Thursday, April 26, 2012

WIP: White Pine Update

It's about time for a work-in-progress update. I finished the body of the White Pine cardigan I’m working on. This is what it looks like all done (which is pretty similar to the last WIP photo I posted).

The body of the cardigan has been sitting on my living room coffee table for about a week and a half. I’ll admit, I was honestly too lazy to change out the needles for stoppers so I could use them to start the sleeves. A couple of days ago I finally summoned the willpower to do so and cast on for the sleeves.

Then I ran into a problem. The amount of cast on stitches that the pattern calls for in my size produced a cuff that was about two to three times the circumference of my wrist. I’m making the cardigan with zero ease, so I wanted the whole thing to be pretty snug. Giant bell sleeves certainly wouldn’t work. I read through numerous project pages and it looks like a couple of other knitters had the same problem.

I ripped out what I had done and cast on again, using the stitch count for the small or medium size. I have about an inch done and it looks much better. I don’t think I’ll manage to finish this cardigan by the end of the month, which puts me slightly behind schedule. I’m not particularly crazy about that idea, especially considering I won’t be knitting as much during the summer. I might have some bulky weight vests in my future...

Monday, April 9, 2012

WIP: White Pine Progress

Just a quick update on my fourth sweater: it's coming along, slowly but surely. I have about 12" of the main body done, which means I have five more inches to go before I start the sleeves. It seems like it's taking forever, but I think I'm just comparing it to the sweaters that I've already done this year, which have gone by pretty fast. This is what the sweater currently looks like:

The twisted rib along the bottom was grueling. It was even worse than my Winnowing shawl (which is hibernating at the moment, by the way) because you twist the knits and purls on both sides! The cabled pattern was easy to memorize.

The yarn is absolutely lovely and has a bit of a tonal thing going on. It's really soft and I just can't wait to wear it! Hopefully I can start the sleeves by this weekend.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

FO: Some Secret Birthday Presents

Today I have two finished objects to share with you that I made in March that I've had to keep secret for awhile. They were birthday presents for my aunt and sister, respectively. Coincidentally, both projects used the smocking stitch.

The first project is a mug cozy. I'll start by saying aunt loves hot pink and lime green. A couple of months ago I was perusing the handspun yarns on Etsy because I wanted to know how they knit up when compared to commercial yarns. I happened to find this yarn- a single ply yarn that was thick and thin and in bright crazy colors. The colorway name was Crayola. I knew it would be perfect for her gift so I ordered the yarn. 

It only had 125 yards so I couldn't make anything big, so I decided on a mug cozy. This pattern was a quick knit, although if I made it again I would skip the bottom part altogether and just do the smocked part around the sides. The pattern really shows off the color changes in the yarn, and even the thick and thin changes.

I did make a mistake on this project. I used 6s for the bottom of the cozy as the pattern calls for, but I accidentally used 7s on the smocked portion. I had a pair of circular needles sitting out that I thought I had last used on my Nightlock, which would have been 6s. Turns out I last used them for my White Pine swatch, so they were 7s. I don't think it made a huge difference, but let that be a lesson- always double check your needles. :)

yarn: Handspun yarn purchased from Etsy
needles: 6s and 7s

Definitely more green on the other side of the cozy.

The second project is a larger version of the smocked cowl pattern I designed. This one is infinity sized. I used two strands of Cascade Epiphany held double. That yarn was such a joy to work with. It's 60% alpaca, 20% silk, and 20% cashmere. Can you say soft?! I was honestly getting kind of sad as I was running out of yarn towards the end. I guess that just means I'll have to order some more.

I chose gold as the color because it's one of my sister's school colors. I really like the way it looks in the smocking pattern; it's like little bundles of wheat.

I've put the pattern, called Ziyal, up on Ravelry as a free download. I hope you enjoy it!

Shown doubled around the neck.
pattern: Ziyal
yarn: Cascade Yarns Epiphany, colorway Gold
needles: 7s and 8s
raveled: Wheat Ziyal

Super soft and drapey!