Another purple sweater

I finished that second purple sweater a couple weeks ago, but it wasn’t without troubles.

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There was a lot of seaming. And once seamed, there was the trying-on. This sweater was about 4″ too long when I tried it on. But I could see that I liked the shape of it, and I wanted to be able to wear it eventually, so I ripped back. That wasn’t one simple step….

I had to undo the side seams I’d put in – luckily I had started to realize how long it was, so I left the ends hanging for easier pulling out of that.

Then I ripped back from the bind off end – nice and easy. I ripped back about 6″, stopping at a ribbed section, then added more ribbing on to that section for about 2″. Easy.

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Then I had to make the other side match. That side was the cast-on side, and knitting does not pull out in that direction. I picked out the cast on and about a row and a half more before I gave up and just took some scissors to it. I cut in the middle of a rib section, thinking it’d be easy to make sure I had all the stitches, then I could continue ribbing. But, because I was now knitting in the other direction, everything was half a stitch off. So I tediously pulled out to the last row of the previous lace section, knit a row to get settled, then did the 3″ of ribbing.

Then I got to re-sew the side seams and weave in the ends for real!

Since then it has been (mostly) warm, and husband has been busy with class, so there are no fancy photos as of yet, but I do have this screencap:

 

Episode 4 cover

I started a podcast! It is called Knitting Go!, and it is on iTunes, and has its own blog. I wear the sweater in episode 4.

More details on the sweater can be found here.

From one to the other

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As soon as I finished that purple sweater, I started knitting a new one! I even knit part of the new one while wearing the old one. And with the snow we’ve been having, I’ve been able to wear the purple sweater a few times too.

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The new sweater is Slope by Cookie A, and is not constructed like a normal sweater. It is basically a giant rectangle that goes up your front, has a split for your head, then down the back. It is flying along because there is no shaping to worry about, just a rectangle.

It is going to end up being an asymmetrical sweater, the sleeves are two different styles, and the action of one pulling more than the other means that the hem ends up on an angle. I’ve shied away from asymmetrical sweaters before this, because I’ve always worried about people saying ‘shouldn’t the buttons be in the middle?’ ‘That sleeve is different than the other one…’ but I’ve finally decided to try it, mainly because I couldn’t get this sweater out of my mind.

Gradient Sweater: DONE!

Gradient Sweater Done

I finished my Katie/Gradient sweater! It fits perfectly, it is cozy and comfy and has just the right amount of ease so it feels like a comfy sweatshirt, but is so much nicer.

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I’m loving the big contrast between the two colours, too. Deep purple and creamy white, yum. Both colours are by Cascade 220.

Gradient Sweater Done

I’m glad P likes playing with the camera, because I keep making him do sweater photoshoots. We took these just as the sun was going down, which I think worked out quite well. He kept posing me, tucking in the tank top straps that kept peeking out. I just wish I was a more patient model! I was getting a little chilly outside, yes, even in my wool sweater.

Gradient Sweater Done

I love that this sweater has thumbholes. They keep my hands so cozy! I think I may go put it on again to hang around the house in.

I’d Steek That

And I was all like:

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For the non-knitters out there, steeking is when you take a pair of scissors to your knitted project, on purpose. Why would you do that? Well, take for example a colourwork (not striped) cardigan. It is much easier to knit colourwork as a tube of knitting. The thing is, cardigans are flat, pullovers are tubes. So some knitter, somewhere, rather than face purling with two colours, decided to just chop up their knitting. And it worked.

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It is plenty stressful, bu rewarding when it works. The scary thing (for me) was that I couldn’t try the sweater on as I went, because it has a deep V-neck. Imagine sewing the two sides of the neck of your deepest V sweater together. You couldn’t fit your body in there now. I was just doing it backwards. Luckily, it worked out.

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I started this sweater (Little Birds by Ysolda Teague) in September, ran out of grey in November, put it in time out for most of December, then rushed through the first week of January to finish it before my trip with mum.

I really like it, and it fits well, although I do feel I could space the buttons out a little more to get it the tiniest bit tighter in that area. But still, a very successful knit, that I’ve already worn to work (the office, not the theatre) once.

Drift Away

The other sweater I finished recently was much bigger than Anchored. Not only did it have proper 3/4 length sleeves, it is one of those that I love so much that have drapey fronts:

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I have a few bought sweaters that are like this, so when I realized I had the yarn to knit one, it seemed like a good idea. Then you realize that the sweater is really this big:

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That’s a lot of knitting! I have two colours because…. well I don’t remember what I bought the yarn for 4 years ago, but I bought two skeins of pink and one of white. I do remember that I bought it at Olds Fibre Fest though.

