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…

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.

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