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.

 

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!

 

On The Pins: The Suzon Shawl AKA The Potato Chip Knit

On Monday evening, I cast on the Suzon (Fabulous Carnival) Shawl, inspired by my Circus-inspired knitting projects and its the most “one more row” knit I’ve ever worked on. Instead of worsted weight yarn, I’m using fingering weight and US size 4 needles. With the long color change of the Crystal Palace Mini Mochi Juniper Fireworks yarn and the squishy, clean ivory solid from Knit Picks in a simple, easy fisherman lace, I am loving this knit.

I once heard someone refer to a knitting project as a “potato chip knit” a project you want just one more bite, one more row and this is my first genuine experience with this idea. Each section of repeats is just ten rows so once I finish the color striping, I just want to whip through the fisherman lace and then the next ten color rows.

The photo above is the result of just two days of work (in between full work days and finishing two other projects). Yep, that chippy!

I look forward to knit night tonight to work through a few more repeats!

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?