Tag Archives: cardigan

Baby Sweater is Go!

It’s done!  And I gotta say, it’s really satisfying to make a whole sweater in about a week (OK, maybe it was two, but I was dawdling).I love the little wooden buttons (that I found in my button stash!) and the Berroco Vintage is so stinking soft and cozy.  I love the little-old-man collar and the cute little raglan shoulders.I even love the fact that it the sweater has one green cuff.  I ran out of gray at the last minute, and while I could have ripped back the sweater and taken some of the length off of the bottom of the sweater (it did turn out a little long… I think… how big are babies, again?), but I wanted to keep this project as quick and easy as possible.  So, I just grabbed a little green Vintage I’ve had stashed away.  It ended up being perfect!

I wish grown-up sweaters worked up as fast as ones for babies!

Have you done any fun, quick projects lately?

Go Baby Sweater!

I gotta say, there’s something really, really satisfying about making baby sweaters (especially worsted-weight ones).  They just go so fast!

I feel like I’ve barely had any time to work on it, but my Baby Sophisticate is already almost complete!I’ve already finished the body, the button band/collar combo, and one of the sleeves!  It’s a little longer than I expected, but I think that’s OK–it’ll just be extra-cozy.  I still have to decide on which buttons to use, or if I “need” to go shopping for more, but that’s not a problem.

It’s been great to be able to work on a sweater that doesn’t take 45 minutes to knit across (*cough* Papaya Sweater *cough*).  I mean, look at this tiny sleeve! It’s just over 20 stitches around.  It’s so small I can use safety pins as stitch holders!The only problem I can foresee is that I’m approaching the end of my skein, and I think it’s going to be a little close getting through my whole left sleeve before I run out.

But, worst case scenerio, I use a little bit of green to make the cuff (I used the same yarn to make a sweater for my husband years ago, and managed to order way more than I needed- lucky me!).

Have you ever made baby clothes before?

A New Project Appears

OK, so I didn’t quite behave myself, like I promised myself I was going to.  I haven’t spent the weekend powering through my Papaya Sweater.  And I didn’t finish off any of my other hibernating projects, either.

But, I also didn’t go to the yarn store (though I was sorely tempted).  So we’ll call it a win.

I did decide to start a new project.  Something small, quick, satisfying and fun.  Something that would get my knitting juices flowing again.  And something that I could make entirely from my stash.

There’s one project that I can think of that fits those requirements.

A baby sweater.

Baby Sweaters are fun and complex, just like a grown-up sweater, but they’re tiny enough that I can get one finished pretty quickly.  Plus, since it’s small, it was a good bet that I have enough spare yarn laying around that I could just pick up a skein and get to work.

And, wouldn’t you know it!?  I found a perfect, unopened skein of Berroco Vintage (in Peppercorn) that was left over from a sweater I made for my father-in-law last year.  It’s machine washable, soft and super tough- perfect for a baby sweater.Then I just had to figure out which sweater I should make.   My usual “I’m bored with my knitting so I think I’ll make a baby sweater” sweater is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket, but that usually looks better with thinner yarn. (Pro tip:  If you have a handful of leftover balls of sock yarn, you can make a really cute, easy striped sweater using the BSJ pattern.  I’ve probably made a dozen of them over the years.)  My Berroco Vintage is a lovely squishy worsted, though, so I decided to do something else.

So, after cruising around Ravelry, I happened upon the Baby Sophisticate sweater, a really cute “little old man” cardigan with a great shawl collar.  I made a couple of these before, years ago, for a friend’s twins, and they turned out really great.  It’s an easy, satisfying pattern (and a good excuse to pull out the button collection).I’m ready to go, and very excited!  I bet I’ll get this little guy done before you can say “procrastination.”

What do you knit “just for fun?”

Papaya Sweater Update- Stockinette Upon Stockinette

I’ve been back at work with my Papaya Sweater. But I gotta tell you, it’s slow going.

Not because it’s a difficult pattern.  It’s super simple, relaxing knitting.  It’s great TV knitting (we’re slowly catching up on Stranger things- so good!).  I still like the color (though I’m still unsure why I purchased this tropical shade of pink-y orange-it’s so unlike my usual style).

The problem with this sweater is that it’s:

  1. Massive (Yes, I know I picked out an extra-long, extra-flowy sweater, so this one’s on me).
  2. Knit at a fairly small gauge (For a big ol’ sweater).
  3. Really big (I don’t think I can understate this).
  4. 100% stockinette (Like, that’s all it is!).
  5. Gigantic (For real, it’s just huge).

Don’t get me wrong, I like stockinette as much as the next lady.  It’s beautiful and simple, it’s easy to do and blocks up like a dream.  But, y’all, there’s so much of it.  I’m only a few inches past the armpits and I’m already daydreaming of the shoulder shaping again.  Maybe I should add a little bit of lace or some sort of texture along the fronts, or a small cable running down the “seams” under the arms.

Or (if I’m being honest) I’ll probably just keep moving right along, whining about all the stockinette, and working up a quick Christmas Ball or two when I get bored.

Anyway, I can always take a break from the body of the sweater to make up the arms, if the situation gets really dire.

