The two week sweater!

I’m done ahead of schedule! Hurrah. Hooray for worsted weight knits. I know some knitters are keeping diligent count on the stitches to make sure they meet the requirement of 50,000 stitches. Honestly, I have no idea, but I’m assuming this does meet that.

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I finished on Thursday (day 14) in the evening and got it on the blocking board right away. I might have turned up the heat just a little bit…and put a fast moving fan on it to help speed things along. By the time it was dry on Friday afternoon, we were in the midst of some downright lovely weather that only got lovelier over the weekend. I didn’t really get a chance to wear it till today, when the fall chill came back. Two week sweater!nanook-2-4

This was a fantastic piece to knit. It’s Nanook in Cascade 220 Lavender heather. I made the small size and did it as written, aside from doing the sleeves in the round (though that’s an option in the pattern), adding some waist decreases and increases in the back, reducing some of the front increases, as well as adding length to the sleeves and body.  I took pretty good notes on my Ravelry  project page if you’re curious about specific changes. I’m always a little vague about the exact numbers in the pattern, because I feel like that’s not my info to give away on a paid pattern. I try to be specific enough with my info that you can figure it out how to replicate my modifications if you have the pattern. You can see a little bit of the waist shaping in the picture below.

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Nanook is pretty cozy. I’m still trying to figure out where I want to put some buttons, because I’d like to have that option. The button you see in the pictures is just two buttons sewn back to back that I stuck through a YO in the pattern. I thought it would be nice to have a movable button, but that doesn’t seem to be working out yet. I need to experiment more.

nanook-4-2These are super quick pictures taken immediately after I got home, while there was still a teeny bit of light. It’s much harder to find time to get well-lit pics this time of year, so these are a bit hasty, but oh well. nanook-3-4I’ll try to share another shot when I figure out the button situation, but I’m calling this baby done!

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!

Day 5

I didn’t get to knit on Nanook at all yesterday after work or in the evening. I was briefly consumed with knitting up a fast little toddler hat for Z, since the ones she wore last year are don’t quite provide enough coverage. I’ll have more details on the hat when I can get a picture of her wearing it.

How is Nanook? Pretty great, actually. I did 2.5 bear track repeats on the first day, then got to the increases the second day. I was a bit thrown by the increases temporarily. They’re leaning increases that come out of another stitch. I was counting the increase as part of the same stitch it was borne from. It’s counted separately in this pattern. I messed up the first increase row and didn’t realize it until I got to the next one. I had to rip out a few rows, but that seemed faster than dropping down stitches to try to fix things.

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I’m already on my second ball of Cascade 220, so I feel like things are going well. I did pick a worsted weight sweater that required less focus this year. The past two years I’ve done gobs of fingering weight or allover cables and fingering weight, so I guess I’m going easier on myself this year, but I have additional goals to accomplish knitting-wise this month.

Cynthia, if you’re reading this, I’m begging you to stock Cascade 220. I wish my LYS carried this “workhorse” yarn. I would love to be able to support my local yarn store and get this yarn at the same time. It’s soft, it knits up beautifully with good stitch definition, it comes in a rainbow of lovely colors, and it’s AFFORDABLE. At $8 a skein and many sweaters for me or Matt taking 5-6 skeins, it makes my sweater quantities of yarn stash almost as attainable as my sock yarn stashing.  That is, until I run out of room (which is actually the more pressing issue). If you haven’t tried this yarn, give it a shot. It’s not as soft as a merino, but it’s damn good for the price.

Ok, ok. Yarn praises over. I’ve got to get back to knitting.

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!

Bespoken

The men’s cardigan pattern is finally here! Hi-ya! bespokenj-4I’m thrilled to finally release it! Check out some details here. It’s in time for NaKniSweMo!

bespokenj-6I decided on the name Bespoken, because the word carries meaning of customization and commitment. I always told Matt I wouldn’t knit him a sweater until we were married. This is the first sweater I’ve ever made for him (or any man), so this definitely implies some commitment.

It’s knit in pieces, with a set-in sleeve. I think this makes for a better calculated fit in the shoulder area and is worth the extra effort. bespokenj-3I love a good set-in sleeve.

bespokenj-2From now until midnight on Halloween I will be offering this at a 25% discount in celebration of NaKniSweMo. Use the code NAKNISWEMO at checkout, and buy now if you wish!

Already thinking about NaKniSweMo…

Thanks to this post in my blog feed yesterday, my head is already in November, planning to knit a sweater. Sure, according to Ravelry I technically have EIGHT WIPs, but I’m not going to let that stop me from fantasizing. I really thought I would have been working on Blank Canvas by now, but since I had to wait on the yarn and I had yarn for Oshima immediately, Oshima was first. I could do it for NaKniSweMo, but I think I should do something with a bit more panache. I will undoubtedly make Blank Canvas this winter, because I always have a plain stockinette project on the needles, but it will probably not serve as my yearly sweater knitting challenge piece.

I’m thinking that Nanook fits the bill. I already have plenty of yarn for it. I’m thinking this lovely lavender Cascade 220:nakniswemo

I was considering it for Oshima, and swatched a bit, but the dark purple tweed won me over in the end. There are so many gorgeous finished projects for Nanook on Ravelry. It seems flattering on many body types. I’m not sure if I’ll go for the S or M1 size. I can make either with the six skeins I have. Maybe I’ll do the larger chest size and narrow the arms if necessary.

In the meantime, I have at least 2 sneaky projects to finish before November to devote plenty of deserved attention to a new sweater, and I have another sneaky project that should be worked on as much as possible during November when I can. I hate keeping my mouth shut about fun knitting!

Only two days left of my sock sale! Use the code SOCKTOBER to save 30% on any of my sock patterns.

Moving sloooooowly.

I wanted to quickly post an update on my NaKniSweMo Rocky Coast Cardigan. I finished it on December 3rd. Three days past my deadline, but a sweater in 24 days is not bad.

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The color in that shot is a horrible representation of the beauty of the yarn, but I took it with my phone when it was cloudy and weird outside yesterday, and it’s better than nothing. I have no modeled shots yet because I’m a bit under the weather right now, and I was planning on doing them today.

Just last night I was talking about how I haven’t gotten sick really since Z was born, with the exception of barely getting the nasty cold she and Matt both got when she was 2 months. Well, apparently the universe saw fit to laugh at that one and I woke up last night with a scratchy throat and swollen glands. It could be allergies, given our warm burst of weather lately, or it could be a cold. Z is coughing and sneezing more than usual, so I’m leaning towards cold.

I just can’t seem to get enough Hannah Fettig lately, so I think my next sweater adventure will be the Breezy Cardigan in some Hazel Knits Hoppy Blonde I’ve had in my stash since my birthday.

But right now, I scarcely feel the energy to swatch. I’ll get back to you.