The Race is ON!

It’s official!  I start my new job on Monday.

There’s so much to do between now and then, including finish my sweater!  I’m making really good progress.  The sleeves are done.  Lucky for me, my favorite sleeves are half to 3/4 length.   Just a few more inches on the body and the knitting will be done!

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That’s not the end though.  There’s still a ton of work to be done after the knitting.  Securing & cutting the steek, installing the zipper and then designing & stitching my RBG inspired dissent collar.  No chance this will all be done by Monday but I think it can be ready in time for Stitches.   It’s not for a couple weeks yet but it’ll be here in the blink of an eye!  (My resolve to not buy yarn is still holding strong too!)

Happy Friday!  Anybody else excited for work Monday morning??  lol!  Have a great weekend, Knitters!

 

Must.Knit.Faster.

The race is on.  I feel my unemployment coming to an end very soon.  I started the week with no job opportunities and now, I have two.  Things are looking good on the job front!  Of course, this brings a whole new urgency to my knitting!  Can I finish this before I start a new job?

The good news is…I’m well passed the sleeve divide and into the body.  It’s smooth sailing all the way down to the hem from here.  It’s nothing but stockinette in the round.  I love this bit.  It’s the part of knitting I love the most.  The autopilot part!

The business of steeking, adding a zipper and duplicate stitching the final details will take some time though.  Either way, I think I’ll have a new sweater in time for Stitches.  I’m crossing my fingers!

I’ve also finished an Etsy update because who knows when I’ll have time for that again!  I had fun doing a couple snarky Valentine’s day hoops.  I mean, what’s the point of having a significant other if you can’t share a little snark?

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And of course, now that we’re having a clear spell, I’m making sure to get out and visit my favorite sit and knit for a spell spots while I still can.

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I even met a reporter from our local NPR station to record an interview about The Palace of Fine Arts!  I’ll definitely share when it’s been broadcast.  It was the kind of fun thing I definitely don’t have time for once the job starts up!  I’ll definitely be making the most of my weekend!  Happy Friday!

WIP Wednesday – RBG Squid Ink Fade

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Now that’s it’s finally on the needles, I’m making good progress on my latest sweater.  Of course, any notion of following a pattern was quickly laughed off.  I mean, I could try but it wouldn’t work out.   I started off with a peacock fade but now I’ve decided to go darker with it…a squid ink fade, if you will.

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I started with Idunn, a Knitty pattern by Ragga Eirikisdottir.  Initially, I thought, I’ll just knit this sweater as is.  The yoke details could pass as an RBG collar no doubt.   Ultimately though, I’ve decided to knit the sweater in plain stockinette with no colorwork in the yoke.  I’ll add my RBG collar details after I’ve finished the knitting via duplicate stitch.  It’s an unconventional approach…but that’s definitely the way I roll.

I’ve finished my first color and ‘faded’ into my second color.  I’m knitting top down, in the round, with the intention of steeking and adding a zipper.  I’m just about to divide the sleeves off.

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That’ll be a big help!  Right now, it’s just sort of a big blob.  I feel like it’s too big, despite all the math & gauge working out.  Fingers crossed that good news awaits on the other side of the sleeve divide.

I’m also working on a few new cross stitch designs for Valentine’s Day, so I’ve updated my cross stitch gallery with a new page for 2019!

I’m really looking forward to growing my collection this year!  My idea book is overflowing and I’ve finally found my stride, post-holidays.  Stay tuned for much productivity!


 

Sweater Complications

Sweaters are complicated beasts!  Anyone who’s ever tried to knit their own sweater knows this.  There are many phases and emotions involved.  Finally, I think all of my sweater pains have been addressed sufficiently and are coming to happy resolutions.

The big one is this…

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I have officially reclaimed my needles & notions.  This sweater is no more.  It’s been a work in progress since June but I’m over it.  It’s a duplicate of this sweater, that I finished in the spring…

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I love this sweater.  I wear it all the time.  It’s almost perfect.   Almost!  It’s so close.  There’s just one thing that has stopped it from being perfect.  Unfortunately, much of it’s charm, also, comes from this not perfect part…the yarn, Pluto-Lopi, the Icelandic unspun pencil roving.

It’s delicate.  It’s not fragile.  The fabric is quite sturdy but I’ve managed to rub it thread bare in the armpits already.  img_1829

I’ve got spots on both arms and both sides, where pilling and rubbing have nearly eliminated the loose unspun fibers.  Hope is not lost for this sweater.  I’m embracing it’s wabi sabi and patching it.  I don’t have any of the matching yarn left but I’ve got plenty of the Noro I used for the stripes.  I’m down with funny duplicate stitch patches in my armpits.

The Noro yarn is a thicker anyhow, more fiber in the problem areas is exactly what this sweater needs.   I’m happy to keep patching it as needed.  I might even love it more as the armpit patches continue to develop and take over.  It’s a lightweight sweater, both in mass and in wearing, and yet it is incredibly warm.  It fits perfect.  It matches everything in my closet.  It’s only 8 months old…there’s no chance I’m ready to retire it yet.

But, I don’t need two sweaters like that.  So, Plutolopi sweater #2 has been halted.  I understand why this yarn is commonly held double now.  That’ll definitely help with future sweaters, maybe even held double with Einband, the Icelandic lace weight yarn.

And, with that big bag of guilt officially retired, I can, legit, think about an RBG inspired sweater!  I’ve been saying it’s going to happen since Christmas but with two sweaters on the needles, I just couldn’t bring myself to start a third.    I’ve finally got a clean sweater slate because, oh yeah..I finished the sweater I’ve been working on for Mom!

