Monthly Archives: November 2011

Camilla Pullover

I know I say this about all the sweaters I knit, but WOW…I love this. The yarn is glorious, the fit is perfect, and I love the style of the sweater. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Pattern: Camilla Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Yarn: Quince & Co. Osprey in Storm, purchased at the lovely Purl Diva while I was back east for Rhinebeck

Modifications: For the body and sleeves I followed the pattern exactly as written. But then came the raglan decreases, and all sorts of problems arose. Not with the pattern, with my super-shortness. When I knit top-down raglans, I usually have to omit a few rows in the top so that my resulting sweater doesn’t have saggy armpits. The Camilla sweater is knit bottom-up, so it’s harder to gauge how many rows to omit and it’s certainly harder to try it on as you go. I started by doing the initial decrease rounds every third row TWICE (instead of 3 times) and then I decreased every-other-round until row 12 of the pattern repeat. According to the pattern’s directions I was supposed to have another entire fan repeat before binding off. There was just no way that was going to work for me. So after row 12, I decreased EVERY round until the end of the pattern repeat as well as during 3 rows of garter stitch. I’m happy to report that the neckline is perfect and my sweater isn’t saggy under the arms!

The Camilla pattern was really well written and very easy to follow. The sweater doesn’t have any shaping at all, so once you get the fan pattern down, it’s a pretty mindless knit (which is a good thing!). If I were to knit it again, I would potentially consider some shaping in the sleeves. Maybe cast-on less stitches and do a couple of increase rows. Or even maybe make the sleeves long instead of 3/4 length. And there is definitely a possibility that I’d knit another one in a different color. It knit up SUPER quick…2 weeks from start to finish and there were a few nights of no knitting or knitting on something else during that time.

And the yarn…oh! the yarn. I knew I loved Osprey already, since I made my Solstice Cardigan out of it, so this just confirmed my love for knitting with Osprey. First of all, it knits up sooo quick! It’s soft enough to wear next to your skin (or at least I think it is!), the colors are gorgeous, and it’s affordable. In fact, I love it so much I’ve already ordered another sweater quantity of it in Gingerbread for either the Trail Jacket or the Scouting Jacket. I probably won’t knit with it immediately, but it’ll be nice to have it here when I get the urge for an instant gratification sweater!

Like I’ve already said several times….I’m really, really pleased with the way this came out!

I’ve been doing some other knitting, of the secret kind:

What?! You can’t tell what that is? Good. 🙂 Alls I’ll say is that I’ve been thrumming.

And then there’s the knitting of the not-so-secret kind:

Please excuse the slightly horrible picture, but it’s going to be an Featherweight Cardigan in Sweet Georgia SeaSilk Lace. It will be calling Stash it’s home once it’s done!

There’s also been some holiday decor crafting around these parts.

I’m actually thinking this might end up as an inside decoration. The whiteness of the wreath is making the door look super dingy and dirty (not that it isn’t dingy and dirty, but I’d like to not make it that obvious!).

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Sweet Little Soaker

A friend of mine from college asked me if I’d knit her a soaker to use with her little guy, and who can turn down an opportunity to knit something this cute? Surely not me.

Pattern: EviePants All-in-One by Marilyn Porter

Yarn: The variegated is Bear & Pants Cestari Fine (unknown color, I purchased it as part of a scrappies set) and the chocolate brown is Three Irish Girls Lindon Merino in Flourish

Modifications: I had Stacy measure her little guy and tell me the rise she wanted, how many inches his hips measured in the cloth diaper he was going to be wearing, and the measurement around the top of the leg. The EviePants pattern is totally customizable and fantastically easy to follow. There are options for soakers, longies, shorties, and skirties. The pattern gives basic size measurements, but also provides instructions for customizing to fit a specific child. The adorable yarn, of course, makes the whole thing come together. How adorable is little J going to look wearing that over his cloth diaper?!

In other knitting news, I finished my Camilla Pullover a few days ago! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures yet…but possibly tomorrow if Seth’s day on call isn’t too crazy and he arrives home before the sun sets! I will say that it is going to get a ton of wear and I’m totally pleased with how it came out!

My Mom was here visiting for a week for Thanksgiving and to celebrate my birthday (the big three-zero!). She picked up a rescue dog named Emi on her way here, and Emi and Sailor provided us with some good entertainment over the week!

