Oh yeah, I cast on a new sweater.

easeAs soon as I got Paloma off my needles and cast on an Ease for Matt. My gauge is slightly different from the pattern, as mine is 17 sts over 4 inches since I decided to do this on an 8. I made it more masculine by making the neck narrower. To do that without doing much math I started with the numbers for the smallest size and increased until I got the chest size I wanted (about 42 inches).

I was so happy when I got to put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Those rows felt like they were taking ages. I’m going to add a few decreases to make the waist a bit narrower than the chest, and I won’t make the ribbing at the hips as long as called for in the pattern. I will also likely omit the rolled sleeve cuffs.

The sweater season continues!

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!

All clear!

abate again-2I finished Z’s Abate with probably 7 yards to spare. I ended up adding about 3/4″ to the body and made the rest as the pattern specified. It fits perfectly with the cuffs rolled back and will probably fit next year as well. Love it! abate again-3

The pattern is Abate by Alicia Plummer. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash (am I ever not knitting Cascade yarns?) in Lilac. This time I made the 2T size. abate again

Yep, she’s playing with scissors in these pictures. She was very interested in helping me cut the extra pieces of yarn when I was weaving in the ends. I think it’s good practice for her next classroom.

I’m so relieved that this sweater fits and that I had enough yarn to make it exactly as I wanted.

Um, speaking of Cascade yarns…I may have slipped and bought a couple more sweater quantities of some discontinued colors from WEBS. The purplish one is Goseille and the green one is Evergreen. The purple is even more vibrant and beautiful than I expected. The green will probably become something for Matt and I’ll definitely keep the Goseille for myself. cascade gosielle

cascade evergreen

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!

Do I dare to add an inch?

abate2I’m working on the second Abate for this month, this time in the 2T size like a sane person might make for my 2T child. I described the results of the first Abate in my last post, but suffice it to say I decided to make the 4T size and it was down to her knees and needed the sleeves to be rolled twice. It will fit someday, and could even be worn if really necessary, but since I had a couple of skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash in Iris on hand, I decided to go ahead and make a 2T size that would fit her right now.

As for that one, I wouldn’t mind adding 1/2-1″ to the length on the body. This is my progress with one ball of yarn, and I think I could get away with at least a 1/2 inch. I’m feeling daring. At worst I can add some contrast cuffs or collar or something if I run out.

Want to see how the first Abate turned out? I bribed her with Curious George to get the sweater on her and get a pic. abate1It doesn’t really show off the extensive length here, but you can see the wide and rolled sleeves. Her pink sweater will have to wait a year or so to get some serious wear, but it’s good to be prepared, right? I’m on track to have a finished Paloma and two finished Abates this month for my NaKniSweMo 2014 goals. As soon as those are finished I’ve promised Matt that I’ll cast on an Ease (the adult version of Abate) for him and make it masculine.

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.

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