Tag Archive | cardigan

Freshly Finished: Silver Marigold

Silver Marigold 1

Pattern: Marigold by Marie Wallin (from Rowan 45)

Yarn: Naturally Caron Spa, colorway 0008 Misty Taupe, approximately 836 yards

Needles:  Addi Turbo circs, US 5 for the body; Hiya Hiya steel circs, US 3 for the ribbing of the neck and button band; Karbonz DPNs, US 3 for the ribbing on the sleeves

Size: 36″

Satisfaction with end product:  I love this.  It’s light and drapy. It fits and feels great.  Click here for my Ravelry project page.

The pattern calls for US 2 (for ribbing) and US 3 (for body) needles, but I couldn’t get gauge with the US 3, so I went up to a US 5 for the body and saved the US 3 for the ribbing.

Silver Marigold 3The raglan shaping gave me fits.  I had to rip out the shaping on the back three times before finally figuring out the pattern instructions. The pattern reads like there’s an extra decrease on each knit side. Nor does it make clear not to decrease on the purl side as previously established for several of the sizes. Reading through the pattern, this language is repeated for all raglan shaping. To be clear, the raglan shaping is as follows: Dec 1 at each end of each right (knit) side row as established (that is, k6, ssk, k to last 8, k2tog, k6; follow instructions for eyelet row as established); do not dec on back (purl) side.

Silver Marigold 4And it wasn’t just the shaping on the back.  The sleeve gave me fits too. After tearing my hair out and then letting sleeve #1 sit overnight, I re-read the shaping instructions for the top bit. I guess the designer condensed the instructions for publication due to Rowan space restrictions. I wrote it out line by line for clarity.

This isn’t the first Rowan pattern I’ve made, but it’s the first pattern that wasn’t an accessory, like a hat or a scarf.  The, um, brevity of the instructions gives me some pause about tackling other cardigans and pullovers.  I mean, I muddled through, and the sweater turned out fine, but it was a headache for a while.  I don’t knit to give myself headaches.  Knitting is my soothing activity.

Regardless, the knitting was finished sometime in May, and then the sweater sat in pieces for months.  Well, it did get some use as a prop in Evelyn In Purgatory, but mostly it sat.  Finally, in early September, I finished the seaming, added the front and neck bands, sewed on the button and called it good. I opted out of the embroidery after realizing how easily this yarn snags.  I’ve already worn it a couple of times.  It’s suitable for casual weekend wear and for the office.  So, I love it, despite the PITA it was to make.

 

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WIP Wednesday–A couple of items

A couple of WIPs are nearing completion.  I haven’t blogged either of them before so here’s your first look.  These are exciting times.

First up is Marigold from Rowan 45.  I’m at the sewing-together phase, as you can see.

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Once I finish sewing it together, I have to add the button and neck bands, embroider the flowers, and find the right button.

Unlike a lot of people, I actually enjoy seaming.  Well, maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word, but I don’t hate it.  I view it as a necessary step in the process.  Sometimes I procrastinate on the seaming, but that’s usually because I’ve distracted myself by getting started on another project.

Like this one:

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This is the top-down Glacier Tunic from Interpretations Volume 5.  I love Joji Locatelli’s patterns.  I’m shaping the bottom now.  Then will come the sleeves and the neck band.

Both of these projects are so close to done that I’m struggling with cast-on-itis right now.  Must. Resist. The Call.

New FO: V-Neck Cardigan

Ravelry sometimes chooses my next project for me.  Such was the case when the Vogue Knitters group decided that, for 2018, we should knit pattern #18 from any Vogue Knitting magazine.  As it happened, I had a couple of #18s in my queue, so I picked one and cast on.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 1

Pattern: #18 V-Neck Cardigan by Anniken Allis, from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2016
Yarn: Naturally Caron Country, colorway 0017 Claret, roughly 750 yards (4 skeins and maybe 20 or 30 yards from a fifth skein to finish the button band)
Yarn notes: Super splitty, and definitely not an Aran weight. More like a DK or sport weight. Discontinued. I wouldn’t buy more even if it weren’t because the splitty nature was a real pain. But it knit up with nice stitch definition that made the lace pop.
Needles: Addi circulars, US 6
Buttons: Resin buttons from stash, purchased at a Stitches South booth so long ago I can’t remember the vendor
Mods: No waist shaping; shortened sleeves by 1 inch; shortened body by 7 inches. My gauge was slightly larger than what the pattern calls for, so a little bit of math resulted in casting on for the 38” and expecting to get the 39.5”. My bust is 37”, and the pattern calls for 2-3″ of ease, so we’re good there.
Satisfaction with end product: I love it. I’ve already worn it to work. It’s perfect for this cool spring weather, even if it is sort of an autumn color. It will be useful when autumn rolls around again, of course.  By the way, here’s the link to the Ravelry project page.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 2

