Tag Archives: sweater

Double Trouble

I have realized two things.

  1. These sweaters are going to be SO. GOOD.
  2. Embroidery is VERY. VERY. SLOW.

Let me walk you through my process.

First, I used safety pins to mark off roughly where I wanted the letters to go.

Then I counted out my stitches and rows, made myself some graph paper and sketched out my letters. I made my own graph paper because I am both too lazy (I didn’t want to go down to the basement to grab my pre-printed graph paper) and not lazy enough (it probably took 15 minutes to draw out these graphs). I wouldn’t recommend it.

Then I grabbed my leftover yarn and a needle and got to work duplicating my stitches.

And I gotta say… this is slow going. When I say it might take me longer to embroider the letters on these sweaters than it took to actually knit them up, I might not be joking. I don’t know if it’s a me thing or if I’m doing something weird or what, but oofa doofa. It doesn’t help that I’m doing the fronts and backs of both sweaters (since Flax is a reversible sweater, I figured I’d make the decoration reversible, too).

It’s going to look so cute once I’m done, though!

Have you ever done duplicate stitch to finish a project? Did it take you an aeon, too? Or is it just me?

Super Speedy

I. Love. Making. Kids. Sweaters.

They’re so cute, and so fast to work up. They’re just the most fun. (Especially when I’m in a knitting funk!)

And they’re a great excuse to do silly stuff like this. A matching pair of Harry Potter-themed sibling sweaters. C’mon. I’d never do something this silly for an adult, but there’s something so satisfying about doing it for little ones.

I’ve finished the hard part, and it was hardly hard. I just finished up both the big and little brother sweaters! (In my beloved Flax Light/Provincial Tweed combination.) They’re super cute and super soft and ready to be embroidered.

I’m honestly tempted to just leave them like this. They’re already so cute. But, I’ve got a plan, and I’m sticking to it.

I really love this pattern for kids and babies. It’s so functional and cozy. Before I had my kids, I made a BSJ for every friend that had a kid. I still love that pattern- it’s such a satisfying knit, and the final seaming-up is just… the best. But now that I have kids of my own, I’m all about the functional knits for kids. I don’t have time to do up (and worry about) 6 buttons every time we go outside. Flax Light is great because it’s a simple pullover, it’s reversible (no worrying about which is the front and which is the back!), and the head holes are generous enough for even my kids and their giant melons. And, because it’s such a simple pattern, you can do all sorts of things to add your own spin- change the colors, add stripes or… add a giant duplicate-stitched letter to the front!

Speaking of which… I’m itching to get embroidering. It’s going to look so good!

And on to the next one!

I “finished” my big-brother sweater last week, and I’m on to the little brother.

I did the first in the 4-6 year size, and this one in the 6-12 month size, and the difference is wild.

Like, I know that obviously the big one will take longer, but when compared to the big sweater this one is just FLYING off my needles.

I’ve been working on it for essentially one day, and I’ve made it almost to the armpit split. And I don’t have a ton of knitting time these days (obviously).

I just love this caramel-golden-yellow color, too. It’s so warm and cozy, and puts me in mind of something delicious and full of toffee.

Speaking of toffee, there’s really something just so tempting about knitting for babies. Even with the same pattern, a sweater for a grownup might be a whole meal, but a baby sweater is dessert. Or coffee and a slice of cake. Or a caramel apple from the state fair.

Or maybe I’m just hungry.

Have you ever knit the same pattern in different sizes? What’s your favorite size of sweater to make?

Finished (with the first bit)

I DID IT! I finished a sweater! It’s the first sweater I’ve finished in… a while.

Yes, it’s a kid’s sweater, but still. It’s so cute and so soft and it’s going to be so appreciated by the recipient (or at least I’ll pretend it will be… the recipient is 3, and probably couldn’t care less about clothes, but still.)

I’ve roped our sleepy dog Ollie into modeling for me:

He’s a good sport.

I haven’t blocked it yet, and I’m going to wait until the little brother sweater is done, too, before adding the duplicate-stitch letters on the front and back. (They’re going to be a set of matching Weasley-inspired sweaters, so cute!)

Now that I’m in a good mood, and on a roll (and, shockingly, both kids are asleep at the same time), I’m going to go wind up the yarn for the baby version and get knitting! I’m so excited!

What’s the last sweater you’ve knit?

Nearly There!

I’ve somehow made it out of the black hole/vortex of doom that was keeping me from finishing the body of my sweater. It’s plenty long enough (and will probably end up being way too long once it’s blocked), and I’ve even cruised my way through the first sleeve. It’s looking great!

(I marked a couple stitches at the bottom to help center the duplicate stitch I’m planning on adding after it’s done… that’s why there’s a couple little markers down by the waist.)

But speaking of being cursed, I can’t get a decent picture of this sweater to save my life. It’s so cute, but it’s proving impossible to get a picture of the whole sweater, in focus, and with an accurate color. The above picture shows my progress pretty well, but the colors are all washed out and beige-y.

This picture is closer to the real color. It’s a lovely, warm two-toned moss-green with little tweedy bits in goldenrod and violet. Frankly, It’s colors I wouldn’t have put together, but it makes for a lovely little sweater, perfect for tromping around in the woods.

