Chandelier Cardigan

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Two months gone by! May is always terribly busy at work, and I’m glad to see a little rest in the coming weeks. I finished this cardigan quite some time ago, but needed to sew on buttons. Of course, when I finally forced myself to do it, these were the best looking buttons I had in my stash! I intend to replace them at some point.

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I absolutely loved knitting this pattern up, and the finished cardigan is really great too. Better than these photos suggest, and much lighter. (Sidebar: the photos look lighter on my phone too, so hopefully anyone reading can actually see the detail! Someday I’ll take good photos. Someday.) It really might be my most enjoyed knitting project yet! The lace pattern is not hard and it’s easy to see where you are. I meant to put in lifelines, but decided I didn’t need to early on (and luckily I was right!). This pattern is in the book The Art of Seamless Knitting, which I got on eBay for $4, including shipping. The other patterns look nice, but I don’t think I like them enough to actually make them. Too many amazing patterns out there!

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I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in sport weight, because I still feel like too much of a sweater novice to spring for nicer yarn. It’s fine, easy to knit, and the finished item is okay. The sapphire color is amazing, and I think it makes the yarn look nicer than it actually is! I knit the second size, and it came out perfect. Then I put it in the washing machine on delicate before blocking, and it shrunk just enough that I could use a size bigger. It’s not unwearable, just a tad snug in the arms.

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There are so many patterns in my Ravelry favorites that I can’t really imagine knitting this one again, but I probably should! Definitely a winner of a pattern!

Mountain High Sweater

Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m over sewing. Especially when a top that should have been great turns out too small. That happened last weekend, and this past weekend I did nothing but finish up what was on my needles, the Mountain High sweater by Heidi Kirrmaier.
This sweater is most definitely not too small! That’s because it’s actually my second Mountain High. The first I knit according to measurements, despite warning that the model was wearing a size with more ease. It fit well, but didn’t have the slouchy look I wanted, so I ripped it out and shoved the pattern aside for a while. I picked it up again with the Olympics, shoving the too-complicated Stonecutter aside for the moment. I needed something mindless to knit while watching!

 

The pattern is very easy, with subtle shaping and garter stitch highlights. I ended up erring on the large side, knitting size M2, though now that it’s done I think I probably should have stuck with M1. Any bigger and it would be much too big! I love the subtlety of Heidi’s designs, like the way the knitting moves diagonally inward at CF:

 

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in worsted. It was nice to knit and so far is nice to wear. Not too itchy, though I’m not terribly sensitive, and very cozy. Also, it’s just so inexpensive. I’m not at that point in knitting yet, where spending a ton on yarn for a sweater seems like the right thing to do. I’m not even quite there with sewing! This sweater cost about $15 in materials, that I can live with no problem!

 

I have a few more Advent Garland ornaments to knit up for Eric now, then it’s back to Stonecutter. Of course, in the meantime I’m sure it will be back to sewing. I’ve got so many ideas, one wadder isn’t going to keep me down!
Here is that wadder… Burda 10/2016 #121. Isn’t it pretty?? I may just take the sleeves off to make it barely wearable. siiiiiiigh.

Mitts for my Sister

Just a quick post to share a pair of mitts I knitted up for my sister’s birthday. She’s just transferred to UCSB and I’m pretty sure she will need something to keep her hands warm while studying in the coming months.
I used the Cranford Mitts pattern, though really it’s just a basic horseshoe lace pattern in a tube with a simple thumb gusset. I’m looking forward to making this pattern again using other Shetland lace patterns, I love old-fashioned knitted lace!
I used Paton Kroy self-striping sock yarn. The yarn was nice to use, and I almost matched the two mitts. Close enough, anyway!

Fiona Sweater

It turns out trying to take photos of a drapey, black sweater on a dress form is pretty much an exercise in futility.

 

This is my third real sweater, and I love it. It’s the Princess Fiona pattern by Amy Miller, a boxy sweater with slim fitting arms and a lace panel on the side. I loved making it and wearing it!

 

I used the Galileo yarn from Knit Picks, and it was perfect for this project. It results in a very soft, drapey fabric. Perfect for this sweater, but not for everything.

 

That’s as good as it gets! You just have to trust that this sweater looks good on. Being in black, the lace pattern doesn’t show up too well in person either, but I think it adds just the right amount of interest to one of my favorite things to wear.

Flower Hat

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A big storm blew through last night, so we went to the beach to enjoy the cold, but very clear, day today. I knit this little headband with a giant flower a little while back, and even though it’s kind of silly I just love it! Pattern is American Beauty Rose Headband on Ravelry. Mitts are also made by me, and scarf is made by mom.

This post comes courtesy of Dandelion, who decided to take a nap in my lap just as I finished up the waistband of a nearly finished Moss skirt. I really want to try it on, but I guess I can spend some time online while he gets his rest… Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

A striped hat for windy days

It has been windy here in the bay area! We’ve had two nights in the last couple weeks where the wind was howling off the ocean at 40-50 miles per hour with gusts even faster, which is enough to shake the walls and leave me feeling pretty unsettled, and most other days have been blustery as well. I like to wear a hat when it’s windy to keep my hair contained and my ears warm, and this easy, slouchy hat might just be the most perfect hat ever!
I used the free Striped and Slouchy Hat pattern on Ravelry, and I would highly recommend it. It’s a nice size – big enough to neatly hide a low bun and not smash hair too much, but not super big – and I like the look and weight of the gathered top. The best thing about the pattern, though, is the sixteen rows of ribbing at the edge that keep the hat on through all sorts of inclement weather. I used leftover balls of wool-ease, and despite my frustration with that yarn lately it worked really well with this hat. It’s a keeper!

Welcome spring!

Spring is probably my favorite season. I love the new flowers coming up, the first few warm days, the way everything feels so fresh and new. This is my first spring in a climate where the seasons aren’t so obvious, but even here by the ocean I’ve spotted new wildflowers and grass. We’ve also had a lot more chilly fog in the last few weeks than through the winter – signs of summer?

To celebrate spring I brought some daffodils home. They brighten the whole house!

I recently finished a pair of spring-inspired mitts as well. I absolutely love fingerless mitts and wear them constantly. It’s amazing how much warmer you feel when the backs of your hands are covered!

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I used the Vineyard Lace Mitts pattern, free on Ravelry (my project is here). It was a fun pattern to knit up, and I love the leafy lace. No alterations besides making the mitts shorter for use while typing. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn for the first time, and I actually liked knitting with it! I tend to avoid 100% acrylic yarns, but it doesn’t have that plastic shine and seems to be holding up pretty well. I have been having lots of trouble with big stitches at the intersection of the double pointed needles, no matter how tight I pull, but didn’t have trouble at all with this yarn. Thinking about it, I haven’t really had trouble with any yarn except Wool-Ease, which tends to be my most-used yarn due to availability and budget. Has anyone else had problems with Wool-Ease? Any suggestions for a relatively inexpensive yarn that you have had good results with?