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Posts Tagged ‘summer sweater KAL’

OMG DEARLI IS DONE.  Now that it’s November, I’ve finally finished my summer sweater, aw yeah!

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It took over a week to block that ruffle.  Now I never want to wash the thing for fear of having to block it again (I am pretty sure I could get it down to about 5 days now that I understand it’s imperative to block a section upon waking and before bed, not just once per day).  But I’m sure it will happen because, as I suspected, I LOVE THIS CARDIGAN.

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I went for a modern/urban and yet Mori-girl inspired look today.  I’d really love to super-Mori-style this with a big fluffy hat, a pair of loose leggings over the tights, and maybe a long scarf…but these were the pieces I actually own.  Seriously thinking about knitting a hat, though.  Like, now.

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All my hard work shaping and re-shaping the body paid off.  The shoulders aren’t quite perfect (although some of that awkward pooch is from blocking and should fade after a couple wearings), but can I just say how much I dig the turned cuffs?  I love how smooth and simple they are, providing a super-subtle contrast to the excitement of the ruffle.  They’re also really comfy!

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And check out the cute purse I got for $2!  It’s pretty small (I usually go for big sack purses), but so cute, and just right for this outfit.  Only problem is, I can barely stuff my next knitting project inside it and still have room for wallet & phone!  What’s the next project?  Oh, you know, just yet another sweater…!

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When it grows up, it’s going to be a sweater I heard about from the gals over at the Just One More Row Podcast: Wanda Nell, a cardigan with such small yardage it can be knit from about 300g of fingering weight yarn – perfect for 2-3 skeins of indie-dyed sock yarn you might have impulse bought without thinking what you would use them for!  I actually bought this yarn specifically for the cardi when I was at Knit City; it’s Sweet Georgia Tough Love, and I am totally loving the subtle tonal variation, as well as the incredibly funky mix of grey and pink.  Hey, maybe I can do this colour pairing thing after all!  Since it’s a top-down seamless raglan, it feels like it’s clipping along quite nicely right now, though it will slow down by the time I get to the main body.

I’ve also been getting to know Tamar (my wheel), spinning away at the alpaca I picked up at Fibrations.  Here’s about 2.5 oz of mixed natural-coloured alpaca, spun up “que sera sera” style to approximately fingering weight 2-ply. It really turned out quite even considering how little I was trying to spin it accurately – I am starting to get the hang of this wheel thing!  I have one more “practice” bump of fibre to spin, and then I think I will be ready to spin something I really care about (I totally agree that life is to short to spin crummy fibre just because you’re learning, but I also believe there’s value in learning on middle-of-the-road stuff and saving your totally dreamy indie-dyer batts from heaven until you have a modicum of skill)!

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It’s soft and floofy as alpaca ought to be, but it does have a little vegetable matter still stuck in, despite my best efforts to remove it.  I am thinking it will either be a hat (see above post re: Mori girl style) or perhaps a möbius cowl.  I only have a little under 300 yards, though, so although I was dreaming of being able to do both, I think I’ll have to choose just one.  Time to start pattern diving!  Any favourite hat patterns out there, especially for gals with bangs they don’t like to compress?

P.S. I totally found the white balance setting on my camera!  I feel like a total doofus that it took me almost 2 years, but holy crow did that make a difference in how accurately I was able to photograph colours!  Live and learn, eh?  Maybe now I’ll be able to take indoor photos and have them look decent too, who even knows?!?

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my Dearli sweater-in-progress

Just a quick webcam pic to show you where Dearli was at as of the first of the month (and incidentally, the day after the KAL concluded).  Guess I’m on my own with this one now, though I sure did have fun keeping up with other Luvinthemommyhood knitters-along (knit-along-ers?).  By now, I’ve almost finished the second sleeve, and I’m plugging along re-knitting the back & fronts to the correct length (almost done the back, hooray!), then it’s on to the ruffle!  I think that will take a long time…but it will be glorious, because it will mean the sweater’s almost done!  Hoo boy, I just can’t wait to start wearing this one!

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Oh dear!  It’s not looking like I’ll have time to finish my Dearli cardigan by the end of the month for the Summer Sweater KAL!  I am feeling a bit disheartened as the FOs pour in over on the Ravelry group for Luvinthemommyhood…some people are wrapping up their second sweaters and I’m only halfway done my first!  Here’s where it’s at at the moment and I’ll tell you why I don’t think I’ll make it to the finish line…after you enjoy how well it ended up fitting my waist in the new & improved version.  Not to mention how perfect that shawl pin is!  If it looks equally good with the ruffles, I won’t need to do a belt at all!

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Okay, here’s the problem.  See that section of increases/decreases around the centre of the front?  The one where the fullest part is just below my breast and the decreases start right at my bust line?  Those are my bust darts, and they’re supposed to be about 1.5″ higher so that, you know, the fullest part of the dart would match up with the fullest point on my bust (crazy, I know!).  I’m not sure what happened in the armhole portion, but something went horribly wrong with my stitch count and this is the result of me having fudged things to get that right, only to apparently add over an inch too much length.  Sigh.  I will be ripping back yet again to make this right – I thought I was quite carefully following the “decrease at neck edge every X rows Y times, then every Z rows Q times” directions, but when I achieved the full length of armhole I was supposed to have, there were several decreases left to go…so I just did them.  Nope.  Don’t do that, kids, it brings nothing but tears.  At least this time I’m not ripping back to my cast on – it’s only about 8″, no big deal…

The other reason I won’t be finishing this sweater in the next 11 days is that I’m working hard on a super secret project for which I juuuuust finished spinning this yarn!

