Success!!

When I last left, I was holding a rather daunting pile of wound yarn. Well, I knit and I knit and I hoped and I hoped, and now the Mr. has a new sweater. I was lucky that the gauge was exactly the same as what I was trying to copy, so I just got out my crayons and graph paper, copied the patten from the photo onto the graph paper, and followed directions.

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It’s a simple raglan, and I took measurements from a sweater that he has that fits to get the chest measurement, arm length, etc.

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The original didn’t worry about making a coherent pattern around the raglan decreases, so neither did I, and it worked out just fine.

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Overall, I’m very happy with it. It fits, it is the right color, it is the right pattern, and most importantly, the Mr. loves it. So yeah me!!

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And so now I’m back to my Wallace and Grommet. Which is to say, still in my jammies with a sweater that has no sleeves and comes down to my belly button and strings hanging off the side. But no matter. But with any luck in a week or so, it will be more presentable. It won’t be getting sleeves, so really it’s just sleeve cuffs and another few inches of pattern. So I have that going for me.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Not sure where December has gone, but coming up for air to write a post. I have new sheets with hats and mittens. I love them.

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Our tree is up, and decorated. The angel is a little precariously placed this year, it didn’t occur to me to cut off the too high top until it was too late. Now I kinda like it.

TREEEEE

And I have finally gotten off my arse and made the cushion cover and curtains for the kitchen. Excuse the somewhat fuzzy iphone photo…

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Greg’s sweater is started, a pair of baby overalls was started, ripped out and will be restarted tonight, and I have the Wallace and Gromit sweater going, as well as the scrap blanket. I never do this, I’m a one project girl. But I figured what the heck. They all need to get done, so there they are.

Gift buying is for the most part finished, I’m just waiting for everything to come in, while I sit in panic and hope it all makes it here in one piece and on time. Which means we can move onto the fun part of the holidays, the part where you bake a million cookies, watch a bunch of movies, drink a bunch of wine, and sit by the fire. The millions of cookies happen this weekend, the movies started last night, and well, I hope there’s no fire, since we don’t have a fireplace, but I’ll light a candle or something. Onward 🙂

New Warm Things

For the past 2 -3 years, I’ve been asking Greg if he’d like a new sweater, the discussion of which I will summarize here.
Me: Greg, would you like a new sweater?
Greg: Why yes, I would.
Me: What kind?
Greg: I think fair isle.
Me: Oh, like this? (Shows photos)
Greg: No, not with different colors.
Me: Oh…
Greg: Maybe a cable sweater?
Me: Oh, good, like this (shows photos)
Greg: No, not really, too much going on.
Me: Oh…
Me: Can you show me one like you’d like?
Greg: *actually searches Ravelry on his own and picks out some simple pullovers like the one I made for him a few years ago*
Me: Ok…
Greg: WAIT WAIT – I really like THIS ONE.

And this is what he’s pointing to.
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It’s a J. Crew sweater from this year. SCORE!! I happen to really like it, it will entertain me and he will like it. Except that we decided that orange really was a little out there, so we played with photoshop and got the orange to turn light blue and thought that looked really good. So we shall rip off the pattern, slightly change the color, and make sure it fits perfectly. Onward.

Then yarn choices. I showed him a bunch that would be in the right gauge/type, and again there was deliberation. I pulled out my color card for Schoolhouse Press, and we found exactly what he wanted. To the point that he kept asking to see the color card of yarn, again, all by himself (a rare thing for a non-knitter. Either he’s really interested or he’s just really really nice.). We chose yarn, which showed up quickly and was great. Except the dyelot of light blue was really more bright blue. I spoke with I forget who at Schoolhouse Press, who actually put down the phone, went to look and see if they had a paler dyelot, found it, and sent it to me. I think I love her.

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So we’re all wound up (ha!) and will get knitting soon. I had hoped to finish it before Christmas, which might be a little hairy after spending a week knitting a warm shawl, but I will try. Good luck to me!

Quality Time

The sweater is moving along. In the past few weeks I’ve had ample quality knitting time, and I’ve powered along on the handspun sweater. I tried it on today and determined that is is big enough, is actually roomy, which I’m kind of liking. And the neck is reasonably satisfactory, which after the last attempt, I will take.

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Once it’s blocked, I think it will hang better and therefore I will not show the questionable shot of me in it now before it’s finished. I think the stranded-ness of the pattern is going to relax nicely when it’s blocked. In any case, progress!!

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Thanksgiving was some good quality time, with family, with food, with knitting, with myself, so that is something to be thankful for! Hope all had a great weekend full of knitting, food, wine, and family (in whatever order makes you happiest). And now, I shall spend the next week avoiding Christmas music and turning 31, and finishing a secret knitting project which I hope to unveil soon!

Wallace and Gromit

So a few posts back, I talked about this hat I made that turned out to be a watermelon cozy, right? And I talked about how I was actually not sad to rip it out because I was not going to use all the yarn, and I was a little bit obsessed with it and never wanted it to end? And perhaps I’d make it into a sweater? Well, I did start that sweater.

