Category Archives: finished object: sweater

So are the days of our lives

There’s not much I can say about the Hourglass Sweater (from Last Minute Knitted Gifts) that hasn’t already been said. It’s simple, comfortable, and surely destined to become a wardrobe staple. After the usual Finished Object hemming-and-hawing, I’m pleased with mine:

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Pattern: Hourglass Pullover from ‘Last Minute Knitted Gifts’ by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (in ‘holly hock’); I alternated skeins every 3 rows to prevent any pooling from the semi-solid kettle-dyed skeins
Needles: 4.5 mm circulars.
Size: Between the 37″ and 41″. I aimed for 39″ based on my gauge swatch (aw, lookit, I even swatched like a good knitter should…) and this worked out well.

Modifications: Although this is a fairly uncomplicated pattern and could use a variety of ubiquitous yarns, it is also a pattern that rewards attention to your own body shape. If I’d made the pattern exactly as written, it would have been too short and sat too high on my hips. As I often do, I added an inch in length before and after waist shaping to get the shape to match mine more evenly.

The other key ‘fit’ issue is the shoulders. A very brief search on Ravelry will turn up no shortage of finished Hourglass sweaters whose necklines turned out too wide. My sister warned me about this possibility as well, as she had made this piece last winter, so I took this to heart and worked a few more raglan decreases along the yoke. I also spaced out a few of the decreases 2 rows apart instead of just 1 row apart, since my row gauge was coming out a bit tighter than what the pattern intended (this is so rare for me as to be almost unbelievable, usually I have looser row gauge than whatever the pattern wants).

However, in the larger sizes it seems as though the opposite approach is required – that working a few decreases more often would result in a better fit. So, your mileage may vary.

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In the book this is identified as a ‘More than twelve hours’ project, which I would laughingly label an “understatement”. Although it is a fairly quick knit as far as sweaters are concerned, it’d have a hard time fitting this into a weekend. All in all I think I even managed the bulk of the work in about 2.5 weeks, but then was stalled at the end by going away on a trip and then getting side-tracked. The finishing is quite minimal as it is worked all in the round, so once you’ve done the knitting, all that remains is a bit of sewing up hems and the underarms.

This is going to be my ‘backup’ Rhinebeck sweater in case of disappointment with my intended Rhinebeck project. I’ll get to that one next post!

26 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater, sweaters

Oh those Halcyon days

And that’s a wrap, folks.

HalcyonFO6

Pattern: Halcyon, by Lisa Lloyd in the book ‘A Fine Fleece’.
Yarn: Briggs & Little Regal (light worsted), in ‘turquoise’, just under 6 skeins total. It’s a sheepy sheepy wool, so sheepy that you will regularly encounter bits of straw and grass, etc, but is a bang for your buck at $5-6 for 270 yards. Also, mmmmm, wool.
Needles: 5.0mm for the cables, 4.0mm for the ribbing. (I worked all the cables without a cable needle, which turned this into a surprisingly portable project as it is worked in pieces, and eventually the cables become memorizable).

HalcyonFO4

Cast-on/Cast-off: I started this in the end of April, which gives this about 3.5 months for the project, but that included several stints of on-again-off-again knitting and a re-start of the back piece to give it a bit of shaping.
Modifications: The only changes I made were to knit the 2nd smallest size to begin with on the back/front, then decrease after about 2 centre panel repeats to end up with the smallest size at the waist and bust. Other than that, I completed it exactly as written, and the instructions were clear.

This is a long sweater. I ended up with about an extra inch of length, which is fine for me because I’m 5’9″ and can handle a bit of extra length (I often count on a slightly looser row gauge as a built-in lengthening modification on sweaters that would normally be meant for a shorter frame). However, if you’re significantly shorter than me then even the intended length of 26.5″ might be longer than what you want. My recommendation is to measure yourself, measure your gauge, and adjust accordingly by omitting a few rows at the beginning. (I rather like the way the cable ends at the collar).

