Sweater snapshot

gemini-3The potential thrill of finishing a project in time for SSKAL15 got me going on Gemini again. I’ve finished the body, but I’m not 100% pleased. I expected it to be a little looser, but it was more form fitting than expected and thus, some of the length got eaten up as width when I put it on. I’m contemplating adding an extra inch, but I’ll wait until I have the sleeves finished and try it on with some different bottoms to be sure. Sometimes I like sweaters finishing around 15″ past the armpit on me, and sometimes I like them more like 17.”

I just wanted to post a quick snap of the progress. Now to get some sleeves going…

Racing sweaters

When I got a few inches into my SSKAL Carpino I really got the urge to cast on something that might be wearable sooner. I’ve been meaning to make a 3/4 sleeve Gemini like Jane Richmond’s example. I had some Knit Picks CotLin, so I just cast it on and ordered a little extra. Luckily the dye lots matched well. I’ve taken a little break from this one, but it got a lot of action during some work meetings a couple of weeks ago. gemini-2Carpino and this one are neck and neck progress-wise. This one could be finished much more quickly if I put focus on it, since it’s primarily stockinette and at a larger gauge. I get bored with this one more easily and want to go back to Carpino. No matter which one I finish first, I’ll still have two fall-appropriate sweaters soon.

This is my fourth Gemini. I made two for Z and this is the second one for me. It just feels like a classy piece of clothing that I can’t get enough of!

That August heat

The heat and humidity keep creeping up and up lately. I had good intentions to keep focus on Carpino for SSKAL15, and I was doing well. I’m a few more increase rows away from separating the sleeves. But even fingering weight wool was too much the past few days. I had some Knit Picks Cotlin in Surf that was set aside for possible dishcloths or a hand towel, but suddenly it seemed much more important to cast on yet another Gemini (my fourth) to have some cotton and linen in my hands instead of wool. geminiOddly enough, my first Gemini began in nearly the exact same way during the exact same time of year. I guess I have some pretty strong patterns. The yarn for my first Gemini was slated to be cotton napkins, but I decided I had enough and it was pretty enough for a top instead. I started that one on August 8 two years ago. This one I started on August 6. A little freaky, eh?

This time I didn’t have enough stashed so I just ordered a few more skeins. It might not be the same dye lot, but I’m counting on the consistency that will likely come from this being a big company with probably pretty standard dyeing. If it’s not similar enough I guess I can stripe some skeins. I might make 3/4 length sleeves like Jane Richmond’s example to make this more of a transitional piece. I guess I’ll see how hot it is when I get closer to the finish!

June is for Geminis

geminiI’ve had this Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton (color: Spearmint) in my stash for about 10 months since they sent it to me to review. It seemed the perfect yarn to make Zooey another Gemini top. The one I made her last year is most definitely too small and will have to be passed on to Charlotte one of these days. For this one I cast on 48 stitches with a size 8 needle and switched to a size 9 needle after the lace portion. It will be around 24″ in the chest and will likely fit or be slightly large now.

This yarn is incredibly smooth. It’s one of the nicer cottons I’ve worked with and has many tiny plies, so I’m hoping that means that it won’t pill much. I love this color. It’s pretty close in color to the Togue Pond I just finished and will post about soon, so Z and I can be a little matchy matchy this summer.

Top for a two year old

Top for a two year old

Z isn’t two until the 31st, but today I got the feeling that this top must be knit, so I cast it on.  I bought this Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK cotton yarn last summer at my LYS last summer deeply discounted, and I meant to do this sooner, but you know…time escapes me!  I almost forgot about the yarn completely until I had to rearrange my stash to stuff in some new acquisitions.  Then I saw it and I knew it had to be a top right now or it definitely wouldn’t be enough yarn for a larger size. What am I making?  A mini Gemini top.  mini geminiI cast on 88 stitches and worked back and forth.  I knew I would have to leave some kind of slit in the back that could be buttoned to make sure her noggin could fit through the space.  I used a size 4 needle and worked the lace pattern for 10 rows only.  After that I increased on all sections on the RS and only the body sections on the WS till I had 38 sts on each sleeve section.  Then I stopped increasing on the sleeve and increased on the body sections, from that point on the RS only.  I have 50 sts for the front and 50 for the back and 38 for each sleeve.  That puts the chest size around 22″.  I knit until the armhole depth was about 3.75″.  mini gemini-2So far this has been a super quick project.  I will likely mirror the one I made and leave the sleeves with a bare stockinette edge.  This is one of my favorite tops to wear, so I’m very excited for Z to have one too! 

Many balls in the air, only some of them yarn.

What a week!… I’ve been alternating between excitement, anticipation, nervousness, fear, and fatigue. I think this whole dissertation reality is setting in. It will be fun, but also a tremendous amount of work. I know some of you out there feel my pain. I’d say more about my study, but I think that’s best left until it’s completed. It involves knitting and that is enough goodness to outweigh any negativity. If all goes well, I should be able to begin the study at the end of September.

