Oh, Andi!

This photo was taken before I blocked the cardigan.

 

I finally finished my first Andi Satterlund cardigan pattern and it is PERFECT. It fits me beautifully. Everything worked out great. I love it. Its a very retro looking caridgan but its knit up in worsted weight yarn so it knit up quickly.

I knit up the Myrna cardigan in more of the discontinued yarn that seems to make up most of my stash these days, the Classic Elite Summer Set. Summer Set is a cotton blended yarn that reminds me a lot of Classic Elite Premiere or Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.

I had just 665 yards of the Summer Set which was JUST enough to complete the cardigan. I had about 50 yards left even though I made the cardigan a bit longer than the pattern originally recommended. I probably added a couple inches to the length and it hits just at the top of my hip bones. Still, its a cropped cardigan and the shaping worked out super flattering.

I was sitting on posting this on the off-hand chance I got a photo of me wearing this but time is of the essence so I’ll post this with just the flat photo and hope that’s enough to inspire you to try one of Andi’s excellent patterns. I know I will be knitting more of her designs soon!

Sometimes, a sweater must die

It took me two years to finish the Reine cardigan which looked so lovely in the Brooklyn Tweed Loft it was originally knit up in. In my budget-bin, discontinued Reynolds Wash Day Wool, to get gauge, the fabric was too floppy. It was basically hole-y knit up on the recommended US 7 (4.5mm) needles. I also followed the pattern recommendations for the length of the cardigan which was too long for me. And I skipped the pockets which was why I wanted to knit the Reine cardigan specifically but then I didn’t like the size and shapes of the pockets so I didn’t include them. And that little saggy point at the bottom makes me horrified! I also totally misunderstood the short row shaping of the sleeves and have weird bulges. It was just a sweater train wreck. I couldn’t decide whether to just pitch it or frog it and try to reuse the yarn.

After trying to wear it to work on several occasions and then changing into something else, I just threw the cardigan on my ball winder and spent Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, scissors and the ball winder furiously winding. I decided to save the yarn to make a new cardigan — something with a better fabric density and a better fit for my shape.

Funky grandpa cardigan

The grey and turquoise colored stripes together. So pretty! (The fabric is bumpy because I didn’t wash the yarn after frogging it. It should smooth out with a good steaming)

 

So I chose the Funky Grandpa cardigan which is knit at a much tighter gauge and let me combine my love of stripes and use lots of stash yarn. I’ve been stealing my husband’s Grandpa-style cardigans recently so it seemed appropriate to make my own. I’m combining the original Reynolds grey yarn with some Colinette Jitterbug in Elephant’s Dream and a skein of Stitchjones Merino Sock in Petrol blue. I love the look of the colors together even though I won’t get the color changing effect of the original design but I love the pops of turquoise stripes against the grey.

I hope this is a better use of the yarn and will be a better fitting, more loved sweater. Its well on its way as I’m way more excited about it than I was about the Reine cardigan so my outlook is hopeful.

Funky grandpa cardigan

I’ve got about 7″ completed and joined the front panels and the back last night.

 

Funky grandpa cardigan

The deep blue (petrol) is the top of the shoulder and will relate to the sleeves and a pick up edge for the ribbing.

 

Bookish Knits

I go on these little adventures on Ravelry looking for patterns in whatever theme inspires me on a particular day. Today, I’m inspired by the Pinterest pinner, Librarian for Life and Style. I’ve been following the boards which combine cute, classic looks with a little nerdy charm. She also has a blog, also called Librarian for Life and Style.

So, inspired by bookish-ness and all-thing-librarian, I found these lovely patterns. I particularly love the Ranganathan’s mitts.

Do you seek out themed knits to match your mood?

What’s on (and off) the Pins: March Edition

knitsFOs

Thanks to the imaginary internet points distributed as part of the HPKCHC, I have been finishing a lot more knitting in the past year than in the past.I’ve also been set on using up some stash. So lots of projects got paired with yarn in my stash and wham! bam! knit it up, ma’am!

I made Bob a pair of toasty Waffle mittens out of some Berrocco Vintage I had laying around and he was pleased to have them for the last few days we had of snowy, cold weather. Boy, does he have big hands!

I used up some black and white fingering to make myself a new French-y beret using the Purl Beret pattern as a base. The flower brooch was made for a Louisa Harding vest. The vest never fit quite right but the flower pins get used on lots of my knitwear. I should probably try to reknit the vest at some point because I love it in concept.

