Little Knitting

The baby shower was today, so I get to show you the baby sweater that I finished last week for my little niece (who is expected in April).

Louise Cardigan in Dream in Color Smooshy Ruby River (Ravelry Link)

And there is more finished knitting I can show you later too! Ten days of internet deprivation and I kicked out some serious knitting.

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Abby’s Dream Come True

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Abby’s Dream Sweater in Dream in Color Smooshy (Ruby River, Green Lantern, Visual Purple and Buttercup)

Three things about this sweater.

1. Collaborating with my daughter was so fun. I can’t wait to do it again. And it was awesome to see her face when I presented her the finished product. She said it is exactly what she pictured. Score!

2. Still need buttons. I am thinking little pearl buttons that will fit in the weave of the button band. I didn’t put holes.

3. I learned through this project (among other things) that I don’t know how to do intarsia. It was  a poor attempt and I can see lots of flaws. I think I need to take a class or something. I am a self taught knitter, but I can tell I taught myself this technique wrong.

So, there it is. Success. 🙂

Outsmarting Myself

Because I put off knitting sleeves, dreading the monotonous task of knitting the same thing twice. Because a sweater will languish for weeks, even months, waiting for me to get up the nerve to knit sleeves for it. Because I have gotten way to close to having a bulky, wool sleeveless top one too many times.

I am knitting the sleeves first this time.

Brilliant, I know. But, notice, I only have one sleeve there… 🙂

This is  Abby’s dream sweater that I blogged about here. I am pleased as punch how well it is turning out.

And, about this weekends post. I apologize for dumping on you all. I was having quite a day. Then, God reminded me of all the things I have to be thankful of. I am a spoiled rich kid compared to most in the this world and I should be thankful for that. God is so good to put me back in my place, and I am doing much better now. 🙂

Design Team

My ten year old daughter is an excellent artist. Ever since she could hold a crayon, she has been continuously improving her drawing skills. Add to that her love of paper dolls, and her endless creativity and what do you get? A young fashion designer extraordinaire. One day, I was looking at her paper doll clothes and I had an epiphany. I could knit that! I don’t have a lot of original ideas, and she doesn’t have the needlework know-how. But together, we could make a great team! So, I recently told her that, if she would draw her dream sweater, I would do my best to knit it. This is what she came up with:

Hey, I can knit that! We worked out some of the details, like “are those flowers sewn on or colored in?” and “those sleeve cuffs, how much longer than the arm are they?” Then we went shopping (online) and she picked out some wonderful yarn (Dream in Color Smooshy). The day it came was like Christmas, and she was as excited as I. I posted this picture already, but to refresh your memory:

Next, I started swatching.

The sparkle in Abby’s eye when I got it right was priceless. I think I have it all worked out. Now to knit it. This has been so fun. I hope that it is a good experience for her and that she will want to repeat it. This means I need to get it knit before the excitement wears off… I can do that.

Anybody got a clue as to how to do that bottom bit? I was thinking I would just knit a normal ribbed lower edge, but if you can tell me how to do that fancy bit in her drawing, I am willing to try it. 🙂

Five Things About My Mermaid

First: It is finished! Blocked, buttoned and done. This is the third sweater in the “Year of the Sweater” project I have going on. (It was the fourth to be cast on, but the Vera Sweater is still in time out.)

Second: It grew. A LOT. I don’t think I even swatched for this one, let alone blocked the swatch like I know I am supposed to. It is top down, so I tried it on as I went and it was fitting perfectly. As soon as I lifted it from the water, I knew. It was growing. Even though I stopped 16 rows short of what the pattern directed on the sleeves, they are still a tad too long. I had envisioned a more clingy fit, like the one on the model in the picture. I think I will be happy with it anyway. It is so lovely.

