Happy 2017!

2017

This post is brought to you by Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year!  Finally, a color of the year I appreciate!  I wear lots of greens but I especially love a pop of chartreuse so this is perfect for me!  Perhaps you’ve noticed my latest sweater is green…

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I didn’t get it done for NYE but there’s always next week!

Unfortunately, I green is also the color of frogs and I think I’ve got some frogging in my future.  I did the color work around the yoke.  It looks good. deadhead-sweater

That’s a Dancing Bear, of Grateful Dead fame.  It’s a free chart.  But soon after, problems start to arise.  I’m not out of the dark green yarn, which is naturally the color I want to continue with.  It’s okay though, I’ve got plenty of the light green and since it’s now color of the year, I have to use it, don’t I?

I decided to incorporate a honeycomb sort of slip stitch pattern based on this pattern, Retro Lopapeysa.  As an added bonus, it looks a bit like a turtle shell.

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Bears and Terrapins are good friends if you’re a Deadhead.  I didn’t plan it that way, but I’ll totally go with that story.  I’m a fan of happy accidents.  This is a very happy accident.  I’ve been worried about the look being too disjointed, the color block body, the striped sleeves, the stranded yoke.  It’s got a lot going on and it’s definitely teetering on the edge of chaos but it’s working for me.

 

The problem is the fit.  The fit is a hot mess.  Tight at the armpit and gaping in other parts.  It’s so bad I couldn’t even bring myself to take a grainy, poorly lit selfie.  I’m pretty sure I need to rip back to the sleeve join and do some reworking.

Which of course is going to be a problem because last week, I grafted my armpit holes.  D’oh!  That’s what I get for ‘helping’ myself and weaving the ends in early!  Oh well…I’m soldiering on, the slip stitch pattern goes quickly, especially as I decrease.  I’m secretly hoping the fit will improve as I get closer to the neck line.  Maybe I won’t have to rip it out?  (Maybe I’m delusional…stay tuned to find out!)


 

It’s beginning to look alot like a sweater!

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I hope everyone had a holiday weekend as relaxing and productive as mine!  Not only did I get to enjoy holiday cheer with friends but I’ve got two full sleeves now!!

The fun begins now!  The best part of bottom up sweaters–the work is done!  It’s just an easy ride to up the neckline.  At least, with the rows getting shorter & going quicker, it seems like the work is done!

I completed my join round and promptly tried it on.

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It still looks like pieces but I assure, it’s now joined!

I’ve decided to go with some color work around the yoke.  I tried to start it tonight but discovered I left my contrast color at home.  D’oh!  Fortunately, my evening destination was well lit.  I took advantage of my predicament (seriously, forgot my yarn?!  What am I?  an amateur?  I didn’t even have a back up project.  I knew I should have cast on my second pair of socks already!)

I used my yarnlessness as an opportunity to weave my ends and graft my armpits!  Oh yeah!  And, there’s no knitting classes this week, I might actually have time to finish this for a NYE debut?!?!  That would be so exciting! 40 yoke rows with decreases, a steek and a button band.  hhhmmmm.  maybe.  Just Maybe…..I might be able to get it all done!  (Or maybe I’ll start that pair of socks…)

WIP Wednesday – One Sleeve

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks!  I hardly know where to begin.  The new job is officially in full swing.  It’s definitely a ‘real’ job.  It’s taking the best hours of the day and most of my mental stamina.  Add in my teaching responsibilities and last weekend’s craft fair and I’ve had zero time for lounging and knitting.  It’s adulting on steroids around here.

The good news is…the efforts have paid off on all fronts.  The craft fair was successful!  I’m hoping to give you more details this weekend!  And, despite taking all my energy, there is some satisfaction in getting back to work.  I like feeling like a ‘productive’ part of society again, even if it requires getting dressed every. single. day.

And, there’s even been a tiny bit of knitting.

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Gone are the days of two day sleeves, instead I’ve got a two week sleeve.  But I’ve got a sleeve.  One more to go.  The beauty of bottom up sweaters is how quickly they come together in the end.  Once the sleeves are attached, the yoke practically knits itself!

Normally, this is the part where I would say something foolishly optimistic like ‘I can have this done in a week!’  Except, I also said I wouldn’t be christmas knitting.  I knew that was ridiculous the second I said it.  And so, this is happening as well…

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Fingers crossed that it’s only a momentary distraction!  I would love to be wearing my new sweater for Christmas dinner :)  That’s totally doable.  A full work schedule, classes to teach and a sleeve, a yoke, a steek and a button band…11 days.  I got this!

