Tag: sweaters

Happiness is . . . 6

There’s a new baby girl in our clan, and you know what that means. Green light on all the tiny handknits! For starters, I worked up a little Abernathy Cardigan. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but it has an eyelet yoked collar that ramps up the sweetness big time. The yarn is Knit Circus Greatest of Ease Fingering in the “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” colorway.

Our new baby girl has an older brother who I’m sure is much more interested in things that come in the mail at this stage than she is, so I knit a little elephant for him. I turned to Susan B. Anderson’s Wee Ones Seamless Knit Toys for the pattern and used Cascade 220 Superwash because I had plenty of colors on hand to choose from and it’s washable.

Look at his precious tail!

And the tiny sweater! It absolutely undoes me. I want to knit a whole tiny elephant wardrobe!

While we’re on the topic of happy-making things, Knit Potion now has a logo. I really have no idea what I’ll do with it, but I love it so much! What do you think?

Finally, an FO!!!!! 16

Woohoooo!!! I finally have an FO to share. The Tecumseh sweater by Caitlin Hunter is such a great knit! There is just enough colorwork to keep things interesting; you don’t have any seams to fiddle with; and the pattern is well written and easy to follow.

This sweater got my attention when it came out. I liked the look of it and loved all of the color variations everyone was coming up with. At the same time, though, I wasn’t sure how I’d like wearing it. The boxy shape with the deep armholes seemed like it might be awkward to move around in and not very flattering on. What got me on board was Dana’s knit along over at Yards of Happiness. I love everything she knits, so I took it as a sign that I should go for it.

I ordered some Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK in Filey, Rose Window, and Endeavor and cast on. I knitted on airplanes, in the ICU, in hotel rooms, and even at home on the rare nights I happened to be there.

I finally finished a week or so ago. And, you know what? Besides being fun to knit, Tecumseh is ultra wearable! I put it on the day I finished it (before I even blocked it!) and wore it all over the place. It was like my best hoodie, only wool! It’s perfect. I seriously want to knit about a hundred more sweaters in this exact same style.


Unraveled Wednesday: Knit this Sweater, Read this Book 8

Woohoo for the Tecumseh sweater!! I’m knitting mine with DWJ. Check out Yards of Happiness for details and pics of Dana’s amazing progress, and join Dana’s Ravelry group for lots of great Tecumseh chat.

I’m knitting with Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. It’s the first time I’ve knit with this yarn, and I’m definitely a fan. I also absolutely love this sweater pattern!

And happily, it’s Unraveled Wednesday! I’ve been meaning to post about Educated by Tara Westover for ages. I give it my unqualified recommendation. It would be a phenomenal story even if the writing were ordinary, but the writing is masterful. I haven’t been so moved by a book in a very long time.

Other books I’ve read recently are The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee and On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks. I enjoyed both of these immensely.

It’s already late, and 5:30 comes early, so I’m going to keep things short and sweet tonight. I hope you are well my knitting (and book loving!) friends. I’ll be back with more details on Tecumseh soon.

Be sure to stop by As Kat Knits and see what others are reading and knitting today!

Gingersnap 19

This little cardi has almost undone me. The cute is unreal.

I’m a sucker for cardigans, stripes, and close-but-not-quite-matching color palettes anyway, but add in the minuscule scale of Gingersnap, and I’m a goner.

The pattern is free on Ravelry, and it’s a breeze to knit. The instructions are clear, and the knitting itself is absolutely straightforward. The most complicated thing you have to do is pick up stitches for the collar.

I knit the back of mine in dark brown just for fun.

All the baby knits are precious, but there’s something about the color blocking and boxy little shape of this one that I just adore. It’s going to Texas with me tomorrow to be delivered to its teeny recipient. I’ll try to get pictures.

So the travel knitting . . . I cast on for a Free Your Fade shawl last night. I’ve also got plenty of cotton yarn to work on Christmas dishcloths for my dad and practice my log cabin technique in anticipation of the Fringe and Friends Logalong. And the Caradon Hill Jumper. . . I’m in the deep middle of a gauge conundrum with this one, so I brought yarn, pattern, and multiple needle sizes for swatching just in case that’s the way things need to go. Have I mentioned that holiday travel stresses me out?

Anyhoo . . .

