Smooth Sailing

professor meow sweater intarsia knitting rocky

Professor Meow has hit the halfway point, according to plan.  I’ve probably just jinxed myself saying that.  So far, so good though.

I could complain about the intarsia, but really…

It looks worse than it really is.

Professor meow sweater intarsia knitting blocking cat sweater

The front is blocking and I’ve cast on the back piece.  I am going to veer off course though.  I can’t leave well enough alone.  It’s only going to be a moment. (fingers crossed)

The back, as written, is plain.  I’m going to add a little intarsia paw print.  I saw it on Ravelry and knew I had to steal the idea.  It’s barely a change at all.  It’s still just 16.5 monochromatic inches of stockinette stitch with no shaping.  I feel good that I’m not going to invoke the law of unintended consequences with this one.

That leaves me with nothing to complain about except purling.  I’m not even worked up about that.  I’ve got the week off work!  Funny how that changes things!  I’m looking forward to a creative & crafty week!

 

Professor Meow, the First

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Thursday

Just like April showers bring May flowers, a flurry of finishes is always followed by a cast on cornucopia!  First up…Professor Meow!  As you might guess from the name, it’s a cat sweater!

Turns out the phrase ‘cat sweater’ is a bit of a Rorschach test.  Most people have assumed I mean a sweater for a cat.

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Friday

In reality, it’s a sweater with a cat on it.   And it’s another bulky knit so it’s going quickly.

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Saturday

I’m making good progress!

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Sunday

I might even get to the face today!!

WIP Wednesday Round Up

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Last time we talked about the sweater currently on the needles, it was having some trouble.  Happy to report I fixed the problem and was making good progress.  WAS.

Sadly, I encountered a fatal flaw.  The knitting is perfect.  This problem is a dumbass mistake.  I picked the wrong size to knit.  My size fell between two pattern sizes.  I decided to knit the larger one.  Except, when it comes to bulky yarn, a too big sweater can be a very poor choice.  I have enough bulk of my own.  I don’t need my clothes to add bulk.  And that’s what bulky sweaters do, especially if they’re a size too big.

Ooopps.  To the frog pond we go.

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Factor in the new box of yarn being delivered tomorrow, perfectly timed, just in advance of the three day weekend, containing yarn for the next sweater…this poor sweater had no chance.

I can’t wait!  I’m planning not just one, but TWO new sweaters with this new box of yarn.

Cat Sweaters!

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How am I supposed to resist that?  Especially when my sister agreed to a day of twinning, if I made sweaters for both of us.  I can’t wait!  I’m okay with being a crazy cat lady.  I’ll proudly declare it while knitting my cat sweater.   It’s not like I created the stereotype.  I promise to represent crazy knitting cat ladies everywhere properly!

Of course, I needed a new project in the interim.  I’m always ready to cast on!  This time, in a surprise twist, I cast on a new shawl. (<-not really a surprise)

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The yarn is KnitPicks Chroma Fingering, so it goes without saying, the colors are much better than my late night cell pic represents.  The pattern is Vee Vee by Mariana Martins.  It’s a triangle shawl that uses short rows to created a series of Vs in asymmetric rows.  With the Chroma, I think it’s going to look fabulous!

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Rocky is just glad I’m distracted from cat sweaters at the moment!  He’s trying to avoid the topic entirely!

Happy WIP Wednesday!  Hope you’re equally as excited about your impending weekend!

D’oh! (a sweater update)


Last week, I promised a sweater update.

Today, I’ve got one.

It’s not good news.

There is going to be a frogging.

Even worse, there’s going to be a frogging because I’m a dumbass.  I avoided writing this all weekend, hoping I’d come up with a positive spin for the situation.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to candy coat a stupid decision based on ‘alternative facts’.

It is a teachable moment though, so that’s the saving of grace of it.  Maybe you won’t make the same stupid choice I did.

So what happened?  Because this doesn’t look so bad…


Well, halfway through the body, just to make sure I was on the right track, I checked gauge on my progress.  It was off (or so I thought).

I didn’t panic, I just changed direction a little bit.  My gauge was off by just the right amount, in just the right direction, I could switch to the larger size and keep going.

