A day to spare!

Ha. All last week and this week I kept thinking the 12th of December was Wednesday (yesterday). It’s my wedding anniversary. I was knitting like a madwoman, and then Matt pointed out on Monday night that the 12th was Thursday and I had a whole day to spare! That was a nice relief, but I still worked as fast as I could to get it done. I was ready.  

I had it half seamed yesterday morning and Matt really wanted to wear it, so I worked as fast as I could to get the seams finished and ends woven in before he left for school. It wasn’t blocked, so I confiscated it later in the day to give it a bath, but it still looked good enough to let him leave the house in it. It was also lacking buttons, but I finished that later. Voila!hugo-5

Behold, Hugo. I used Cascade 220 in Mallard and it took about 6.35 skeins, 1396 yards. WEBS was not able to match the dyelot when I had to order the 7th skein, but the dyes were so close that I couldn’t tell a bit of difference. There was no need to stripe at all! I love that.  I hope I’m not boring the hell out of you all by using the same yarns over and over, but I’m a girl on a budget and these yarns fit that budget.hugo-2-2

I cast on an amount for the body and sleeves exactly in-between the two smaller sizes to get a finished product closer to a 40″ chest. Matt doesn’t like as much ease as the second smallest size, and the smallest would have had negative ease. This worked out pretty well. The extra stitches were in the moss stitch, so it was very little adjustment.hugo-3

I added about an inch in length to the front and the back. I left the sleeve length as written. When it came to decreasing and increasing on the pieces, I ended up making those more like the 41.75″ size more often. I didn’t take super specific notes at each step along the way, but my Ravelry project page has a little more specificity. I made buttonholes instead of purchasing snaps because I like the way they look, and I was snowed in for nearly a week and didn’t read the pattern closely enough to realize I’d need snaps! Ha. The buttons work well.

Set-in sleeves are quickly becoming my favorite, and I’m also starting to love finishing on sweaters. It’s a slower end process, but sometimes that’s nice. It’s like when you race to finish a really, really good book that was long and lovely to read. When it’s over, you’re a little sad. The finishing process of seaming and blocking a sweater helps you let go more slowly, and treasure your hard work for a few more minutes.hugo-4

I know I’ve posted this before, but this video really helped me to understand how to seam set-in sleeves. Now I cut a super long length of yarn and after I seam one side of the shoulder, that extra yarn becomes the yarn that seams either the side of the body or the sleeve seam. I’m all about having less ends to weave in.

Matt loves it, I love it. I consider it a fine 1st anniversary gift.

Waiting for the mail to come

Here is my Hugo progress: HugoI’m a couple of inches into the armhole! This front went so much faster than the sleeves. Maybe it’s a mental thing. I think some of it has to do with the shorter rows on a sleeve interrupting the rhythm of the pattern more often. Either way, it’s definitely possible to finish this and get it on Matt by Wednesday for our anniversary. I just need the mail to come!

Hugo-2That’s all the yarn I have left. I’m holding off on a little knitting right now because I want to make sure the next ball is a good match so I know whether or not I will have to alternate any rows. Snowmaggedon continues in Northwest Arkansas, so I’m not surprised that the mail may be a little slower, but the yarn’s status is “out for delivery” so I should get it at any moment…

Maybe I should distract myself by casting on something new. Hahahaha.

Couldn’t help myself!

I just had to finish Oshima. I was thisclose, you guys. It was gnawing at me. After the endless Hugo sleeves, I just kept looking at my 3.5 inches of knitted Oshima collar and I really really wanted to finish the rest of it. It was all put together with ends woven in, aside from finishing the collar. That’s almost done! Then the snowy icy weather hit us, and I really wanted a new warm pullover to wear. So, I did it.oshima

We’re in love! I used Jo Sharp DK Wool Tweed. This isn’t even close to the yarn called for in the pattern (2 strands of Loft fingering weight yarn held together), but it got me gauge, and I got to use up most of this lovely yarn I’ve had stashed since 2007! It was soooo cold, so I only got a couple of shots outside, then I had to come in. Most of the shots made me look really cold and hunched, so I settled for some indoor ones.

