Category Archives: sweaters

Thank goodness for yarn

You know, the more I knit the more I am grateful to be a knitter in the spring. It has nothing to do with needing to produce a bunch of warm garments (although given weather reports for the near future around southern Ontario I don’t think we’ll be giving up the sweaters or gloves any time soon). In the fall transition, it is definitely about knitting the stuff. You get the whiff of chill in the air and suddenly you find yourself casting on five sweaters. No, for me in spring it’s mostly about the yarn. I get to carve out a half hour in the morning, or an hour or two in the evening, or whenever it is the knitting suits me, and spend that time staring at a colour that in no way resembles greying half-melted snowbanks, and the thought that non-knitters don’t get to do this makes me wonder how they survive waiting for spring.

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The Dusseldorf Aran, while slightly sidelined, is coming along gradually, and the bright magenta is helping. It’ll be a little while yet before that colour shows up in nature anywhere around here. (And oh yeah? Pleats. Pleats, man. This sweater has pleated cuffs. It’s the first time I’ve gotten the chance to do pleats on anything knitted, and I dig it. Bit of folding here, bit of DPN knit-3-stitches-at-once action there, and then you have pleats.)

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My project of adding a few more pairs of socks to the sock drawer is also coming along well, and last weekend I finished up another pair of 3×1 ribbed socks (from my basic ribbed sock pattern, in this post), in another Socks That Rock mill end colourway. (I’ve got to start making more dents in my Sock Summit stash, for serious.) And the best part of finishing a pair of socks (well, aside from wearing them)? Now, I get to walk over to my stash, look at all the yarn in all the colours, and pick out a new skein to knit with.

Mar11-SockStash

Yarn pretty much rules. I hope you’ve got some waiting for you today! Have an awesome weekend.

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Filed under finished object: socks, socks, stash, sweaters

Gradual but steady

I have reached that stage of the holidays where, despite the fact that my load is relatively light compared to many others with enormous families, I have come to terms with the fact that not everything I wanted to get done is going to happen before Christmas, and I’ll just let finished things happen where they may. Some of the cookies will be post-Christmas cookies. I’ll finish up the Lord of the Rings re-viewing maybe on Boxing Day. I’ll be getting on a plane tomorrow and that’ll be some nice key knitting time right there.

Dec22-CaramelsAndKnitting

My grandfather’s socks, the only knitted gift that is a real must on my list, are on the go and are likely going to be the only thing I’ll work on for the next few days. I started them yesterday (ahahaha yeah, I’m a bit behind) in between stirring the pot of caramel I had going while attempting to make caramel marshmallows. (You know, because I somehow burned half of the simple sugar cookie recipe, but managed to make caramel marshmallows just fine? Yeah, I don’t know either.) Needless to say, those took basically all afternoon yesterday, but they are delicious. And a few little bags of them will be gifted, which is extra awesome.

I’ve also been so close to finishing up my Elizabeth Zimmerman yoked sweater that have been letting myself spend time on it this week in the scant couple of days that I’m at the homestead in Hamilton, because there is a sewing machine and I’ve been mostly by myself (my parents are living abroad this year, in Australia, and my sister and I carry on to relatives in Edmonton for Christmas festivities), which means I get to do things like make caramels and cut steeks whenever I darned well please. And I’m really looking forward to a) having a new winter sweater to wear, as well as b) finally finishing one of the ongoing projects I’ve had lingering for a couple of months and being able to move on to a new sweater or something else according to my whims.

Dec22-EZyokeCardigan1

I picked this back up again a week or two ago after neglecting it for a bit, and it’s only just gotten interesting in the last few days with the addition of the fair isle patterns on the yoke. It’s been the sort of project that I haven’t displayed much of on the blog because it would have amounted, essentially, to a sequence of photos of more brown stockinette knitting. But then, suddenly, poof, the colour-work portion came up and I was buoyed to get it done. The buttonband and neckband are just going to be basic ribbing, which means the steek edge is going to be visible on the wrong side of the work (as compared to a folded-over facing), so I elected to do just a simple sewn reinforcement. I sewed a line of stitches down each side of the middle of the steek…

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Dec22-SteekBeforeCut

…and then cut right down the middle.

