Tag Archives: sweater

Flying V

I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of winging this sweater. I thought I had a plan- well, I do have a plan, but it’s a very rough plan. And the further in I get to this project, the more I realize that the “pattern” I wrote up at the beginning of this knit is more of a “suggestion” than an actual pattern.

But that’s fine, it just means I do a little math on the fly, and keep my fingers crossed that everything works out in the end.

The most recent thing that I’ve winged is the V-neck for the front of the sweater. I marked the center-most stitch, then decreased 1 stitch each side of the neck, every RS row. I kept decreasing until the neck seemed wide enough (which I always have trouble estimating). It looks a little wonky because of the cables, but I think it will look OK once I add the neckband. I hope.

I’ve roughly estimated the proportions on this sweater by holding up the project against my kid’s favorite sweatshirt. And, so far it looks OK (though the proportions will change a bit with blocking).

I guess I’ll just keep guessing and keep crossing my fingers, and hopefully it’ll turn out OK (or at least OK enough for my kid to wear it a few times).

Do you ever wing your projects, or are you strictly a follow-the-pattern knitter?

Better late than never

This is one of my favorite/least favorite genre of project. It’s one of those tasks that I know I should get done right away, because if I don’t do it right off the bat, then it’ll sit in my “to be mended” pile for months.

And that’s exactly what happened.

At the beginning of Fall, my big kid was wearing their favorite stripey sweater. It’s a cute, scrappy project that I made for them about a year ago. It’s getting a little “well loved” but still has plenty of life in it.

Anyway, I was sitting, chatting with them, and they were wearing the sweater inside-out (because that’s something that 4-year-olds do, I guess). They noticed the ends poking out of the sweater, and since it was a “use up all the scraps” project, there are quite a few ends. Before I could say anything, they grabbed one end, said “What’s this?” and yanked with all their might.

Sigh.

It doesn’t look that bad from the outside, but it’s turned into a weird, 4-inch-long lump. (It’s the blue stripe right at the top of the red section… It kind of pulls in and makes the blue disappear).

But if you look to the inside… it’s pretty obvious that something’s wrong.

So, I thew the sweater in my knitting/mending pile and figured I’d fix it when I had the time.

Long story short… that was probably 3 months ago, and I’m not even sure if the sweater still fits the kid.

Anyway, in a fit of productivity this afternoon, I sat down for 10 minutes (with the kids crawling all over me, so I probably could have gotten it done in 5, had I been alone) and fixed the whole dang thing. I used a big needle to unpick all the super-tight stitches and redistribute the yarn. Simple.

The sweater is good as new! (I mean, not new. There are plenty of stains and the elbows are a little threadbare. But still.)

Why are the simplest tasks sometimes the hardest to finish?

Making Progress

You guys. I have very very exciting news!

Is it precisely related to knitting? Not on its face, but I think the connection will become clear.

My kid had a playdate yesterday. Our neighbor from down the street came over (by himself!) and the three kids played on their own for just about 2 hours. We’ve never had a kids-only playdate before, and as much as I like having adult friends over, too, this was shockingly lovely.

The kids barricaded themselves into the bedroom, played trains and trucks and LEGO and pretended to be dragons and came out only to ask for a snack about halfway through.

YOU GUYS!!! I GOT TO SIT DOWN BY MYSELF AND KNIT WHILE MY CHILDREN WERE AWAKE AND IN THE HOUSE AND IT WAS AMAZING!

It really feels like this is the beginning of a new era of parenting.

Plus, I got the front of my toddler’s sweater done up to the split for the V-neck. Shocking.

When was the last time that you got surprise time to work on your knitting?

Yarn Therapy

It’s been a wild few weeks at our house. We’ve got a toddler that’s suddenly developed a LOT of opinions. A four-year-old who’s realized that the toddler wants to play with the “big kid toys,” and is suddenly on high alert making sure that “babies don’t go in my room.” We’ve had two rounds of illness (one of which was a nasty stomach bug- my literal nightmare). And I’ve been dealing with drama at the kids’ preschool co-op. (Why do all volunteer-run organizations seem to thrive on big drama?) February has been a lot.