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I’m really looking forward to having a proper blog about it in October…and wearing it at Knit City on the 13th & 14th!  The yarn, a heavy fingering/light sport, is spun from Everything Old fibre, a merino/bamboo mix that I’m really enjoying, spun on my favourite sparkly spindle.  Over the course of this project I’ve also decided that I really need to get into proper supported spindling, since I currently just use my pointy-ended drop spindles as makeshift supported ones.  Any suggestions for brands/styles you’ve enjoyed?  I will be checking out Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts at Knit City, as I’ve heard they carry spindles, and if not there I’ll be ordering online soon after!

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I love a good craft-along!  They’re just the thing to give me a kick in the butt to finish things and photograph things, and it’s so much fun to hear what everyone else is working on.  So for the past 11 days, I’ve been participating in the Tour de Fleece, a spin-along whose members (by and large) pledge to spin every day the Tour de France rides, from June 30th to July 22nd.  Some people add extra challenges throughout the tour or on the most challenging mountain climb (this year it’s Stage 18: Pau/Bagnères-de-Luchon on July 18th).  For my personal challenge, I’m learning to spin flax!  So far it’s a lot harder than spinning wool – my first ounce is hairy and occasionally quite uneven, but by the end I was starting to get the hang of it.

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I had heard that flax wanted to be spun fine, so I tried it out on my sparkly lace spindle, but I think it was too light.  It seems like the flax fibres require a lot of force to add twist, compared to wool, so I had a lot of problems with backspinning.  But I just got a new spindle that’s similar in design to the lace spindle and about an ounce, and hopefully the next 3 ounces will go a bit more smoothly.

I’m also working on finishing the second skein of My Preciousss.  All the wool is spun up and I’m about halfway through the first plying pass.  Maybe by the fall I’ll be ready to knit with it!

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Speaking of knitting, my summer sweater is coming along nicely.  I did take some pictures to show how much I’ve knit, but they weren’t very interesting – I haven’t made it to the armhole shaping or anything, so it’s just a curled-up not-really-a-rectangle, so instead I took some more detail shots of my pretty pretty stitch markers.  I’m loving the fabric so far and as much as I’m enjoying the beautiful weather right now part of me can’t wait for fall!

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I’m also making progress on the second pair of wedding socks!  These ones are for my sister.  Since this photo, I’ve finished the first sock and got a good start on the second.

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The pattern is Alice Yu’s Crowley, from her book Socktopus.  I got this book for Christmas and opened it right to this pattern.  I thought it was so pretty, and I squeed over the fact that they shared a name with one of my favourite Supernatural characters…and then I squeed even more when I read the pattern description and realized they were in fact designed with the self-same King of the Crossroads in mind!  My sister is the one who introduced me to Supernatural, so I thought they were exactly perfect for her, and I’m so happy with how they’re turning out so far!

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What’s that?  Everything Old and A Stitch In Lime posting about Luvinthemommyhood’s summer sweater knit along just as I received a sweater quantity of yarn?  I think it’s time for another knit along!

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I have been drooling over Marnie MacLean’s Regent since it came out in this spring’s Twist Collective.  I’ve even been playing with it in Polyvore (side note: if you like fashion & knitwear, you should check out the Twist Collective Polyvore: new style ideas every Friday, so much fun)! Here’s my concept for Regent, paired with a flowy dress, funky boots, and a big straw hat for an autumnal ramble through field and forest.  Okay, so maybe the heels aren’t super practical.  But the sweater is!

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Finally, a little sale over at KnitPicks featuring Gloss, their merino/silk blend, in the very lovely Mori Girl colour of “Doe,” convinced me I had to make one for myself.  I just may have been so enamored of this colour that I bought it in multiple bases, maybe, perhaps…I can neither confirm nor deny…

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I wish I’d had my camera as I was leaving work Friday on my way to knit night, because a young buck deer was watching curiously as I cycled past the Native Plant Garden at the University.  Our local deer are much redder than the yarn, but I still felt it was somehow portentious.  And then I absolutely had to cast on, although I did have another project with me and had not finished washing/blocking/measuring my gauge swatch.  It was the deer.  I couldn’t say no!  Here it is after a night and a morning of work, sporting some beautiful Exchanging Fire stitch markers.

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Of course, in order to feel respectable about all this, I’ve had to finally put in the time to finish my Ivy, which has been languishing pretty much forever.  One doesn’t start a new sweater before the old one’s finished.  Or at least not until everything but the collar is finished…

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I’m alternating between the two, plus other projects of course.  I’m hoping to get a lot of wear out of Ivy this summer – it’s the perfect summertime office cardi, lightweight but warm enough to protect a gal from overzealous air conditioning, and super cute layered over a skirt and blouse.  And then by the time the weather cools down, Regent should be ready to cozy up in (and boy, will it be cozy!  I keep stopping to pet the yarn as I knit!).  What more could a gal ask for?

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