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!!


 

Progress, on Wednesday

Somehow, despite myriad variables, I’ve got three projects converging at the finish line.  Approaching the end of a project always gives it a bit of a boost, a sort of second wind.  Now, multiply that feeling of accomplishment by 3, and call it Wednesday!   Woooo!

I’m putting the border on a summery stroller blanket for the Nephew.  I’m putting the buttons on my Lopi + Noro cardigan (the brown ones).

And I’m resisting the urge to put my next sweater on the needles.  I decided on the color palate.  Casting on is the logical next step.  Of course, finishing the sweater that’s 99.7% complete is also quite logical.  It’s hard to know exactly what to do!?!

I’ll keep you posted, as always!  Happy Pi Day!!


 

WIP Wednesday: Sweater Progress

As I organized the WIPs this morning, I realized my sweater body had reached completion!  Wooohooo!

I measured it against my current favorite sweater…the length is good.  I even went a few extra rows before I did the bind off.

It’s gonna be soooooo good and it’s super close now!  The sleeves should be a snap…stockinette in the round?  Yeah…I got that.

I picked out my next sweater today, too…The Saltwater Bay Cardigan.  It’s the latest Knitty Surprise, knit in Lopi!  No problems finding that in my stash…

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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.)

 

FO Friday – Vivido Cardigan

I declared my Vivido Cardigan done on Ravelry last week!  In reality, it wasn’t finished until this week…just in time for 70 degree days!  Fortunately, I know that won’t last!  There will be a nip to the wind soon enough!

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The Pattern:  Vivido Cardigan from Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches

The Yarn:  Kathmandu Chunky from the Queensland Collection (85% Merino, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere…100% heavenly!)

This is my second version of this sweater.  I’m on a quest to replace my first version.  It’s my go-to, I wear it constantly.  Eventually It’ll have to be retired.  So far, I haven’t found it’s replacement.   While I am very pleased with my new purple tweed cardigan, it is VERY warm.  I don’t really get that cold.  It’s definitely not daily wear.

Modifications:  The Sleeves.   The pattern calls for only two decrease rows, in total 4 stitches decreased.  That was not nearly enough for me.  I prefer a close fitting sleeve so after following the pattern, I ripped back and added quite a few more decreases, maybe 6 more decrease rows (12 stitches).  At 3.5 st/in, that’s a significant change.

The Buttons.  The pattern calls for only one button hole at the top.  I added button holes down the entire cardigan.  I’ve settled on using only four of them, at the moment.  I may change my mind but history tells me, I’ll never use the bottom ones anyhow.

I’ve worn it out a couple times but today it’s getting a real debut!  I’ll just stick to the shady side of the street!

Stop the Presses!

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Today, I’m live-blogging my sweater finishing!  LOL!  I found, potentially, the perfect buttons in my stash!  I’d been saving them in a special place because they came from my trip to Iceland a couple years back, so special that I’d forgotten all about them!

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I’m leaning towards the ones with bark!  They hit a nice rustic note, a lovely compliment to the tweed.  I think the other ones are a bit to clean.  They belong on a lighter color.  I did get one vote for using both styles in an alternating fashion.  I’m contemplating it.

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In either case, I think I’ve got a winner!  What else could I possibly be saving these buttons for?

 

 

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!

Sleeve Delusions

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I managed to pull myself away from knitting cute critters long enough to start my cardigan sleeve.  It didn’t last long though.  I just can’t resist this cute little guinea pig!  I had to cast on!  My sleeve was growing quickly.  In no time at all I had the first sleeve half done!   I deserved a little guinea pig break.

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Or maybe not!  Despite everything I know I about math, significant figures and rounding, I convinced myself 30% of a sleeve was ‘half done’.  (and I’d probably rounded from 27% to 30%)  D’oh!

So, I’m back at it.  I put the toy book away.  I’ve decided I have about two hours of knitting left on this sleeve.  That’s nothing!  I can definitely finish it today.  After 15 minutes (rounded up from 12, naturally) I got distracted and started doing something else.  D’oh!

For at least the third time today, I’m back at it.  What I’m lacking in focus, I’m making up for with determination.  For at least the next 7.5 minutes.  (Fingers crossed I make it to 5!)

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!!