Fall Featherweight

My second Featherweight has been done for about a week. I did not block this (gasp!) because it looked ok when I finished it and I wanted to wear it immediately.

I think in parenthood you learn to compromise some perfectionist notions. For example, it doesn’t bother me that the sweater looks a little wrinkled in the back in the photo above because I had it jammed in a bag for a couple of days. That just means I like it enough to carry it around with me as a just-in-case layer.

I am struggling a little to be cool with the post-baby body for the time it takes me to get back to something I’m more used to. Matt keeps reminding me that it hasn’t been even three months (because he’s awesome) and I’m trying to be patient with the process. I freely admit that in my meager self-time I don’t choose to exercise very often. I choose to KNIT, so this could take a bit longer.

Seymour very graciously accompanied me in several photos. He’s very sociable and has even charmed the mail lady. I’ve seen her stop and talk to him before. What a charmer.

Oh? Did you want to hear about the knitting? Ha. The yarn details are on this page. This is my second of these sweaters. I prefer it in a sock weight, but the lace weight one is also very handy and a perfect lighter layer. I enjoy knitting in the sock weight more because the yarn had more spring and it was a more comfortable knit. I did garter stich for the collar, bottom, and cuffs because I wanted this to be an autopilot kind of knit.

Now I’ve got to get some knitting in before Z’s morning nap is over…

Featherweight Update

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Yep, she’s still on the needles. I started this sweater at the tail end of June, and now almost three months later I’m finally getting to the sleeves. This is my second Featherweight. For the first I went with ribbing on the collar, cuffs, and bottom of the sweater. I decided to keep it really simple and go with garter on this version.

This one is also in a sock weight, making it much easier to knit. I like the CEY Silky Alpaca that I used earlier, but it was difficult to knit quickly with that yarn. Now I’m using ONLine Linie Cosmo and it’s nice and squishy and very easy to knit. Since I’ve gotten to wear the laceweight version a few times as it gets chilly here, I’m eager to finish the sock weight version. 

I can’t stand doing sleeves or socks one at a time, so with some fanangling (technical term) I got them all on my 47″ size 5’s. Here’s hoping it will fly by so I can get back to that mermaid tail. 

Knitting in class

I am in a 7:30-9:30 a.m. summer class. When I’m not taking notes, or feverishly plotting my world domination with the therapeutic breakthroughs I will surely create through my dissertation, I am knitting on my Featherweight Cardigan. This is my second one. You can see the first one here.

The teacher does not seem to mind that I’m knitting in class, and even noted that his daughter is an avid knitter and when she was in high school she had a psychology teacher that encouraged it. It’s fantastic that there are teachers out there like that. I think it really helps me focus, and stay awake. Though I am a morning person (I know…gag, right?), my sleeping has been off and sometimes I feel hit by a truck in the mornings these days.

In a comment on another post I was asked about my dissertation topic. Maybe it’s a bit weird, but I’m not ready to reveal that since its still in its infancy, and there is a hair of paranoia on my part about someone wanting to do the same thing somewhere. I guess it’s sort of like holding off on revealing much about a knitting design in process. I will shout it from the rooftops at some point, but for now it’s going to stay undercover. I will say that it involves some knitting.

Since it is the second Featherweight, I feel no rush to finish. I haven’t decided if I will rib again for the collar and cuffs, or if I will do seed stitch or garter stitch instead. I also feel this complete lack of rush because it has consistently been 100 plus degrees Fahrenheit outside and there is no end in sight. Unlike other summers, I am no longer freezing while working in the library. I am hot, even with no sleeves. Ah, the joys of human incubation.

You might gather from the way I talk about pregnancy that I’m not exactly fond of it. You would be correct. I am not a glowing, overjoyed, zen sort of pregnant woman. I am hot. And larger than I want to be. And tired of getting out of bed and traveling downstairs to pee several times in the night when it’s difficult to get out of bed and I think the cats are purposely parking in my walking path. One of my greatest pleasures right now is swimming when I get a chance. If you are pregnant in the summer and you know ANYONE with a pool, try your best to get them to let you use that pool. Luckily, one of my very best friends, Missy, lives in an apartment with a pool. It’s never quite as cold as I’d prefer, but it is heaven to be able to float and hop around freely. I’m trying not to be full of complaints when it comes to pregnancy, but I also advocate not being fluffy and glossing over the bad stuff, because if you are pregnant it’s okay not to love it all the time and it’s okay to bitch about it too. I do really really love feeling little Princess Mozzarella move around, and I love it when Matt talks to her in the belly. That’s the kind of stuff I want to remember.

Stay cool. Jump in a body of water (pregnant or not) if you can and it’s weather appropriate for your climate.

Light as a feather.

Did you ever play that game where you say “Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” repeatedly while surrounding a person that lies flat and lifting up that friend with everyone using one or two fingers? This seemed to be a middle school sleepover staple. I guess the secret was that though the four or five girls were only using maybe an index finger and middle finger to lift the one in the middle, those are the fingers that hold most of the weight anyway. I hope I haven’t shattered any dreams. I was just musing about the phrase.

My Featherweight Cardigan is finito! I’m proud of myself for making an effort to consistently post everything that I finish here and on Ravelry as well. I always mean to do these things, but there are lots of projects, especially gifts, that never get any publicity.