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Dec22-SteekFinished2

And that was that. Done and done. I tell you, steeking never gets old. And because this sweater is worked all at once in the round, all I have now is the ribbing for the buttonband, a few ends to sew in, and I’ll be done. Of course, there is the small matter that I forgot that I will need buttons, to sew onto the buttonband. But I’m sure that’s just a small matter, right? Buttons will magically materialize somehow? Um…maybe? I’ll be on the lookout. And will be sure to report back when it’s all done for good.

Whatever stage of holiday or non-holiday knitting, craziness, or both, you may be at right now, I wish you the best this week. And I’ll toast you all when I have a drink with my knitting later on tonight. And tomorrow. And probably Christmas Day and the day after that.

Happy knitting!

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Filed under elizabeth zimmerman, fair isle, fearless knitting, steeks, sweaters

Now or Never

So, I’ve been poring over my Elizabeth Zimmerman books for what seems like ages. (For real – there was a while where they were bedtime or bathtime reading. It’s sort of like knitting without actually doing any knitting.) About a month and a half ago I finally caved and started a Pi Shawl, because I had all manner of laceweight yarn kicking around to start something with, and I couldn’t stand waiting it out any more. It’s coming along, albeit slower now that I’m at the longest rounds that are over 500 sts.

The other project I’ve been coveting is the Fair Isle yoked sweater, with instructions in the Knitting Around book. I’ve also had the yarn kicking around, and knew straight out that I want mine to be a cardigan (steeking involved, but of course! mmm, delicious steeks), but have been stalling out due to other ongoing projects. So I told myself I would start it in November, and give myself a month. Tons of kntitters choose November as “National Sweater Knitting Month” or NaSweKniMo, a la “National Novel Writing Month” or NaNoWriMo. Sometimes it’s the deadline that gets things done.

Nov5-EZyoke1

Well, I didn’t start it right on November 1st, but November 3rd was good enough, and I’m a few inches into the body. It’s a lot of stockinette right at first, which is a bit hard to keep interesting, but on the other hand it’s good because this gives me a bit of stalling time to figure out exactly which colours I’ll use on the yoked part. I’ve got lots of options, just haven’t settled on the specific order yet.

I love knitting. You’re never short of fun decisions, I tell ya.

Nov5-EZyoke2

A few others on Twitter are following along with their own Elizabeth Zimmerman project for the month of November – come join in if you like! We’re using the hashtag #EZnovember and are entirely at our own whims otherwise.

Happy knitting this weekend!

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Filed under elizabeth zimmerman, sweaters

Making the deadline

On Friday, during the van ride down to Rhinebeck, I knitted the 2nd sleeve.

On Friday night, I sewed the sleeves to the body over margaritas.

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And on Saturday, I wore the finished sweater to Rhinebeck. (Royale, available on Ravelry and on Patternfish.)

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It was awesome.

I also bought some yarn. More about that tomorrow. There’s some more knitting and drinking to be done first. Hurray for knitting weekends!

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Filed under design, finished object: sweater, sweaters

On sucking less

The knitting internets have been gathering momentum the past few weeks. There have been countdowns tossed around on Twitter, SQUEE IN ALL CAPS, excitement over packing and things to knit. Rhinebeck approacheth. I am lucky enough to be attending for the 4th year in a row, and it is always a good time with knitterly interaction, much yarn to be fondled…and the wearing of new knitted sweaters.

I’ve had my own sweater identified for quite a while. Ever since I designed Royale back in the spring, I knew I needed to have one of my own. It was a sad, sad day my friends, when I had to give up the sample to Tanis (though less sad for her, admittedly). I cast on for my own back at the end of July during my California trip, during which time there was much airplane knitting and car knitting, and good opportunities to get it started. It’s been a sporadic knit, largely because I keep putting it down to work on other things in between.

And also because I keep royally screwing it up. And for no good reason whatsoever, because I’ve made mistakes on this sweater that are nothing to do with the pattern. The fact that I designed this myself clearly has given me no turf advantage whatsoever. It’s like the yarn and needles got together and said “hah hah, we’ll show her who’s boss.”

Oct1-Royale3

For real, folks, I knitted the original sample in 3 weeks. It was awesome. It could not have gone BETTER. But clearly, now that I am working on my own – even starting it during the leisurely dog days of summer – the universe has come along not once but three times to kick me in the shins.

