Picking up where I last left off

January 21st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Its been nigh on almost a year since my last crafty blog post. Much has happened in my life, and most of it has been (unfortunately) sad and challenging. I lost my dad to cancer last year, and it became very difficult to knit and write for awhile. The shawl that I had been working on (see photo below) sat for 7 months from the day my dad passed away until the day I felt able to start knitting again. The shawl is still not finished, but I am no longer feeling sad every time I look at it. It will be glorious once its completed, and I will remember dad when I wear it.

FlickerandFlame

When I was away in Europe in the fall of 2014, I took two knitting projects with me (one was the Wannabe Vintage Mitts from my last post) and didn’t really knit on either of them. However, once I finished those mitts, I was determined to get the second pattern, a pair of socks completed. Its been some time since I made knit socks for myself, and I was looking forward to having them as the temperature cooled off this past autumn. So without further ado, let me present my Step-aside Socks:
StepasideThese socks were really quite easy to make, I know that they look like cables, but actually the cable-like pattern is created by alternating decreases and lace. Pretty nifty! I used up some sock yarn that someone gifted me a few years ago – huzzah for stash-busting!

Pattern: Stepaside by Yvonne McSwiney (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks 4 Ply in a stripey/tonal marine colourway
Yardage out: 332 yards out for stash-down points
Needles used: 3mm dpns, but I wish I had used 2.75mm as the extra needle size made these socks more floppy and less fitted than I’m used to. Still love them though!

Another big change in my life last year was that I became an aunt for the 4th time, but this time to the first baby girl in the family! Huzzah for knitting frilly things at last! Its annoying, but there are way more knitting patterns for girls than boys out there. I’m not really sure why. I think it may stem from the fact that girls/women can wear ALL the clothes, but boys/men are confined by traditional masculine-looking clothing (kilts aside). Thus, it follows that there are more patterns for girls than boys. Still, I’d love to see more fun patterns for boys.

So here’s the first really girly outfit I have ever created:
IMG_2336The outfit took me about a month to make and bought a lovely soft baby alpaca yarn special for it. I was going to make booties to match, but my sister and brother-in-law told me not to bother. I started knitting it about 5 days after baby Abigail was born (I usually wait for babies to be born before I knit for them in case something happens….)

Patterns: Charlee Baby Girl Coat and Little Flower Hat (both Ravelry pattern links)
Yarn employed: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Cherish in pansy
Yardage out: 408 yards out for stash-down points
Needles: 3.5mm, 3.75mm circulars and dpns where needed; and 3.5 crochet hook for edging

IMG_2344I love the details of this outfit – the slit and knitted bow in the back of the coat, the flower on the crown of the hat, and all that fluffy crochet edging. I hope I get a photo of Abigail modelling this outfit…

Thanks for staying supportive while I’ve been offline for the past while. I’ll do my best to keep updating, but also be sure to check out my Facebook page, as I post many updates and interesting articles there.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016 (year of the Monkey!)

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Looking back/Looking forward

March 25th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s incredible how time flies. This time last year I was knitting a sea otter for a co-worker of mine’s first child, and then a couple other small projects for friends before I took off travelling. Which I meant to inform my lovely crafty blog-readers about, and kind of failed to do so. For 13 weeks, I lived out of a big rolling suitcase and moved about every 3-7 days. I went to London, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco by myself. If you are curious about my adventures, please feel free to enjoy the ride by reading my travel blog at www.1womantraveling.blogspot.ca (I recommend going to the beginning and working your way forward, unless you are the type that likes to jump around – well, then be my guest 😉  ).

I had one of those “best laid plans of mice & men” moment when I decided to pack two knitting projects for my trip. Guess how much I managed to get done while I was away? About 35% of one of the projects. Derp.

Since I have been back, I’ve been working on finishing up some WIPs – including that spinning project I started over a year ago. I’m happy to say that I’m 67% complete on that “Firefly” spinning project for a friend, and here’s a photo of what some of it plied on a niddy-noddy looks like:

3-ply (Navajo) “Firefly” coloured yarn that sings a song of flames yearning to burn brightly.

I still have another 4 ounces of this fibre yet to spin, so I’m expecting/hoping that the yardage is enough for my lovely friend Rebecca to knit a sweater or cardigan out of it. I have to say, this yarn is damn-near perfect in terms of grist (a true worsted!), smoothness, and lack of knots due to no breaks during plying. It’s nice to feel like I’m really becoming a master spinner.

Since I have come home I have managed to finished 5 knitting projects. So let’s get caught up to the present on some of my projects, shall we?

