sweaters

fo : ease pullover

I took the path of least resistance on this one. I decided to just accept that my third hand-knit sweater's gonna be one of my more loose, comfy ones. The color's gorgeous (not one I'd expect I'd like so much,) and the pattern was easy enough to follow. 


I'm also happy to report that a friend reached out to me, letting me know that my WIP inspired her. She started an Ease sweater of her own, with Knit Picks Hawthorne!

Knitting-evangelism +1.

pattern : Ease by Alicia Plummer
yarn : Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Mineral Heather
needle : US 6,10 [4mm, 6mm]

size : Large

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Alicia Plummer’s thoughtful design elements in this pattern were much appreciated here. The use of a purl ridge to encourage a crease on the stockinette knit fabric was a nice touch and made a pretty effect.

I used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off method for the end of the body and the sleeves—Highly recommended.

After the first wash this garment bloomed…a lot. I’m reserving this sweater for days like this one in Lithia Park where bundling up and keeping warm is more important than doing my silhouette any favors.

fo : clarke, rhubarb show-offs

2017 has been a year focused on a lot of other things, like the surprising turn my career took, the first apartment I moved to (with a partner I never thought I would meet and grow with). I lost a lot of good knitting time this year being swept up with a lot of that but still managed to get a few things off the needles.

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The problem (?) with taking so long to blog about something you've knit is that it's likely that you've already spent some time incorporating them into your life and putting them into use.

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pattern : Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

yarn : Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Cobblestone Heather and Garnet Heather

needle : US 6, 7 [4-4.5mm]

size : 40

My Clarke sweater's already a little rough around the edges. I haven't really felt the push to block the garment to make this look as attractive as possible for the blog, I hardly even wove the ends in! As soon as it was bound off I wore it and continued to whenever the weather deemed it appropriate to. It can't be that heretical to admit that, right? I don't block that often at all!

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The first pullover I knit was a Jane Richmond pattern. It was such a simple and enjoyable process that I sank my teeth into the Clarke pattern expecting the same straightforward, highly customisable design. I was not disappointed and might make another sometime in the future. So far the Swish Worsted has been soft and very comfortable--no scratchiness at all. One issue I see is that it pills quite a bit. The pilling makes me wonder whether this batch of skeins I bought from knitpicks would suffer the same unfortunate fulling effect post-wash that I read complaints about on ravelry. It would suck to see such a fate from a sweater I love this much.

pattern : Show-Off Stranded Socks by Anne Campbell

yarn : Regia Hand-Dye Effect in Rhubarb

needle : US 1 [2.5mm]

size : medium, 10"

This whole sock project was a nightmare, and it was entirely because of the yarn. I had this in the time-out pile since 2014 and didn't pick it back up until 2016. I was determined to finish it. Ignoring the general convention of knitting both socks with the same types of needle to ensure gauge is the same, I just picked some aluminum dpns and sped through the last sock.

With the frustration of the yarn behind me, I can enjoy these gorgeous colors and how the Anne Campbell's pattern has let them shine. To give the pattern a good faith effort once more with less annoying yarn, I casted on once more with a Zauberball skein instead. Anne Campbell kicked ass with this design.

how ease-y is too ease-y?

After toiling on my NaKniSweMo project, I figured it was safe to actually try this thing on to see how the project was coming.

My first response seeing myself in a mirror in this thing was 'ugh, I look like a bag of sausages under a knit tarp'. Alright, I don't exactly have stellar self esteem here, but really--how big and comfy is too big and comfy for a sweater?

This is a really really comfortable garment to wear and all, but with these wizard sleeves and the waist-decreases that didn't seem to amount to very much at all on my figure, I'm beginning to think there's more to sweater sizing than, idk, carelessly matching the bust measurement in the pattern and just going for it.

Expecting some positive-ease to my sweater, I thought it was safe to do just that and get enough yarn for the Large size. 45" can work well with my 42" bust, but the waist on this thing is 37" (I'm something like a 32), explaining clearly why my sweater feels like a blanket with sleeves.

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So where can I comfortably sit on the scale between snuggly and actually flattering? I can opt for a noble path of (UGH) unraveling this entire thing and casting on a medium size (39" but..I guess I can mod it)?

Or just finish this project that I'm itching to see done, wear comfortably (even if it's not a thousand percent form-fitting and flattering), and enjoy a size down on my next sweater project?
I'm pretty sure I can pull off a cute oversized-sweater + leggings sort of get-up anyway, but I also have this pressing feeling that the Good-Knitter-And-Someday-Maybe-Designer thing to do is to stop whining and just tink and redo the whole thing. Just to learn some weird important lesson about achieving "perfect results" in knitting, buddhist sand mandala style.

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There's still a tiny bit of time left before my self-imposed deadline arrives. I think we all already know what the answer's gonna be.

wip: nakniswemo2016, slide + knitpicks stash acquisition!

Happy November! I recently made a big yarn purchase from Knitpicks for this special winter month, and now that they've arrived, I can finally show you. But first, a sock WIP update--

The Slide socks by Cookie A are a dream to knit up. I had seen a lot of her designs around ravelry and on various blogs and have wondered why her work has been so popular (besides the gorgeous designs, that is). If this pattern is enough to go by, she's got a way of making simple knitting stitches and conventions into impressive designs, and of explaining them clearly and flawlessly for even an uncertain beginner to comfortably follow along. I might have to queue up those ever-popular Monkey Socks sometime soon.
As for the Zen Garden yarn--it's easily the softest sock yarn I've had the privilege of working with to date, but I think the colorway shifts too aggressively for the purpose of this design. I'll likely keep knitting it, but another go at this project with a softly solid MadelineTosh might be in order in the future.

