Trusty Dog Walker

I have to admit, I’m so pleased with how my Dog Walker Sweater turned out. It fits like a comfy, well loved sweatshirt and the color makes me smile every time I look at it.

The pattern was straightforward and easy to follow. A top-down raglan with miles of stockinette, it was perfect summertime knitting. I especially like the broken rib at the cuff, neckline, and hem. It gives it a little subtle interest than using a basic ribbing. This is the worsted weight version, but there’s an Aran weight that I might cast-on later in the fall. The only modification I made was changing the turtleneck to a crew.

The yarn is Trusty from The Plucky Knitter. A 100% merino superwash that is soft, squishy and feels great against bare skin. A great workhorse yarn for any project. The color is “You’re Gonna Make It After All” a beautiful bright cerulean blue with the slightest variation. Swoon.

Planning on wearing this on repeat all through the fall.

Knitting Queue Check: Summer 2018

Most of my projects right now are longer term, I wanted to do a bit of a progress report to keep myself accountable and on track for finishing by the end of summer. Here’s the breakdown of the four I have on my needles:

1. The Dog Walker Sweater

This worsted weight sweater is actually going fairly quickly. I cast on the first week of July as part of a KAL and I’m on track to finish by the August 10th completion date. I’m bit farther along than the photo, I finished the hem and started on the first sleeve. 2. Dendros Shawl

I cast on this large rectangular wrap/shawl a little before the above sweater. The beginning was a bit complicated, since it’s knit from the center out, but it’s now smooth sailing. It’s fingering weight yarn on size US 3 needles, so it will take a while, but’s it’s going to be so worth it. Goal it to have it done by Labor Day.

3. Yellow Submarine Socks

I always seem to have a pair of socks on the needles. I carry them with me and usually work on them while waiting at swim lessons, and oil change, etc. My current ones are self-striping yarn inspired by The Beatle’s song Yellow Submarine. Fitting since the movie is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. No real completion goal for these, but I know they’ll be finished before school starts.

4. Tea with Jam & Bread Sweater

This striped worsted weight sweater is actually for Joey. I’m doing a striping sequence and to have the sleeves line up with the body, I’m working them all at the simultaneously. This is making it go faster and slower at the same time. I’m intentionally making a little too large for him right now to make sure it will still fit when sweater weather is here again I want to have this done before school starts as well.

Hopefully, I’ll reach my goals on finishing, my knitting queue is already full for my next projects and I’m itching to cast on something new.

Shakerag 2.0

A pattern so nice, I knit it twice! I was so happy with how my first one turned out, I decided to knit a second version of the Shakerag Top ,but this time I wanted to make a few modifications:

I decided to marl  the stripes this time around,  using Ariel by Luna Grey Fiber Arts in the Mishigami color way that I received from Wool & Honey’s Sleeping Bear Yarn Club and some white fingering weight yarn from deep stash. Possible Kroy Sock but have no idea since the label is long gone. This makes it a little bit heavier weight than my first, but it still has a nice drape and fit.  (The photo above was pre-blocking, so it looks a little wonky, but once it was blocked and dried, it smoothed right out.)

I also went with Breton influenced striping and ended stripe sequence halfway up armhole, I then continued with Ariel held singly for the remainder of the yoke. I also did not add a split hem this time, just followed original pattern instructions, however I did add a few inches in length. Here’s a detail shot:

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I was originally considering adding 3/4 length sleeves, but once I tried it on I decided to leave it as is. However, I’m now considering a third version in a solid and adding those sleeves. We’ll see.

Full details on Ravelry.

Shakerag Top

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Here’s my latest entry for #operationsweaterchest the Shakerag Top by Amy Christoffers for Mason Dixon Knitting’s Field Guide No. 6: Transparency.  You guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this top!

