Posts Tagged 'NaKniSweMoDo'

Holiday Knitting

So, I was planning to have lots of knitting time while we were away. As usual, it took a bit of planning and thought to work out what to pack (knitting wise that is. Clothes, well, I just threw those in ūüôā ) The first thing I packed was the Tea Leaves Cardigan I am working on. With only an inch or two left on the body, I was fairly sure that I would finish it over the more than a week we were away.¬† Easy, right? Yep, sure is, if you remember the right needles for the sleeves. And if you don’t? Forget it.

Second up was a pair of Blackrose Socks. I was using these to alternate with the cardigan – long stretches of stocking stitch need breaking up somehow!¬† I was just¬† heel on the first sock when we left – and now I’m in pretty much the same place on the second sock.

So, what *did* get finished then? Something for the girls – much quicker!

For Miss 3…

Yet another Olearia Рthis time a shrug version.  I knit this in the 100Purewool yarn I recieved just before we went away on holiday. It is a worsted weight yarn and the pattern calls for DK, so I knit the size 2 on 3.5mm needles, for the garter section, and 4.5mm for the stocking stitch sections.  This resulted in a top almost exactly the same size as the DK weight size 3 I knit her.  

And when I got home, some gorgeous new buttons were waiting for me, all ready to sew on.¬† Yes, I must confess to ordering more buttons from Nicci’s new collection, which you can check out here.


Yarn: 100Purewool 3ply worsted in Happy Rose and Quebracho

Needles: 3.5mm and 4.5mm Knitpro tips on 60cm cable

Time: 2.5 days. This includes knitting it as a cardigan, realising I didn’t have enough yarn, pulling it back and re-knitting as a shrug.

Mods: as above – changed needle sizes to accomodate a thicker gauge yarn.

Why yes, my child *does* have a slight shadow of kitty whiskers and nose on her face, why do you ask??

With the leftover yarn, I decided it was about time Miss 2 got a mummy made hat, and with no pattern and no internet access, it meant making up a pattern. This is what she has been given.

Of course, I should really have made the hat for the person who got the top – my knitting list is getting longer instead of shorter. Miss 2 is uber jealous of the top with the pretty buttons, and Miss 3 wants a hat with buttons. I guess that means I’ll be working out the hat pattern in a larger size. Watch this space.

And in the meantime, I’m knitting around and around with my new 4.5mm Knitpro short tips – yes, that sleeve is finally being knit.


Blogtober 11th: Buttercup

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I finished my Buttercup late last night ūüôā¬†

Yes, that’s right – it’s my twelfth ‘sweater’ for the year, complete.

Can anyone say “finished the challenge with two-and-a-half-months-to-spare-without-breaking-a-sweat?”

If you are saying “Challenge? What challenge?” then I should explain: in late December last year I signed up for a group on Ravelry called NaKniSweMoDo09 : National Knit a Sweater a Month Dedecathlon 2009. It had a simple aim: to knit 12 sweaters during 2009.¬† Maybe once that’s done, to write a sentence without using a colon (:) . Sweater here being agreed as a¬†lose definition for any adult sized top with openings for the arms, therefore including everything from shrugs and short sleeved tops through to hoodies and giant men’s jerseys.¬† You could knit one a month, or knit them faster or slower.

First I went off to a racing start and had four garments complete by early March. I continued but started to fit other projects in. Lately I’ve been hankering after sock knitting more and more, but still have wanted to complete the challenge for both completion’s sake, as well as because I really like knitted sweaters too.

So, back to Buttercup. Here she is.