The yarn is 100% silk, but the rough silk, not the slippery stuff. The sweater looked great when I finished knitting, then I put it in the sink to block it. After 10 minutes, the water was pink, and so was the white part of the sweater. Small freak out, pull it out, assess damage. Pink blotches all over the white. No good. It was late at night so I laid it out and slept on it. (No, I didn’t sleep on the sweater, I slept on the idea of what to do next!) The next morning I did some research and found that something called Synthrapol is apparently good about getting excess dye out of things. Tracked some down at a nearby art supply store, gave it a bath in some water laced with marvelous new chemicals. It didn’t remove the blotches. What I don’t know is if having Synthrapol in the water in the first place would have helped. I gave it another bath, and although the pink kept leaking, I managed to spread it evenly over the white. Then a soak in some vinegar water and I laid it out to dry.

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So while the sweater isn’t ruined, it isn’t a pink and white sweater any more, it is pink and lighter pink.

It feels a little large in the shoulders, the back line of the raglan sleeve always wants to creep over my shoulders to the front of the sweater, but I think that is more from stretching out in all the various baths I gave it.

The sweater pattern is Adrift, and there are more details on my Ravelry page.

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I like blanket-y sweaters like this for work, because I can wrap up when I get cold.

Oh this old thing? I made it myself.

I’ve finished some knitted objects recently! It feels a little novel to finish things. I feel like I haven’t actually finished anything in ages. That’s a bit untrue, as I finished the woobie cat in May, and my Colour Affection, the iPad cover and lots of little things for swaps and other people. But recently I’ve finished two garments, both for me! Saying they’re for me is a bit redundant – garments take me so long that I only ever knit them for me.

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Today’s sweater is is Anchored. Plain and demure in front (even if it is in a colourway called ‘Hot Lips’)

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Deep V and peekaboo cables in the back (this is where ‘Hot Lips’ kicks in).

I loved the pattern because of the lines of the shaping, you can see them in the photo pointing in to my waist from the bottom, and heading outwards from waist to bust above the waist. Turns out, the pattern as written did not make the increases/decreases do that. I basically had to re-invent that part. All the details of what I did are on my Ravelry page. I love the finished sweater, I’ve already worn it to work and gotten lots of compliments (the more astute coworkers remembered me knitting it at the reception desk!) but I wish I didn’t have to do so much thinking and re-knitting to get the same finished object as in the pattern photos.

This project used up yarn that has been in my stash at least 3 years, probably more like 5 years, so it felt really good.

It’s a Christmas Sweater!

Wollmeise Paulie Sweater

And not one of the reindeer kind, either.

Wollmeise Paulie Sweater

My orange and purple Wollmeise sweater is finally done! I used the free pattern ‘Paulie’, Wollmeise yarn, and buttons from the yarn shop of my heart, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.

Wollmeise Paulie Sweater

I used almost every single piece of the two skeins of orange Wollmeise (colourway ‘Kurbis’). In the body of the sweater I alternated yarn balls every two rows, but I used just one ball on each sleeve. The button band/collar is a combination of the two balls of orange. I’m pretty sure I still have enough purple left for a pair of socks.

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I personally can’t get the shawl collar to fold over like it does in the pattern photo, but I think it looks just fine flat as well.

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I could do with a tiny bit more ease in the sleeves, but it isn’t unmanageable, I just probably won’t wear any but the tightest-fitting long-sleeved shirts under there. T-shirts work fine though.

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There are 11 purple stripes in the body and 14 on the sleeves, and with the amount I had left from my two skeins of Wollmeise, I couldn’t have made it anything but a row, maybe two longer in the body, so it worked out perfectly!

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I sewed the buttons on with some of the Wollmeise – I separated 3 of the plies, and used that as thread to sew them on. How perfectly do they match?! I didn’t have the yarn with me when I bought them, but I saw them and just knew. I think they’re shell, but the coating that makes them orange has an interesting rubbery finish. They’re almost too big for the button holes, but they do fit through, crisis averted there!

My very patient husband did this photoshoot with me yesterday afternoon. There may be snow on the ground still where we were, but Calgary has been having unseasonably warm temperatures for most of December, so it wasn’t too bad being outside in just my sweater. I was thankful to put my coat on when we were done though! I think P took some awesome photos with our new camera, and even had fun playing with the 4pm setting sun when I asked him to. Here’s a bonus photo of my lovely man looking very dapper in the hat I bought him for Christmas:

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That Rhinebeck Sweater

Rhinebeck being over and all, I thought I’d give you a little update on that sweater I’m making in honour of the wool festival I couldn’t go to this year.