(And, yes, I know I could take a photography class or learn photoshop… but what’s the fun in that?)

What have you been working on recently?

Black Magic

I swear my knitting’s been cursed or something.

(Or, maybe I’m just bad at measuring. But that couldn’t possibly be it.)

I’ve been cruising through my latest Flax Light. I used up one skein and added in another. This is my usual go-to baby sweater, but this one is for an older kid, so admittedly this one is taking longer than usual. But still, I was making plenty of headway.

So much so, that last night I pulled out the tape measure to check my progress.

The body should be 9″. I could have sworn that when I sat down to start knitting, it was at 8.5″.

After a couple episodes of Treehouse Masters (which is a delightful show, if you ever need something fun and silly to watch), I’d worked probably a half dozen rows. I measured again, sure that I’d be switching to my smaller needles for the next row.

8. Inches. Eight.

WHAT? How is that even possible? I had added rows. How could it be shorter?!

I angrily worked a few more rows and called it a night.

I pulled it out this morning to take pictures and write this post and, well. You can see for yourself:

What black magic is this? Who has hexed my sweater? Will it ever grow any longer, or has it been cursed to always be just a little too short?

(Or will I get frustrated, knit a bunch of rows tonight, then go and measure it again, and it will be 3″ too long? That’s also a possibility.)

Type A-

I’m Type A. Maybe even Type A+, if you will. If there’s extra credit, I want it. If I say I’m going to do something (even if I’m the only one who cares), I will do it. I don’t half-ass things. Basically ever.

I’m not going to lie, there are some upsides about being this way- I’m a very competent person. I don’t (usually) forget things or miss deadlines. I’m always checking things off my various to-do lists. I’m self-driven and self-motivated. All good things.

On the other hand, I’m also always functioning with at least a low simmer of anxiety. If I miss a deadline (hello gigantic wool blanket I decided to make in the middle of summer), I get real stressed out and down on myself. You get it.

I’m doing my best to start being a little easier on myself. Maybe I don’t have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Maybe I can start half-assing things and being a little looser on deadlines. Sure, there are some things that can’t be half-assed, but there are definitely some things that can.

For example, this Flax Light sweater was intended to be the first half of a pair of Weasley-style sweaters for a friend of mine. It was intended to be a “welcome baby” gift for the big brother and his little brother.

The little brother is now 5 months old, and I’m barely halfway into the first sweater.

But, you know what? It’s fine! She wasn’t expecting the sweaters, and it’s too hot for the kids to be wearing them anyway. I’ll just size-up the baby sweater and they’ll be done by the fall (probably). And if they’re not… oh well!

So Sew Buttons

It turns out that I’m not great at technology. (A surprise to nobody.) I set up a cute little poll so that you guys could help me decide which buttons to use on my little brown stash sweater.

Against all odds, I managed to get the poll to go live. But, in true Allison fashion, I couldn’t figure out how to access the results except by voting myself, which skewed the results. Then, I wanted to check again. And again. I tried to vote for every button, to keep the results un-tampered-with, but I honestly don’t know what I did.

Anyway, long story short: I picked the blue buttons.

They’re cute, but they didn’t pop quite enough, so I decided to try something fun. Instead of matching my sewing thread to the button color or the sweater color, I went with bright red! It turned out so cute, I can’t stand it.

Too bad it’s way too warm my big kid to agree to wear a wooly sweater like this. Maybe the little one will be willing to try it on next year.

What’s your favorite finishing touch to add to a project?

Indecisive

OK, so. I need help deciding because… well… I’m indecisive.

Buttons.

This sweater has 3 button holes, but it turns out that I only have 2 of the buttons I had intended to use (these adorable little vintage stick-buttons from the button collection I inherited from my Grandma a few years ago). Bummer.

So, now I’ve got three other sets that could work:

Blue ceramic buttons I made years ago when I worked for a ceramics artist who let me put my own projects in the kiln when I fired the tiles we were actually paid to make:

Plain creamy sage(ish) green buttons that I’m pretty sure my grandma cut off of a blouse in the 90s.

These slightly shimmery caramel-colored buttons from (I can only assume) 1976.

Or, should I just go with the original stick buttons, and just pretend that I didn’t make 3 button holes? It’s not like it’ll ever be all the way buttoned-up anyway.

I think I’m currently leaning toward the caramel ones, but will they make my kid look like an extra from Laverne & Shirley?

Help me decide!

And a biiigggg stretch

I just love blocking. Of course it’s magical on lace and fancy cable projects, but it’s just as satisfying on simple projects. I’m always amazed how much even the simplest (for example) bulky stockinette sweater benefits from a good block.

Observe:

Looks fine, right? Nothing too rough about it. But give it a solid block (or even a half-effort one, like I did this time… because my pins were upstairs and I didn’t feel like getting them) and it transforms! Also, it’s still slightly damp, because even though I started it blocking several days ago, it is a very solid sweater, and is taking a million years to dry.

But look at the ruler- it’s grown a good 2″ across the chest (maybe more), and the drape and feel of the fabric has absolutely changed. The stitches are so much more even and the collar looks so much better. It’s gone from stand-up-on-its-own-stiff to smooth-and-velvety. Honestly, I’m kind of jealous of this sweater. I wish it was in my size!

What’s the best blocking transformation you’ve done?