Category Archives: knitting

Stash Busting – Q2 Review

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It’s amazing how productive you can be when you don’t have to spend two hours everyday in traffic. I’ll miss being able to clock out and walk 10 feet to the kitchen to make dinner.

My goal is to make a sweater a month. That means I should have six sweaters completed. And I have…drumroll please...eight sweaters completed!

Sweater #4
Note the handmade Dorset buttons

Sweater #4 is an adaptation of a Phildar pattern. The pattern magazine is just called Patterns 25 Phildar Mix Adult. The pattern was No. 20 – Cardigan. Obviously they spent a lot of time coming up with clever names.

I want to make a note here about patterns. I rarely ever follow a written pattern and I rarely use the suggested yarn. I usually have to recalculate everything in order to achieve the fit I want. Granted, my finished product usually looks like the one in the pattern but it’s not as simple as just following directions.

This is a crochet cardigan and is noteworthy because it is my first crochet garment. I’m not a novice, I’ve crocheted my fair share of afghans, dishcloths and ornaments. One of the reasons I’ve avoided crochet clothing is the finishing seemed fiddly. But I solved that problem by making this in the round so there were no seams to sew together.

Another issue with crochet is most of the clothing patterns are ugly. Crochet is thicker and denser than knitting, which is why it’s so perfect for blankets but not so much for clothes, unless you like the Michelin Man look. But I used a relatively thin and drapey yarn which worked up nicely in crochet. And it was a quick project.

Sweater #5 is another cardigan made from the same yarn, different color (Red Hearts’ Luster Sheen). This is The Pink Cabled Cardigan from Handknit Style ll – More Contemporary Sweaters from Tricoter by Linden Ward and Beryl Hiatt. I’ve made this sweater before out of an angora yarn. The angora was a poor choice. It didn’t stretch much and was itchy. I ended up giving it away but I’ve always liked the design. I decided to give it another try and the Luster Sheen was a perfect choice. It’s a much stretchier yarn so the cables gently hug my body. Plus it doesn’t itch.

Still needs buttons.

Sweater #6 is also a cardigan (I was on a roll). This is a pattern I’ve had for a long time. It is from a Family Circle Easy Knitting magazine. I don’t know the issue or year. I haven’t knit it because sizing started at 43″ bust (if you ever met me, you know I am nowhere near a 43″ bust). I decided to give it a go and picked out some gray (to match a dress I have) repurposed yarn (meaning I unravelled a man’s sweater to get the yarn). I knit it on size 4 needles and worked it in one piece until I got to the armholes.

Sweater #6

It was slow in the beginning. I wasn’t used to knitting with such small needles but once I got past the finicky part, it was a fun knit. The lace pattern intimidated me but I got the hang of it, using markers to denote repeats. I have another idea for the lace design (a little teaser there). Finishing the neck and button bands has always been problematic for me but I used my inner Zen master and hit it out of the park! I love the band detailing, the sweater fits perfect, drapes beautifully and completes the outfit I intended it for. I chose not to do buttons on this one.

Sweater #7 was an attempt to use up leftover yarn. It’s an Adrienne Vittadini pattern from Vol. 0000-24. The yarn is Berroco’s Soft Twist. Her version has long sleeves but I ran out of yarn.

I love the cable detailing on this sweater.

It was weird switching from a size 4 to a size 8 needle. I had to unravel a lot of my knitting in the beginning because I kept messing up the cables. I was pleasantly surprised by the finished product, though. It makes a nice transitional/winter sweater (given Austin winters).

My final sweater is a v-neck pullover made in a red Lion Brand Microspun. Again, I used another pattern I’ve had for a long time from the English knitting magazine Sandra, February 1999. I liked the center/neckline detail and thought it was classic enough to last me years. The problem is back in 1999 sweaters were HUGE and shapeless. So I kept the basic design but added waist shaping and a set-in sleeve versus a drop shoulder sleeve to give it a fitted look.

My photography sucks. In real life this sweater is a bright red.

I’m currently in what I call the “incubation” phase. This is that murky, frustrating phase where I am trying to find my next project. I can’t just make anything, it has to feel right, I need to be inspired.Truthfully, it drives me crazy. The good news is when I do have to go back into the office and lose the couple of hours a day in traffic, I’m going to have a great wardrobe and the confidence that I’ll hit my goal.

Craft Show Goodies

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The holidays always give me the itch to do a craft show. The snowmen are my new favorite. I had some old styrofoam ornaments and crocheted over them with white yarn. I’ve had them laying around in that state for about 3-4 years now. This year I finally decided it was time to do something with them so I made them hats, gave them those adorable faces and I am in love!

 

My Recent Obsession

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Blankets!

I have a ton of yarn (maybe not an actual ton, but I moved down to Austin with a 7 foot pod and let’s just say that most of that was and still is…yarn…)

I’ve actually narrowed my collection down to the yarns that I like (I’ve been the recipient of a lot of leftover yarn as well as made some questionable color choices in the past…) and have hope of actually using but it still leaves me with about ten large plastic bins of yarn. I started knitting blankets as what I hoped would be a way of making a dent in my stash.  It is surprising how little yarn a blanket will actually use up!

The purple/lavender chevron blanket was number 3. The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver which I picked up for $12 at Goodwill. I still have yarn left! The gold/blue/yellow squares will make up my fourth blanket. I’m loving this design. Basically I picked my colors (again, all the yarn was bought for super cheap at one thrift store or another  – it’s an acrylic sport weight yarn) and went with a block design instead of knitting it in one piece. I learned a lesson with the lavender monstrosity. I was blanketed (see what I did there?) in acrylic yarn as I knit it and wanted to avoid doing that during the 90 degree temps we often see during an Austin summer. I’m loving the touch of blue with the golds and yellow, help make it more contemporary (along with the geometric design) instead of a 70’s vibe. I’m getting at least a square a day done and I think I’ll easily end up with 40 squares. This might be a queen, maybe even a king size blanket when I’m done as each square will be at least 11 inches after they are blocked.

The problem is that I’ve got the yarn set aside for my next blanket and I’m itching to get that project started but I’ll be good and finish this one first.