Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FO: Rae

Yesterday night I completed my Rae for my local yarn store's January/February knit-a-long. It was a very simple pattern of all garter but it was fun to watch it progress. I really liked this pattern because it allowed me to use a varigated yarn that I would never use in any other project. I'm just more of a solids or tonals kind of knitter so the varigateds don't get much love.

The Dream In Color Smooshy that I used was lovely and soft. It did, however have a slight oddity to it. One side of the project is mostly blue, but the other side is mostly purple and brown. I think it works in this project and adds character, but it did surprise me.

pattern: Rae, by Jane Richmond
yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway "Into the Mystic"
needles: 6s
raveled: Rae

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Update- Full Impulse

I've made a lot of progress on my He's Not an Extra Sweater since I cast on five days ago. I have about 14" of the body done. I'm almost through with my second ball of red yarn so I'm a little past 25% of the way done with it. This is what it looks like:

I also made some progress on my Rae tonight at Knit Night. It's really easy to zone out when I'm knitting this pattern because it's so easy but when you put it down you can really see how far I've knit. Keep in mind I've only spent about four hours on it. It looks like this:

I should have no problem completing it by the end of February for the knit-a-long deadline. The colors are working up really well.

While I was at my local yarn store tonight I picked up the yarn for my third sweater of the year. It's seven skeins of Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted in Copper Penny and oh.my.gosh. is it amazing! It's 50% merino wool and 50% alpaca. I've decided that alpaca is the fiber of the gods. I'd love nothing more than to buy a bathtub's worth of this yarn and just lay in it. Not only is this yarn super amazing, it was really hard to choose a color. I finally decided on Copper Penny because I felt it would go best with the pattern I have lined up (which will stay a secret for now). But I'm sure I'll be buying more later on for more sweaters.

Right now I'm kind of in knitting overload where I want to knit seventeen patterns all at once. I have to remind myself to take it slow and enjoy the process. I'm going to force myself to finish all my WIPs before I start my third sweater.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rae Beginnings and Sweater #2 Sneak Peek

Last night at Firefly Fiber's Knit Night I cast on for the January/February Knit-a-long project, Rae. It's a simple garter stitch triangular scarf made with sock yarn. For my project, I picked out a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway "Into the Mystic". It's a gorgeous combination of light blues, purples, and browns. I got a good start last night; this is my progress so far:

I plan on only working on my Rae at Knit Night so I don't have to haul in my sweater every week. Speaking of sweaters, I just wound up the yarn to make my second one and I'm going to be swatching tonight.

I'm using Cascade 220 to make He's Not an Extra, a pattern by Julia Vesper from the book Knitting It Old School. I received this book last year for my birthday from my sister and I like a lot of patterns in it. It's loosely divided into sections by decade or theme and this one is from the "Sci-Fiber" section.

This pattern is based off the uniforms worn in Star Trek: The Next Generation (specifically in the first two seasons), and it's going to be for my boyfriend. This sweater is special for us because one of the first dates we went on together was to see the new Star Trek movie that came out in 2009.  

Over the last couple of months I've been watching Star Trek while knitting thanks to Netflix which has every episode available to stream. I've watched all of The Next Generation and Voyager (my favorite!) and I'm just starting to watch Deep Space Nine, so I'm getting to be a fan too. I'm planning on knitting She's Not an Extra for myself in the future, too. Then we can go to Star Trek conventions in our matching sweaters! Just kidding, I'm not that big of a geek.   Yet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sweater #1 Finished!

I finished my Stilwell on Wednesday and finally had a chance to take pictures! This past week I was on vacation for the first part of the week and at a conference for the second. The time off combined with all the knitting I did over New Year's weekend meant I finished a sweater in a record 15 days! Here she is:

pattern: Stilwell by Jared Flood
yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed HW in colors Morning Glory (MC) and Snowshoe (CC)
needles: 6s for stockinette, 8s, for colorwork, and 5s for the placket
raveled: Stilwell

I made a lot of modifications to this pattern. As the pattern is written, the hip measurement is smaller than the bust measurement, and the body is pretty darn short. Maybe Jared has a couple of friends on the U.S. Olympic swimming and diving teams and designed it for them. Most women I know aren't built like that. To solve these issues, I cast on the numbers of stitches required for the XL size and then did most of the waist shaping decreases. I only did enough increases to bring the stitch count up needed for the L size. For the length problem, I didn't start the waist decreases until I finished the bottom colorwork band.


I decided to shorten up the sleeves by an inch and a half so it was more 3/4-length sleeves and less wrist-length sleeves. I adjusted the sleeve circumference by casting on two extra pattern repeats for a total of 45 stitches on each sleeve (knit two-at-a-time).

The only part of the sweater I wasn't happy with was the collar. I was originally planning on just doing a simple collar of a couple of garter rows but the neck opening was slightly boatnecky for my taste so I decided that the shawl collar would be best. I didn't want a collar that was as tall the one in the pattern. Instead of doing short rows as written, I did *k1, w&t* to space them out and shorten the height of the collar.

Overall, I'm very happy with this sweater. It's shaped nicely and fits well. You know why? Because I swatched! I actually had to do two swatches for this sweater: one for the plain stockinette section and one for the colorwork, both knit in the round. If I had used the needle size recommended by the pattern, it would have turned out way too big, which would have meant a lot of frogging to correct it. I spent a couple of hours swatching and it saved me a lot of heartache!

I have a pair of socks on the needles that I plan on finishing this week and a scarf for my local yarn store's January/February knit-a-long. With any luck I'll have another Finished Object post by the end of the week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Almost there!

You know how your mom always told you to clean as you go when you're in the kitchen? I think the same thing applies to weaving in ends as you're knitting. It's so much easier to weave in a couple of ends at a time than face an entire sweater's worth at once. Not only that, it decreases the amount of time between casting off and wearing your creation. There has been some debate about whether you should weave in ends before or after blocking, but I've found there's not enough difference to deal with the pain in the butt that is a sinkful of loose ends. Most of the time, I try to use a Russian join to take care of joining a new ball of yarn in the middle of an item, leaving just the beginning and ending ends. With the yarn I'm currently using for my Stilwell, I thought it would be too bulky for it to blend in, so I did it the old fasioned way. This afternoon I spent a good amount of time taking care of the ends I had so far.

Tonight I finished the top colorwork band of myStilwell.  It should be smooth sailing from here on out. Hopefully I can finish it tomorrow. I'm a bit worried I'll run out of yarn, but I'm thinking positive thoughts. I haven't picked out buttons for it yet, so I'll have to take a trip to the store. I'm on vacation for a couple of days so I should have plenty of time for knitting. I have a couple of projects with me to work on after I finish the sweater. Once I get back home, the question is whether to start Sweater #2 or use the end of the month for other projects. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stilwell Progress

I cast on for my first sweater on December 27th- Jared Flood's Stilwell. I've made quite a bit of progress over this holiday weekend. This morning I finished the body section of this raglan and cast on the first sleeve. I've already made a couple of changes to make it longer and fit my body better.

I'm loving the yarn and the colors I chose. If all goes well, I should be able to join the body to the sleeves by next week.