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I started this right after I finished my Central Park Hoodie last month, and chosing the project was a kind of elimation exercise. I bought a stack of yarn in January and due to my self-imposed yarn buying ban, so I could only shop from my dwindling stash. I had to choose something for Spring, as the weather was unseasonably warm (haha, how things change!) and I was thinking of something different to my previous knits – I was thinking tunic style. So, after much time on Ravelry I decided on Buttercup, a free pattern released this year. And I settled on some¬†Down to Earth¬†Soy/Cotton yarn that I had cought for $2 a ball back in January. I had 11 balls and no way of getting any more.¬† I also have another 10 balls of this in Navy.¬† It’s supposedly 10 ply but seems quite thin – and I got gauge on 4mm needles.¬†I have a little over a ball left, so that worked out perfectly – and yes, that makes this top $20 total!

This was my first time working with a Soy/Cotton blend, and it certainly was easy on the hands, unlike cotton. I did like to change¬†between knitting this and socks, but that’s probably because I am fickle.¬†

The pattern is a top-down, knit in one piece Рyay, no seaming this time.  It gives you some ideas about how to tighten the neckline, and I am glad I did Рjust a couple of extra rows, plus  I picked up two out of every three stitches to bring the neckline up a bit.

That said, it is a rather large fit – I’d be happier with it being about 4 inches slimmer around the chest than it is – perhaps it’s a hard road finding the perfect tunic pattern. I think it definitely needs to have something underneath it, be it a singlet or long sleeved top for winter.¬† I didn’t block it as such – I chucked it in the washing machine on warm (dye ran!) and then into the dryer as it looked huge!¬† And then I put it on for photos.¬† I think the feather and fan pattern looks remarkably nice for such treatment. And, well, I was kind of hoping it might shrink some with that treatment. But, alas not.

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I think this sweater will earn its keep over the summer months, and while I like the pattern, I would definitely go a size smaller (or two?) next time.

So, now that the challenge is complete, I don’t *have* to knit any more sweaters this year. However, I do have plans for several more, so keep watching this space.

It’s finished!

The moment has come – finally – my Central Park Hoodie is finished!

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Snuggly, cosy, and comfortable, I am loving the hoodie now that it’s done.

Stupidly though, it hasn’t been an easy road, I seemed to keep hitting speed bumps along the way with this knit. It started off plain sailing: the two sleeves were done first, then the back. I had to rip back one of the sleeves about 30 rows when I realised I’d crossed a cable two rows early.¬† I abandoned keeping a record of my rows at that stage – I figured if I coudn’t get it right *with* a notebook, there was little point in relying on one. And, well, the girls kept stealing it to do scribbles in too. Miss 1 favoured the exact same page I was using for some reason.

Front #1 was done easily, and then you’ve probably heard about front #2 where I realised two rows from the end that I’d made the same cable mistake as on the sleeve – except 10 inches back. Despite my efforts at tinking, I had to rip it back and knit again. The hood went smoothly, and the band knit up well too. But the seaming – ahhhh, the seaming!

It’s been a long while since I knit a sweater in pieces. And I was reminded why when seaming this beauty. Why? Not only the time spent, but then the horrible¬†realisation I’d sewn a sleeve in upside down. Oh no!¬† No wonder it didn’t fit so well.¬†

So, today was a new day, the sleeve repositioned is much more attractive, and I popped on two toggles  that are destined to be replaced with cuter ones I found online (and in slightly better and more even positions).  And thus it was time to steam block and try it on again.

Here ’tis.

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The yarn I used for the project was a total bargain – you might remember me saying I’d picked up extra skeins for extra length – I need not have bothered, I actually used way less than the requirements, 10 skeins of Naturally Sensation a divinely soft 70% Merino 30% Angora blend, which I paid $4 each for¬† – so a hoodie for $40 is great – and the extra 8 -yes 8 skeins – is more than enough for the gorgeous Rosamund’s Cardigan I’ve been drooling over from the latest Interweave Knits.¬† This yarn has a wee halo to it, but I think that the cables stand out well nevertheless.

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So, aside from my lessons in how to tink cables, and how to look twice before seaming, I did my first three needle bind off in this project and blocked something in pieces for the first time ever. 

