Forgotten knits

In the whirlwind of NaKniSweMo knitting I nearly completely forgot my beautiful Oshima, until I saw this Instagram picture of Cara‘s Oshima, and I remembered my sad little sweater, shoved in a project bag and set aside for almost a whole month. Unlike the misbehaving Hugo, Oshima wasn’t on an intentional time out. There were just so many deadline projects all in a row, and then NaKniSweMo started and it seemed appropriate to begin a new sweater for the challenge, so I pulled her out over the weekend and finished up the front…oshima

You can see the sleeves on this post. I just need to finish the back shaping (not much at this point), then I can put it together and work that glorious cowl neck! I did add about 3.5 inches to the body because it seemed way too short for my long-waisted torso. Look at this gorgeous shaping: oshima-2

Hugo is still on a deadline, yes, but maybe I can slip in some work on Oshima here and there. It feels like it’s only a day and a half of work at this point!

So many knits, so little time! My brain is working on designs too. Can I just retire from this dissertation work and go full-time with knitting already? Sigh. Back to the needles.

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!

B-b-b-b-b-Beatnik!

My SSKAL project is finished! I made Beatnik, by Norah Gaughn. The cables were fun, fun, fun. I made a few mistakes and had to rip back, but on the whole, it was pleasant. You can read more of my notes here on my Ravelry project page. I used Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn in Pyrite Heather. This sweater will match Matt’s cardigan and Z’s pullover. I promise, there will be dorky family photos of all of us in these sweaters as soon as it is cool enough to wear them.

The photos are super grainy because I was eager to shoot in the early morning light when it was cool enough to actually wear the sweater, but I probably should have waited for a little more sun to arrive.

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I made only slight modifications. I think I added a total of 1/2″ to the body, because I have a long waist. I made the size XS sleeves to help ease some of the bagginess at the top I noticed on others’ sleeves in Ravelry projects. Looking back, I think I could have maybe just altered some of the sleeve cap shaping to fix this, ending with a narrower cap at the top, but making the sleeve in a smaller size seemed to work as well. I made the sleeve cap slightly longer, doing the decreases every 3 rows, rather than every 2. I also added a bit of length to the sleeves, about 2 extra inches.

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I’m so glad I participated in SSKAL. It got me working on a sweater that I can wear all fall and winter. It made for some sweaty hands on my part a few summer evenings, but we actually had a lot of freakishly cooler and rainy weather this July and August, so it worked out well.

This was the first evening:

lake-2And then the next morning there was a lot of fog on the lake:

lake-5It was a hard spot to leave.

A lonely sweater

I’m really anthropomorphizing the heck out of yarn and sweaters these days. Do you think our knitted wool is lonely when we’re not wearing it? This sweater might just eagerly be awaiting some baby limbs and torso to wrap itself around. Who knows. Here are some still life shots of her new Neighborly.

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I’m too excited to  wait until Z is over her cold to post the finished object. I plan on photographing her and Matt at the same time, since they will be wearing their matching family sweaters out of the Cascade 220 Pyrite Heather.

neighborlyI picked the button up at my LYS. It’s a Dill brand button. I used this kind on my Larch Cardigan also. I really like them.

neighborly-3I knitted a contrasting color for the hem, just because I like the look of it. Knitted hems are so satisfying. I even like the rhythm of sewing them down. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone that I like finishing sometimes.

The inside of the sleeves has a little contrast too. This might end up making the sleeve too thick when she wears it. If that’s the case, I might undo it later, but for now I really like it. The cream color is some stashed Creative Focus Worsted, back when it was made by Nashua, not Rowan.

neighborly-2For now this lonely little sweater can just wait in the closet and anticipate all the future joy and play that its occupant will enjoy.

March of the elephants

I love these little elephants, or Ellybobs, as they are called in the pattern. It’s nice to have some contrast color making an entrance because I was getting a little bored with just the dark Velvet Olive Jitterbug. The Shibui Sock elephants make a nice little pop of color.

ellybob

According to the label, the color number for the Shibui Sock is 5677, but I can’t find this color number associated with any of their current colors. It looks nearly identical to the Wasabi colorway (7495). I’m guessing the color I have was discontinued. I purchased it back in 2007 at ImagiKnit in San Francisco.

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After re-learning how to weave the floats and getting comfortable with the tension, the Ellybobs have gone pretty smoothly. I’ve made little arrows on the charts to help me remember which direction I’m going for each row. Anything that takes some of the thinking out of the chart is fine by me. Fair Isle is so fun when you get going.

This is my first time doing Fair Isle on a knit and a purl side. I’ve only done it in the round prior to this. It’s not so bad on the purl rows. It’s definitely slower, as purling is for me, and I have to pay more attention to my tension. That has been my primary concern, but I think weaving the floats in helps me pay attention to this. If you want to know more about weaving in floats when working Fair Isle patterns, I put together a little tutorial to help. I first learned about weaving floats from this post, but that post only addressed Fair Isle when knitting. For the Ellybob Cardigan you need to weave floats on both the knit and purl side.

Back to the knitting!

Bring on the elephants!

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I was knitting my little fingers to the bone on the Ellybob Cardigan when I came upon some number issues in the pattern. I wrote to the author (Marie Mickiewicz) and it turns out that I missed two stitches in the armpits, but the final count that was printed in the pattern was still incorrect. It had 149 stitches written at that point, but should have had 154.

Well, something was still nagging at me, so I went ahead and added up the increases for the rest of the cardigan, and the numbers definitely didn’t match what was written in the pattern. I wrote her back. She came out with an updated version of the pattern within about an hour and a half. That’s pretty freaking awesome. I know I could have probably figured it out, but it’s so nice to just have the numbers written down to be able to check yourself (before you wreck yourself).

One more thing that throws me about the pattern is that the chart says it should be read from top to bottom, left to right. I will just turn them upside down to make them make sense for my brain, because I’m used to reading right to left, bottom to top for fair isle charts. It isn’t mentioned in the pattern, but since this is back and forth fair isle, rather than in the round, it will be necessary to read the charts from right to left on the purled rows (or left to right if you’re turning them upside down).

The pattern is adorable. I’m really happy about Marie’s quick response and fixes. I’ve made pattern errors myself when writing things. I think I made 3 different errors on the heel flap for Earlybird even though I made little test knit heel flaps for each size. Mistakes happen, but it’s wonderful when they’re fixed and your brain can go “Ahhhhhhhhh” again.

Back to knitting.

Baby stand-in

pull gaspard-2Yep, this Pull Gaspard is not for Zooey, but I couldn’t resist seeing it on a baby since she’s the right size. I made the 6 month size, but I added a bit more length overall and my gauge was a teensy bit larger. I’m hoping it fits the intended baby during her 6-10 month chunk of babyhood, right about next October-February . Other than that I made no changes to the pattern. It was a fun and quick knit.

pull gaspard-4I’m not sure I would really call Cascade 22o Superwash a DK weight, as it’s classified on Ravelry. It seemed a wee bit heavy for the project, but I really wanted to put this yarn to this pattern. I will be making one for Zooey in a bright orange. I may go up a needle size for everything but the garter stitch kangaroo pocket. That seems like it would benefit from a fairly firm piece of knitting.

pull gaspardI really like the way the crochet edging looks, but it was my least favorite part of the sweater. I think it’s crucial to have the finished look on the pocket and collar, but it felt like it took ages to do each row.

pull gaspard-3This sweater should be toasty warm for its intended recipient. I like to imagine she’ll keep something treasured in that pocket.

pull gaspard-5I love this expression on Zooey’s face. It’s like she’s thinking, “What do you mean this sweater isn’t for me?”