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It’s WestKnit’s Outer Space, another favorite of mine.  The yarn is an assortment of Lopi & Lettlopi.  Yes, I have a thing for Icelandic yarn.  At this point, it’ll be no surprise that my RBG inspired sweater is going to be Lettlopi.

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I spent at least two days, last spring, futzing with variations of this palate to find a fun peacock fade.  I had the sweater all planned out.  It was going to be lovely side to side number that faded from light at the cuffs to dark in the center.  I knit the whole thing…in my mind.  I had high hopes.  Somehow that all got derailed though.

Turns out, I was just waiting for the right idea.  RBG Peacock Fade…Hello 2019!  Let’s do this!    (right after I spend two more days futzing with colors again…)

It really is happening this time!  I’m ready for a new sweater!  It’s a new year.  The moons have all aligned.  I’ve cleared out all the 2018 knitting baggage.  It’s on…


 

FO Friday – Baby’s First Ugly Christmas Sweater

Crafternoon giveth and crafternoon taketh away.  Just as I was settling in Wednesday, for a highly motivated knitting session, I got the email.  That pop up event that waitlisted me… they were offering me a spot.  It’s in one of the biggest office buildings downtown.  There’s no vendor fees AND they’ll validate parking!  Sign me up…again :)

SO, my knitting excitement has been set aside for another week while I do a quick cross stitch restock!

I did manage to finish my Nephew’s Christmas Sweater first, though!

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Ta-Da!  Baby’s First Fornicating Reindeer sweater!  I can’t wait for the little nugget to wear this.  He’s pretty cute but I have a feeling he’s going to break the cute meter in this sweater!

I rushed through the finishing a bit.  There are a few rough spots but good enough.  It’s gonna be worn for such a short time.  The kid has started growing!  His next sweater is going to be have all the life extending tricks so he can get a lot of wear but this one is just a novelty sweater.  I’m not going to beat myself up over a few rough spots that no one is going to look at, once it’s on an adorable baby.

Killing the acrylic was, indeed, a good idea.  Check out the curl in the before shots.

It instantly vanished with a couple shots from the hottest steam setting on my iron!  Woooo!  Acrylic for the win?  Despite all my usual yarn snobbery, there really is a place for acrylic and this is it.  Perfect for baby uses!

Vanna’s Choice (on sale!) $6

Pictures from my Nephew’s first Christmas in a humping reindeer sweater…Priceless!

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It’s gonna be good.  My Sister is totally on board with this.  I think this will be a good time for Baby’s blog debut.

In the meantime, I’m off to cross stitch.  There is definitely, absolutely not any super secret Christmas knitting going around here.  None, whatsoever!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!


 

WIP It Wednesday

I’m back in the swing of things with my knitting, which means a classic case of Cast on-itis has manifested.

It’s not enough to finish just finish my nephew’s super cute christmas sweater.  No, I couldn’t just enjoy my beautiful seams.  I had to start another sweater.  Of course, that sweater can’t be knit in a dark movie theater so I had to cast on a movie theater project.  I’m still working on my latest shawl too!

It’s all going well!  Baby’s first ugly Christmas sweater is almost done.  It’s acrylic and I’m thinking of ‘killing’ it.  Not something I’ve ever done intentionally but I think it’ll take this sweater from stiff to drapey.  That should up the cozy factor!  I’m planning to wash and dry it in the machine.  Then, hit it with the steam iron.

I’ll keep you posted!  Hopefully it’ll be ready for a big FO Friday reveal!  You aren’t gonna want to miss this one!

Sweater Weather

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Once I got beyond the sleeve divide, yesterday, it was smooth sailing.  I made it through the body of my nephew sweater no problem.  When I got the bottom, I added another feature, designed to aid in long term wearability.

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A split hem.  Hopefully this will allow little man to wear it longer.  I’m also going to extend the sleeves, so they can be rolled up and then unrolled as he grows.  Hopefully he’ll get to wear this one into the new year.   Fingers crossed!

Of course, it’s time to knit all the sweaters!  Sweater weather is the best.  I’ve got a holiday sweater in mind and he’s definitely going to need a grandpa sweater for the winter.  Maybe something with elbow patches.  I love a good elbow patch.

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For Throwback Thursday, I submit this photo of my favorite elbow patch sweater (taken 20 years ago next week, on my 21st birthday)!  You can’t see them, but rest assured, they were the perfect leather patches, soft and just the right color.  I loved this sweater…a lot.  I lost it at a blizzard party a few months after later.  I didn’t knit it, but still, I was saddened by it’s loss.  It was a great sweater.

Here’s another sweater with an interesting use of leather.  I spied it while watching Kingpin, the second best bowling movie of all time.  I’m undecided on whether it’s a great sweater but there is no doubt, it’s got an interesting construction.

 

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It’s got the leather panels down the front.  They evoke a certain time period, which is what they’re going for.  This is supposed to be a scene from the 70’s.  That’s not the interesting construction though.  Those cable bands are what caught my eye.  I think, they’re an appliqué, sewn on after the fact.  The band looks rather stiff.  The sweater shows folds from movement but the band is solid.

The close shot really confirms it for me.  You can see the base sweater and the cable band are distinct from each other.  The usual tension you’d see at the cable row is non-existent.  You get a clear look at the band too.  It’s not even really cable knit.  It’s two pieces twisted together and then sewn on.

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That is an interesting design choice.  Why would they do that?  Would a hand knitter do that?  No, I don’t think a hand knitter would.   I think it must be a decision based on industrial production.  I can’t imagine it’s a feature of design.  I’m going to assume it’s a feature of convenience.  What else could it be?

The longer I look at this one, the closer I get to declaring it a great sweater.  It certainly makes me think I should be checking goodwill for sweaters more often.  This would be a great vintage find!  Perhaps I’ve found my afternoon adventure…