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It has a body! Right now it is a very nice orange-and-purple-striped vest. I got up to 11 purple stripes before it was about the right length.

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Then a nice garter stitch hem to stop it rolling. I can’t wait until it is time to put the garter stitch button bands on, to stop the fronts rolling in like that!

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And there is my proto-sleeve (and grey manicure!). The sleeve knitting started after that purple stripe, so I’m only a few rows in in the photo, but I’ve got 2 more purple stripes on the sleeve since then. Hopefully the sleeves go faster than the body, as they’re so much smaller, plus they get smaller as you knit – the bottom of the sweater increased after the waist so it just bigger and bigger.

I knit the garter stitch at the bottom on a needle 0.5mm smaller than the body, to keep it tight, as garter does have a tendency to flare out from stockingette when done on the same needles (at least it does at my gauge!).

My revised goal is to have this lovely orange sweater done by Halloween!

Wollmeise Sweater Updates

Here is the bad news sweater update: Rhinebeck just isn’t going to pan out for me this year. Although I have the weekend off, the cost of going (even splitting the hotel room and car rental) prohibits it. P and I are planning an epic honeymoon to Costa Rica, which takes precedence over trips of the yarny persuasion. That, and most of our ‘fun stuff’ savings went to a new car in June.

The good news: the sweater is coming along and I love how the colours look together!

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I took this picture just before purple stripe #5.

 

I won’t be abandoning the sweater, even though I won’t be wearing it to Rhinebeck. It’s a fun change to be working on a garment other than a sock. The next week or two is going to be a sparse on the knitting front – I’ve got a crazy work week starting up on Thursday.

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I feel like this picture is a bit truer to the real colours of the yarns, at least on my monitor. On the tiny screen on the back of my camera, the purple stripes almost look blue when I’m actually taking the photos.

This sweater is great TV/podcast knitting because there isn’t too much shaping, and there’s no cables or lace or anything to remember. As long as I knit two rows with the purple after every ten orange rows, I’m golden. This is all I knit when I’m at home, and I’m not bored yet. I would like to get back to a shawl I started before the wedding in a bride-brain-induced fit of madness where I thought I could knit myself a wedding shawl in a month. It’s in the time-out pile right now, but I think I might finish knitting that next, then go on to the Little Yellow Birds sweater I talked about earlier. Who knows when that will actually be – most Paulie sweaters seem to have 12-13 body stripes, and I’m just about to start stripe #5. That sounds like almost halfway, until you remember that pesky pair of sleeves.

Yarn Heaven

Last week, the Mr and I went to Seattle. The main reason for going to Seattle was PAX Prime, a gaming convention. He’d let me drag him around Sock Summit in July, so it was only fair. I spent some time with him and the other dudes (we went with two friends from here, and met up with a guy from Texas that he’s known online for longer than he’s known me) but a lot of it looked like this:

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Me, my PAX badge, and my knitting. This was the first day of the convention, that small piece of knitting in my hands there looks like this now:

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I spent the first half day with them, then went out to explore Seattle on my own. And by ‘exploring’, I mean finding yarn shops. I’d heard good things online about Churchmouse Yarns and Teas and decided Friday afternoon that that would be a fun adventure. It’s on Bainbridge Island so I got to get on a ferry for the first time since moving to land-locked Alberta. Did I mention that the first time I saw the sea on that trip that I almost cried? I grew up in the south-west corner of Canada on the coast, which is the same area as the north-west US. It was just so much like being at home. It put me into a very zen state on the ferry ride over – I just sat and breathed ocean air for 35 minutes.

The ferry terminal was very convenient to get to, it’s right downtown (I did this whole trip on foot, we didn’t have a car). The ride was lovely, and then it was just a 10-minute walk into town from the ferry terminal. I grabbed a cookie at Blackbird Bakery next door to Churchmouse before I went in. Then I stepped into Churchmouse Yarns and Teas for the first time.

(image from their website)

It was heaven.

It was light and airy and bright inside, and they had every yarn you could ever want to knit with. It was the perfect yarn store. I immediately decided that I wanted to buy a sweater’s quantity of yarn there, just because the shop was so perfect. That’s where I ran into difficulty. There was so much awesome yarn there, and I hadn’t planned on knitting a sweater any time soon (as I’d just started one back home) I had no idea what I wanted to knit. I wandered the store for a while and fondled all the yarns (Jared Flood’s Shelter! STR in a physical store! Rowan Sheep Breeds! Habu!) but I couldn’t decide. In the end I decided I needed to walk away from the store and think for a bit. Luckily, just across the courtyard is Mora Iced Creamery. An old-world, handmade, small batch ice creamery next door to a yarn store that is next door to a bakery? I’m still surprised I left the island! I had a waffle cone full of lavender ice cream (heaven!) and decided to head back to Seattle and our hotel, and look up some knitting patterns to see if there were any sweaters I wanted to knit. I will buy sock yarn indiscriminately, but I only buy sweater yarn when I have an actual plan. The plan for the yarn may end up changing, but at least I know I have enough for a sweater.

