Sweaterday: Swimming Along

sweaterday

I made a lot of progress on my I∂unn sweater this week. I brought four balls of yarn (which miraculously arrived the night before I left—a mailperson dropped them off around 7 PM, well after my regular mail had been delivered—I’m not sure what happened there), and knit all four of them, which amounted to a great deal of knitting being accomplished.

IMG_8140

I added some waist shaping, which is missing from the cardigan, working three sets of 4 stitch decreases and increases that begin about an inch below the divide for the arms. I placed the back increases and decreases on the back, not along the sides of the body, which I think makes for a slightly more flattering fit on me. I’m really close to starting the ribbing at the bottom—I may have that to show you next week, but since I ran out of yarn, I shipped the sweater back to myself, along with some Christmas presents I’d received, so it all depends on when that box arrives and how much I’m able to knit before next Saturday.

Today’s the last Sweaterday for 2012! I hope to be able to continue posting regularly on Saturdays for a while in the new year, as at some point I’ll be working on Heidi Kirrmaier’s Rain Dance as part of the Sweater Odyssey knitalong.

But now I’m going to go play in Central Park.

Advertisements

Sweaterday: Roam Tunic

sweaterday

IMG_8047

This, my friends, is the fastest sweater I have ever knit. Subtracting a few days from overall knitting time (because I was finishing my Stonecutter’s Cardigan and working on a few other smaller projects), we’re looking at two and a half weeks of knitting time. (I just realized that I knit two Amy garment patterns in a month and a half. Whut.)

Big yarn + big needles = awesome.

IMG_8048

In addition to being a fast knit, my Roam Tunic is super squishy and wonderful to wear. It makes a great layer during these cold days, not too heavy or warm but keeps me feeling comfortable.

IMG_8035

I used 800 yards of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Chunky for this, and I love the way it knit up. A little stiff and maybe a smide scratchy in progress, after a bath, this yarn and the fabric softened right up and is really comfortable to wear.

IMG_8029

Without fail, every garment pattern of Amy’s that I’ve knit so far (which is only three, to be fair, but still) fits wonderfully. Had I swatched for this, I probably would have realized this would come out just a smidgen on the large side and maybe subtracted a few of the side stitches, but I still like the way it fits. I’m picturing maybe getting fancy and belting it a few times.

IMG_8032

The tunic is a little bit longer than I’d anticipated, and the kangaroo pocket is just a little bit too low for comfortable hand position, but if you’ve got a bit of a tummy, as I do, don’t let the pocket deter you—it really doesn’t add much, if any bulk to a region that needs no assistance. I love the length of this sweater, overall.

Who am I kidding, I love everything about this sweater.

IMG_8080

IMG_8116

IMG_8071

IMG_8062

IMG_8058

Sweaterday: Belated Edition

sweaterday

This weekend got away from me in a variety of ways, so I didn’t get around to posting this on Saturday. Or Sunday. But I wanted to show you all the progress I’ve made on my Roam Tunic, and how I went a little bit crazy after last week’s launch of the new Knitty issue.

IMG_8012

Look! It’s the front of a sweater! Taking two+ days to dry! I know some people have mentioned in their Ravelry knits that they converted this to an in-the-round knit. I didn’t, and let me explain why: As much as I love knitting in the round and don’t enjoy purling, the sweater, as written, (I think) requires seams. If you knit it in the suggested yarn, which is 100% alpaca, you want the stability and the support that seams provide. Alpaca stretches. It doesn’t have the memory that wool does (it definitely has more than any plant fiber out there). The shoulder join and the seaming of this sweater will help it keep its shape for a good long while. In a similar vein, it’s knit in a chunky yarn. Regardless of the fiber content (and mine is 100% wool) that’s going to be a heavy sweater. Weight + yarn = stretching. While knitting this in the round isn’t a disaster and it’s not a wrong decision, I don’t think it’s necessarily the best decision.

(If you’re concerned about bulky seams, Amy included a note in the pattern about splitting your yarn into fewer plies to reduce bulk, and this plan works.)

As much as I followed the pattern in most ways, in other ways, I went off into Crazy Panda Land.

IMG_8011

Bulky yarn takes FOREVER to dry. The front of the sweater, which I washed and laid out on Saturday morning, felt dry this morning. I don’t know if it was completely dry (and I didn’t exactly wait for it to be completely dry before I seamed everything up because I’m super impatient like that). But this is why I blocked it in pieces—if it took two days for one layer to dry, how long would it take for two layers to dry?

And then, because I find knitting on additions to sweaters that are already seamed to be really aggravating, I knit the collar and the sleeves separately. Because for me, sewing these pieces on is a lot less annoying, and indeed, a little therapeutic, than trying to twist the entire sweater around and around as I knit the collar in the round.

This is one of the beautiful things about knitting. Yes, if you follow a pattern, the journey is sort of predetermined, but there’s always room for excursions and day trips and sitting in fields reading poetry.

You know what I mean.

