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…


 

 

WIP Wednesday – Tweed Season

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It’s only one tiny thing, in a long list of things but I fixed my knitting!  Wooo!  My tweedy nephew sweater is back on track!

It’s not often that I rip out all my progress and just start over but in this case, I’m glad I did.  The sleeve cap on this little sweater is so much better today than it was yesterday.

The good one is on the left.  The one I ripped out, on the right.  The difference between them is a matter of fit.  On the left the sleeve cap is a bit ‘puffy’ and on the right, it’s more sleek.  For myself, I’d pick the right sleeve cap but for a wiggly little baby, a roomy shoulder is a good thing.

With the raglan shaping done and the sleeves divided, it’s just stockinette in the round from here on out.  Happy place knitting!  Yaaaay!

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I’m really enjoying this yarn.  It’s KnitPicks (relatively) new yarn, Provincial Tweed.   It’s a superwash Highland Wool but I’m not hating the superwash.  There’s really no way around superwash when it comes to baby clothes so I’m just enjoying the softness of the yarn, it’s lovely sheen and the fun tweed.

I’m not convinced the tweed bits will last through a machine wash cycle.  They’re very loosely spun, in most cases.  I’ll definitely get my sister to report back to me on that.  She’s a maniac when it comes to doing laundry.  When we were kids, the washing machine broke one day and it never got fixed.  We spent the next decade carting our laundry to a laundromat…10 miles away.   And, we never had a dryer.  Line drying was the norm.  I think the ‘novelty’ of having a washer and dryer right in the house never wears off.   At least, for me, it hasn’t.  There are loads of chores I hate but I don’t mind doing laundry.  Doing laundry is mostly sitting around waiting for the machine to finish.  I am very good at that.

So, tangent aside, I’m confident this sweater will get a trip through the washing machine and I’ll get a report on how well it wears.  It could certainly be a contender for more fall sweaters as the nephew grows.  It’s not fall, if you don’t have a tweed sweater to wear!

 

As for my wordpress/photo problem…That’s a work in progress too.  It seems like lots of people have tech issues when it comes to image display and loading.  I’ve now done all the basic re-boot stuff, cleared my cache, etc.  Hopefully some of that helps.  I’m gonna work my cross stitch gallery a bit this afternoon, should be a good test.

Work in Progress Thursday

‘What have you been up to?’ is such a generic question.  It’s in line with ‘How are you?’…it’s hard for me to be anything but dismissive, when faced with such questions.   I haven’t been at work at all week.  I don’t know what I’ve been doing.  Am I supposed to actually stop and think about it and then recount all the things I’ve done this week?  Funemployment is different every day and remembering is hard work, okay?

Thank goodness for the iPhone…how else would I know what I’ve done?  Photo stream to the rescue!  I don’t have to remember what I’ve done…there’s pictures of lots of it!

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And, that’s not all…My Dragon Fade shawl is finished!  Mostly…I’ve still got a few ends left to weave but I’ve been wearing it anyhow!  Pics tomorrow!  It’s gorgeous…I love it!


 

This Week, In Review

You’d think since I spent the week blathering on about VKL instead of showing off WIPs, I’d have a lot of progress to show.  My dragon fade Match & Move pretty much looks the same though.  I really am closing in on the end though.  I keep saying it but this time, I really do mean it!  16 rows plus the bind off.  It will be finished soon and it will be gorgeous.  Until then, it’s like wrestling an octopus.  It’s incredibly unwieldy.

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I’ve got lots of things I want to start on but I’m trying to clear the slate first.  I did need a project to carry around at VKL though.  Enter my 3-Color Cashmere Cowl.

It’s not done but I couldn’t resist trying it on!  I don’t think I’ve been giving this project the proper presence of mind.  It’s just a stashbusting, quickie.  It was trivial.  Until, I put it on.  Now, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.  I really like this.  Duh…there’s a reason it’s been so popular!

I’m frequently a late adopter when it comes to the hot, new pattern.   The original 3-Color Cashmere Cowl was released more than 3 years ago.  There’s over 6000 of these cowls on Ravelry.  I shouldn’t be surprised at all.  These things are always popular for a reason.

Of course, I’m not actually following the pattern.  I’m using DK weight yarn instead of fingering and I’m just making up my own patterning as I go, using the original as a roadmap.  So far, so good…it helps that I’m using cashmere, I did keep that part the same!  100% Noro Cashmere…it’s yummy!  I can’t wait to block it and bloom the cashmere.  It’s going to be amazing!

Have a great weekend!  I’m hoping to squeeze all this finishing in.  Woo!


 

No Finish Friday

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Didn’t manage to finish anything but at least, I made progress.  Nephew sweater now has two sleeves!  Only the front bands are left.  That’s not too much.  I’m aiming to have it in the mail Monday.  I can make that happen.

Then it’ll be time for Vogue Knitting Live homework.  I’m taking Franklin Habits Zipper & Steek class.  Both techniques I’m comfortable doing but I’m always happy to add polish.  That’s always my goal with classes, little finishing tips that elevate a garment.  I suspect Franklin is great for that stuff.  He seems like an attention to detail guy.  I’m looking forward to everything he has to say.  My expectations are high.  I have a feeling Franklin is an exceeds expectations kinda guy!

 

With that in mind, let’s talk about sock details!  I’m not a sock knitter so when our yearly knitting group swap rolls around, socks are the obvious answer.  This year I got another pair of fun rainbow socks.

The interesting detail here is the Fleegle Heel.  It’s a short row heel, touted for leaving no holes.  It results in a little triangle shape at the back of the heel, where a heel flap would normally be rectangular.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was how long these socks were.  No one wants to criticize a gift before it’s out of the box but they were clearly too long for my feet.  I said something like ‘huh, is my foot really this big?’  To which the response was, ‘um, yes.  you said it yourself’   Ok, let’s give it a try.  To my surprise (and relief), they fit perfect.