Third: It only took 4 (plus a tiny bit of the fifth) of the 7 skeins I had bought. That means I have enough yarn to do something else. This pleases me to no end! This yarn, Dream in Color Classy is so nice. I love the colors, the way they play and never pool. I love the way that I can wear it without worry, because it is superwash. I love the squishy softness, and the gorgeous drape after it is blocked. Love, love, love.

Fourth: I didn’t follow the pattern to the letter (I know, shocking…). Besides the sleeve changes I already mentioned, I placed my buttons lower, made button loops instead of sewing on snaps and added one more repeat of the cable pattern to the body. I also changed the ribbing from 5/1 to 4/2. And, as you can see in the pictures, I intend to wear it with the collar folded down, instead of buttoned up to the chin. I think it looks better like that on my body type.

Fifth: I can’t wait till it gets cool enough to wear this masterpiece. It was torture to wear it for the short photo shoot (with my seven year old photographer, Noah). I sadly put it away with the winter clothes. It will be such a treat when the weather turns cool and I open that box to find this waiting for me! I love it.

Mermaid, the Mondo Cable Cardigan by Chic Knits in Dream in Color Classy Dusky Aurora

It seems that when one has a cavalier attitude about casting on projects and never finishing anything, one also has seasons of getting a lot of projects finished in a short time because everything is already half way (or mostly) complete. I like those seasons. I also like casting on. I guess I just like knitting, whatever season. I bet you already guessed that!

Pathetic

One sleeve. That’s it. Sixty five (very short) rows are all that separate me from victory. Only ten inches of easy knitting would make the difference between, “See this sweater I am trying to make”, and, “Hey, look at the sweater I just made”. That isn’t much. Maybe an hour or two left and I am home free. The end is right there, nearly in my grasp. So, why does it still look like this?

Mermaid Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy, Dusky Aurora

I blame the weather. It’s hot and that is a big wool sweater! Also, I blame the lace. This is how I spent much of my weekend:

working on Gold Aeolian Shawlette in Madelinetosh Prairie, Nutmeg

(thanks to one of the kiddos for this flattering picture…) I know you can’t really see it, but I also got the machine out and did some sewing. The girls and I all got some new skirts. Very fun. Highlight of the weekend.

The lace is really whipping me good.

Designing Woman

I have piddled around with designing my own knitting here and there. I recently cast on and knit a sweater for a doll without pattern or instruction. I have even sold a pattern that I designed on Etsy for a baby cocoon. But, when I got inspired recently to design a shawl, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I had looked and looked on Ravelry for the perfect shawl, but couldn’t find anything quite like what I had in my head. I wanted something fast (worsted weight on big needles), triangular (but long and thin and less angular) and with a girlie lace pattern akin to hearts, wings or butterflies. When I couldn’t find a pattern that way, I realized that I could design something new and I immediatly cast on. (I am using Dream in Color Classy in the Wisterious colorway. Gorgeous!)

So began a day full of knitting, ripping and then knitting some more. Using a stitch pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary (145. eyelet hearts) as my starting point and a basic idea of how to make a triangle, I eventually made this first draft, which I showed you a few days ago.

Still to0 angular. Don’t like the big empty spaces between the pattern and the border… So I tried again and after another full day, I got this:

Still don’t like the shape – the kids say it looks like an eyeball. Still don’t like the margins. Increases are too dense.

But, now I have knit this thing about twenty-five times and I am bored. Now, I know that designing a new pattern cannot be easy, especially a lace pattern. I know that designers knit swatch after swatch trying to get it just right. I know that a masterpeice is the result of epic trial and error. So, as my eye wanders to other things and my hands itch to create some sure thing, I have decided to set this aside, maybe indefinitely. I don’t know. We will see. It’s not a total loss. I learned so much. I am not an experienced lace knitter, so I had (have) a lot to learn. And, as a bonus, I have a child size shawl with matching doll size shawl to set aside for Beka for Christmas. I can live with that.

Now, on to better things. Like this lace shawl that someone else figured out for me.

Aeolian Shawlette in Madelinetosh Prairie Nutmeg