I did some research on Ravelry, and came up with these three contenders:

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Little Birds, by Ysolda Teague (from the 2008 Fall Twist Collective)

 Owls

Owls by Kate Davies

Gathered Pullover

Gathered Pullover by Hana Jason (from the Winter 2007 Interweave Knits)

Saturday I went back to Bainbridge and straight to Churchmouse, with a notepad full of yarn requrements. I priced things out, looked closely at colours, debated about whether I could afford 2 sweater quantities of yarn (answer: I couldn’t), and finally decided. Here is what I bought:
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As you’ve probably guessed, I’m going to make the Little Birds sweater. The main body will be grey (Sholmit), the birds will be yellow (Scotch Broom), and the branches will be black (Charcoal). I even found lovely black and brass shank buttons at the store too! I love grey and yellow together so I’m very excited about the combination. I’m being very good and putting this yarn away until I finish my Wollmeise sweater though.

Then as I was checking out, the craziest thing happened to me. The lady ringing everything up asked if I wanted some sort of loyalty card or something. I said ‘No, I’m not local, I don’t know if I’ll make it back ever.’ She asked where I was from, so I told her I was from Alberta, Canada. She said ‘Oh you must meet our owner, she’s Canadian!’. So I paid, and got introduced to the owner, and we chatted for quite a while. Then it came up in conversation that we’d gone to the same university for the same program! And the theatre department is quite small, it’s not like the tons of people studying English or whatever else. We weren’t there at the same time, but some teachers who taught her were still teaching when I went through, and some of her classmates became teachers that taught me! It was a lot of fun to talk to her and find out all the odd things we had in common. And apparently another grad of the same theatre program is behind Handmaiden Yarns! Madness. But it is exciting to think that I too might be prepared for  bustling career in the yarn industry, should I ever chose it. 😉

After chatting I headed back to Mora for an ice cream cone for the road ferry. Mint chocolate chip ice cream that is a lovely shade of white, rather than eye-searing green? Yes please!

 

Wollmeise Gets Results!

Before I let you know what colour I chose for the stripes in my sweater, I want to have some fun with figures. I went through all the comments, and tallied up everyone’s first choices for the contrast colour. That graph looks roughly like this:

First Choice colours

In this graph, I lumped both purples together into one column. Teal is the obvious front runner!

Then I went through and tallied up everything people said – meaning if someone said “I like teal the best, followed by the pale purple” I put one check in the teal column and one in the pale purple column. That graph turned out like this:

all choice colours

I found all the comments really interesting to read – people’s tastes are so different! I loved reading everything from the art majors who talked about colour theory, to “I’m not sure the deep pink in the first photo should ever see the light of day.” :)

While I read all the comments as they came in, I didn’t tally them up until I’d made my choice, and asked P’s opinion (I didn’t include our votes in the graphs, as we didn’t leave comments!). I think P and I definitely have an advantage over youse guys in internet-land because we can see the real yarn right in front of us. It is just so hard to take accurate pictures of colours this rich, not to mention all the difference various monitors make. For me, it really came down to two colours. The dusty pink was just out, I didn’t want to pull off the day-glo pink in the end, and the dark purple started to look blackish-brown when I held it up to the orange garter-stitch yoke. Even calling Kurbis ‘orange’ is a simplification, it’s rusty, reddish with the old gold tone orangey. I did the only thing a knitter should do when trying to work out problems like this. I swatched.

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While waiting for comments, and waiting to make up my mind, I had knitted the yoke of the sweater up until where the first contrast stripe goes. I decided to try it with both the teal and the lighter purple (Lila Ludmilla). It’s a bodged-together mess of yarn in the back – I knit with the teal across one front, turned, purled back, did a few rows just across the teal stitches with the orange yarn, then knit all the way across the teal stripe and onto the arm, then repeated the process with the purple. It’s like short rows without all the wrapping and turning to neaten it up. Works well enough for testing colours though!

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And, the final result after all this (un)scientific testing was….. Lila Ludmilla! Near the orange, the teal just looked like an odd, awkward green.

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The winning combo, back when it was still in training.

Another factor, although I wouldn’t have let it put me off completely, was the difference in textures of the yarn. Wollmeise is super-duper smooth. Sometimes it almost looks to me like mercerized cotton, not wool. The Koigu (the teal) is a two-ply, and the yarn has a very different surface than the Wollmeise. My using my Lila Ludmilla, the sweater will be made in two more similar yarns (my Kurbis is 100% wool, the Lila is 80% wool/20% nylon).