The knitting of this little cardigan was a bit of a chore. The body to the yoke is all one piece; the sleeves are knitted separately and joined to the body at the yoke; then the whole thing is knitted as one piece.  I got to the sleeve/yoke join and was merrily knitting and decreasing along.  Nearing the end of the decreases for the shoulder, I suddenly noticed the front edges between the lace charts weren’t matching up: one was considerably wider than the other.  Vogue errata, grah! On the VK site, I found the error.  Unfortunately, to fix it, I had to rip back nearly a week’s worth of knitting, all the way back to the joining of the sleeves, and start that whole section again.  Frustrating.  But I may have finally learned to check EVERY SINGLE VOGUE PATTERN for errata before casting on.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 4

Another issue with the pattern is it doesn’t really explain how to manage the continued decreases across the lace once the lace charts meet up at the top of the shoulder.  So I muddled through by studying the magazine photos thoroughly, and then decreasing across the front edge charts and maintaining the stitch count by doing plain stockinette when I didn’t have enough stitches to make the yarn over and its accompanying decrease.  It worked out, so I was happy about that.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 6

The last real struggle was with picking up the stitches for the button band and neck edge.  Because I shortened the cardigan by 7 inches, the pattern instructions for how many stitches to pick up went right out the window.  So what I did was fall back on the standard method when you don’t know how many stitches you need.  I picked up 3 stitches for every four rows as follows: 89 from cast on edge along right front edge to marker, knit according to pattern to next marker, from marker pick up 89 down left front edge to cast on edge.  Perfect!

And now, one last photo.

18 V-Neck Cardigan 3

The cheesecake shot

FO Friday: The Wildflower Cardigan

100_4655Hurray, it’s done! After all this time, it’s done!

Well, to be totally truthful, it was finished at the end of June.  But it wasn’t until  two weekends ago that spouse and I managed to coordinate our schedules for a photoshoot (my head is cut off in the photos because I hadn’t yet taken a shower that day and my hair was a mess;  spouse said “Either we take these pictures now or they don’t get done,” so we took the pictures); and then it wasn’t until this past weekend that I found the time to write this blog entry and schedule it for publication.

Pattern:  Wildflower Cardigan by Alana Dakos; available as a download or in the book, Coastal Knits.

Yarn:  Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, colorway Acorn; roughly 8 1/2 skeins, totaling 1575 yards

Size: 43″ (bust measurement)

Needles: US 1, 2, and 3 — I used Hiya Hiya Sharps circulars.

Mods:  None, except adding a few more rows to make the button band wider and adding one more button.

Satisfaction with end product:  I love it.  It fits just right; it has the three-quarter sleeves that I love; it can be dressed up or dressed down.  Now I’m just waiting for the weather to turn so I can wear it.

You can click on the big pic up there to go to my Ravelry project page.  Here are some more pictures for your enjoyment.  Click each of the pictures to view it larger.

To knit this, you must be prepared to face endless endless endless stockinette. A lot of Alana Dakos’s designs are like that. Her cardigans tend to be very simple in structure, with one or two special design features (like the tiny pocket and the scalloped detail at the hem and sleeve edges on this one) that stand out against the acres of stockinette. The good thing is this makes her cardigans perfect for television knitting.

This post is part of the Knit Your Library Challenge. Click the badge to see what other folks participating in this challenge have done.

FO Friday Avantaknits Badge (2)Because I’m scheduling this entry ahead of time, I’m not linking with any other Finished Friday blogs. Feel free to link with this one, if you so desire!

WIP Wednesday: The never-ending Wildflower Cardigan

Wildflower 12Don’t look now but this yarn and book blog has actual yarn content today.

I’m still plugging away at the Wildflower Cardigan. The right and left fronts are finished, and now I’m working on a sleeve.