Progress, Knitting & Otherwise

In what should not come as a surprise and despite my best efforts to plan, I’m winging my sleeves.  It seems I design with needles in hand.  That’s just how I work.

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Since I’m so averse to planning, perhaps I’ll think of this as collecting data to inform a decision (that just happens to be made on the fly.)

So I colored a few sweater sleeve options to help me visualize.  I’ve been carrying it around asking knitters and non-knitters alike to weigh in.  It’s an interesting personality test.  I don’t know what it means, but I’m sure it’s deep and meaningful anyhow!

Despite loving the mismatched sleeve idea, I don’t think this is the project for it.  I’m going to go for color work in the yoke and don’t want things to be too busy.

I started with my one constant.  The sleeve cast on will be brown.

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Once I got started, a wide brown cuff to match the seed stitch on the bottom of the garment seemed natural.   From there I transitioned to stockinette and I’ve added my first stripe.  I think the next green stripe is approaching, I have yet to decide if it will be wider or stay skinny.  hhhmmm.

I’m being extra careful with these decisions because, starting tomorrow I’m back to being a full time chemist instead of a full time knitter.  My time is about to run very short.  Unlike this time when I got a job, or this time when I got a job, this is a real job.  Full time, with pay and benefits and an 8 am start time!  It’ll be my triumphant return to the chemistry lab.  Oddly enough, absence actually has made my heart grow fonder of the daily lab life so I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  It’s gonna be good.

But, as I’ve said many times, funemployment has been pretty awesome for me.  I’ll miss it and remember it fondly!  For now, I’m going out to enjoy my last day of mid-afternoon shenanigans!!!

 

Distractions are Distracting.

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I hope you all had a lovely long weekend.  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who had distractions!  0f030c23-6ef4-489d-9f5e-208d50be43de

The beauty of stockinette tubes is their simplicity.  Despite all those weekend distractions, there was still time for stockinette tube knitting.  Three Cheers for Stockinette Tubes!!  My second sock has grown significantly, heel turn #2 is imminent.  I’ll be wearing my own handknit socks in no time!! I can’t wait! and…

…my sweater body has reached completion.  I still haven’t given the sleeves enough thought.  It’s time though.  I’m pleased with my stripes so far but I’m still feeling like the canvas is a bit blank.   I want to do something to spice it up.   Funky asymmetric sleeves?  Fun yoke design?  Certainly not both.  I want to avoid cluttered.  Edit. Edit. Edit.

I’ve been going one step at a time, making little decisions that add up to one sweater.  I’m at the crossroads of cohesiveness now though.  I can’t be so haphazard anymore.  It’s time for proper planning.  I’m getting the colored pencils out.  Wish me luck!

 

There’s always a but.

Last we spoke, I was pleased with my progress.  I was patting myself on the back for a job well done (despite my lack of clear vision.)  It was all working out.  Everything was falling into place nicely but…

(there’s always a but…)

Somehow, my swatch and my actual knitting were drastically different, to the tune of 20″ of extra fabric in my sweater.  Apparently denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.  I knit a significant portion of the body before acknowledging that it was huge.

My inner process knitter was so excited to be let loose on a whole sweater of stockinette in the round, I just ignored the fact that I could barely keep my stitches on a 40″ needle.

Until about 2 am, when reality came knocking and I frogged the whole thing.  D’oh!

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Oh well.  I cast right back on and got started.  Nothing else has changed, I just made a really big swatch, that’s all!  Today I’m working on my second green stripe.

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I’m not loving it yet but I’m sure I will soon enough.  It’s just so hard to gauge a whole color block from two little rows.  One thing I am certain of…the wind has picked up a chill, this sweater can’t get here soon enough!

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As always, and in spite of the previous flaws, I’m still pleased with it.  You can see my color change here and I’ve done a bit of waist shaping.  I’m not doing any math (I’d mess it up anyhow.), I’m just sort of eyeballing the last marker and deciding it’s time to do a decrease.  Or not.  I think I’m done with those decreases.

In the seed stitch edge you can see a stockinette stripe, that’s to mark the steek placement.  And you can also see evidence of my short row shaping.

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The hem isn’t uneven because it’s hanging crooked.  I’ve intentionally added extra length to the back of the sweater with a series of short rows.  I love it.  It’s a tiny little bit of personalization.  I don’t want a sweater that rides up in the back.  DONE!  I can check that box!

Still haven’t decided about the sleeves though.  I may even be contemplating some colorwork in the yoke, that might be too much though.  Edit. Edit. Edit.  I don’t have to put all the ideas into one garment.   Sometimes I need to remind myself.