Tag Archives: cable

Inspiration: Silicon Valley

Sometimes I search out knitting;  I go to the library and look through books.  I spend hours scrolling through Ravelry or visiting yarn shops.  I’m not complaining, obviously, I think it’s fun, interesting, and a pretty pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

But, sometimes knitting just jumps out of the weirdest places, without any warning.  For example, I was catching up on last week’s episode of Silicon Valley (episode 36, “The Keenan Vortex”), and BAM! Knitting!

Jared, my favorite character, the dorky business manager with a heart of gold, was rocking some great knitwear this week.  (There was a whole subplot where there was a cold snap, so everyone was getting out their winter gear, but Jared’s was my favorite.  Everyone else had boring ski jackets on.  Why wear a ski jacket when you can wear an amazing wool sweater?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

He starts out slow, with a simple ribbed-scarf-and-pea-coat combo.  Classic.I need a nice simple scarf- maybe I should follow Jared’s lead and knit up one of these.

Fisherman’s Rib Muffler in Three Gauges by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasThen he stepped up his game with a mustard sweater vest. Now, I’m not usually a fan of a sweater vest, but if I really wanted to stay true to the Jared spirit, I’d knit up one of these bad boys.

Nathan by Jones & VandermeerBut the best knitwear is definitely saved for last- Jared comes out of nowhere with this amazing cabled gansey turtleneck.  The guys on the show tease him for it, but I gotta say- I love anyone who can unironically rock a cabled sweater.  Those are my people.It’s not as great as Jared’s sweater, but this one’s pretty good, too.

59-6 Sweater by DROPS DesignHave your favorite TV characters ever shown up in knitwear?

I Have Made A Huge Mistake

So, you know the other day, when I told you all the changes I was planning on making to my Chuck sweater?

Well.

It’s going… not great.

Last night, I managed to get to just under the armpits.  The big cable down the front is turning out gorgeous.  I love the way each column of stitches peels off, weaves through the other columns, then joins back together.  I even managed to figure out the changes to the neckline.  I brought in the sides and raised the back of the neck slightly.  I’ll have to wait to see how it looks with the collar added, but I feel pretty confident about it.

However,  I made a huge mistake.OK, maybe not a huge mistake, but I’ve done something super dumb.

I wanted to add a cable down the back of the sweater, but instead of actually working the cable as I went, like a smart person, I kind of forgot about it until late last night.  So, like the genius I am, I dropped the six stitches I planned on using for the cable, and ripped almost all the way back to the cast-on, and started knitting them back up, cabling as I went.(Full disclosure: my husband made me a very tasty tropical drink after dinner last night, which could have been the source of last night’s excessive confidence as I ripped back these stitches.)

In the bright light of morning, I have some regrets with regard of how I’ve been going about this project.  But, I’ve got a hot cup of coffee and I’ve got my fingers crossed, so I should be able to fix the mayhem that “Last Night Allison” created.

Have you ever sat down with your knitting, only to realize you did something really dumb the night before?  What did you do, and were you able to fix it?

Chuck

I’m a big fat liar.

Sort of.

So, last week, I wrote a whole big thing about how I am a process knitter only.  I said I would never knit something simply because I want the finished project.

Well, I shouldn’t have been so insistent about that.  Because this weekend, I went looking through my Ravelry Queue, trying to find something to do between work assignments.  And I re-discovered a sweater I has been living, half-forgotten in the back of my brain for the two years since I put it in my queue.

It’s Chuck!

I first saw this sweater at a knitting convention in 2015.  A group of impossibly cool ladies were all wearing the same sweater (this one) in different colors, and each had paired it with a unique vintage skirt.  I knew immediately I needed a Chuck of my own.

I have a bunch of high-waisted dresses that I love wearing in the summer, but none of my sweaters really go with them, so I end up having to wait to wear my dresses until the weather gets really warm (June or July in Seattle).

I love the shape of this sweater- the length is perfect with a skirt or dress, and the wide ribbed hem is super flattering.  I love how the sweater is fitted through the waist, and that cable is to die for!

I also happen to have a bunch of dark-chocolate yarn just waiting in my stash for a project like this.  (It was on sale years and years ago, and I miscalculated how much I would need for a different pullover by a couple skeins, so it’s just been sitting in my closet, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.)

Anyway, I’m very excited to get started on this project.  (Or, rather, I’m excited to have this finished sweater.)  I think I’ll cast on this afternoon!

Have you ever made a project solely because you wanted (needed) the finished object?

And, don’t forget!  You’ve got until Friday to be entered into the Flourish giveaway!

