Swatching indecisions!

swatchesShannon’s Summer Sweater Knitalong (SSKAL15) is just around the corner (starting in TWO DAYS)! I had planned to make Marshal out of this Cascade 220 Fingering in Olive Oil. The thing is, I’m not getting that close to gauge and I’m hesitant to go up two needle sizes or more. It seems like that cardigan might need some structure and the fabric might get pretty floppy at that gauge. I swatched on a size US 4 as recommended by the pattern and got 23.5 sts and 36 rows over 4″ on that needle. On a size 5 I got more like 22.5 sts over 4″. I could pick a different size and make the numbers work, as I often do. By this I mean I could use the numbers of a larger size and get close to what I want because of my smaller gauge.

But then I began having doubts about how this sweater might fit into my wardrobe in this color. I pared a lot of things down as we moved. While it’s not quite a capsule wardrobe, something like that is my eventual goal. This color is gorgeous, but I don’t have many other shirts that go with it. I could return the yarn and get something more versatile in color. Or I could knit a pullover instead like Keaton, Carpino, or Element, since a pullover in this color would look fine with jeans or other pants I own and the shirt underneath would be less important. Do you sense some Brooklyn Tweed pattern love going on? I only wish I could afford the Loft yarn to go with it right now, but that would double my sweater price. Maybe I should start knitting fewer sweaters (gasp!) so that I can afford to try a larger variety of yarns. Points to ponder.

I guess I have to keep thinking for now.

Finished TTTKAL Togue Pond

I finished this about a week ago, which was technically past the original deadline, but I’m happy to have a new summer tank to wear. togue finished-2I love participating in Shannon’s knitalongs. I only learned about them a couple of summers ago. It really motivates me to get a project finished in a timely manner. It’s been a bit harder to have as much knitting time with two kiddos, but I’m taking advantage of baby sleep time to knit as much as I can. Knitting and baby cuddling are way more important than household chores, am I right? togue finished-4I used the size 42″ numbers in Togue Pond to get around a 37″ bust because I was working at a smaller gauge using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Spryte. I would have loved to make this in linen like the pattern calls for, but I’m trying to use more of what I have on hand.  I spaced out the decreases farther and added some additional ones to get to the size I wanted. togue finished-3I love the clean lines in the shaping on this pattern, and I love the slight hi-lo of the top. togue finishedI could definitely see myself making another one of these.

Do y’all know about the Summer Sweater Knitalong on Shannon’s blog? It usually starts at the very end of July and goes until the end of September. I can’t wait! I did allow myself to buy some yarn for this one. I plan to make Marshal by Norah Gaughan. I ordered some Cascade 220 Fingering in Olive Oil to make it. In the meantime I have some other projects to keep me busy. More on those soon!

Gentle curve

I’m making some progress on my Togue Pond for the TTTKALtogueThere were a couple of snags along the way, and I do mean snags. When I was lovingly unraveling and washing and winding the yarn from a previous project I left them in the huge skeins formed from before. I had connected my ends with Russian joins so I had large hanks to work with. The larger one tangled when I was trying to wind it and I had to painstakingly wind it by hand, untangling it as I went. My knitting time has many baby interruptions and this took me about three days to complete, so that slowed knitting progress. That’s why there is a giant ball in the picture above rather than a lovely ball-wound cake of yarn. I wasn’t about to rewind it. I just wanted to knit.

It felt so good to just have the needles in my hands again and whip through the stockinette. I’m making the size 48″ with a smaller gauge to get me to about 36.5″ in the bust. My gauge is 5 sts per inch. I have to add an extra decrease to get to the right bust size. I think I could have gone down one more size in the pattern to get what I want, but I didn’t math correctly the first time. Yes, mathing is a verb for me sometimes.

Also, there is a slight color variation in the skeins that were used and the newer unused skein which I didn’t notice until I joined the older skein. It shows slightly in the picture above but you have to look for it. I’m thinking the yarn must have bled some during the washes and it will all even out when I block this. I hardly wore the previous garment so it couldn’t be from sun bleaching or excessive washing. I’m just going to go with it since no one would notice but me.

I think I need to cast on something new as well! I asked Z if she would wear this tee and first she said no, but I asked if she would wear it if it was purple and she said yes. I shall start a purple Immie Tee soon!

