Friday, May 16, 2014

Cardigan progress.

The cardigan is coming along nicely. I just completed the 5th wedge (3 left and the collar will be done). The picture below was taken yesterday evening, so 4 1/2 wedges done in it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lionbrand Lacework Cardigan

I haven't made very much progress, I've completed the second wedge. I knit while watching TV in the evenings mostly, and I keep getting too wrapped up in the show and forget to knit. Guess I need to watch something less interesting than House, lol

I've been a tad frustrated with Lion Brand, they keep updating their pattern! I realize that's a good thing, really I do. I was just lazy and instead of printing out a pattern I was using the web browser on my phone. It gets a bit confusing late at night when you go to check what row you are on and suddenly there are twice as many rows in the pattern. Thanks goodness I've gotten it all memorized and don't need to look at the pattern any more. It was rewritten to be clearer regarding how to work the short rows, only it made it harder to just quickly glance at and see how many stitches to leave unworked before the turn. It now also includes instructions to purl that first stitch on the return row. I mentioned in my previous post how I slipped that stitch so things would line up right. I can't imagine working that stitch would look very nice, wouldn't that make it too high next to its neighbor stitch and look horrid once you worked back across those? I am sticking to slipping it since that is what makes sense to me.
So more details about what I am actually working on are in order. I am not scrawny slender like the pretty redhead in the picture, but it's a cardigan and hopefully a bit forgiving. It would have been nice to have a picture of the front, but Lion Brand is not known for their awesome pattern pictures for a reason (at least it is a light color that you can actually see). I usually snoop through projects on Ravelry, but alas the pattern is new and there are no completed patterns up yet :(

Click for link to pattern
The pattern is free, but requires a free sign up like all Lion Brand patterns do.
The yarn called for is Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend.
It is 65% Acrylic, 35% Wool, machine wash and dry, and runs $7.49 each on their website. I'm making an XL size, so would have cost me $75 if I had bought this yarn. That's a bit out of my price range at the moment, though I'm not sure I'd pay that for 65% acrylic yarn if I did have the money to blow on yarn.

The yarn I'm using is from my stash - Cascade Sierra - which is an 80% Pima Cotton and 20% wool blend. It is soft and light-ish and thankfully I had a gift certificate for the local yarn shop where I bought it a couple years back. Prices online are good for it now that it's been discontinued. Webs is currently selling it for about half what it was listed locally. I can't stand Webs; too much yarn I really want to buy at such good prices!!! (oh the things I'd splurge on if rich! lol).

Hopefully I'll get time Mother's Day to relax and get some serious knitting done, maybe splurge on a really nice cup of coffee too :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Update and new project

No jean quilts. My family moved into a small apartment a month ago which has more complications than just lack of storage space. The apartment is far too well heated at the moment (no clue if this is true when it is actually cold outside). I am rather put off of blankets right now, not to mention overwhelmed by moving clutter (yes, still). I haven't decided if I will toss/donate the material or hang onto it. I really had my heart set on making those quilts, but not right now at least.

I have started a new knit project very recently. It is a lion brand pattern they recently posted to Facebook, titled simply "Lacework Cardigan." Essentially it is a long sleeved shrug with a very wide collar on it (wide enough it can be used as a hood). I liked the look of it and was frustrated with a project I had just cast on (hated the way all increases looked, just needed to make more mods to the patterned than I cared for at the time).

This pattern calls for an Aran weight wool and acrylic blend by Martha Stewert Crafts (can't remember exactly what it's called, but it has very mixed reviews on Ravelry and a much higher acrylic content than I like). The yarn I had been working with was Cascade Sierra which is 80% Pima Cotton and 20% wool, soft and has a beautiful drape (rather splitty, but I don't mind that much). I had worked up 5 hanks into a shirt previously, and while I liked the look of it, it just didn't fit me in the bust quite right and is not nursing friendly. I plan on extended nursing as long as that's what my son wants (no hard cut off date yet at least), so I really don't see a point in having clothes I can't wear. This cardigan is quite nursing friendly, so I will repurpose the yarn from the shirt and have something pretty and functional that I can actually use.

I'm not very far on the cardigan. You work the collar in short rows on the side to create a big donut shape which you attach to the arms and back piece later. The collar consists of 8 wedge shapes to complete the "donut," I have 1 1/2 wedges completed so far.

