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Archive for the ‘Sknitting’ Category

It’s an old story, as old as blogging itself.

OK, old in tech terms. It’s been two months, what the heck happened?

Rather than hashing details, I will simply say thank you to all of you who kindly continue to visit despite increasingly frequent breaks.

As always, there’s a cardigan afoot. I’m working on a Vonica for my sister L, and I just finished the body. Only sleeves to go!

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The second picture shows the texture and color much more accurately than the first. I’m using Classic Elite Classic Silk in the color Wave Break, and it’s lovely. For a non-wool blend, it’s surprisingly easy on the hands and the tweediness lends great texture.

While knitting on Vonica on the back patio, Topaz gave me a helping hand…

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Of course as soon as I got up he stretched his way onto my half of the loveseat. I couldn’t find it in me to move him.

I sewed up one front/neck on my New York/Los Angeles Cardigan, but then it sat while working on Vonica. I steamed it before seaming, and it grew in length even more than anticipated.

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Whoopsie. I think this will get a toss in the dryer during wet blocking, so that I get a long, but not gargantuan, sweater. Knitting with the Manos Serena is a dream!

I also have a couple small projects in the works, but they are secrets. Shhhh.

I have a little more time to knit just of late because my company did some downsizing. I was not laid off (though some were) but I was among those with reduced hours. I had been thinking of reducing my hours further anyway for health reasons, so it’s all to the good. N and I can manage fine, and I am trying to see the opportunity in it. Still scary though. I must admit this was a time I am glad of my stash. This news was also tempered by the fact that my office just moved locations, and not only is it only 3 miles from home, I was given my own office. The suite was already built out, and the offices are spacious. I have huge east-facing windows and a great view. As with most corporate-type spaces, it always seems a tad cold. It’s not arctic thank goodness, but my cardigan collection is still needed year-round 🙂

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An actual real FO post. It’s been a spell. Normal life stuff, mostly, keeping me from the computer. However, I am at this moment enjoying a PB&J with a glass of white wine. Cause I’m classy like that.

Between a couple FOs to tell and all new fall pattern goodness, I’m going to keep this short and, hopefully, sweet.

Finished up a Goodale for mememe…

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I had been eyeing some stashed Silky Tweed for this, and after seeing Pam’s I was sold.

Pattern: Goodale by Cecily Glowik MacDonald (Raveled)

Yarn: Silky Tweed, color 12, just shy of 5 skeins

Needles: US7

I made the smallest size, then proceeded to put on about 10 pounds 🙂 Thankfully, the design is plump-friendly. Normally, I would be bummed, but after hardly being able to eat most of last year due to severe anxiety, I take a healthy appetite as a sign of, well, health. I’m mostly bummed alot of my wardrobe doesn’t fit. I have, though, cut back on the snacking.

My other FO is for my lovely niece, C. She spied a crocheted cowl on Etsy, and asked if I might be able to knit a facsimile, both of the stitch pattern and the color, a rich orange. Thanks to Ravelry, after 7.39 minutes of pattern searching, I came across Begbie from Jane RIchmond. Thanks to one of my LYSs, Abuelita’s, I came across a skein of Malabrigo in Sealing Wax, the perfect rich orange if ever there was one.

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Double-stranded Malabrigo, US13 needles, a great stitch pattern, and voila – a cozy (and might I add crazy-quick) cowl (Raveled).

It’s a good thing I’m finishing some projects, because the time of fall patterns has arrived. And it is good. Links for you!

Twist! A fantastic issue, even for Twist. I can’t say I feathered to the colorwork patterns, but maybe I need to see them in different colors. So far I’ve nabbed Evendin, Maree, and Twinings. There are other patterns I really like, but I tried to restrain myself. At least temporarily. Twist can be like the Whole Paycheck Foods of knitting magazines.

New and incredible, if you haven’t already seen it, is Wool People. Brooklyn Tweed invited several amazing designers to design with Shelter, and this first issue is the result. I heart so many of the patterns, I haven’t narrowed it down yet. Another Whole Foods of knitting situation.

The Fall IK is hitting mailboxes and newsstands, and after at best lukewarm Spring and Summer issues (to me), I thought this issue was good. I especially like the Strobilus Pullover and Cardigan Bay Jacket. The Dahlia Cardigan seems to be the standout favorite.

However, I think the Fall Knitscene is great. I have been consistently preferring the issues of Knitscene to IK of late. I like Amy Herzog’s three featured patterns, the Hawkmoth Pullover, Morrison Cardigan, Montview Cardigan, Lowry Pullover, Live Oak Shawlette, and basically all the hat and mitt patterns.

It’s been a million years since I’ve done a big list of single patterns, and there are simply too many. Really. It makes my brain hurt a little to contemplate it. So I am taking the easy route and formally inviting anyone interested to see my Ravelry pattern favorites list here.

I’m off the finish this glass of wine, and maybe knit a few stitches.

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Happy 4th of July!

That’s a good start. What in the world have I been doing the past month plus? Well, it’s summer y’all! At least recently. Plus some secret gifty knitting. I have a FO and some WIPs, and finally, pictures 🙂

I knit a shawlette for my sis J’s birthday…and took the opportunity for FO pics during a visit to one of my favorite places, Descanso Gardens.

