A good little neighbor

Neighborly-3Zooey has a new Neighborly sweater. This was almost as instant gratification as it gets, being about a 3 day project. That’s also with me ripping out the same 10 rows twice as I debated about the contrast stripe color. If you follow me on Instagram you likely witnessed that deliberation.Neighborly-2I went with Cascade 220 Lavender and some leftover Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in Oatmeal. I believe Creative Focus Worsted is now a Rowan yarn and Nashua is no more. That demonstrates how old that leftover is. I’m thinking I got it around 2006…

Neighborly-6The striping contrast is very subtle, but I think it’s elegant that way too. Neighborly only comes as a one-size project (size 4-5yr). Last time I made it I modified it to be much smaller. This time I used the stitch count and just made the body as long as I wanted. Right now it’s more like a dress, that can morph into a tunic, and eventually the vest it’s meant to be as she grows. Neighborly-5I got the button from Wood Buttons. I’ve gone little crazy over their natural and lovely wooden buttons a couple of times. I was happy to use one on this project. I made the buttonhole two stitches smaller than the pattern called for and I picked up the button band from the opposite side suggested in the pattern because I like the tab pointing to the back rather than the front. Neighborly-7For the contrast stripes I knit 8 rounds in the main color past the increases. Then I knit contrast stripes in increasing widths each time, increasing them by 2 rows each time. After the contrast stripe was 10 rows wide I decided the top looked long enough and I did 8 rows of the main color again for some symmetry. Then I finished as specified in the pattern. Neighborly-4It’s so much easier to get pictures of Z in a knitted garment if she also has a task to do. She has been very fond of scissor practice lately. She loves to make little cuts along the edge of paper.

I love this pattern and I think it will make a nice transition piece from winter to spring.

My winter sweater and hat sale is only going on till midnight tonight! Grab a pattern for 25% off using the code ENDWINTER. You must click on the coupon code link on Ravelry before you go to PayPal to enter this code.

A little Neighborly

I thought I was done making Zooey sweaters for this year, but it turns out that I might just have an urge to make a little vest. I’m several inches past the armpit on Breezy (update soon), but that feels like sloooow progress and I needed some instant gratification. She’s been crazy in love with the color purple lately, and I had one skein of some Cascade 220 in Lavender Heather that I used for a Nanook last year. It’s perfect amount for a Neighborly. I made her one when she was pretty teeny still and altered the pattern to be about a 12 month size. I always meant to go back and add length to the bottom, but still haven’t yet. Instead, I’ll just make her a bigger one. NeighborlyThis time I’m using the recommended needles for the project and I’m going for the 4/5 yr size. It will likely be big, but she will likely be big soon too. I think I will make the stripes similar to the way I did the first time, because I like the look of them. I’m still contemplating which contrast yarn is the perfect one. It will likely be some fairly neutral yarn, but I could get crazy ideas before I get to that part…

Let’s end winter with a sale on hats and sweaters!

There’s no surer way to end winter than to cast on some new winter items. I decided that I should put my winter hats and sweaters on sale to help move this along. They will all be 25% off until February 25th, using the code ENDWINTER as a coupon code at Ravelry checkout. You can click on the picture to be taken directly to the Ravely info page for each item. These are the items up for sale:

 

articulation-10_medium2

Articulation

Bespoken

Bespoken

Little Roarer

Little Roarer

Betwixt

Betwixt

Evoke

Evoke

Magic Hat

Magic Hat

Quotidian

Quotidian

Enjoy!

