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.

Phew!

I finally decided on a NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) sweater pattern. I chose Paloma, by Thea Colman, a cozy and winter-perfect sweater. I had some Cascade Ecological Wool in my stash that I’ve been earmarking for a sweater like this. The color is Natural Grey. I quickly swatched on size 9 needles, since I’m usually a loose knitter and that’s a size smaller than the pattern called for. Then I tried size 10 and that hit the required gauge. I didn’t make a large swatch, nor did I wet block it, but I confidently cast on.

I knit and knit, rather quickly. I did almost all of this piece in one day. I started the ribbing Monday night and I was home sick with a nasty cold yesterday so I was able to complete all but the shoulder shaping. Somehow the moss stitch seems to go even faster than stockinette. The only thing was, it was looking rather skinny. I kept checking my gauge, but the piece was only about 16 inches wide unstretched, a good 3 inches narrower than it should be. This was worrying me a bit, but I kept going because the thing was so dang fast to knit. I’m glad I stuck with it. To assuage my worries I decided to wet block the back before moving on to the next section. I soaked it for 30 minutes and put it up on the blocking board and phew, it was plenty wide when on the board. Almost too wide. I had to squish it back into place a little.

paloma back-2This is by no means a fabulous blocking job, but I can feel safe knowing that the piece will be the correct size and I can move on to the next piece. Since this seems like it will be so quick, I am also going to try to get a couple of quick sweaters finished for Z. The Abate I made her last year is one of her favorites, so I will be making one in a bright pink that she seemed to like at our LYS. More NaKniSweMo progress soon!

I looked in the Ravelry group for this year and altered one of the fun Ravatars: nakniswemo

Anyone else doing NaKniSweMo? What are you making?

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.