And now the reason you’re all really here…. who will get skein number 3 of the Wollmeise Kurbis? Remember, you won’t get it until October, so you’re going to have to be patient. Cheering me on and keeping me accountable for this sweater are also welcomed. 😉

And the winner is Michaela! Michaela said: “I have always loved the orange-purple combo, and I think your sweater would look nice with either Lila Ludmilla or Amethyst Dark as the contrast colour!” Rafflecopter uses Random.org to pick the winner, so there was no favouritism going on, but I’m happy the winner likes my colour combination. :)

Now I just have to go pull out the tangled mess of my stripe-swatches and I can get to knitting this thing properly!

Rhinebeck Wishing Sweater and a Giveaway!

So this year, I have the third weekend of October off. This may not mean a lot to non knitters, but knitters know that the third weekend in October means the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, more commonly known just by the name of the town it is held in: Rhinebeck. I once described Sock Summit as “knitters’ Woodstock”. Really that title is much more appropriate for Rhinebeck, as Rhinebeck is about 30 minutes from actual Woodstock.

I’m not certain I can go yet, and won’t have a better idea until we can assess the state of our bank account in September, but I’m hopeful. (To help me get there, I’ve put some of my stash on sale too!)

A lot of knitters that go to Rhinebeck make Rhinebeck sweaters. Awesome knitted sweaters to wear around the fair are a great conversation starter, and a sign that you’re a knitter. Now as I’m not certain I can go, for a little while I wasn’t sure if I should start a sweater. Would it be some form of sweater curse to start knitting it before I knew I could go? Would it bring luck to me to help me go? I’ve decided to start one, because work is about to get in the way of my knitting time, and I can’t guarantee that I could knit a sweater in the time between deciding to really really go and getting there. And if I don’t end up going, I’ve got a nice new cardigan.

I think I’ve decided on the Paulie pattern:

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It’s a free pattern, which is a plus considering the immediate lockdown I put on my wallet once I decided I needed to save for this trip.

I’ve got a main colour yarn already, Wollmeise Kurbis. I’m just not sure what colour I want to do the stripes with, so I thought I’d see what everyone else thought.

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The main colour is the two skeins on the outside of the picture. They’re a little variegated, so I may actually do the ‘2 rows from one skein, 2 rows from another thing’. Here they’re pictured with a deep pink Wollmeise in Himbeere. This would make a bright sweater, staying in the same general colour family.

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Or I could stripe with purple. I have two purple Wollmeise skeins, Lila Ludmilla and Amethyst Dark. The photo above shows the differences in the purples. Out of these two I think I’m leaning towards the paler one, but I could be persuaded otherwise.

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Or I have some teal yarn that’s a little brighter than I could photograph. This is another good contrasty combination. I have more than what’s in the picture for the teal, but it might be a close thing doing that last teal i-cord bind=off. This teal is Koigu colour 1500.

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Or a paler, dusty pink from Zen Yarn Garden. This was an afterthought as I was pulling all my yarn out to see what would go. I think it could be interesting.

Now here is the fun part! I have a third skein of the orange-y Wollmeise. I shouldn’t need it for this sweater (I’m making the small size), but I want to hang onto it for insurance, because it would suck to run out during the bind off or something. If I do use any of it, it definitely won’t be much, and Wollmeise is generous with their yardage. So, if you leave a comment telling me which colour you think is best for the stripes (and/or why one combination is so heinous it should never be seen again) you will be put into a drawing for that last skein! You can also enter by tweeting about the giveaway (see below for details). I will mail the skein when I have completely finished the sweater, or if I give up on the sweater/don’t finish in time, I’ll mail it out to you on October 14th, the start of Rhinebeck. You can enter this competition up until I post a picture of the first stripe knitted into the sweater in my chosen combo on the blog. I imagine that will be near the end of the month.

And there’s a new kid in town trying to make entering contests easier for bloggers! The name of the service is Rafflecopter. I applied for an invite and it came through a little while ago, and I’m going to test it out with this competition. Once you’ve left your comment and clicked the “I did this!” button (don’t forget to do that, that’s what enters you in the draw!) you can also use the Rafflecopter widget to tweet about the giveaway once per day for another chance to win. If you want to comment but don’t want to be in the draw, comment away and ignore the Rafflecopter widget. This is my first go with Rafflecopter, and if it works well, I could probably be persuaded into doing some more giveaways. :)

(If you’re reading this in Google Reader or the like, you’ll need to hop over here to see the widget!)