In short, I love this sweater. The yarn, Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace in Beach Glass, was a joy to knit with and felt soft as I knit it up. It did not grow in a scary way when I blocked it at all. I did block out the sleeves a little more than I normally would to make them fit me in my preggo state. The pattern is error free and really easy. It seemed I only had to look at it a few times, because there isn’t any shaping on the body and relatively little on the arms. You can knit most of it without thinking.

I didn’t have a lot of yarn left, but I got it out of only two balls, making this a slightly-under-twenty-dollars sweater. Hooray! I added a few inches to the body length as well. I’m long-waisted, so the crop of this cardigan would have seemed really cropped on me, and I just made a cropped cardigan, so I opted to lengthen this one. The pattern is well worth buying, and I’ll probably make at least one or two more. I might already have some Linie 33 Cosmo sock yarn in teal (I’m trying to expand the color scheme, okay?) set back at my LYS to buy this week for another one. It’s the same yarn I’m using on the toes and heels and argyle pattern of Matt’s new socks and I just also might make a February Baby Sweater out of the same yarn. Matchy matchy family. I swear, I’m not on the road to being a super cheesy parent…

The blocking is a bit rough. Maybe one of these days I’ll get those mysterious blocking wires so that I can have nice straight edges. There are a few waves in the front of the ribbing from some of the pins, and a few more on the sides as well. What you might not be able to tell about these pictures is that mosquitos were biting the hell out of me at the time. In between moving around and smiling I was itching my legs like crazy. Apparently they’re twice as attracted to pregnant women. ARGH. I think I got twenty bites or more in the 15 or so minutes we were out shooting the pics.

As for this thing being light…it weighs less than 100 grams, which seems about as much (or less) as my toothbrush.

A week with a Featherweight

At a time when I feel so very un-featherweight (aka 28 weeks pregnant), working with this yarn and pattern has been delightful. This is the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, available on Ravelry as a single pattern, or part of a book called Knitbot Essentials. I looked through many of the Knitbot patterns, and I like most of them because they seem easily wearable in most wardrobes. The more experience I have with knitting, the better I get at assessing what pieces will actually get a lot of use when I finish them. I think Featherweight is definitely a piece that will get a lot of use.

The yarn is the delightful Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace in color 2420. Each ball is 460 yards, so I feel pretty proud that I knit almost an entire ball of it in just a week. The yarn has a nice hand, and I keep rubbing the fabric against my face because it feels so light and cuddly. I am at about 12″ from the armpit to the bottom of the sweater. I was supposed to stop at 8″ or so, but since I have a pretty long waist, and this cardigan is cropped a little bit shorter than I would like, I have continued knitting. I think I’ll consider starting the bottom ribbing in another half to full inch, making my total length from armpit to bottom more like 15 inches.

I should also be considering how much this will block…but since I’m too lazy to block swatches like I would the finished product, it remains a mystery for now. I’m hoping to get this all out of two balls (920 yards). After the bottom ribbing it’s just the sleeves and the collar. For both of those, I plan to stick to the pattern’s plan, so I’m hopeful that I can get this done with two balls and keep the cost of the sweater around twenty dollars. I do have another ball of yarn set back at the store, just in case…

Itchy fingers.

The Featherweight Cardigan has caught my eye, and is what you’re seeing on those needles. I started looking at this on Ravelry about a week ago and it stuck in my head. You know you’re obsessed when you go shopping for yarn on your lunch break. My LYS is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so I went as soon as I could on Tuesday.

Yes, the color is a seafoam/aqua/turquoise even though I just made this and this . Out of the lace weight yarn at my LYS, this seemed the most attractive to me. I think I have an aqua problem. At least this “problem” is inexpensive, because if I get this out of two balls of Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace (color 2420) like I anticipate, the entire project will cost less than 20 dollars.

When I looked through some of the 4000+ Ravelry projects, it seems the ones made out of the recommended Malabrigo Lace or sock weight are a bit more substantial in thickness. I saw one made out of Silky Alpaca Lace and I liked the wispy look, so I thought I would try this. The cardigan I wear the most is a black cotton thin jersey cardigan from Express that I bought a couple of years ago, so I thought something nice and light would be appropriate. I can easily see myself making this again out of some kind of sock weight yarn, or a slightly heftier lace weight. For now, I’ve gone down to a size 3, rather than the recommended 6 to get gauge. The stitches still look pretty uneven and loose to me. I’ll hope for some magical blocking at the end. For this wisp of a sweater I think I’m going to forgo my usual blocking method. Most of the time I completely soak the item, then magic it into shape. Since this is 70% alpaca, I worry that it might grow more than I want, so I’m thinking about pinning it into shape and then covering it with a damp towel.

I’m still plugging away on the Pinwheel Baby Blanket I started mid-month. I think it’s fair if I have one baby knit and one me knit going at the same time. The blanket is over 720 stitches now as I increase, and is at least 36″ wide. Really, I could end at any time, but I have the entire third ball to knit still.

Maybe I should make something for that spectacular fella of mine one of these days…but anything I would make for him would probably be wintry and wouldn’t be worn until late fall anyway. I guess I’ll just vow that the next socks I cast on will be for him because he appreciates the hell out of them and he’s a terrific guy.