What’s on your needles right now?

Papaya Sweater Update- The Pits

I’ve made it through the tricky part (as far as this sweater has a tricky part; it’s exceptionally simple).  The shoulders look great, and I made it to the arm/body split, otherwise known as the armpit.

From now on, it’s basically straight stockinette down to the extra-long hem (unless I get really antsy and try doing something fancy).

I want this sweater to be as long as I can possibly make it, so I’m going to do a couple inches (probably to the end of this skein)  on the body, then switch over and finish off the sleeves.  That way, I can work to the very last inch of the very last skein to make the rest of the body.  (We all know how well my last game of yarn chicken went… let’s hope this one works out a little better.)I really like how this sweater is turning out- I keep thinking of outfits it would be perfect with.  But, I have a while to go before I get to take this bad boy off my needles.  I just need to buckle down and turn into a real knitting machine.

Have you been working on any marathon projects lately?

Inspiration: Trixie

I’ve been ramping up another work project, which means I’ve been spending even more time than usual on the couch, knitting like the wind.  Which, in turn, means I’ve had more time for catching up on TV shows I’ve neglected.

And this week, I’ve been catching up on Call the Midwives (because I apparently felt the need to cry all over my new knitting). The last time I watched the Midwives was over a year ago, when I caught a few scattered episodes of Season 5 when they were airing on PBS.  And, since Season 6 has just gone up on Netflix, I figured it was as good a time as any to get all caught up.

Of course there are insane knitted layettes for the newborns, adorable knit vests on the school-kids, and twee little cardigans on all the nurses, which are all lovely.

But, in Episode 1 of Season 5 (actually these sweaters show up throughout the season, but they make their appearance in Episode 1), Trixie is shown wearing a really cute sweater.  One that’s so classic, yet so modern, I kind of want one for myself.

Trixie is a new devotee of “Keep-Fit” a proto-Zumba organization that she’s joined during her post-rock-bottom/post-break-up self-improvement phase.  It’s really a lovely few scenes, actually.  It could have been handled very poorly- a bunch of young ladies doing silly Jazzercise routines in neck-to-toe black leotards.  But Trixie gets to give a couple of really heartfelt speeches about the importance of her new community, and its ideals of self-empowerment, and women’s rights.  (It actually reminded me a lot of the things that the women on my roller derby team used to talk about.)

But we’re not here to talk about women’s empowerment (though I could do that all day if you want).  We’re here to talk about sweaters.

Everyone in the class wears long, black leotards, except the instructor, who gets to wear a totally cute, cropped, tie-front cardigan.

Trixie’s instructor has hers in a lovely periwinkle blue.And when Trixie starts teaching, she gets hers in a fiery scarlet (naturally).(I’m now looking more closely at these sweaters, and it actually looks like they might be made of sweatshirt jersey, not knit, but we’ll just pretend, shall we?)

I love the criss-cross front, and the super flattering 3/4 length sleeves and cropped length that hit right at the natural waist.  I don’t think I want to go flouncing about in a leotard like the ladies in the Keep Fit class, but I do think I want one of the instructors’ sweaters.

I love this one, with the subtle all-over mistake ribbing and twill ties.

Penny by Debbie BlissAnd this one might be most like Trixie’s- the length is right, and the three-quarter sleeves.  I like the little picot edges on the cuffs, but I might change them to a simple ribbing, I’m not really a “ruffles” kind of gal.

Yoga Wrap Sweater WR1705 by Lisa GetryThis one is just too sweet for words.  It’s not really as practical as Trixie’s (what with the short sleeves and the deeper V-neck), but I love the style of this one.  The textured sleeves, the lovely soft color and the feminine shaping that isn’t too girly.  Man… this one’s a contender for sure.

Gardenia by Martin StoreyIf I had more time, I’d definitely get one of these bad boys on my needles as soon as possible.  As it is, I still might… Work can wait when there are cute sweaters to be made!

Have you spotted any cute sweaters on TV lately?

Papaya Sweater Update- Shoulders

I’ve been making steady progress on my Papaya Sweater.  I took it on vacation with me- if I’m remembering correctly, I actually cast on in the SeaTac Airport.  I got a good chunk of knitting done while I was traveling, but I didn’t get much done while I was actually in Georgia.  After all, who wants to work on a wool sweater in 90-degree heat with near-100% humidity?  (Not me, that’s who.)

Despite the weather (the humidity and the hurricane), I managed to get a good chunk of knitting done.  The Loana Cardigan is a top-down, seamless raglan, so I started at the neck, did a handful of short rows (for the shoulders), and managed to make it almost to the armpit split by the time I got home.  (Unfortunately for the sake of pictures, my circular needle is a little too short to let me lay out the sweater nicely just yet, so you’ll have to believe me that I’ve made the progress I said I made.)I usually tweak a few things, but I really like the simple design of this sweater.  So I only changed one thing. (Ha!)  The pattern calls for vertical ribbing along the front edges of the sweater.  I decided to do a few stitches of garter stitch instead (since garter stitch kind of looks like ribbing, just pointing the other direction).   I think it’s looking pretty good, and should lay nice and flat, when I’ve finished the sweater.There’s nothing more satisfying than a lovely, well executed raglan increase, if you ask me.  You just pick four spots, and increase 2 stitches at each point on every RS row, then BAM, you’ve got a sweater!  It seems too simple to work, but here I am, making another awesome raglan sweater.  The neat little rows of increases are so pretty (and functional), and make me so happy.  (OK, maybe I get little too sentimental about shoulder shaping.  So sue me!)Have you ever made a top-down seamless sweater before?  How did it turn out?  What was your favorite part of your project?