Right now I’m juggling a lot of different roles and priorities like being a good mom to Z, being a good partner to Matt, a good friend to those that I’m close to, kicking ass at a dissertation, designing knit wear to fuel my creativity and passion for the craft, and helping others achieve their fullest potential as a licensed counselor. I switch back and forth between these roles a lot, but I love each of them. This involves some compromise too. Unless someone is coming to visit, Matt and I can ignore large swaths of clutter for some amount of time, and neither of us goes out of our way to create gourmet meals (or even slightly creative ones) on a regular basis. Each human only has so much energy to expend at one time. It’s a choice where you spend it.

Enough of that tangent. How about some knitting talk? Beatnik is my SSKAL project. It has a deadline of September 24th, but if I don’t make it, I’m already planning to forgive myself, and perhaps comfort myself with yarn. Hahahah.beatnik updateI’m done with the back. I decided to start the sleeves next to give myself a break from the brainy cables.

beatnik update-5I’ll likely be making these about 1″ longer or more. Overall I’m making the small (36″) size, but I’m making the sleeves XS because so many people seem to have really baggy sleeves in the finished projects, and even on the sample for the pattern. I’m still fairly new at the mechanics of set-in sleeves, but I’m hoping if it’s narrower, but still has a long enough sleeve cap, this will alleviate some of the bagginess. It’s all an experiment, right?

This experiment bores Seymour.

This experiment bores Seymour.

Mmmmmmm, cables.

Mmmmmmm, cables.

I plan on ripping out Matt’s shawl collar for this design and reknitting it to be wider. Then I’ll decipher my notes and write up the pattern. Fridica asked about it the other day and I think I just need to stop being a chicken and write the pattern.  I’m aiming for mid-September, but it sounds like that’s shaping up to be a crazy month, so we’ll see.

In addition to that, I have a b-day sweater to knit by the end of September (2 yr old size). I’m considering making this one, styling it like a fox and possibly narrowing the shoulders. I’ve realized that kiddo shoulders are pretty narrow. Knit Picks has a new superwash worsted weight wool (Wool of the Andes), and you can get a free skein from them by using the code TRYSUPERWASH from now until the 28th. I bought Persimmon Heather and Oyster Heather. I think it’s going to be a fun knit.

Next I’ll be posting about a lace project I was keeping secret! I gave it to the recipient today, so I’ll blog about it soon. I’m terrible at keeping secrets, but I only had to for about 9 days from start to finish.

All is well. All is well. All is well. I’m just going to go with the flow. Have a great weekend!

Gemini lover

gemini finished-4Matt is a Gemini, therefore, I am a Gemini lover. My Gemini sweater is off the needles and on my body. I did a little steam blocking for this one, because it didn’t seem to need much manipulation and I wanted to wear it immediately. I used Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK, which is no longer made. I got it at deep discount about 3 years ago at Hand Held, so I think this sweater came in at about 15 dollars.gemini finished-2I added some waist shaping. At about 6.5 inches from the armpit I decreased 4 stitches. From the center of the armpit, I counted 4 stitches out on each side and decreased right before and after those stitches. I knit 3 rows, then repeated the decrease again. I knit until I was about 9.5 inches from the armpit, then I increased in the same place, and repeated an increase in another 3 rows. I increased as written in the pattern after that.

gemini finished-5To figure out where I should put these increases and decreases I held a tape measure from my armpit to my waist and noted where my waist curved in and back out again. It seemed to be at 6.5 inches, then 9.5 inches respectively, so I knew I wanted my waist shaping to occur in those few inches. I often measure from armpit to where I want the sweater to hit and compare this to the sweater schematics. I have a long waist, so I usually add an inch or two to a lot of patterns to make it more wearable for me.

I love that this sweater is reversible.

My serious pose.

My serious pose.

When I got to the bottom ribbing, I counted my stitches and it turned out I had been 1 stitch short since the underarms, or maybe even before. Oh well! It fits the way I want and no one will be able to tell. I just added a stitch and went on my merry way.
gemini finished
I was torn about the sleeves. As I kept trying on the sweater, I really liked the sleeves the length they were. The pattern called for 6 rounds of stockinette, then 6 rounds of ribbing. I decided I liked the sleeves shorter, and I also liked the slight roll of the stockinette, plus, I was running short on yarn after adding length to the body. So I picked up the sleeves, knitted 1 row and bound off. I’m happy and I think it’s pretty flattering.

My back to school sale ends Monday. TuxedoPrufrockBetwixtWendingRuffaluffagusThe Unexpected Hat, and my newest, Firefly Seeker, are all 50% off with the code BACK2SCHOOL.