Friday, August 30, 2013

Football Tee

This is where I am on the Knickerbocker Tee I'm making in purple and grey to wear to Friday night games.  I'm actually further along now- about to start the sleeves- but you get the idea.  It's tough to move back to sportweight yarn after working with bulky, but I am appreciative of the stockinette that lets me get back to reading Game of Thrones.

I am a little concerned that the shirttail will curl because things are a bit puckered where I did my short rows and the hem seems a little tight for them.  I tried to reknit the short rows twice to fix this, but it's still happening.  Maybe when I folded the hem over I knitted the bottom together with the next row a little too tightly.  I just didn't have the heart to rip it back and start over for something that may not even be an issue once the whole thing is blocked.  I'll know soon enough.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Sock-A-Long

It is really nice to have a smaller, more portable project in my bag these days.  I'm not much a of a sock knitter.  I've always had too many other things I wanted to make, but I'm collecting quite a bit of skein left-overs and socks do seem like the perfect answer to what to do with all of those bits.

These are just a self-striping yarn I forgot I had until recently when I decided I wanted to do the Sock-long on Kollabora and had to dig up some sock yarn from a box in the garage.  The stripes are detracting from the texture of the pattern, but I'm so happy to be using old stash, I don't care.  Besides, it has a rustic look that I like.

Though my gauge is right and I'm knitting on 0s, they seem like they may be too big for me.  I'm too far in to rip out and redo them, so if they don't fit someone will be getting socks for Chirstmas.

 Someone else is watching my progress carefully.  Sock yarn is the biggest temptation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Utah Instagrams

Here's the rest of my Instagram Cliff Notes of our trip.  Last year I did this and then never posted any "real" photos from Tennessee.  We'll see what happens this time.

Bryce Canyon, UT

Antelope Canyon, AZ

Canyonlands, UT

Arches, UT

Cadillac Ranch- Amarillo, TX

Monday, August 26, 2013


Fastest. Summer. Sweater. Ever.
Yeah, I'm now one of those people who emphasize with periods.  The speediness of this knit requires it.  This is Agnes by Melissa Labarre.  If you're ever on Ravelry you have probably seen it.  I did a couple of years ago and have been hoarding some bulky wool for a year in the hopes of making it.

Since my first sweater was finished for the Summer Sweater Knitalong, I thought I'd try to make a second one.  Now it looks as though I may start a third because this knit up so fast.  It took eight days, and that includes some ripping back and adding length.

I like the fit too- very weekendy.   Thanks to my husband, I got some weekend photos by the river.  We only got a couple of looky-loos, driving past us slowly and smiling at me with that "I like the Tin Man." expression.

My mods were nothing serious.  I knit the size 34" but increased 10 more times for the raglan shaping, instead of 9.  This gave me extra stitches, so for the pocket opening I knit to side marker, sl marker, knit 4, then placed 49 sts on waste yarn.

As I mentioned I did add about 4 extra rows (an inch) of length before starting the pockets.  It is still cropped enough for me.

I love contrasting pockets.  I used a lighter weight yarn (Paton's Classic Tweed) for them and the same size needle as for the sweater so they wouldn't be too bulky.  I like how the brown tweed looks against the Cadet colorway.

What I love about this sweater is the boxy shape, how it's slightly cropped, those pockets, and Wool of the Andes Bulky.  This wool is super affordable and comes in plenty of colors.  I just haven't used it a ton because it is very warm.

I'm already planning how I'll frog an old sweater knit in Lion Brand Landscapes and reknit it as an Agnes in reverse stockinette body... maybe.

The rest of the very brief chronicle of this knit can be found here:
swatching and two-at-a-time sleeves

more on ravelrykollabora, and flickr

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Knitter's Equivalent to Emotional Eating

I cast on for the Kollabora Sockalong and started working in magic loop.  Then I remembered Elena's post about her sock recipe and how she worked this pattern toe up.  I'd wanted to try that, but I'm not starting over.

My second pair of socks ever were toe-up and two-at-a-time.  It was a whole bunch of firsts for me: first Ravellenics, first toe-up, first two-at-a-time magic loop, and first socks to enjoy knitting.

 For this one I'll just stick with the pattern.  You can see the striping is already taking shape.  I worked on these after we helped our daughter move into her dorm.  She was very organized with the packing and it took maybe 45 minutes to unload, clean up, hang photos, etc.  Then we left her to eat with her friends.   I came home and consoled myself with these.

Then I did another knitterly thing that is the equivalent of emotionally eating an entire cake- I cast on another sweater... in sport weight... to try and finish in time for the Summer Sweater Knitalong.  Look, I needed comfort.  It's a  Knickerbocker Tee in hometown colors for Friday nights and football season is upon us.

