Tag Archives: sweater

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?

Pattern: Bubbles Pullover

Hey guys!  I made a new sweater!

Introducing, the Bubbles Pullover!

It’s a totally cute (if I say so myself), comfy, every-day yoked pullover featuring some pretty adorable polka-dots around the shoulders.  It’s a simple top-down, seamless sweater.  A few short-rows at the back of the neck and a couple inches of colorwork is about as difficult as this sweater gets.  But, the overall finished effect is pretty great, if I say so myself.I wear my Bubbles all the time- it’s super cozy and comfy.  Mine is worked in greens and browns, but I love the navy-and-pastel palette that Knit Picks chose to showcase in their book.  I think this sweater would be a great way to play with color without a lot of commitment!  (Rainbow dots on a white background?  A purple/lavender gradient with pale cream?  Deep blues and sea greens on a sky-blue background?  The possibilities are endless!)

Oh!  Speaking of “Book”!  This pattern is featured in Knit Picks’ newest collection, Encircled, which is all about yoked sweaters. (It features 10 gorgeous patterns in every style of yoked you could think of- it’s delightful!)Grab your copy of Encircled here!  Or, if you just want to knit up a Bubbles Pullover, get the pattern here!

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?

Inspiration: All Snuggled Up

I know it’s cliched, but holy cow do I need a vacation after my vacation.  I’m still exhausted, even though it’s been almost a week since we got back.

I think it must be a combination of the following:

  1. Too much traveling- a full day of air travel to get to the Midwest followed by a full day of driving to make it up north, and the same thing in reverse to go back.  (Plus all the driving we did over the week there.  I forgot how far apart everything is in the country!)
  2. I was surprised to discover that the part of the UP we were visiting was in the Eastern Time Zone, three hours behind Seattle.  I spent the whole week trying desperately to get on local time and failing miserably.  Now I’m back here, but I think my brain is still somewhere between Eastern and Pacific time.  I’m a mess!
  3. I picked up some nasty stomach bug somewhere on my trip back home, and I can’t for the life of me shake it.  I won’t give you the details, because ew… but suffice it to say that I’ve felt better.

Basically, all I want to do is snuggle up in some cozy knits and go into hibernation.

Let’s play the “what Allison wishes she had in her closet” game.  (I’m too sleepy to start any new projects right now… it’s that bad!)

I know this is a men’s sweater but man, I’d totally wear this.  I love the slightly variegated/tonal yarn and the cowl-like collar.

Cosy Hubby by Marzena KolaczekSpeaking of cowls- I can’t imagine anything cozier than this ridiculous cabled cowl.

Cozy Cable Cowl by Purl SohoBut really, this is what I want to wear right now.  It’s coziness personified… It’s halfway between a cocoon and a sweater (actually, it might be closer to a cocoon than a sweater).  I love the thick textured fabric, and the thigh-length oversized silhouette.  It would take about three pounds of yarn to make a sweater of this style for someone my height, but I think it might just be worth it.

Cozy Sweater by Anna and Heidi PicklesWhat do you like to wear (or knit) when you’re feeling under the weather?

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: Wonder Woman!

You guys!  I watched Wonder Woman this weekend, and holy cow!  It’s so good!  Back in high school, I used to be 100% in any time they made a movie about someone with superpowers (superhero movies were new and exciting then).  But the last decade or so has so over-saturated the market with too many crappy superhero movies where overly-muscled dudes in spandex level cities in an attempt to show how they’re stronger/better/right-er than their arch nemesis.

Enter Wonder Woman!

I mean, look at her!  She’s amazing!  She fights her way across no man’s land between WWI trenches with a freaking sword! She speaks hundreds of languages!  She fights to end war!  Her whole thing is saving people!  I’m pretty stoked about her.

And, there’s her aunt, Antiope, played by Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup!  The Princess Bride was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and it’s awesome to see Princess Buttercup do some fighting).  She’s a totally bad-ass general.  At one point she flips off the back of a horse while shooting three Nazis simultaneously with the three arrows she had nocked in her bow.  So good!

But it’s not just the good guys that are kick-butt women.  The bad guy, Dr. Poison is a totally creepy mad scientist lady!  She’s got a super icky mask (because she melted the bottom half of her face in a lab accident), and a penchant for inventing chemical weapons.

Of course, there are men in the movie, too, but it’s just amazing to see women headlining a superhero movie- and totally kicking butt!

So, let’s tie this to something knitting-related (this is a knitting blog after all).

This tiny Wonder Woman will save the day using her cuteness!

Wonder Woman Amigurumi by Clare Heesh

I love this classic Wonder Woman-style hat!

Great Hera! by Jensen Reyes

And this sweater would be perfect for days when you need to feel your most Wonder-full!

Wonder Woman Jumper by Kirsty Lothian

Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? If not, what are you waiting for!  (Just be aware, you’re going to go around kicking things and sword fighting after you see it.)

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?