The pattern was so simple and quick to knit. I cast on as part of MDK’s May Knitalong: #shakeragtop that celebrated their release of the latest installment to their Field Guide pattern series.  I finished in less than a month, while still working other projects! It’s hard to tell from the photos, but there is a subtle striping from holding the yarn single and then double. This gave me a bit of interest to and otherwise mindless knit. I love the simple neckband and how the shoulder shaping created a slight drop sleeve.  It’s comfortable, while still flattering and would look good on a wide range of figures. I did modify mine a bit by giving it a split hem, some additional length, and some slight shaping at the waist. (Full details on the mods on Ravelry)

The yarn is Sylph from Jade Sapphire, a light fingering weight yarn that is 58% Cashmere goat and 42% linen/flax. This is some magical yarn. While knitting, it feels a bit stiff and was harder to work with, making my hands ache a bit if I knit too long. However, it quickly softens up when worked and once wet blocked it was so soft and had the most amazing drape. Absolutely dreamy. I chose the Extinction color way, a deep midnight blue with subtle touches of aquamarine and amethyst. The flax/linen is natural so it has a marled effect. It’s so hard to capture the color in a photo, but here you can see a bit of the variation.

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This top will be on repeat all summer. In fact, I immediately cast on a second version once this was finished. It just needs some blocking and the ends weaved in, so I’ll be sharing that one shortly.

SIDE NOTE:  I haven’t found many fellow knitters in to connect with in the real world, so it’s great to be able to “find my tribe”online through Ravelry and other knitting-centric sites. MDK is one of those that has been an inspiration to me and I have found it’s community to be so welcoming and full of encouragement. So, I was beyond thrilled to have my project shared on MDK’s website and Instagram! It definitely gave me a bit of a boost in confidence that my knitting continues to improve. You can see the post where I’m briefly mentioned here a you can see their Instagram here.

Easel Sweater

I fell in love with this sweater pattern the first time I came across it on Mason Dixon Knitting.  It looked so comfy, like your favorite sweatshirt, and how the colorful sleeves contrasted with the basic stockinette body.  I knew that I would wear it all the time.

The yarn is Mohonk by Jill Draper Makes Stuff. This squishable yarn is made from 100% NYS unregistered Cormo wool. Spun up into a 2 ply sportweight and retaining a little of its natural lanolin it is a perfect sweater yarn. It is spongy-soft and does have a little chaff (hay) in it, since the mill doesn’t use a harsh chemical wash to dissolve it. This washed out when blocking, turning into a soft, light squishy fabric that feels great against bare skin. Not itchy in the least. I used the Vintage Denim color way for the body and Frida for the forearms.

Although I made a few modifications to the pattern, as written it was very easy to follow. This was the first time I have attempted set in sleeves, which I was pretty nervous about. This is when you attach the sleeves by sewing them to the body of the sweater instead of linking while knitting. I was worried that it would be lumpy or “homemade” looking, but I’m pretty happy with the results. It fits perfectly!

Modifications I made to the pattern:

  • I decided to knit in the round instead of flat, so I wouldn’t have to do a lot of seaming.
  • I moved the decrease round further up the body to under the bust line to give it a little more shaping.
  • Added some and additional length to the sleeves since I hate when the wrists pull up and feel short.
  • I sized down on the neckband, since it was a little too loose/sloppy looking.

I absolutely love the variegated colors in the sleeves. You can also see the texture of the yarn here. So squishy!

It’s a . . . sweater!

I’ve knitted many, many things. Countless socks, mittens, hats, scarves, wraps, blankets, even a set of golf club covers. I’ve knitted a score of baby and children’s sweaters, mostly as gifts or commissions for others to give. Yet, I’ve never completed an adult-size sweater that was functional or wearable. I gave up on it for a long time until I decided that 2018 would be the year that I would get over my sweater anxiety and launched #operationsweaterchest. My goal for the year would be to make five adult sweaters for myself and one for Joe. (I’m adding a stretch goal of one for Shawn, if I can find a pattern he likes and I’m confident enough that I can meet his exacting sartorial standards.)

The first sweater I made is the Carbeth from the wonderful designer, Kate Davies. This pattern has quite a following and was so fun to knit. It was very easy to follow the pattern and make adjustments on fit, even as a beginner. There were several helpful notes from other knitters on Ravelry that also helped a great deal. And such a fast knit, I finished it in three weeks! Thats usually how long it takes me to knit a pair of socks!