The first time this happened was that I realized, while sitting in Liz’s living room the morning after I had spent 5 hours from Toronto to San Francisco knitting in front of the airplane seat television, that I had in fact cast on for the wrong size. Rookie mistake, which could not be gotten around. I ripped back, and started over.

The second time this happened was back in August, when my subconscious brain somehow allowed me to stop paying attention to the central pattern chart, and I repeated a whole separate chunk of it in a completely unnecessary fashion. Many of you looked at my blog post back then and said “Um, Glenna, I can’t tell. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And it could well be the case that I would wear the sweater out and about and nobody would ever know. But I would know. I envisioned myself wearing the sweater around other knitters and having to either walk with my arms folded over me the whole time, or repeatedly say things like “do you like my sweater? I made it myself! except, don’t pay attention to the huge mistake right above the middle of my ribcage, lalalala. Wow that’s nice yarn over there, let’s talk about that instead.”

So I ripped back another four inches and re-knitted it.

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The third time happened a few weeks ago, and I had to spend several moments with the sweater laid out on the couch next to me just staring at it and deciding what was going to happen next. I had neglected that step with using hand-dyed yarn where, in order to avoid severe-looking colour changes when using skeins that look ever so slightly different from each other, you alternate between two skeins for a while until they start to blend. I know how to do this. Heck, I’ve DONE this, many times. I’m pretty sure I’ve even written it down in pattern instructions a few times before. I AM SMARTER THAN THIS. AHAHHAHAH.

I reasoned with myself that maybe it wouldn’t be that obvious in different lights, that maybe people wouldn’t notice…And then my brain finally said “listen. All those other times when you did something sucky, you ripped it out and made the suckiness go away. You’re going to let all of that go to waste by letting the third sucky thing stick around?”
No, no I did not. I ripped it back again.

And now I have most of the body and most of one sleeve, and a week to go before I leave for Rhinebeck, so I’m sincerely hoping that the third time was the charm and that my yarn and needles haven’t got a fourth and fifth mistake session in the works for me. Please, dear sweater, we’ll both be so much happier when I’m wearing you around the knitterly fairgrounds. Deal?

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Filed under fearless knitting, rhinebeck, sweaters

Happy birthday to me

I’m back from the great California adventure, have unpacked and am trying to remember what it was that I was doing before I left – which I am sure was very very important – and now it’s my birthday. Today I’m going to celebrate by going for a run, finishing making some chocolate cupcakes of death, and going in to knit at the Purple Purl for a bit. After that, who knows. If things get really crazy, maybe I’ll get out my spinning wheel this weekend. (STEP back.)

July30-Royale

As for my knitting, I’m working away on a Royale pullover of my own, since the lovely sample I made up back in the spring is now in the hands of Tanis Fiber Arts! And I must have one of my own. This is Tanis’ aran weight, in ‘teal’, which was one of her new colours this May. It is delicious.

Now I have some birthday-ing to do. Happy Friday!

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Filed under cables, design, sweaters

Next up

Here we are, folks, a straight-up no-fooling-around Work In Progress post.

I’ve been having a bit of the knitting ennui this week, which I think comes from having 2 projects around the 75% done mark and needing something new to hold the interest. And I’ve been poring over my copy of A Fine Fleece and wanting to knit all of it (stay tuned for further plans here), and finally decided to heck with THIS I am casting something ON ALREADY.

So I did. ‘Portland’ is now in its beginning stages. It’s one of the sweaters that caught my eye first, and I had thought somehow that I would have knitted it already – several times last summer I was convinced that it would be next on deck.

Portland1

But there is something about winter that flicks a cabled switch in one’s brain, and this feels good to have a project going that really involves sinking your teeth into it. I’m working this on some wooly-wool, the lanolin-sheepy-feeling sort of wool, worsted wool from Lismore Sheep Farm that I picked up in Nova Scotia a year and a half ago at Have A Yarn.

Portland2

I am enjoying the heathery purple and how it is knitting up. So far the texture is great and even on the smallest size in the book, it’s going to leave me with a warm few inches of positive ease for a bit of roominess. I’ve decided I’m OK if this sweater turns out to be a little roomy. I’ll save the fitted for next time.

The only bummer about knitting this during my morning commute is that now the project back is sitting a few feet away from me, taunting me. I will try to remain strong until quitting time.

Happy Friday, dear knitters! May your knitting be awesome.

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Filed under a fine fleece, cables, sweaters