HalcyonFO

Although the fit is generally good, I think my blocking may have been a bit too aggressive and for the next go I’ll probably try to get a smidge less ease. Any way you slice it though, this is a comfort aran and meant for wrapping you up on cool days. I’m happy with it now but probably won’t fully appreciate it until November.

While I did take a few months to work on this and probably could have done it in less time fairly easily, I’m glad in retrospect that I gave it those little vacation breaks now and then. Sometimes you want to knit cables for hours and hours and sometimes you don’t. I saw on Ravelry that someone has this on the books for their Olympic knitting project, and dude, all I can say is godspeed and may your cabling be swift.

I will, however, strike a pose, and celebrate a completed project well done.

HalcyonFO2

(Photo credits, as per usual, go to my lovely patient sister.)

Onwards!

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Filed under cables, finished object: sweater

Finished but not Forgotten

Back in February when we were on our eleventy-billionth (numbers are approximate) snowfall of the season, I clung to bright and colourful knits. Casting on for something Fair Isle was just good prescriptive knitting at the time, never mind fun. But the Venezia pullover ended up taking top priority and so Glowing got pushed to the side, not to be finished until the end of April. I’ll have to wait until next fall and winter to take full advantage of this FO.

Glowing-FO-May20

Pattern: ‘Glowing’, by Fiona Ellis in Inspired Fair Isle Knits
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, MC ‘Raspberry’, and several other CC colours. All yarn is to specification from the book, with the exception of the pale green shade – I substituted in the slightly cooler ‘Thyme’ shade instead of the ‘Pistachio’ which is a little more in the bright yellow area of green. I like the overall effect.
Needles: 5.5mm for the fair isle sections, 4.5mm for the plain stockinette.
Mods: I had to up-size the needles on the fair isle to get closer to gauge, and actually I think in the end I still came out sliiiiiiightly more snug on gauge than the pattern. The final product does fit, though, and I’m happy with that.

The major modification that I made was to add an extra row between the raglan decreases for several of the decreases, to add a bit more room in the shoulders. My row gauge was a bit too snug on the stockinette and I needed to make sure my arms and shoulders would still fit. This worked out well.

Glowing1

I’m pretty much in love with Mission Falls 1824 wool, after this project. There will be more sweaters with this in the future. It feels glorious to knit with, and the colours are so rich. I put it through the washer and dryer (YAY superwash), and you’d never know. Not a pill in sight. It is, however, a yarn that rewards swatching – stockinette does grow a little bit after it is washed and dried. I admit I was pretty much banking on this happening because my pre-wash gauge was more tight than it needed to be. (But the stranded sections did need to be closer to pattern gauge to start – colourwork does not stretch as much as plain stockinette).

The stranded sections really fly by on this, and are the most fun to work on. Usually I don’t mind stockinette because it’s mindless, but it was a long push to get the yoke finished once the body and sleeves were all done. I was glad to get to the hood – which is actually a decently functional hood, it covers my head when pulled up, and doesn’t come loose like the decorative hoods on so many other knits. Of course, that could also just be because I have a lot of curly hair to stuff under there…

GlowingFO2-May20

I must thank Steph for taking the photographs, and letting me finally put this FO up for the record. Since a hooded wool pullover isn’t quite what I need for summer, though, this will be taking up residence as a shop sample at the Purple Purl, until I can reclaim it again for the winter.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Filed under fair isle, finished object: sweater

Making friends with steeks

I want to thank everyone for the comments on my socks in the previous post – they have brought me much cheer and encouragement! The pattern file is open once again and I am going to get back to it in short order. In the meanwhile, though, I finally have this Finished Object to show off:

IvyLeague1

Um. I mentioned before how taking photos of yourself is really hard, right? Yeah. There are about a dozen more shots in the trash, heh. But I did manage to get a few worth showing, that display the vest in all its glory. The steeks worked. The fair isle was wonderful. The pattern is well written. I’m so happy with it I don’t even mind including a shot with my rear end in it. ;)

