A wee bit of tweed

breezy-2I’ve had this on the needles since the beginning of January. It’s another Breezy Cardigan out of Rowan Felted Tweed in the color Watery. I love my first Breezy and wear it often. Zooey also loves it because she often likes to be wrapped in my cardigans when possible. She says, “I wanna get in your sweater.” Of course that means I should make more sweaters I can wrap around her. breezy My gauge is modified to be more like 5 sts to the inch. This yarn is a bit heavier than fingering weight, so I just altered the math a little. Lately that hasn’t been working in my favor for projects, yet I refuse to stop! This pregnancy brain won’t get the best of me yet.

I’m loving having several things on the needles. I have this, the Smithfield, some socks, and Z’s little Antler Cardigan, which will likely be finished or close to it by the time the buttons arrive on Monday. I’ve really been talking up those dinosaur buttons to Z, so I hope they deliver!

A little sunshine in the winter

Zooey has not been a fan of cardigans lately. The Peachick Eyes Cardigan was the last one I made her, and I’ve never even gotten her to put it on. I’m attempting another one, which may be foolish, but I’m still hopeful. This time I ordered some excellent dinosaur buttons because she likes dinosaurs. She also seems to like orange, so I’m putting some Cascade 220 Superwash Sunshine Heather that’s been in my stash to use: sunshine sleevesI’m making an Antler Cardigan. I’m making the 2-4 year old size and will likely add a couple of inches of length to the body. I love the look of this sweater and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Z will enjoy it too. She’s been interested in learning how to work buttons lately, so that gives me hope as well. If all else fails, I can try to make her future little sister wear it someday.

Selfish Smithfield

smithfieldAfter my brief Smithfield snafu, things are back on track. I’m several inches past the armhole separation and enjoying this as a semi-autopilot project. It has been rhythmic enough to read to and it kept me company through much of The Rosie Effect (which I loved). It has also been an excellent companion to The Wire, which has become an addiction since I discovered it was available to stream on Amazon Prime.

I’m making some minor changes. I decided to do a slightly larger gauge (16 sts over 4″ rather than 18 sts over 4″) by going up a needle size. I’m making the second size, which would be 37.25″ at the specified gauge, but at this gauge will be closer to 41″ for the chest. I’m adding a tad bit of waist shaping, going down about 1.5″ total, or maybe 2″ (I haven’t decided), by decreasing at the edge of the side ribbing in the back every 3/4″ or so about 4″ below the armpits.

The larger gauge is the result of laziness. I feel like I’ll get the results I want faster this way, and I like the way it looks, so why not. The waist shaping will do nothing for me in my current pregnant state, but one day when I have a waist again, it might be flattering. I used to get more hung up on the size I was making, thinking something had to be close to my bust size for me to feel like it would be an attractive garment. It turns out that my favorite sweater, ever, is an Oshima I made, which is about 40″ in the chest. I also tried to imitate that collar for this sweater, but it’s not quite as loose and cowl-like as I want so far. I will see if blocking and some pinning while blocking make this neckline into the magical unicorn of necklines I want it to be, or maybe I’ll rip that part out and knit it with a different stitch or looser gauge.

The selfish knitting continues.

Gut feelings

Sometimes you ignore the nagging feeling that something isn’t right with a project and maybe 30 rows or so later you actually check your work. Sigh. I have been working on a Smithfield pullover the last few days. I kept thinking the shoulders looked a little narrow yesterday, but the finished pic in the pattern looked so great, so I just trusted everything was ok. Well, the pattern is correct. My brain just overlooked one line that instructed me to repeat a couple of rows four more times. I just merrily moved onto the next set of repeats, not even bothering to count my total stitches because I was feeling confident. So today when I figured it out, this:smithfield mistake-2became this: smithfield mistake-3Ugh. At least I figured it out before I completed the third set of increase repeats. It could be worse. I’m blaming pregnancy brain for this one, as well as the recent debacles with Matt’s sweater (which will be photographed soon).

