Sunday, March 18, 2018

Just Keep Knitting, Just Keep Knitting

Sometimes a project comes together like magic.

And sometimes you deliberately knit a sweater two sizes too small because your gauge is too large, all in the hopes that it will turn out the right size.

And you finish the body of a sweater...

Only to discover that making it too small was a mistake.  It fits.  But only for the next three minutes or so.  As soon as she grows she will outgrow this sweater.

Time to frog and try again.

In the mean time let's all admire The Queen in a sweater I knit her last summer and then forgot I knit it so it sat on a shelf in my closet all winter.

You can see how happy she is to be modeling for me.

The ukulele helped improve her mood.

As did rolling around on the couch so I couldn't take a clear shot of the sweater.

Even bribing her with a snack could only do so much.  She stopped moving for a moment so the pictures are in focus, but the sweater is still obscured.

I did manage to snag this shot which shows one of my favorite details about this sweater, the ribbing was picked up on the wrong side of the fabric so there was a visible seam around the neck/armhole/bottom of sweater.  Stitches were bound off and slipped strategically to create a very pretty edging, like a perfect crochet chain.

Pattern:  Berenice

Yarn:  No brand acrylic I recycled from a store bought sweater I frogged.  And my goodness is this sweater soft and squishy and perfect.  I wish I had a million more yards of this.

Needles:  Eh, the pattern calls for a 4, 3, and 2.5.  That sounds about right.

Modifications:  Because of this construction this sweater is super duper hard to modify.  I probably tried to add length to the torso, as is standard for the Queen's sweaters, but the arm increases for the batwing shaping made that hard to time. 

Review:  I really loved this pattern.  It was complex, and parts were hard to understand.  It wasn't a pattern for beginners.  But if you paid attention and followed the instructions the results were really gorgeous.

Look at all those different textures.  The reverse stockinette, the cables, the lace.  There's even a tiny itty bitty bit of ribbing in the corner.  I love everything about this sweater.  It is a tad big for the Queen but I'm not mad about that.  That just means she can wear it that much longer.

And because my life isn't chaotic enough, this happened.

Say "Hello" to Loki.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

So This Didn't Happen

So not everything can be a success story.

Remember my black wolly mammoth cocoon sweater?


I knit that stupid sweater all the way to 40 inches.

Sidenote:  Aren't my cats so helpful?

Only four inches to go and that sweater would be done.

But I was browsing Instagram and I saw this sweater pattern.

And it would be the perfect sweater to knit for Pork Chop to take to college next year.  We don't know exactly where she will be going to college yet, we are still waiting on a few more offers.  But since all the places she applied to were in colder climates she will need an expanded winter wardrobe.  And it just so happens that this beautiful pattern requires mohair of the same weight as my fuzzy cocoon.  After some waffling back and forth I decided to knit something I knew would be beautiful instead of my experiment into the absurd.

So the big fuzzy black cocoon went into the frog pile.

And frogging seemed like a good thing to do while I contemplate the striping pattern of my next Farmhouse shawl.

Only this sweater did not want to be frogged.  It resisted deconstruction with its entire being.  Every row or two the yarn would stick and break.  No matter how careful or gentle I was, I never made it more than two rows before it snapped.

It was not fun.  Add in thirteen or so more balls like this and I gave up.  In a fit of frustration I threw the entire thing into the trash.

Of course then, as I was climbing the stairs, I remembered that sometimes freezing mohair can make it easier to frog.   It seemed worth it to give this trick a try.  But when I went to rescue the black monstrosity from the depths of the kitchen trash can I discovered that the cat had puked on the kitchen floor.  And the children had actually cleaned it up all on their own with not intervention required on my part. (They may become responsible fully functioning adults after all).  But this rare burst of industry on their part meant my sweater was now resting in the garbage can covered in cat vomit.

It seemed like a good time to just walk away from it all.  The fuzzy cocoon.  The cabled sweater for college.  The vomit covered mess.  Sometimes dreams were meant to inspire but never be actualized.  This seems to be one that was designed to keep my busy but not productive.

So I turned my attention to this pile of left over yarn.

It just might be enough to knit a cute pink shrug for The Queen.

Even in defeat I dare to dream.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Knitting Magic

Sometimes a project just comes together.

It starts with a tiny triangle

That grows

And grows

And grows

And before you know it you're blocking a shawl

Add some fringe

And you've got the happiest Pork Chop ever.

I think she and her neon fringe will be very happy together.

I am so in love with this combination of pattern and yarn.  The entire project took five days start to finish.  Just over three to knit.  One to block (side note:  can you believe how responsibly I blocked this?  A few hours in a bowl of water and it was on the floor for the cat.  What has gotten in to me?).  And a few hours on day five to fringe.  At first I was concerned that there was too much yellow-green at the top, but we combined the blue from two skeins to create the corresponding huge stripe of blue.  I think it balanced out beautifully.  And the neon fringe is probably my favorite part. 

Because FRINGE.

It was knitting magic.

I just so happen to have two rolls left in my stash in the "Pegasus" color way

I am tempted to knit this a third time.

So very tempted.

I just need to decide how to organize the stripes/fringe.  I may need a third skein so I can make the fringe all that deep teal color *gazes at yarn with starry eyes dreaming of deep teal fringe* 


Saturday, March 10, 2018

I Don't Always Use Tweed

So tweed isn't my only obsession.

I have also decided I need to FRINGE ALL THE THINGS.

And it is all this shawl's fault.

Just look at it.


That fringe couldn't be more glorious if it tried!

Look how perfectly it flows.

Gaze at the glory of my still dirty bathroom mirror, I mean, my layers of dangly yarn bits.

This shawl is my current favorite thing!

As a bonus the yarn was self striping and it just transitioned so seamlessly with the pattern.