I'm participating in NaKniSweMo for a second year! This year's choice is Ease, a gorgeous pattern that has been sitting in my queue for a long time. I chose Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes Superwash in Mineral Heather, which looks even better in person.
The colors are faaar more accurate in this photo than in the previous.
I'm happy to know that it's not nearly as rough for me as commenters on the Ravelry yarn profile complained. It feels great in my hands, and I expect it to soften up even more after its first post-bind-off soak. Full disclosure, though: I didn't swatch at all for this. We'll see whether I get out of this in one piece or end up cursing all the way back to the yarn winder after frogging an entire sweater. Living on the EDGE.
This lovely but kinda garish set of Brava Sport is another new addition. I bit the bait hard and shelled out the ~whopping (not) $25 for a Rainbow Hue Shift kit from Knitpicks. This is gonna be my first afghan project (well, one that isn't a sausage project anyway).
Suffice it to say I got bitten by the knitting bug this fall/winter and I'm happily letting myself head where the line leads me, even if it means breaking my Big Rule of WIP Monogamy. See you all soon with photos of these projects!

fo: bapsi's first pullover

This has been such an indecisive project for me toward the end. Picking the pattern and yarn was a breeze. getting the knitting done? that hardly took a month to (mostly-will explain later) complete. But photographing it? Declaring it truly done? That’s been a completely different story.


pattern : Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover
yarn : Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Nature’s Brown
needle : US 7, 8 [4.5 mm, 5.0 mm]
size : 44"
I finished this sweater in late 2013. Yep. Twenty. THIRTEEN. In November. I hadn’t taken any FO photos, so Jason and I decided to just have a small forest hike/photoshoot while I was over in England. We did hike, yes. We saw miles of forest. We were just a 20 minute walk (if that) away from the woods on any given day. I stayed there for 6 whole months. Still no photoshoot, still no post about this being finished.
The reason for that is tiny, but a nagging one—

I couldn’t decide how long I really wanted these sleeves, so I left that bit of yarn hanging..just in case. Over a year and about 12,000 miles of travel later, I decided to just relax and finally make the decision. The sleeves are absolutely fine, and I’ll just let them be.
World, Bapsi’s first pullover. Bapsi’s first pullover, world.

BFP was a joy to knit if I remember it well. I felt very proud to have such a large WIP in my lap for those three or so weeks. I did have to redo the very beginning bit several times before getting it just right, but it was to be expected since I’d never made a sweater before. The rest was absolutely simple—just one big stockinette tube after another, with very gentle shaping around the waist and sleeves.

It lead me to learn about just how not-a-big-deal sweaters and larger garments really are at their core. It’s the same concept we do with hats and socks and the like. You increase sometimes, you decrease sometimes, you pick up stitches every now and then. The only difference between this and a hat is that you’re working with a much larger stitch count. And maybe you’re seaming a lot more than you might be used to (this particular pullover was seamless—thanks Jane Richmond!), but the core of it's really simple.
If you’ve never knit anything like this before, I highly recommend Jane Richmond’s pullover pattern. The way she’s handled sizing is super approachable and easy to read. I even printed copies of the worksheet well in advance because I’m confident I will knit from this pattern again and again in the future.

As for the Lassie sock, it's practically knitting itself! There are some parts that I completely ruin the pretty lace pattern but I'm just gonna accept those little mess-ups and move on. It's amazing enough for me to see a sock happening in my hands. I can't wait to see these done and in action. Already thinking about which yarn to knit with next.

wip: first sweater

Alright, now if it were any other project I'd spend a little time blogging about the yarn I chose or other project preparation details before getting into the meat of the knit piece, but 1. I wanted to devote my time to the inevitable beginning mess-ups/frogs/re-cast-ons that come with embarking on such a large project before telling anyone online about it and 2. I was just too damn excited to work on and eventually wear this thing!
first pullover
So here it is, after 5 hours of shopping yarn colorways and prices, and at least 3 repeated cast-on attempts, my first hand knit sweater in progress. Thanks to Jane Richmond for her so-far wonderfully simple and easy to follow pattern.
first pullover
I went with the fisherman's wool in natural brown because I thought it went pretty well with my skin tone and wardrobe. Also because, for three skeins on the day I decided to head out and buy, it cost about $16, as opposed to the cost of $45 for the 7 skeins of the recommended Patons Classic Wool (right now, I'm having so much fun with this sweater so far that I just might make a second for myself in Patons, just because I can).
fisherman's wool
It also turns out that my three skeins of yarn bought for this sweater are of two different dye lots--one is labeled with 001, and the other two with 002. I...think I'm okay with this. Maybe I'll try some super subtle striping along the sleeves or wherever the first skein looks like it's beginning to run out. If I don't do it and it looks like I knit this with two loudly different shades of brown, I think I'll love the sweater anyway. <3
my first pullover
One big worry I have while working on this thing is the annoying itching I get on my nose and lap. I'm hoping so hard that it isn't me discovering that I'm actually allergic to wool (which would be the most tragic thing), and that I'm probably just reacting to the little bits of grass that I occasionally pull out of the yarn fed into the wip. I've never had this reaction while working with wool before, so maaaaybe whatever's making my skin itch will come out in the wash.
All of my fingers are crossed on this hope here. If that doesn't work out, I'll happily take allergy medication as gifts, cos I'm not planning to give up wool any time soon.

Expect my next update of this sweater to be an FO one! Or...one that's full of curse words.. I guess we'll have to wait and see.