Blog readers, meet Emi. My Mom found out about Emi on the Daily Puglet blog. You can read a little bit more about her story in this post on the rescue’s website (be prepared with a few tissues!). Emi was living with a foster family in San Jose and my Mom decided to reroute her flight on the way here and pick her up!

Sailor wasn’t quite sure what to do with Emi! He tried to play with her, but he’s so big and goofy he usually ended up just standing there looking like a big goof. Emi is superduper fast and thought it was pretty fun to chase Sailor around the yard.

Emi flying through the air at Sailor!

On Wednesday night we let the dogs lick out of the potato pot while we were making some dishes to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with my friend Betty and her family. There was lots of great food, birthday cake, and of course…knitting.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I’ll be back soon with pictures of my Camilla sweater and hopefully some DIY holiday decorations!

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Small Things Sweater

One of Seth’s coworkers and his wife are expecting their first baby in early January. The office baby shower is tomorrow, and of course I was right down to the wire with my gift knitting despite being given plenty of advance notice!

Pattern: Small Things Sweater by Carina Spencer

Yarn: HiKoo Simplicity (a Superwash/acrylic/nylon blend)

Modifications: None! The pattern is perfect as written and includes several different options for the sleeves.

The adorable fabric-covered buttons were purchased at Stash and are made by a local artist, Ladybug Limited

I had a whole skein of yarn leftover, so I decided to whip up a little bonnet to go with the sweater:

Pattern: Baby Bonnet by Joelle Hoverson from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Yarn: Same as the Baby Sweater 🙂

Modifications: I held some dk weight yarn doubled instead of using a heavier weight yarn. My row gauge was way off, so instead of knitting straight for 3 inches after all the increases (and before starting the decreases) I only knit straight for about an inch. The “More Last Minute Knitted Gifts” book has so many great patterns, and this one is no exception. The directions are easy to follow and the hat knit up in far less time than the book predicts.

Baby knits are so satisfying….They’re quick and seriously cute!

My Mom is arriving for a visit tomorrow with a new addition to their canine family (her name is Emi…I’ll be sure to take tons of pictures), so I’m sure I’ll have lots to update with in a few days!

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A pile of WIPs

Knitting is in full swing around here and I have a pile of works-in-progress (WIPs) that are in various stages of completion. I have trouble working on just one knitting project at a time, so I frequently have at least 2 different projects on-the-needles.

Since it is prime sweater-wearing weather, I have a fantastic sweater in progress using some Quince & Co. Osprey:

It’s buzzing right along, and I have about 10 inches of the body done so far. Since it’s a bottom-up construction, I’ll have to knit the sleeves before I can start on the yoke of the sweater. Thankfully, they’re 3/4 length sleeves…so hopefully I won’t completely stall out when it’s time to do the sleeves!

One of Seth’s co-workers is expecting a baby in a couple of months, so I’ve been working on a little something for the office baby shower.

Adorable, right?! 

I need to finish the sleeves and then I’m hoping to have time to make a matching hat.

Last week I finished a sock (no, not a pair…just a single sock) that I’ve had on the needles since February. You see, I had planned to knit a pair of socks per month for the entire year. I was clearly delusional when I decided that, since I’ve only managed to finish 2 pairs of socks this year. Ah, well. Anyways…the sock that had been ignored for so many months only took me a couple of nights of knitting to finish. But, of course there is a second sock to be made. In the meantime…have a look at the one I’ve managed to finish!

Well…my WIPs are calling me, so I better get back to knitting!

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Shadow Pullover

After a whole lot of knitting, seaming, ripping, and re-seaming…I give you my newest handknit sweater!