I cast on at night when I was tired like I usually do, lol NOT the best time to be figuring out stitch patterns obviously. I had a hiccup with the lace that took some figuring out (I didn't go to bed until I solved it, who can sleep with an unsolved puzzle harassing their thoughts so relentlessly?). The pattern states not to wrap the stitches when working the short rows (in the notes section), but it says nothing about slipping the first stitch on the return row. I knit exactly what the pattern said and it didn't work right. I had to rip out a few rows and start over. Slipping that one stitch lined everything up right. The instructions really need to be written more clearly, or at least mention the needed slipped stitch in the notes section where it says not to wrap the stitches.

I'm liking the way it is knitting up and think it will be beautiful when it is finished and blocked to open up the lace better. My yarn is a rather bright coral color, so this should look nice for this spring and summer. I'm enjoying working on it, but I can't wait to finish it and get to wear it!

This picture shows how far I made it with one hank. The blue is holding my stitches on the live edge to graft once my donut is complete. You can see I made a full wedge section and a little ways into the eyelet portion of the second wedge.

My gauge tends to be spot on, so I didn't do a swatch but checked my gauge once I got some progress made. Not the best way to do things unless you are confident of your gauge and it remains consistant (now that it the case for me, but it certainly wasn't when I was a beginner). I check before I get so far into the project that it would be upsetting to rip it all out, because when you don't work a swatch that is the risk you are taking. I do feel like I get a more accurate gauge measurement taking it from the actual work instead of a swatch, plus I don't feel like I've "wasted time" working that swatch. I've heard people suggest using all those swatches to make a blanket, but honestly, that is WAY too much seaming for my sanity to hold through (have I ever mentioned how much I don't enjoy seaming/sewing?).

Hopefully I can remember to post progress pictures periodically. Also this post is from my phone, so I'm not including links. I hope to do a post with direct links to the pattern and yarn I'm using soonish - ideally within the next day or so.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Recently completed projects.

I've been pretty lax on my posting, but here's what I've gotten done recently.

This first one is a shirt I knit for my 7-year-old daughter. I used about 1 1/2 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease; what was left over from the Steggie jacket for my older daughter. I used a top-down raglan recipe and used a simple eyelet diamond stitch pattern for the bottom section. I made it tunic length so it will fit her for at least a couple years. She likes it, and I'm pleased with how it turned out!

The next project is a bit similar. I used the same raglan recipe and number of stitches, but used a larger needle and bulky weight Lion Brand Homespun yarn (color Baroque). This was all yarn that was frogged (previously was an adult sweater and a small child's dress). I used an eyelet flower stitch pattern for the skirt with increases running down the sides for shaping. Again, I made this on the large side so it will fit for longer. My eldest is a big fan of dresses, and is really pleased with this long and flowy one.

I also finished the orange socks, but don't have a picture currently. I am working on a pair of cabled socks on teeny tiny needles that is taking forever (but they will last forever because of the tight knit (that is the theory anyway)).

The weather is perfect for knitting, cold and snowy, but I have been so busy with other things I haven't had much time for knitting. I don't have any plans for new projects for awhile, at least not knit. I have a few boxes of old jeans waiting to be made up into blankets. The idea is that I'll make one for each of my children, though it seems ambitious enough to get through one, lol

Friday, December 6, 2013

Steggie #2 finished!

I finished up the weaving in of ends and finishing the hood up last night. Sewed the hood spines on and sewed in the zipper today. It fits her great and she seems quite happy with it. Now what to make next ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Steggie #2 Progress

I've completed the body section (14 inches) and bound off for the underarm sections (12, 6 for each side of the body and 6 for each front piece), now to start the raglan shaping! Pretty tired of plain stockinette, so I'm excited to do some decreases, lol

This is only my second skein of yarn and not even halfway through it. I had 7, so pretty confident I have enough yarn to finish.

I have a big decision to make. Do I work one piece at a time, or use three skeins and work all three at the same time? Heck, might as well make it interesting and work all three at once ;)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Steggie #2

Just started the Steggie jacket for my daughter's 9th birthday next month. Instead of making the back and front pieces separately, I cast all stitches for the XL size and will work as one piece then split it at the arm holes. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Cranberry as the main color.

It is going good so far, except I have to work a bit slower because the yarn is pretty splitty. I will be making it custom length to fit her, so will order a zipper after the body is done.