Bloomsbury Sweater


Catching up on my blogging, ;). Finished up the Bloomsbury sweater on May 17th. Love it! As soon as I saw this pattern roaming the internets I was in love with the lace patterns on the sleeves and back. This was my second sweater project, first pullover. I used Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the color Acadia.

This sweater is knit from the top down to enable trial fittings as you go along. I only made 1 change and that was to add an additional waist shaping decrease and hip shaping increase to ensure I had the right number of stitches at the end. I had heard it was a bit loose in the waist and as I wanted mine a little more fitted I added a second, :).

Because this sweater is so stretchy I didn’t make any alterations to the bust and just knitted a straight medium since I knew that would be what my shoulders and waist are. In retrospect I should have added about another inch to each sleeve but it’s ok.


More pics of the lovely details, :).

Socks!


I began knitting with the idea that someday I would be able to make a pair of socks (and to stop chewing my nails so much!). Well, I finally made socks! Found this pattern on Ravelry by Tian Foley called Twin Peaks. They are a knee high socks with some cabeling on the top and a little on the heel with the rest being a simple rib knit. These socks have been finished for awhile now, just finally getting around to blogging about them, ;).

I made no changes to sizing and they fit great, :). A little loose around my foot but a good length. Finished them just in time for the warmer weather, ;). Love that cable pattern!


I did run out of yarn on the second sock but only when I began the toe decreases and I had a dark blue in my stash so it’s really not that noticeable. Plus it’s the toe and most people won’t even see it.


But yeah, I made socks, :).
More pics!



OAL2016

Yay, I’ve been keeping an eye out for this one and will definitely be participating again this year, :). It’s time for the 2016 Outfit Along where Lladybird and Untangling Knots team up to host. Basically you knit one piece and sew one piece to create an outfit. This year is Andi’s newest pattern Zinone, a tank, and the Hollyburn skirt. You can chose whichever patterns you want though as long as they make up an outfit, :). That knit tank is super cute!

I’ve already got the pattern and yarn to start the Miette cardigan by Andi and hadn’t decided on the sewn piece yet. The Hollyburn skirt has been on my radar for awhile but I may try my hand at the Thurlow Trousers pattern I purchased with the intention of making a nice pair of work pants.

The yarn I purchased from Knit Picks, it is their Preciosa Tonal Worsted Yarn in this gorgeous teal color called Crest.

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Another yarn/sewing project on my list is the Sparkling Karin knit lace dress by Lacelegance with a silky under slip. I have a feeling this one will take much longer than 2 months though! Using a pretty purple lace weight yarn also from Knit Picks.

 

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Havar Sweater Dress

I decided to stretch my knitting skills and try my hand at knitting a dress. I am so happy with how it turned out!!! I decided to make the Havar Dress on Ravelry by Kessa Tay Anlin. Overall a great pattern and the designer was so helpful when I had questions. It was definitely a challenge but overall I think it turned out really well. I opted to not put in the pocket. She designed the dress to hug your curves but the way it has been written up makes it so easy to make whatever sizing adjustments you may need to do.

Most of my notes can be found on Ravelry here. I had some trouble sorting out when and how to do the Front and Primary Back decreases, but I sorted it out by just starting them all at the same time on their respective rounds. As for sizing I chose the middle one but then added some bust increases up to the second to last size and then decreased back down to the middle size. I may have bound off “within the triangle” a tad early but I think it looks pretty close to the designer’s photos and I added about 1″ to the cowl neck.

I chose some vintage style buttons from Jo-Ann’s, could only find 4 and as I ended up making a total of 6 button holes I used two plain black ones from my stash for the inside ones no one will ever see, ;). As for my button hole spacing I decided to put in a hole every 1.5″, the pattern doesn’t really specify but I used 1″ buttons so found this to work.

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And the finished dress!!!

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It fits perfectly! I usually put a long sleeved shirt under the top and wear it over jeans or leggings. A bit short for me to wear it as a dress so I’ve coined it a tunic. The yarn I used was Berrocco Vintage, wonderful to work with and so warm! And as I have a loose knit I used a size 5 needle rather than the recommended size 6. I ended up with about 2-3″ of negative ease but as the dress is so stretchy this worked out well and the pattern is designed to have negative ease. Took me about 5 months working on it off and on but well worth the time and effort.

Sweater 1

And a side view

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Knitted Set of Hat, Mitts, and Neck Warmer

Been in a knitting mood of late and with all of this cold weather and snow (8″!) here in Nashville I decided I needed a nice warm set of winter wear. I started off just needing a new hat and then saw this neck warmer designer by the same designer and decided, well I need mitts too, ;). First I began with the Fisherman’s Wife Beret by Kalurah Hudson on Ravelry as a free pattern. Love it! Overall it’s a pretty easy and quick make using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn and size 15 circular needles.

The hat starts with a tubular cast-on, this took me about an hour to figure out but this YouTube video was super helpful. Just don’t do what I did and try to cast on with a knit 2 purl 2, haha. Does not work! In the video she explains how to cast on using a knit 1 purl 1 method and then how to switch it to the K2P2 of the pattern. Once I figured it out it was pretty easy. You do some basic rib for a bit then switch to an easy cable pattern. Looks great! I did go ahead and put it over a dinner plate to shape it and it helped so much. Before I did that it was pretty stiff but washing it softened it up a bit and putting it over a plate helped it to keep it’s shape. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Fisherman.

Flat Beret

 

And the hat flattened out.Hat

 

And on! I get so many compliments on this hat, :). And it’s so warm!Wearing the Hat

 

This same designer also has a matching neck warmer. She actually designed the hat to go with it from a customer request. The scarf was also a quick knit, done within 3 hours, :). I made the size medium and the pattern can be purchased on Ravelry here for $4. Such a beautiful design and so easy to wear. I used the same yarn and needles as the hat and purchased the buttons from Wal-Mart.