I don’t know how to describe the most comfortable sock in the world.  Until I put these socks on, I didn’t realize other socks were even lacking.  This is the most comfortable heel I’ve ever worn.  I’ve never felt like a heel flap was uncomfortable but somehow this heel shape, contours my foot perfectly.  I could tell instantly.  It’s amazing.

So, all you sock knitters out there, I highly recommend trying out the Fleegle Heel.  I’m a convert!  If I ever tackle another pair of socks, I’ll give it a go!

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!


 

All the WIPS Wednesday

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Remember this sweater?  I started it waaaay back in June.  At the time,  I wondered, ‘which can I do faster…get a job or knit a sweater?’   It’s now September and I’ve done neither, so the debate rages on…

I found out, last night, I did not get the job and, that’s okay.  It wasn’t a great fit.  It was a really good practice interview though.  I’ll be dialed in when the next one comes.  Plus, now there’s still time to knit a sweater!  It probably won’t be mine but this little nephew sweater is rapidly coming to a conclusion…

The pattern is Newborn Vertebrae, with KnitPicks ‘Hawaiian Shirt’ Felici self striping yarn.  It’s the cutest darn thing!  I’ll be finishing it ASAP!  Turns out babies grow quick and I want him to get plenty of wear out of this sweater.  I got this picture of the newborn size socks I made him…

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Time for new socks too!  So much knitting, so little time between growth spurts!  Of course, there’s non-baby knitting too…

Nothing motivates me like nearly losing my free time to work.  After all the recent interruptions, it’s been especially nice this week getting yarn into my hands again.  I think, my annoyance at the Wonder Woman wrap has subsided and I’ve decided to press forward on it.

I’m starting to remember what set me off in the first place.  It’s a garter stitch pattern, which one typically assumes to be all knit stitches.  Well, You know what they say about assumptions.  Turns out, in order to maintain the stripes properly, a portion of this pattern is the oft-forgotten all purl garter stitch.  m*$@F*$^er.  I was so pissed when I got there.  There was a lot of cursing that day.  To say I did it begrudgingly was an understatement.  And there’s no way around it, in order to construct the iconic stacked WW, it has to be done.  It was immediately following that section, the project went into the timeout corner.

I mean, c’mon…all purl garter stitch???  Who does that?  Clearly not me.  UGH.  I’m never in the mood for all purl garter stitch.  NO.  Never.  I’ve finished working that portion of the pattern.  It’s done so hopefully, I’ll get over it mentally, too.  :) Maybe it won’t be as disastrous as I thought last week.  The yarn is an amazing 50 silk/50 merino blend and the colors perfect together, even if they aren’t classic Wonder Woman.  Or I could just put it back in the timeout corner!  I want to finish my Dragon Fade Match & Move.  I’m getting really close now!

FO Friday…Here I come!!


 

Back to Stitching…

It took a few days but I have recovered from last week’s interview stress!  A gorgeous weekend and lots of outdoor time helped!

The interview went well.  I’m not sure I got the job but I’m not sure I want the job.  The company is doing really neat science but they’re a very early start up, currently only 10 employees.  So, they’re thinking things over, I’m thinking things over.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, I’ve got plenty of crafty ideas to keep me busy!  Last night was our annual knitting group anniversary party.  9 Years of stitching and bitching!  Wooo!  As part of our annual tradition, we pick names from a hat and then knit for each other.

I really struggled with what to knit this year.  My gift recipient is a total process knitter who loves to knit for other people.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what she would love and find useful.  After considering everything, I decided on a Wonder Woman wrap.  Check it out here, if you aren’t familiar.  It’s a free pattern!

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Like most knitting, it got to a point where it went to the time out corner.  I was happy enough with my progress but our party was months off.  I had plenty of time.  Of course, a quick trip to the time out corner turned into a complete shunning.  My intention was to pick it up two weeks before the party and crank it out.

And then the interview came up.  Keeping the deadline in mind, I was still confident I had time to get the knitting done so my project continued to languish.  I didn’t give it a second thought.

Until…I got home from my interview, ready to knit.  That was about the time I decided I didn’t like my progress and wanted to start over again.  D’oh!  96 hours and I wanted to scrap the whole thing.

The sticky wicket here was sizing.  I picked the smaller size in the pattern and I knit to gauge so I wouldn’t run out of yarn.  As a lover of large shawls, this barely scarf sized piece just wasn’t cutting it.  I was unhappy with it.  I wasn’t motivated to move forward with something I didn’t like so back to the drawing board.

I decided to start an entirely new project…this time, cross stitch.  I should have just started at cross stitch.  We’re both happy with how things ended up…

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A Star Wars collection of cross stitch!  Once I got started it was impossible to stop.  This is so fun!! The series will definitely continue…Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?  It’s a trap!  and Han shot first are all on the list, with a few others being considered as well.  There’s just so many options…

I love the Millenium Falcon on the black aida.  Colored aida is such a simply idea but you really don’t see it much?  Why is that?  It can’t be because cross stitchers lack imagination and creativity.  I refuse to believe that.

So, a couple weeks back, I suggested to my dye master Mother that aida is cotton, like yarn and t-shirts…no reason she can’t dye it.  Yesterday, this came in the mail…

Hand dyed aida in a glorious array of colors!!!  I’m so excited about this.  There might be a Millenium Falcon in a deep purple outer space in my future!  I can’t wait to play with it!

I haven’t decided what to do with my Wonder Woman wrap yet.  We’ll talk about that more tomorrow!  I’ve got knitting goals too!  If I could just have two extra arms, I could be knitting and cross stitching at the same time…A girl can dream, right?