Delicious, delicious tweed

Keaton-2Behold the delicious single ply Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal that’s on its way to becoming a Keaton pullover. On Yarn Sub this yarn was recommended as a good substitute for Loft, so I’m giving it a shot. It was available at my LYS and I drooled over it for about a month before I couldn’t keep it out of my paws any longer. It got me gauge on a washed swatch, so I’m off!

KeatonSo far it’s been a pleasure to knit. I can’t stop staring at the beautiful tweed flecks as I knit it. It’s also got a teeny bit of cashmere which makes it softer as it’s worked than it would seem from the feel of the ball. I know this will go a bit slower in a fingering weight and a woven stitch, but I think the finished product is going to look incredibly elegant, so I’m happy to put in the time.

What are your favorite new fall knits?

I can almost smell autumn.

I’m hardly ever wishing for cold weather, despite having an arsenal of sweaters. Right now I’m longing for temperatures with a wee bit more chill. Hovering around the 50’s and 60’s Fahrenheit would really be my cup of tea. That’s good playing outdoor weather and is just barely sweater weather. I’m at least ready to wear this Carpinocarpino

I used Cascade 220 Fingering in Olive Oil. I have almost 6 full skeins left out of the 10 I purchased since I wasn’t sure if I’d be doing a larger project with it. If you’re interested, I’m offloading the rest on Ravelry. I love this color but I can’t imagine having two sweaters in the same color since it’s pretty distinctive.

The raglan shaping is a little more interesting than the standard every other row increases, but definitely not difficult. The lace is four rows and memorizable fairly quickly. I enjoyed knitting this, but towards the end I was ready to move on. I didn’t get a great shot of the back, but it’s all stockinette, so you’re not missing much. carpino-2

I knit the 39″ chest. I’m really missing my pre-baby bust size. Nursing is a fabulous thing that I’m not longing to end anytime soon, but I miss the days of a less ample bust line. I am often struggling to pick a sweater size that will look good on me now and later when the rest of the baby weight and baby-related bust have gone away. carpino-3Up next is Keaton!

Proof of sweater

I wanted to get pictures of my brother in his finished Hugo, but I gave him the sweater when I saw him over the weekend and it just didn’t work out. It does fit, though it has some negative ease in the chest and arms I wasn’t quite anticipating. All in all my brother is happy with it and I got to hand it off before he goes back to the soon-to-be-tundra Minnesota. Fortunately, as a precaution for the upcoming busy weekend, I took some shots of Matt in the sweater. Here he is looking a bit like a Sad Etsy Boyfriend.


Hugo-3 The yarn is Cascade 220 in Japanese Maple. I used about 6.5 skeins of it for this sweater. This time I used snaps instead of buttons as I did for Matt’s. I like the snaps. I think I’d stick with that if I made this sweater a third time (but I probably won’t).  Hugo-2 I love this color on Matt. See how much he loves modeling for me when he’d rather be drinking coffee on a Saturday morning? HugoI’m glad this is off my knitting plate. I’m thisclose to finishing Carpino and I think I shall be starting something new soon. I keep thinking about doing some baby knits for Charlotte, but I haven’t really been inspired by something I have to make right this minute (which is about as long as a knit for a 5 month old takes compared to adult stuff) so I’m waiting to be struck by a gorgeous piece of pattern inspiration. Or maybe I’ll dream something up.

Much ado about blocking.

If you don’t block sweaters…why the hell not? Nothing makes a piece look as professional and finished. I almost always block a sweater before seaming, like I’m doing with this Hugohugo-2Blocking before seaming lets you make sure you get the pieces to the exact measurements you want and it smooths out all of the slight imperfections in the stitches. Pre-seaming blocking also allows the sweater to dry faster since it’s still in pieces. You need to block the pieces to get it to the gauge of the swatch you washed and blocked, right?

hugoI know, I know. It’s a pain. You need to soak it in some wool wash, like Eucalan, and squeeze out the water gently, then roll it up in a dry towel and smoosh the water out with your feet. Then you finesse the pieces into the finished measurements and maybe you pin it lightly. Maybe you pin it aggressively if it’s lace. I think the sweater pieces should be fairly relaxed when you pin them because if you’re getting aggressive at this point you might not have made the correct gauge or size in the first place. I’ve learned that lesson a couple of times.

But seriously, if you’re not a dedicated blocker, try it next time you do a sweater. It’s well worth the effort and I know you can hold on just a little longer on the finishing. Just cast on something new while you wait for it to dry. Read this Knitty article for more specific tips, especially for dealing with different fibers.

This sweater is now so close to being finished! After seaming it just needs the ribbed collar and some buttons. It’s for my brother and I’ll see him next weekend for our little sister’s wedding. Then he can cart it home to Minnesota where it will surely get lots of use. I should probably send him home with some wool wash and washing instructions. I made this out of Cascade 220 (non-superwash).

SSKAL15 finale (AKA the baby kissing post)

gemini-3I finished one sweater for the Summer Sweater Knitalong 2015. I originally started out making a Carpino for this KAL, but as the hot and humid weather continued I began to long for something I could actually wear sooner. I cast on a Gemini and got to work!gemini-5

This is my fourth Gemini. It got a little boring after the lace at the top, so I took breaks. I made a modified 3/4 sleeve version like Jane shows here.gemini

I used Knit Picks CotLin in Surf. I didn’t have enough initially, but I ordered more and the dye lots were so impeccably similar that there was no need to stripe balls of different dye lots. I used about 760 yards. I’m contemplating making a crocheted edge at the top because this one feels much looser than my previous version. I think I will wear it for a bit before I decide for sure. Then I might just decide I don’t care and/or I’m too lazy and it doesn’t matter because I’ll wear it just the way it is anyway. Procrastination does have some benefits.gemini-4

This probably won’t even be my last Gemini. I can already imagine a wool version and it will probably happen.gemini-2



Sweater snapshot

gemini-3The potential thrill of finishing a project in time for SSKAL15 got me going on Gemini again. I’ve finished the body, but I’m not 100% pleased. I expected it to be a little looser, but it was more form fitting than expected and thus, some of the length got eaten up as width when I put it on. I’m contemplating adding an extra inch, but I’ll wait until I have the sleeves finished and try it on with some different bottoms to be sure. Sometimes I like sweaters finishing around 15″ past the armpit on me, and sometimes I like them more like 17.”

I just wanted to post a quick snap of the progress. Now to get some sleeves going…

Racing sweaters

When I got a few inches into my SSKAL Carpino I really got the urge to cast on something that might be wearable sooner. I’ve been meaning to make a 3/4 sleeve Gemini like Jane Richmond’s example. I had some Knit Picks CotLin, so I just cast it on and ordered a little extra. Luckily the dye lots matched well. I’ve taken a little break from this one, but it got a lot of action during some work meetings a couple of weeks ago. gemini-2Carpino and this one are neck and neck progress-wise. This one could be finished much more quickly if I put focus on it, since it’s primarily stockinette and at a larger gauge. I get bored with this one more easily and want to go back to Carpino. No matter which one I finish first, I’ll still have two fall-appropriate sweaters soon.

This is my fourth Gemini. I made two for Z and this is the second one for me. It just feels like a classy piece of clothing that I can’t get enough of!