Inspiration: St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Have you all drank your green beer and eaten your corned beef yet?   No?  Well, what are you waiting for?!  (Though, to be honest, it’s far too early for beer for me, and I’ve never actually drank a green one, even in college.  Also, I’m vegetarian, so no corned beef for me.  But, maybe I’ll make some Irish soda bread for dinner.  Yes, that sounds good.  Irish soda bread and a beer around 6:00 tonight.)

I’m not really sure how to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, really.  I’m not Catholic, so I won’t be going to mass.  I’m not a big drinker, so I’m not going on a bender.  And, I’m only part Irish, anyway (maybe- my family history is fairly muddled, but my maiden name was kind of Irish).

What I am, though, is a knitter.  And if you thought I was going to let a day like this pass by without talking about Irish sweaters (Aran jumpers, in particular), you were wildly mistaken.

Aran jumpers are simply gorgeous, and they’ve been on my knitting bucket list for years.  Originating from the Aran Islands (just off the coast of Ireland), Aran jumpers are the old-school version of an all-weather coat.  They are traditionally made with untreated wool, so the yarn retains all that good lanolin, making the sweaters perfect for wearing in the rain (something that happens a lot on the Aran Islands), or while fishing on the ocean.  Supposedly, each family has a favorite Aran pattern- specific cables that everyone in the family wears, something like each clan having its own tartan.  I’m pretty sure that’s a myth, but I love the idea anyway.

Of course, these days, people use Aran cables to decorate anything, not just sweaters.

This shawl may be simple, but you can definitely see the Aran jumper influence with that gorgeous braided cable along the bottom.

Celtic Myths by Asita KrebsThis designer took the opposite approach, and crammed every square inch with cables!  I can only imagine how cuddly and warm this blanket must be.  (Can you spot the same braided cable in this project, too?)

Celtic Aran Afghan by Sharondipity DesignsI just love this sweater.  It’s a modern take on the Aran jumper, oversized and cozy, but still undeniably Aran.  And, there’s that cable again, running right up the front!

Katla by Lars Rains

Do you have plans for St. Patrick’s Day?  Have you ever knit up an Aran sweater?

Giveaway Day: Woodsmoke edition

OK, guys, you know the drill! It’s Giveaway Day (again!)

I’m really excited about this one!  This collection is hands-down gorgeous.  I may be a bit biased, since I love anything with a cable on it, but for real- it’s beautiful.331101I even love the shawl that I made- enough to make you look at it again.  I’m super proud of how it turned out!  I mean, look at it!

521622201OK, OK, enough of me showing you pictures you’ve already seen!  Let’s get to the good part!

A whole bunch of you entered the drawing, so I rolled over to Random.org, and did a quick drawing.

And the winner is… Comment number 7!

Alison!  You’re the winner!  (I’ll send you an email, so keep an eye out!)

If you didn’t win, don’t worry, you can get your own copy of Woodsmoke through the Knit Picks website.  And, of course, I’ll have more drawings in the future, so keep your eyes peeled!

What?! More Patterns?

That’s right, knitters!  Surprise!  Another pattern- and it’s one I’m super proud of!

Introducing: The Laura Shawl!521622201It’s a gorgeous (if I say so myself) cabled wrap, almost six feet long and two feet wide.  It looks great wrapped around your shoulders, or cozied up under your chin.  And, frankly, it’s big enough to act as a lap blanket when you go out to eat, and they set you too close to a drafty window.

The Laura Shawl is knit in gorgeous tweedy wool that works great with cables.  Four wide panels of complex cables are interspersed with some knit/purl texture, and the whole bad boy is finished with thick fringe on either end, just to make it feel extra-luxurious.

52162220_21The best part?  It’s part of another beautiful book from Knit Picks, the Woodsmoke Cable Collection.331101This book is absolutely breathtaking.  It’s chock full of 16 lushly cabled patterns- sweaters, blankets, scarves and hats.

I mean, look at these:331101111Really, I want to work up all of these for myself.  (Or maybe have someone else do it so I don’t have to wait?)331101151What’s that? You want a copy?  Buy yourself a copy here!

Or, comment below with a description of your most complicated cable project for a chance to win a free copy!  (The winner will be named next Friday, so stay tuned!)

Christmas Post-Mortem: A sweater

Hey guys, guess what.

I made a sweater!

(Surprise!… I guess.  I make a lot of sweaters.)

This one was made for my father-in-law.

Last spring, he asked me to make him a sweater, and I have trouble saying no (or maybe I just like having an excuse to make another sweater).  So, I asked him exactly what he wanted.  After all, if I’m going to put all the work into a project like this, I wanted the finished project to be something he’d wear, after all.  We talked about cables vs. stripes, crew necks vs. V-necks, yoked sweaters vs. raglans.  We talked about ease and fit.

