pair of squares and a PSA

pair of hats

This is the fastest hat to make EVER. So I made two.

Pattern: Center Square from knitty.com.
Yarn: Worsted weight wool, held double. I used up some Cascade 220, some Patons Classic Merino, and some Nature Spun Worsted.
Neeldes: US 10.5, 16″ bamboo circular.
Start – Finish: Nov. 4 – Nov. 7 for the pair.
For: A pair of secret recipients.

What am I knitting next? I can’t decide, and swatching doesn’t seem to help. I’ll probably end up making more hats. Here’s what I have going.

SIWASH

Swatch for a Norse Sweater or SIWASH Sweater (same diff) for Jerry. The pattern is from The Opinionated Knitter, and it’s a drop should sweater. I don’t like the light blue, and if I go ahead with this I’ll use cream in place of it – closer to what is in the book. Part of the problem with this is that I don’t think I have enough yarn. That is always the problem with me.

swatch

I want to make Jerry a cabley vest, and this chunky wool was on super-sale at the yarn store. It’s Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed. The swatch pictured is the fourth swatch I’ve made. I just can’t seem to pull all the pieces of the puzzle together, but I really want him to have a vest.

more reclaimed yarn

This is a bunch of wool from a sweater I got at the thrift store a long time ago. The sweater was a large men’s J.Crew raglan with a “hand knit” label. The yarn is bulky, but it’s actually just three strands held together, not spun together. This yarn screams garter stitch.

Have I told you how much I like unraveling wool sweaters from the thrift store? I really really love it. Don’t know why. Here’s two, though, that I haven’t been willing to unravel yet.

Made Especially for You

DSC01814

Public Service Announcement:
Go to your local thrift store today and rescue the hand knits!

visitors

When Holly arrived last week from Anchorage she brought with her no yarn, no needles, nor any knitting accouterments whatsoever. “You have enough for the both of us,” she said. And she was right. Soon, I had her started on a project. There was no gauge swatch, and the instructions were a little difficult to follow in the beginning, but I got her knitting.

Hols

She even filled her suitcase with yarn to take home, thanks to the yarn sale at my local shop. It feels so good to have brought the knitter out of my sister. Also, she served as a very good model for my newest project.

Three spirals.

Pattern: Three Spiral Hat from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann.
Yarn: Super-bulky mystery yarn that I reclaimed from a thrifted hand-knit sweater. I think it’s wool, but I’m not sure. It definitely has wool in it, but maybe some acrylic, too.
Needle: US 11, bamboo circular.
Start: Nov. 1
Finish: Nov. 2

A very fun pattern to knit. What else is there to say? The Opinionated Knitter is my very favorite book and I intend to knit most of the projects in it. You should, too.

Our photo shoot was at The Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden in Greensboro. It is a lovely park and we always try to go when we have visitors (especially if they are landscape architects, like Holly).

act normal

I felt a little bad about promising Holly a hand knitted sweater and then not delivering, but she got my beloved leather coat instead, with the promise to return it to me if I can fit into it again. Yeah right. I mean, I will surely meet my goal of fitting back into the jacket, but will she ever give it back to me?

I must say, she looks damn good in it.

Three Spiral

Speaking of looking damn good, my mom was game for modeling her three-button wrap.

three button wrap

UPDATE:  I’ve had so many requests for this pattern!  For more info, please contact the yarn store, Common Threads in High Point, NC via their website here.  They tell me that lots of people have called and they’ve sent the pattern (and buttons, too!) all over the country.

She loves it, and it looks great on her!

All my visitors are gone for now. I’m a little lonely, but I’m sure I’ll have no trouble getting back into my routine…knitting…playing with the children…not vacuuming…

October Sweater

Once upon a time, I was showing a little cotton sweater I had knit to someone I didn’t really know at all. She was a knitter and so she immediately flipped the sweater inside out to examine it’s bowels. Of course I didn’t mind because I would have done the same thing. Upon close inspection she felt propelled to exclaim, “Oh, you must never start a new ball in the middle of the row! You must always join a new thread at the beginning of the row!”

I never did get a citation from the Knitting Police.

But I actually think of that conversation a lot. There are rules in knitting, but are we seriously supposed to follow them all the time? I’m sure there are many finished knits I have shown you on this very blog that have minor or major indiscretions that I just failed to mention. Perhaps because they weren’t a big deal or maybe because I was too embarrassed to fess up. But does it matter? Does it matter if we join a new ball of yarn in the middle of a row on a cotton sweater if the sweater is absolutely adorable? Doesn’t matter to me.

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because I have finished the October Sweater for Maggie.

October Sweater

Looks like a cardigan. Smells like a cardigan. But is it a cardigan?

When I finished it and put it on Maggie for her photo shoot, there was one small problem.

This is not good.

That darn button wouldn’t stay closed. The picot button band is two layers thick, the buttons are small, and I really didn’t want to do any major sweater surgery. I also really love the buttons and the button/sweater proportions. I didn’t want to go to bigger buttons. So I sewed the button band closed, turning my little cardi into a faux-cardi pullover.

October Sweater

I left the top button open because otherwise Mag’s head would probably not fit through.

October Sweater

A little bit of a fudge, which may have been solved differently by someone following a set of knitting rules other than my own, leaves me with a sweater that I adore. And that my baby can’t easily get out of.

October Sweater

As promised, the details.

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Seamless Yoke Sweater, from two sources: I used her suggestion from Knitting Without Tears to omit the sleeve increases for a child, and I used the adjusted yoke decreases (updated by Meg Swansen) from The Opinionated Knitter. The sleeves were knit in the round to the underarm and the body was knit back and forth. Then when I joined it all together I continued knitting back and forth.

Yarn: Cascade 220. Color 8013. Less than 2 skeins.

Gauge: On US 7’s, about 5 sts/inch.

Cloverleaf Eyelet: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (the first one) by Barbara G. Walker, p. 169. This pattern is a multiple of 8 plus 7, so I calculated my number of cast on stitches accordingly for both body and sleeves.

Picot: I am not sure exactly why I know how to do a picot edge, but there’s really nothing to it. I cast on and knit a few rows, then *YO, k2tog* on a right side row. That’s it. On the bottom hem and sleeve hems, I attached it as I was knitting by catching a stitch from the cast on and knitting it together with a live stitch. Sorta like a three-needle join although I didn’t actually use a third needle. On the collar and button band I sewed the hem down by hand.

October Sweater

If I make Maggie another yoke sweater I will space out my yoke decreases more. Next time I’ll start the first decrease about halfway up the yoke (which is what you’re supposed to do, I just had a lapse) instead of 2/3 of the way.

See? Little indiscretions. Doesn’t bother me.

Lastly, my favorite picture.

October Sweater

She’s growing up so fast! Whaaaaa!

(I am going to the workshop on Sat. It’s actually the Brandon Mably Color Workshop. I’ve been told to knit a 10″x10″ swatch using my favorite colors. Yea! Time to dig into the yarn bins!)