I'm excited about how lightweight the Comfy Sport is feeling.  Since I've been cramming two  things on the needles at once lately, I decided to knit the shaped front and back shirttail hem of this sweater  on the same needle with separate balls of yarn.  Then, when it's time to join them in the round, I can just start knitting them together.  It's a mess.  As I'm writing this I realize that we have to extract honey from our beehive today or tomorrow if we're ever going to do it this year.  It's the only weekend we'll have free for months and, of course, the honey flow will be over very soon.  We planned to be completely lazy this weekend, but it's just one afternoon's work for one hive, not too bad.  It is 100 degrees and we'll be in bee suits, getting honey everywhere... Ahhh!  Excuse me, while I go knit, emotionally.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hermione's Sockalong

Kollabora is hosting a sockalong for Hermione's Everyday Socks and since I'm one of the only people in the world to not have knit a pair of these, I thought I would join up.

more on kollabora, ravelry, and flickr

I also happen to have a bargain basement skein of sock yarn that will let me feel like I'm de-stashing in a more major way than I actually am.  You see, I have made a vow (the kind that interests no one but me) to not buy more yarn until I have knit five more substantial projects.  Socks are substantial, right?

I also want more experience knitting them as I think they're the only knitted gift that will ever, maybe, see the light of day in southeast Texas.  That's a big maybe.  Anyway, they've cost me a whopping $1.48, so what have I got to lose?

Two Sleeves at Once, While Attached

Agnes could have been knit entirely while my last sweater was blocking.  So I'll be squeezing in one more sweater for the Summer Sweater Knitalong.  As you can see, I have a lot of help in doing this.

I was finished with the body and then decided to rip back and add a few extra rows of length, just because I have a longish torso.

When it came time to knit the sleeves, I tried something I saw Anna (Jadzeea on Ravelry) do.  She knit two sleeves at once from the armholes on her sweater for the knit along.  I'm using bulky yarn and several Denise cords clicked together, so I wasn't sure it would be a smooth transition.

The first few rows I had to be careful to keep my stitches tight enough, but after that it was like regular magic loop.  In case you're a non-knitting reader, or my grandmother, I'll say that magic loop is when you use one really long needle to knit a sleeve or sock in the round instead of using five double-pointed needles.   In this case, I am doing that with both of my sleeves at once, on the same long circular.

To do this I transferred the held stitches for the right sleeve to my circular as I would for magic loop.  I then picked up the underarm stitches and placed a marker, as directed, then knit about 4 of the held stitches.  Then I them moved them around on the circular where the top half of the sleeve stitches (starting with the one's I would be knitting next) were on the top part of the needle and the bottom half on the bottom.  I made sure there were a few held stitches sandwiching the picked up stitches on the bottom half to avoid any underarm gaps in the knitting.

Then I followed the same process on the other sleeve, using a smaller circular and a different ball of yarn, to load them on and rearrange them.  I then transferred the top stitches of the left sleeve to the top magic loop needle and the bottom stitches to the bottom needle, sliding them down next to the right sleeve.

It is not as easy on Denise needles because the cords are thicker and not as bendy and the connections sometimes break.  I think one of my cord connecters and a few needle connections are stripped from years of knitting.  I'm going to try ordering some replacement parts before seeking super long circulars in larger needle sizes because I think I'll be doing sleeves this way from now on.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mi Favorito

It is big, fuzzy, and very warm, thus it's destined to be a favorite over baggy jeans.   This Isabell Kraemer pattern was my first Summer Sweater Knitalong entry and also my way of dealing with winter cravings.

I was excited to finally try it on today after blocking it, but once the photos were done, I peeled it off like it was on fire.  Though it is already Fall in my heart, outside it's still 90 - something degrees.

This knit shouldn't have worked.  I didn't get gauge, didn't wash my swatch, used a lighter weight yarn than required, knit a larger size to compensate for it, and hoped for the best.  There should have been way more frogging and frustration.   I'm so glad it went smoothly.  Keep in mind I did rip it back twice and puzzled over it a bit, but a certain amount of that is expected on a modified pattern.

Speaking of modifications:

My gauge was 5 sts/ 6 rows per square inch instead of the 3 1/2 sts/ 5 rows.  Thankfully, using the directions for a size 38" worked well to give me more of a 36".  

I did knit one extra increase round before the sleeve division and added some length because the Reverie just seemed to spring up higher and higher as I knit.   Once it was blocked, the garter did relax quite a bit.  

I discussed my garter front modification and the inspiration for it in a previous post, so I won't get into it here.  Besides, I was really winging it.  

I've also posted, here, about how I picked up a bit more stitches on the sides of the front neckline and in the back than instructed and still had to block it out for the slouchy look I was going for.   It may stretch out more with wear, which is fine with me. 

I used several cords clicked together on my Denise needles to magic loop the sleeves.  It worked, but isn't as easy as magic loop with thin cords.  It made some of the stitches a little wonky. 

Check out the asymmetric hem.  I've wanted to do that with a sweater for the longest.  

