Tag Archives: sweater

L’il Cap

My little Captain Picard Sweater is almost finished!

OK, it is “finished,” technically, but I’m unhappy with some of the final details.

See if you can figure out what I don’t like about it:Did you zero in on the pips on the collar, too?  Because that’s literally all I can look at.

(Sure, it’s a cute shape, and the color-blocking turned out great.  It’s been finished nice and neatly, blocked nicely, and the tiny black buttons up the front are perfect.  It’s a cute baby sweater, without being too obviously “Star Trek.”  But those dang gold buttons on the neck!  They’re so bad!)

It’s one of those things that I’m sure anyone else wouldn’t even really notice, but they stick out like a sore thumb to me.

In Star Trek (at least in TNG), rank is marked with little gold “pips” on the front of the collar.  More pips means a higher rank, and a Captain’s rank is shown with 4 gold pips.

I thought I had bought buttons small enough to fit on my sweater’s collar.  I was incorrect.

I managed to fit on three (Lieutenant) before reaching the shoulder.  So, I thought, maybe if I replaced the topmost black button with a gold one, it would make up for the missing collar pip. But that just made them all look uneven and weird.Sigh.  I guess I just have to go back to JoAnn’s and see if they have even tinier little gold buttons.

And I was so excited about these guys!  They seemed so perfect when they were still on the card!  Oh well…

Have you ever gotten stuck on a final detail before you were able to finish off a big project?

…Engage

I’ve been busy, you guys!  Not doing anything terribly productive, really, and certainly not working on anything that I have a deadline for (whoops!).  But, I have been busy, knitting away.

Remember the red and black sock yarn I found in my stash last week?  Well, I just had to get knitting with it. I considered a couple projects- Trek-flavored socks.  A cowl or maybe a hat that Captain Picard would be proud of.But, really, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to make a Jean-Luc Picard baby sweater.

I couldn’t help myself!  The yarn was too perfect!I broke out my copy of Knits for Everybody Two, and cast on a tiny (3-month-sized) cardigan.  I thought about coming up with a new pattern for this sweater, but figured, hey, I’ve already done all the math, why make it harder on myself?

I’m doing the yoke, hem, cuffs, collar and button band in black, and the body and sleeves in red.  It’s not 100% show-accurate, but I think it gets the point across without having to fuss with intarsia or any fancy colorwork.  I think it looks pretty dang captain-y.  (And I think it’ll look even better once I add some gold buttons and little captain’s pips on the collar.)

It is turning out super-tiny, though.  I accidentally started using US1s, instead of US2s, and didn’t realize my mistake until I was past the point of no return.  I mean, look!  I’m using a safety pin to hold the unused sleeve stitches!I think it’s ok that it’s tiny, though.  After all, babies are pretty small.  Or, worst case scenario, it could become a sweater for a doll.

What have you been working on lately?

A Sweater By Any Other Name

I’ve never been great at naming things.  When we adopted our dog, his previous owners had already named him “Ollie,” so we just said, “Sure!  That’s a fine name.  We’ll keep it.”  It’s an known fact among my friends that when I have to name a character for a video game or a D&D campaign, it’s always terrible.  And whenever I put my toe back in the Fiction Writing Pond, I’m never happy with my characters’ names.

Same goes for naming my patterns.  At first, I tried to name my patterns something clever.  Then I tried naming them with practical descriptions.  Then I gave up on that and started just using random girls’ names (which every other designer has already done).  Just try finding a girls name that hasn’t already been used for a piece of knitwear.  I dare you.

Anyway, long story short, I hit upon the idea of naming my designs after places in and around Seattle that I like visiting.  Lucky for me, Seattle has about a million neighborhoods (I’ve lived here since 2010, and I’m still discovering new neighborhoods, there are so many).  And if you start including parks and neighboring towns/cities, well… I could keep designing for years and not run out of names.

You might remember the Ballard Pullover from a few years ago. 