And then my husband brought out a sweater I had made for him years and years ago.  It was a Ben sweater, knit in forest-green Berroco Vintage.

My father-in-law took one look at that sweater and said, “That.  That’s the sweater I want.  Except… can I have it in gray?”

So, I knit up another Ben, this time in gray.img_3860I love the cable/texture pattern.  It’s a fun, easy knit that packs a big punch.  And it’s crazy warm, perfect for Northern Illinois winters.img_3854Unfortunately, I forgot to take a big “finished project” picture before I wrapped it up, but needless to say, it’s a pretty great sweater.

Have you ever re-knit a pattern for multiple people?

Patern: Zagged Cowl

Surprise!  A fun new FREE pattern!

Let me introduce you to my newest pattern, the Zagged Cowl.55942220_21It’s knit with Knit Picks’ newest yarn, Woderfluff.  It’s super soft and light and cozy, yet surprisingly strong (because it’s not actually spun- it’s a teeny tube of nylon filled with baby alpaca and merino).  (But really, you could use any bulky yarn.)

The Zagged Cowl is worked in the round with no shaping, just garter stitch and an impressive-looking oversized cable up one side.  The pattern only uses one skein, and works up on big (US 10.5) needles, so it knits up super fast.  Talk about a great holiday gift!55942220_31Head on over to Knit Picks to pick up a free copy of this pattern (and maybe a skein or two of Wonderfluff)!

Inspiration: Knit Skirts

I’m a traditionalist, especially when it comes to knitting.  Sweaters are fine. Hats are great.  Mittens and gloves are a-OK.  Leggings are questionable, and vests are to be tolerated at best.  And skirts are right out.  Why would you knit a skirt?!  It would be so bulky… And it couldn’t possibly wear well over time-  it would pill and sag like nobody’s business.  (And no one wants a pill-y, saggy skirt.)

Well.

OK.  I’ve been tempted.

The weather is turning cool and autumnal, I’ve got apple cider in the fridge, and I’ve broken out my scarves for the first time in months.  It’s delightful.

And, I was thinking how nice it would be to have a little knit skirt.  Nothing too fancy, but something cute that I can wear with leggings and boots.  I’ve even got a big bag of charcoal gray worsted weight in my closet, waiting for me to find a project for it.

Hmmm.  I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to look at a few patterns.

I like the simplicity of this one, but I think it would be pretty tedious to knit.  Let’s find something more fun!

Simple Straight Skirt by Churchmouse Yarns and Teassimple-straight-skirt4_medium21I love the cables on this one.  It seems so archetectural.   But is it too fancy?

Dickson by Norah Gaughanngv13_dickson_lg_medium21I love the simple cable/seed stitch detailing.  The cable positioning is really flattering.

Bryn Mawr Skirt by Nancy Eisemanclsoe-up2-sweater-skirt_medium1
I like the use of ribbing and cables on this one.  Even though it’s super-thickly cabled, the elasticity of the ribbing should keep it fairly flattering. (And, while it’s real short, that could easily be fixed.)

The Bum Cosy, by Shireen Nadirdscf1908_medium21Choices, choices!  Maybe I’ll have to design one that combines my favorite parts of all four skirts…  Which one would you choose?

Finished!

I finally got around to seaming and blocking my Stranger Cardigan!

And… I like it.  I don’t love it, but I think it’s partly that it took me an age to finish (I get annoyed with projects that take too long), and it’s partly because it’s pretty warm here (and no one loves a thick wool sweater when it’s super hot).

Anyway- pictures! Ignore me being a total dweeb. I have trouble looking like a not-crazy person when taking finished project pictures.IMG_0360

I like the shoulders- the seam between the two cabled panels is very pleasing- so neat and tidy!  And the sweater turned out nice and long- it goes down to my mid-thighs, so it’ll look great in the winter with leggings or jeans and a comfy t-shirt.IMG_0353But, I think it’s a little too long in the arms.  I’m always so paranoid about having too-short sleeves, I end up making them too long.  It’s a curse.  I might rip them back, or I might leave them.  It could be nice to have long, cocoon-like sleeves in the dead of winter.IMG_0379Of course, my favorite part is still the lovely cables up the front.  That’s what drew me to the pattern in the first place, and I still love them!  These cables might find their way onto some other projects, too.IMG_0413I’m pleased with the finished product, all told.  And I’m even more pleased that it is finished.

What’s your most recent finished object?