Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rolling Rock

I finished my Rolling Rock sweater!  I love how it came out!

I learned a new technique with this sweater too, and I like it.  It is knit top down but with a contiguous set in sleeve.  I don't have a good picture of it, but basically you increase on what becomes the front and back of the sweater creating what would be a shoulder seam if the sweater were pieced.  Then more traditional raglan increases occur for the sleeves.
This sweater is a henley style, so it is worked back and forth until you have created the length you want for the placket.  I started this sweater before I attended Amy Herzog's retreat and so I was able to use information I learned to customize this to fit and flatter me best.  So I knit this length to the measurement I wanted without trying it on and trusted my math skills.
I found these perfect buttons at Wal-Mart while I was running through one day.  Shh! Don't tell anyone that I used crazy cheap buttons with this lovely artistic hand-dyed yarn!  It's probably a good time to tell you that the yarn is The Plucky Knitter's Traveler Sport in the color Speakeasy.  It was really lovely to work with.

I continued using my new customizing skills by placing some waist decreases and then increases to better fit my hips without ever trying it on.
And the same with the length.  I knew where I wanted it to end, and how much ribbing I wanted to have.  So I knit to those lengths and finished it off.  I did the same thing with the sleeves.
I didn't put this sweater on until it was completely finished with all the ends woven in.  It's fits exactly like I wanted it too!  I have to say that this was completely liberating.  I don't really have a Spidey-sense yet as to how it should all look on the needles, but with my new found confidence, I'm sure that will come soon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is one that has been on my mind ever since I attended Amy Herzog's Knit. Wear. Love. Retreat in September. I left that weekend completely inspired and feeling empowered to knit beautiful sweaters, and I want to knit them all right now!

The prompt is 5 Favorite Sweater Patterns & 5 Favorite Sweater Yarns for a total of 10.

First, the patterns…..
1. Acorn Trail.  It is currently on the needles because I just couldn't wait any longer to start it, even though I already had multiple projects going and plans for lots of hats for Christmas gifts.
2. Birch Bark. Simple but with a fantastic cable panel for interest.
3. Dark & Stormy.  Again with the simple and a gorgeous cable panel for interest.  Plus I love the big shawl collar on this one too.
4. Flippant.  I can picture myself wearing this all the time.
5. Que Sera.  An oldie but goodie.  I have knit this one already in cotton.  The sucker is heavy and stretches horribly, but it's comfortable and cozy so I wear it a lot.  I'd like to make another on in a wool blend.  Maybe it would keep it's shaper better…

Now, the yarns…..
6. Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage.  This stuff is like crack for me.  I wish I knew how to quit it, but I love it's roundness and the stitch definition I get with it.  Plus it's even softer after washing :-)
7. Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted. It's very similar to the Tosh Vintage, plus it has some cashmere blended in.  Yum!
8. Indigodragonfly MCN Worsted. Very much like Primo and Tosh Worsted, but Kim's colors are so fantastic and deeply layered that the resulting fabric is just gorgeous.
9. Harrisville Highland.  This one is new to me and I am using it for the first time for a sweater.  It just feels like "Your Grandmother's Wool Sweater"  I think it's going to wear like iron!
10. Madelinetosh Tosh DK.  This is not as round as the vintage and makes a flatter fabric in both feel and appearance.

There's my list. Honestly, I could keep going on the sweater patterns.  There are so many fantastic patterns to choose from.  And I'm sure that as I read the lists of the other knitters playing along with Carole this week, my queue will grow!

What's your favorite sweater right now?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm So Indecisive

Have you ever had so many projects going at once, that you absolutely love, that you have a hard time deciding which one to work on when you do get a chance to sit down and knit?  That would be me right now!  This is what I have going right now….

First is my Toasty Twist Socks.  I have had this pattern in my queue for a long time.  It is one of the patterns for the Socks That Rawk! Ravelry group knit-a-long right now.  I decided to use my Rocktober color way for this pattern.  I like how they're coming out.  I do think though that the foot is a little looser than I usually like so I'm going to drop down a needle size for the rest of the foot.
Next is the Vamp sock from the Cookie A club.  The yarn is Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay in the club color Cape Cod Cranberry which kind of makes them the perfect color to be knitting in November.  At least in New England :-)  I'm through a few repeats of the cable pattern now and it is making sense and becoming more intuitive for me.  They're already knitting quicker than they were the first night I worked on them, but it's cabling with twisted stitches on every row, so I need to pay attention to what I'm doing.
This is Acorn Trail which is the sweater I just couldn't wait to cast on.  I. Love. It!  It is really the only thing that I really want to be knitting right now.  But I want to continue to make progress on my other projects too, so I've been using this one as a reward.  It's knitting up pretty quickly. This is the back after only 3 evenings of knitting while watching tv.
Rolling Rock.  What can I say?  Obviously I decided not to rip back the body and alternate skeins.  It may be a mistake, but in normal indoor lighting where I will primarily be wearing this, the color difference doesn't show.  So onward it is.  I'm on sleeve island with this one.  The only upside on this project is that I can knit away on the sleeves while I read and who doesn't love to multi-task like that?
So what to do?  How to decide what to work on?  The logical part of me says to finish Rolling Rock and Toasty Twist because they are the closest to done.  But the planner part of me says to work on Vamp because the next club shipment will be here in a few weeks and I should finish this one before the new one gets here.  And the dreamer part of me wants to work on Acorn Trail because I just want to be wearing that baby NOW :-)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Should Bog That

Hello Dear Readers!  I can't quite believe that it's been more than 2 weeks since I last blogged.  I don't know what it is about this time of year that I always think that I will have more time available for leisure activities than I do, but…. I do.  Every year.  I'm sure it's the fact that vacations are over and the rest of my family is back to work and school which gives me several hours a day home alone.  What I always forget though is that these are not bonus hours added to my day. The house still needs to be cleaned, the laundry still needs to be done, errands need to be done, and life itself just plain continues on.

Anyway, I have been knitting, actually a fair bit.  But I've also had a wicked case of startitis.  There are so many things I want to knit, and I want to knit them all RIGHT NOW!!  I have too many active projects on the needles.  I really need to pare that down.  I have finished a few projects though.

This is Windschief by Stephen West.  I knit this in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the color Fig.  This was an easy knit and quite quick really.  It's comfortable too!
 This is Habitat by Jared Flood.  I used Peace Fleece Worsted for this, the color is Father's Grey.  This was the first time I've used Peace Fleece and it was great.  I thought that it had a wonderful hearty and rustic feel to it.  It did have a fair bit of vegetation in it that was rough on my fingers from time to time.  I gave the hat a good long soak with some Eucalan when it was finished though, and it seems to have helped with that issue quite a bit.
 I also have to say, in terms of the pattern, that I think Jared Flood is a genius!  This hat is so richly cabled, but the crown decreases don't diminish them, or stunt them.  Somehow he always seems to figure out how to make it all flow together and still be gorgeous.

I finished these socks a few weeks ago and just kept forgetting to show them off.  I love the color of these socks!!!  The yarn is Miss Babs Cosmic Sock Yarn and the color is Inkwell.  This was the yarn and the Istanbul pattern from the August installment of Cookie A's Sock Club.  As you can see, the front of the sock is a beautiful lace pattern….
 and the back is a basic rib pattern.  These are so comfortable and fit so well!  I'm sure they'll get lots of wear this winter :-)
So those are the finished projects.  I'll try to log again in a couple days and show you all the projects I'm actively working on.