Pattern: Glacier by Joji Locatelli Size: Medium (38″ bust) Yarn: Newton’s Yarn Country Merino Nylon Superwash, in colorway LB Print, 1422 yards Needles: Addi Turbo circs, US size 6 for the body; Hiya Hiya steel circs, US size 2 for the ribbing Mods: Only 6 decreases on the sleeves, because going the full 10 as called for by the pattern would have made the sleeves way too long; ended mitered knitting approximately 1 inch sooner than called for by the pattern Satisfaction with end product: Quite happy indeed. Now if it will just get cold enough in Atlanta to wear it.
I was working from the paper book (Interpretations 5) rather than the e-book, and I was a little flummoxed when the pictures of the tunic showed ribbing at the bottom edge, but no instructions for the ribbing were included in the book. Because of the way the garment is constructed, stitches for said ribbing had to be picked up after the rest of the garment was finished. A post in the Ravelry Interpretations forum quickly resulted in a private message from Interpretations pattern support with the missing instructions. Kudos for the prompt response!
The yarn is some deeeeeep stash that I bought at Stitches South in 2010. It’s actually a wool/nylon sock yarn, and I had something like 1600 yards of it. It was a bulk purchase in an absolutely HUGE skein. Over the years, I’d occasionally pull it out and look at it, then put it back because I just couldn’t imagine what I was going to make with 1600 yards of fingering weight sock yarn. Finally, this tunic pattern came along: a perfect match. So, the moral of the story is don’t despair! Even the oldest yarn in your stash will find its project. Eventually.
I finally finished that damn blanket that I’ve been making for, um, over four years…
It started out as a way to use up skeins of yarn that had sat in my stash forever because there was no way I was using them to make anything I would wear. I mean, I like orange, but I don’t wear orange, generally speaking. So I decided a patchwork crocheted sampler afghan was the perfect way to get rid of… I mean, put to good use all this bulky orange yarn that had been sitting here unused and unloved for close to ten years.
So I made 11 squares. And they sat around my craft room, waiting for the last square to be completed. They sat around my craft room for four years. A good portion of that time, they sat on the floor, just like this. Waiting.
But when one of the dogs started thinking they were her personal cozy space, I picked them up off the floor and stacked them on a table. Where they waited again.
In January, I was in California for my annual girls’ weekend. The husband of one of my dearest friends is suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and all the rest of the unpleasantness that goes along with cancer treatment. And that’s when it struck me: this blanket belongs to him. So I came home and finished the last square.
And then that blanket sat around again while I finished up rehearsals and performances for Old Love. And started and finished a cardigan for me, because I’m a selfish bitch. But I finally sewed the squares together last week, took a few photos, and now I’m ready to send it off. I’m holding this blog entry until I receive word from my friend that they’ve received the package.
Pattern:Sampler Afghan by Darla Sims, 12 selected squares Yarn: Rowan Plaid, colorway 154 Spicy, 7 skeins; Patons North American Shetland Chunky, colorway 03520 Russet, 7 skeins; a total of 1610 yards Hook: Boye, size K Size: Roughly 36 inches by 48 inches, just big enough to cover one’s lap and legs Satisfaction with end product: I like it. It’s cozy and warm and machine washable. I hope they like it. (And yes, I washed it to get rid of any dog hair.) Click here for the Ravelry project page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
With all the rehearsals going on over the last six months, you would be forgiven for thinking that I’d forgotten how to turn yarn into usable items, much less actually complete anything.
Ha! I haven’t!
Okay, I didn’t get much accomplished in that time, but there were a couple of things. First, this baby blanket for a colleague who was expecting his first child was started in November and finished in January.
Pattern: Taylor Baby Blanket (my original design) Yarn:Bernat Pipsqueak, in four different colorways (see Ravelry project page for details), approx 275 yards total Needles: Addi circs, size US 15 Size: Approx 36″ x 24″ Satisfaction with end product: It’s soft and squishy and perfect for a newborn. My colleague and his wife loved it, and that’s the most important thing.
Late last summer I made this tank top.
Pattern:S7365 Damentop mit Ajourmuster by Schachenmayr Design Team (Thankfully, it was available in English) Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sunseeker Multi in Candy Cane, approx 628 yards Needles: Addi circulars, US 5 and US 3 Size: Medium (34″/36″) Mods: Gauge with this yarn was a little wide and tall, so I cast on for the small to get a medium, and began the armholes at row 120 instead of row 148. Did 4 rows garter stitch at bottom edge before beginning lace pattern. Also 4 rows garter stitch at neck edge and armhole edge instead of stockinette. Did not turn over arm and neck edges for a hem. 2 inch shoulder seams instead of 2 cm as called for in the pattern. Satisfaction with end product: Made for me, and I love it. It’s cool and comfortable and looks pretty good under a jacket, so I can even wear it to work.