Let’s get going!

I’ve dilly-dallied enough… it’s time to start my Papaya Sweater!

I’ve made my choices, I’ve bought the pattern, and I’ve put everything I need in one of my big project bags.

All that’s left is to start!

And to tell you about it.

OK.  If you remember, I found a big bag of Knit Picks wool of the Andes Sport in my closet a couple weeks ago.  It turned out to be 11 skeins of this super cheerful pinkish-orange, called Papaya.It’s totally cheerful, and totally not a color I would normally pick, but here we are.  I’ve decided to give it a go and make a lovely, cheerful sweater to wear during the gray days of Seattle winters.

I was hemming and hawing about which pattern to go with, but I think I’ve decided on one.  It’s a simple, oversized, open-front cardigan that looks insanely cozy and totally pretty.  It’s the Loana Cardigan by Julia Egger!

It’s a simple, seamless, top-down raglan, knit at a slightly-larger-than-usual gauge to create lovely, drapey fabric.  My favorite part of the sweater is the oversized lapels, which are knit wide, to droop artistically when you wear it.  Or, you could add a shawl pin or button if you wanted to have a cute, closed sweater with an asymmetrical front.  Totally adorable!I don’t have quite as much yarn as the pattern calls for (I’m shy about 100 yards for the size I’ll be making), but I don’t think that really matters.  I’ll make a point to get the arms all finished before I work on the bottom part of the sweater,  that way, I’ll be able to get every last inch out of my yarn.

I’m also toying with the idea of adding a lacy panel or some cables down the back of the sweater or along the lapels, otherwise that’s a lot of stockinette.  But, I’m not sure if I’ll go that route yet.  I can always rip back and add them in later.  Or, I might just keep it simple.  Even if they’re not the most fun to knit, it’s my simplest sweaters that get the most use, if I’m being honest.

What do you think?  Should I add something fancy, or keep it sleek and simple?

(Oh, and if you were worried, Ollie’s feeling much better!  He’s snoozing on the back porch in the sun as we speak!)

Planning!

It’s the most exciting part of a new project (other than starting it, finishing it, or working on it, I suppose)!  It’s time to plan!

After hearing some very smart readers’ feedback, I have decided that my Papaya yarn will become… *drumroll please*… A sweater!

A cheerful orange sweater to perk me up in the middle of winter (or if I’m fast, a cheerful orange sweater that will allow me to hide among the changing leaves this fall).

Now all that I have to do (apart from knitting the dang thing), is decide what kind of sweater I want to make.

I like this flowy cardigan, with its interesting, circular shape.  I love the drape and the tiny eyelet details.

Vitamin D by Heidi KirrmaierAnd I love the reverse stockinette and shoulder cable details on this pullover.  (I’d make the sleeves longer, but the rest of the sweater is perfect.

Light Trails by Suvi Simola

Speaking of little details, I love this slouchy pullover.  It’s so simple, but the split hem and the little construction details at the shoulders and sides are to die for!  (Seriously- go look at the other pictures.)

Marklee by Elizabeth DohertyAnd I love this simple slouchy cardigan, too.  It’s knit at a large-ish gauge, so it would be light enough for layering. Plus, it’s knit top-down, so I will be able to use every inch of my precious Papaya yarn.

Loana Cardigan by Julia EggerWhat do you think?  What direction should I go in?  Or, do you have some favorite sport-weight sweater you think I’d like?

New Pattern: Knits for Everybody Two!

You guys!  I can tell you about a fantastic new pattern!

I’m so excited… I can’t even express it.

So, last year I was part of a really cool Knit Picks collection called “Knits for Everybody,”  where I wrote a sock pattern.  It was a fun project- simple patterns for classic projects, sized for virtually every body- from babies up to great big adults.

Well, it’s back for round two!

Introducing: Knits for Everybody Two!And this time, I’ve contributed a very nice (if I say so myself) yoked cardigan pattern.  I wear my cardigan all the time, and I even made a teeny one from sock yarn to give to my friends’ new baby (it’s even cuter than mine).  The cardigan is written out for a huge range of sizes (that took so much math!), and it can be worked in fingering or worsted weight yarn, which makes it even more versatile. If you get the book, you also will get the pattern for this crazy cute V-neck sweater.  (I’m tempted to make this guy for myself.  I love a classic pullover.)And there’s a really cute pattern for gloves!Plus, a great top-down hat pattern with brim options- or even ear flaps!I’m so happy to be included in this collection- I think it will become an indispensable part of a lot of people’s knitting libraries.

Grab a copy of the book here, or my pattern here!