WIP Wednesday

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After months of threatening, my next sweater is, finally, on the needles!  It doesn’t look like much yet but it’s gonna be perfect!  I can say this with authority because it’s a nearly identical copy of my last sweater.

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The pattern is Vivido by Carol Feller.  It’ll be my fourth one.  It’s a cardigan with raglan shaping and a shallow v-neck.  Nothing fancy, just a sweater that is comfortable and looks good.  It’s easy knitting and easy math when doing gauge conversions.  I really couldn’t ask for more.  Unless maybe someone wants to knit it for me?  :)

As for the yarn, I’m keeping the same stripes (Noro Rainbow Roll) but changing the main color (unspun Icelandic Plutolopi) from brown to navy blue.  I’m actually expecting it to be significantly different.  You never know what’s going to happen with Noro stripes, after all.  I can’t wait to see it develop…the ‘stripes make you knit faster’ phenomenon has definitely kicked in!  I’m making good progress.

Of course, I am easily distracted and this also fell onto my needles yesterday…

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It’s been 3 months since I knit a Hitchhiker.  It’s definitely time for another one!  This is my 15th Hitchhiker, one of nearly 30,000 on Ravelry.  I assume you already know how awesome this pattern is but in case you don’t…it’s awesome.  There are literally 29,670 Hitchhiker projects on Ravelry.  Imagine the people who don’t maintain Rav Notebook pages?!?  There could be 50,000 Hitchhikers in the world!  It’s amazing!  That’s just how perfect it is.

Here’s the pitch, just in case you need it…

It’s garter stitch, gotta love no purls!  The pattern is committed to memory easily.  It’s perfect for difficult yarn…that variegated skein you just couldn’t resist but turns into a horrible nightmare every time you attempt to knit with it.  The Hitchhiker’s continually growing rows in combination with the garter stitch tame those hard to use yarns.  From horrible pooling and clown barf to lovely scarf in no time at all.  And, perhaps most important, it’s easy to wear and always looks great.

Be warned though:  this is knitter’s crack.  You will be hooked.  Once is not enough.  The addiction is real.  ;)

 

 

FO Friday – The Noro-Lopi Love Child Sweater

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It’s finally finished!  Wooo!

I’m so excited to have a new sweater!  And this one is darn near perfect! I’m going to be getting loads of wear out of it!  The pattern is a top-down raglan called Vivido, from Carol Feller.  The stripes are my own modification but everything else is as-called for.

I chose this pattern simply because of the ‘if it ain’t broke’ mindset.  I’ve had great success with my two previous incarnations of this sweater.  It’s a great daily wear garment, which is what I need at this point.  (As much as I love Bill, there’s only so many places he can be worn!)  Plus, I knew the colorwork was going to be the star of this show.  No need for the pattern to compete with that.  This pattern is exactly the blank slate I needed!

The yarns are the interesting bits in this sweater!  The brown yarn is Plutolopi, an unspun pencil roving, from my Icelandic adventure.   The stripes are from a Noro Rainbow Roll.  I love both of these yarns so much!!  The unspun nature makes them fragile, and so, not for everyone but it also gives the garment amazing loft!  This is a 200 g sweater.  My last Vivido, a bulky weight wool, weighs 600 g.  That’s a big difference, especially in a town where micro-climates and layering mean sweaters often get carried instead of worn.

The difference in weight, also, means a difference in drying time.  A 600 g sweater can take days to dry.  This baby dried overnight during a rainstorm!

YES, this is definitely my new favorite sweater.

I might make one slight adjustment though.  The first button hole is low.  In a solid colored sweater, I didn’t mind.  The stripes kind of exaggerate the gap.

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I think a little snap will fix it up.  I’ve always wanted to try snaps out.  If it stops raining long enough to go for a walk, I think I’ve finally found my excuse to buy snap!

Woo!  Hope your Friday is equally exciting!!


 

WIP Wednesday – A New Sweater

Before I show you my new sweater project, let’s take a moment to bask in the glory of this amazing yarn!

This is a DK weight, 100% baby llama yarn my Mom dyed and sent me for Christmas.  I absolutely love it!  Mom used an ice dying technique that I don’t think is common among yarn dyers but seeing the results, it should be!

