Tag Archives: sweater

“Last Night Allison” Strikes Again

You all remember the last time Last Night Allison struck.  It wasn’t pretty. I mean, I managed to fix it, but it was touch and go for a while, and way more difficult than I expected it to be.

Unfortunately, Last Night Allison struck again.  But here’s the worst part.  I have no excuse for my bad decisions.  It wasn’t late (actually it was about 3:00 in the afternoon).  I hadn’t been drinking (except a cup of decaffeinated tea).  And, I really should have been paying attention.

I was starting the prototype of a sweater I’m working on.  The pattern begins with (spoiler!) a 1×1 rib for about 2 inches.

This is what I knit:Allison, that’s not a 1×1 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib that you worked on for about three hours before realizing your mistake!  (There was swearing.)

So, then, I had to decide, do I rip out the whole thing?  Start over?  Or, do I painstakingly go through with a crochet hook and change half the knits to purls, and half the purls to knits?

I bet you can’t guess what Last Night Allison chose.  (That’s right!  She picked the most fiddly and difficult choice possible.)I ripped each column of stitches out, one by one, carefully picking them back up in the proper orientation.  Which is totally not a super annoying process.  Ha!Amazingly, the fixed ribbing actually looks pretty good- I was afraid it would be a little wonky, but it looks OK.The only problem is I’ve still got well over halfway to go.  I think my “quick fix” is going to end up taking longer than re-knitting the whole thing would have.  Of course, at this point I’ve sunk too much effort into it, so I’m here for the long haul.What would you have done?  Would you have ripped the whole thing and re-knit, or do you have agreed with Last Night Allison?  Or, do you have a magical solution that would have been better than either?

I Have Made A Huge Mistake

So, you know the other day, when I told you all the changes I was planning on making to my Chuck sweater?

Well.

It’s going… not great.

Last night, I managed to get to just under the armpits.  The big cable down the front is turning out gorgeous.  I love the way each column of stitches peels off, weaves through the other columns, then joins back together.  I even managed to figure out the changes to the neckline.  I brought in the sides and raised the back of the neck slightly.  I’ll have to wait to see how it looks with the collar added, but I feel pretty confident about it.

However,  I made a huge mistake.OK, maybe not a huge mistake, but I’ve done something super dumb.

I wanted to add a cable down the back of the sweater, but instead of actually working the cable as I went, like a smart person, I kind of forgot about it until late last night.  So, like the genius I am, I dropped the six stitches I planned on using for the cable, and ripped almost all the way back to the cast-on, and started knitting them back up, cabling as I went.(Full disclosure: my husband made me a very tasty tropical drink after dinner last night, which could have been the source of last night’s excessive confidence as I ripped back these stitches.)

In the bright light of morning, I have some regrets with regard of how I’ve been going about this project.  But, I’ve got a hot cup of coffee and I’ve got my fingers crossed, so I should be able to fix the mayhem that “Last Night Allison” created.

Have you ever sat down with your knitting, only to realize you did something really dumb the night before?  What did you do, and were you able to fix it?

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I’ve finished my swatch and got my gauge for my new Chuck sweater. I was just going to follow the pattern as written, but you know me.  I can’t leave well enough alone.

I love the general shape of the sweater- the natural-waist hem is perfect.  And, the cables down the front are so cute.  But there are things I think I’m going to change.

First, I like the boat-neck collar, in theory, but I think it has to.  I have pretty narrow shoulders, so I usually end up fussing with drooping shoulders all day if I wear anything with a boat neck.  (Also, I’m constantly cold, so I’ll take any opportunity to be a little more covered-up.)So, that means I’ll keep the neckline shaping more or less the same, but move the sides of the neck in toward the middle just a bit.  To do that, I’ll cast on more stitches for each shoulder, and take away the same number of stitches from the bottom of the neckline.  A little math, but nothing too tricky.

Also, I gotta say, that big ol’ stockinette back makes me a little sad- I think it needs some extra decorations!  (Of course, I tend to like my sweaters to be totally covered with texture or color, so maybe I’m not one to talk.)So, I’m going to add a cable (or maybe two) down the back.  Nothing as elaborate as the front of the sweater, but just something to add a little something special.

I also think I might make the sleeves a touch longer (but I do that on almost every sweater, since I’ve got long orangutan arms).  I won’t have to decide about that for a while, though.

I hope it’ll turn out OK- I love the original pattern so much, I don’t want to ruin it.  In my head, my changes will only make it better- but we’ll just have to wait and see when it’s done.  In the meantime- cross your fingers for me!

Have you ever given an existing pattern your own spin? How did it turn out?

Chuck

I’m a big fat liar.

Sort of.

So, last week, I wrote a whole big thing about how I am a process knitter only.  I said I would never knit something simply because I want the finished project.

Well, I shouldn’t have been so insistent about that.  Because this weekend, I went looking through my Ravelry Queue, trying to find something to do between work assignments.  And I re-discovered a sweater I has been living, half-forgotten in the back of my brain for the two years since I put it in my queue.

It’s Chuck!

I first saw this sweater at a knitting convention in 2015.  A group of impossibly cool ladies were all wearing the same sweater (this one) in different colors, and each had paired it with a unique vintage skirt.  I knew immediately I needed a Chuck of my own.

I have a bunch of high-waisted dresses that I love wearing in the summer, but none of my sweaters really go with them, so I end up having to wait to wear my dresses until the weather gets really warm (June or July in Seattle).

I love the shape of this sweater- the length is perfect with a skirt or dress, and the wide ribbed hem is super flattering.  I love how the sweater is fitted through the waist, and that cable is to die for!

I also happen to have a bunch of dark-chocolate yarn just waiting in my stash for a project like this.  (It was on sale years and years ago, and I miscalculated how much I would need for a different pullover by a couple skeins, so it’s just been sitting in my closet, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.)

Anyway, I’m very excited to get started on this project.  (Or, rather, I’m excited to have this finished sweater.)  I think I’ll cast on this afternoon!

Have you ever made a project solely because you wanted (needed) the finished object?

And, don’t forget!  You’ve got until Friday to be entered into the Flourish giveaway!

New Pattern: Golden Gardens Pullover

That’s right, boys and girls!  It’s time for a new pattern!

It’s a lovely cotton tunic, with drop shoulders and bracelet-length sleeves, with just a touch of cabling.  It’s a perfect spring sweater (if I say so myself).

It’s the Golden Gardens Pullover!Cute, right?  And with tons of positive ease and super-soft cotton yarn, it’s crazy comfortable.   I’m particularly proud of the one-stitch cable that runs from front hem to back, and up each arm.  But wait!  That’s not all!

My pullover is part of a lovely new spring-y collection from Knit Picks.  Introducing: Flourish!

I’m not a big knit tee person, but this one is adorable.  That lace/texture combo, and that lovely shade of pink.  Too cute for words.

Whitwell Tee by Kate HeppellBut, I think this cardigan might be my favorite from the collection (other than mine, of course).  It’s so light and feminine, and I love the way the lace wraps from the back of the sweater, all the way around the front.

Spring Thaw Cardigan by Kephren PritchettWant to win a free copy of Flourish?  Comment below and tell me about your favorite part of spring (I love it when the cherry tree outside my studio window starts to bloom).  I’ll hold a drawing next Friday!

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?