I used The Plucky Knitter Pluck Bulky in Wintery Mix. A super soft and squishy 100% merino yarn that gives this sweater such great texture and it is so warm!  The colorway is a light gray that has subtle variations ranging from cream to cement. I love it.

Some modifications that I made were using a provisional cast on for the body and sleeves so I could tailor the length to fit exactly to my measurements. You can see all my notes here. I absolutely adore this pattern and one of my projects will be to make the cardigan version to wear next fall/winter.

Derecho

I haven’t been posting much this year about my knitting, mostly because I’m working on some larger projects. Currently on the needles are two sweaters, a pair of socks, some fingerless mitts, and I just finished this shawl/wrap last week.

The pattern is Derecho by Laura Aylor using Hazel Knits Artisan Sock yarn in Quill, Nickel, and Periwinkle. I loved the log cabin construction of the pattern, similar to those used in quilts, and thought it was perfect to join in on Fringe Association and Mason Dixon Knitting’s #fringeandfriendslogalong KAL (be sure to check out all the beautiful works on Instagram!)

I decided to make the large size of the pattern (over 66″ wingspan) and used a little more than three skeins of yarn. The Hazel Knits yarn is fantastically squishy, but still light and soft, so it’s not too bulky or heavy to wear. There’s also some subtle shifting in color in each, which adds a little more depth and richness to the stripes. The construction is quite clever, but not overly challenging, and was an easy knit to work on while in the car or watching tv. I’d like to make it again, but perhaps trying a variegated or hand-painted speckled yarn for a different effect.

As always, full details can be seen on my Ravelry page.

Knits of 2017

 

Nineteen pairs of socks (one not pictured), three pairs of mittens, and one scarf (also not pictured). Eventually I’ll take the time to figure out how many yards of yarn, but I’d venture a guess of around 10,000yds or so. Not too shabby. Looking forward to 2018 and a lot more knitting.

Sgt. Pepper Shorties

This is the final installment for #operationsockdrawer for 2017. I barely finished them in time, mostly due to focusing on gifted projects for the holidays. (I’ll share those in a separate post, now that they’ve all be received and opened.)

I decided to use up the leftover yarn from these and created my own pattern for a pair of short crew socks. I love my rollers, but these should stay on a little better when wearing shoes. Basic construction of a 2×2 rib and heel flap, they flew off the needles and used up every last bit of yarn.

You can read more about the yarn here and can find full project details on Ravelry.

Knitted Holiday 2017

This year I was able to knit five different gifts this year. It was pretty much down to the wire, and I still need to finish a second sock for my brother and complete another gift, but I’m pretty happy with how many I was able to give this year.

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I made this pair of socks for my dad. For those that know my dad, he is not really a crazy colorful, striped sock guy, but the colors just reminded my so much of him and I wanted to make something special for him this year. Even if he just wears them around the house, it will make me happy.  I used Nomadic Yarn’s self striping sock yarn in “Meet Me in Montauk” with contrast heel/toe in Hazel Knit’s Artisan Sock in “Zest”.

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I knitted this pair mittens for Joey’s kindergarten teacher. I used some wonderfully delicious Bello worsted yarn by The Plucky Knitter in “Weathered Plank” held double for the mitten and some ancient Bernat Multi Sox I had in my stash for the cuff.

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You might remember these from #operationsockdrawer back in June. My sister Ashley saw me working on them when we went to see my sister Rozalyn’s concert and she loved them so much I decided to put them aside to give them to her for Christmas.

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I gave this pair of mittens to my sister Rozalyn. She works at the University of Chicago Lab School, so I wanted to make her something to keep her warm on her walk to and from work each day. I used Sheep Shop Yarn Co.’s Sheep 2 super-bulky in “Robin’s Egg” (discontinued) for the mitten and Luna Gray’s Mishgashi and Yarn Love’s Peterson Park held double for the cuff. (Both are Wool & Honey’s yarn club exclusive colorways.)

I also knit a pair of socks for my mom that I forgot to photograph. They nearly identical  to this pair, but the the dye lot was different so it was a much lighter pink color.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the number of gifts I was able to make this year and hopefully I’ll be able to increase that number in 2018.

 

 

 

As always, full project details can be found on my Ravelry page.