Sweater Round-Up

January 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

For anyone following along with my Facebook/Twitter feeds (and this blog), you will remember that over-achieving me wanted to knit my three nephews sweaters for Christmas.  I’m happy to say that I finished 2 on-time for the big day and had the 3rd done by December 28th.  Not a bad showing, I think.  Here’s the line-up of what was accomplished:

Nephew sweater #1

Twisted tree

This sweater was a few months in the making as honestly, I found the pattern a bit boring, and frankly, I hate twisted stitches.  But the final project turned out pretty good and the colour is perfect for my nephew Z, who has hazel eyes.

Project Details:
Pattern name: Twisted Tree Pull-over (free download here)
Size: age 4/5 but made the body long enough for a 6 year old as this nephew is tall/skinny for his age
Yarn used: Sidar Snuggly DK in “Leaf Green” (colour #198)
Yardage: 639 yards out (points for stash-down!)
Needles used: 3.5mm for all edge work, 4mm for body (knit completely in the round)
Notes: The decreases took much longer than expected (27 decreases over 54 rounds).

Nephew sweater #2

Soledad

Project Details:
Pattern name: Soledad (free download here)
Size: age 4
Yarn used: Berroco Vintage DK in “Paprika” (colour #2176)
Yardage: 469.4 yards out (points for stash-down!)
Needles used: 3.5mm for all edge work, 3.75mm for body (knit completely in the round)
Notes: this pattern had some errata that I had to work out, plus I made a bunch of alterations as well. My notes can be found on my Ravelry project page for full details.

(On a sadder note, the nephew that this sweater was intended for unfortunately passed away the week before Christmas. I gave this sweater to his big brother Z as he will be able to wear this sweater for a while before he grows out of it.  I’m currently in a state of mourning, but wanted to share this project as it was dear to my heart and a lovely knit).

Nephew sweater #3

Sunshine Cardigan

Project Details:
Pattern name: Sunshine Cardigan (free Ravelry download here)
Size: age 18-24 months
Yarn used: Sidar Snuggly DK in “Baby Grey” (colour #427) and “Engine Red” (colour #413)
Yardage: 561 yards out (points for stash-down!)
Needles used: 4mm needles for all as I wanted this cardigan to fit bigger than what the pattern suggested
Notes: forgot to mirror the cables on the front, but ah well. Also did a cable down both side “seams” (wasn’t noted in the pattern but I liked the look of it).  I sewed snaps into the back of the buttons because I wasn’t in the mood for making button-holes. Snaps also make squirming toddlers easier to dress. Did all the garter areas in contrasting colour.  This cardigan looks great on my littlest nephew R, who looks like quite the little man in it.

Changing track – a cardigan for me!

About a year ago I started the Talamh Cardigan for myself (see this blog post mentioning it) but I never got around to writing about it.  Why? Because after about 5 months of knitting the thing, when I put it on, I hated how it looked on me.  The front gaped open over the bust, the shoulders just didn’t look right, and I wasn’t sure about the fit.  And so it sat on my couch.  And sat.  And sat some more until I finally showed it to a few friends of mine that convinced me it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was imagining.  One of my knitting friends offered some advice, and I thought about it and decided to add a bit more fabric to the button-bands by doing some single-crochet.  It helped, but the cardigan still gaped open over the bust.  And so this cardigan sat for another 3 months on my couch, taunting me with my failure as a knitter.  I ignored the cardigan and focused on the nephew Christmas sweaters.  Finally, over the holidays, I sewed some hooks/eyes onto the button band and that seems to have dealt with the gaping issue.  I’m still not 100% happy with the way the cardigan sits on my shoulders/collarbone as I’m really narrow across the shoulder, but its wearable now at least.  

Green Tea Talamh

Project Details:
Pattern name: Talamh Cardigan (paid-pattern available here)
Size: 35″ bust
Yarn used: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes sport in “Green Tea Heather”
Yardage: 996 yards out (and points for stash-down)
Needles used: 3.5mm needles for all
Notes: to be found on my corresponding Ravelry project page as there’s lots!

On a final note, I’ve knitted about 4000 yards of yarn in 2013.  Huzzah!