IvyLeague2

Pattern: Ivy League Vest, by Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits 2007 (scroll down)
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (substituted; in twig, cream, tidepool heather, blue note heather, brindle heather, and mist) I only needed 1 ball of each for the 34.5 inch size, which makes this project a freakin’ bargoon.
Needles: 3.5mm on the fair isle, 3.75mm on the ribbing
Modifications: I knew from the get-go that I wanted to add length to this to bring it just over the top of my hips. I did this by adding 2 small peeries at the bottom before beginning the waist-shaping. I also up-sized the needles on the ribbing and on the two peeries that I added before the waist-shaping, to allow for a bit more room in the hips. This worked out well, and in fact I think I could have gone up another needle-size on the ribbing. I think next time I wash it I will block the ribbing out a little more widely, as it is rippling slightly just below the waist.

I omitted the purl ‘seam’ stitch at each side, and unintentionally deviated from the colour chart when I flubbed a few times and didn’t change the background colour or foreground colour when I was supposed to. I think it still looks good, though. I’m a happy camper.

As far as the steeks go – well, it was all fine. I’d done steeks before, but only using the Philosopher’s Wool method of cutting alongside a single column of ‘purl’ stitches that are first reinforced with a sewing machine. I left these Ivy League steeks without reinforcement before cutting, which is fine when your steeks are 8-10 sts wide. Post-cutting and post-ribbing, I trimmed the steeks to neaten them and then reinforced with a row of single crochet. So far, so good, it all seems to be holding up nicely.

ILVtake1 ILVDec8 ILVDec11
IvyLeagueDec16 ILV steeks IvyLeague3

Hurrah! Onwards to more fair isle. Soon, my pretty yarn, soon…

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Filed under fair isle, fearless knitting, finished object: sweater, ivy league vest

Well would ya lookie there

So, last night I had some friends over for dinner (and learned that if you are going to have appetizer, soup, pasta, salad, and dessert – which is cheesecake – it really is quite all right to spread dinner out into a 5-hour experience), and then checked my internets before tumbling into bed (thank you daylight savings for the extra hour OMG), and I had a few comments in my inbox letting me know that, hey! November Magknits had arrived! And well would ya lookie there, I’m in it! I knew it was going to happen, but I’d somehow managed to misfile that information in my brain and so now it is sort of a pleasant surprise. Thanks, Magknits!

Basic Black

You may have noticed that Basic Black does not come with a whole lot of pizazz or bells and whistles or anything overly complex or groundbreaking. And that is exactly the way I wanted it to be. I wanted a sweater that wouldn’t scare anybody away. I wanted a basic, light layer, with maybe a bit of a wider v-neck and a bit of shaping and cropped sleeves to take it into the modern era in classic sort of way, and that was that. I like it, and so does my mom, so it has managed to please at least 2 generations in my family so far if that counts for anything ;)

I used Plymouth Wildflower DK because it was accessible to me at the time and it came in a wide range of colours, but really, just about any DK yarn that maintains its integrity pretty well (i.e. that will not droop too horribly) would work just fine. A note on yarn selection: if you intend this sweater to be machine-washable-dryable, make sure you wash and dry your swatch beforehand so that you get an idea of how the finished fabric will behave afterwards. Some machine-washable-dryable yarns do actually shrink up slightly post-drying, which makes it desirable to knit a few extra rows in key places so that the shaping still sits where you want it to sit. I suspect that knitters will also want to make adjustments depending on their height; for example if you are quite petite, even a 12-inch sleeve might not be quite cropped enough, or if you are particularly on the tall side you may want some extra length pre- and post-waist-shaping, so get out the measuring tape and see what works best for you.

I hope you enjoy! I’m already planning on queuing up a ‘Basic Pink’ for myself the spring. For now, though, I have some seasonal patterns that are distracting and enticing me. Little Gems Mitts, anyone? December Lights Tam? Maybe I can just sneak in one of those this week, surely my other WIPs won’t notice…And maybe another slice of cheesecake too… ;)

36 Comments

Filed under design, finished object: sweater, free pattern

Ready for Rhinebeck

My Ribby Cardi is finished, hurrah! Here I am, slightly blurry, with the finished product:

Ribby2Finished

I like the colours, it’s very comfortable, and I’m glad I did the ribbed buttonband once again. Only problem? I am 100% sure that I should have knitted a smaller size, likely the 38/39 size and not the 40/41 size. I think it’s pretty obvious it’s a size too big, which is a bit of a bummer since, don’t we all try to knit things that fit?

