9.24.2014

knitting along


shhhhh.....I know that I already have a million things on the needles, but the Amanda knitalong over at Fringe Association is too tempting to resist. The energy and enthusiasm that Karen has put into this is infectious and I am looking forward to learning so many things from the most excellent panel of experts that are also knitting along. Here are the deets on my Amanda so far:

yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in the dove heather colorway. A terrific workhorse yarn at a budget friendly price point.
swatch: US size 6 & 5. I was initially dreading swatching for this project but this detailed post by Kate Gagnon Osborn really helped to guide me through the process of knitting & measuring a cable swatch. 
cast-on: the easy, fast & reliable long-tail.
size/ease: size 35 medium since I want a little positive ease. 
concerns/trepidations: keeping the knitting energy flowing smoothly...and getting this knitted before the season is over, since the last heavily cabled sweater I made (Aidez) took nearly a year to finish!
body construction: using the same approach as for my Aidez: knitting the body in one piece & the sleeves flat two-at-a-time. Also plan on incorporating faux seams for the body.
button bands: really excited to try out the button band as written. It looks lovely in the project photo so fingers crossed!
other mods: none so far, but who knows? That's half the fun! Here's a close-up of how I am keeping things from going haywire:

color coordinated highlighter tape + talking stitch markers = scary organizational skillz or just plain scary?

9.19.2014

uniform


Uniform is such an appropriate name for this cardigan. Simple, relaxed, classic and oh so easy to wear with my daily uniform of jeans + t + sneakers. I love how modern the exaggerated garter stitch borders look. The inset pockets add a sporty touch to an otherwise simple design. What makes this pattern so fun is that there are many options for creating the cardigan of your dreams, just by changing up the length, sweater shaping, fit of the sleeves, pockets, neckbands, etc. I could easily knit a dozen sweaters with just this one pattern. Plus, how cool would it be to switch out the garter stitch borders for something a little bit more fancy or maybe add some colorwork? I am looking forward to revisiting this pattern in the future. For this version, I chose to knit the shorter body length, straight waist shaping, fitted sleeves, simple neckband and inset pockets. I also added some positive ease in order to achieve a relaxed fit, which will come in handy when the weather gets cooler and the hula halter top gets traded in for a flannel shirt.


The cardigan is designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge, whose work I am pretty much in love with at the moment. Every one of her sweaters would be a welcome addition to my #projectsweaterchest.

9.10.2014

#projectsweaterchest


Never in a million years could I own a drawerful of hand knitted socks (seeing that it takes me three years and counting to finish a pair), but a cedar chest filled to the brim with hand knitted sweaters? Yes, please. You know what they say about the everlasting memories of first love? In terms of knitting, my first love will always be sweaters. Knitting a sweater is like reading a good novel. In the beginning, there's the excitement and anticipation of entering a new world filled with interesting characters and settings. Then, as the storyline unfolds and the plot thickens, you become invested in the characters and their struggles, joys and outcomes. Sometimes the story meanders along, allowing you to savor the experience. Other times, the book thunders ahead at a rapid pace, your heart racing towards the conclusion. Will it be the happy predictable ending? Or will you have encountered so many unexpected twists and turns along the way that the ending leaves you at a loss, flustered and ready to throw the book across the room? Or maybe it made for some self-reflection and yearning for more. In my sweater knitting experience, all of the above have occurred at one point or another. And that's why I love it so.

Last week, Susan B. Anderson posted about her new #projectsweaterchest. I was immediately hooked and thought it would be fun to join in here and on Instagram. She is starting by listing ten of her favorites, two in each post. I am not sure if I have ten favorites so I am showing a few of my duds for fun.


First of the favorites: You have probably seen me wearing my Vitamin D in past knit.where posts. Talk about an easy sweater to throw on over a simple tank or tee. The yarn is Frog Tree Picoboo, a cotton & bamboo blend with amazing drape and softness. This cardigan makes for a wonderful layering piece and I wear it year round. I especially love the radial eyelet increases and teal color. It is also designed by one of my all-time favorite designers, Heidi Kirrmaier.


And now for the dud: Oh 28thirty, how I loved you in 2009! But fashion is fickle and there is just no place for a midriff-baring sweater with armadillo-like sleeves in my 2014 life right now. 'Tis a shame really, since you rose from the ashes of a once-frogged dud yourself. Maybe the third time's the charm? I would dearly love to reuse the lovely Peace Fleece tweed yarn and those gorgeous wooden buttons.

9.03.2014

welcome september


Whew, finally there's a quiet moment to catch up on things! So many highs and lows in the past week and a half. We celebrated the little guy's birthday, aced the first week of school, enjoyed a visit from grandma L. (my MIL), and said a teary farewell to my parents. They are heading back to Vietnam for a few years. But looking on the bright side, I am planning on visiting them next March and already counting down the months until then. Still, it will be a big adjustment for us not to be able to see and talk to them everyday. And I also will dearly miss my mom's cooking. She taught me how to make her pho noodle soup and some other favorite recipes before she left and I took copious notes of all her secrets. Just looking at these recipes is a comfort. As is knitting, reading etc.


Finally dug out my neglected Uniform cardigan and seamed up the sleeves. But now I am undecided as to what neckband to knit. Should I go with the casual/relaxed simple band or the dressier shaped band? 

Also had plans to join the leethal adventure knit-a-long, but only made it through the first section before ripping it out. I have decided that mystery KAL's are not my cup of tea, at least for right now. Not knowing where my knitting efforts were heading was more stressful than enjoyable, plus I kept cheating ;)

On the reading front, I am re-visiting the Outlander books while devouring the first few episodes of the television series. It has been so fun to see the characters and story come to life on the screen. Also loving the period costumes and settings. I started a Pinterest board for the handknits popping up here and there in the episodes so far. There are already a few patterns on ravelry to recreate some of these...Claire's chunky garter stitch cowl (here and here), her rustic shrug, and mitts

8.20.2014

:: daydream knits :: back to school edition

Bohemian Tee

Getting ready for back to school this week. Where has the summer gone? Poor little guy, next Monday is his birthday which is also the first day of school. Every kid's worst nightmare, huh? But hopefully if the weather holds up, we can celebrate on Sunday with a trip to the water park or beach. Better yet, Grandma L. will be making a brief visit this weekend. In between the school shopping and getting the house ready, I am knitting away on my summer projects. Easier said than done, especially when all of the Fall knitting magazines are tempting me to cast on something warm and woolly. So as the linen yarn glides through my fingers and off the needles, daydreams of fisherman sweaters and toasty colorwork mitts and hats are swirling around in my head. Ssshhh, don't tell the little guy, but I love back to school time ;) What kinds of projects are you daydreaming about right now?