First up, my Wannabe Vintage Mitts, which was one of the projects that I had initially taken on my trip with me that didn’t evolve all that much. To tell the truth, I was so enmeshed with where I was on my travels that I didn’t feel like pulling out the knitting. Especially when there was always something to do: a free walking tour, sangria hour, meals with hostel-mates, bike rides, beach time, or the availability of interesting foreign novels for free at most of my hostels. When I came home I realized that it was high time that I get a move-on and finish these fingerless mitts because I had cast them on in late July and was feeling like a bit of a failure languishing knitter.

I’m really pleased with the way these fingerless mitts turned out. I was even told by a fellow Raveler that my photos were clearer than the “model” ones used on the main pattern page on Ravelry. I’m tickled pink by that comment!

My Wannabe Vintage fingerless mitts. I must say, they really are stunning! I love the delicate cable detail.

Project Notes:
Pattern name: 
Wannabe Vintage Mitts by Jennifer Buettgen (free Ravelry download)
Yarn used: Stricken Smitten Sinful Socks in “Scheherazade’s sky” colourway
Yardage out: 150 yards out with points for stash-down!
Needles: 3 mm dpns
Notes: I decided that the cuffs in this pattern are too short. I did 3 repeats of Cuff A, and knit 2 repeats of Cuff B. I unfortunately didn’t extend the thumb cuff, but I would extend it if I knitted these mitts again.

Next up, something really cool and a bit nerdy if you are into Marvel comics etc. Last year, a B-rated movie called Guardians of the Galaxy came out. The movie was just so-so, but one of its characters (“Groot” played by Vin Diesel) was really fun and audiences were more into this character than any other. Spoiler alert: Groot is a baby at the end of the movie (I won’t say why or how). The dancing baby Groot has inspired no less than 21 knitting and crochet patterns on Ravelry! I mentioned that I had seen Groot patterns to my boyfriend (yes, we are back together) and he said that he wanted one. This was just 5 days before Christmas! So I had to get my butt in gear and get knitting.

The actual knitting of this item wasn’t all that bad. The devil was in the details though…embroidery, safety eyes, moss, planter’s foam, I even spray-painted a pot white to “plant” Groot in! I’m super happy with how my Groot turned out though. His arms are bendy, so he can “dance” (with help from a human of course). My bf has this guy on his desk at work to help cheer him up when he needs it on busy days.

Baby Groot! So cute!

Project Notes:
Pattern name: 
Baby Groot by Meghan Munro (paid pattern – download)
Yarn used: Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in “Sable” and Noro Takeuma in Olives for the embroidery/trimmings
Yardage out: 40 yards out with points for stash-down!
Needles: 2.75 mm and 4.5mm dpns
Notes: The directions for the bark crown are a bit strange so I kind of winged it. I also had a devil of a time trying to slide pipe-cleaners through the i-cord arms. I recommend bending the sharp end, and making a looser gauge i-cord to make pipe-cleaner insertion easier. Instead of feeding the excess yarn tail through the i-cord, I whip-stitched it down the arm. This also allowed more room for the pipe-cleaner. I inserted two toothpicks into Groot’s body to help keep him sturdy and upright as his head is a bit heavy for his body. I placed a rock in the bottom of the pot to add more stability. I glued the rim of a half-circle of potting foam flat-side-up. Then I glued moss and baby Groot with a glue-gun.

I’ll post another blog soon about some more completed projects. Thanks for staying tuned in!

 

 

 

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Tying up some loose ends

August 1st, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Its been a little while since I wrote a crafty blog. Its mostly because I have been working hard and planning for my upcoming three months off. But I have been knitting in the midst of all this madness and I’d like to share what I’ve completed to date.

First up, what I nicknamed as the Ribbing of DOOM project – a pair of fingerless mitts for my friend Bran. It took me 5 months to complete these mitts, and it was mostly due to sheer boredom. I’ve come to realize that while I love the look of ribbing, I’m not a fan of knitting it forever in a fine yarn. In this case, I was downright masochistic, I was using lace yarn held double. Shoot me now! But I’m happy to say that they are all done, and the finished product looks good! I unfortunately don’t have any photos of Bran wearing these mitts, but I have a feeling she won’t be needing them until autumn arrives.

Bran-warmers. This photo shows both sides of the radiating rib pattern.

Project Notes:
Pattern name: 
Marywarmers by Lisa Reeve (free Ravelry download)
Yarn used: Wollmeise Lace-Garn in an electric indigo/purple colour
Yardage out: 791.7 yards out with points for stash-down!
Needles: 2.5 mm dpns
Notes: I chose to do 5 repeats of the cuff rather than 7 (I thought that 7 would be too long)

Next project – a hat for a particular dude. This hat was meant for my boyfriend for Christmas, but we broke up in January and have recently begun reconnecting again. So I decided it was time to make the hat he should’ve got for Christmas (and to get him to quit grumbling about it LOL).