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Sweater at Last

This knit has actually been done for a while – I just haven’t had a chance to take photos. And by ‘me’ take photos, I mean the boyfriend take photos. There’s only so much you can achieve indoors with an automatic timer.

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All the details are on Ravelry, but in short it is the $1.50 Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2007. I used Classic Elite Classic Silk, which is a Cotton/Silk/Nylon yarn. It is really warm!

I put 4 buttons on it, but the top one is a bit too high for my liking. I think I’ll either take it off, or leave it and just never button it up.

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I sort of wanted to take pictures outside, because all the snow makes a giant light reflector, but -28C (-19F) in just a T-shirt and holey sweater is a recipe for disaster. Disaster named ‘frostbite’ and ‘raging cold’.

The only thing I’m uncertain of (and which has sadly stopped me wearing the sweater as much as I want to) are the buttons. I sewed them on with leftover yarn – and I had to pull out a single ply of the yarn to get it through the buttons. Using just a single ply means that that ply is quite weak, and the buttons do feel a bit wobbly. I may have to find some embroidery thread in just the right brown to sew them on again.

I think I actually finished this in the summer, and just never got around to photos. I’ll try not to do that again!

Tulip Baby Jacket

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The baby sweater/jacket it done! I finished the knitting (well, just casting off) last night at work, and wove in the ends this morning. I love the pattern, and the yarn, and the convenience of buying it in a kit. I did run in to some yarn troubles, but I think I dealt with them neatly.

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I was concerned about the amount of teal yarn I had, so instead of doing the body, then the body edgings, then the sleeves (like the pattern directs you to), I did body (with seed stitch edging left on a holder) then completed both sleeves. I took stock of the yarn I had after both sleeves were cast off. Then I made the button bands, as directed, in the teal colour.

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That’s when I was certain I really didn’t have enough teal yarn to do applied i-cord all the way around the sweater, and for the tie. The front tie was an easy decision – I had lots of pink left, and the baby is a girl, so I went with pink for the neck tie.

Then I had to figure out what to do with the rest of it. I bandied about the idea of doing applied i-cord with the scraps of other colours, to give it a very Joseph’s Technicolour Dreamcoat look. I decided against that because I didn’t want to deal with the ends. I decided to try binding off the bottom edge in teal.

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I chose to do a very elastic cast-off (my favourite: K2, *insert the left needle into the front of the 2 sts on the right needle and knit them together–1 st remains on right needle. K1, repeat from * until all sts have been bound off). After the first try, I had literally 1 inch of yarn hanging after binding off the last stitch, so I undid that, and did it again with the smaller needles called for in the pattern. It is a stretchy bind-off after all, so small needles shouldn’t really matter – and the didn’t! I was left with a longer tail to weave in properly, but it meant I was out of teal.

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After much waffling, I decided to see if I had enough pink to bind off the front edges – it was either that or the orange, and that didn’t look so nice with the teal. Once again, I had the right amount!

Because the pattern was written to have continuous icord around all the edges, there was a funny little gap between the bottom seed stitch band, and the corner of the edge bands. That would easily be fixed by following the instructions for the borders, because it has you pick up some extra stitches in the corner. I could not do that, because of the yarn shortage. I ended up slipping the bottom edge stitch from each side to the bottom band’s needle, and treating them like they belonged there. That did just enough to get rid of the little gap.

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All in all I’m very pleased with the sweater, and would definitely knit it again. I might even buy one skein of each colour, and make many, or matching hats or something. Someone else will have to have a baby though – the sweater is much too big for my Blue Bear.

New Love

I’ve found my new favourite knitting project. They’re tiny, they’re cute, and because of the tiny, they’re fast. Baby sweaters.

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I started this Sunday afternoon, at work. I knitted some more Monday night at game night at our friends’ house. Tuesday work, Wednesday work, and these pictures were taken Thursday morning. If it had been Thursday after work, there’d be half a sleeve too!

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I bought this kit at Sock Summit over the summer, because I knew my friend Jilly was going to be having a baby (I can’t remember if I knew it would be a girl back then… I think I did…). The baby was born on Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving, this is not a time-travelling baby) so she’ll be 2 months at Christmas. I bought the 6-9 month size kit, instead of say, infant size, because I was worried about finishing before she was too big (HA!). And this is Canada, so a wool sweater will still be appropriate in April, when she’s 6 months. Realistically, I wear wool sweaters in every month of the year, so I’m not too worried about it being appropriate when it fits her.

