Tag Archives: sweater knitting

Finishing As I Go

I know it’s not a unique or clever thing to say, but weaving in ends and generally “finishing” my knitting is one of my very least parts of knitting, and I’m not alone. (I suppose that’s why it’s a cliché.) There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re all done, then realizing you have another hour (or more!) of painstakingly sewing in ends and trimming and adding buttons… not to mention blocking!

So, this time, I’m doing a bunch of my finishing before I’m… well… finished. I’m still short of the halfway mark, but I’ve already done the finishing on the fiddly bits at the shoulders and collar. I’ve woven in all my ends from casting on/picking up at the shoulders, and I’ve knit on the collar and button bands and woven those ends in as well. I’ll probably go for a dive into the button jar some time this week and get those added on, as well.

It’s not that this actually reduces the finishing work for me, but it makes it feel like there’s less finishing work. And, frankly, that’s all I want.

So, now that I’ve “finished” the tricky bits, I’m off to go knit my sleeves and body… fingers crossed that I have enough yarn!

What’s your favorite finishing trick?

Another day, another stashbuster

Now that my big project is done, it’s time to start fresh- and by fresh, I mean “with stuff that I already have in the basement”.

I’ve been itching to make myself another sweater- a simple pullover this time. I’ve basically been living in a uniform this winter (overalls, tank top and pullover), and I’ve only got so many pullovers (and they’ve all seen better days, if I’m being honest. The “nice” one has paint on the cuff from when I painted the basement last fall).

So, I dug around in the basement and found a bunch of KnitPick’s Swish DK from a pattern I was working on earlier this winter (keep an eye out for it next year some time). It’s a sweater’s worth of yarn in five colors that go pretty well together. (Do the colors look a little more Christmassy than I’d like? Yes they do. Do I care? Eh, not really.)

I’ve only got a couple skeins of each color, so it seems I’m making a stripy sweater, with cuffs and collar in cream (since I have extra of that). I’m planning on a raglan V-neck (a sweater I can almost work from memory, once I reference Ann Budd for the starting stitch counts).

I’m excited to get moving (and more excited to have it done- I want a new sweater!)

Have you started any new projects lately?

And on to the next one!

I “finished” my big-brother sweater last week, and I’m on to the little brother.

I did the first in the 4-6 year size, and this one in the 6-12 month size, and the difference is wild.

Like, I know that obviously the big one will take longer, but when compared to the big sweater this one is just FLYING off my needles.

I’ve been working on it for essentially one day, and I’ve made it almost to the armpit split. And I don’t have a ton of knitting time these days (obviously).

I just love this caramel-golden-yellow color, too. It’s so warm and cozy, and puts me in mind of something delicious and full of toffee.

Speaking of toffee, there’s really something just so tempting about knitting for babies. Even with the same pattern, a sweater for a grownup might be a whole meal, but a baby sweater is dessert. Or coffee and a slice of cake. Or a caramel apple from the state fair.

Or maybe I’m just hungry.

Have you ever knit the same pattern in different sizes? What’s your favorite size of sweater to make?

Another one!

I enjoyed making my kid’s striped sweater so much, that I’ve decided to keep going.

(Or, if you’re feeling less charitable, I’m having some real designer’s block, and can’t think of what else to make.)

But either way, I’ve decided to keep going, and make a newborn-sized version of the same striped sweater. I’ve still got a good chunk of Hawthorne, and I know how I made the big one, so I can crank out a bitty one pretty easily.

So I’m cruising through, I’m about halfway through the belly, and already thinking about the arms. It’s crazy how small this one feels after the 3-year-old-sized one. It’s going so fast!

Anyway, that’s how I ended up being that mom, who makes matching clothes for her kids. Sorry, kids.

Do you ever make favorite patterns in different sizes?

Cruising Along

I’m making headway with my Soldotna Crop, and I have to say, I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out.