And the pattern? It’s a popular pattern, and I can see why. The fit is good – it’s relatively close fitting without shaping, big enough to be cosy but not unflattering. The cables are simple, chunky and well placed.¬† The hood makes it a versatile piece, and I can see that it will get lots of wear. Well, it would if I hadn’t finished it in early spring¬† – but I’ll be pleased to see if in my drawer come autumn next year! I changed nothing about the pattern except the length, adding three inches in total. The sleeves are super long, and I will wear the cuffs folded up, except in super cold weather.

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So, 11 down, one to go and I’ll have my NaKniSweMoDo challenge complete.

What’s on the needles?

Things have been fairly quiet on the knitting front here lately, and here’s why…

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Yep, I’ve started my next big sweater project.¬† And since it’s knit in pieces I thought I’d do the sleeves first. Why?

a) To act as an extended gauge swatch- I wasn’t 100% certain it was right, so I figured I have nothing (except 4.25 inches of 2×2 rib) to lose.

b) So I could tell how much yarn they would use. I was hoping to make the sweater longer, but have a limited amount of yarn. Which was solved when I found 4 more balls to match -same dye lot and everything! Well, I found more than 4, but only bought this many ūüôā

c) I’ve had a few issues with sleeves and motivation (anyone remember the endless rib sleeves of my Slinky Ribs?) so I thought this would get them out of the way.

So, in a week or so of knitting I’ve done both sleeves and about 10 inches of back.

And what am I knitting? Anyone able to guess?

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By the way, the colour in the top pic is by far the more accurate. The label says ‘navy’ ūüôā

10 Down!


Picture 2641NaKniSweMoDo Knit #10: Back-to-School U-Neck Vest

As promised the other day, here is the selfish something I was working on alongside Dh’s jersey. A little something to break up the knitting on huge needles, and to break up the monotony of reeeeeally long rows of almost plain stocking stitch. Funnily enough, the stocking stitch also broke up the monotony of inches of 2×2 ribbing, and I enjoyed knitting both of them more. Complementary knitting – I think it has a lot to recommend it.

I wasn’t meaning to cheat or hurry along my tally by chosing a vest for this knit. I chose to knit this, Stefanie Japel’s¬† Back-to-School U-Neck Vest¬†from a pattern in Fitted Knits. I chose it partly out of guilt I hadn’t knit anything from the book yet, partly because I had new yarn and didn’t have any room to stash it, and partly because I think¬†I’ll get lots of use out of this if I knit it now, and not so much if I left it a few months.¬†

It must almost be a first for me to knit something in the recommended yarn, but when my sister was in the US, I got her to bring back the 4 skeins of Cascade 220 (in the Teal colourway) for me.  I purchased it from WEBS at less than $5 a skein, making this a bargain knit. With so many colours to choose from I was tempted to buy more but figured my sister might want to bring back some souvenirs of her own!

Anyway, I digress. Back to the vest. I made a few changes to it: lengthening the rib section by an inch, adding another 1.5 inches to the waffle stitch section after bust shaping and an extra centimetre to front and back straps. All of this resulted in the shaping all falling exactly where it was meant to.

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The other major change I made was to the width of the neckline opening.  15 extra stitches were cast off here instead of being decreased at the arm opening. I prefer the silhouette this produces at the armhole as well as at the vest front. Because the arm holes are wider, I only did 3 rows of purl around the arm instead of the 3 purl, 3 knit, 3 purl the pattern suggests.

The back shaping I did keep, which I would perhaps do differently next time to create a simpler silhouette.

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I did strike a few self-imposed issues along the way, thanks to some miscounting I had to knit the right left front strap three times. Tis  a thing of beauty now though!

I would really recommend this pattern, it’s an easy enough knit, but not boring. No acres of stocking stitch. Flattering shaping, lots of size options in the pattern, and in 10 ply the knitting just flies along.¬† It is versatile too – casual with jeans, but smart enough for work.

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Now, for the doting aunties amongst my readers, here is the gratuitous baby shot… terrible of me, but darn cute of Miss 13 months.

