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!!!

 

A New Sweater

A little less conversation, a little more action.

My new sweater is finally on the needles.

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After considering many options, I did what I always do and failed to make a decision.  It’s one thing to say I want to knit a sweater.  It’s something entirely different to have a pattern and matching yarn in hand and say I want to knit this sweater!  So how did I get stitches on the needle?

I started with the only known variable in this equation…Lopi!  Since my amazing Icelandic adventure, I’ve had a giant stash of Lett Lopi, the traditional Icelandic wool.  I’m a wool person.  I call it rustic (never scratchy).  It’s light weight and warm and it comes in approximately one zillion colors…What’s not to like about that?

Deciding on a color palate was challenging.  So many possibilities.  I made lots of piles, took lots of pictures, did the black and white photo contrast evaluation, lather, rinse, repeat.

Here’s the final decision.

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Mostly.  (I reserve the right to change my mind!)

I couldn’t decide on a traditional Icelandic pattern.  I am going to use the traditional construction method though.  Bottom up, in the round, yoke neck, steeked cardigan.  That still doesn’t get stitches on the needle though.

Gauge swatch.  Easy enough.  A little math later, I had some basic numbers.  It’s still a bit of a blank canvas though.

I really want to do a crazy stripe lopi cardigan but that’s not this one.  This one is going to be more color block than stripe.  It’s still pretty plain though.

It’s gonna be cozy, so how do I up the cozy factor?  Add texture, add length, add a bit of shaping.  I started off with a wide seed stitch band.

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And a beer.  Perfect.

Somehow along the way, I decided short rows needed to happen.  Way off in the future, when I shape the neck but also, here, near the beginning.  It’ll create a bit of extra length in the back and give it a lovely rounded sort of shape.

One at a time, I’m putting all sorts of little details together.

So far, I’m pleased.

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Color change #1 is rapidly approaching.  I really hope I still like it after that!

I’m not worrying about it though.  I’m worrying about the sleeves.  What the heck do I do with them?  One solid color?  Do I match the body?  This is the downfall of bottom up.  The Sleeves need to be ready to go pre-yoke.  I haven’t ruled out the possibility of colorwork in the yoke.  That decision definitely effects the sleeves.  ACK!!  So many more decisions…if only I’d been able to make one single decision (pick a pattern), all this work would be done already.  D’oh!

The allure of my second sock is real, those decisions are all made.  And it’s the weekend, so anything could happen!  Hope you have a good one!  :)


 

I can’t follow rules.

I can’t follow rules.  The easiest way to get me to do something is tell me not to.  I can’t help it.  Naturally, that means I can’t simply answer 11 questions from the ladies who gave me a Liebster Award.  Some of the questions deserve entire posts, like ‘What is your dream vacation?’  I’ve been on my dream vacation.  It was a dream, it’s still a dream.  All through my unemployment, I kept thinking about moving there!  It’s an enchanting place!  And it’s not an uncommon dream vacation for knitters either…Iceland!

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Yes, Iceland has awesome waterfalls!

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It really was that cold…in June! Look for the little red dot on the ledge in the back, that’s a tiny little person for scale!
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Again, look for the people in the back for scale! It was wet & cold but I sat on the bench and knit for at least 5 minutes!
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A lot of awesome waterfalls! 
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There’s some nice beaches too!
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By nice, I mean cold & windy! Just my kind of weather!

Nothing compares to the sweaters though!  There’s like 10x more sweaters than people in the country!  And they’re all different!  The amount of variation is impressive, awesome and inspiring! CIMG3617

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Fun Fur! No, Really!! I can’t believe someone imported that shit.

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Sweaters come from yarn…

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All natural botanical dyes native to Iceland (save the indigo, apparently even the vikings imported it!)

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This is a small fraction of what I came home with:

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…I pretend I live in a yarn store!

Yarn comes from fleeces…

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Fleeces come from sheep…

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And Iceland has a lot of all those things!  It’s an amazing knitting destination!  I can’t wait to go back!  Knitter’s Paradise!  If it’s on your bucket list, and even if it’s not, I can’t recommend going enough.  It will be worth it!