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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Going down to the wire with the publishing . . . .November’s installment for #operationsockdrawer are languishing projects from earlier this year. This pattern is fantastic for using up those leftover bits and bobs of yarn from other projects and fly off the needles. Full details will be on Ravelry shortly.
Most of this month’s knitting time has been devoted to secret Holiday knitting. More will be shared after they’ve been gifted! Only one more month left for #operationsockdrawer and I’m excited to cast on my final pair.
October’s entry into #operationsockdrawer might be my new favorite pair. This amazing self-striping yarn is from Must Stash Yarns as part of her Beatlemania collection. Didn’t she capture the colors perfectly?
I went with the simplest of designs so the yarn could really sing. (See what I did there?) Soft and squishy, I know they’ll be on repeat once the weather cooperates.
As always, full details can be seen on Ravelry.
September’s installment of #operationsockdrawer might be one of my favorites. The yarn is an exclusive colorway for Wool & Honey from ScrupticousPurl. The colors gorgeously recall summer on Lake Michigan; the sandy shore and inky water, the sky and clouds. So pretty! The yarn itself is so cozy and warm, I know that they’ll be in heavy rotation this fall.
Although I really can’t stand the yarn, I decided to use it for the contrasting heel/toe since it was perfect match. (Plus, now I used it all and now it’s finally gone!)
I used this ever-faithful pattern. Which I’ve memorized long ago. All the detail on Ravelry.
I also finished another pair of Rollers. Such a great way to use up those leftovers and super quick to knit, they’re great to keep in the car to work on when waiting at school pick up or at music lessons. I’ve already cast on my third pair!