When I made this sweater last fall for my supervisor I made the 38/39 size and when I tried it on, it fit just a bit too snug for my own tastes, particularly around the shoulders. I chalked this up to slightly smaller gauge in both stitch and rows. My gauge hasn’t changed. When I tried this one on pre-washing it fit very nicely, but then after washing it seemed to floof out again, returning to its intended state and making me look like a dummo knitter who can’t even pick the right size, geez Louise! ::hangs head in shame::

Oh well. I will happily wear my mistake. It’s warm and comfy and I made it for ME, and darn it all I like it anyway. And in any case, it’s going to help ID me next week at the Rhinebeck wool festival in New York, for I am a happy participant in Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wanted to sign up for this so that I would get myself out of my stupid habit of coming down with the Shy Quivers when faced with large groups of new people, and actually get out and meet new friends instead of focussing only on the yarn and spending $$ part. ;) I’m a square (Saturday) and a player – hey, I figured if I was going to go around stalking and accosting Rhinebeck people, then they should have the right to stalk and accost me back ;) And apparently there are prize draws, so I call that a win win all around.

Another thing I did this weekend will help me out with the Rhinebeck experience. I spun for the first time.

Handspun1

Kate visited this weekend and did not do the typical houseguest thing and show up with, oh, a plate of cookies, or a bottle of wine, or any of these mundane things, but brought me a handmade drop spindle and a length of pink (she knows me well) roving. After dinner she showed me how to use the drop spindle (happily spinning away on her own bit of bright turquoise Louet roving), and before I knew it I was well on my way to the contents of the picture above. We joked that it looked not unlike spun candy floss.

Handspun2

(Kate is 3/4 done with a pretty bitchin’ shawl, by the way.)

I’m definitely still getting the hang of it, but generally I like it. My biggest problem is pulling (“drafting”?) the fibre too thin as I drop and spin, and then it breaks and I have to reattach it, and then I end up with a lumpy bumpy part in the attempt to reattach it. Still, cool. (Dude! Did you know you can make your own yarn? What won’t those crazy kids think up next!)

And now I know what the heck one does with those sticks with pucks on the end, and the fuzzy stuff that comes in little bags. I don’t know how fast I want to dive into this whole new part of the fibre world (Warning. Warning. New Fibre Obsession in Range), but I’m at least comfortable knowing what I’m looking that and I can check out the Rhinebeck stalls for something new and interesting. (Genuinely, there is nothing in the yarn area that I actually need – not that that’s stopped me before – but it is true that I can’t just walk down the street and buy a drop spindle. Thank you Rhinebeck.)

Can’t wait for the weekend! Just gotta get some actual “work” done before then and I’ll be feelin’ fine.

16 Comments

Filed under finished object: sweater, rhinebeck, ribbi cardi, spinning

Wraparound Jacket

Quite possibly the Fastest Knit in the West:

WraparoundJacket1

Yup, it’s pretty darned big. Something like 7 inches of ease, I think? But you know, I almost don’t even care what it looks like. I used up some of the guiltiest part of my stash.

Pattern: “Wraparound Jacket” cardigan from Classic Knits, by Erika Knight
Cast on: May 7
Cast off: May 20
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino (old rose) and Patons Divine (richest rose), doubled, approximately 900 yds of each
Needles: 10mm

I used this pattern to help me with some of the Patons Divine stash (3 colours and about 8 balls each) that’s been marinating for over 2 years. This pink stuff was used in two previous knitting attempts and sat for months unused – finally, it has a home, matched up with the Patons Merino to become the warmest, coziest, floppiest, biggest house sweater I’ve ever owned. I can’t say I’m rushing to model it now, seeing as spring has shown up, but I’m quite sure I’ll be glad for it come next winter when sub-zero temperatures hit and I want something to cozy up in around the house.