Yarn, reclaimed

Guess what begins today? I’m very excited to participate in the Tops, Tees, and Tanks Knitalong (TTTKAL) put on by Shannon. I almost forgot it was happening since I’ve been behind on blog reading, but I saw stirrings about it on Instagram and started planning. This year I want to make a Togue Pond. It’s a simple tank with a bit of a hi-lo style. I don’t have Aran weight linen like the pattern calls for, but I did happen to have a top I’ve been dying to rip out to reclaim the yarn. I made a Curve Hem Top when I was pregnant with Zooey and I never liked it post-maternity. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80% cotton, 20% merino) in a worsted weight. It was knit at 5 sts per inch for that top and I’m just going to make a size 48″ in Togue Pond to get the 36″ at my gauge. I had a leftover ball so I could start today, but I needed to rip out the top and freshen the used yarn a bit. reclaim-5
First I wound it around my swift as I ripped it out. Then I tied up the hanks. reclaim-2I put them in some water with wool wash for a nice soak. reclaim-3And after an hour or so I pulled them out, rolled them up in a towel like I would with a finished knit, and I whacked the hanks against the bathtub to straighten them out a bit. They’re drying now. In the meantime, I cast on with the unused ball I had in my stash. reclaim-4I also have finished arm warmers to show soon. They’re blocked and just awaiting a photograph to do them justice. Getting some of my knitting mojo back!

 

Mother-daughter socks

I love when I can make matchy-matchy mother-daughter knits. Sometimes I do this by just using the same yarn for our projects like this one and this one. And sometimes I want to make us the very same thing in the same yarn. That’s what I did here with some socks: Momdat socksThe yarn is the ONLine Supersocke Emotion III in color 1217 that I went a little crazy for awhile back. I used 73% of the skeing (or about 335 yards) for my socks, then stopped because I wanted to use some for socks for Z. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get hers as tall as I wanted with the yarn I had left, so I added a pink cuff with the Laines do Nord Baby Milk in Light Pink that I just used for Little Sister’s Dress. I think it worked out nicely and these socks are sooooooft.

Momdat socks-2They’re so cute when they’re miniature. Z is excited because they have purple in them, since she proclaims often that purple is “my favorite.” She even tells us that her lovely blue eyes are purple. The other day she was disappointed because blueberries were not purple and I helped her find compromise by making a purple smoothie with the blueberries for her. Toddlers are wacky little people.

NaKniSweMo 2014 results

I’ve had this Paloma finished for about a week now, but it always takes a little time to get pictures, so my reporting of it is a bit delayed. paloma-3I’m very pleased with the outcome. I did this pattern almost exactly to specifications for the 38.5″ size, I did add an extra 2 inches to the length because I’m somewhat long-waisted and usually add at least that much to sweaters. I wanted to make sure that it was the long and cozy length shown in the pattern, so 22″ on me did just that. palomaThis sweater knit up very quickly for me. Bulky yarn (Cascade Ecological Wool) on a size 10 needle flies by. I did add an extra increase to the top of the sleeves because I was hoping for more ease in the sleeves like my Oshima sweater has. Even with the extra increase, this didn’t really happen as I expected. It’s still totally comfortable, so no loss there. paloma-2For the remainder of the winter knitting season, any sweaters for myself will likely be cardigans or oversized pullovers. Shown above is a baby bump of 17 weeks. Cardigans seem like the best option at this point to stay warm and still be able to knit new things. Of course, in a couple of weeks when I find out the sex of the baby I’ll have a whole cadre of new things to start knitting…

paloma-4As quick as the knitting part was, the finishing took forever, or so it seemed. I spent all last Tuesday parked on the couch seaming, working the pockets, making the button band, and weaving in ends. I started at 8:30 am and kept at it with only bathroom or snack breaks until about 4:30. I had anticipated all of that taking about half that amount of time. Ha! I think it was well worth the work and I hope to enjoy wearing this for years to come.

Surely between this sweater and the two Abate sweaters I made for Z I must have hit 50,000 sweater stitches last month (the goal of NaKniSweMo). I love participating in that event and can’t wait for next year!

Paloma puzzle pieces

Oh, I love blocking sometimes. All of these pieces looked so skinny and out of sorts, but after a soak and some pinning they all behaved exactly as I wanted. I don’t always wet block sweaters. Sometimes if items are knit all in one piece and they don’t seem to need it, I just do a little steam blocking. When I have sweaters in pieces I almost always do. It seems good prep for the next step: seaming. palomaThese are this close to being dry. I can’t wait to put these Paloma pieces together and be able to wear this. After the seaming I just have pocket, the button band, and sewing on buttons. I think I’ll definitely have this finished tomorrow if it’s dry and ready to seam. I can’t wait to wear it! I will definitely have this and Z’s two Abate sweaters done this month. Happy NaKniSweMo 2014!