Snow day Smithfield

smithfield-2Smithfield is finished, just in time for a second snow day. This sucker is super warm. I used Cascade 220 in Provence. I used exactly 6 balls of it and had just enough to complete a tubular cast off for the neck.
smithfieldIf you look at this pattern (free on Knitty), you might notice that it starts at the neck. Well, after I finished it I didn’t like the regular 1×1 ribbing with my added length since it was right up against my neck, so I chopped it off. I picked up from the row where I cut and I used instructions from Oshima to make the collar more like a loose cowl. I knit it about 2.5 inches shorter than instructed in Oshima because a) I didn’t feel like breaking into a 7th ball of yarn and b) I was ready for it to be over. smithfield-4You’re looking at unblocked work here. Normally I’d do a wet block, but I just didn’t feel like it today. I finished the cast off, wove in the ends, and just didn’t feel like putting anymore work into it at this time. I’ll get around to blocking it soon, and I anticipate that the neckline will be even more loose and cowl-like at that point.

smithfield-3I added 4″ in length before the bottom ribbing to make sure this hit me at the tunic length I wanted. I think I added about 1″ to the sleeves. I also knit this at a looser gauge, making the 37″ chest size and ending up with about 41″ for the chest. I love the fit.

Twenty eight weeks pregnant here! Crazy crazy.

Snip snip

Well, well. I cast off Smithfield last night and as I feared a little bit during it’s creation, the collar was not as loose as I really wanted. I tried it on and wiggled it around a bit. I thought about seeing if a wet blocking made a difference, but I felt like it would continue to look like an Elizabethan collar no matter what I did…so today I cut it off. smithfield neckAt first I tried to undo the tubular cast on and thought I could just rip the thing out. It wasn’t really working and seemed like I would have to pick out each stitch by hand. So, I got impatient and got out the scissors to save time. smithfield neck-2I put the needle through a row below where I wanted to cut to give myself a guideline. Then I hacked into the thing and was able to unravel from the opposite end of the neck. It was kind of fun. smithfield neck-3I did have to pick out one row by hand but it’s all back to the point I want. I pondered just doing an inch or so of ribbing and calling it quits, but I love my Oshima more than any other sweater I’ve made, so I’m going to make the collar just like that one. The fisherman’s rib in Oshima is a bit of a style change from the granite stitch, but it seems they may be complimentary. We have some cold weather coming at the beginning of next week, which is motivating me to get this done over the weekend. We might finally get SNOW in Northwest Arkansas this year. Maybe.

Blinded by the socks

I’d really like to be showing off a finished picture of Smithfield right now, and I’m so close (3 inches of sleeve ribbing) to being done. When the 70 degree weather hit last weekend I was somehow less motivated to work on a giant winter tunic. Instead, I thought I’d show some crazy bright socks that have been on my needles since September that I totally forgot about putting on the blog or Ravelry. It happens. regia socksThe yarn is Regia Fluormania in color 7188 Neon Rainbow. I had to get this yarn the moment I saw it at my LYS. I’ve heard through the grapevine, aka The Knitmore Girls, that this particular Regia yarn has a reputation for losing some color in the wash. They recommend using citric acid to fix the dye. I’ve never had a problem with Regia socks not handing a hearty amount of washing and drying, but I’m going to follow through with the dye fixing advice.

I got distracted by several other projects and left these bright babies in my WIP basket. I will probably continue to ignore them until the larger winter projects are finished, but the colors make me happy when I see them peeking out of the basket.

Dinosaur bones

Z was not really wanting me to take pictures of her in her new sweater, but I managed to get a few! I didn’t get close ups of the buttons, but you can see them here. They’re adorable and Z was a little sad when I actually put them on the sweater because she had spent a day and a half playing with them before they were sewn on.

antler finished-3I made the 2-4 year size of Antler Cardigan. It’s definitely big on her, but wearable. Right now it’s a super long cardigan. antler finished-6
The yarn is Cascade 220 in Sunshine Heather. I adore this color. antler finished-4I told Z that the cables at the top were dinosaur bones to go with the dinosaur buttons. I normally don’t let her out of the house before taking pics of items, but she wanted to wear this to school today, so I let her. antler finished-5I got really lucky with this one. She actually likes the sweater so much she wanted to wear it to bed tonight. We wouldn’t let her and she had a little fit and I felt gratified at a final cardigan success. antler finished-2This pattern is easy to execute and even the cable part flies by. This is my second time making it and I’m sure it won’t be my last.