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NaKniSweMo = No Way José

November 29th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In my last blog post, I was all excited about NaKniSweMo and getting this nephew #2 sweater done.  So what happened?  Well, Mexico happened actually.  I went to Sayulita, Mexico, for 8 days as an assistant to my dance instructor.  The event was great and I worked & danced my butt off but didn’t get a whole lot of knitting done because I was too darn busy.  And I was rarely sitting in one place for more than 20 minutes.  I also had a hard time wanting to knit with wool in 30+ Celsius weather.  And airplane seats are the least comfy contraptions in history to sit in, let alone knit in for 4 hours.  Or maybe I’m just making excuses.  Whatever.  Here’s a pic of me dancing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on November 21, 2013.  Hard to believe it was only a week ago!

me dancing

Anyways, here’s as far as I got in the month of November (excusing that there is still 1 day left, of course.  Hey, miracles do happen ):

soledad in progress

That is the body of the sweater plus about half of a first sleeve done.  I have a cold right now, so I’m planning on staying home and knitting tonight to catch up.  Would be great to have the sleeves joined on Sunday by the time my knitting group meeting happens. 

I won’t lie, I’m starting to panic a bit about my C-day knitting.  I still have another nephew sweater (#3, and a cardigan actually), a hat, and a Bodum-cozy to knit before the big day, plus perhaps a quickie cowl present.  So yah, panicking! 

I’ve also decided that come the new year, I’m going to knit for myself for awhile.  I want to make myself socks out of the gorgeous plum sock yarn I got at Knit City and finally finish that darn lace shawl I started back in the summer.  Signing off for now…

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NaKniSweMo – try to say that 5 times fast!

November 13th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

NaKniSweMo is on!  For anyone not familiar with this acronym, it stands for National Knit [a] Sweater Month, and information about what it is/how its done is here.  Due to my overachieving nature Christmas knitting schedule of 3 sweaters for my nephews, I am participating this year.  This type of event is done on a voluntary basis, and there is no prize or committee to congratulate one’s success on actually knitting a sweater during the month of November.  Rather, it serves as a personal challenge to get a sweater done – especially if its mocking you from your yarn stash & project queue.  There’s also a Ravelry group to cheer you on if you need it.

But I need to backtrack for a moment and report that yes indeedy, nephew sweater #1 is done!  I haven’t blocked it yet, and given that it’s a Christmas (ahhhhh, the C-word!) gift, I’m going to do my regular project run-down with details later on.  Here’s a photo of the completed sweater though.  My only concern is whether the hole is big enough for a head to fit through.  It looks a bit small to me, but perhaps it will block bigger.  Here’s a pic of the pre-blocked finished “Twisted Tree” sweater:

twisted tree

And now onto the actual NaKniSweMo project I have going on – nephew sweater #2!  So far, I am absolutely loving this pattern, Soledad.  Its traversing cables are lovely and the pattern is very intuitive.  Here’s how much I’ve managed to knit up since casting on (size = age 4) on Saturday evening:

Soledad in progress

Not bad huh?  Its making me feel much less anxious about the fact that I still have a whole other kid sweater to knit before C-day.  Perhaps one day I’ll figure out the math and make one of these Soledad sweaters for myself.  I really do like this pattern that much.

I’m off to Mexico on Friday for about a week, and will be taking this sweater with me.  Who knows, I may come back with a tan and a completed sweater.  I can only hope…

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Knit City Round-Up

October 30th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Knit City event here in Vancouver.  The event was held over two days and included workshops, knit-ins, a talk by the Yarn Harlot (who also wrote a blog about her experience of the event), and of course, the ever-tempting marketplace. 

I wasn’t originally planning on going to Knit City this year because I wasn’t really feeling the call to take a class, and I have heard the Yarn Harlot give a speech before.  I was planning on having a quiet weekend to myself, knowing full well that I would be hearing about all the classes and yarn purchases from my knittas the following weekend.  That plan was shot though, when my regular Sunday knitting group decided to hold the meet-up at the Knit City event.  The fates had decided for me that I was going…

Whenever I know that I’m going to a craft event that features a marketplace full of delectable fibre goodies, I try to come up with a plan of attack…  In previous years, I would kind of lose all sense of space, time, and knowledge of available funds in my bank account.  All I would see was aisles of local and international retailers selling me the crafter’s version of crack – YARN. PROJECT BAGS. SPINDLES. ROVING. BUTTONS. SHAWL PINS. EMBROIDERY DOODADS etc. Its hard not to start salivating when seeing these goodies laid out so prettily.  Well, after a few years of succumbing to marketplace madness, I developed a pragmatists’ approach to these venues:

  1. Have a yarn budget and/or skein limit
  2. Tour the entire marketplace before buying anything first – take it all in
  3. Make a must-have list for projects that will actually happen and not just in my wildest dreams
  4. Allow 1 treat of minimal value to offset the need to buy everything in sight just because its pretty

 

This strategy seemed to work pretty well last weekend, and I’m happy to say that I was successful in keeping to my budget.  I have actual plans for the yarn that I bought :-)  And doing the tour of the marketplace first brought me face-to-face with several vendors that I have not seen in years and that I’m rather fond of/close to.  Such as Muse Fibre Works – Shannon is a long-time indie-dyer that I met many years ago at Gibsons Fibre Art Festival.  She’s local to Vancouver, and her yarns come in beautiful colours and wear well.   I bought 2 skeins of yarn from her:
Muse yarn
The blue tonal yarn is a worsted/aran weight yarn that will become a hat for my boyfriend.  I have a pattern waiting in the wings for that yarn, but I’m keeping it under-wraps as its for Christmas (there’s that darn C-word again).  The plum yarn is a sock yarn that I’m saving for myself.  I have often lusted after patterned socks listed on Ravelry, but 99% of the time all I have in my stash is a variegated or self-striping yarn that would obliterate the pattern from being seen for the colours.  I don’t have a pattern waiting in the wings for this plum sock yarn yet, but I’m already day-dreaming about having lovely plum tootsies.  The other item in this photo is a shawl pin by Pollika (another local supplier).  In total, I spent $42.50 in the market.  I call that a success!

In other news, I’m thisclose to finishing nephew sweater #1.  And I’m planning on knitting nephew #2’s sweater all within the month of November as part of the NaNoSweMo or National November Sweater knitting Month.  But really, maybe I’m just way to ambitious for my own good when it comes to knitting.  Only time will tell!

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Babies on the brain

September 18th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Before anyone gets excited, no – I’m NOT pregnant.  Just had to throw that out there before I get started on this post.

Its been a summer of odds & ends crafting it seems.  I focused on small projects to carry around with me as its been a rather hot & dry summer season here in the usually rainy west coast. To finish up with some leftover yarn from the items I made for my co-worker Dayna (see previous blog post), I made her a cool braided i-cord headband:

headband

Apologies for the craptacular photo, its hard to take pictures in my apartment now that the lighting has changed with the season.  I used up 13.75 yards of the same Agave Oracle yarn from my previous blog post.  Basically, I made 3 i-cords on 3.75mm DPNs and knitted for about 9 inches long before casting-off, and then braided them (including the tails) together to make a headband.  Pretty cool, huh?  Totally a design of my own!

Another quickie project that I managed to do over a day and a half is a really sweet baby hat for my co-worker Paula who is having her first child.  Here it is in all its tri-peaked glory as it blocks over a balloon.

hat

Project name: Newborn Tri-corn hat
Project pattern: Baby Tri-Peak (external link for everyone)
Yarn: Elann’s Peruvian Highland Wool, worsted weight, in colour #1898 (or kind of a dark raspberry jam colour)
Yardage: 60 yards for stashdown!
Needles: 4.5mm 16″ circular needle, 4.5 DPNs, and a tapestry needle

Here’s another photo with natural light to show colour & bonus smile of the baby-mama in question:

paula with hat

 

And now that we are half-way through September, I’m looking forward at the upcoming cold (and inevitable damp) months and that means Christmas knitting. 

While I know that most folks may run screaming from their computer screens at the mere mention of the C-word (as I shall call Christmas henceforth), as a knitter of intermediate speed with chronic pain, I need to be able to plan out my C-word knitting projects to have them completed in time.  The plan for this year (because I’m nuts) is to knit 3 sweaters (or to be specific, 2 sweaters and 1 cardigan) for my three nephews.  Luckily, I will not have to mail out any packages containing these sweaters, so I have right up until December 22 to work on things!  Also lucky for me is that these 3 boys are all under the age of 4, so that should make things go a bit faster…

The current sweater that I’m working on is for one of my nephews (for the sake of keeping things under wraps until the C-day comes around, I won’t identify whose getting what until afterwards) in a lovely green colour that should wash & wear well.  Here’s what this sweater looked like about a week & a half ago:

twisted tree in progress

That’s the sweater with 4 completed pattern repeats of twisted cable stitches running down the side “seams” of this sweater.   As of this posting, I’m on repeat #9.  So, almost ready to divide for the sleeves!  Exciting times, but I still have 2 full other baby sweaters to make – hence my blog post title.  Onwards!

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