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Stash Planning

I’ve been thinking about yarn stashes lately. Well, I guess lots of knitters think about stashes a lot – the ideal stash, stashes that are too big, too small, too blah, I could go on. Stashes are, after all, lots of fun to think about, and to grow. But since my self- imposed buying ban has been in place I’ve been thinking about what makes a good stash. What I would like to have in my stash, and what I *should* have in my stash.

So, what prompted this – first it was a search for a small ball of navy yarn I *knew* was in there. This took about 25 minutes as I searched, shifted, fondled and reorganised. I realised that of my two yarn boxes, one is entirely full of sweater sized amounts of yarn, all purchased this year for NaKniSweMoDo ’09. More that I have left to do, somehow.¬† The other box is either lovely sock yarn or things I bought on sale, on clearance, on a whim, or leftover from projects. Plus one or two things from projects never begun.¬† Oh, and some beautiful Malabrigo that I bought before my stash freeze started.

And then this arrived…

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I’ve included a ball point pen, just for scale, you understand. Yep, FIL is back from his overseas visit, yarn in tow. I can tell you this: I don’t know of *anything* good that comes in 400g balls.

Not exactly sure *what* to do with this!

But it wasn’t all bad! I also got 400g of lovely!

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200g each of two colourways of Rowan Colourscape Chunky. Mmmm.

What am I going to do with this?

Stash it!

It’s exactly the kind of inspiration I’d like to find when I open up my stash to see what is calling to me!!

Now, I should *not* be looking at yarn since I’m not buying but temptation keeps coming across my path. My current temptation is this lovely yarn from South Seas Knitting.¬†So many pretty colourways… and half price until the end of this month only.¬† Makes a girl regret her buying ban.

So – tell me about your stashes!¬† How big, small, useful, fanciful, out of control is it?¬† How do you buy? Do you regret purchases? Move things on if they don’t appeal or is it once in the stash, always in the stash?

FO: Man Jersey

Yay, done! This must be knit #9 for the year in the NaKniSweMoDo challenge, and the first one that’s not for me.

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The pattern I used was from Interweave Knits Winter ’08 issue, Woven Bands Pullover by Hana Jason.¬† When I picked it, I hadn’t realised that the sleeves are 2/3 length, which would never do! So, I had to do some immediate pattern alterations as you cast on at the sleeve. It was easily fixed by adding 5 inches of straight knitting before I started the increases. The beauty of starting at the sleeve was that it doubled as my gauge swatch too! Yay, no waste of knitting or time.

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A patterned panel runs up the arm, across the front and back of the neckline and down the other arm. Knit in linen stitch, it adds some interest without too much fussiness – must keep it manly after all!

The neckline is a boatneck, which seemed really wide in the pattern, so cue another alteration. Instead of knitting 15 rows (for the smallest size) before starting neckline shaping, I added 1.5 inches more straight knitting.  This reduced the size of the neckline by 3 inches total, and I adjusted the front and back accordingly when I knit them.  Even so, DH requested I sew up the neckline a little, which I did, making it a total of 2 inches smaller again. Gosh, he would have fallen out of the pattern as written.  Gotta love knitting for people who wear the smallest size though!

The front and back of the jersey are knit sideways, which DH isn’t too sure about… Men just don’t understand fashion – and making knitting easier! I think it looks just fine!

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The yarn that I used was Wool Company 12 ply – to be found nowhere on their website, I picked it up a couple of years ago, and I was concerned about yardage as it was nowhere on the label. Ha! I ended up with 230g left out of 800 – so 570g used. Luckily for me a friend is keen to snaffle the leftovers, as I am trying so hard to destash!

I had set myself a deadline of tomorrow to finish this, as DH is back off to work the next day and it’s always nice to wear something new for a new term. So, yay, I made my own deadline – despite working a bit on something for me… all will be revealled soon. And in the meantime, the man jersey is getting a good test run before work on Monday ūüôā


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