I was concerned about the pinkness of the pink and the purpleness of the purple in the yoke.  (It’s really a crazy amount of super bold color-work, and I admit that by the end of it, I was starting to get nervous.)  But, now that I’m chugging along with the body, I really like the contrast between the bold, colorful top and the understated body.  Though, if I’m being honest, I kind of never want to do a “field of dots” sweater ever again. It’s just enough color-work to be a pain, but not enough to be exciting. (It does look nice, though…)

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I took a break from the body last night, and worked up the “sleeves.” I don’t think I’ve ever finished both sleeves on a sweater in one sitting (even a baby sweater).  This was really just an inch or so of ribbing- super simple and satisfying.  Now I think that all sweaters should have short sleeves!

I can’t wait for this thing to be finished and blocked (and those ends to be woven in… ugh).

But then I’ll have to figure out what to wear with it… That’ll be the tricky part.

Short and Sweet

Over the years I’ve gone through phases- for a while I was a shawl knitter, then I was a sock knitter.  Now, I’m a sweater knitter.  Every once in a while I bang out a hat or a pair of mitts, but mostly, I knit sweaters.

Which is great! I’m always warm, my family is warm (sometimes too warm), and I have a big pile of hand-knit sweaters that I really love.  I’m a happy camper.

But the problem with being a sweater knitter is that everything I make takes forever.  (Especially when I’m knitting sweaters as my “fun” knitting to break up the monotony of blanket knitting.)  I’ve been feeling a little down about my knitting lately- less excited about the projects that are on my needles and more tempted to just scroll through Facebook on my phone in the evenings.  So, what’s a sweater knitter to do, when she wants a fun, quick, project that she can finish in a couple days?

A baby sweater, that’s what.  (OK, really, it’s a toddler sweater, but still.)

I had some Provincial Tweed in Candy Apple leftover from my Hurricane Ridge prototype.  It’s subtly shiny, has a deep, rich color, and is machine washable(!!!), so it’s perfect for a little sweater for my little guy.  I love him in red- it’s so flattering on him, with his bright blue eyes and pink cheeks.  Plus, I have 2 and a half skeins- just enough for a baby sweater!

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So, I dug around on Ravelry for about five minutes, until I saw a pattern that I’d been meaning to try for a while- Tin Can Knits’ Flax Light.  It’s so cute, and such a practical little sweater for a toddler (or anyone, really… I might end up making one for everyone in the family).  It’s a simple, top-down raglan with nice garter detailing up the sleeves.  Such a great everyday sweater!

SC-flaxlight-07aI’m not even bothering to make a swatch.  I figure I’ve picked a size that’s big enough that the kid will grow into it eventually, even if my gauge is way off.  Talk about low-stress knitting!

Well, I’m off to cast on, while I still have a few minutes before naptime is over.

What do you do for a “fun” project?

Getting the Fit

I’ve only got time for a quick little post today. (It’s sunny!  SoI have to take this opportunity to do yard work without sinking up to my knees into mud.  Seattle is just the best.)

So, this is a tip that sounds totally obvious, and when I heard it, I totally kicked myself for not coming up with it myself:

When you’re picking the size for a new sweater, find a sweater or shirt in your closet that fits well, and is a similar style (in other words, if you are making a baggy sweater, go find a baggy sweater in your closet, if you’re making a tight-fitting sweater, find a tight-fitting sweater in your closet).

Lay the sweater flat and measure across the chest, just under the armpits.  Multiply that measurement by 2.  This is the finished chest/bust circumference.

Measure under the armpitsThen, look at your pattern, and pick the size that has the closest finished bust circumference to your finished sweater.

Why is this better than measuring your body?  Frankly, it’s easier to measure something flat on the floor, than something all bumpy and three-dimensional, like your body.  There’s less math.  You don’t have to worry about calculating ease for a sweater if you already have a finished garment with the perfect amount of ease.  And, it’s a great way to be sneaky about knitting a sweater for someone else.  Your kid/husband/friend/neighbor/dude-you-just-met-on-the-street will know something’s up if you ask to measure their chest, but if you sneak off to a quiet corner of the house with one of their sweaters, you can measure away to your heart’s content!