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!

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!

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!