No Problems!

Except, I totally had problems.  Did I measure too close to the needle?  Did I not measure on a flat surface?  Did I measure with a tape measure and not a rigid ruler?  Did I just flat out miscount?  Maybe all of the above?

Whatever the case, I rushed to judgement with poor data because, in fact, now that my sweater body is on waste yarn waiting for the sleeves, I have discovered my gauge to be spot on.

I’ve let cooler heads prevail on the frogging.  There’s no way around it though.  I’ve gotta pull out about half of what I’ve done so far. It’s a very bulky fabric, 2.5 sts/in on size 13 needles.  As is, it’s huge.  A bulky gauge sweater with extra bulk is not a good idea.  If I’m not going to wear it, no sense in moving forward.

A-frogging I will go!  It’s going to be pain, each stitch needs to be delicately relieved of its position with pencil roving.  There’s no hastily ripping out with this one.

It’ll take time but I’ll get there and it’ll be worth it, getting it right.  Still though, there’s a special spot in the time out corner just for this sweater.

That’s what I get for thinking a sweater on size 13 needles would be a no-brainer that went quickly!

D’oh!

Spontaneous Stash Enhancement

Ever set out for the vet’s office to pick up cat meds but somehow wind up in an a yarn store buying armfuls of rainbows?  No?  Me either…until yesterday, that is!

Don’t worry, the cat still got his meds.  I’m not sure there’s a cure for this though:

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After that, I decided to continue along the scenic route to my next destination.  That happened to be the coast highway, which happened to take me two blocks from a yarn store.  I told myself I’d stop is parking was available.  Quaint coastal town, Saturday afternoon with big surf and almost no rain?  I knew for sure, I was just wasting my time cruising down Main St.

Except this happened!!!

Clearly, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ghost was watching over me and knew, this is exactly what I needed!  There was rock star parking and a lovely rack of Noro’s Rainbow Rolls just inside the door!

I’ve had my eye on this yarn since Noro released it 18 months ago.  This was the first time I’ve come across it in a shop!  It’s an unspun pencil roving.  Which, it turns out, is some of the best icelandic yarn, Plutolopi.

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Which, I happened to stock up on, during my Icelandic Adventure.

I’ve used some of it to make this sweater:  image_medium2

This was my first steeked sweater.  It’s okay.  I still wear it.  It has some warts though.  I was never happy with the hook and eyes closures.  And the crochet edge wobbles a bit.  I never got the tension quite right.  It’s amazing how one little detail can fuck up all that amazing knitting.  Oh well.  I still wear it.  I just wish it was more polished.  So…

I’ve been dreaming of a striped Plutolopi sweater ever since.  I had plenty of colors, I certainly didn’t NEED any Noro.  I only (lowercase) needed it.  It’s gonna be amazing!  I can’t wait!! There will be no buyer’s remorse today…or any day there’s a Rainbow Roll involved!!

I should probably finish my other pencil roving sweater first.  It’s literally at the bottom of the pile, it’s been so long since I touched it.

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Size 13 needles…once I excavate it from the pile, it should go quick.  in theory.

Sooooo much yarn, so little time!  It makes me miss my first apartment in San Francisco.  There was a giant claw foot tub!  I’d love to pile my stash in a claw foot tub…you know, just for fun.  Yeah…you know!

The point is:  a renewed sense of urgency has struck my sweater knitting elbow…maybe I’ll have a sweater update for you soon!

 

 

WIP Wednesday – March Madness

After February, when I didn’t allow myself new cast ons, in an attempt to finish a few WIPs, the pendulum is now swinging the other way.   There are many new cast ons (and not much finishing!)

Of course, a new sweater.  It’s a hoodie with a cable & lace pattern up the back.  It’s on size 13 needles and I’m following a pattern, so it barely counts!

The yarn is Imperial Yarn’s Bulky 2-Ply Pencil Roving!  I love it.  And it’s green, yes, very excited for this one!  It’s going quickly too!