Pattern:#24 Cabled Pompom Hat by Annabelle Speer (from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2012) Yarn: Schaefer Chris in Pomegranate, approx 215 yards (a now defunct yarn company; this was my last skein) Needles: Addi circs, US 7 Mods: Smaller pompom due to lack of the appropriate size pompom maker, a situation that has now been remedied Satisfaction with end product: This was a gift for a friend who helped out the production of Old Love by sending us authentic Tim Horton’s to-go cups from Canada to use in our coffee shop scene. A small detail that the audience probably never noticed, but we did. I think the hat turned out lovely, but more importantly, my friend did too. You can see a few more pics on the Ravelry project page.
Yarn:Chelsea Sock by Nooch Fibers, colorway Arizona (caveat: that colorway name is a best guess based on the colorways that were available at the time; when I bought this yarn, the tag did not name the colorway; and, incidentally, it’s no longer available on the website, so we may never know)
Needles:Knitter’s Pride Karbonz, US 1 1/2 DPNs. I bought these DPNs sometime last year, and they languished unused until I started knitting socks again. Now I won’t use anything else.
Satisfaction with end product: They’re gorgeous, they’re soft, and they fit. I’m a little concerned that the cashmere content in the yarn may make them not quite durable enough for regular wear, but I can always use them as house socks. I’m wearing them as I type this blog entry, and love how they feel on my feet.
The pattern itself was easy as pie; the lace pattern at the cuff is charted and easy to follow. After that, it’s just straight stockinette all the way down, so this would make a good first sock pattern for a newbie. The flap for the heel featured a somewhat different slip stitch pattern that I like much better than any other flap I’ve made — it looks kind of like a honeycomb, and that makes me smile. I’ll be adapting future flap-and-gusset sock patterns to use this flap.
This project is part of the Knit Your Library Challenge, although Snapdragon Crafts seems to have gone dark and hasn’t provided a link up recently. Regardless, you can click that badge over there for more details.
Mods: Did not do the lacy attach-as-you-go border between panels. Rather, did single crochet edging around each panel and sewed them together. Three rounds of single crochet in alternating colors around entire blanket for the edging.
Satisfaction with end product: I think it’s lovely. The 100% cotton yarn makes it soft and absorbent, besides making it an easy-care baby item; I’m sure my niece-in-law will appreciate that.
Yarn:Footprints by Blue Ridge Yarn, colorway Secret Garden. Per Webs, this yarn’s total weight for the full put-up is 108 grams. That means it’s 81 grams for the 300 yard skein and 27 grams for the 100 yard skein. When I was finished, I had 18 grams and 8 grams left, respectively.
Total yardage used: 304 yds.
Needles: US size 2 DPNS. Pattern calls for using US size 1 1/2 needles. I need size 2 to achieve gauge.
New techniques? Yes! First toe up socks, first short row heel, first time using different colors for different parts of the sock. I discovered I don’t like toe up socks. The cast on and first couple of rows are really REALLY fiddly and annoying. That was with DPNs. I may try again using two circs. Maybe.
Satisfaction with end product: Pleased! They fit pretty well, and I’ve worn them several times since completing them. In fact, I’m wearing them as I type this blog entry. The yarn is soft and warm and comfy, especially after having been washed a couple of times. The socks come through the washer and dryer just fine; I wash them inside a mesh bag so they’re protected from rubbing against other clothing, and I use the gentle/delicate cold water wash cycle and a low heat dry cycle.
Yarn:Stardust by Magic & Moonshine, colorway “Crocus”. I love this yarn. It’s soft on the hands, comfy on the feet, and has a hint of sparkle when the light catches it just right.
Total yardage used: Roughly 293 yards
Needles: US size 1 1/2 DPNs
New techniques? Short heel sock #2. Progress, not perfection.
Satisfaction with end product: Good enough, even with the following hiccup. According to the pattern blurb in the book (The Knitter’s Book of Socks), this pattern was written specifically for a “highly-variegated colorway”. They must not have meant THIS highly-variegated because the lace pattern is virtually invisible. Still, it’s a nicely written pattern, and fun to make. I may try it again in yarn with less contrast in color values. The completed socks are machine washable (on gentle, in a mesh bag, as explained above) for ease of care.
