My Knitting Life

Bang Out a Sweater Finished—for now

My February Bang Out a Sweater came to a screeching halt when I ran out of yarn. New (and different) yarn came, and it is slightly more yellow than the original yarn. Mind you, it’s a different kind of yarn. But since I’m joining the new yarn slightly before the outward turn of the turtleneck, and since the turtleneck is a ribbing with the sweater body being stockinette stitch, the difference in color is not noticeable, even to me. Well, maybe I can see it a little bit.

Sweater Problems

Mind you (again) that I am a little more than ticked at Dale of Norway (Dalegarn) for no longer distributing their most excellent yarn here in North America. Add to this the fact that the pattern is a little wonky, the knitting of this sweater was a trial. The sleeves are set in with a sleeve cap (think of a sewing pattern on a shirt with a large and curvy part on top), and the shoulders of the sweater came out super-wide. SO, when I sewed in the sleeve, the whole area looked like a mistake at best, or something one would wear with football shoulder pads underneath.

My knee-jerk reaction was to throw everything away. BUT…I let the sweater sit for a week, and while I thought of some options. Here’s what I came up with:

Option 1

Sew the sleeve deep into the shoulder where a set-in-sleeve usually sits (ahem, pattern writers and editors). This would bury that extra drop-sleeve fabric. Then I could cut that part off (HEAVEN FORBID!!!) and reinforce the seam with my sewing machine. I’ve steeked and cut and sewn before, but I wasn’t willing to cut this sweater. My fear was that the seam would pucker and ripple, and then I really would have donated it to a thrift store!

Option 2

Ignore the issue and join a ladies football team and hope their uniforms have eight-point Norwegian stars on them.

Option 3 (the option I chose)

Treat that extra-wide shoulder as a modified drop shoulder, measure how long the sleeve should be, and unravel the sleeve cap until the sleeve made a modified cap. That means I took off about 5+” of the sleeve cap making the shape of the top of the sleeve look like a very shallow bell curve.

It worked! I ironed the devil out of the sleeve seam (using a damp washcloth and “wool” setting on the iron) to help it lay flat. While I had the iron out, I also flattened the duplicate stitch with the iron and the damp washcloth. All of this happened Monday and Tuesday evenings since it’s already mid-March and Wednesday was slated to be snowy, perhaps our last snowy day for the year, perhaps my last chance until next winter to wear this!

The “For Now” Part

It’s finished…for now.

Because if I ever see two skeins of Dale of Norway Falk Color 0020 (any dye-lot) for sale, either on eBay or Ravelry, I’m snatching it up and re-working that turtleneck, all in one color, and on one size smaller needles (US 3).

The sweater looks retro, like something that a skiing grandma would have kept in her cedar chest. It’s slightly yellowed and aged looking because of the yarn color which is perfectly suited to the design and my modifications.

DONE! (For now)

Free Knitting Patterns

Off Piste Cable Sweater

A few years ago I bought a 6 skein set of gradient yarn at a fiber festival in Idaho Falls. Those skeins sat around and I admired them, but now in my motivated state to knit up the yarn that I have, I started to knit this yarn in a few patterns, but none of them seemed right. So I decided to just start knitting a sweater, without having a pattern. You can find the link below to this pattern. It’s really more of a formula for making a top down sweater.

Off Piste Cable Sweater Link:

off piste cable sweater pattern

Interested in this yarn? I bought it from Blue Savannah. Check out her offerings on Etsy!

Baby Patterns · Non-Knitting Projects

Houndstooth Heaven

Subtitled: How to Upcycle a Sweater

I was in a thrift store a few years back and saw what I affectionately call an “oops” sweater. You know, the kind of sweater where someone didn’t believe the “dry clean only” directions?! In fact, I found three of them, so I bought them with the well-meaning intention of doing something fabulous with them. Several years later I am just getting around to working with them. Here are all the items I made with one sweater:

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Much of the sweater body went to make a custom computer case with leather details (I also bought a leather skirt at the thrift store that day–smile). Actually, I finished this right after buying the sweater. The sweater sleeves went to make some water bottle covers and coffee travel cozies. And my feet are showing off the me-sized slippers. I modified a pattern from Purl Soho (here’s the LINK) by sandwiching some plastic canvas between the bottom pieces, blanket stitching it all together, and then adding a back strap. Instant warmth! Or, maybe several hours of sewing and then the warmth.

As for those sweet little baby slippers, I used another pattern from Purl Soho (Felt Baby Slippers). I cut out the pattern pieces with my pinking shearers, pinned them together, and then hand sewed them with sock yarn and a running stitch. Maybe 2 hours tops to complete. You can also check out this patternLINK for baby shoes.