Last week, I finished the February Lady Sweater with the Mission Falls 1824 yarn that I’ve tried unsuccessfully to use on two other sweater patterns. I knit this sweater in about a week. It is a super quick knit. The suggested yardage for the February Lady Sweater is definitely less than what is actually required. I ended up using all but about 2 gms of the yarn I had for a total of 892 yds which is more than the 850 yds recommended for the size I knit AND my sleeves ended up much shorter than the sample images. SO, if you decide to knit this cardigan (and I highly recommend it because its a quick fun knit) be sure to over estimate your yardage. Also, I find the sleeves a bit too wide and I even added decreases as a yarn conservation technique and they are still quite wide.

suzon-complete

I also finished my Suzon shawl last week and I love it. I was a little hesitant whether I would like or wear a rainbow shawl but what didn’t occur to me was that it goes with everything! I didn’t use a full ball of the Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and just 300 yds of the undyed Knit Picks. I was thinking that I’d need more than a ball of Mini Mochi to complete it. So with a combined total of 462 yds, the finished shawl measures about 5 feet from point to point and about 20″ deep from the center back to the point. So its not huge but I can loop it around my neck twice.

Now, to the WIPs:

scarves

I’ve been working on a DK weight scarf for Bob out of some of the WEBS 40th Anniversary yarn dyed by Madeline Tosh. I call the scarf 221b because of the similarity to the blue scarf Sherlock wears but I’m actually using one of the reversible texture patterns from Ruggles pattern. For me, I’m making the Laverne scarf from Louisa Harding’s Knits for an English Rose, using up some of the Grace Hand Dyed I bought in California a couple years ago. I like how both are knitting up but they take some concentration when knitting so I haven’t made as much progress on them as I hoped.

I just cast-on my first Andi Satterlund pattern, the Myrna cardigan which is using up more stash yarn (yippee!!) but there’s not much progress to show yet. The pattern starts at the top of the back of the sweater and knits to the arm pit before picking up for the fronts, knitting down and then joining it together. I’ll post photos of it soon when there’s more then a dishcloth’s worth of progress to show. I hope to have it finished by the end of the month. I only have 665 yards of yarn for it so it shouldn’t take too long to finish it. The first cardigan for my summer of dresses and cardigans!

 

Dress + Cardigan

dress+cardigan

Oh, the spring weather is here (or at least its teasing us) and I’ve got cotton dresses and cardigans on the mind. I pulled out some of my light cotton dresses from my off-season closet this morning and had nothing but plain store-bought cardis to pair them with. So sad! Then I stumbled across Ellen Mason’s Pinterest board, Dress + Cardigan and I was off! Handknit cardigans are the perfect accompaniment to summery cotton dresses to get you through the cooler days of spring and fight the chill of overly-enthusiastic air conditioning.

 

It all started with Andi Satterlund and all her wonderful handknit sweater patterns that she models with cute vintage-inspired dresses. I’ve already picked out some yarn from my stash to knit up the Myrna cardigan. Then Ellen Mason’s Mary Rebecca cardigan came to my attention. The Mary Rebecca pattern comes with a matching hand warmer pattern since it has short bracelet sleeves as well so what a lovely bonus! So that’s two sweaters in my Ravelry queue that I want to cast-on today!

Then there’s those gems I added to my queue a couple days ago: the Easy shrug by Xandy Peters, the Summer Carnival cardigan by Georgie Hallam, and Andi Satterlund’s new Mary Mead pattern. By the end of summer I should have a rainbow of cardigans!

Am I the only person who queues more patterns than she can possibly knit in a lifetime?

Let’s Join The Circus!

vintage-circus-poster

I’ve been under the weather the last few days but spring weather has sprung here so all I can think of is spring-weather sweaters and colorful shawls. The patterns I found were inspired by carnivals, fairs and magical days. If I am stuck on the couch, I should knit and wear colorful things.

sweaters-shawls

From top, left to right: Suzon Shawl, Emelie, Summer Carnival and Circus Showgirl’s Plumes.

I like that I found a photo of my new friend Ceylangul in her Emelie in such a vivid green. What a doll!

I already cast-on the Suzon Shawl using a couple skeins of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in Juniper Fireworks and an undyed skein of Knit Picks fingering to get great popping stripes. I’m using a lighter weight of yarn than the pattern calls for so I will probably end up with a lot more stripes and lace panels but its knitting up fast. I love watching the colors change and the fisherman lace is simple but fun. Addictive knit!

circus1

I, of course, couldn’t resist finding some vintage circus inspiration. Plumes of feathers, and vivid pinks, reds and yellows. What a wonderful, wild life these ladies must have lead!

Evelina-circus

I also found Evelina Roos and her Join Circus Eddy collection which are full of fun, circus-inspired stripes and vivid colored shawls. I think these patterns would be such a fun way to use up a bunch of too-pretty-to-be-hidden-in-shoes fingering yarns and I have quite a few skeins in my stash!

Shall we all imagine we’ve run off with the circus this week in scarves, shawls and cotton dresses with our favorite new cardigans?

Learning to Flick

I’ve tried to teach myself to knit continental but what I discovered is that when I knit in continental, my guage is SOOOO much looser which is very frustrating. I heard about this technique call “flick knitting” which is a modified version of of the standard English-style knitting that I learned but instead of letting go of the needle to wrap the yarn around, the yarn is wrapped around the index finger and “flicked” onto the working needle.

Even though I’m left-handed and knit completely backwards, this video really helped me get the hang of flick knitting. I have discovered that if I’m working with big needles or particularly bulky yarn, flicking is a lot harder to do consistently. With fingering, sport, DK or worsted, I do okay with the flick knitting.