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  • Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante (Raveled)
  • Capistrano Fiber Arts Merino/Silk in “Irish Moss”, 2 skeins, 300 yards
  • US 8 needle
  • Size small in the dk/sport pattern

For my niece, a Begbie cowl in Malabrigo “Sealing Wax”. Such a cool color!

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And, in order for this site to keep its cred as The Cardigan Blog, progress on my Aryn Tunic Cardi in Classic Elite Lush.

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I just have to knit the upper back and dolman sleeves, the rest of the neckband, and some finishing. The fabric is incredible, and also very, very warm. I should have this done just in time for the hottest weather of the year! Figures.

I’ll soon be starting two new cardigans, one for moi and one for my sis L. I hope everyone in Canada and the US is enjoying their national birthdays, and having a lovely long weekend!

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That’s what I should rename this site. The Cardigan Blog. More on this later.

First, thank you for all the well wishes! I was fully recovered soon after my last post, and have been enjoying Spring and other life goodness. Some weeks back, we got a new chair and table to match our adirondack settee, making a cozy patio even better:

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A great place to lounge, yogurt yumminess, HP and the Deathly Hallows on its release day (thanks Amazon!), and New England Knits. Very happy making! I also got an iPad a few weeks back, and have, unsurprisingly, been ensconced. Fishdom was my master for about a week.

In the month since my last post (egads!), I have worked on a new cardigan. Shock and awe, I know. I am nearing the finish line on a Goodale in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool:

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I made it a bit longer, and knitted a garter hem instead of ribbing. How long the sleeves are depends on how much yarn I have left. I’d like to be 3/4 length, but it will be a close thing.

I worked here and there on the Aryn Cardi, and now it has…pockets!

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I heart the pockets. I really want this as a FO, but the stitch pattern, while easily memorized, still requires a certain amount of attention. I was crazing stockinette. Hence, Goodale. I will probably finish this cardi about mid-September when it’s a 100F.

I’ve also worked up another sooper secret sample knit. And that’s about that. I hope you are all enjoying the Spring weather and finding time to knit!

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Just when I had committed to myself to blog more often, to maintain these wonderful online knitterly connections, Murphy’s Law had other ideas. Isn’t that always the way? A bit of flu, thought I was mostly better, then a bit of mild pneumonia, by all indications. It does seem to be hanging on, and I am headed back to the doc later this morning.

With all this time off, I certainly did a spot of knitting. But mostly it was napping, lazing and reading. You know you are under when you read instead of knit because it takes less energy. I did finish a couple of smallish items and started yet another cardigan.

I firmly believe one can never have enough cardigans. Or bags.

So, the big catch up. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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My favorite little FO of late, a pair of Knotted Slippers by Cocoknits, for a friend who is celebrating both a birthday and a start to maternity leave at the same time! Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio Superwash Merino, colorway Spring, about 225 yards for size 8-9, US5 needles (Raveled). Another winner from Cocoknits – a quick and clever, well-written pattern and a stupendous use of sock yarn! The Capistrano yarn was a delight to work with. Also, double stranding a handpaint resulted in a lovely painterly effect.

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These are a tad to large for me, but even like this they were supremely comfortable. I have worn my Pleated Ballet Flats, also from Cocoknits, all the time and can see a pair of these for moi in the future.

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Continuing a preference for bright, Spring-y colors, a pair of DK Delights socks, from Amy Swenson, for my neice’s birthday. Scout’s Swag Superwash Merino Worsted, colorway Extinct, amazingly also about 225 yards, US4 needles (Raveled). This was also a great pattern, every other row is knit and the lace pattern is easily to remember.

And finally, more cardigans.

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I got a start on an Aryn Tunic Cardigan by Melissa Werhle, for me, in Classic Elite Lush. I love how this pattern is nearly seamless, and, oh, the texture. Yummy nummy texture. I lose a certain amount of time as I periodically stop and fondle the fabric. The Lush is luscious.

In February I worked on a sample knit for Mind of Winter, the Chalice Cowl, which has now been released! This will be the only early release from Julia’s planned fall collection, and other sample knits will be secret (shhhh). But I can tell you there are some gorgeous patterns in the works.

There are a gazillion new magazines and patterns zooming about these days, even more than usual it seems. I honestly don’t have the energy to list all my recent favorites right now – but, if you haven’t already, do check out Twist, Knitscene, and Petite Purls. ETA – and Knitty! A really good Knitty!

 

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I’m going to be doing some sample knitting for a friend this year, so I decided that I needed to clear my knitting plate a bit. I finished a couple of chunky-weight sweaters, and fixed a couple of existing FOs that needed just a little more work. These were the projects of mine, the ones we all have, that didn’t necessarily takes mountains of time, they just needed to be knocked out.

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First up, a Nati, by Lucy Hulett, in GGH Aspen. Details on Ravelry. I’ve wanted to make this pattern for the longest time, in part because I had a perfect stash yarn. Plus, getting a whole sweater out of 440 yards of yarn is nifty! This feels like the softest sweatshirt ever, and it’s quite warm to boot. The only mod I made was to make the neckline smaller by casting off 4 fewer stitches (2 less on each side).

