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Posts Tagged ‘sweaters’

After finishing off two sweater WIPs in December (Cabled Turtleneck and Boxy), realizing that I have at least six sweater quantities of yarn in my stash, and the hubby reminding me that NH Sheep & Wool is coming up soon (in three months), I’ve been motivated to knit more sweaters.

Immediately after finishing Boxy, I cast on Sunshine Coast by Heidi Kirrmaier. I decided on this one first because the yarn was one of the older sweater quantities I had on hand, and because it would be nice to have a spring/summer sweater ready to wear when spring/summer eventually arrives here in New Hampshire. It was a fast knit – just 15 days from start to finish! I made some slight modifications:

  • Added 8 extra stitches in the bust, on the front only. I worked 4 additional increase rounds, and then decreased those stitches away below the bust.
  • Made the neckline narrower by picking up stitches around it, working 4 rounds in reverse stockinette (purl), and bound off in purl so it rolls inward.
  • I shortened the sleeves by eliminating the last ten-row repeat (which eliminated one decrease round as well). The sleeves would have been too long (more like full length instead of 3/4) without this modification.
  • Though this wasn’t really a modification, I opted for the garter stitch edging option on the bottom hem and sleeves instead of letting the stockinette roll up on itself.

This was an enjoyable project! I love how Heidi incorporates the increases (yarnovers) as a design element at the neckline and down the sides. And the raglan increases flow nicely into diagonal panels from the underarms to the bottom hem.

SunshineCoast

Sunshine Coast Pullover

And the very next day after finishing up Sunshine Coast, I cast on a Hiro cardigan using yarn I bought at NH Sheep & Wool in 2017. Of course, I knit a couple of swatches first! My gauge came out looser than the gauge specified in the pattern, so I ended up following the instructions for the smallest size (34″ bust) to end up with about a 42″ bust. I also added some more increase rounds to get 4 more stitches in the bust (on the front only). I decreased away these extra stitches on the second round after joining the sleeves and body together to work the yoke. Additional modifications made:

  • Instead of knitting flat in rows as the pattern specifies for the cardigan version, I worked in the round and added five steek stitches down the center front.
  • I despise the idea of knitting a buttonband separately and sewing/seaming it on. Instead, I followed Kate Davies’ steeking tutorial and knit stockinette facings in a “steek sandwich” with an I-cord bindoff. Mine had the added twist of being worked with a little intarsia where the colors changed in the yoke.

I knit this pattern by Julia Farwell-Clay before, but as a pullover. I really enjoyed steeking and I’m looking forward to doing it again on another project someday. I liked the idea of the steek sandwich, but wasn’t happy with how thick it made the buttonbands. The I-cord edging gave a nice finish, especially with the buttonholes worked right next to it so they sort of hide a little when the cardigan is unbuttoned. Next time I knit a steeked cardigan, I’ll probably finish the steek on the wrong side with ribbon or fabric instead.

The yarn I used isn’t available online anywhere that I can find. It’s called Cheshire Sheep Yarn (100% wool) and it came from a farm in Nelson, NH that had a booth at NH Sheep & Wool. It was extremely pleasant to work with; it had a bit of a rustic look in the skein but was relatively soft to the touch. It appeared to be a woolen-spun yarn and worked up to more of a chunky gauge, though the weight to yardage ratio was more in the Aran range. Once washed, it bloomed and evened out beautifully.

As I write this, the cardigan is still on the bed drying, and I haven’t yet sewn on the buttons. I’m going with these cat buttons from Katrinkles, and plan to sew them on using embroidery floss in the same colors as the yoke (making bowties magically appear on the kitties). The buttons are another thing I bought at NH Sheep & Wool, last year.

If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll notice the color changes in the buttonbands differ on each side. I knit the one on the right (left front) first and wasn’t sure I was happy with it. I’m not entirely happy with how it ended up on the right front either. But once I’m wearing it, I don’t think the difference will be quite as noticeable. When buttoned, the buttonbands will overlap; and when unbuttoned, they won’t be right next to each other.

HiroCardi

Hiro Cardigan

And now that I’ve finished knitting this sweater (in just three weeks!), I’m looking forward to the next one. I’ll be making another summer top, Novel-T by Laura Nelkin. I’ve already downloaded the pattern, but I’m making myself wait until I get the buttons sewn onto my Hiro cardigan before casting on anything new.