Yeah, I’m not going to be doing this again, except for the baby slippers because they’re so cute! And to be honest, I feel like a super-dork in my slippers, but a warm super-dork!

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My Knitting Life · Olympic Sweater Pattern

“That” Look!

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You know that look, right? That look someone gives your handknit sweater, wishing they had one too. Well, recently while back in Indiana, my mom gave my sweater that look. Ok, I get the hint. It’s high time I knit something large and meaningful for her, not just socks or a scarf. I owe it to her.  I mean, she kept three of us kids in mittens (her specialty) and hats while we were young. I’ll never forget that variegated red, white, and blue yarn, probably Red Heart, and the mittens that could work on either hand. If we lost one, she would dig into her stash of already-knit mittens. No more cold hands. (Although, for the life of me, I can’t see how Red Heart yarn would keep anything warm!)
So, Mom, this one’s for you, and it’s my pleasure!

 

It’s going to be a cardigan–I had to talk her into a cardigan. Its going to be a little longer–I had to talk her into that too. I think she knows cardigans are more trouble, and longer sweaters take more yarn. It’s ok, Mom. It’ll make up for all those mittens we lost!

 

I am not a fan of the garter-stitch button and buttonhole band. They need to be seriously blocked so they are the same length as the sweater. What pattern am I using? I’m just kind of winging it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll write it up someday, like I did my Olympic sweater. And speaking of my Olympic sweater, I still need to finish the back, as in, stitch on those 2 moose and 1 Christmas tree (see photo below).

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Knitting Patterns For Sale · Olympic Sweater Pattern

Around Sochi

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More info tomorrow–or look on Ravelry for “Around Sochi” pattern!

My Knitting Life

Green Tea…um…Tee


I just rarely knit for summer. I mean, really, a sweater in SUMMER? But of course, this is my Michigan upbringing coming in to play, because there are many lightweight and short-sleeve or sleeveless sweaters to wear. Add to that the fact that every place is over-air-conditioned, sweaters really ARE practical in the summer!
So here’s a T-top that I knit this summer out of Plymouth’s Grass yarn, a blend of cotton and hemp. It’s got these great color variations in each skein so the yarn looks tonal depending on the angle.
My crochet skills (I’m using the word “skill” here very loosely) had to come into play in that I needed to crochet around the neckline and sleeves to tighten up the picots. I just chained around the neck with the chain side showing. That helped, but it needed more, so I chained one more row above that to make the picots look less like fingers and more like bumps. Then the sleeves needed something, so I loosely chained around the sleeve picots and it’s done! I think it’s very cute!

My Knitting Life

African Violet

I guess I like purple. It’s not an overkill thing, but if there’s a choice of yarn, I always lean toward the purple. I don’t always buy the purple, I just lean toward it.  So, when my LYS had three skeins left of Brown Sheep’s Serendipity Tweed yarn in the African Violet Colorway, I knew I had to have it.
Hmmm, now what should I knit with it? I know, I’ll knit Hey Teach from Knitty. That was my first idea. I started knitting and finished half of the back. The next night when I was about to pick up the project again, I decided to surf the web. Unfortunately for Hey, Teach, I noticed that Knitty First Fall 2011 had just been e-published! Oh, My Gosh! I found Leaflet by Cecily Glowick McDonald. In 2.3 minutes, I had ripped out the back of Hey,Teach, in order to start Leaflet. Not to worry, Hey, Teach, because I’m going to come back to you some day…some day soon with the Steel Blue colorway of Serendipity Tweed. But first, I need to finish Leaflet! Here are some of the notes I posted on Ravelry:
I know, I know. The pattern calls for Aran Weight yarn, but I want to use Worsted Weight. What did I do? Well, I didn’t check gauge until I was about 4 inches into the project, and there was a small problem. The row gauge was perfect which is great, because this is a raglan sweater, and the raglan increases should make for a sleeve hole that’s not too tight and not too droopy. BUT, the stitch count was off. I need 15 stitches per inch, and I was getting 16 inches per stitch, meaning that the circumference of the sweater would be too small. So, on this top-down sweater, I worked one more body increase above the medium size because I calculated how many additional stitches I would need to obtain the medium size.  I’ll not bore you with the math, but if you have a non-Barbie mind and can wrap your brain around numbers, you can PM me and I’ll give you the numbers.
6.29.2011 I’m just a few rows from the bottom ribbing. I keep trying this on to make sure it fits, and it does!