This video starts with her version of flick purling but she doesn’t slow down to show the movements right away. Stick with it, if you’re curious about flick purling.

I’m not as good with flick purling though so I think I’ll re-watch Ms. VeryPinkKnits video again and see if I can get the hang of flicking.

How do you knit? Have you tried to change your technique or learn a different method?

I love hats!

I love to knit hats and I love to wear hats. Hats are instant gratification knitting projects for me. I can usually knit a hat in fingering to worsted weight yarn in a couple evenings. Other folks love to knit socks, I love hats. I particularly like to knit berets and cloche style hats.

year-in-hats

These are the hats I’ve knitted in the past year or so. Yup, at least NINE in about twelve months just for myself, as well as a few that I’ve gifted and knit for other folks. You can find all the pattern and project information over in my Hats Projects folder.

With the start of a new month, its the start of new classes on the Ravelry Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup Challenge forum and that means new class prompts. Class prompts are projects that meet a theme or concept and participants have until the last day of the month to complete at least one class prompt to stay a member of the challenge. For each project submitted to a “class,” “students” earn points for their house. I’m on my second year as a participant and I’m a Ravenclaw (this might not be surprising to most people).

I joke with other friends who participate that I knit a lot more now that I get imaginary internet points (IIP) for my projects. IIP are strangely engaging for me.

So, with my new class prompts, I seek out patterns or projects that might align with the class promppts. Many of these prompts often lend themselves to a quick hat project so I have added a bunch of projects to my favorites page.

Projects I might knit this month:

hats-to-knit

Most of these are worsted weight hats since I have some worsted yarn in my stash I’d like to use up. From left to right, top to bottom:  Brioche Hood Hat, Tara and FlossieTied-Band Chevron, Archipelago and Moss Beret. Lucy Hat, Bosc Hat and Patsy’s Bonnet.

What’s your favorite thing to knit?

In Love With… Shrugs

It’s still ridiculously cold here but I am dreaming of the day that I can drape a light shrug over a cotton dress and frolic in the park. Okay, maybe just shield me from the polar AC in the office.

I find that there are two type of shrugs for the most part. There’s the “shrunken cardigan”-style and the scarf/wrap-stitched-to-make-sleeves variety. The stitched sleeve versions are not dissimilar to some of the bed jacket patterns I found awhile back. I like both equally  and I think I’ll definitely knit one or the other style in the upcoming months.

shrug-cardi

Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Bayshore Cardigan, Summer Carnival, Easy,  and Short-Sleeved Bacall

I think the Bayshore Cardigan would be lovely knit up in the skein of Treasure Goddess Cashmere Treasures laceweight that I have in a deep olive-y green. I do love a hoodie! I also have a skein of Treasure Goddess Super Toes Cashmere that come in epic 600 yd skeins that would be perfect for the main color on the Easy shrug. Don’t you just love it when a plan (or six) come together?

shrug2

Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Helen, lytteltonLace Knit Rib Shrug, and Briar Rose Bolero

The Helen is from Susan Crawford’s A Stitch in Time book which I own so I might start with that design.

shrug-vintage

Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Lacy Shruggy, Drop Stitch Shrug, Bolero For Beginners and Party Girl Bolero.

I, of course, found lots of vintage patterns for shrugs and boleros. Some are sweet, some are sophistcated and elegant. So much goodness! I love the Party GIrl Bolero but I don’t think she means “party girl” like we mean “party girl”!

shrug-unusual

Shown above (links to Raverly pattern pages): Funnel Cloud Shrug, Paris Jacket, Chelsea Waistcoat and Coco Chenille.

These last few were some really interesting construction but are still interesting and could look vintage depending on how you accessorize it. Still, very pretty!

In love with… Scarflettes

Bomb Girls Scarflette

Whether you call them ascots, keyhole scarves, pull-through scarves, scarflettes or something else entirely, these little neck-warming confections are  great instant gratification knitting. They seldom require more than one or two balls of yarn and there are lots of patterns available for free or through Raverly. Even my non-vintage-y friends have become enamored with the flirty fun look of the scarflette.

It all started last year when I knit up the Anthro-Inspired Scarflet. I used some leftover bulky-weight blue-grey yarn from a pullover and then overdyed it a tealcolor so I wouldn’t be all matchy-matchy. The yarn was just over one ball of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky which is not known for being the softest yarn in the world. But it has turned out to be the scarf I have worn most often this winter. I love the silly thing. Its not as bulky as a long 5′ scarf or wrap-it-twice cowl might be. Because of the little slip-through slot, the scarf stays put and gives the whole thing a jaunty look.

As a result of all this affection for the scarflette, I’ve decided I must knit at least one more — if not a dozen more. I went sleuthing on Ravelry for some of the most interesting, fun or gratifying patterns.

I’ll probably knit up the Drifted Pearls soon along with the simple Miss Marple but I haven’t made my final decision yet. I might have to make one of each.