Ballard is a historically Norwegian neighborhood that’s rapidly changing from a cute working-class neighborhood to a super-hipster area, full of bars and resturants.  I love spending a Saturday down in Ballard, hopping from micro-brewery to micro-brewery, with stops for coffee, tapas and board games.  The Carkeek Pullover is another of my favorites.Carkeek Park is a great place for a nice walk with the dog.  It’s got miles of wooded trails (in the middle of the city!), and a nice little beach that looks out on the Puget Sound.  On a clear day you can see the Olympic mountains.  The beach is a great place to look for sea glass, and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a seal or two playing in the water.My newest sweater is named after a tiny town to the north of Seattle, Snohomish.Snohomish is a really tiny town- it actually reminds me of where I went to high school.  It’s rural and sleepy, but close enough to a big town to not feel 100% like you’re in the country.  It’s nestled in the foothills of the Cascades (gorgeous!).  They have a really great paved hiking/biking trail that I love to visit with my roller skates.  Nothing better than skating down a nicely paved country road on a clear day with the mountains all around!There might be a more logical way to name my sweaters, but at least I have some sort of a method to my madness.

Do you give your projects names?  What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve named?

Inspiration: Prince Philip’s Antarctic Sadness Sweater

Are you guys watching the new season of The Crown on Netflix? You know me, I’m a sucker for a costume drama- especially one about a royal family that wears a lot of fancy clothes (especially a lot of sweaters).

This season opens with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (though I think he’s still “just” a duke at this point) in the midst of a big fight, like a if-we-weren’t-royalty-we’d-be-getting-a-divorce-right-now fight.  It turns out that Philip is being a big baby about having to play second fiddle to his wife who is literally the Queen of England.  Maybe this is just because I’m a dumb American living in 2017, but Philip’s whole argument is just a bunch of misogynistic whining in my ears.

Anyway, after the fight, there’s a big flashback where Philip goes off on a “tour of the colonies” (blech) that really turns out to be a big 5-month long bachelor party with all sorts of unsuspecting women in the south Pacific (double blech).  Near the end of his tour, his ship visits Antarctica, and he spends a lot of time brooding around the ship, being grumpy that his wife might know what he’s been up to.

While I don’t love Philip, I gotta say, I do love his Antarctican brooding sweater.It’s a crew-neck pullover with set-in sleeves worked in bulky navy blue with white accents.  It might even have been thrummed, but it’s hard to say.  I like the subtle naval stripes around the collar and cuffs, and the simple over-all pattern.I’d wear the heck out of that sweater.

Now, I couldn’t find a pattern that exactly matched Philip’s sweater, but you could easily modify a simple sweater pattern if you wanted to make your own.

This sweater has the same feel, if not the same design.  Its all-over rib and raglan shoulders really evoke an old-school sailor feel.  You could use a white-and-navy marled yarn for a similar look to Philip’s sweater.

Trent by Martin StoreyThis sweater would be a great starting point for making your own Philip sweater. It’s the right shape, and has the right shoulders and neckline.  If you worked the yoke in stockinette, and added in some stranded knitting to make the “snowflakes” on Philip’s sweater, you’d get pretty dang close.

Riley Pullover by Kristen HipskyIf you really wanted to embrace the whole “Antarctica” thing, you could even thrum your sweater (though that might be too much- I’ve never actually seen a thrummed sweater).  Thrumming adds an insane layer of warmth and thickness to garments, and is usually saved for accessories like these super-cozy mittens.

Thrummed Mittens by Jennifer L. ApplebyHave you been watching anything good lately?

Baby Sweater is Go!

It’s done!  And I gotta say, it’s really satisfying to make a whole sweater in about a week (OK, maybe it was two, but I was dawdling).I love the little wooden buttons (that I found in my button stash!) and the Berroco Vintage is so stinking soft and cozy.  I love the little-old-man collar and the cute little raglan shoulders.I even love the fact that it the sweater has one green cuff.  I ran out of gray at the last minute, and while I could have ripped back the sweater and taken some of the length off of the bottom of the sweater (it did turn out a little long… I think… how big are babies, again?), but I wanted to keep this project as quick and easy as possible.  So, I just grabbed a little green Vintage I’ve had stashed away.  It ended up being perfect!