I have 1 full ball of the Divine and the Merino left, so I might double them up for a nice chunky hat to use it up. But even so, I’m glad to have the Pink Guilt done with. There is sitll the black and purple Divine to be reckoned with, but this is a great weight off my stash. :)

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Filed under finished object: sweater

Poppy

And on the occasion of my 100th post, how else to celebrate but with a Finished Object?

April30 004

Inexplicably, I am suddenly fretful, now that I’ve finished. (My sister keeps telling me “it’s FINE. Shut UP.”) Should i not have added length? Is it too big? Are the colours all wrong for me? Did I make too many stripes? Or, this could all be because of the fact that it is now spring and far too warm to wear this now (sob), and my psyche is pouting. ;)

April30 005

Pattern: Poppy, from Yarnplay by Lisa Shobhana Mason (size Medium)
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden #201 (7 skeins) and Noro Cash Iroha in black (4 skeins)
Cast On: March 31, 2007
Cast Off: April 30, 2007

Notes: I had to learn crochet for the finishing touches at the neck and bottom hemline for this sweater – in fact, it is this knowledge that has been impeding me from finishing off that WIP that’s been 99% done on my sidebar since, oh, February, but for some reason I decided to hold off and do the learning on Poppy instead. (Thank you, sister M.) I’m glad I now know some of the ways of teh evol crochet. ;)

The pattern overall is pretty user-friendly. If I were to do it again I would have knitted fewer coloured stripes in the body and left more of it just solid black – I remember as i was knitting the body that it was very, very hard to keep going in endless black without throwing in more stripes. I knitted the sleeves flat and seamed them up later instead of doing them in the round, just out of personal preference. I think the hardest part may actually have been the picking up stitches for the top, just because of the counting and my impatience. I think this would make a good sweater project for just about any skill level.

So, Poppy is done – she is the reason I bought Yarnplay back in January, and I knitted the Kitchen Sink sweater first instead while I waited for the Cash Iroha! I received most of the Silk Garden as a Christmas present from my sister, and admittedly I probably would not have splurged on the rest of the yarn otherwise. Come next winter, it’ll be a nice cozy treat waiting for me in my closet.

And then, to celebrate, I cast on for a little something. (While trying not to wake the sleeping tennis elbow.)
Have a great Monday!

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Filed under finished object: sweater, poppy

Ta-da!

HOO-RAY!
(Pardon the bleary morning expression…)


Et le-voila, c’est fini…


Pattern: Everything But the Kitchen Sink sweater, from the book Yarnplay, by Lisa Shobhana Mason. In true ‘kitchen sink’ fashion, the body and each sleeve are different. My only modifications were to add an inch of ribbing and another inch on the body (adding 2 inches of length overall).
Needles: 5 mm circulars (for the body) and straights (for the sleeves)
Cast on: February 21, 2007
Cast off: March 16, 2007
Finishing: I worked the sleeves flat instead of in the round, so that required an extra bit of seaming time, then sewing the raglan sleeves together and working a collar. After that I just had to trim any loose ends on the inside – I wove in the ends as I knitted, thank goodness. I cannot imagine having to finish a sweater like this only to have to weave in what must be hundreds and hundreds of ends. It short-circuits the brain just thinking about it.
Yarn: 25(ish) different yarns. With the exception of 2 that I purchased to even out the palette a little bit, all yarns were either leftovers sitting in the stash, or single/half-balls of yarn snagged from projects-in-waiting that I thought could manage to miss 50 yards or so. These yarns included:

Philosopher’s Wool 2-ply worsted
- jade
- raspberry
- navy
- periwinkle blue
- light blue heather
- dark purple heather
- light purple heather
- maroon
Elann Quecha (held doubled)
- saxony teal
Elann Pamir
- black raspberry
Elann Highland Silk
- celadon
- calypso green
Knit Picks Andean Silk
- sangria
- hollyberry
Knit Picks Swish Superwash
- bordeaux
- wisteria
Plymouth Encore worsted
- hunter green
Patons Classic Merino wool
- light grey mix
- royal purple
- teal green
- old rose
- new denim
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino
- eggplant
- light blue (ish)
Patons Decor
- lilac

So, there’s a mix of ho-hum and luxury in here. There are likely more yarns than these, but these are the most I can remember by looking at it. It’s fantastic. I could indeed have easily cast on for a size smaller, but the way it is now fits fine, after all my fretting. It’ll be a comfy, cozy, gorgeous sweater – and no one else has one like it! Ha-HA!



