The Year of The Sweater Project Continues…

This year I set out to knit seven sweaters for myself. I realized that have been knitting for a few years, but I always for others. Until this year, I had not knit a single thing for myself, so I decided that this is my year. I picked out seven lovely patterns, bought a whole bunch of yarn and have been working on it off and on ever since. So, here is where it stands:

Sweater #1 – Vine Lace Cardigan in Malabrigo Chunky Pink Frost was the first sweater I made for myself. I knit it in one week (you gotta love bulky yarn!). It is big, squishy, and while not very flattering (I did say “bulky” yarn!), I am very pleased with it. Completed in April.

Sweater #2 – Tea Leaves Cardigan in Madelinetosh Merino Worsted Fig is my favorite so far. The color, the feel, the style, the buttons. Love, love, love! This is the sweater that makes me wish for winter to come quickly. The only downside is that I think it’s gonna pill something terrible! Completed in May.

Sweater #3 – Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy Dusky Aurora is the workhorse. A beautiful yarn, that also happens to be superwash, a simple pattern and an awesome color! I took this one camping last week and loved every minute that I wore it. This baby grew a bunch when I blocked it, but that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for it one bit. Completed in June.

April, May, June. Each month I completed an entire sweater! I didn’t realize that until just now. That is really very cool! So, what happened to July and August? Summer heat? That, or the allure of lace…

Sweater #4 – The Shawl Collared Cardigan in Wool of the Andes Worsted Cranberry is not in a happy place. I made some dreadful mistake somewhere, but I have gone too far past it and must now fudge some fix. That is why this sweater is hibernating. I am thinking that soon it will see the light of day, though. It’s been awhile since I looked at it…

Sweater #5 – Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace Whale is my current project. I thought that I would make some killer progress on the first sleeve last night while watching a movie with the Man, but I found “Edge of Darkness” a little too riveting for much knitting… (Either it was the intensity, or the fact that the speech was mumbled and we had the subtitles on so we could know what was going on. Too bad they had to use such horrible language. I really hate that.)

Sweater #6 – was Tissue Cardigan from Interweave Knits in Knit Picks Shadow Spice, but since I just finished the Wispy Cardi in Malabrigo Lace Amoroso, I have decided to bump the Tissue Cardi off the list and count the Wispy as Sweater #6! Perhaps the Tissue Cardigan will be knit some other time. It really is lovely, and I have the yarn – if I can manage to save it. It is lace weight. And gorgeous. I don’t know, it just might have to be a lace shawl or something lovely like that. (I have yet to make anything from “Knitted Lace of Estonia” and you know I am dying to do that!) Completed in September.

Sweater #7 – the plan is to make Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo Worsted Velvet Grapes. I hope that is what I do… 🙂

So, in summery- Seven sweaters intended, six started, of those, four completed. And it is only September. Cool.

Any ideas for next years goal? I am thinking socks. (I hear you gasping. I still have a few months to warm up to the idea. And I must say that having a drawer full of hand knit socks is mighty appealing!)

Advertisements

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!

The Knitting Doldrums (or “A Nasty Case of Startitis”)

I would post a picture of the Vera Sweater, but it would be redundant. Though I have knitted on it for rows and rows, it has refused to grow or change in any percievable way. I should have known. A beautiful sweater will be had at the end, but the Wool of the Andes starts to chafe after so much stockinette and the brain screams for something more interesting.

I would post a picture of the something interesting that I am working on, but that would ruin the surprise. You see, I am one of those crazy people who starts making Christmas gifts in February and I currently have a lovely on the needles. It may be for you. No pictures, no hints.

I would post a picture of a new project, but I have not started one yet. To combat this startitis I am experiencing, I have made a deal with myself. Finish knitting one ball of yarn on the Vera Sweater and one ball on the secret project and then I will allow myself to commission Year of the Sweater Project #4. Let’s see. Which should it be?

Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace?

Or

The Mondo Cable Cardigan in Dream in Color Classy?

Or

The Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo Worsted?

