good one, whether you’ll be fondling yarn at sheep & wool festivals or no! Catch you on the other side.

16 Comments

Filed under cables, finished object: sweater, rhinebeck, sweaters