Continued progress

I’ve made some continued progress on the knitting of Vitamin D.  I finished the sleeves, which the pattern instructs to finish before doing the body.  It’s nice to have them done, and I now know if I have a little extra yarn I can tack on an extra inch like I’d like, rather than risking shorter sleeves.  vitdsleeves-2This has been sweet relief from any knits that require thinking.  I’m in the middle of two designs.  Well, really it’s an adult design and a mini version, but that’s where the thinking part comes in.  I have the pattern written for the adult version, and most of it mapped out for the mini version.  With some input from my helpful tech editor I’m whipping it into shape, but it requires so much thinking that it feels like serious homework at this point, so I’ve been burying myself in simpler things, like soothing Vitamin D.

vitdsleeves

Fortifying for fall

When I was having a rough day last week I cast on a Vitamin D.  There’s nothing like casting on a new project as a pick-me-up.  vitamindshoulders-2I’m making about a 35″ chest size.  Since the yarn I wanted to use came out nicely at a 22 sts and 28 rows over 4 inches, I decided to just cast on the XS size because using those numbers at my altered gauge got me the closest to the size I want with the bonus of doing no additional math.  That’s my favorite way to alter a sweater pattern size.

vitamindshouldersThe yarn is Louisa Harding Aimee in the color Cupid.  It was deeply discounted recently at my LYS and I bought the rest of it.  It is 90% cotton and 10% cashmere, so it has a very nice hand, but it’s also going to work well for several seasons.

I’ve been eyeing the Vitamin D pattern for a long time, so it was time to just cast one on.  I had originally planned to make a 3/4 sleeve Gemini pullover with this yarn, but I changed my mind as I lusted after swingy open cardigan patterns all over Ravelry.  This isn’t a color I wear a lot of, but it makes me happy and I think it will work with several tanks and dresses I have.

Z’s Like Sleeves tunic is finished and needs blocking.  It’s huge, but she could wear it this year.  It remains to be seen whether or not I’ll be able to get it on her to try on.  She’s been a little knit-opposed lately.  I’ll probably have to start slapping intarsia bunnies all over sweaters to get her excited about them again.

Day 14

Technically, these pictures are from Day 13 of NaKniSweMo, taken mid-day in some weird lighting, but whatever. I might be an inch further along. Nanook is growing! nanook-3-3I made the sleeves a little longer than written in the pattern. I think I went about 4 cm extra before working the ribbing. This length allows me to fold back the cuff to get them out of my way: nanook-2-3Or leave them unrolled for a little more snuggly warmth: nanook-6I love when sleeves go over the ends of my hands just a little bit. That extra inch or so seems so much warmer.

I’ll probably be adding at least 2 inches to the length. The beauty of this project is that I can try it on at every step and stop exactly where I want. I’ve added a little waist shaping in the back that wasn’t part of the pattern. At about 6.5 inches I decreased using ssks and k2togs mirrored about 10 sts in on each side. I repeated that twice more with 4 rows between decreases. I’m doing the front decreases at a slower pace, since I’m adding length. I’m adding 4 rows between each front decrease to what’s specified in the pattern. I can’t wait to wear this!

Let the casting on begin! It’s NaKniSweMo, y’all.

It’s time to cast on for NaKniSweMo, ladies and gentlemen. November is a crazy month. Some guys aren’t shaving, people are writing whole novels, some guys are growing mustaches, and ambitious knitters all over the world are knitting sweaters. The general guideline for these sweaters for NaKniSweMo is to make a sweater with over 50,000 stitches. This works for just about any adult-sized sweater. Check out the Ravelry group if you want to KAL with others.

I’m making Nanook.

nanook-2Don’t tell, but I didn’t swatch. I know, I know. Cardinal sin. This is the fourth time I’ve used this yarn in a year (see the family sweater post if I haven’t beat you over the head with my use of Cascade 220 yet), and I’ve worked it on a US 5, 7, and 8 needles for those projects. Using Cascade 220 superwash on a size US 6 I got 20 sts over 4 inches. I think the 7 is perfect for stitch gauge, but my row gauge will not be exact. I never worry as much about row gauge, and in this case I’d get more like 22 rows in 4 inches, rather than the 26 called for in the pattern, so I’ll get there slightly faster.

I finished two repeats of the yoke so far today. It was my day off and I got to devote a good chunk to knitting. I’m enthralled.

Of course I’m already thinking about alterations. I usually add a little bit of length. I’ll probably be perusing Ravelry projects further to see what magnificent little tips pop up. So far I’m loving this color and the “bear track” pattern. I realize this isn’t the first pattern I’ve been attracted to that has this type of yoke. Ice Cream Sundae looks like it has the exact same pattern at the yoke. Remember? Nothing new under the sun, even in knitting.