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Second, a Go Vest, by Pickles, in SWTC Optim DK. Details on Ravelry. I started this project because I had a perfect stash yarn, and I thought it would quick and result in a versatile little sweater. It didn’t turn out quite like I expected, but I do like it. The brioche stitch used in this pattern is interesting, though not intuitive at first, at least to me. I could see using this stitch in a scarf or wrap for interesting texture. A few inches into the body I realized that my gauge was a bit too large, so I decreased 1 stitch at each side just inside the front bands twice, spaces about four inches apart.

On to the fixes!

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Before After

I decided to go ahead and sew down the back pleat on the Lena I finished near the beginning of this year. In addition to making the back look neater, I was surprised by how much this change helped the size and drape of the body! I realized belatedly that this was just like taking in an inch on each side. It is smaller all over, and hugs my back more. It’s not a perfect sewing job by any stretch, but I am happy enough with it and the improved fit that resulted.

For the other fix, we need to jump in the way back machine. Way back to January 2007.

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Before After

I finished this Wicked pullover with nary an inch of yarn to spare, and I ended up never wearing it because it was just a bit too short. Fast forward to January 2011, I’m in my LYS and I spy a single lonely skein of Supermerino in the same colorway, or as same as it could be. I could not believe it!

I snapped it up and sure enough, it was a close match. I picked out the bind off at the hem, and added 3-ish more inches, using about half the skein. It’s now the perfect length, is much more flattering (if I do say so), and I’ve worn it with a long sleeve tissue t-shirt underneath three times in two weeks. It was meant to be. I’m over the moon at having what is essentially a new sweater with this little fix, because now I will actually wear it. It’s ultra soft, very warm and so comfy.

In other crafty endeavors, I helped a friend recover some cushions for a nursery glider yesterday. We skipped off to Michael Levine’s to be overwhelmed with fabric choices, but did finally settle on something perfect. We sized, cut, interfaced, pinned and sewed all in one day! It really got my latent sewing bug going again. I must get my machine working! Plus there are couple more smallish knitting projects I’d like to finish up, and I’ve been working lately on a sample knit too. Ahhh, never enough hours.

Here in SoCal we are getting a taste of real winter – it snowed down to 500 feet, even accumulating in Burbank yesterday, and this morning the water in my bird bath was frozen solid. Thank goodness for all these woolens!

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Wee FOs

It’s a time of wee-sized FOs around here. After a string of cardigan knitting, it’s been refreshing to work on smaller projects. Although I am hearing the siren call of sweater knitting once again!

First, for a colleague that has just added a baby boy to his family…

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Pattern: Get Ziggy by Anny Purls (Raveled)

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton, ~ 3.6 skeins or 335 yds

Needles: US6 and US7

Size: Followed pattern for 18 mos at a smaller gauge (~20 sts/4 in) to achieve about a 12 mos size

I love the thought of baby boys in denim blue. I had originally purchased this yarn with my great-nephew in mind. That was over four years ago. Ahem. When I learned of this baby boy and rifled through my patterns, I realized this was a perfect match.

Actually, the plied cotton yarn structure was a bit splitty for the serious cable action. But other than that, it worked like a champ and blocked well too. My ratio of stitch and row gauge was a little off compared to the pattern, and I had to fudge the sleeve seaming here and there, in part by seaming the sides up another 1/2 inch or so. In the end it all came together, though, and I love the way it turned out.

Second, for my sis L’s beau…

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This project was tumbling around in the back of my head when I was working on the sheepy cardigan below. I ended up using far less of the brown-colored Berroco Vintage than I anticipated, and had essentially a full skein remaining. At almost the same time, I received an email from ChicKnits announcing the new He Said, She Said hat/cowl pattern. I soon realized that the skein of Vintage, doubled, would be just right for a men’s hat in this pattern. And sure enough, a couple evenings of knitting and I had a soft, cushy, unique, and man-appropriate hat!

Pattern: He Said, She Said hat by ChicKnits (Raveled)

Yarn: Berroco Vintage, Chocolate, ~185 yds

Needles: US 8 and 10.5

Size: 21″-22″ (smaller) at a slightly larger gauge

Also wee, but not yet done, the sheepy cardigan

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There are alot of ends hiding in there! This new arrival is not due until April though, so I’m not feeling too rushed.

I’ve been spending the weekend since Friday nursing a cold. You’d think I’d have lots of knitting time, but it hasn’t turned out that way. You know you are sick when knitting takes too much concentration and energy. I did read a whole novel and start another, though! Last weekend, N and I drove into the Angeles National Forest, to over 7,000 feet, and spent a couple hours hiking and picnicking here (as always, click for bigger):

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Just remembering this view makes me feel better. We crossed an ice-cold trickling stream, spied a group of mountain chickadees, smelled the pine and manzanita, and sunned ourselves like lizards on a rock outcropping, much needed as it was about 45F up there. Hope you all are well and warm!

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