Progress is slow but steady.  Mindless stockinette makes for easy television knitting, but I do get bored after a while.  I’m glad to be working on the sleeve because, hey, increases and counting rows!  Something to pay attention to.  And soon, the shaping of the sleeve cap, woo hoo!

In looking at this picture, I see how the tweedy silky texture in the Silky Wool gleams in the flash from the camera.  I really like this yarn, even if it does contain the occasional twig.  And it’s a good thing, too.  That I like this yarn, I mean.  Because I have, um… * counts * … four other colorways of Silky Wool in stash.  You can thank one of the vendors at Stitches South for that.

This post is part of the Knit Your Library Challenge hosted by Snapdragon Crafts.  Click that badge down there — the one that says “knit your library”, of course — to learn more about it.

And while we’re posting badges — yes, we have to show you these stinkin’ badges — you can click the other badge to see who else had something to show for the Stitch-Along Wednesday roundup.

knit-your-library_2016Stitch Along Wednesday(I don’t think these badges stink at all, by the way. I just couldn’t resist making the movie reference…)

WIP Wednesday: Still Gathering Wildflowers

Wildflower 11

I finished up the right front of the Wildflower Cardigan over the weekend and got started on the left front.  You can just barely see the cable crossing that marks the bottom of the flower pocket detail.  I haven’t touched any of the other WIPs that are floating around in my craft room — all of which are either cardigans or socks — and I’m fighting what may be a losing battle to cast on a quickie instant-gratification hat project.

Current Kindle book: California by Edan Lepucki, a collapse-of-civilization/survivalist story of the near future.  I use “survivalist” in the sense that the characters are out there in the wilderness doing their best to keep body and soul together, not in the hunkered-down-in-the-bunker, got-my-guns-n-ammo-n-MREs, looking-out-for-number-one sense that word usually implies.  However, I have just reached a part of the story where that latter definition might come into play.  Good story.

Current physical book: The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.  This is the January selection for a Ravelry reading group, and I’ve barely started it.  Although I really like what I’ve read so far, I daresay it will not get finished before the end of the month.

Stitch Along WednesdayCurrently in rehearsal for Clybourne Park, playing Bev and Kathy.  Every time I take a part in a play, I remember why I don’t take parts in plays very often, especially as I get older.  I hate hate hate learning lines.  I want to place my script under my pillow and have the words I’m supposed to say magically appear in my memory through some form of osmosis.

This post is part of the Stitch-Along Wednesday round up.  Click that badge over there to see what other folks have been working on this week.

WIP Wednesday: Wildflower progress

Wildflower 10I took the Wildflower Cardigan with me to California over the weekend.  With all the time spent waiting around in airports and in the air, plus the evenings filled with chitchat with the girls, you’d think more would have been accomplished.  But there were books to read and movies to watch and photographs to share…  Still, it’s almost to the point where I can start binding off/decreasing for the armhole.

Knitting around non-knitters is eye-opening.  They think it’s magic.  Several of my girlfriends marveled at the tiny stitches.  “It’s tiny yarn and tiny needles,” I explained.  (This pattern uses sport-weight yarn and size 3 needles — while that is small, it’s not excessively tiny to a knitter.  Had I been using lace- or cobweb-weight and size 0 needles, they might have thought I was a sorcerer.)

This post is part of the Stitch Along Wednesday and Knit Your Library round-ups.  Click the badges below to see what everyone else has been doing.

Stitch Along Wednesdayknit-your-library_2016

WIP Wednesday: Hospital Edition

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This will be a rough entry because I’m posting from my tablet and I can’t edit or format worth beans on this thing.

I also can’t take pictures worth beans as witnessed above. It’s sideways. But otherwise it’s decent for a photo taken in a hospital room in light slanting through the blinds.

That’s the right front of the Wildflower Cardigan with its pretty little pocket detail. The rest is straight stockinette, making this the perfect project for hospital knitting. I expect to advance another three or four inches today, unless I get bored and decide to read instead.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting at my husband’s bedside listening to the IV beep and waiting for the nurse to come in and fix it. I called her 15 minutes ago. Just because I think he’s the most important patient on this floor doesn’t make it so.

knit-your-library_2016I’m knitting from my library in 2016. So are a bunch of other folks. You can check out their posts by clicking the badge at the right.