Pattern: Shadow by Olga Buraya-Kefelian from the Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Collection

Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Sweatshirt

Modifications: My gauge was a tiny bit off (I know, I know…you’re all shocked and surprised!), but it really wasn’t a big deal. My swatch didn’t grow at all, but I knew that when I wet blocked the sweater it would most certainly grow. So, I didn’t sweat the small gauge difference and blocked the sweater to the measurements I wanted. To make up for the difference in row gauge, I increased 2 rows sooner on each repeat when knitting the sleeves. Then there is the issue of the neck. I followed the pattern, knit the boat neck according to the pattern and had some horrible results. I had decided to attach the neck and shoulders before blocking to make sure the sweater fit. I joined the neck in the round, did the purl row that the pattern required, knit the inside of the neck and whip stitched all of those stitches to the inside of the sweater. Well….I tried it on. And let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. The neck was wavy and too tall for my short neck. I pulled out all of the whip stitching (which proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated because the yarn felts onto itself if you look at it funny), and pulled back the neck. The neck is probably 1/2″ shorter than the pattern calls for. In order to make sure the boat neck wasn’t wavy, I changed to a smaller needle when I knit the lining and decreased 8 stitches evenly around. Despite the pattern recommending seaming with a lighter weight yarn, I foolishly seamed with Shelter. The seams were far too bulky and the yarn isn’t nearly strong enough to seam a sweater. I pulled out all of the seaming and used some MCN grey sock yarn to seam it up. It was well worth the extra effort I put into making sure the seaming wasn’t too bulky and will hold up over time.

Let’s talk about the yarn, shall we? Shelter is a very lofty, 2-ply yarn that is a blend of Targhee wool and Columbia wool that gives it a very light, slightly wooly quality. It is certainly a more rustic yarn than many of the luxurious blends I typically knit with. But the loftiness makes it a fantastic sweater yarn. The entire sweater only took about 980 yards and weighs less than a pound. For those sweater knitters out there, you understand that this is kind of a big deal. The finished sweater barely weighs anything, which I think will be helpful in retaining the shape of the sweater. It also means that it doesn’t need to be -20 degrees outside for me to wear a fabulous cabled sweater without getting heat stroke. Cables usually eat up yarn yardage like there’s no tomorrow. Shelter, though? Not so much. I’m not sure I could wear a scarf or something really close to my skin in Shelter…but it softened up a decent amount when washed. I’ve worn the sweater twice already with just a short-sleeved shirt underneath, and the itch factor hasn’t bothered me at all.

Look at those fabulous cables!

Now…about the pattern. The pattern was extremely well-written and easy to follow. My only complaint is that the sweater was knit in pieces, which makes it impossible to try on as you knit. I don’t mind the seaming, really…it’s more that I was a little skeptical that the sweater was actually going to fit once I was done! It does, of course…but you really have to trust your gauge swatch and hope for the best! The sleeves are a little large at the cuff, but they match the a-line shape of the sweater.

All that being said, I’m completely in love with the finished sweater. It’s actually my favorite handknit sweater thus far! How about a few more pictures?

I did finish another knitting project last night, but it’s of the “secret holiday knitting” variety, so it’ll have to wait a while! But…I also finished a woven scarf for a customer that I can show you!

Woven in The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! (merino/cashmere/nylon) in Tulip Tree Beauty

I think that’s all for now! I just picked up a sock-in-progress that I abandoned way back in February, so hopefully I’ll have something to report on that soon!

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Sev[en] Circle

Last Friday night as I was trying to decide on what to wear to my first day working at Stash, I realized that I didn’t have any handknits that were made from yarn carried at Stash. Not that I don’t have some of those yarns in my personal stash, but they have yet to become anything wearable! So, as a solution…I give you a little cowl/necklace/accessory-thingy:

Pattern: Sev[en] Circle by Kirsten Johnstone

Yarn: Abstract Fiber Super Sock  (100% Superwash Merino) in Pheasant

Modifications: None!

The Super Sock was lovely to work with and it softened up quite a bit after washing. The resulting cowl is very wearable and such a great use for highly variegated yarn. I think it would be great knit up in a worsted weight yarn with a few less circles, too! I see more of these in my future.

For those wondering, here is what the cowl looks like after you’re finished knitting it before you put it around your neck:

kinda weird looking, right?! 

I also have some really big, exciting news. My Shadow sweater is DONE! Well….it’s currently drying and needs the ends woven in once it’s dry. But I redid all the seaming and am MUCH happier with the sweater. Details and pics to come later in the week or this weekend. I finally feel like I can start the next sweater in the queue. I think I’ll swatch tonight!

And because I know we all like to torture our pets will silly costumes, here’s a photo of Sailor from Halloween. He wore the costume for approximately 2 minutes before he managed to squirm his way out of it.

Sailor the lobster-dog.

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