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Yeah, it’s been quite a while since my last knitting blog post. I’ve been blogging much more about hiking. But I’ve still been knitting! (Just not writing about it.) There are a couple new things I can’t reveal just yet, but here are some highlights of 2016 and early 2017. First, let’s catch up with 2016:

For further details on these projects, see my Ravelry page (login required to see the page, but the specific projects below are set for public viewing).

Next, here’s what I’ve completed so far this year (except for the stuff I can’t share yet):

Further details on these are on my Ravelry page – direct public links to the projects appear below.

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Now, I’m not normally too bad about having a bunch of WIPs (works in progress for the uninitiated) around. I generally have 2 or 3 at the most. So, let’s take a quick WIP inventory, shall we?

  • Deep V Sweater (from Erika Knight’s Classic Knits) – started in January
  • Kelly’s Kupkake (prototype made at the end of March; needs retooling)
  • Cell Phone Pouch, Take One (still sitting on my desk after a couple weeks, awaiting felting)
  • Cell Phone Pouch, Take Two (ditto)
  • Lacy Ribs Socks (just started last weekend, a few inches away from being finished)
  • Petite Pineapple Doily (just started 6/12/09 and progressing rapidly)

LacyRibs_WIP_XL

Lacy Ribs Socks – 6/8/09 (they’re much farther along now)

I suppose it’s good that four of the above are pretty much close to finished. That leaves the retooling of the cupcake (which I kind of have figured out in my head, so as long as that doesn’t defy the laws of physics, that one should wrap up pretty easily) and THE SWEATER. I feel like I’ve been working on the sweater way longer than five months. However, seeing “five months” typed out makes it look a lot longer than I thought it would.

I now have a bit more incentive to finish the sweater (oh, I’ve been working on it here and there, but with significant breaks in between): there’s another sweater I feel I just HAVE to make. I just have to make it because… well, I had a dream about it. In my dream, I discovered I just happened to have this finished handknitted (by me) sweater just sitting in the house, that just needed its final blocking (but still looked plenty good enough without it). It had beautifully detailed cabling, and I could tell from the way it looked in the dream that it had to be a Norah Gaughan design (I looooove Norah Gaughan’s designs). It was in a pretty coral-ish color, not overly bright, just soft enough but not too muted.

So after getting some breakfast in me the next morning, I checked my Ravelry queue. Nope, not there. then I checked the patterns I had tagged as favorites (I have over 250 patterns tagged as favorites… fortunately, Ravelry has a search feature for favorites), searching for cardigans and Norah Gaughan. BOOM. There was Kingscot. And even in the same color I dreamed of. Now, the sweater in my dream wasn’t necessarily that exact sweater, but about a 95% match. It had a fit just like Kingscot, with beautiful cabling down the front and buttons at the yoke, but not too clingy at the bottom.

And, of course, because I MUST. PREPARE. NOW. to knit this sweater, I’ve already purchased the pattern. I just need to find a suitable yarn that won’t drain my bank account. The quest begins… more to come later (could be a while, too).

In other news…

After two months in my new stomping grounds in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, I finally checked out one local yarn shop (LYS) — Lamb’s Ear Yarns in Gilford. It’s a nice little shop, smaller than my “old” LYS, Yarns R Us in Hamburg, PA. I will definitely be going back to Lamb’s Ear again, although I doubt that it will be exclusively my LYS of choice — inventory there seems geared more toward sweaters and colorwork, and there’s only a small selection of sock yarn (all good sock yarns, too), just not nearly the wide variety Kim has in Hamburg. From a customer service standpoint, though, Lamb’s Ear is excellent. The owner, Sue, was very helpful in showing me her inventory and knitted samples around the shop. I ended up leaving with three beautiful skeins of sock yarn, and some yarn ideas brewing for the dream sweater mentioned above.

I also plan to check out Patternworks in Center Harbor, and The Elegant Ewe in Concord… but probably not until later next month (too many trips to Lowe’s sucking away the yarn budget).

Hopefully soon I will have a finished pair of socks and a doily to blog about. Stay tuned!

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