I have a couple of new yarns:

sweet dreamsThis is Colinette Jitterbug in Sweet Dream. I had leftover Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool from Z’s Halloween costume, so I exchanged my remaining full skein and fell in love with this. If I’m not buying yarn for a specific project, it’s usually sock yarn that I’m buying. Socks, toddler sweaters, hats, shawls, arm warmers, etc. can all be made out of a single skein. What’s not to love about that?

I also ordered some Eco+ in Lichen from WEBS. lichenThis is destined to become a Latte Baby Coat for Z in the near future. If I had my way, I’d finish up Z’s Abate, my Oshima, Matt’s Hugo, and this Nanook. And maybe whip up a Latte Baby Coat too. All in this month. Anyone good at stopping time? By the way, Matt guessed that I was knitting him a sweater, so I went ahead and checked that he was on board for that particular one, lest I have to rip something out again. The good news is I’m free to knit on it in front of him and blog about it to my heart’s content.

Happy NaKniSweMo! Hope those that are participating are all having fun casting on today!

Little old man sweater

Here is a secret project, now freely revealed! This is Gramps by tincanknits. It was a fun and quick knit. I was knitting my tail off the last couple of weeks to finish this and Z’s Halloween costume in time for the birthday party for Z’s friend Oliver. He’s the recipient of Gramps. I didn’t snap a picture of him wearing it, but I did make sure to take a couple of pics before wrapping it. It took me a little over 2 weeks from start to finish, as I balanced it with working on Z’s project, some other secret stuff, and getting 3 patterns out this month!! EESH!

gramps

I used Cascade 220 Superwash in Silver Gray and Sunshine Heather. At first I wasn’t sure of the colors, but then I remembered I had some adorable giraffe buttons from an Etsy shop that I got last year, and I was convinced that it would all work well together. I LOVE this shade of orange. I still have 3.5 balls left of it, which will definitely become a different sweater for Z.

gramps-3

The pattern was really straightforward. I ended up with two extra stitches before the arm separation somehow. They were on the two fronts, so I just let it be and kept going. I picked up 3 out of every 4 stitches on the front bands, rather than every stitch. I contemplated leaving off the pockets, since I doubt O will get much use out of them, but it made for a nice pop of color on the front.

gramps-2

I do love this sweater. I had to try it on Z of course. It looked so cute on her. It was hard to give away. I’m not gonna lie…I had last minute thoughts of just getting some excellent books for the kiddo and keeping the sweater for Z… Here is a shot of that from my InstagramIMG_20131026_150842I made the sleeves a bit longer, and the body a bit longer, but otherwise stuck to the 1-2 yr sizing. Our friends loved it. I love whipping up the baby knits. One of these days they’re all going to get bigger and it will be much harder to do them quickly. Then I will probably have to stop, but it’s fun for now.

Blocking with bowls

This shawl collar is done. Really. This is as good as it gets, people. Reworking this was the last element of the design. Everything else is written, charted, etc. Matt helped me create a schematic because I thought I was going to go out of my mind trying to learn Illustrator. I’m hoping he can be my live-in graphic designer for future projects too.

blocking with bowl

I’m not really sure to how to block shawl collars. They throw me for a bit of a loop. I read this post by the talented Amy Herzog last week, and I decided I should try something a little different for blocking the collar on Matt’s sweater. Rolling up a towel along the collar would probably work just as well. This was just the first thing that occurred to me.

Now, for a teeny bit more pattern writing, button sewing, and picture taking. I plan on sending the design to the test knitters and tech editor by the end of the week! I think I might rework it to be a ladies pattern too at some point with more feminine shaping, but for now I’m ready to stick a fork in it and be done!

Orange Crush

This sweater makes me want a giant orange soda. Well, I don’t really drink much soda, but I make an exception for the occasional cream soda, birch beer, ginger ale, and orange soda. Homemade lavender and cardamom sodas are also exceptions to this.

goodale-5

But I digress. Here is my finished Goodale cardigan. I LOVE IT. Like I want to dance around and yelp and exclaim, love it. The yarn is Frogtree Pediboo in Marigold. I added length to the body (about 6.5 inches after blocking). When I worked the collar, it seemed like my picked up stitches better matched the numbers of the smallest size, rather than the 34″ bust size I was making. I just went with it. It didn’t seem important enough to try to add the extra stitches.

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The buttons are held together with an i-cord that’s not sewn down on either side. I will probably anchor the i-cord on one side because I have a feeling that’s something that might get lost.

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One consequence of adding some length to the body could be that the part of the flap that forms the pocket might roll more since it has a longer length to travel. I can live with this. If it gets to me, I might stitch it down a little in the middle, very lightly, but I doubt it will come to that.

goodale-4

Overall it was a really easy knit, without so much finishing that I put it off for ages. I did not finish this in time for our family photos last weekend, but I ended up wearing my Liesl and Damask, and Zooey wore her Little Sister’s Dress. I think they all coordinated well. It was a chilly morning. Sadly, Matt did not have any knitwear to sport for the photos. We will have to take more photos in the fall when we all have matching sweaters!