2016: Plans, not resolutions

I abandoned making New Year’s resolutions ages ago because I always ended up breaking said resolutions and then beating myself up for failure.  Now I make plans or set goals.  Because plans can change if circumstances change and no fault accrues; and if goals aren’t met, any progress made toward those goals is a win.  Baby steps are still steps in the right direction.

Reading plans and goals:  I mentioned a couple these in Sunday’s Year In Review: Books blog post but they belong in this post as well.  My goal is to read and finish 52 books; then write at least a one-paragraph review and post it here as well as on Goodreads.  I also want to read more non-fiction.  Even though about one third of the books in my house are non-fiction — history, politics, sociology, and religion, mostly — I managed only one non-fiction title in 2015, and that one (Drift by Rachel Maddow) came from the library.  Speaking of the library, that’s part of the goal as well: to continue to make use of the library and of books I already own.  I simply don’t have room to acquire any additional physical books; and spouse and I have set Trigger Warningsome financial goals that limit my discretionary spending. What discretionary spending room I have, I prefer to save for yarn.  Or travel.  More about that later, though.

A couple of LibraryThing Early Reviewer titles rest here on my desk, Get In Troublewaiting to be read:  Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman and Get In Trouble by Kelly Link.  Getting those read and reviewed will do two things: alleviate the guilt I have for letting them sit as long as they have and add toward the annual reading goal.

Other than those two specific titles, and a general notion toward adding more non-fiction, I have no restrictions or plans for my reading material.  In the past couple of years, what I read and the order in which I read it has been dictated by the local library system.  I have a wish list, and when a title on the wish list becomes available, that’s what I read next. It’s rare that I don’t have at least one title from the library checked out.  Maybe cutting down on the wish list items will aid toward reading down the physical Mt. TBR in the house.  But that’s not a priority.

Wildflower 6Yarn plans and goals:  2016 will be the Year of Knitting Selfishly. All the knitting I did in 2015 was for other people.  This year it’s all about me and it’s all about the stash.*  First thing will be to finish the Wildflower Cardigan, an Alana Dakos pattern that’s been waiting patiently for more than a year.  The partial sweater is shown at right; the yarn is Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool in Acorn. After that, I want to find the right pattern for a cotton shrug I’ve been wanting to make in a turquoise Cascade Ultra Pima.  And at some point this year, I hope to find some use for the two colorways of Rowan Plaid that’s been in my stash for going on 8 years.

Needles 2*Let me say at the outset that I do NOT pledge to go “cold sheep” — that is, not buy any new yarn — because that’s a sure-fire way to set myself up for failure.  What I can do is shop the stash first and, if I go to a yarn store because I’m traveling or because I’m accompanying someone else, I can limit myself to a single skein or two of exquisite sock yarn.

Speaking of finding patterns, I’ve decided to take part in Snapdragon’s Knit Your Library Challenge (click the link to learn more).  I’m confident that somewhere within all the pattern books and back issues of knitting magazines filed away in this house is any project I could possibly wish to make.  Matching the yarn to the pattern to the mood will knit-your-library_2016comprise a major part of this challenge, I think.  Sometimes I want to knit something new, but can’t make a connection between the stashed yarn in my hand and the library patterns that show up in Ravelry.  And the reverse is sometimes true:  I find a library pattern that I love love love but nothing in the stash works for it. When I have some time to breathe, I will spend several hours matching patterns and yarns and lay them out in an organized fashion. I’ve already got a couple of matches in mind.

Technique goals: This will be the year I finally tackle a Fair Isle project: a little one, like a hat. Three stashed skeins of a fingering weight cashmere blend in complementary colorways are screaming at me, so I want to shut them up. I also want to learn some different sock heels. I’ve always done the “flap and gusset” heel, so a short row heel and an afterthought heel are on my list this year.

Finally, I intended to have this blog entry ready to be published yesterday. Remember what I said at the top of this entry about plans? The universe had plans that trumped mine. I had to take my husband to the emergency room yesterday afternoon: he is currently hospitalized and we expect him to remain in the hospital for several days yet. His condition is not life-threatening — well, not really. I mean, it could be, but mainly it’s a chronic condition that periodically flares up and makes our lives miserable. I’ll be able to catch my breath when he comes home. In the meantime, I’m getting lots of knitting and reading done while sitting by his bed, in between the times I run home to take care of the pets. Thank heavens for an understanding employer.