Yarn:Skinny Bugga! by Cephalopod Yarns, colorway “Dragonfly Tattoo”. This yarn is amazing. It’s too bad Cephalopod Yarns closed up shop and took down its shingle.
Total yardage used: 274 yds.
Needles: US Size 1 DPNs
Mods: Medium size called for casting on 56 stitches at the cuff. That’s too small for me, so I cast on 64, knit the ribbed cuff, and then decreased by 8 stitches in the first row of the lace.
New techniques? Still working on perfecting that short row heel. This technique has entailed a bit of a learning curve but I’m getting better.
Satisfaction with end product: I love how these turned out! Excellent match of yarn and pattern. The lace pattern is gorgeous and highly visible in this colorway. The only issue has to do with the short row heel. I need to remember to knit the foot a teensy bit longer than I do with a flap-and-gusset heel to make sure the heel turn fits on my actual heel instead of getting pulled under.
Somewhere in the middle of all the sock knitting, I made three PussyHats. Two were dropped off at a collection point for the January 21st march that took place in Atlanta and worldwide, and one I kept for myself for future marches. You can visit my Ravelry project page here. Bet you can guess my politics now!
I finished the Cadence Shawlette (Ravelry project page) a couple of weeks before surgery in December.
Pattern:Cadence Shawlette by Emily Straw; 5 full repeats and 1 partial repeat (up to row 21) before the garter stitch edging and the bind off.
Yarn:Brisbane by Queensland Collection, colorway “Coral Trout”. This colorway name tickles me: I can’t see it without thinking of Pete Dexter’s novel, Paris Trout.
Total yardage: 288 yds, plus a little extra (see notes below)
Needles: US 9 circs
Satisfaction with end product: Love it. It’s warm and cozy and colorful, just right to brighten up drab winter days.
Notes: I wanted to use every inch of the Brisbane, so I essentially played yarn chicken and kept knitting until I thought I had just enough for the bind off. As it turned out, I got 3/4 of the way through the bind off before I ran out of yarn. Luckily, I had remnants of another worsted wool (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted) in a colorway similar to the color section of Brisbane at the bound edge, so I was able to finish the bind off instead of tinking back 200+ stitches.
I’m knitting my library. Well, mostly. Maybe you can join us!
Lots of book reading going on here lately. And some knitting, too. I finished this cowl at the end of September. A three-month delay in blogging any finished project seems normal these days…
Pattern: Um, mine. Right now I’m calling it Lacy Moebius Cowl. The name will probably change. It’s yet to be written down in any sort of publishable form, but that may be coming soon. I hope to get a lot of “housekeeping” stuff done while I’m off work after surgery.
Yarn: The luscious Cashmere Aran by Lotus, in Ecru and Dark Teal. 100% cashmere, 100% indulgence. 1 skein each, 200 yards total.
Needles: Size 9 Addi Turbos. I didn’t need to use circular needles because this is knitted flat across the short way, but I’ve gotten to where I hate using straights.
Satisfaction with end product: It’s soft and warm and beautiful, and will keep my neck and ears toasty warm on those occasions the Atlanta winter day dips below 45F. I’m having some second thoughts about the moebius twist that exposes the back side of the lace pattern. It’s interesting visually, and makes for a nice texture contrast, but I worry that it may be too much because of the yarn color contrast.
Here are a few more pictures. Let me know what you think. (Click the pic to make it bigger.)
By the time this post appears online, my family will have increased by one. My niece expects to deliver her second son sometime between September 7 and September 14. All new babies in my family get a special blanket made just for them, and Kayson is no exception.
Pattern: My design, and it doesn’t have a name yet.
Satisfaction with end product: It’s soft and absorbent and can be thrown in the washer and dryer. That’s the perfect baby blanket as far as I’m concerned. I hope my niece likes it.
The pattern came about because I couldn’t find a blanket that I liked among all the blanket patterns that I already have. Let me rephrase: I couldn’t find a blanket pattern that I liked that suited this particular yarn, and I was determined to use this yarn because of its easy care. And so I fiddled around for a while with stitch patterns and finally settled on a classic basketweave, but with a twist: the small basketweave sections that bookend the center portion of the blanket.
This time as I made the blanket, I remembered to make pattern notes. I’ll get the pattern written up and made available eventually. I have to figure out how to upload PDFs to Ravelry someday, don’t I?
Here are a couple more pictures of the blanket, for good measure. Click the pic to see it larger. And you can click that large picture up top to go to the Ravelry project page.
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Hurray, 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.
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.
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!