To that end, I haven’t been able to get much knitting time. But what I have gotten has been really lovely. It might just be a row or two each day (or half a row), but it’s been so nice to have a familiar, comforting pattern to fall back on. Something that I know how to do, that I can count on, even when things are rough.

This little sweater is going slowly. It might not be done before the warm weather sets in. It might not be done before the toddler outgrows it (especially at the rate they’re eating lately). But right now, the most important part of knitting isn’t getting the object done. We’ve got plenty of knitwear in this house. It’s having a project available that I know how to do. Something simple and comfortable. Something that isn’t going to require more brain power than the limited supply I have available right now.

And, hopefully, once it’s done (some day), I’ll end up with a cute li’l sweater.

What do you like to work on when you’re overwhelmed?

Bigger than expected

I’m cruising along on my two-year-old’s sweater. It’s turning out cute. It’s really reminding me why I like this cable pattern so much that I’ve made it 3 times at this point. It’s just complicated enough to keep it interesting, but also is super easy to follow. There’s never any question about which row gets the cable crosses.

I have to say, however, I’m shocked by how much yarn this project is eating up. In my head, my kid is still a teeny baby who I could make a whole sweater out of a single skein in a weekend. Not so much anymore. I actually used more than one skein just to make the back! I’ve only got three skeins total, so I doubt that I’ll have to enough to make it all the way.

I’d rather not place another order, so I think I’ll just let it ride and cross my fingers until it’s undeniable. (Which will probably be in about two days when I finish the front and have less than a skein to do the sleeves and collar.) Or maybe there’ll be a miracle, and I’ll magically have enough yarn to make it all the way through.

When did my little baby get so big!?

When’s the last time you tried to play yarn chicken? Did you win?

It Begins!

I might not be too excited about the color, but I am excited about the sweater. I’ve started knitting away, and I’m in love.

Like I said before, I’m doing a slightly modified, sized-down version of the Ben pullover. I’m using a smaller gauge, so the cables will be scaled appropriately for a 2-year-old. I’ve taken measurements from one of the kid’s sweat shirts (one that is a little big for him right now, because who knows how long it’s going to take me to finish this sweater), and mathed it out. I’ve decided to do a simple drop-sleeve, instead of a set-in-sleeve, like the original pattern. I just don’t feel like doing the math on a set-in sleeve right now, and I think the drop sleeve will look just fine.

I’ve already gotten a good start on the back (the biggest piece). And I’ve got to say, it’s taking longer than I expected- but I guess that makes sense. My kid isn’t a teeny newborn any more, of course his sweater is going to be a bit bigger!

I’m going to keep cruising through. I hope it turns out as cute as I think it’s going to be!

Have you ever modified a pattern to fit your needs?

Buying yarn

I have been thinking about why I’ve been so uninspired by my knitting recently, and what I can do to help turn that around in the new year. And I realized something. I haven’t bought any new yarn since Covid started- almost 3 years ago. I bought a little new yarn when I made the stocking for my little kid (before he was born, 2 years ago). And I bought an extra skein to add to my big kid’s stashbusting sweater this summer. But that’s it. And I ordered them online.

All that’s to say, I was looking at my dwindling stash and I found what I thought was enough yarn for a sweater for my little kid- 1 whole and 2 half-skeins of Berroco Vintage, which made me decide to make a Ben sweater for my little guy. It’s one of my favorite sweaters- I made one for my husband right after we got married years ago, and since then it’s “mysteriously” ended up in my wardrobe. Funny how that happens.

I did a little swatch on smaller-than-called-for needles and measured a bit of the gauge, then ripped it out- I knew I was going to need every last inch if I wanted to make my 2-year-old an entire sweater. I did a bunch of math, and sketched out a simplified, toddler-sized version of the Ben sweater.

I was just about ready to cast on, when I realized two things: 1. There’s no way I have enough yarn for even a toddler sweater- it’s less than 200g, with both colors combined. Maybe enough for a newborn sweater, but not enough for my “robust” 2-year-old. And 2. I want to buy some new yarn!

