Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Scare People with Your Knitting

While I was on my blog hiatus, I was spending time with family. John came to visit and dutifully brought me a cardigan and a hoodie like I asked him to (the weather changed after the first week!). He brought me my favorite hoodie and a hand-knit sweater he has definitely never seen me wear (in his defense, it was within easy reach and I didn't specify which cardigan to bring).

There is a reason  he's never seen me wear it: it doesn't fit right. I was still a bit of a fledgling knitter, just starting to modify things and not really that great with gauge. I made the sleeves on this sweater much longer than called for and eliminated a stockinette portion on the underside of the sleeves to make the lace continue all the way around. Well, that stockinette portion was vital to the fit of the sleeve and this cardigan would ever after fit too tightly around the arm and armscye.

Since he had brought it, I needed something to do, and it was on my list of things to fix anyway, I decided to detach the arms and unravel them while I conversed with family at the dining room table before dinner one night. The horror went in a wave around the table and entered and exited the room as others wandered in and out.

Assurances that I wasn't taking the whole thing apart calmed everyone a little bit. They were still really nervous about the sleeves, though. :) All that work! It was so pretty! Well, yeah, sure, but it has also been crumpled up in the closet for years and years because I can't do anything but look at it! It's worth the effort taking it apart to get it right and finally use it, yeah?

The plan is to reknit the sleeves to the pattern specs. Making them shorter will ensure that I won't run out of yarn this time. I shouldn't have to sew the sleeves on with other yarn like before. :) It should be a quick, easy, satisfying project when I get around to washing the unraveled yarn. It's such a pretty blue, it has pained me all this time not to be able to show it off!

Have you ever frogged something that wasn't working for you? Maybe only part of something, like my sleeves? How did you feel about it? I'm really complacent about it, but it's because I'm a process knitter and don't need much time to work up big projects. I can understand that others definitely need to shed a tear over long labors of love that just don't work. Tell me a story so my family doesn't think I'm so strange (at least when it comes to this!). :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Warm at Last

My Office is a Fridge

Pattern: Sedum by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Knit Picks Cadena in Coal
Needles: US 10 1/2 and 7
Project Page

I started this project about two and a half years ago. Seed stitch is not very fast or very fun to knit, and bulky is unbearable in the summer, so it took a nice vacation under the futon for a while. :) Since the Summer Sweater KAL this year permitted works-in-progress and my WIPs are driving me insane, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to pull the sucker out and give it the sleeves and bands it needed to be a complete sweater.

My office is freezing more often than it is comfortable. Today, it was stifling hot and an hour later, icy cold. Go figure. I thought a cute, bulky sweater that lives in my office would go with anything I'm wearing and make up for the fact that the space heater I stole from our department library doesn't work anymore. I'll no longer have to dress for winter in the office when I know it'll get up to 86 degrees outside, like today. I can just toss this guy on and be happy!

The pattern I used was a free version back from when Jane first released it. It has its problems, but she has since rewritten it and addressed anything I could criticize. The yarn was sort of disappointing. It sheds a lot. It claims to have 30% alpaca in it, but it's really scratchy. Even after I washed it, it, it didn't get any softer. It didn't grow, either, which I thought was weird because seed stitch always grows...but everything fits, so no harm. :)

Overall, it'll serve its function well, so I can't complain. It is really cute and it is out of my WIP pile, so I'm really happy about it. You'll be seeing a lot of my old WIPs becoming FOs in the next few months. It's time to get them done and out of the back of my mind! I'll have to tell you about the duel I'm doing to keep me motivated.

Have a fabulous weekend! Any plans? The orchard sounds like a fun trip to me. Or finishing Water for Elephants in the hammock. Maybe you have other fall activities in mind? I'd love to know!

For more FO Friday posts, visit Tami!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013



Pattern: Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig from Knitbot Essentials
Yarn: Quince & Co. Tern in Syrah
Needles: US 2, 4, and 6
Project Page

This project was sort of serendipitous. I don't think I ever would have desired to knit this sweater if I hadn't knit one for Hannah herself. Nor would I have knit it when I did except that I happened to win a few skeins of the very yarn I wanted to use to make it, and in a great new colorway to boot! All that and I still couldn't find a suitable name for it. :P I've been listening to Harry Potter audiobooks instead of music.

I enjoyed the pattern and recommend it. It's a very quick knit. Don't knit it by your usual bust measurement, but by the measurement across your back, as stated in the pattern. I made a size 12/14 and wouldn't mind it a tad smaller, actually. I can't rule out knitting it again. I would try a more fitted sleeve next time, though. I'm just not sure this loose sleeve is quite my style.

To block it, I only washed it and laid it on a drying rack. I may need to pin the bottom out for maximum delicious drape. The curl is a little crinkled and I can't have that. It's the best part! The yarn is really wonderful. Quince & Co. is the bast basic wool any knitter could ask for. It's nice and round, washes beautifully, comes in gorgeous colors, and is so soft and comfortable to wear. Tern has a touch of silk, which makes the already magnificent drape just that much better. I can see knitting many more projects with this yarn.

See the hair? I've discovered the magical secret to getting it to stay up: hairpins! Not bobby pins. Those are for stray locks or securing tendrils or braids to your scalp. Hairpins are for buns. They are magical! I've been wearing my hair up a lot because of them. I only have to take it down because my hair is too heavy and gives me a headache.

I'll have another sweater for you Friday! See you soon!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back in Time for Fall

I'm delighted that fall has arrived! Just in the nick of time. I love the weather, but the wardrobe is the best part. :)

Sorry for the long hiatus! I was away spending time with the family rather unexpectedly. Since I was gone from school for about two weeks, I'm now buried in grading and Greek, but I think I can get through it all this week and back to knitting and blogging.

I believe the Summer Sweater KAL is drawing to a close in the next week or so, so I have two sweaters to put the finishing touches on and share with you very soon! I will share one on Wednesday (I don't have any works-in-progress to share anyway) and the other Friday. I have the cutest dress for Wednesday's sweater...I can't wait to show you!

Sorry to make this so short, but I've got some blocking to do if I'm going to have any sweaters to show you. I will see you Wednesday!

I've missed you!