Tag Archives: sweater

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: Another sweater

Guess what?!

I made another sweater.

I know, I’m a masochist.  (Or, maybe I really like making sweaters.)

This one was for my dad.  He’s a pretty classy guy- he wears a suit to work and if you see him in a sweater, it’s more likely he’d wear a thin, understated merino one from Nordstrom than something I’d knit (I do lean toward cables and bright colors, after all).

But he hasn’t gotten a sweater from me yet!  We can’t let that stand!

So, I got a big pile of Knit Picks’ Swish in Cobblestone, and broke out the “Knits for Everybody” book.  (I love a top-down raglan.)  I started making the sweater just as written- all stockinette all the time- but the smallish gauge and the simple pattern made me feel like I was knitting at a glacial pace.

So, I decided to add a little interest.

Stripes were out (Dad’s not a stripes guy), but I thought I could do a little texture.  I didn’t want to add any cables, since those can mess up your gauge, and I had already started knitting.

A little poking around on Ravelry, and I found Flaxsc-flax-08_medium1I liked the garter band down the sleeves (garter is my favorite).  So, I carefully ripped back a few stitches at either shoulder and re-knit them in garter.  And, because I love to embellish, I added garter panels down both sides of the body, too.img_4407The sweater turned out pretty well, and (I think) pretty classy, which is not something I usually strive for.

(Ollie thinks so, too)

img_4398Have you ever “fancied up” a pattern as you were working on it?  How did that go?

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?

Inspiration:Terrace House

OK, I’ve got a confession to make.

You all know I like TV, and as someone who knits professionally (HA! That sounds funny), I probably watch more than I should.  And, most of the time, I try to limit my TV to stuff that’s a little bit wholesome- something with some cultural or educational value.  You know: BBC dramas, documentaries, cooking shows (and, yes, some Law and Order).

But I have a soft spot for some reality TV.  RuPaul’s Drag Race is my favorite, and I just began watching Project Runway again.  I’ve started watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette family of products.  They’re just such perfect ridiculous, escapist nonsense (especially these days when I need some escapism).

But we’re between seasons of the Bachelor, so what’s a girl to do?

One of my favorite podcasts of all time, Rose Buddies (a Bachelor fan podcast, and the reason I’ve started watching the show), suggested that I start watching Terrace House on Netflix.

And it’s magical.

It’s the Great British Bake Off of dumb reality TV.

Six men and women are given a fancy house in Tokyo and a big SUV, and they… just do stuff.  But, where in an American show all the contestants would get super drunk and cause all sorts of trouble right off the bat, the contestants on this show are so freaking polite and nice.  It’s a delight (if you’re into that sort of thing, and if you don’t mind reading subtitles).

But the best part is that they have a panel of six hosts (judges?) that pipes up from time to time during the show, offering play-by-play commentary.  I’m sure they’re all famous Japanese people (except for the 14-year-old boy whose presence is never explained), but I don’t recognize them.  And, the last episode I watched (Episode 11), two of the hosts were sporting some pretty great knitwear.bothSerious sweaters.

They’re even better close-up:graybrownThey’re not hand-knit; you can see where they were cut and seamed back together in the factory.  But, I love a good, classic Icelandic sweater (even when they’re on a Japanese TV show).

Want your own Serious Sweater?  Try one of these:

Asymptote (Men’s Pullover) by Lars RainsAudKnits snowflake scraves

Veturlidi by Liennea Ornstein9722624247_5b117d7d1f_z1Fosslaug by Linnea Ornsteinimg_2554_medium21What’s your guilty pleasure TV?  Have you watched Terrace House?

The Beginning of Autumn

Like I said on Monday, summer is officially officially over in Seattle. It’s dreary, rainy and cool.  I’m wearing my slippers for the first time since spring, and last night I broke out my winter PJs.  This morning, when I drove my husband to his bus stop, it was so overcast that I had to turn the headlights on.

I love it.

Everything is quiet and everyone is getting ready to snuggle up for the cold, damp months.  My yard is getting greener.  And, I can start wearing my thick winter sweaters and wool socks.  Heaven.

It’s the perfect time of year for wearing oversized, stripey sweaters.  Sweaters like these:

I love the feminine detail of the wide V-neck on this sweater.  Paired with the super-casual shape and wide stripes- I think it might be perfect.

on the beach by Isabell Kraemer2016-06-19_medium21I love this sweater, too.  The narrow/wide stripe pattern is great!  It reminds me of an old-fashioned French sweater, but slightly more modern.  (I’d probably wear it with jeans, though.  It’s too cold for shorts.)

Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmondimg_0142a_medium21This sweater is high up on my list of Favorite Sweaters I’ve Never Made.  It just looks so stinking cozy.  I love the huge stripes, and the band of color across the belly.  Too cute.  Someday, sweater, you will be mine.

Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier

7998272272_097f92a727_z1I’m off to make a pot of tea and put on a second pair of wool socks.  Yay fall!

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

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!

Olympics- In the thick of it

It’s Wednesday.  The Olympics end on Sunday.  I still have 2 arms to knit (OK, 1 and 7/8ths) on this sweater.

IMG_2986Will I make it?

I will need to knit with the speed of Katie Ledecky (assuming she knits as well as she swims), and harness the concentration of Simone Biles.

And I must be as pure of heart as the Olympic flame.  (OK, that doesn’t really make sense… I think I must be suffering from Ravellenic Games Madness, a very real and actual disease.)

I’ve gotten through the majority of the knitting- the body’s done, and I’ve bound off the collar/button band combo (have I ever mentioned how tiresome the sewn bind-off is… I wish I didn’t love the finished results so much).  Sleeves are always a pain, but there are only two of them.IMG_2996So, I should be off.  Only four days to go (three, if I hope to block this bad boy).  How’s your Ravellenic knitting going?

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?

Who You Gonna Call?

GHOSTBUSTERS!

I just saw the new Ghostbusters movie, and oh my goodness!  I loved it!Melissa McCarthy;Kristen Wiig;Kate McKinnon;Leslie JonesIt was funny, and a little scary (but I’m kind of a weenie when it comes to this kind of movie), and the four Ghostbusters were totally (pardon my French) badass! They are portrayed as wildly intelligent, brave and scrappy women who don’t stop fighting for what they believe despite the entire city thinking they’re frauds. They save New York, expecting no recognition, doing it only because they know it’s the right thing to do. (And they do it with style, and some really killer (ha!) weapons.)  They’re scientists who know they’re working for the greater good (and even Patti, the only one who isn’t technically a scientist, is incredibly smart and resourceful).

Sure, it’s still rare to see women getting different, interesting roles, much less four women in the same movie, but I love that we’re starting (slowly) to move in that direction.  It’s so important for kids (boys and girls) to see that women can be just as interesting, intelligent, brave, and (sorry again) badass.

So in honor of my four newest favorite characters, let’s play imaginary dress-up.Ghostbusters-2016-02[1]Erin Gilbert, played by Kristen Wiig, is a prim-and-proper scientist.  She is an assistant professor of Physics at Columbia, up for tenure.  Unfortunately, due to her involvement with the paranormal, she not only fails to get tenure, but is booted from the university entirely, prompting her to fight ghosts full-time.  She’d totally rock this knitted blazer, especially with a blouse and a tiny bow tie.

Triangle Jacket by von Hinterem Steintriangle-hinterm-stein-_medium2[1]Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) is also a physicyst, but she is unabashed in her study of the paranormal.  She’s been exploring the field for years, working away on the fringes of academia.  She has a less-formal wardrobe, focused on comfortable, practical pieces that are still pulled-together, like this super cute sweater.

Climb Every Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier15439833162_7ff9e3897d_z[1]Kate McKinnon plays Jillian Holtzman, a crazy-smart (or maybe crazy and smart) nuclear physicist.  She spends her time creating amazing weapons, traps and other awesome ghost-fighting gear.  She marches to the beat of her own (slightly syncopated) drum and is unapologetically her own person.  (She might be my new hero.)  Holtzman would rock an oversized sweater like this, paring it with something unconventional, like overalls and welding goggles. (But she wouldn’t have the patience to knit it herself- not enough explosions.)

Garter Stitch Hooded Wrap by Audrey WilsonHGSW2STAR2_medium2[1]And last, but certainly not least, is Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a former New York MTA employee.  Patty knows just about everything about the history of the city (which comes in very handy, dealing with the undead), and is incredibly brave and surprisingly cheerful in the face of an unpleasant public and a horde of unhappy ghosts.  This adorable crocheted miniskirt (especially paired with big gold earrings and a silk bomber jacket) would be perfect for Patty’s bright, un-selfconcious style.

Mini Skirt by Jane Greencrochet-skirt-pattern_medium[1]So, who wants to say it with me?

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!