Tag Archives: sweater

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?

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!