I blocked this out per the pattern and I am just so in love with it.

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And last but not least, matching fingerless mitts! I used the same yarn but this time I switched to size 10 double pointed needles. These were made using the pattern Green Giant Fingerless Mitts available for free on Ravelry. I made the size small and added a couple rows for the thumb as I have long fingers. I liked how well the cable design went with the rest of the accessories.

Mitts

 

And all together! I have a bit of a cables obsession… ;). More info can be found on my Ravelry projects page: Fisherman’s Wife BeretThe Fisherman’s WifeGreen Giant Fingerless Mitts

The Whole Set

Outfit Along 2015: Finished!

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I have finally finished my Vianne cardigan!!! Actually, I finished it a few days ago, just finally got around to compiling and taking photos, ;).

This was my first knitted garment beyond scarves, hats, and mittens. I guess this was kind of like a large mitten with the adding sleeves. Andi at Untangling Knots had great advice as did the online forum over at Ravelry.

Casting on took me two tries due to my counting issues…but overall very proud of my sweater, :). Once I had the upper back completed I had to learn how to pick up stitches to start the fronts…took some time but I figured it out. Yay!

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Some photos of the work in progress. Once I had all the pieces (upper back, upper front left, and upper front right) I started knitting it all as one piece. Once I sorted out the usefulness of stitch markers life got WAY easier! I would put one right before and after each 9 stitch panel section which helped a lot once I started increasing and decreasing the regular knit parts in between panels.
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Was so excited to start the sleeve caps! I’ve never done short rows before so the technique scared me but once I started it turned out to be really easy…as long as I kept count. Had to undo a few rows here and there. And yes, I am holding a ball of yarn, was still a work in progress, ;).

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I also had to redo the first shoulder cap as I had gotten a couple rows off center and knew it would bother me. It’s always sad when one needs to undo several hours of work but it was worth the effort.
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As was the need to redo my sleeve. I followed the pattern but the sleeve was too loose for my preferences so I undid it up to the sleeve cap (the short rows) and redid it much smaller, even smaller than the XS size. Wow, so much better. Something someone advised me of is the nature of silk is to lengthen…so perhaps not the best material for this particular project but it still looks and feels nice. I used Classic Elite Avenue yarn in Carnation, a merino/silk/rayon blend. As can be seen below, the sleeve in the left side of the pic was much looser than the right side.
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And voila, finished! I was so excited. For the buttons I decided to fabric cover my own using the cotton voile from the dress I made to go with this cardigan. Took a few tried but I found the right bit to use. This first photo is of the front. Love the pattern.

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And the back, which looks amazing with the dress.
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Had to get a close up of the buttons, ;).
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Which means I finally got to learn how to block a sweater. Lots of great tutorials out there. I decided to go with foam backed poster board and just use my regular sewing pins. Once measured out and pinned I put it under a fan for a few days. That was when I discovered the nature of silk versus wool. It doesn’t really shrink, it gets longer. So my waist crop top sweater is more of a regular length one now.

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But it looks great with the dress!
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See what I mean about the back?!?! Just beautiful.
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And all together on me, :). These were taken right before I went out to Nashville’s Red, White, and Zoo. Was great! Got unlimited red and white wine samples and even some food. Plus I got to see a few animals, :).
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And so versatile! Looks great with my new dress too! Which I will blog about later, ;).

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Overall I rated this pattern medium in difficulty for myself as it is my most challenging project to date but overall wasn’t too difficult. The pattern repeated a lot and I had prior experience in knitting ribbing and in doing lace work. The hard bits for me were picking up stitches and keeping track of my counting. Now I have a handy stitch/row clicker counter!

OAL2015 Progress

So I have decided to participate in the Outfit-A-Long 2015 presented by Lladybird and Untangling Knots. First step was selecting my pattern and yarn. I decided on McCall 6924 and Andi Satterlund’s Vianne. Below is an up close look of the yarn I selected, a gorgeous silk/merino/rayon blend purchased through Craftsy.com. It is Classic Elite yarns Avenue in carnation.

I decided to start on the cardigan first as it is easier to cart my knitting around than my sewing and figured it will take me some time as I am a slow and fairly new knitter. I took the advice and knitted a swatch. First one was a bit tight, second was too loose, so then knitting more like I usually do I ended up with a swatch just right. Like the Three Bears, ;). I washed it, let it dry, and “man-handled” it before I measured the gauge. Andi has some advice on her blog here on how to knit a gauge for a loose gauge project such as this one.

As you can see I started it! Here is a pic of the cardigan and the dress I plan to make along with the gorgeous cotton voile I purchased through Fabric.com.

And the upper back! I had to cast on a few times to get the pattern going correctly and even then I had to undo a few rows here and there but I ended up with what looks like the correct pattern and the right number of stitches for the medium size I chose, ;). Andi suggested using a cable cast on or long tail here, I chose the long tail method.

The tricky part was figuring out how to cast on the upper right front to the back piece…after a few tries I figured it out. I read Andi advice on picking up stitches after the fact.

And finished the upper right front! I’m almost finished with the left upper front as well. In my newness I used the only make one stitch I’ve learned and after knitting the entire upper right front I realized it was the wrong one for this pattern, oops! Andi states to use a M1 method and I used a KFB method, knit front back. It just creates a slight extra bump in the fabric but still looks good, just making sure I use the same one throughout the pattern for consistency.

And voila, my current attempt to try on what I have. I think it is going to turn out so pretty!