I wish grown-up sweaters worked up as fast as ones for babies!

Have you done any fun, quick projects lately?

A New Project Appears

OK, so I didn’t quite behave myself, like I promised myself I was going to.  I haven’t spent the weekend powering through my Papaya Sweater.  And I didn’t finish off any of my other hibernating projects, either.

But, I also didn’t go to the yarn store (though I was sorely tempted).  So we’ll call it a win.

I did decide to start a new project.  Something small, quick, satisfying and fun.  Something that would get my knitting juices flowing again.  And something that I could make entirely from my stash.

There’s one project that I can think of that fits those requirements.

A baby sweater.

Baby Sweaters are fun and complex, just like a grown-up sweater, but they’re tiny enough that I can get one finished pretty quickly.  Plus, since it’s small, it was a good bet that I have enough spare yarn laying around that I could just pick up a skein and get to work.

And, wouldn’t you know it!?  I found a perfect, unopened skein of Berroco Vintage (in Peppercorn) that was left over from a sweater I made for my father-in-law last year.  It’s machine washable, soft and super tough- perfect for a baby sweater.Then I just had to figure out which sweater I should make.   My usual “I’m bored with my knitting so I think I’ll make a baby sweater” sweater is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket, but that usually looks better with thinner yarn. (Pro tip:  If you have a handful of leftover balls of sock yarn, you can make a really cute, easy striped sweater using the BSJ pattern.  I’ve probably made a dozen of them over the years.)  My Berroco Vintage is a lovely squishy worsted, though, so I decided to do something else.

So, after cruising around Ravelry, I happened upon the Baby Sophisticate sweater, a really cute “little old man” cardigan with a great shawl collar.  I made a couple of these before, years ago, for a friend’s twins, and they turned out really great.  It’s an easy, satisfying pattern (and a good excuse to pull out the button collection).I’m ready to go, and very excited!  I bet I’ll get this little guy done before you can say “procrastination.”

What do you knit “just for fun?”

Inspiration: Stormy Weather

When we moved to Seattle, I knew what I signed up for.  Rain (often, but not a lot), cloudy skies (a good excuse to stay in the house and read), and cool weather (perfect for wearing sweaters).

This year, that has not been the case.

We had warm weather (in the sixties) almost all the way through September with sun (SUN!!) nearly every day.  Then the weekend before last, we had snow (SNOW!!) for several days in a row.  It didn’t really stick, but, still!  And the last three days we’ve had pouring rain and whipping winds.  (My yard is a disaster- leaves and branches everywhere!  But I figure I should wait to clean it up until the storms have passed, so I’m just sitting here looking out the window at the mess outside.) It’s like being back in the Midwest!  It’s bananas!

I guess there’s just one thing to do.  Knit.

(What, you can’t really be surprised that that’s my response?)

I love this cowl.  I know the lace pattern is supposed to be waves, but I think it looks like my big pine trees whipping back and forth in the wind.

Storm Water Cowl by Kim McBrien Evans

And this little pullover is too cute (and too cozy) for words.  It’s exactly what I’d want to wear on a stormy day if I was a cute little kid.  Ah, who am I kidding, I’d wear this today, if it was big enough!

Stormy Day Jacket by Hannah FettigAnd this shrug is so perfect- I might actually need it.  It would bring me one step closer to my goal of wearing nothing but blankets all day.

Stormy Shrug by Charm KnitsI’ll keep my fingers crossed that the weather breaks soon, but in case it doesn’t, at least I have some cute knitting to think about.

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

Papaya Sweater Update- Stockinette Upon Stockinette

I’ve been back at work with my Papaya Sweater. But I gotta tell you, it’s slow going.

Not because it’s a difficult pattern.  It’s super simple, relaxing knitting.  It’s great TV knitting (we’re slowly catching up on Stranger things- so good!).  I still like the color (though I’m still unsure why I purchased this tropical shade of pink-y orange-it’s so unlike my usual style).

