Selfish Smithfield

smithfieldAfter my brief Smithfield snafu, things are back on track. I’m several inches past the armhole separation and enjoying this as a semi-autopilot project. It has been rhythmic enough to read to and it kept me company through much of The Rosie Effect (which I loved). It has also been an excellent companion to The Wire, which has become an addiction since I discovered it was available to stream on Amazon Prime.

I’m making some minor changes. I decided to do a slightly larger gauge (16 sts over 4″ rather than 18 sts over 4″) by going up a needle size. I’m making the second size, which would be 37.25″ at the specified gauge, but at this gauge will be closer to 41″ for the chest. I’m adding a tad bit of waist shaping, going down about 1.5″ total, or maybe 2″ (I haven’t decided), by decreasing at the edge of the side ribbing in the back every 3/4″ or so about 4″ below the armpits.

The larger gauge is the result of laziness. I feel like I’ll get the results I want faster this way, and I like the way it looks, so why not. The waist shaping will do nothing for me in my current pregnant state, but one day when I have a waist again, it might be flattering. I used to get more hung up on the size I was making, thinking something had to be close to my bust size for me to feel like it would be an attractive garment. It turns out that my favorite sweater, ever, is an Oshima I made, which is about 40″ in the chest. I also tried to imitate that collar for this sweater, but it’s not quite as loose and cowl-like as I want so far. I will see if blocking and some pinning while blocking make this neckline into the magical unicorn of necklines I want it to be, or maybe I’ll rip that part out and knit it with a different stitch or looser gauge.

The selfish knitting continues.

Gut feelings

Sometimes you ignore the nagging feeling that something isn’t right with a project and maybe 30 rows or so later you actually check your work. Sigh. I have been working on a Smithfield pullover the last few days. I kept thinking the shoulders looked a little narrow yesterday, but the finished pic in the pattern looked so great, so I just trusted everything was ok. Well, the pattern is correct. My brain just overlooked one line that instructed me to repeat a couple of rows four more times. I just merrily moved onto the next set of repeats, not even bothering to count my total stitches because I was feeling confident. So today when I figured it out, this:smithfield mistake-2became this: smithfield mistake-3Ugh. At least I figured it out before I completed the third set of increase repeats. It could be worse. I’m blaming pregnancy brain for this one, as well as the recent debacles with Matt’s sweater (which will be photographed soon).

If you look at the original pattern you might notice the turtleneck isn’t that long. I mimicked some of the format of Oshima‘s cowl neck, hoping for a longer and looser neck. This may or may not work when worn, since Oshima uses a fisherman’s rib and this is straight ribbing that stays more snug, so I may be redoing the neck at some point if it doesn’t look how I want when blocked. We shall see.

Look who isn’t bothered by this at all:

smithfield mistake

Cleaning up last year’s mistakes

Sigh. What should have been the most straightforward and fast sweater for Matt has turned out to be a bit of a pain. I’m making him an Ease, adapting it to have a narrower neck, no waist curve, and shorter ribbing at the bottom and cuffs. Simple, right? Almost all stockinette with only 2% thinking necessary. Well, somebody (me) got cocky about not needing a gauge swatch, while at the same time going up a needle size. This made the body huge, but of course I didn’t have Matt try it on until it was 10 inches past the armpit. It was 5.5 inches too large. Matt asked how long I thought the sweater might last and I said maybe 10 years. He said, “Well I’ll probably get fatter.” It was very sweet of him, but I preferred him to have a sweater he could wear now, and this is also a man that can eat half and half on cereal and whatever else he wants and not gain weight, so I’m not holding my breath on that one. I rrrrrripped back to a few increases before separating the sleeves. At long last I finished the body.

Then I moved onto the sleeves, going along with the decreases in the original pattern, not giving a thought to how the numbers differed or where I wanted the width to end up until I was about 2 inches before the ribbing for the cuffs, knitting along as fast as I could so I could finish this on Christmas Day. Then I took a good look at the suckers and realized how crazy wide the sleeves were compared to his other sweaters. He tried them on. He was nice about it. I finished and blocked it anyway, just to make sure. Annnnnddd…somehow that didn’t make the sleeves magically narrower or better. From the elbows down it just looked like some wings. I probably should have taken a picture of this for documentation and later amusement (I’m not ready to laugh about it yet). Instead, I resigned myself to ripping out 2/3 of the sleeves. ease ripI had him try it on again, holding back my tears (ok, slight exaggeration), and I marked with the stitch marker where the sleeves needed to get drastically narrower. To quickly amend the wings, I decided I would go down a needle size. This time I’ve done some math, so I know if I want him to have approximately 9.5 inch cuffs, I’m going to make about 10 more decreases, one every inch or so. I’m doing both at once so they’ll match perfectly. I think this will fix everything, and if not, I guess I can just force him to wear it or burn the damn thing. ease rip-2Here I go again.

Oh yeah, I cast on a new sweater.

easeAs soon as I got Paloma off my needles and cast on an Ease for Matt. My gauge is slightly different from the pattern, as mine is 17 sts over 4 inches since I decided to do this on an 8. I made it more masculine by making the neck narrower. To do that without doing much math I started with the numbers for the smallest size and increased until I got the chest size I wanted (about 42 inches).

I was so happy when I got to put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Those rows felt like they were taking ages. I’m going to add a few decreases to make the waist a bit narrower than the chest, and I won’t make the ribbing at the hips as long as called for in the pattern. I will also likely omit the rolled sleeve cuffs.

The sweater season continues!

All clear!

abate again-2I finished Z’s Abate with probably 7 yards to spare. I ended up adding about 3/4″ to the body and made the rest as the pattern specified. It fits perfectly with the cuffs rolled back and will probably fit next year as well. Love it! abate again-3

The pattern is Abate by Alicia Plummer. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash (am I ever not knitting Cascade yarns?) in Lilac. This time I made the 2T size. abate again

Yep, she’s playing with scissors in these pictures. She was very interested in helping me cut the extra pieces of yarn when I was weaving in the ends. I think it’s good practice for her next classroom.

I’m so relieved that this sweater fits and that I had enough yarn to make it exactly as I wanted.

Um, speaking of Cascade yarns…I may have slipped and bought a couple more sweater quantities of some discontinued colors from WEBS. The purplish one is Goseille and the green one is Evergreen. The purple is even more vibrant and beautiful than I expected. The green will probably become something for Matt and I’ll definitely keep the Goseille for myself. cascade gosielle

cascade evergreen

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.

A day at the library in a new sweater

gathering stripes finished-3I’ve been so eagerly awaiting a moment to capture Zooey in her new sweater, or even see her in her new sweater. I tend not to let her wear things until I am ready to get photos, just in case they get all mucked up or something happens before I capture them in their one-time-only perfect states.gathering stripes finished-4The sweater is called Gathering Stripes, and you can read about the yarn details on my Ravelry project page. The only yarn I don’t have listed is the blue I used on the arm cuffs and hem. It’s some leftover Tosh Sock in the color Baltic. I thought I was going to run out of the yellow yarn, so I elected to throw in a third color out of some sock leftovers. gathering stripes finished-2She protested a little to getting the sweater on, but then seemed not to care and seemed comfortable for the next few hours. Timing is important when it comes to these kiddo photos. It was chilly enough to take pictures today. We had something fun to do (the library). She was occupied and didn’t notice I was taking pictures (not asking to hold the camera). gathering stripes finished-5I loved making this sweater and I’m very pleased with the result. As an added bonus, we can be somewhat matchy matchy when I wear my BlueSandsgathering stripes finishedThis design is great and I might have to make myself the adult version one of these days. gathering stripes finished-6