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I should finish the sleeve tonight at work. Luckily, this pattern is simple enough to knit in the dark. I even did the seed stitch in the dark, by Braille. I’ve found the best thing to do is weave in ends in the green room waiting for the show to start, then knit backstage once the show is on. It’s one of those shows where I have long stretches of nothing, interspersed with busy bits.

In paper crafting news, I bought a Cuttlebug today at Michaels with a 50% off coupon. Dark Side, here I come.

Spring Cleaning

I love spring cleaning. I love clearing out stuff, making a giveaway pile, a recycling pile, and a garbage pile, and putting everything where it should be.

My boyfriend and I spent today emptying out our storage room. Our apartment-condo has a storage room actually in our house, and a separate storage unit too. Today we tackled the in-house one. I’m always amazed at the junk I think I need to keep. If I didn’t keep all that crap, I wouldn’t need to have clear-outs!

I’ve also been attacking the stash, and my UFOs. I sold 3 skeins of Mountain Colors Bearfoot to a lady in town, and 4 knitting books to her too. I still have a few skeins left up on Ravelry. I’m also doing a trade with another Raveler, we’re trading some yarn. It works out so well, because I get yarn I want, so does she, and we both get rid of stuff we’re tired of!

The thing I’m most proud of though, is dusting off my $1.50 cardigan again, and actually commiting to finish it.

Gold on my $1.50

I started this back when the magazine came out, so Spring 2007. I got most bits done, then stopped. I dusted it off September 2008, and had finished all the bits by November 2008. Then it sat in the box again, until yesterday! I got out the bits, seamed the fronts to the back, and even picked up the button band!

Where do the buttons go?

It was also a great chance to test other functions of my Stitch Marker Revolution markers. I had a hunch they’d be more useful than regular stitch markers, and I was right. They open and close, so it was easy to slip them on the needle at the right points once I’d figured out where the buttons needed to go (the teal ones in the pic above). I also changed the button holes from what the pattern says. Pattern says to do a yarn over, but because I have big buttons, I did a 4-stitch one-row buttonhole instead.

Pick up stitches for a button band evenly?

They were also very useful for dividing up the fronts into quarters so I could pick up stitches evenly for the button band (Lavender in that pic). I usually use safety pins for that, but these are more fun. I found it easiest to stick the connector part through a stitch or between stitches.

I even used them instead of safety pins to baste the pieces together. No pictures of that, I’ll take some when I do the sleeves. But you just poke the connector through the edge of one piece, then the other, click it closed, and there you are!

These are the small size, and they worked very well. I think the big ones would be too loose to baste edges together.

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Upstairs Downstairs Knitting

I’ve been knitting away on two projects recently. I’ve found a system that I can only implement here, in my parents’ big house. My newest project (cast on as soon as the Annetrelacs were done) are my Druid mittens, and they are my basement project. The long-neglected $1.50 cardigan is my upstairs project.

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The mittens get worked on when I go down to the basement to watch TV after dinner. The having cable thing is great; I get to watch Iron Chef, and Mythbusters (I would love to work with Jamie and Adam)! On a side note, these Discovery Channel ads doesn’t get old.

The cardigan gets worked on when I curl up in the chair in my bedroom and listen to podcasts, or watch things on  my computer (like…. all of Heroes Season 2).

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The mittens are fairly slow going, what with all the cabling. I’m using 2mm needles, and the fabric is quite tight, but that’s good in mittens because it will keep the wind out.

What I’m finding interesting is that I seem to have a different row gauge on the back of the mitten than I do on the palm. The back of the hand is all cable-y, and the palm is a slip-stitch pattern, and somehow I am much tighter doing the palm pattern. It is actually causing the mitten to want to curve over. Luckily, that’s the shape hands naturally are, so hopefully it won’t affect the finished product too much.

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I took these photos on the ferry. I had to get away from the house for a day or two, so I went to Vancouver and visited some friends. Waiting for the ferry, and being on the ferry gave me lots of knitting and reading time.

Finished Two-Tone Shrug

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Finished Two-Tone Shrug, started July 11th, 2007, finished July 18, 2007
Pattern: Stephanie Japel’s Two-Tone Shrug from Fitted Knits
Yarn: 1 skein Dream in Colour Classy in ‘Wisterious’, 1 skein Cascase 220 Heathers in ‘2441’
Needles: 3.75mm for the ribbing, 4.5mm for the body
Dimensions: 35.5cm (14″) shoulder measurement (I measured armpit to armpit across my back)
Pattern Notes: Exactly as written!
Would I knit it again? Definitely!

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I finished this in the afternoon at work, and wore it on the plane to see my parents that evening. The airline stewardess commented on it, saying it was really nice. I got a few more compliments when I wore it out in Victoria too.