You know what I am leaning toward? The Impasto Shawlette from the new issue of Interweave Knits with The Unique Sheep Pima Petite (which I don’t have…yet).

Tribute

Almost a week ago, I started my Year of the Sweater Project Sweater #3. Usually, as I knit a new project, a name will come to me. Chai was an obvious name for the Tea Leaves Cardi (who is, sadly, still waiting for sleeves) and I named my Top Down Vine Lace Cardi “Pink” because that was all Marc could say when I showed him the yarn. (by the way, I am wearing Pink now. Thanks, God, for the rain.) But sweater #3 just wasn’t getting named. The colorway is Currant, which doesn’t make a great name, and the pattern is dully named “Shawl Collared Cardigan”. I was just starting to give up on a nice name for this baby, when I came to a realization. An epiphany, if you will.

Vera. This is my Vera sweater. This color reminds me of my dear grandmother who died almost three years ago. I am not sure why it reminds me of her, so I cannot explain it, and those of you who knew her may be perplexed. Perhaps I just imagine that she would love this color or approve of this pattern. Maybe, in my head, I think she would have loved for me to knit this for her. Whatever the reason, every time I pick up this sweater to knit a row or two wonderful memories flood my mind. My grandma taught me something new every time I visited her. Crochet, macrame, sewing, quilting, aplique, painting, baking, cooking, cross stitch, embroidery. The woman was an artistic wonder. I cannot pick up a new craft or hobby that she did not already introduce me to some time in my childhood.

And so, may I introduce you to my Vera Sweater. A tribute to the most inspiring woman in my life. I miss her terribly.

The Good News and The Bad News

Pink. Sweater number 1 in the Year of the Sweater Project is now complete. I don’t mean “just needs ends weaved in” finished. Nor do I mean “just needs buttons” finished. I mean, this baby is ready to wear. I found the most wonderful buttons. Perfect buttons. Not too flashy, not too plain, not too big, not too small buttons. Goldilocks buttons. Yeah, baby. These are just right.

They look pretty good on the sweater, too.

That is the good news.

The bad news? I finished it just in time for Spring. Behold, a beautiful sunny California day.

Yes, I am hot. I mean tempurature-wise, of course. (disclaimer: I know this isn’t the most flattering of sweaters. It isn’t meant to be. This will be my cozy coat. My winter comfort. It is huge. I planned it that way.)

So there you have it. I call her Pink. She is the Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan from Sweater Babe in Malabrigo Chunky “Pink Frost” with only small modifications (longer sleeves, no pockets and larger collar). I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I might turn on a fan in here just so that I can wear it…

I am 1/7th finished with my huge, crazy project. Think I can make it?

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)

Year of the Sweater

I am a knitter. We have established that. So why is it that on cold winter mornings, I am reaching for an ugly fleece sweatshirt from Walmart? I am a knitter. There are skeins of yarn stashed all over my house, but my closet is sadly lacking in wooly wonders. This must change. After all, I am a knitter.

So begins my “Year of the Sweater”. This month I have narrowed down all the patterns in my Ravelry queue to those sweaters I want to wear next winter. Out with the old, baby! I have seven (is that aiming too high?) I want to have knitted before the end of next winter. If you are a knitter, you may know some of these. Gleaned from the internet, magazines and books, I have a killer to do list! So, installment number one of this insane endeavor:

“Vine Lace Top-Down Cardigan” from Sweaterbabe.com in Malabrigo Chunky “Pink Frost”. Here’s where we are as of today:

I started with a provisional cast on. I am starting to wonder if that was a mistake, but we shall see. I LOVE this yarn. Smooshy and buttery soft. I have been knitting like a crazy person trying to get it done because I CAN”T WAIT TO WEAR IT!!! Sorry to shout. I get really excited about yarn.

Truth be told, I have cast on a couple of others already. (Anybody know the cure for “startitis”? Besides casting on, I mean….) We will save those for later. For now, I want to revel in this pink confection. Lovely….