Man-baby hat

Project Notes:
Pattern name: 
Windschief by Stephen West (paid pattern)
Yarn used: Muse Merlot Aran in a gorgeous royal blue palette.
Yardage out: 114 yards out with points for stashdown
Needles: 4.0mm and 4.5mm dpns
Notes: it only took me 6 days to knit and block this project. Ah, I love the ease that comes with quick projects!

As I alluded to in an earlier blog post, I’m leaving shortly to go away for 3 months to travel to Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. While I’m away, I’ve assigned myself two knitting projects (and neither of them were part of my original plan that I wrote about previously). One, I’ve started, and the other I will start while away.

Travel project #1: Wannabe Vintage Mitts which is a free Ravelry download. Here’s what I have done so far:

Cuff on the first mitt done

Traveling project #2: Stepaside Socks which was free for the month of July (score!) but is now back to a paid pattern. I have yet to figure out which yarn to use for this project, but perhaps this one that I won as part of the Ravellenic Games a few years ago?

Weee! Pretty sock yarn.

Whatever yarn I end up using, I’ll need to dig it out of my yarn stash (which is a mess right now due to all the packing going on in my house), wind it, and get whatever needles/notions together so I have everything with me while I’m on the road. I’ll be blogging on a different site, but if I come across something really cool and crafty on my journeys, I’ll blog here about it. So long for now! :-)

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Raindrops keep falling on my head…

May 26th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

“But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red…” because I have plans.  I haven’t been blogging too much as of late due to some rather frustrating chronic pain flare-ups preventing me from doing any kinds of crafts.  My ongoing ribbing project of DOOM is still in a state of stasis (alliteration FTW!) and has been giving me side-eye (if a knitted item could do so) and taunting me with thoughts of “YOU STILL NEED TO KNIT A WHOLE ‘NOTHER MITT LADY!”  Ah, the dreaded second-mitt-syndrome.  One of these days I’m going to learn how to do 2-at-a-time in the round projects for mitts/socks.

So even though I can’t craft much due to pain, I can still plan.  And I do have plans, lovelies…

Firstly, I think its high time that I knit myself another pair of socks.  Its been awhile since I knitted myself socks – the last pair I knit were from summer/fall of 2012!  One contender for these socks is Wraptor (free pattern from Knitty).  I have lots of self-striping sock yarn, and this would be a good project for stash-busting.  They will be a challenging knit as they are constructed flat on a diagonal and then knitted together.  They do look oh-so cool though!  Observe:

Wraptor – wrap your head around these!

My second choice is Paraphernalia (free Ravelry download) which would look good in a solid colour (and I just happen to have a lovely skein of plum-coloured sock yarn that I could use).  Probably more straight-forward than the Wraptors, but still classy with all those cables. Check em out:

Paraphernalia socks

I have other sock patterns in my queue (28 in all!), but these are the two that stand out to me.  The jury is out which I shall knit though.  Feel free to bribe the judge  😉

In other news, I’m planning a 3 month sojourn to Ireland, Portual, and Spain starting this August.  And I thought that I should have a knitting project to take with me on the road.  So I thought, why not make a “travelling sweater?”  It would take me almost that long to knit it and I would be able to wear the thing if I finish it before I come home.

The sweater: “Raindrops” by Tin Can Knits (Ravelry link).  I think its a flattering shape and would fit my body type well.  I’m going to do it pretty much in the same colour, only I’ll probably be using something like Cascade Heritage Sock in hyacinthe rather than Sweet Georgia’s yarn.  Here’s a view of the back of the sweater:

Raindrops

My first stop of my trip is London, England where I’ll be meeting my penpal & fellow Raveller Gavin to take in a few days of museums and yes, yarn shopping.  Its possible I may find a yarn for this sweater in London, but it may be better to play it safe and order the yarn while I’m still in Canada.  Then I’ll be in Ireland for about 2.5 weeks before heading to warmer climes in Portugal and Spain.  I don’t foresee buying yarn on the trip, but who knows?  I could find an amazing knit & stitch shop somewhere and fall in love with exotic yarns that I cannot source in Canada.

If anyone knows of any “must-see” things in Portugal/Spain, please leave a comment below.  Suggestions for yarn shops included!

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Lightening up with Lace

May 2nd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Spring and summer are times of lightening up, shedding layers, and embracing the warmer days ahead.  It stands to reason then, that knitting should also “lighten up” during these sunny months.  Its no fun dragging around a wool sweater project that weighs what feels like a metric ton in one’s bag, and making one sweat while it sits in one’s lap during knitting.  Yuck!

