Archive for the ‘Cardigans’ Category

Cinnamon toast

June 25, 2012

Cinnamon Toast

I have this cardigan. It’s my favorite cardigan. There’s no good reason why it should be a favorite. It’s boxy and loose and cropped and it’s made of acrylic and I bought it in high school. It’s the dull mint color of hospital walls, and yet, somehow, it goes with everything and it’s comfortable and I love it. For years now I’ve been thinking I should knit a new version of my cardigan in nicer material than acrylic and in more colors than dull mint. What you see above is the result of getting off my tuchus and actually doing just that.

It currently lacks buttons, but that’s my new cardigan, modeled on my old cardigan, and I love it! It’s knit in Tosh Merino Light in Rosewood, a lovely brown with warm pinks peeking out every so often. I thought Rosewood would work as a neutral without being so neutral as to be dull. I think it does, at that. It did grow a bit more than I’d calculated, which was great for the sleeves, less so for the body. I had intended to make the sweater oversized, but it’s still a bit larger than intended, something I intend to correct with the next sweater. Because this is absolutely the first of several of these cardigans! Everyone needs a plain cardigan, I think. I may write up a pattern next time.

Oh, one more thing – I had trouble deciding how I wanted to knit the button bands, and in the end decided I wanted vertical bands. But I’d already knit the sweater and hadn’t incorporated vertical bands into the pattern. I don’t think my solution is perfect – it does create a little horizontal edge where it joins – but I made what I think of as afterthought bands. Knit vertically, they join to the sweater as you knit them, with the last stitch of the row being knit together with the edge stitch from the sweater on every right side row. It joins every to every other row on the sweater and I think makes for a really nice, sturdy band. Next time I’ll knit it straight into the sweater, but it’s a decent solution for the indecisive.

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Green with evil

June 16, 2011

Actually, there’s no evil to be found here. It’s just that when I was in high school, my favorite television show was Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, and there’s a character on that show, Zorak, who describes himself as green with evil. I repeated the phrase so often that green and evil are sort of permanently linked in my mind. Green is also one of my favorite colors, so there’s a hugely positive association with this green evil business. A frightening little tour of my psyche, that.

Anyhoo, I’ve had a lot of deadline knitting lately, and I’m not the fastest knitter on the block, so I have had relatively little time to knit simply for fun or to knit other people’s patterns. I say relative, because a lot of more prolific designers than I am have far less time to knit anything just for fun. I’ve had a couple of little windows between projects, though, and I used that time to knit a little warm weather cardigan.

The pattern is Safire, by Hilary Smith Callis. She’s got a lot of lovely sweater patterns that I want to knit, but I picked this one when I was looking for something to do with my pretty Sundara Merino DK the Second. It’s club yarn, and the yardage ended up being less than expected, so while it’s lovely, I couldn’t use it for the project I originally had in mind. The color was so bright and pretty, though, I didn’t want to use it for an accessory, so I went looking for a shrug or cardigan pattern that would work with less than 600 yards of yarn. Safire fit the bill, and as I quite like cropped cardigans, it was a really appealing option.

This is a great (and free!) little pattern. I was over on gauge even with smaller needles, so I knit the smallest size, and it fits perfectly after blocking. While I did not otherwise make any modifications, if I were to knit this a second time, I would not do the waist decreases, and I probably will still add a crocheted edge to the button bands. I feel like the decreases break up the ribbing in a way I’m not that fond of, and the ribbing itself works pretty well to nip in at the waist. That’s a matter of taste, though, and the decreases aren’t especially noticeable when I’m wearing the sweater.

I have yet to get modeled photos, but I have worn the sweater out and about. We don’t get super warm weather even during the summer most of the time, and our summers are always punctuated by cold spells, so a little layering piece like this is ideal. The yarn is pretty dreamy – very firm and smooth and it feels like it will wear like iron despite being soft on the skin. The color is also gorgeous. It’s called  Turning Leaves in the Fog, and the spring greens are punctuated with the occasional cool streak.

I’m sneaking in an apology at the end here – I know apologizing for failure to blog is silly and pathetic, but I can’t help it! I have a post about nostalgia on deck but I haven’t found time to finish it, so it may be only posts when I finish a project for a while. Mea culpa! And happy summer!

Surtsey

May 29, 2010

The Surtsey pattern is now available for purchase!  Surtsey is a baby cardigan with a little simple colorwork to add a special touch. Knit from the top down in one piece for minimal finishing, Surtsey knits up fast to make a charming baby shower gift or homecoming sweater. It’s also a great way to use up those special sock yarn leftovers wasting away in your stash. Solids and semi-solids will show the colorwork best, but the color possibilities are endless. Have fun!

