Sleeves to keep me warm

I’ve been plugging away on my NaKniSweMo sweater goals. After finishing the back of Paloma I moved straight to the sleeves, because for some reason they always seem to be torturously long if I leave them till the end of the project. I did them second to get them out of the way and have another couple of pieces that required little focus. palomaI added an extra increase at the top to make them more like the sleeve width of my Oshima, which has turned out to be my favorite sweater. I also added a couple of inches in length because I like my sleeves to go just over the bottom of the hand. They’re crazy crooked right now since I haven’t blocked them yet. Moss stitch always does that for me, but a good wet block always does the appropriate straightening magic.

In other news, I finished Z’s Abate, which is awesome, but it’s way too big. I don’t know what’s been up with me and assuming my kid is still growing an inch a minute. I did the same thing with Z’s Like Sleeves tunic. In both cases I decided to make the 4T sizes, perhaps because it was the next size up and last year I was making her 2Ts. Well….this one is even more ridiculously huge than Like Sleeves. I may have her put it on just for a laugh when it dries, but since I added length (why? why?) it would be like a super oversized 80′s sweater dress. So, I have a couple of skeins of the same yarn in lavender that I will just immediately turn into yet another Abate, this time in the 2T size. At least the thing is a quick knit. I know there are other amazing pullovers out there, but I know I have the right amount of yarn, and I don’t feel like having to think about it so much. Luckily I have the whole week off next week since my school is closed all week for Thanksgiving. I have big plans to make my Ravelry stash more accurate, writing up a kiddo sweater pattern, and just getting my knit on.

NaKniSweMo, toddler version

Keeping up with my NaKniSweMo 2014 goals, I’ve started a sweater for Z. It’s an Abate. I made her one last year as well, but I decided to go a size up this year to make one that would fit next year too. She wears a lot of leggings, and oversized sweaters work well with leggings. abateThe yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash in Raspberry. I think I started this last Wednesday and it’s been going swiftly. Z picked this color at my LYS out of the washable wool there. She’s been into pinks lately. I love this design. It’s simple, and snuggly. Matt wants me to make him the adult version, which I could alter to make a little more masculine. I might have to make myself one as well! Oh, so many lovely sweaters to knit.

A day at the library in a new sweater

gathering stripes finished-3I’ve been so eagerly awaiting a moment to capture Zooey in her new sweater, or even see her in her new sweater. I tend not to let her wear things until I am ready to get photos, just in case they get all mucked up or something happens before I capture them in their one-time-only perfect states.gathering stripes finished-4The sweater is called Gathering Stripes, and you can read about the yarn details on my Ravelry project page. The only yarn I don’t have listed is the blue I used on the arm cuffs and hem. It’s some leftover Tosh Sock in the color Baltic. I thought I was going to run out of the yellow yarn, so I elected to throw in a third color out of some sock leftovers. gathering stripes finished-2She protested a little to getting the sweater on, but then seemed not to care and seemed comfortable for the next few hours. Timing is important when it comes to these kiddo photos. It was chilly enough to take pictures today. We had something fun to do (the library). She was occupied and didn’t notice I was taking pictures (not asking to hold the camera). gathering stripes finished-5I loved making this sweater and I’m very pleased with the result. As an added bonus, we can be somewhat matchy matchy when I wear my BlueSandsgathering stripes finishedThis design is great and I might have to make myself the adult version one of these days. gathering stripes finished-6

Phew!

I finally decided on a NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) sweater pattern. I chose Paloma, by Thea Colman, a cozy and winter-perfect sweater. I had some Cascade Ecological Wool in my stash that I’ve been earmarking for a sweater like this. The color is Natural Grey. I quickly swatched on size 9 needles, since I’m usually a loose knitter and that’s a size smaller than the pattern called for. Then I tried size 10 and that hit the required gauge. I didn’t make a large swatch, nor did I wet block it, but I confidently cast on.