This was all about winter comfort.  Though the garter stitch isn't as defined in this alpaca blend, it is the definition of coziness, so I am pleased with it.  Up next is finishing Agnes (also for the SSKAL), then I'm not sure.  Maybe socks?

Get ready for excessive linkage:

More on my Ravelry, Kollabora, and Flickr.  Previous posts on this here, here, and here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Finishing and Beginning

Today, I'm beginning Agnes for the Summer Sweater Knitalong.  I've been wanting to make this for I don't know how long.  It includes several things I love: bulky yarn, larger needles, and a soft blue color.   I would have knit this even if the styling of the pattern photos wasn't so cute; but it is and so now I must.  I'm using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Cadet that has been waiting around in zip-loc bags for a year.  So, here it goes.

I took swatching a little more seriously with this sweater, knitting a faux in the round swatch like Ysolda mentions in her book.  I didn't take it so seriously that I knit a full 4 inches in length, but I think I got the idea.

The point with this swatch is to mimc knitting in the round by using only knit stitches on your stockinette.  Since I knit tighter when using circulars, I thought this would be wise.  I knit a row, then slid the work down the circular needle to the right side again.  I brought the yarn from the left side to the right, leaving plenty of slack, to knit the next row.  I just repeated the process over and over.

You can see the slack yarn strands aren't pretty, but they served their purpose.  I got gauge with size 8 needles.  Did you see that?  Size 8...  that's practically ginormous.  I think I can almost certainly say that I'll finish this sweater before the end of the Summer Sweater KAL, if not the end of the week!

(more on ravelry, kollabora, flickr)

My Il Grande Favorito is finished and blocking at the moment.  Though it fit well when I cast off, I want it to be more oversized, so I'm blocking it out.   I wasn't sure how big to make the neckline, since I'm hoping for a little growth.  I followed the pattern instructions for picking up neck stitches and ended up with a really high neckline like the photo below.  Even though I hastily threw it on over a too large t-shirt, it is still too high for this pattern.

So I tried again, picking up more stitches, and now have this:

I snapped these phone pics hastily to compare the two side by side.  Once I saw them, I thought it was worth showing here.  Picking up 3 out of 4 sts along the sides of the front, instead of every other stitch, made a big difference.

Ripping out Reverie yarn was not fun, but I'm so glad I did it.

By the way, Emma Welford did a Style Your Knits post about her Just Beachy pattern on the Holla Knits blog recently and I got to put together a polyvore outfit for her.  Check it out here.  (I love that other people still love Docs as much as I do.)  Just Beachy is on sale through August 18th.  Grab it because it's a really quick knit and very fun to wear.

Friday, August 9, 2013

I Want That.

I don't need them.  I just want them.  In no particular order of importance:

- A Murphy bed for my son's room.  It's a good choice for such a small room and will make it a more versatile space when he's grown.  With two teenagers, I can start thinking about the future that way.  I've already tagged his room as my one-day-craft room and half of my daughter's closet as a "bump out" to recess our fridge in the next room.

- Knit Picks Curio crochet thread because I really need another fiber habit.  But look at these colors!

- An ombre crocheted yarn basket for my living room to put all of these crafts into.  I am slowly collecting t shirt yarn from Goodwill for this project.

Off white Converse hi tops, like we used to wear on the basketball team.  I can cross these off because my daughter already prodded me to buy them.  She's my green light.  I take her shopping with me when I want permission to buy.

Thea Colman's Baileys Irish Cream or Rolling Rock sweaters.  Sigh.  I have to work through some of my yarn first.

Thea Colman's Rolling Rock sweater via Ravelry

- Thea's sister's hair (above).  Asymmetric bobs were the new wave thing when I was in high school and I'm nostalgic for that- the short hair, not high school.  I was admiring her hair along with Thea's patterns on the Summer Sweater KAL thread when Thea chimed in and posted an even better photo of her sister's do for me to take to my stylist.  How cool is that? I don't have perfect curls, but I'm doing it anyway on Saturday.  So my Il Grande FO photo should include significantly shorter, frizzy hair.

- A giant pompom hat ...

- and mitts in this Totoro themed Gynx Yarn.  Laura has some incredible hand dyed colorways that appeal to everyone.  But their inspirations really appeal to sci-fi/ fantasy nerds.  (She's having an August sale, too!)  I first saw My Neighbor Totoro in '91, also while I was in high school, and am nostalgic about it too.

- More hours in the day to do these things, read, and still paint my kitchen, which brings me to...

- Glass lattice cabinet doors.  I've waited 8 years to do something about our kitchen.  One child is graduating from high school, the other is graduating out of a bunk bed.  I think it's time to do what we want to our kitchen, especially since we tend to hover and have more conversations around the table.  My part is to paint the cabinets and walls white while my husband works on the Murphy bed this summer, but I'm thinking of waiting until school starts.

- Also for my kitchen, a polaroid/ instagram collage frame.  The thought of having so many of these out in the open where we can see them makes me so, so very happy.

-Oh, yeah, and more sleep.