Enter, lace.  Lace is basically any fabric that has an open “weave” to it (or to put it in low-brow terms: has holes in it 😉 ).  According to the Lace Guild, what we know as lace came into existence during the 16th Century CE.  For knitters and crocheters, lace is fast and fun and can be very simple to OMG complex depending on the person’s skill level.  Here’s and example of “easy lace” (based on a Ravelry pattern search):

Bias Scarf – easy lace (skill level 1 out of 10)

And here’s and example of OMG-I’m-losing-my-sanity-so-complex! lace:

Lilie tablecloth (skill level 9 or 10 out of 10)

And yet, both of these projects utilize the same lace components to make an airy fabric that is just gorgeous.  Knitting, purling, increase/decrease, and Yarn Overs (or YO for you non-knitting folk) is all you really need to make this fabric.

I self-identify as an intermediate knitter, but I didn’t want to put my head through the wall with a complicated lace project.  I wanted something that would be kind of instant-gratification-like and chose to make an infinity scarf for my dear friend Lalla.  Truth be told, Lalla was over at my house for tea and saw a skein of stunning Indigo Dragonfly Italian silk lace that she draped around her neck.  I knew it was game-over when she co-oped the yarn….I would have to knit something for her.  But really, I don’t mind because the colour looked amazing on her skin tone.  I simply had to knit her something.

Here’s the finished project as it was blocking:

Lace cowl blocking for maximum awesomeness!

And here’s a few on Lalla herself:

Infinity cowl – single drapey loop

Cowl doubled over for maximum warmth

Lalla absolutely loves her infinity scarf and has been wearing it almost daily and showing it off to everyone.  Huzzah!

Project Notes:

  • Pattern name: Palessie Cowl by Diana Rozenshteyn (paid pattern on Ravelry)
  • Yarn used: Indigodragonfly Silk D’Italia in Baldersquash colourway
  • Yardage out: 308 yards (with points for stashdown – huzzah!)
  • Needles: 3.75mm 24″ circular needles
  • Total days of knitting: 23 days
  • Skills employed: basic lace with grafting (Kitchener stitch) in pattern.
  • Project page here

 

I’m still working on the neverending rib project, and hope to finish the first mitt this weekend (hmm, perhaps I’m being optimistic) and get on with the second mitt.  I’m trying to be project-monogamous these days to ensure I carry out to completion my projects…but sometimes its nice to think about (or work on) other projects.  The next project that I will be working on will be a fingering weight sweater for myself, but more on that later.

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Mad as a March…otter?

March 21st, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

For any of you lovely readers who have been following along with my Instagram otter post updates, or this blog, you’ll know that I have finished the super cute sea otter project I’ve been working on this past month.  March is always an insane month – heavy workoad at the day-job, the weather (in like a lion, out like a lamb), crazy social obligations, and so many birthdays.  Its enough to make anyone a little “mad.”

But this knitter is not the March Hare.  No, while my sanity has gone a bit by the wayside with all this “madness,” I consider myself to be Otterly Insane.  But of course, not literally.  Nope, I fell for this oh so cute (but kind of sewing nightmare) project for my coworker’s first child being born (another birthday!)  Its otterly cute, and I think you will agree:

Otterly complete

This project took me 37 days to knit.  Honestly though, a large part of that time was not spent knitting because I have been dealing with chronic pain and other “madness” this past month.  Also, I needed to wrap my head around 3D knitting because this is the first toy I’ve ever knitted.  It takes a different kind of mental gymnastics to understand how limbs are formed in knitting etc.  I’m so used to 2D knitting (sweaters in the round excluded).

I nicknamed this fellow “Gus” because that’s what he looked like to me.  I told my coworker that he could change it to whatever name he wanted to, but he liked Gus, so Gus he shall be!

Here’s Gus otterly in pieces before I sewed his appendages to his body:
Gus

And here he is with his appendages attached. 

As you can see, his legs looked a bit wonky.  The pattern directions were unclear about the leg placement – all it said was “attach the legs in the way that looks most cute to you.”  Hmmm, open to interpretation for sure.  I asked for some input from other knitterly folks, and more or less rotated the legs 90 degrees so that they sit properly now.
gus side-angle

Project Notes:
Project Pattern: Monterey Sea Otter (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in brown, tan, and black; and GarnStudios DROPS Muskat cotton in silver.
Stashdown total: 196 yards out
Needles: 4mm and 3.5mm dpns
New skills employed: shadow wraps, embroidery, stuffing (without over stuffing), Turkish cast-on.