And then this arrived in the mail…

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It came as kit with yarn to make Yoda and a Stormtrooper.  Needless to say, I’ve got half a Yoda at the moment.  Turns out, he’s got a lot of pieces!  And his ears really define him.  Right now, it looks like a weird little toad.  Fear not…be here soon, Yoda will!

This is another project with amazing yarn.  I’ve been eyeballing it for a long time!  It’s finally on the needles…whoooo-hoo!

This is yarn my Mom dyed for me.  They aren’t my usual colors but it’s just gorgeous.  I really love it so far.  I also appreciate getting free advice from my knitting.  I often need to get my shit together.  It’s a good reminder :)

This is the old WIP that’s getting love this week.

While the northeast is dealing with a blizzard, it’s been nearly 80 degrees and sunny in San Francisco.  While, I normally hate that, it was such a wet winter, even I’ve been able to enjoy a bit of sun.  Thank you Daylight Savings Time!

It seems like very little progress is being made but in reality, I have several large shawls nearly completion!  I’ll just keep plugging away…I’ll get there eventually or at least run out of needles to cast on with.   :)


 

FO Friday – The Lopi Sweater

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After many unplanned creative diversions, the sweater I started in November is finally finished**.  It’s entirely my own design.  It was a circuitous path but it was worth it.  It’s comfortable.  It fits well.  It’s close to what I had in mind when I started. Best of all, it looks good on!

The construction is both top down and bottom up.  The pieces met in the middle and were grafted together.  The body and sleeves were done bottom up and steeked.  The yoke is a top down raglan.  Not what I originally planned but it totally worked!

The yarn is Lett-Lopi, direct from Iceland!  It’s perfect for steeking!  I reinforced my stitches with a simple backstitch before cutting it open.  Picking up stitches for the button band is another layer of reinforcement.  That’s all I’m going to do to it.   Being a sticky wool, the loose ends are perfectly happy where they are.  I’m not worried about slipping or unraveling of any sort.  I’d certainly never attempt this with superwash.  No, this is Lopi in it’s glory.  This is what it excels at.

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You can see my reinforcing stitches on the right hand side…the little row of light green yarn.  And you can see my cut ends, just chilling there on the edge.  Before I added the button band this sweater kicked around for 2 weeks.  If it didn’t unravel then, it’s not going to unravel now.  Lopi is magic.  Plain and simple.

I thought about a decorative bit of ribbon to hide the mess but meh.  I don’t think it’s necessary.  The sweater hangs so well.  Nothing flips up or curls in where you don’t want it too.  I don’t think the inside will be seen often.  Everything lays perfect and flat.

Speaking of perfect and flat, check out this awesome button band…no puckering, no gaping, no unintentionally ruffles.

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And it only took one try!  It turns out, math totally works.  I’m just as amazed as you are!

I love the sleeves.  They’re long.  Worn cuffed, they’re long.  Worn with the cuff unrolled (thank you seed stitch for being lovely AND reversible!), the sleeves fall almost to the end of my fingertips…No need to carry fingerless gloves if you’ve got long sleeves!  This is the sort of personal touch that I love about knitting my own sweaters.

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The only thing I forgot to do was short row shaping at the back of the neck.  I wouldn’t mind a little bit more coverage at the back of my neck.  That’s a minor detail.  Maybe next time.

I have a feeling I’ve found my next favorite sweater!  Now…time to start plotting the next one!  It’s gonna be more green…


** My finish proclamation totally gets an asterisk.  The observant among you, and the OCD, may have noticed the stripes don’t match up.  D’oh!  My perfect button band apparently is not spaced evenly.  I put my buttons at regular intervals, not thinking to check if the stripes lined up.  Whoops.

As luck would have it, I was debating changing the buttons anyhow.  I think the antler buttons are too busy.  I should have gone with the wood buttons.  They’re birch branches from Iceland, they really belong on this sweater.  I bought they from a farmer on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  Icelandic buttons definitely belong on an Icelandic Sweater.

So, this weekend, I’ll take the antler buttons off and put the birch buttons on and I’ll end make sure the stripes line up this time.  THEN, my sweater will be “done”.  In the meantime, I still plan to wear it…crooked stripes and all!