Friday Finds

fridayfinds

Another Friday, another Friday Finds, and your final chance to win a pattern of your choosing just for leaving a comment on this blog post.

To win:

  • Leave a comment on each week’s Friday Finds letting me know which pattern(s) you especially like that week.
  • Make sure to include some way to contact you in that comment—email address, Ravelry username, Twitter handle, whatever, I just need to be able to let you know you’ve won.
  • Each comment must be received by 9:00 AM MST the following Monday. So for this week’s post, you must comment before 9:00 AM MST on Monday, December 31.
  • Winners will be chosen by random number generator the following Monday. I’ll contact that week’s winner and we’ll work out the details.
  • The prize pattern is not limited to the patterns included in the Friday Finds. Patterns are limited to digital versions, though not only Ravelry-accessible patterns. Any pattern from your personal wishlist (under $7) could be yours.

A good number of these are patterns for children, but they were just so cute I couldn’t resist.

  • Elizabeth F. Parker’s Tern ($5) features a simple lace pattern along the neckline, set against a reverse Stockinette stitch background.

  • The Honey Toque ($4) by Megan Grewal is a slouchy hat with a slanting honeycomb pattern. For $2 more, you can get the pattern for the matching mittens.

  • Gudrun Johnston and Quince and Co recently published a print and eBook collection called Knit With Me ($26). This collection is bursting with amazing patterns, such as Ambrosia, Empire, and Granny Smith (shown).

  • Svetlana Volkova’s MOMO ($6) is a sweet little cardigan for children with a simple feather and fan pattern set into raglan sleeves.

  • I love legwarmers, even though I haven’t really worn any, and these Fly With Me legwarmers (free) are pretty intense and pretty awesome.

  • Pull Gaspard (€4) by Christine Rouvillé is an incredibly adorable child’s pullover. The pattern is currently only available in French, but I’m tempted to snag it anyway and try to translate as I go. Because what I need to knit is more children’s patterns. CLEARLY.

  • Yes, another child’s sweater pattern, but HOW CUTE are the little reindeer on Susan Crawford’s Junior Christmas Jumper (£4)?

  • Lucy Hague’s Firiel (£3.50) is a lovely garter stitch shawl worked sideways with a lace edge. So pretty!

All photographs are taking from the individual Ravelry pattern pages unless otherwise noted. No copyright infringement intended.

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New Year Planning

Some of us have spent the last few weeks looking forward to the new year (well, those of us who were pretty sure the world wasn’t actually going to end on December 21). Most of this year was not so fantastic for me and I’m having trouble believing that 2013 will be any different, BUT my oh my I am so looking forward to January and some upcoming crafty fun times I have planned.

First, in the Sweater Odyssey group we’re kicking off the new year with a Heidi Kirrmaier KAL. Come join us—you get to knit any adult garment pattern by Heidi, and she has quite a few fantastic patterns. I’m going with Raindance in two shades of Quince and Co Chickadee.

And then, in the Amy Christoffers fanclub, we’re doing a couple of KALs: a Lilac Wine knitalong and a sweater knitalong (similar to the Sweater Odyssey group, just pick a pattern from the designer and go). The Roam Tunic and Stonecutter’s Cardigan I recently posted? Both Amy C patterns. You know you want to.

And THEN, I came across this Crocheted Puff Stitch Scarf and I have to have it. HAVE TO. I’m 99% sure one of my friends is making one for me as a gift, but I think I’m going to need multitudes. So @jacintillating on Twitter and I plotted and schemed a Crochetalong. I mean, can you blame me? This is going to be a blog-based CAL, meaning there’s no place on Ravelry to currently chat about it, but I figure we’ll probably bleed all over the internet—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, maybe even Tumblr, who knows? And I’ll be asking participants for photos to share here on the blog (with links to your own blog if you’re writing about the CAL).


Photo from the Ravelry pattern page

The CAL details:

  • Start hooking on February 1 or later.
  • Finish by March 1 and who knows, there could be a prize.
  • Leave a comment here letting me know you’re planning to participate.
  • Tag project updates on your social media platform of choice (Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) with #puffyCAL
  • Have fun and end up with a sweet scarf.

Questions? Please ask! You should know by now that I make most of this crap up as I go.

What are you looking forward to in the new year? Have any big crafting goals in mind?

Sweaterday: Roam Tunic

sweaterday

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Friday Finds

fridayfinds

Another Friday, another opportunity to win a pattern of your choosing! Happy Hobbit month.

To win:

  • Leave a comment on each week’s Friday Finds letting me know which pattern(s) you especially like that week.
  • Make sure to include some way to contact you in that comment—email address, Ravelry username, Twitter handle, whatever, I just need to be able to let you know you’ve won.
  • Each comment must be received by 9:00 AM MST the following Monday. So for this week’s post, you must comment before 9:00 AM MST on Monday, December 24.
  • Winners will be chosen by random number generator the following Monday. I’ll contact that week’s winner and we’ll work out the details.
  • The prize pattern is not limited to the patterns included in the Friday Finds. Patterns are limited to digital versions, though not only Ravelry-accessible patterns. Any pattern from your personal wishlist (under $7) could be yours.

Fast and furious this week, as I’m busy trying to get my act together before I get on a plane.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.