So in addition to making loads of progress on my Roam Tunic (…finishing it, actually, and hoping to get final shots on Friday before I leave for the holidays, because I do not want to take a bulky vest-tunic to Florida), I fell head over heels for Iðunn when the new Knitty Winter 2012 launched last week. (I think it’s pronounced i-thoon, “i” like “it” and “th” like “the,” but that’s based on a Wikipedia article on ð or “eth,” so.) I had two balls in contrasting colors of the Istex Lett-Lopi that my parents bought for me when they were in Iceland this summer, so I immediately printed out the pattern and came home to cast on.

IMG_8013

I made it that far before I ran out of the lighter purple color, and even though I ordered more yarn last Tuesday, it still hasn’t arrived. From Wyoming. Supposedly it shipped out on Saturday (!!!) and as of this morning was in Denver (which, PS, means it pretty much bypassed me entirely, as I’m closer to Wyoming than I am to Denver). I’m hoping it arrives before I leave to go home, so I can show my parents that I do knit the yarn they bring me, but that means it has to show up either today or tomorrow.

So far it’s knitting up quickly. As soon as I finish the colorwork yoke I think I’ll be ready to split for the arms and body, and if I can get the yarn in time, this will make a great project to knit while I’m traveling.

Sweaterday: Masochist Edition

sweaterday

What kind of idiot leaves the house before 8 AM when it’s about 20° outside to take photos of knitwear? Masochists, that’s who. The thought process was “The light will be awesome and the high for tomorrow is supposed to be about 20°, so it will actually be warmer if I do this today.” And I was right. But don’t look too closely at my hands in these photos, or you’ll see how they’re BRIGHT PINK from being frozen.

(Not to fear, all of my digits are safe and sound now.)

I’ve talked about this cardigan a lot. If you want to see more about the process, click the “stonecutter’s cardigan” tag. This post is mostly going to be pretty pictures. At least, I think they’re pretty, and I’m in them. (Also, forgive the blurriness, as I was a one-woman show this morning and didn’t always manage to get my camera to focus, but in some of them I really like the way it turned out.)

IMG_7587

IMG_7630

IMG_7657

IMG_7674

IMG_7687

IMG_7712

IMG_7734

IMG_7750

IMG_7795

IMG_7809

IMG_7817

IMG_7847

IMG_7858

IMG_7930

Stay warm, my friends.

Sweaterday: Two for One

sweaterday

Happy December 1! As I mentioned on Thursday, I’m nearly done with my Stonecutter’s Cardigan. I snapped some photos yesterday while we had some sunlight.

IMG_7507

Why yes, those are needles still holding the collar stitches and the ball of yarn that’s attached to them. Even though the collar had been finished the night before, for whatever reason I hadn’t gotten around to binding off the collar stitches before taking these photos. But since then, the collar is bound off, one of the front bands have been knit and the other is about 75% finished, I just got tired of knitting 1×1 rib.

IMG_7509

I love the way this fits. Most cardigans or sweaters I’ve knit have been too big for me in the armholes—I don’t know why. But now both of Amy’s patterns I’ve knit, Larch and this one, fit absolutely perfectly at the arms with out any adjustments needed. In the great scheme of Sweater Knitting, armholes that are too big aren’t the end of the world, but when there’s too much fabric under the arms, it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like wearing the garment. Not going to be an issue with this cardigan.

IMG_7529

I also mentioned Thursday that I’d started knitting another Amy Christoffers pattern, the Roam Tunic from Interweave Knits Fall 2012. I’m using some Brown Sheep Nature Spun Chunky that came home with me. I was a very bad panda and did not swatch at all. This will probably bite me in the ass, although so far, when I hold up the piece to my body, it’s looking like it will fit just fine once it’s washed and blocked.

Please feel free to mock me when this doesn’t work out in a few weeks.

I’ll be at the Holiday Handmade fair in Denver today! Looking forward to seeing what inspiring handmade works people are selling this year. Are you going to any handmade fairs this month?

Sweaterday: Almost there

Sleeves are done! And now they’re drying.

IMG_7131

One of the reasons I’m really excited about this pattern is that I’ve never done saddles sleeves before. The long strip above the sleeve cap forms the top of the shoulder, extending the cable from the sleeve.

So… that’s really the majority of the cardigan finished! I could have finished the sleeves earlier this week, but I opted to go a bit slow and get some other things finished in the meantime.

IMG_7138

I’ll still have to do the collar and front bands, but I expect I should have a finished, or very nearly finished, cardigan by the end of the month. Just in time for the cooler temperatures we’ve had here lately!

Happy Saturday knitting!

Sweaterday: Zipping Along

There’s been a good amount of progress on my Stoncutter’s Cardigan this week!
IMG_7039

Why yes, that is a finished body blocking out on my kitchen floor, and almost dry.

IMG_7045

And yes, that sleeve is roughly halfway done.

Soooo yeah. This pattern is incredibly addictive and incredibly fun to knit and once you get a few rows in, the simple cable pattern becomes second nature and you’re knitting and knitting and knitting and then it’s like “Boom! Body done.”

Or I’m a wizard. I’m a secret wizard, who is so secret I don’t even know I’m a wizard.

Because honestly, I am not sure at all how I have the body of a cardigan finished. I mean, I remember knitting it. And I remember knitting while watching Netflix (lately it’s been a mix of Teen Wolf, Chuck, and Supernatural). And then I look down and it’s there.

Or maybe there are house elves and instead of cleaning, they’ve decided to help with the knitting.