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!

I’m a gambler

I’m blocking my Goodale cardigan, finally. It seems like I’m not able to churn out the projects as quickly, or I got distracted by a new phone and going out of town, and working on several projects at once. I added a whopping 6.5 inches to the body length (14.5 pre-ribbing) on 34″ chest size. I have a long torso, and this sweater was way too cropped for me as written. It doesn’t seem that cropped in the pattern photos, but she’s also wearing this over a dress with a higher waistline, and she probably has a shorter torso. Either way, this project is finally on the blocking board.

goodale

I did a wet block. The superwash yarn rapidly expanded and I had to squish it into place. It’s not the neatest or most exact blocking I’ve ever done, but I figure as long as I get the top and bottom sewn down neatly it will all be ok.

It’s not totally done, because I still have to knit around the collar a bit and sew things down to make the pocket become a pocket. I wanted to make it as long as I could, but not run out of yarn, of course. I think I hit a good point for that. I have 10.4 grams of yarn left, and there doesn’t seem to be much to the collar finishing, and sewing won’t use much either. The ball does look a little small and sad. I got a little anxious before I bound off the body, but I forged ahead.

goodale-2

Of course, I could report back in a day or two when my sweater is dry that this was a total disaster and I should have made the body shorter, but I’ll cross my fingers and hope that doesn’t happen.

Slow going mojo

It’s been a slow week in knitting for me. I got a new phone and there’s a bit of a learning curve since I’m switching from iPhone to an Android–iPhone 4 to Nexus 4. I love it, but I realize it’s been occupying my hands during a lot of the time knitting usually does in the evenings.

So, there is not much to report. My Goodale is progressing. I’m now about 5 inches below the armpits. I’ve got some socks that are moving at a glacial pace. I’m rotating between three different WIPs, so they’re all just meandering along. I’ve also been working on this:

ruffaluffagus2

It’s a 24 month size of the Ruffaluffagus. It is a surprise for a birthday coming soon. I’m using some Dream in Color Starry in Flamingo Pie. Isn’t that a crazy awesome color name? I wanted to see what Ruffaluffagus looked like in a multi-color yarn, and I’d also love to have a more exact idea of the yardage for another size. I love it when people put the exact amounts of the yarn they used on projects, so I know if my stash yarn might work out, even when it’s a little less than recommended.

Seymour seal of approval

Seymour seal of approval

For Ruffaluffagus, the 3, 6, and 12 month sizes all use one ball of the sample yarn, but the larger sizes would need at least 2 if you’re using Luna Grey Fiber Arts Astro. If I put up the exact yardage for the 24 month size, it will make it easier to choose from your stash if you have fingering weight skeins with more generous yardage.

Starry has 450 yards. For the 12 month size I ended up using 326.8 of the 380 yards in the ball of Astro. I’m pretty confident that I will easily make the 24 month size out of one skein. I suggested on Ravelry that if you have almost enough yarn, but are worried about running out, doing an alternate color on the inside of the hem and on the ruffles might be really cute.

Now, I’d like to make these fingers fly a little faster so I can make some progress. Happy knitting!