So I called over my little guy and asked him what color he wanted, to which he of course said “Geen!” (Green is literally the only color he knows, luckily he looks great in green.) And I ordered myself some new yarn! I picked out “Okra,” this cheerful heathered “geen” colorway.

Now I get to wait impatiently for the yarn to come in the mail and I get to start working on my little guy’s sweater. I’m so excited!

What’s the last yarn that you’ve bought for yourself?

Big Mending

I guess I’m on a mending streak here. My dad was in town a few weeks ago, and he brought his favorite sweater with him. (Hi Dad!) Halfway through the visit he showed me the elbows on his sweater, and they were… disreputable. But, that’s what happens when you wear a sweater every day for years. (Even if you put leather elbow patches on it.)

Elbow 1- Bad.

Elbow 2- Very bad.

He asked me if it was fixable, and I said yes, of course! But after a little investigating I realized that even if I was very careful, the holes/runs were so big that no matter what I did, wouldn’t be invisible. But Dad said that he didn’t mind, and in fact, he asked me to use bright red yarn to fix it! I love a little bit of visible mending, so I got to work.

I used a crochet hook to fix the bigger runs (again, not perfectly- the sweater was commercially made, so I didn’t have the ability to completely match the knitted pattern), then brought in the red yarn.

I picked up stitches along the bottom edge of the holes, and started working back and forth in stockinette stitch. Every RS row, I picked up a stitch from the sweater at the beginning and end of the row (and sometimes in the middle, too), and worked a K2tog with the red and the gray yarns.

The K2togs allowed me to attach the patches as I was knitting them, so there wasn’t any sewing! And, as a bonus, it let me increase and decrease the size of the patches to pretty precisely cover the thin parts of the sweater.

Is it perfect? Not exactly. But I do love the cozy charm of a well-worn and well-patched sweater. And Dad will (hopefully!) get to keep wearing his sweater for years to come.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve mended?

Inspiration: It’s Cold Outside

It’s cold outisde, and not in a fun “Christmas Cheer” kind of way. As I write this, Seattle is in the 20s, which I realize isn’t that cold, compared to some parts of the country right now. But, we’ve had freezing rain all day, and literally every surface outside is covered in a sheet of ice. So scary!

Needless to say, I’m staying inside where the floor has traction and the air is warm enough that I can be comfortable wearing only one sweater.

But while I’m in here, I’m going to stare longingly out the window and dream about the cozy sweaters I could be making.

First, the Snowy Forest pullover by by┬áMidori Hirose. This is just gorgeous- I love the plump cables and the wildly oversized shape. It’s cozy, but still feminine, and way out of my wheelhouse. It could be a fun project to use to stretch my knitting “legs.”

And it can’t be a round up of cozy sweaters without an Icelandic yoked sweater. Levi by Sari Norlund is just to die for. I love it in the soft grayscale, but can you imagine it in wild rainbow colors?!

I know I’m a bit late to this pattern, but man, have you looked at this sweater? The Handsome Chris Pullover is gorgeous. Maybe not quite as cozy as the other two sweaters, but I think I would wear the heck out of this one. You know me- I do love a cabled sweater.

What’s your favorite sweater to reach for when you’re cold?

When it rains

You guys, we must be having bad luck lately. Or maybe a mouse, or worse yet, moths. *Shudder.* Now my husband has a hole right in the middle of his sweater!

(I don’t really think we have mice or moths… I think we just have two very active children and we’re always hauling them (and their stuff) all over the place, so we’re not as gentle on our things as maybe we should be.)

If I didn’t know better, I’d say this sweater got snipped by scissors. It’s not in a thinned-out patch, it’s just right on the belly. And there’s no obvious pull in the knitting, so I don’t think it got caught on a loose nail or anything. It’s a mystery!

But, luckily for me, that makes it pretty easy to fix, especially because I found some almost-identical garnet-red yarn in my stash. It’s not the original yarn (that’s long gone), but it’s close enough to not matter.

A little duplicate stitch and voila! Picture perfect. (It’s even less noticeable in person!)

Fingers crossed that this mend actually works.

What have you mended lately?