Sleeves to keep me warm

I’ve been plugging away on my NaKniSweMo sweater goals. After finishing the back of Paloma I moved straight to the sleeves, because for some reason they always seem to be torturously long if I leave them till the end of the project. I did them second to get them out of the way and have another couple of pieces that required little focus. palomaI added an extra increase at the top to make them more like the sleeve width of my Oshima, which has turned out to be my favorite sweater. I also added a couple of inches in length because I like my sleeves to go just over the bottom of the hand. They’re crazy crooked right now since I haven’t blocked them yet. Moss stitch always does that for me, but a good wet block always does the appropriate straightening magic.

In other news, I finished Z’s Abate, which is awesome, but it’s way too big. I don’t know what’s been up with me and assuming my kid is still growing an inch a minute. I did the same thing with Z’s Like Sleeves tunic. In both cases I decided to make the 4T sizes, perhaps because it was the next size up and last year I was making her 2Ts. Well….this one is even more ridiculously huge than Like Sleeves. I may have her put it on just for a laugh when it dries, but since I added length (why? why?) it would be like a super oversized 80′s sweater dress. So, I have a couple of skeins of the same yarn in lavender that I will just immediately turn into yet another Abate, this time in the 2T size. At least the thing is a quick knit. I know there are other amazing pullovers out there, but I know I have the right amount of yarn, and I don’t feel like having to think about it so much. Luckily I have the whole week off next week since my school is closed all week for Thanksgiving. I have big plans to make my Ravelry stash more accurate, writing up a kiddo sweater pattern, and just getting my knit on.

NaKniSweMo, toddler version

Keeping up with my NaKniSweMo 2014 goals, I’ve started a sweater for Z. It’s an Abate. I made her one last year as well, but I decided to go a size up this year to make one that would fit next year too. She wears a lot of leggings, and oversized sweaters work well with leggings. abateThe yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash in Raspberry. I think I started this last Wednesday and it’s been going swiftly. Z picked this color at my LYS out of the washable wool there. She’s been into pinks lately. I love this design. It’s simple, and snuggly. Matt wants me to make him the adult version, which I could alter to make a little more masculine. I might have to make myself one as well! Oh, so many lovely sweaters to knit.

Phew!

I finally decided on a NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) sweater pattern. I chose Paloma, by Thea Colman, a cozy and winter-perfect sweater. I had some Cascade Ecological Wool in my stash that I’ve been earmarking for a sweater like this. The color is Natural Grey. I quickly swatched on size 9 needles, since I’m usually a loose knitter and that’s a size smaller than the pattern called for. Then I tried size 10 and that hit the required gauge. I didn’t make a large swatch, nor did I wet block it, but I confidently cast on.

I knit and knit, rather quickly. I did almost all of this piece in one day. I started the ribbing Monday night and I was home sick with a nasty cold yesterday so I was able to complete all but the shoulder shaping. Somehow the moss stitch seems to go even faster than stockinette. The only thing was, it was looking rather skinny. I kept checking my gauge, but the piece was only about 16 inches wide unstretched, a good 3 inches narrower than it should be. This was worrying me a bit, but I kept going because the thing was so dang fast to knit. I’m glad I stuck with it. To assuage my worries I decided to wet block the back before moving on to the next section. I soaked it for 30 minutes and put it up on the blocking board and phew, it was plenty wide when on the board. Almost too wide. I had to squish it back into place a little.

paloma back-2This is by no means a fabulous blocking job, but I can feel safe knowing that the piece will be the correct size and I can move on to the next piece. Since this seems like it will be so quick, I am also going to try to get a couple of quick sweaters finished for Z. The Abate I made her last year is one of her favorites, so I will be making one in a bright pink that she seemed to like at our LYS. More NaKniSweMo progress soon!

I looked in the Ravelry group for this year and altered one of the fun Ravatars: nakniswemo

Anyone else doing NaKniSweMo? What are you making?

NaKniSweMo is coming! Sweater sale!

 

IMG_20141015_182333Guess who put on her sweater?! We gave her the choice between this and her Little Sister’s dress yesterday and she chose the Like Sleeves! Hurrah! IMG_20141015_182240These are less than stellar phone pics, but the kid is a blur. I did what I could. As you can see, this thing is huge and will probably fit her till she’s 5. I made the 3/4 size. IMG_20141015_182345It completely escaped my attention that she really only has two tunics and one pullover that really fit right now. I’m thinking I should make the focus of NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month that happens in November) knitting her as many sweaters as I can. Of course I might try to make some kind of adult sweater during that time too, just because I’m a crazy person.

Also, in celebration of the upcoming sweater months and NaKniSweMo, for the next week (till end of day Oct. 22nd) I’m putting my sweater patterns for 20% off! That includes Articulation, Bespoken, Little Roarer, and Ruffaluffagus. Use the code NAKNISWEMO14 as a coupon code in your cart to apply the discount.

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.

nanook-5-2

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.

nanook-7

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.

nanook-4

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.