SIZES
newborn 3 – 6 months, 6 – 12 months, 12 – 18 months
18 19, 19.5, 20 inches at chest

MATERIALS

  • 2 (2, 2, 2) skeins ShibuiKnits Sock 100% merino, 191 yds per 50g skein in main color (MC)
  • 1 (1, 1, 1) skein ShibuiKnits Sock in contrasting color (CC)
  • 1 set U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm) circular needles
  • 1 set U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm) dpns or long circular for Magic Loop
  • 8 stitch markers
  • tapestry needle
  • Five 5/8” buttons
  • waste yarn

GAUGE
24 sts/37 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Tech edited by crazyl

Buy now for U.S. $6.50

I am happy, but I have no judgment

May 14, 2010

I stayed up until 1:30 this morning working on the Surtsey pattern.  At some point in that long intense slog, an alarm went off on my computer, informing me that there might be a Wollmeise update.  When I’m up and there’s a Wollmeise update, I generally watch them to see what the big deal is and to find out how it all works.  This time, I was tired, but pleased at my progress, and I decided that if I could, I would get a skein.  In some ways, I don’t know why.  I do not need more yarn right now.  But I did want to try the Wollmeise, and it seemed like a good idea.

So I bought a skein.  I saw what looked like a lovely dark green and I snapped it up.  I finished my first draft of the pattern, and, pleased with myself and the world, I went to bed.

This morning, I looked up the color I’d just purchased.  I didn’t buy a dark green.  I bought a teal.  A lovely, rich, beautiful teal, but a teal nonetheless.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love teal.  But I am so. darn. sick of it right now.  If you look over on the sidebar, you can see why.  Including Surtsey, three out of three of my most recent patterns have been in teal.  Much as I enjoy the color, one more skein of teal is not what I had in mind.  I blame the fact that it was late at night, and the excitement and weirdness of the update.  I’d click on a color, the site would crash, and when it came up again, the color would be sold out.  People are not kidding when they say that Wollmeise updates are intense!

So, now I suppose I will be looking to trade a skein of Wollmeise for a different color.

In the meantime, though, Surtsey is ready for test knitting!

If you have 250 to 300 yards of sock yarn in one color, and around 50 in a contrasting color, you can make this sweater.  If you’re interested in test knitting, let me know!  I’ve thus far written it up in 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, and 18-24 months sizes, but I will probably add a newborn size before pattern release.  Probably.  Sizing for babies turns out to be hard.  Baby proportions are all out of wack with adult proportions, and I found the standard sizes from the Yarn Council to be off base.

I meant to review an absolutely gorgeous skein of yarn sent to me by Hasmi of Rocky Mountain Dyeworks today, but I’m a little behind schedule on that end, so stay tuned, and I’ll try to get to it by Monday!

And here’s one more picture of my pretty little model in Surtsey.  Because, really, baby pictures are more fun to look at than anything else I have on offer at the moment!

In a tizzy

May 13, 2010

I’ve almost got the Surtsey pattern ready for test knitting, which makes me very happy.  I had some setbacks on math and wording, but I think we’re on the right path now.  And the new Sunniva sample is back on track, and I’m doing some test knitting for the ever-awesome Stephen West, so life is busy, but not half bad!

We got Nora’s hair trimmed.  I think they should have left some of the spiky edges, but it’s actually pretty cute, so I’m happy.  The initial shock of seeing her with her hair all gone is over, and now I can just enjoy having a little short haired pixie girl.

Sunniva is coming along splendidly!  I am still absolutely nuts about the gorgeous red violet color from Orangeflower.  It looks like velvet as it knits up.

Isn’t that pretty?  I am smitten.

I’ve also been working quietly on another project over the last couple of weeks.  I was doing some blog graphics for The Frugal Girl.  Although I don’t think I’ve previously mentioned her blog here before, you may very well have heard of it.  The Frugal Girl is a long time friend of mine, and she’s got a really snazzy money-saving blog that is enormously popular.  If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it!  Kristen (other Kristen!) is a fun, sensible voice of reason, and I’m darn lucky to know her.  Her blog is full of really helpful information on a day to day basis.

It was so nice to be able to do a little illustration and graphic design work.  I was so resistant to the computer when I was in art school, but I’ve gotten to like drawing in Photoshop in recent years.  So yay!

OK, this is actually me procrastinating because I’m hating the math on the baby sweater right now, but I should get back to work.   With luck, you will be seeing test knits and new baby sweaters shortly!

Good cheer

April 12, 2010

So, with all the stuff going wrong with Sunniva, I kind of lost my knitting mojo for a bit.

So it’s really nice when something you’re working on decides that really, knitting is FUN, and you should remember that.  That baby sweater I mentioned?  I am enjoying it ridiculous amounts.  I made a chart, played with it, and came up with some simple colorwork that makes me so very happy.

How cute is that?  Teeny tiny sweaters are so nice to knit.  They go fast, even with thin yarn, and they result in adorably small little garments that look impossibly wee, but will be surprisingly large when held up next to a real baby.

So, yeah, feeling much better about knitting and about myself as a knitter.  Hooray for tiny people and their need for cardigans!  Having this go much as planned is making me feel more confident about Sunniva as well.

Oh, that’s right, I have a blog

January 16, 2010

I can’t believe we’re two weeks into the new year and I haven’t posted here!  I have so much to catch up on.