I’m happy to say that my coworker loved this gift and has promised to send me adorable photos of Gus + baby.  I look forward to receiving these pics and going “Awwwwww!” at my desk at work.

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The trouble with coffee is…

March 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

I am a devoted tea-drinker.  I had to be – I grew up in an Irish household.  Tea is a thing in Ireland and the UK.  Fanaticism over what constitutes a “proper cup o’ tea” has been debated ad nauseum on the internet.  On Ravelry, there are 27 pages of teapot cozy patterns of various sizes, shapes, and colours to choose from.  Its a tea-lovers dream!

However, this post is not about tea.  No, its about its rival cousin – coffee.  Or more specifically, about Bodum (aka French Press) cozies.  Apparently, they are not really that common.  A google search will land you an Etsy shop or two selling them, or some odds-and-ends kitchenware stores that supply them.  A Ravelry search shows only 1.5 pages of Bodum/French Press cozy patterns.  What gives?  My understanding is that coffee is the beverage of choice in North America, but its accoutrements are not afforded the same amount of consideration as tea’s do.  Hmm.

A very dear friend of mine is an avid coffee drinker – Bodum/French Press preferred.  However, their coffee would continually get cold very quickly.  They were using a much worn and stained tea towel wrapped around the Bodum to keep it warm.  This technique was not very effective but was the best method available at the time.  Until I decided that this lukewarm coffee tragedy must end.  And so, I decided to knit a Bodum cozy.

Bodum cozies can either cover the entire Bodum (similar to a teapot cozy) or can wrap around the Bodum, leaving the spout free so that you can enjoy your coffee while it retains its heat.  I decided to go with the latter option and picked this pattern.  As this pattern required very little yarn, I used only yarn ball ends to stashbust and create what I think its a pleasing cozy.

Knitted cozy prior to the finishing

I knitted 4 rows of blue (Cascade Eco+ in steel blue), followed by 3 rows of charcoal grey (unknown yarn ends), and 1 row of light grey (Bernat Berella Solids) – rinsed and repeated until the cozy was about 13″ tall.  I made the cozy a bit taller because I knew I would be lining it with craft felt to make it warmer, and this would cause the knit fabric to shrink in size a bit.

For the finishing, I did single crochet in the charcoal colour around the outside of the cozy to anchor the yarn ends and created 4.5″ i-cords to be able to tie the cozy onto the Bodum.  Finally, I sewed in a piece of craft light-blue felt onto the back for insulation.  Here’s the final product:

Coffee time!
Photo courtesy of Carsen Farmer.

I think it looks great!  My friend has reported back that their coffee is much warmer now, but thinks that double-felt would make this cozy even better.  Definitely something I’m going to keep in mind if I make another.

All told, there is about 165 yards out for stashdown on a 3.75mm needle.

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Didn’t quite make it to the Podium

February 28th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Another year, another Olympics, another Ravellenics challenge.  Alas, I did not make it to the “podium” this year for the Ravellenic Winter Games (or “knitting Olympics” as it were).  My “event” was the Toy Toboggan  with points for stash-down and glory for Team Canada.  

I had everything planned out: pattern selected and printed, needles, stash yarn at the ready. 

So what happened?  Basically, life happened.  I alluded to a sad event in my last blog post that has been hanging over me like a bit of a cloud for the past two months.  But then add two more sad personal life events (which I won’t go into detail here), stress, and my chronic pain…and well, the Ravellenics goal of glory went by the wayside.

Which doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t keep knitting on the toy that I started.  So far is looks like this:

Otter beginnings

 I’ve dubbed this project the “Ravellenics Turd” because honestly, what does it look like to you?! 😉   Its actually supposed to be a Monterey Sea Otter, but so far its just the body and a part of one arm.  

I’m learning some new skills while knitting this thing, such as shadow wraps, and the eastern cast-on method.  I will also have to do embroidery for the sea otter’s face and lots of seaming to put the whole thing together.  Its one of the things I enjoy most about knitting – learning new skills to make something.  Often these new skills feel like magic when I do them for the first time.  Other knitters will know what I’m talking about.

This project was for a coworker of mine who’s wife is having their first child.  Its fitting because I work with aquatic species at risk, and the sea otter (not the Monterey) is one of our species.  Nerd humour?  You betcha!

Because I didn’t finish this project (or in Ravellenics terms, make the podium), and the baby came early (4 weeks too early!) I’m in need of some catching up!  My goal is to finish and assemble this toy in the next two weeks or so.  Here’s hoping that my back/neck pain will quiet down so I can get some real work done on this fun project.

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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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