Clearly, I’ve packed much more kitting for this five-day trip than I’ll ever get done, but at least I don’t have to worry about running out. I’ve been back and forth on adding yarn for a pair of socks for my dad to the pile, but so far, I’ve held back on that one. I’m trying not to let the fact that he wore a pair of handknit socks I knit for him six years ago to lunch today add undue weight to the “for” column. There’s still nearly twelve hours before I leave, though, so anything could happen.

I hope you are all well, my friends. Wishing you peace and happiness during this holiday season!

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Ohhhh, the weather outside . . . 20

Is glorious!!!

I think I’m going to make it. Only sixty-two bajillion papers left to grade, and my first semester back in the classroom will be in the books. My last class was Thursday, and I have to tell you–my subconscious must have taken that as license to KNIT!!! I’ve been shamelessly ignoring my responsibilities and knitting away on all sorts of odds and ends all weekend.

The picture above is the tiny front of a cardigan for a new bundle of preciousness I’ll get to see for the first time over the holidays. The cute is killing me. Pictures soon.

There’s also my Inlet cardigan. Little problem with that one. I finally finished up all the pieces, gave it a good soak, and set to work pinning it out on my blocking board.

 While I was futzing around trying to get the fronts to line up, I realized that something wasn’t right.

Ugh. At some point during the craziness of the semester, I must have gone to finish up that front left side and temporarily lost my mind. Why in the world did I decrease at the top on the armhole side?? I’m trying to focus on the fact that this is knit bottom up, so fixing it shouldn’t take long. Still . . .

The other thing that’s been on my mind is the Fringe and Friends New-Year Knitalong. It’s a Logalong! I’ve wanted to try log cabin-ing forever, and I absolutely love a good knit along. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be on board for this.

Karen Templer recommended Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner’s Log Cabin Field Guide as a good starting point. It explains the basics of how the log cabin construction works and gives you a few variations to try. I enjoyed knitting this little dish cloth for practice.

Kay Gardiner is hosting a discussion board where all sorts of fun ideas are floating around. Plus, Karen Templer has been regularly featuring ideas for log cabin projects on the Fringe Association blog. It’s the images at the top of this post that have really captured my imagination. I’m thinking of doing a throw like this in a log cabin version with some combination of speckledy yarns. Maybe. There are so many delicious possibilities. Anyone else thinking of joining in?

That pile of papers isn’t going to grade itself, so I should get going. I’ll just close with a few pictures of the amazing weather we’ve been having. On Thursday Paul and I took Django for a walk, and the world looked like this.

By yesterday, we had this!

I love, love, love the first snow of the year, and this one has been spectacular.

Here’s hoping the weather is nice where you are and, most importantly, that there is lots of knitting in the forecast! Be well, my friends.

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Knitting Abides 18

Know what this is?

It’s a sweater I knit in high school! That’s quite awhile ago, folks. And I wore it to class last week!

This was the second sweater I ever knit. I still remember the feel of the needles in my hands and the wonder of seeing the tips moving in and out of the yarn, the fabric building up behind them. I’m not sure whether or not you can tell from this picture, but the yarn is a tweedy wool, with little flecks of random color that pop up here and there. It was deeply satisfying to handle and to work with.

It was summertime, and back then, there was no internet. To be around other knitters, my mom and I went to a knitting group once a week. There were a couple of very accomplished knitters who taught me each new thing as the need arose. I think even then I knew that I was learning something that would sustain me.

My mom was working on a baby blanket for my niece who was due in the fall. That niece just had her own first baby last week. Sweater and blanket–both back in action. What could be nicer?

Maybe it was getting reacquainted with my high school sweater after all of these years. Maybe it’s the cool weather we’ve been having, the changing leaves and other signs of fall. I’m not quite sure, but when I saw @punkmik’s fabulous Caradon Hill Jumper on Instagram, I knew I needed to knit it.

 

I’ve been wanting to knit a cabled sweater like this for years, but a combination of not finding exactly the right pattern and being hesitant to start what seemed like such a challenging knit kept it in the “someday” column of my to-do list. So . . . the other day when I was deep in the middle of seventy-two piles of papers, with my dear Hitchhiker waiting patiently for the odd moment when I couldn’t take the not knitting any longer and had stop the madness by working a few rows, it struck me that it would be a great time to go to the Blacker Yarns website and order fifteen skeins of Shetland DK in Mid Grey so I could cast on for my own Caradon Hill Jumper.

Yes. I did that.