Voila.

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Now, I looked for a pattern, couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, got impatient, and decided WTF, I’ll just start it. I had a vague idea of a sweater, with the pattern I’d started with the hat, and… well that was the plan. I was slightly paralyzed because I wasn’t sure how far the yarn would go. The white is leftover from Simpleton, and the colored yarn is my own handspun. The wool is Wensleydale, and I’m madly in love with it. I have 350 yds of the Wensleydale, ~300 yds of the white, and some Rhinebeck yarn that uncannily similar to the white and I’m hoping that when I switch, no one will be the wiser.

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Now since I wasn’t sure how far the yarn would go, what I wanted the neckline to be, or what I wanted the bottom to be, the only rational option left was to start smack in the middle. Surely I could handle that. So I cast on provisionally around the bottom of the yoke, and proceeded up with raglan sleeves. Eventually, I decided to do a neckline, and decided that I liked Acers neckline, so I pulled out that pattern, figured out what that meant for the current sweater, and I think it worked. The ribbing went well, and I cast off in my normal bind off (knit one, knit another one, slip 1st over 2nd, repeat) which is not elegant and which flares a bit. This didn’t work at all, because it’s kind of a wider neckline and the flaring made it look ridiculous. So I ripped back and am doing a tubular cast off (I think that’s what it’s called) and it seems to be working well. When it’s done, I’ll double check it but then it’d onward and downward on the body.

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I can’t tell if it’s hideous or fabulous, but I like it so far, and it is making me smile, so I’ll just keep going. I’m calling it Wallace and Gromit because I cannot think of Wensleydale without thinking of Wallace and Gromit eating Wensleydale cheeeeesseeee and drinking tea. These are the things that get linked in my head.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a new wooly toy, which I’m going to go play with!!

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(The suspense is killing you, I know it.)

Simpleton

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A few months ago I wrote about the shocking discovery that I really like simple sweaters. I vowed to use this knowledge to knit myself a simple sweater instead of looking for a pattern to satisfy my craze for fair isle, cables, bobbles, things. I cast on for the body and just went ahead without a clear plan for the rest. While knitting the body, I thought I’d do a simple raglan – no – a raglan with buttons on the seams – no – a set-in sleeve with buttons on the shoulder seam… I ended up convincing myself that to keep it simple and did a raglan with a simple braid on each raglan seam, which I continued through the neck hem.

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Before it was blocked I was sure it was all getting ripped out and the swatch had lied and it was going to be too small. But after a wash and lay flat, I think it really fits pretty well. I ended up taking off the bottom ribbing, adding about 2″ of length, and reattaching the ribbing. (I hate knitting ribbing. I will Kitchener on a whole ribbing rather than knit it again.) I’m not sure why but I tend to have a hard time measuring both my length from waist to armhole, and the sweaters. Because I can measure them both, the numbers can match, and I’ll put it on to find it too short.

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The Yarn is from 13 mile farm, and it’s my second sweater from that yarn. I bought it in Bozeman, MT on vacation the past two years and I still love love love it. Very warm, really nice to knit with, makes a very even fabric, and is predator-friendly to boot. If you can get your hands on some, don’t pass it by. I’ve been taking the inspiration behind this sweater to heart – that simple can be complex and vice versa, that simple doesn’t mean boring, and to really enjoy what you’re doing without complicating it. Hopefully it will remind me of that when I’m wearing it.

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And now, I’m dying to pull out the fingering weight shetland and do something FUN!!

Acer Cardigan

Ah ha! It is finished! And it is so very cozy.
I had about 6 versions of this sweater in my favorites before I realized it was all the same cardigan and that I was apparently madly in love with it. While we’ve been on again off again, I think in the end, this is totally worth it.

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The “off again” came from my not being sure of the yarn. The wool came to me free as a destash from someone. It wasn’t exactly my color, I probably wouldn’t have picked it, but here it was. Finally I decided after a year or so that I should probably do something with that, so a few months ago, I spun it up, along with some other fluffs of wool that had been sitting around and it really was time to use it or lose it.

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After I realized I loved the pattern, and also realized it was time for the yarn stash to lose some weight, I matched them up and went along. Once again, while I think I don’t like lace, I do. While I think knitting and paying attention makes it go slow, it doesn’t. While I prefer tiny needles, boy, size 5’s sure do make things go faster. The reasons I didn’t love it while knitting have nothing to do with the pattern. It is a lovely pattern, well written and accurate, and makes a thing that comes out the size and shape expected. The pattern is easy to memorize and pretty fun, pretty simple, with you only having to really pay attention on row 1 and 11 of a 16 row repeat. I think the reason I wasn’t sure has to do with how I have a hard time with things that need blocking because they look all shrivel-y and sloppy until that happens.

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However, after a nice bath and a little time drying, I have to say, it is super cozy, looks pretty cute, has a great neckline, and I couldn’t have matched the buttons better if I’d spent days looking. (The buttons came from my big jar o buttons I bought with no idea what was in there.) So, WIN!

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