I knit and knit, rather quickly. I did almost all of this piece in one day. I started the ribbing Monday night and I was home sick with a nasty cold yesterday so I was able to complete all but the shoulder shaping. Somehow the moss stitch seems to go even faster than stockinette. The only thing was, it was looking rather skinny. I kept checking my gauge, but the piece was only about 16 inches wide unstretched, a good 3 inches narrower than it should be. This was worrying me a bit, but I kept going because the thing was so dang fast to knit. I’m glad I stuck with it. To assuage my worries I decided to wet block the back before moving on to the next section. I soaked it for 30 minutes and put it up on the blocking board and phew, it was plenty wide when on the board. Almost too wide. I had to squish it back into place a little.

paloma back-2This is by no means a fabulous blocking job, but I can feel safe knowing that the piece will be the correct size and I can move on to the next piece. Since this seems like it will be so quick, I am also going to try to get a couple of quick sweaters finished for Z. The Abate I made her last year is one of her favorites, so I will be making one in a bright pink that she seemed to like at our LYS. More NaKniSweMo progress soon!

I looked in the Ravelry group for this year and altered one of the fun Ravatars: nakniswemo

Anyone else doing NaKniSweMo? What are you making?

Goodbye, Socktober

I finished the Monkeys I’ve been working on out of the Republic of Wool yarn in Artificial Light. monkeys-2I did these toe up and did a heel flap. You can see the crazy way the striping happened on the heel here: monkeys-3I finished these a couple of days ago and I’ve been plugging away at Z’s sweater as well.

monkeys-4NaKniSweMo is just around the corner! EEEK! I still haven’t really made a decision about what I’m making yet. Must brainstorm a bit more.

Eight years

I just remembered today is my 8th blogiversary. I’ve been knitting for a little over 10 years, and I guess I’ve been talking about it online for almost as long. As an extrovert, I love finding ways to communicate with others, especially about one of my greatest passions. Many of us define ourselves by our jobs, or our places in our families, but if I’m totally honest, for me Knitter is always going to be one of the first titles I mention to people. It’s been a lovely journey so far, this knitting experience and it’s only the beginning.

How about a peek at some socks? monkeysThese have mostly been set aside for the last week as I let myself obsess over Gathering Stripes (which now only requires sleeves). The socks are Monkey, a wildy popular pattern. The yarn is from Republic of Wool in the color Artificial Light. I don’t know if these will be finished by the end of the month for Socktober, because as soon as I’m finished with Z’s sweater I have another toddler sweater to pull full focus since it’s due at the end of the month. I’m not worried about the sock deadline. I just enjoy the ritual of beginning a pair of socks in October and knitting along with all of the rest of the crazy sock-loving knitters out there!

Thanks for being a blog reader! Though I don’t always get to respond to comments, I love reading them and I love your input and interactions.

Happy Sunday!

It’s been an excellent Sunday so far. We had a lovely brunch with some great friends, and I have some decent progress to share on a Gathering Stripes pullover for Zooey.  I’m making the 2T size on a size 3 needle. It’s one size smaller than the pattern calls for and my gauge is slightly looser than the specified gauge still, so this will be a little oversize. I have no problem with that. gatheringThis is a simple and elegant pattern.  I can see myself making many more of these, because the stripes are a good way to use up partial balls of sock yarn. I only had 100 yards of the bright yellow (see Ravelry page for exact yarn details), which is 40 yards less than the pattern requires.  I decided to weigh how much yarn each row took, and after doing a little quick math I think I will be fine. I used this combination on a BlueSands cardigan last year, so if I run out of the yellow I’ll put a couple of turquoise stripes into the arm instead. According to the pattern my 514 remaining yards of the blue would be cutting it close as well, but I still have quite a large ball left and I’m not concerned about it at all. If the yardage on the main color works out to be closer to 400 or 425 I will definitely be knitting her another one of these out of my stash very soon. This sweater would look great in larger color blocks as well to make up for smaller amounts of varying colors. It goes sooooo quickly since it’s just a bunch of stockinette in the round.

I think this is one she’s actually excited about as I knit it. I showed her a picture of sweater on the pattern and showed her the one I was working on. She said, “my sweater,” so I’m taking that as a good sign. The yarn is also exquisitely soft, so she can wear this with or without an under layer. I’d also love to make myself an adult version of this…

If you’re looking for a sweater pattern for NaKniSweMo (or just because), don’t forget my sweater patterns are 20% off till the 22nd.