Sweaters in the summer

finished coda-2I’m pretty thrilled with my SSKAL 2014 project, Coda.  The sweater is a lovely Brooklyn Tweed pattern, by the talented Olga Buraya-Kefelian.  The yarn is Cascade 220 (one of my all time favorite workhorse wool yarns) in Summer Sky, an apt name for a summer sweater project. It’s been crazy stinkin’ hot here in Arkansas, but surprisingly the weather was in the low to mid 60’s for part of the day yesterday and today, and I got to actually wear this for a few hours yesterday.  Amazingly good timing to finish. finished coda-3I adore this pattern.  It has impeccable little details, like tubular cast ons and bind offs that make it look really polished.  It’s reversible, which is very cool.

finished coda-4I sort of wish I had made the smaller size, at least somehow in the top piece, because the yoked side (with the curved arch) seems to have more material than necessary at the top and can look a bit balloonish if I don’t keep my shoulders back. finished codaMaybe I can just think of it as extra incentive to work on my posture.  This was a very fun and engaging knit.  I’d put it at a 3.5 out of 5 skill-level wise.  There are lots of areas of stockinette where you can tune out and relax a bit, but the cables pull you back in and keep you on your toes, as well as the raglan and yoke shaping for the top piece.  Luckily, the pattern included row by row instructions for some of the trickier parts, so you can follow along with a row counter easily.  finished coda-5I can’t wait for more chilly weather to wear this!

One sleeve at a time

If some knitting can be done in pairs, I usually do so.  I always knit socks in pairs, and I almost always do the same for sleeves.  This time I changed my mind.  coda-6The sleeves are simple enough and could be done two at a time, but I have several projects going where I’m pulling from both ends of a wound ball and I get tired of untwisting it, so I decided to just do these one at a time and avoid that on this project.  Much of the raglan/yoke shaping is tracked row by row in the pattern, so it will be easy to keep things identical.

coda-7This sweater is making me long for colder weather.

Warning: Cables and short rows are highly addictive

Coda has captured my attention for quite a few evenings this week. It’s my SSKAL14 project this year, and it’s delightful to knit. It was smooth sailing through the stockinette. I threw in an extra waist decrease and knit an extra 3/4″ length for my 37″ bust size.  Then I got to the cables and really fell in love. coda cables-3Especially when the cables turn into an arch with short rows. I just want to keep going and going and finish the section. I will be a little sad when they’re over. coda cablesThis is definitely a knit where I’m soaking up lots of pleasure from the process. I highly recommend the pattern.

Drifting on a sea of purple

I started this project on Monday, as soon as I got my Saco Stripes top sewn together.  For my second TTKAL project I’m making a Driftwood Tee, by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.  I’ve been dying to use this Manos Serena yarn (color Boysenberry) for ages now.  It’s 60% alpaca and 40% cotton and it’s heavenly soft.

driftI love this color.  I love working with the deliciously soft yarn.  This top was appealing because I think it will also be appropriate for wearing to work at my upcoming position as a school-based counselor.  As a graduate assistant at the library, I could wear any of my hand knits with jeans, and that was fine workplace attire.  Now I will have to consider knitwear for work that can pair with skirts or nicer pants, so this top got to jump to the front of the queue with about 20 days to go until I start that job.

drift-4I’m making a couple of alterations, because sometimes I just can’t help myself.  First, this top would be waaaay to short for me.  I find many tops have about 12 inches or so between the armpit and the bottom edge, and this just doesn’t work for my freakishly long-waisted figure.  I need at least 14.5 inches before I feel comfortable, and I prefer more like 15.5, so that’s what I’m aiming for here.

Waist shaping is not included in this pattern, but that’s easy enough to add with a few measurements.  When I got to about 5.5 inches from the bottom, I marked off the center 28 sts and I mirrored ssk and k2tog decreases on either side of these markers.  I first held a tape measure up to my body with the 15.5 in mark at my armpit, and determined how many inches from the bottom I wanted my waist decreases to start based on my body’s curves, then noted where increases should start again (about 9″ for me).  Since this pattern has a design element on the side, moving the decreases to the center avoids making any other alterations to the pattern.  I also think that center decreases are rather flattering.

Cocktail(Dress) pics tomorrow!