SSKAL14 begins!

The yarn came Monday afternoon!  Now I can turn this: 

summer skyinto this for this year’s Summer Sweater KAL. The yarn is Cascade 220 in Summer Sky heather, one of the most truly gorgeous yarns my eyes have beheld. codaMmmm.

coda-2Though the unstretched ribbing looks like a sweater fit for a child, it does indeed fit over my hips. I tested it just to be sure.  I’m making the 37″ size and I might add a tad more waist shaping than called for in the pattern, but it looks like it will be an interesting part of the journey when I get to the top, and in the meantime, the subtle heathered blues will enchant me.  The KAL started a week ago, so I’d better get going!  I have a couple of secret projects that may slow me down, but I’ll make time for the beautiful Coda.

Swatch, swatch, and then swatch.

Firstly, apologies if you read this blog on Google Reader, or some other reader feed. I was reorganizing my blog posts the other day, giving them categories, and titles to some that imported from waaaaaaaaaaay back when I used Blogger. I noticed in my Reader feed (yes, I subscribe to myself to make sure I know about weird things like this) and it showed that I had 32 new posts or something crazy. They’re not new posts, by any measure. They’re just really old ones that I titled.  They retained their old dates when I updated them, so I didn’t think anything weird was going on, but since I gave them titles I guess it categorized them as new.

I’d like to say that I will only knit from my newly reorganized and categorized stash this year, but chances are I will probably not stick to that completely. I’ll try to knit more out than I put in though.  I am putting some of the 3.3 miles of yarn to good use already. As soon as I cast off Delancey and slapped her on the blocking board last weekend I knew I wanted to make another sweater right away. We’ve been having some cold, snowy weather, and I should take advantage of my willingness to work with heavy wool while the weather inspires me to.

I’ve been wanting to make a sweater for Matt. I looked around Ravelry at men’s cardigans and I didn’t find any that came close enough to what I wanted. I do like this one, and I used it’s yardage requirements when I purchased yarn to estimate what I would need. I think the cables are a little boring though. I decided to play around with some different ideas. Here is what I came up with:

dapper swatch

 

On Sunday I did a whole bunch of math, using Knitwear Design Workshop as  guide. I feel pretty confident about my math. The book guides you through each piece fairly easily as long as you have all of the necessary measurements as well as your stitch and row gauge. There will be a little element of winging it when I get to the collar, because the book doesn’t have anything just like I want.

I was a good girl and wet-blocked my swatch. I decided I would be knitting in pieces so I could make some lovely set-in sleeves. I felt confident, and I casted on. I knitted faithfully on this Sunday night and Monday night, even though Delancey was dry by Monday and I could be weaving in her ends. I was like a woman possessed.

All day long on Tuesday I had a nagging feeling that I just hadn’t cast on enough stitches for my fronts. I’m making this sweater with just an inch or so of ease, per Matt’s request, but I think I overstretched my swatched when I blocked it and that thought kept bugging me. It might have been ok, but I just wasn’t content, so:

Froggy, froggy, froggy.

Froggy, froggy, froggy.

Meh. Though I love to do things two at a time, it’s a pain when both have to be frogged. I ripped them Tuesday night, cast on a higher number and I’m at it again. I’d rather provide a little more wiggle room and not worry about having to stretch this thing out like crazy when blocking to make it fit.

I think I will write up the pattern as I go. I don’t know if I will put it up immediately when it’s done. I’ve never tried to make multiple sizes of a sweater (or even designed my own sweater), so we’ll see what happens. I have comprehensive exams coming up in my doctoral program, and that seems a bit more pressing right now. Yet, I’ve never craved the soothing stress relief of the stitches more.

3.3 miles of yarn

I might have gone yarn crazy (as if you didn’t already know), but I’m just going to embrace it. WEBS was having a sale on discontinued colors of Cascade 220 and I decided it was the perfect time to get enough yarn to make Matt a fantastic cardigan with cables and a shawl collar. Maybe something like this one. Those eat up a lot of yarn! So a sale on worsted weight wool at $5 a ball for 220 yards seemed like the perfect time to get a large quantity.

I asked him what colors he liked. By the time I made the purchase, the Olympic Rain color (heathered hunter-green with blue notes) was gone. He also like the Pyrite Heather, which I was going to buy for myself (hey, it’s cheap yarn people) for a Kenzo, so I ended up buying seventeen balls of that color, assuring I would have more than enough to make lovely cabled sweaters for me and Matt. I will almost surely have enough to also make an Antler Cardigan for Zooey too.

Yo. That's a lotta yarn.

Yo. That’s a lotta yarn.

Do you see where this is going? Matching colors for all of us! Yep, I’ve gone off the deep end. I don’t want to be so matchy that we all have the exact same sweater, but a matching color on varying cabled sweaters for all of us seems like an acceptable theme.  I will probably be so sick of that color in the end…but I’m going to try to get it done anyway.

stash-3

Well, I thought I should get enough yarn for one more sweater (it was so cheap!), since I also really liked the chocolaty Mocha Heather. I got another 7 balls of the Mocha Heather which I can turn into either this for Matt or maybe this for me.

stash-4

All in all it was about 4 sweaters-worth of yarn (one baby-sized) for $130 with shipping. For some pretty 100% wool yarn, I think it’s a deal. That’s 5,280 yards of yarn, or 3.3 miles of yarn. Phew! These are both more gorgeous in person.

Up-close sexy shot.

Up-close sexy shot.

Just as I thought I was knitting several sweaters out of my stash, it turns out that I’m going to  replace it. Oh shucks.