The Year of the Sweater Continues….

So, a knitting update.

The goal:

Knit 7 me-sized sweaters before the end of next winter.

The sweaters:

Sweater #1 – “Pink” (Top-Down Vine Lace Cardigan in Malabrigo Chunky) status: DONE

Sweater #2- “Chai” (Tea Leaves Cardigan in Madelintosh Tosh Merino) status: DONE

Sweater #3 – “Vera” (Shawl Collared Cardigan in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes) status:

This sweater has been bad. Though I counted twice, I have three extra stitches on the left front. Debate over what to do keeps me awake at night. What’s three stitches? I ask myself. Well, in this case, three stitches is about 3/4 of an inch. Does it matter? There is a huge shawl collar yet to knit that will cover a multitude of sins… To frog means tearing back too far to think about without a glass of wine. I want to continue, but I am paralyzed by this conundrum. So, there it sits, looking very color-coordinated in it’s bag, waiting on me to make up my mind and proceed.

In the meantime, there is…

Sweater #4 – “Mermaid” (Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy) status:

I am loving knitting this. (Bad grammar, I know. But I am loving knitting this so much that I don’t care!) The picture doesn’t fully capture the color. It is raining today, so the lighting is bad. There are six cable crossings down the front of each side and I am almost to the fourth one. My skeins of yarn seem slightly varied from each other, so I am knitting from two balls at a time, alternating every two rows to blend them. It is a new technique for me, so that makes it interesting. And, it is also beautifully color-coordintaed with the knitting bag. (I love when that happens!)

This is an excellent pattern, by the way. Very consice and not too wordy. I hate when patterns take up ten pages describing every row, so this was fun for me. You do have to pay attention, though. At one point there are three things going on in the row with only a line or two of instruction to guide you. A lovely challenge. And, knitting from the top down is always fun. I like trying it on as I go and wearing out my husband, “Look! Another inch! Isn’t it turning out wonderfully!?!?”

Sweaters numbered 5,6, and 7 – are, in any order, Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace, Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo, and Tissue Cardigan in Knit Picks Shimmer. status : don’t even think about casting on till you finish one of your other projects!

I wish this was a better picture. These “mondo cables” are really cool!

No Two Exactly The Same

I bake bread all the time. At least twice a week, sometimes more. I use the same recipe, the same oven, the same tools, the same ingredients. Every time. Somehow, though. I never get the same results. Sometimes I get a huge hole right in the middle of the loaf. Sometimes I get an overflowing loaf that grows over the side of the pan and wraps itself around the oven rack as it is baking. And, occasionally, I get the wonder loaf. The perfect loaf. The loaf that gets eaten as if it was coated in chocolate.
Now, the reason for this is no mystery. I know exactly why this happens. It is all in my approach to following recipes. I read a recipe that looks like this:

4 c. flour
4 c. water
1 tbsp yeast

And I do this:
4 (or 5) scoops flour
fill up this jar with water
shovel out yeast with that spoon over there

See the difference? Yeah, I know. I followed it to the letter the first few times I baked bread. It worked so well, I kept doing it. Over time, I stopped messing with the pesky cook book and just started winging it. The bread is usually edible, so this is working okay for me. I get a little exasperated when I have a streak of holey loaves, and I act surprised when I get an awesome loaf.

What does this have to do with knitting, you ask. Everything. Chai is coming along beautifully. I bound off the bottom edge and picked up the stitches for the sleeves. That is when it hit me. I am not following the “recipe”. It says “k St. st for 4 inches and then….” But I am going to do 6″ at least. This would be fine if I only had to make one sleeve, but last time I checked, I have two arms. (This is why I am not a sock knitter, by the way.) Taking notes is an option (ahem, necessity), but I have a better idea.

Time to cast on Year of the Sweater Project no. 3. Absolutely.

Chai

The Year of the Sweater Project continues with “Chai”. Chia is my Tea Leaves Cardigan in  Madelinetosh, fig colorway. I love this color. I love this sweater. I love this yarn. I am feeling a little woozy with all this love… This is sweater no. 2 for the project, but it was the first to be cast on. Here’s where we are as of today:

I wish I could capture the color – it is fabulous. So, 6 more rows and then sleeves and buttonbands. This is such a wonderful yarn that I don’t mind all the stockinette so much. The feel of the wool as it slides through my fingers and the varigation making every stitch an adventure… I think I am in love!

A word on buttons – I am stuck on poor Pink, which is blocking now. Pink is beautiful. Pink is cozy. Pink is the first sweater of the Year of the Sweater Project and the first sweater I have ever made for myself. But Pink is sad. She has no buttons. What makes a good button? Should it be noticable? Cute? Boring? Wood, plastic or metal? Pink needs seven LARGE buttons. Poor Pink. I am stuck. (Time to go shopping… we’ll stop at See’s on the way)