The problem with this sweater is that it’s:

  1. Massive (Yes, I know I picked out an extra-long, extra-flowy sweater, so this one’s on me).
  2. Knit at a fairly small gauge (For a big ol’ sweater).
  3. Really big (I don’t think I can understate this).
  4. 100% stockinette (Like, that’s all it is!).
  5. Gigantic (For real, it’s just huge).

Don’t get me wrong, I like stockinette as much as the next lady.  It’s beautiful and simple, it’s easy to do and blocks up like a dream.  But, y’all, there’s so much of it.  I’m only a few inches past the armpits and I’m already daydreaming of the shoulder shaping again.  Maybe I should add a little bit of lace or some sort of texture along the fronts, or a small cable running down the “seams” under the arms.

Or (if I’m being honest) I’ll probably just keep moving right along, whining about all the stockinette, and working up a quick Christmas Ball or two when I get bored.

Anyway, I can always take a break from the body of the sweater to make up the arms, if the situation gets really dire.

What’s on your needles right now?

Inspiration: Candy Hangover

Happy “Half-Price Candy Day,” everybody!

I think yesterday’s Halloween celebrations were a success, at least in my neck of the woods.  I dressed up as a spooky witch for work, then put out candy and jack-o-lanterns for trick-or-treaters, and left to hang out with friends, watch spooky movies, and hand out candy (their neighborhood gets a lot more kids than mine.

I ate a bunch of candy (oops), a slice of delicious pumpkin cake, and more cheese and crackers than is strictly necessary.  It was all delicious.

But this morning I’m feeling a little like I need to spend my morning munching on something a little healthier.  And maybe my knitting should be a little healthier, too.

I’m not sure if it’s true, but “they” say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  This hat might not have any healing properties, but, dang it’s cute!

Lil’ Apple Hat by Iryna BoehlandAnd there’s nothing better for a nice healthy breakfast than a big bowl of fiber-rich oatmeal.

Oatmeal Pullover by Jane RichmondI’m not a huge fan of kale, but I make myself eat it anyway, since I know it’s super good for me.  I’d make this shawl in a heartbeat- what a pretty way to get your kale!

Baby Kale Shawl by Celeste YoungDid you overindulge last night, too?

What If?

Sometimes when I’m working on a particularly slog-y project, I start playing “What If” with my knitting.  (When I was an office drone I also played “What If” with my job.  What if I was a barista?  What if I started working for the postal service?  What if I went back to school?)

I’ve been thinking “What If” I didn’t have to finish the Vampire project?  What would I be doing instead?

And, since my calculations tell me that I’ve got a little over a week left before I finish (assuming I haven’t made any major mistakes/don’t have to rip back the whole thing/am able to stay on schedule), it’s just about time to start thinking about the next thing I’m going to do.

First, I think I’m going to finish up my Papaya Sweater.  It’s been sitting, abandoned, on an end table in my studio for more than a month now.  Poor thing.  I’m really looking forward to getting it finished.  (And I’m really looking forward to a simple project that doesn’t involve any cables.)I’ll probably work up a handful more Christmas Balls, or at least take some time away from actual knitting to finish up the ones I’ve already knit.  I’ve got a stack that still need to be stuffed, and almost all of them need their tails woven in and their hangers added.  (I feel like “hangers” isn’t quite right, but I can’t think of the right word.  I mean the dangly loop they’ll hang on the tree from.)I also need to spend a weekend finishing up my Mother Bears before the end of the year.  I’ve got 4.5 bears that need to be stuffed and assembled, plus another 6 more that need their faces sewn on.  Maybe that’ll be a Christmas Vacation project?And, I think I want to do something new, something fun, and something that uses up some of the yarn I’ve already got in my stash.  Maybe a new pair of socks, or some sort of shawl that uses the last few mini-skeins of fancy yarn I got last year for Christmas.  Options!What are you working on now?