It was such a lucky fluke.  I couldn't have done it so perfectly if I had tried.

Pattern:  Farmhouse 

Yarn:  Lionbrand Mandala, 2 skeins (I know!  I used 100% acrylic yarn on this project and it's still my favorite thing!!!!  I was blown away by this yarn.)

Needles:  Who knows.  I knit this back in September and then fringed it in December.  The pattern calls for size 9.  I probably used my size 8 Addis.

Modifications:  I don't remember exactly, but I think I added a few more garter ridge repeats, and I know I added extra rows to the thick garter section near the bottom.  And I think I might have added extra garter ridges after the thick section.  I played with the yarn when I added the second skein to manipulate the striping.  I took a billion years to add fringe  I finally decided to fade the fringe colors instead of doing random colored fringes, and I'm so happy I took the time to do that.  The fringe is hands down my favorite part.

Pork Chop also loves this shawl.  She loves it so much I sent her to the store with her Father to pick out two more skeins of this yarn (I told you I LOVE this yarn)
so I could make her one of her very own,

This is what she choose.  

She laughed because she is getting ready to go to college and out of all the colorways this yarn comes in she fell in love with the "baby" colors.  I see nothing wrong with that.  No matter how big she gets she will always be my baby.  I hope she remembers that every time she wraps up in her shawl.

It is currently a teeny tiny baby shawl.  But it is progressing nicely. The green is closer to true color in the first picture than in the second.  It is super bright.  I'm thinking of saving all the bright green from the second skein to make the fringe exclusively retina burning green.  As green is her favorite color I think Pork Chop will approve.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Is This What Adulting Feels Like

So my new tweed sweater has progressed with alarming speed.

I thought I might be a little insane having chosen the fingering weight version of this sweater with thin yarn on tiny needles instead of the bulky weight version with thick yarn on big needles.  Who puts themselves through all those miles and miles and miles of stockinette stitch?

Evidently I do.

But before I knew it my sweater had a body

And a sleeve

(screen shot of a marco polo video I took for my friends showing off my one sleeved sweater.  Not an actual video.  Pressing play will do nothing.  Sorry for the frustration.  I cropped the screen shot but not enough.  Whatcha gonna do?)

Side note:  I'm not entirely sure what happened to my mirror between the time I photographed the body of the sweater and the time I photographed the sweater with a sleeve.  But obviously some serious stuff went down in my bathroom.  I could ask my kids but I'm not sure I actually want to know.

And then I had two sleeves (not pictured)  and I was soaking my sweater to block

I mentioned to a friend that I was soaking my sweater and she begged me to lay it out today and not let my gorgeous sweater mold.

So I did!

In an unprecedented display of knitterly responsibility I have laid my sweater out to block after only soaking for three hours.

I am just as shocked and amazed as you are.

If things go well and the cat doesn't ruin everything at the last moment I should have a new sweater by this time tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

I Spy

If you were paying attention yesterday, and you weren't too blinded by all the glorious tweed, you might have noticed I was wearing another fine piece of knitting.

What is that beautiful cherry and cream knitting around my neck?

It is the BFF Cowl.

I knit the cherry red part back in 2012.  My Knitting BFF knit the gorgeous cream colored half.  We each knit one cocoon pattern and one seed pod pattern.

Then we traded so I have

A red seed pod and cream cocoon.  My BFF has a cream seed pod and red cocoon.

Of course upon completion I put the cowl in my "to blog" stack of knitting.

Also known as where my knitting goes to die.

The cowl waited patiently until I gave up on blogging and just started wearing.

On oh how I love wearing this cowl.  It is wool.  It is silk.  It is soft.  It is perfection.  And it makes me think of my knitting BFF every time I put it on.

I wonder if she wears hers and thinks of me.  We don't talk like we used to.  But that is true of everyone I know since the Queen was born.  My life took a major upheaval and I'm still digging out a new "normal."  But the love is there.  She's the kind of friend you can just call and talk to after months of no contact and it is like no time has passed at all.  My life is richer for knowing her and I'm so happy she took the time to create this gorgeous project with me.  

Monday, March 05, 2018

Dangerously Obsessed

So I was not exaggerating my current obsessive love affair with tweed.

My Husband just wishes I were exaggerating.

Every year I pick a "favorite sweater," usually one that was recently knit, and this "favorite sweater" becomes my go to item worn everywhere every day.

This is my current "favorite sweater"

Does it look familiar?

It is my Tweedy Sweater that I was knitting all the way back in October 2016

Look how tiny the Queen was!

Look how dirty my mirror was!

Just keeping things real around here.  I've got five kids who splash when they was their hands.  Sometimes my mirrors gets dirty.  I'm just grateful they wash their hands.  It's the tiny victories that mean the most.

But back to the sweater.

On any given day I look like this

Because this sweater is long, and cozy, and warm and awesome and did I mention the tweed?

Cause look at all those gorgeous tweedy flecks!

The back isn't too special to look at.  This sweater had a fun construction where you knit it horizontal, then you picked up stitches and knit it vertical.  Which might show more if I had knit it with plain yarn but I don't care, no f*cks to give, because TWEED!

That tweed lace collar is life.  This sweater is life.  Tweed is life!

(Random details:

Pattern:  Old Town

Yarn:  Knit Picks City Tweed DK, in Obsidian, I bought 15 balls, I think I used 13.

Mods:  I made the sweater LONG.  I regret nothing!)

And because wearing all tweed all the time isn't enough...

I am currently knitting ANOTHER grey tweed sweater.

And I may or may not have ordered more tweed yarn yesterday.

This time in Blue.

My intervention is scheduled for Wednesday next week if you would like to attend. 

If you plan on coming please bring tweed yarn.