 

This Neckline 2

Do you know about Mati Ventrillon? She’s the French-Venezuelan architect turned knitwear designer who made the news a couple of years ago when Chanel featured some of her designs without attributing them to her. She lives on Fair Isle (along with only 54 other people) and spends the year caring for a flock of sheep whose wool becomes the basis for her beautifully conceived Fair Isle garments.

There’s an informative video about her life and work in this article. And this article gives a pretty detailed description of her path to Fair Isle and her life there (be warned–the format is a little wonky).

The persnickety part of me wishes every stitch of her garments were hand knit, but at the same time, it’s hard to see how she’d stay afloat as a business without the aid of the knitting machine she uses for sweater bodies and sleeves.

That said, I absolutely love what she does with the collars, cuffs, and hems of her sweaters. These she does knit by hand. Some are a basic rib, but many are far more interesting. There are variations on what looks like i-cord edging, interesting hood constructions, and lots of unusual shaping for the necklines and hems.

That is actually the whole point of this post. I’m in love with this neckline.

 

If you follow the link to the Facebook page or go to Madi Ventrillon’s website where this is the cover photo, you can get a better look at it.

How did she do this? Is it just stockinette that’s rolled and been given an interesting shape by blocking? Or is there some sort of actual knitted shaping involved? I’m not even sure why I love it so much, but I seriously need to understand how to do this.

 

Tea with Jam and Bread 12

We finally had a sunny day last week, and I was able to take some pictures of Paul’s Tea with Jam and Bread sweater!

This is a terrific basic pullover pattern. The only thing that’s a little unusual in the design is that Heidi Kirrmaier adds some short-row shaping at the back of the neck to get a more pleasing fit. In the photo below, you can see the nice effect it has. I like this so much that I’ll probably start adding it to other sweater patterns in the future.

At Paul’s request I didn’t didn’t do the color blocking or add the pockets that the pattern calls for. The only other modification I made was to the sleeves. To get a slightly more tailored fit, I started the decreases early and worked them so that the cuffs fit close around the wrist. I also shortened the length of the sleeves a bit to fit Paul’s arms.

The yarn I used for this was Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in the “Cafe Au Lait” colorway. I got it on sale at Alpaca Direct. It’s something I’d been wanting to try for quite awhile because Brown Sheep seems like such a great company. They’re a family-owned business, located in Mitchell, Nebraska, and they’ve done all kinds of things to make their process environmentally friendly–things like coming up with a way to reuse 70-90% of their daily waste water!

I also really love a wool/mohair blend for warm, hard wearing sweaters. I’ve got a sweater’s worth of this in “Antique Mauve” I’m going to use to make something for myself.

Bottom line, I highly recommend both this sweater pattern and the yarn if you’re looking for a comfy, sturdy, well designed pullover!

 

Yarn Along 1

I’m racing a storm to get this posted before the power goes out, so I’ll just leave this with no additional commentary other than that I highly recommend both the pattern, Inlet, and the book, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature!

 

 

P.S. Doh! I’m a day early!!!! I’ll update tomorrow with a link to the Small Things blog where everyone else will be posting about what they are reading and knitting.

P.P.S. Wow . . . The Yarn Along has come to an end. I’m so sad. Take a look at this post for Ginny Sheller’s perfectly reasonable explanation of why she’s no longer going to be hosting it. I really do understand. But I’m still sad.

Help A Knitter Out 10

A couple of weeks ago I went to a class on small fruit trees hosted by our local Master Gardener group. I brought my knitting, of course, and this attracted the attention of a fellow class member. Turns out, this gentleman (my new friend David) had been looking for a knitter. Go figure!

David’s dad was in the service during WW II and spent a good bit of that time wearing the army issue sweater pictured above. Dad eventually passed the sweater along to David who still wears it. ALL THE TIME. (He also wants to learn to knit. We’re both happily married, or you know I would have been a goner.)

Anyhoo, the sweater is clearly a little worse for wear, and David would like to have it repaired. My question for you, friends and knitters of the blogosphere, is what’s the best way to go about such a thing?

This has clearly been machine knit at a very fine gauge, so while I could mend it well enough to stop the unravelling, I’m doubtful that the results would be cosmetically pleasing. I’ve googled hand darning machine knits and all kinds of WW II sweater things, but so far I haven’t come up with a good solution. I feel sure this wheel must have already been invented. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

On the homefront the rain has been unrelenting.

So I’ve decided to sit by the fire and knit until the sun comes out.

Or until I have to wake up and get back to real life. Ha!

Be well, my knitters. And please let me know if you have any advice about how to help David with his sweater.