2014 in review: Yarn

2014 wasn’t a productive year for yarncraft. I finally figured out why this past weekend, after Jacquenetta was gone. When she became so ill, she spent so much time in my lap during the evenings that knitting and crocheting came to a virtual standstill. I couldn’t work on projects without getting her fur all over them, but I could read, so I traded yarn for books. Snuggling her for the last few months of her life was worth every moment, and be damned to lackluster productivity in the yarn arena.

Projects finished in 2014: Three.

Wanderer Scarf 2The first, finished on New Year’s Day 2014, was the Wanderer Scarf, seen here modeled by spouse. The pattern and the yarn are from Rowan. It was intended as a gift for a friend in Washington, and finally was mailed off to said individual shortly before Christmas.

Buds and Blooms 21Next was my new favorite cardigan, A Rose in Winter, finished January 31. The pattern is “Buds and Blooms” by Alana Dakos. The pattern calls for endless endless stockinette, but that only serves as a backdrop for the gorgeous details: the buds and vine pattern up the back, the flowers on the pockets, the deeply ribbed collar. I also loved the yarn I used (Chris by Schaefer, now sadly out of business), and that gorgeous pomegranate color.

Penny's Granny 2The only other finished project was a giant granny square baby blanket, made for the new grandbaby of one of my colleagues. I grabbed a variety of high quality acrylic leftovers in my stash and threw them together to come up with the color scheme for the blanket. This is the fastest, easiest baby blanket I’ve ever made, and the pattern become my go-to pattern for quickie shower gifts.

Projects started in 2014 and not yet finished: Three.

Wildflower 6The day after the Rose in Winter cardi was finished, I cast on another of Alana Dakos’ patterns, the Wildflower Cardigan, using Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool in a deep caramel color. This is another cardigan with vast expanses of stockinette but exquisite little details that make those vast expanses worth the tedium. The back of the cardigan is finished; the right front has been sitting here in my craft room, waiting patiently for me to pick it up again. Soon, my darling, soon.

Tunisian Terror squaresAt Christmas 2013, Mom picked out a blanket pattern in one of my afghan books. In April 2014, she bought the yarn and shipped it to me. Thus, the Tunisian Terror was born. The thing that slows me down with this project is the boredom. Each square is the same: one color surrounded by a border of black single crochet. The pattern calls for some multi-colored squares, but I haven’t got there yet. And each square, once finished and assembled, will be cross-stitched, so there’s some excitement to be had down the road. The finished blanket has 63 squares. I’ve got roughly half of those done.

Ultra Pima cardi attemptCome summer, I decided I needed to knit a lacy cotton cardigan to wear over sleeveless dresses, which serves two purposes: warding off the air-conditioned indoor chill that is everywhere during summer in the South; and making said sleeveless dresses appropriate for the office. Yes, I know it’s old-fashioned of me, but some reptilian portion of my brain won’t quite accept that “sleeveless” is now in keeping with professional office attire. I am determined to use this turquoise-colored Cascade Ultra Pima that’s been hibernating in my stash for several years, but have had nothing but trouble in finding the right pattern. I think I’ve started three or four separate patterns with the Cascade and ripped each one of them out after getting roughly five inches into the piece. I’ll keep experimenting until something clicks.

Projects started in previous years but not finished: Nope, not telling. Let’s just say there is more than one (*cough*spouse’s socks*cough*)

New techniques learned:

  • Tunisian crochet: Learning Tunisian crochet (Tunisian simple stitch only) was easier than I thought. I will no longer shy away from Tunisian patterns, even if they call for something other than TSS, because if I can learn that stitch by reading the directions, I can learn them all!
  • Mitered squares: This technique was taught me in a class at Stitches South in April. I have yet to put the technique to use, but the instructions and my practice swatches are sitting right here in my craft room, just waiting.

Stash acquired: Um. A lot. A good sight more than I used, that’s for darn sure. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Stash used: Not very much. As noted above, I only completed three projects. I’ll never go cold sheep, because such is beyond my willpower, but this year will probably be a diminished year in stash acquisition because I’m not going to Stitches in April. It’s been moved to Nashville and the travel budget just isn’t available. So, yay for the bank account? And yay for shopping the stash!

So, here we go, 2015! New year, new crafting opportunities, new patterns to read, new AND old yarn to fondle, new techniques to learn or put into practice. It’s going to be a good one.