If you look at the original pattern you might notice the turtleneck isn’t that long. I mimicked some of the format of Oshima‘s cowl neck, hoping for a longer and looser neck. This may or may not work when worn, since Oshima uses a fisherman’s rib and this is straight ribbing that stays more snug, so I may be redoing the neck at some point if it doesn’t look how I want when blocked. We shall see.

Look who isn’t bothered by this at all:

smithfield mistake

Let the selfish knitting begin

selfish socksRemember that sock yarn I was coveting? This is what it looks like with some knitting put into it. It’s ONLine Supersocke 100-Emotion III in the colorway number 1217. I’m making some plain stockinette socks and I’m up to the heel flap. This is where I sometimes get distracted and cast on another project. And I did. The other projects are sweaters so these socks will win out again as soon as the sweaters become too big to cart around.

I’ll have more details on selfish knitting projects 2 and 3 soon…

Cleaning up last year’s mistakes

Sigh. What should have been the most straightforward and fast sweater for Matt has turned out to be a bit of a pain. I’m making him an Ease, adapting it to have a narrower neck, no waist curve, and shorter ribbing at the bottom and cuffs. Simple, right? Almost all stockinette with only 2% thinking necessary. Well, somebody (me) got cocky about not needing a gauge swatch, while at the same time going up a needle size. This made the body huge, but of course I didn’t have Matt try it on until it was 10 inches past the armpit. It was 5.5 inches too large. Matt asked how long I thought the sweater might last and I said maybe 10 years. He said, “Well I’ll probably get fatter.” It was very sweet of him, but I preferred him to have a sweater he could wear now, and this is also a man that can eat half and half on cereal and whatever else he wants and not gain weight, so I’m not holding my breath on that one. I rrrrrripped back to a few increases before separating the sleeves. At long last I finished the body.

Then I moved onto the sleeves, going along with the decreases in the original pattern, not giving a thought to how the numbers differed or where I wanted the width to end up until I was about 2 inches before the ribbing for the cuffs, knitting along as fast as I could so I could finish this on Christmas Day. Then I took a good look at the suckers and realized how crazy wide the sleeves were compared to his other sweaters. He tried them on. He was nice about it. I finished and blocked it anyway, just to make sure. Annnnnddd…somehow that didn’t make the sleeves magically narrower or better. From the elbows down it just looked like some wings. I probably should have taken a picture of this for documentation and later amusement (I’m not ready to laugh about it yet). Instead, I resigned myself to ripping out 2/3 of the sleeves. ease ripI had him try it on again, holding back my tears (ok, slight exaggeration), and I marked with the stitch marker where the sleeves needed to get drastically narrower. To quickly amend the wings, I decided I would go down a needle size. This time I’ve done some math, so I know if I want him to have approximately 9.5 inch cuffs, I’m going to make about 10 more decreases, one every inch or so. I’m doing both at once so they’ll match perfectly. I think this will fix everything, and if not, I guess I can just force him to wear it or burn the damn thing. ease rip-2Here I go again.

Last minute knitting

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog because I’ve been working on a totally secret project that I can probably talk about in a few days, and Matt’s gargantuan brown sweater (which is thankfully at the sleeves). I had to rip out about 10″ of Matt’s sweater when I made him try it on and it was at least 5″ too big in the chest. Uh, whoops. Don’t get cocky about gauge swatches with garments, people. That’s for another post.

Anyway, this is a little project due on Christmas that I cast on last night. It’s a Howlcat I’m whipping up for my brother. He lives in Minnesota, so the double layered wool hat will suit him well. I have a good chunk of knitting time today and tomorrow, so I’m hoping to get it finished quickly. howlcatI’m using a leftover ball of Cascade 220 Superwash in Summer Sky and I have some Knit Picks Essential sock yarn in a brown that will make the other layer. Superwash seems safest for my baby (30 yr old) brother.

Will I finish this and Matt’s Ease before Christmas? We shall see. Perhaps if I can skip blocking…