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I did EZ’s sewn bind off, so it would be stretchy. I’m glad I did that, but it took AGES. And, because that long length of yarn went in and out of every stitch, it was really sheddy by the end. I felt very allergic, just because of all the teeny yarn particles.

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And you guys have to know how much I like you all. It was 29C today, and not only did I put on a pair of wool socks to photograph, I put on a wool shrug! Immediately afterwards I had some medicinal ice cream.

All photos of the shrug courtesy of my camera’s self-timer.

K-Country

….doesn’t actually stand for Knitting Country. But it should. :)The boyfriend and I went out to Kananaskis Country for a little mid-week vacation. Well, he was sent out there for work, and I tagged along for the ride. He was working at a conference, so the conference people paid for his room, and food. The room was great because they lost the original booking, so we got put into the room of a conference delegate who canceled at the last minute. Very exclusive place, chocolates on the pillows, king size bed, etc.

While he was working I had plenty to amuse myself with. I had books, walks, and of course, knitting. :)

(click all pics for bigger!)

I brought two projects with me, for variety:

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(wonderful project bags from PiddleLoop on etsy, sitting on the fountain in the hotel’s main entrance.)

The number bag contains my Vinnland sock, and the dot bag contains the yarn for a project from:

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(sitting on a bench by the pond the above fountain feeds)

I have yarn in that bag for the Two-Tone Shrug. I decided to cast it on, knit with big yarn for a change. And oh, did I knit.

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(back at the fountain, and out in a mountain meadow with a flower of a similar colour)

I was almost finished the raglan increases by the time we left. Now I’ve just started on the first sleeve. The yarn is Classy by Dream in Color, they of the adorable baby cardis. The colour is ‘Wisterious’. I’ve got an oatmeal-y Cascade 220 for the contrast… but it isn’t superwash, it’s one of the Heathered colours. The purple is superwash, but I like the colour combo. sigh. I can deal with hand-washing I guess.

The sock felt a bit left out, as I ignored it for the whole time, so we did a photoshoot on the last day. Part of the reason I ignored it was because I’m almost done, but concerned about amount of yarn, and wanted to weigh it before I decide what to do next. I suppose I could’ve called room service for a scale….

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(looking up at the mountains)

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(and down to the valley)
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(at lookout #4, not picking flowers)

Sometimes I forget about the amazing landscape that is just an hour away from here. I need to remember that when I complain about there being no green in this city.

Weekend Startitis

I got a nasty case of start-itis over the weekend.

I had been knitting away on the right front of my $1.50 cardi, when I decided to hold it up against the back piece. The armholes were at totally different heights. I was suddenly thrown off my “this-will-be-the-best-knit-ever” horse. Then I realised that the back was all crinkly and shrunk from the stitch pattern, so I stretched it and measured. The front would also be a different size when blocked, so I tried to stretch that too. I didn’t have enough hands. So I decided to block the back piece to make measuring easier.

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Even with the back all blocked, the front armhole still starts lower. But then again, the front needs to be stretched too, to open up the lace. I hope that between stretching it up and sideways, it’ll grow that little bit it needs. If not, oh well, I’ll just frog back.

I’m also getting slightly concerned about running out of yarn, but we will not speak of that.

Friday these length worries had gotten to me, so I found a ball of sock yarn, and brought that and some needles to work to swatch for the Sidewinder Socks. I got gauge, but couldn’t actually start at work, as I had no waste yarn, and I got gauge on needles I only have as DPNs. That was put away until I could get to my LYS.

So Friday night, my cardi was blocking and awaiting analysis, my LYS closed before I got off work, and my boyfriend was at work. What’s a girl to do? Cast on for a lace shawl, that’s what!

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It’s the Large Rectangle in Leaf and Trellis pattern from Victorian Lace Today (on page 54). The pattern calls for a size 6 needle, but my yarn is a bit thinner, so I started on size 5s. I knit a bit that night, and a bit more at work on Saturday. I got 9 rows done.

Sunday, I went to my LYS to pick up a needle for those Sidewinders, and a needle for the shawl (my Denises were snagging the yarn at the joins). Addi (which is the circular line they have) doesn’t do 2.25mm needles. bah. I picked up a 2.0mm instead, as with socks, you should probably err on tighter gauge than looser. Then, while looking at the bit of shawl I had knit with Amy, I realised it was much, much too open for my tastes, so I bought a 3.25mm (US 3) for that one. Sadly, they had none of the lace Addis in that size. I bought a Natura, because I do like the bamboo.

So I got home, and cast on for the Sidewinders, and worked on that for most of the rest of the day.

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I don’t want to leave the cardi behind in the dust, but the different sizes and stitch patterns and blocking sizes were making my head all exsplody.