oshima-2I love the details of the upper body on this sweater, especially the shaping on the back.

oshima-4I’m not used to this much positive ease on a sweater. This is the 38″ size. The recommended positive ease is 4-5″, so this seemed like the best size to make. I wish the back had a little less fabric. If I ever make this again, I’m going to use the 38″ front numbers and the 34″ numbers for the back. It is really comfy though. I’ve been living in it since I took it off the blocking board this morning. I like the long turned cuffs, and the cowl neck is perfect: extra warmth without being up against my chin.

oshima-3This yarn is also much softer than I expected. It doesn’t have a super soft hand when knitting it, but I’ve been wearing this with just a tank top underneath and it hasn’t made me itch even a tiny bit. I really like the yarn, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s distributed in the United States anymore. I ended up using 1,428 yards of the yarn. That’s a bit more than called for in the pattern, but I did add about 4 inches in length overall.

Now I can fully focus on finishing Hugo! I’m 10.5 inches into the front in about a day’s worth of knitting, so I think I’m in decent shape to finish on time in the next few nights! Thanks to timely shipping from WEBS, I will receive the last ball tomorrow, which I will definitely need. I’ll have more progress on that soon. Happy knitting!

Endless sleeves!

I thought I would wait and post about these Hugo sleeves when they were finished, but it seems that they will never end, so I’ll go ahead and tell you about them now. _DSC0034They’re pretty straightforward, with a narrower version of the pattern that’s on the body and increases in the moss stitch. I spaced out the increases a little differently than written in the pattern, somewhat between the increases recommended for the 38″ and 41.75″ size. I worked to the length specified for the 41.75″ size before the shoulder cap shaping. I’m finally there. I’m bet it will seem a little faster now with decreases cutting into the row length.

After these babies are finished, that puts me at about 2/3 done! I love the look of this sweater, but the allover pattern definitely slows me down. At least I’ve memorized the chart, so I don’t have to glance at the pattern anymore. I know I’m going to love this on Matt, and I’ll be so proud when it’s finished, but my mind has definitely been wandering to other present and future knits.

I’m obsessed with Antrorse from the new Journey Collection by Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond. Yesterday I bought some Cascade Eco+ in Satine, a gorgeous teal/gray shade. It’s coming in the mail so there’s no chance I can cast it on right this second, keeping some focus on Hugo. I also have a couple of small things to whip up before Christmas, and I’m at the collar on Oshima! I’m about 3.5 inches into the collar, which feels like I could be done very soon. If it seems like there’s time for a pause, I may have to take a day off from Hugo this week and finish up Oshima. Ok, Hugo, let’s get through this!

Hugo is back

Hugo had a nice month-long time out when I realized it was going to be too small. It’s back on the needles, and we’re back in love. I just went up a size from each of the needles in the pattern. I picked it up again last weekend after Nanook was fully finished. The yarn is Cascade 220 (surprise, surprise, right?) in Mallard, more boon from last April’s anniversary sale at WEBS. hugo

I love the cables in Hugo. I especially love that I can do all of them without a cable needle, just by knitting the stitches out of order. I wasn’t doing this on the first attempt, but then I experimented a little and it works well. Knitting out of order probably works best with small cables (less than 3 stitches involved in the cabling).

hugo-3I added about 1.5 inches to the body to account for Matt’s height. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I was able hold it up to Matt and see exactly where the armholes should start.

hugo-2Maybe it’s slightly less fun not being able to wow him with a total surprise of a sweater on December 12th (our anniversary), but I’m much more content knowing this one will fit. I am making a size between the two smaller sizes for him. A 38″ would have negative ease on him, but a 41 3/4″ would have more than he’d like, so I’m making it about 40″. The back is done. I think I’ll start the sleeves next!