Tag Archives: cardigan

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!

Inspiration: The Crown

I’ve been hard at work on Christmas gifts, so I’ve been watching more TV than usual.  (I’ve got one gift left to finish- and it feels like it’s taking forever!)

Lucky for me, I just got to spend 10 hours with the excellent new Netflix show, The Crown.  I love a good costume drama, and this is a good costume drama.  It follows Queen Elizabeth from just before her ascension through to the late 50s (I believe, I’m not great with dates).  It’s a very interesting view into the life of the young queen, her advisors, and her political opponents.  It’s a family drama, a political thriller, and kind of a coming-of-age story, all in one.  And, of course the costumes are gorgeous- the dresses, the jewels, the ridiculous military garb Prince Philip wears.  It’s all amazing.

Of course Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip don’t wear knitted jumpers to attend to matters of state, but when she’s at home, dealing with the day-to-day of “Queening,” you’d better believe Elizabeth rocks a cardigan (I bet they’re all cashmere, too).

She’s got somber ones for supervising work around the house.

crown-2And collared ones for meeting with her advisors.crown-1But they all look quite lovely with a big silk skirt with lots of petticoats.crown-3Want to let your inner Queen Elizabeth shine?  Try one of these royally cute cardi’s:

I love the touch of cables on this one, though the Queen would not approve of the short shorts.

Chimera Cardigan by Amy Herzogchimera-2_medium21I love the texture on this cardigan, but I think the Queen would think the big flower was a little “common.”  I bet she’d decorate the sweater with a gold-and-diamond brooch from her personal jewelry collection.

Christina by Kim Hargreavesp1020535-1_medium21I love the little fake peplum at the bottom of this sweater. It might be a little “much” for the queen, though.  She’s got very refined tastes.

Myra by Kim Hargreavesmyra_-_alpca_dk_medium21Have you watched The Crown?  It’s so good, right?

Olympics: Across the finish line!

I did it! Woo!

That last sleeve almost killed me, but I made it across the finish line with time to spare for blocking.

And, I love it!  This might be my new favorite sweater.  (It’s the Campside Cardi by Alicia Plummer, knit in Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes Sport in Cobblestone, if you forgot.)IMG_3052(Yes, I am indeed a dork, and still haven’t figured out how to pose for a non-ridiculous photo of myself.)

It fits like a glove, and I even managed to get the sleeves the right length, which never happens! If you’re looking for a simple-yet-cute sweater, I definitely recommend this pattern.  IMG_3071Whenever I do a speed-knit project like this, I always think “Why can’t I always work like this?”  I’d be able to make two dozen sweaters ever year! Ha!

How did your Olympics go?  Did you finish your Ravellenic Games projects?

Olympics: The Final Leg

I’m in the final stretch of the marathon, the last straightaway of the 400 meter dash, the last push toward the wall in the 1500 meter freestyle.

Except I’m knitting, not doing any sort of actual physical sport.  (I am breaking a sweat, however.  But that’s more due to the fact that we don’t have air conditioning and I have a big wool sweater on my lap than any great athletic exertion.)

I’ve still got 3/4 of a sleeve left.  And blocking.IMG_3018This sweater feels like it’s taking forever, which is crazy, since I’ve only been working on it for two weeks.

It’s funny, I zoomed through the body of the sweater, which was the biggest part of the project- all that stockinette and all those eyelets.  It was fun, easy, uncomplicated.  But now that I’m doing the sleeves, it feels a bit like pulling teeth.  I don’t know why, it’s just plain old knitting in the round with a handful of decrease rows.  Nothing difficult.

It took me two whole days to finish the right sleeve!  Two days!  Hopefully it won’t take me two more to finish the left.

And now, here I am procrastinating on my sleeve by writing this post (which was only supposed to be about three sentences long).

Enough faffing around.  I’d better buckle down and finish up.  The closing ceremony is on Sunday, after all!

How are your Olympics going?

And have you watched any synchronized swimming?!  It’s amazing!

Quick Ravellenic Games Update

I haven’t been updating you on my Ravellenic Games Project, but I’ve been chugging away on it since last Friday. and I’m sure you’re sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting with bated breath for an update.

Unfortunately, I’ve been in a magical land of no internet connection.  Or at least with crummy enough internet to count as no internet.

We took a road trip out to Yellowstone!  It’s my favorite place on earth, and if you haven’t gone yet, Go!  It’s absolutely amazing, every time I’ve been.

I’ll tell you more about that later, but I wanted to give you a quick update on the sweater, and I briefly have internet (we’re still on the road- we just stopped at a coffee shop for a little bit of WiFi and caffeine).

The my Campside Cardi is coming along great!  It’s perfect car ride knitting- just interesting enough to keep cabin fever from kicking in, but not so interesting that I have to watch my fingers.IMG_0652I’m well into the eyelets in the bottom half of the sweater body, and they’re surprisingly fun.  The pattern changes subtly every few inches, which keeps me on my toes.  But, it’s not so fiddly that if I zone out for a few miles I ruin the sweater.  Perfect!IMG_0667And, it’s fun playing with my new camera.  Artistic knitting shots ahoy!

I’d better head out- we need to get back on the road if we hope to make it back to Seattle by dark!

How’s your Ravellenic knitting going?