Wrapping up 2009, while it was not the best year I’ve had, I feel pretty good about things and very hopeful as we look toward the future.  I’m a combination of cynical and optimistic generally speaking.  This past year had its downs, but it’s also the year I finished up what I hope are the last of my college requirements for transfer.  I discovered that I like math.  And on the knitting front, I feel like my skills improved and that I have a better plan for going forward.

My birthday was on January 6th, and as a birthday present to myself, I dropped everything I was working on (more on that later) and cast on for Liesl.  I am a huge admirer of Ysolda’s work, but I have to say that I did not fall in love with Liesl right away.  I thought it was pretty and then thought no more until Emily posted pictures of her Liesl and I knew that someday, I would have to make one, too.

After Clothilde went live, I put aside a little money for some Sundara Aran Silky Merino.  At the time, the only way to order it was in the mass updates that sold out pretty fast, or from the Year in Color, and I was waiting for the perfect color, which showed up in September.   Arabian Nights, the most gorgeous brown and purple yarn you’ve ever seen.  I ordered two skeins and then waited the long wait until November, when it shipped.  But it was well worth the wait, and I was so so glad I chose that particular shade when it arrived.  It is amazing in real life, all these deep shades running into each other and each more beautiful than the last.

I was going to swatch, but I’d only ordered two skeins, and I was worried about the yardage.  I decided to order another skein for swatch purposes.  That took a while, because I am the Indecisive Queen of Indecisiveness.  I wanted a color that I could use for gifts, so I dithered and dithered and finally ordered some purple and blue yarn.  Then there was the wait for that to arrive.  Once it got here, I swatched using my size 10 needles.  I have begun to think I’m a loose knitter, so I thought perhaps I’d need to go down in needle size.  But no, size 10 was too small, and 11 too big, so I had to order needles, which I did, in several sizes, from Knit Picks.  Then it was the waiting game again.

The needles arrived on my birthday, so I dropped everything and swatched immediately.  I had purchased 6.5 mm needles and also the 7 mm needles called for in the pattern.  Lo and behold, I got gauge on the called for needles!  I was glad of the 6.5 needles, though, because I wanted a neckline between the ones shown on the pattern.  I cast on for the wide neckline using the 6.5 mm needles and switched to the 7 mm after 22 rows.

I was ill for a bit, so I didn’t knit as fast as I usually would, but even still, the sweater was done in four days.  And even that would have been three days if I hadn’t been so tired.  This is a genius pattern.  It breezes along like you wouldn’t believe and it’s never boring.  The lack of waist shaping isn’t a problem because of the stretchy lace, but I was surprised to find that the bottom belled when I blocked it and it essentially created a waist.  Oh, and I used about 1.75 skeins.

I love this thing.  My first FO of 2010.  It’s not really the right weather to wear it yet, but I like being prepared.  This will be a great spring cardigan.

The pattern is very easy to follow, as written and this yarn? It is amazing to work with.  Although it is single ply, the silk content grounds the merino, creating a very soft and warm fabric with incredible drape, and thus far, no pills.

I have a very long torso, and this hits just where I wanted it to.  Again, I’m plain shocked that this is possible with so little yarn.  This is the perfect pattern for a more expensive yarn because you need so little of it.  And if the Sundara ASM is a little rich for your blood, Blue Moon Fiber Arts offers a very similar yarn that’s $32 for 500 yards, Luscious Single Silk.

This is my first Liesl, but it will not be my last.  This pattern strikes me as great for gifts.  More detail on the yarn and knitting on Ravelry.

Goals for 2010 next time!

Rustic

May 21, 2009

Muench Sir Galli, now discontinued, is a silk tweed, and while it’s not actually practical for rustic use, something about it, from the subdued natural tones to the tweedy flecks and nubs, screams rustic.  It has a gnarled, woody look, and when I finally made use of it, I felt that I wanted to turn that woody look to the advantage of the garment.

This isn’t the most practical cardigan I’ve ever made, but I’m excited nonetheless, because all the elements of this experiment worked out rather as I wanted them to.  I had a vision and the end result looks an awful lot like that vision, despite a certain lack of knowledge when it comes to shaping lace.  You can see that in the rumply shape of the front panels, but the raglan shaping itself went very well.

I need to get a picture of the back of this so you can actually see the Fir Cone lace.  It’s a fine old Shetland pattern, closely related to Razor Shell and Fern lace, but it doesn’t lie as flat as either of these.  This is where the silk yarn came in handy: the sheer amount of drape causes the lace to lie relatively flat, something I don’t think would be possible in most fibers.

As I said in my last post, I have no plans to write up a pattern for this one, but I do like the construction enough that I’m planning a similar garment that will be written up.

I’m still unwell and still on crutches, and am overall unhappy with my body and its inability to stay healthy for any space of time longer than a month.  The crutches are leaning against a nearby wall in the above photo, and to be honest, soon after it was taken I was too tired to stay upright.  It’s just a bit discouraging.  Use of the crutches creates pain in parts of my body other than my foot, and then my fibromyalgia flares up and I’m exhausted and painful all the time.  It’s making me crabby.

I have deeper thoughts, mostly inspired by Emily, that need to be written through, but I’m afraid I’m too tired to get to them now.  So for the moment, it’s just the new sweater!