You prep your yarn as normal and then pack it in ice.  You sprinkle dye powder on top of the ice.  As it melts, the dye is solubilized and trickles down to the fiber below.  The result is all kinds of unexpected fun!  The chartreusey green dye broke into it’s base components giving an amazing array of gold and yellow tones while still maintaining much of it’s greenness.

I love it.  So much complexity from one dye and some ice.  I can’t wait to use it.  It’s 220 yards.  I’m thinking cowl.  We’ll see.  Maybe even some sort of lace leaf motif.  Just as spring starts springing, I usually have a fit that only this color can calm.  It’s gonna be good.

In the meantime, this is my palate…

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Thank you Noro!  This is the Noro Rainbow Roll, a 100% wool pencil roving.  It’s surprisingly soft for a Noro yarn.  It’s certainly softer than the yarn I’m pairing it with, Plutolopi, an unspun Icelandic yarn.

I’m pretending they’re the same gauge, even though they aren’t.  The lopi is distinctly thinner.  I think it works though.  I like the swatch.  I’m going with it.

The plan was generic top-down, raglan cardigan.  The gauge worked out perfectly for Vivido, though.  My two favorite cardigans are this pattern.  One of them is well past it’s expiration date.  I keep repairing it but it really should be retired.  So, in the spirit of if-it-ain’t-broke, my new sweater is another Vivido.

It’s going well, but the plan has definitely changed already.  My original intention was a striped cardigan.  As I work these stripes though, they’re a little busy.  I’m not sure I need that all over my body.

The new plan is striped yoke, solid brown body.  That’s a totally fair compromise.  Plus, I wouldn’t mind having some of this Noro left over.  It really is soft.  I’m feeling the urge to stash more!  (it’s only $11 at Webs right now!?!?)

(and Noro is prone to discontinue this.  It’s definitely a specialty item.)

(I’m gonna try really hard to resist.)

(I should probably use this pile first!)

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(I think I’ve talked myself off the ledge.  For now.)

 

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!

Button Time!

 

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Collar is done, ends are woven…just needs buttons!  I’d love to find the perfect wooden toggles or maybe some cool leather buttons.   Mostly I want brown.   Nothing fits that bill in the stash!

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These weren’t too bad, I don’t have enough though.  I need 8 buttons.  Button shopping is definitely in my future!  Can’t have the perfect sweater without the perfect buttons!  and so far, this is my most perfect sweater yet!

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I’m trying to hold on to that thought.  Let’s not complain about the brand new sweater before it’s even been worn out the house, yes?  Of course, I have already made a list of features I’d like the next sweater to have.  See how I haven’t labeled them complaints?  It was a silly oversight to leave pockets off though.  I want all my clothes to have pockets!   And elbow patches!  I totally want elbow patches.  That’s probably why I’m fixating on leather buttons!  We’ll just have to wait and see.  I could change my mind several more times before all is said and done.  In the meantime, I’m digging the stitch markers!  You never know when one will come in handy!


 

In other news…StevenBe’s latest reality episode is out!  Episode 2: Knittsburgh!  It’s pretty funny!  They even get the mayor and an NFL player to make appearances!   Check it out!

WIP Wednesday – Vivido Cardigan

I can’t seem to FO on Friday but I’ve always got a WIP for Wednesday!  I’m super excited about the progress on my Vivido Cardigan!  I’ve gotten well beyond the sleeve divide and started my favorite little detail.

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It’s a subtle slip stitch pattern, just enough that from a distance it’s a slight bit of visual interest, not fussy or distracting and super easy to execute…just K3, Sl1.   Definitely one of the reasons I’m making this sweater a second time!

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And the fit is perfect so far!  Yay Math!  Only a couple inches left until I bind off!!  Just like last week at this time, I think I can get this done in a week!  This time I might even be right!!

Sleeve Divide!

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Since I FO’d at the beginning of the week, it seems appropriate to WIP today!  I continue to be enamored of bulky yarn!  I meant to do the sleeve divide and somehow ended up with half the body knit as well!  I am also enamored of the fit of this sweater!  I’m so glad I decided to repeat this pattern!  It’s Vivido by Carol Feller!  I can’t wait to be wearing it…which looks to be soon…

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If I really wanted, I could bind off and call it a shrug!  I think I’ll manage to finish it though.  Heck, I might be motivated enough to finish it by…

…oh nevermind, I can’t even finish that sentence.  I’ll surely get distracted the instant I do.   :)