And then to celebrate, I started a new sock.

(Basic cuff-down sock pattern, 2.75mm DPNs, Austermann Step)

Ah, if only Sundays didn’t have to make the weekend end. ;)

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Filed under everything but the kitchen sink, finished object: sweater

Other People’s Stuff

Yesterday, I finally gifted my supervisor with her Ribbi Cardi – she loved it and was totally flattered. But hey, I figure a PhD supervisor who signs on for 4+ years deserves something a little more than a wee scarf or hat, right? She did warn me though, that when the rest of my committee sees it, they will start wanting sweaters, too. Hm.

Ribby Cardi


(Finished Ribby Cardi, KnitPicks Swish Superwash in Bordeaux (arms) and Wisteria (body), 4.5mm needles)

As you can see, I made a buttonband instead of using the zipper – given the Swish shrinkage issues, I didn’t want to risk Horrible Bad Shrinkage combined with Zipper Installation Which Could Potentially Go Screwy. And it worked. Buttons matched perfectly. My supervisor kept saying how soft the yarn felt and asked if it was cotton, and I said, “Nope, it’s wool! And you can even put it in the washing machine!” and she said, “NO! Really?” So, metal note. Superwash wool = positive knitted gift experience. I’ll definitely be knitting one of these for myself eventually, since the Fired Brick I originally ordered for the body turned out not so suitable and I still have it sitting around – it didn’t contrast enough with the Bordeaux. I’m thinkin’ red-and-pink Ribbi for me, just to be bright and girly. (My supervisor declined a photo while wearing hers, insisting wrongly that she is not photogenic. I wonder, does anyone actually think themselves photogenic?)

The Swish Superwash does shrink up as predicted – and really, KnitPicks is NOT doing themselves any favours by not advertising this. When I finished knitting and assembling, the length was 23.5″, and after washing and drying, the length was 21″. The sleeves, somehow, did not shrink up as much – I think this might be a property of the ribbed fabric vs. the stockinette fabric. Stockinette seems to dry and shrink up faster, as I noted on the, oh, four times or so I removed it from the dryer to check progress. For this pattern, if I do make it again with Swish, I’ll not only add length to the body, but add more rows in the raglan sleeve cap/armhole shaping to guard against shrinkage there. I think most of the shrinkage did happen in the body, but hey, just to be on the safe side. (I have the feeling that the Swish is also going to pill like a mo’fo’, but hey, so does every other yarn KnitPicks makes, so no real surprises there.)

[Edited to Add]: A pic from knit night last night of Aven and her wee guy. He had no toys and I had sympathy, so I offered my scarf with the waggly tassly ends, and that seemed to suffice for at least two seconds. After last night I started wondering if well-meaning fellow knitters should include a soft baby toy in their knitting bag, for just such emergencies.

(Et voila le cute.)

So yes, I plucked up my courage again and went to Lettuce Knit for knit night for the third time ever – the first chair available that I found was right by the door, so I sat there the whole time as if ready for a clean getaway in case of terminal shyness. But no, it was all fine, and the ladies I chatted with were lovely, and there was one woman next to me who was there for the first time and so that was reassuring to me. And Elizabeth, who I’d met before, started showing me this hand-dyed limited-edition laceweight and sock yarn and almost had me convinced to plunk down $50 on yarn before I left – but I persevered and did not purchase. I’ll see how the perseverance lasts if I go next week!

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Filed under finished object: sweater, ribbi cardi, yarn review