Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts

Monday, April 28, 2014

A cozy cowl for spring

 By the calendar it's officially spring, but here in Central Oregon it doesn't really feel like it yet. Typically it takes until late June or even July 4th to really start getting warm.  Especially in the mornings. Typically it's still below freezing.

So, I won't be putting away the wool sweaters and the hand-knits just yet.  After my last big sewing project I wanted something easier and mindless so I went with Annabella's Cowl.  It's a pattern from Churchmouse Teas and Yarns when I got to visit last Thanksgiving.

I strayed from the recommended yarn and used Berroco Flicker which is so nice and soft.  I ended up sizing up several sizes from the pattern recommendation and ended up at a 10.5 I think.   

I love the yarn and the pattern is so easy to knit.  I really perfected my knitting while not looking. I've been really practicing being able to look away while knitting plain stockinette and this cowl gave me plenty of practice.

It's so warm and cozy and since it's a nice neutral color, I've been wearing almost daily.  

I highly recommend this pattern and if you can make it up to Churchmouse to visit it's a great place!  Bainbridge Island is so quaint and fun.  I'm hoping to get back this summer.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Finished Knit: The Central Oregon Hoodie

Here's a confession.  I actually finished this cardigan months ago.  I think it was somewhere in September or October and I'm finally just now posting some real pictures of it!  It was nearly a year ago when I first blogged about starting the project.  It didn't actually take me a year to finish it as it got set aside numerous times while life and other things got in the way.  

So, for whatever reason I picked today when it never got above freezing and there is about 2.5 inches of snow outside to take pictures..  It was about 4F when I took these.  I about froze in the 15 minutes it took to grab these shots!  I'm becoming inspired to take more and better pictures of my finished projects as the days are getting longer and I have more chances to do photo shoots in natural light.

Many sewing bloggers have been posting about their goals for 2014.  One goal I'd really like to work on is to make the time to take better photos.  I have a decent camera, a tripod, and a remote and  there simply is no excuse for not taking better photos.  I always feel so self-conscious and silly doing my solo photo shoots.  It also feels so narcissistic and vain, but I'm endeavoring to get over that feeling because when I see other bloggers photos I don't think of them as vain.  It definitely is all in my head.

So here we go: on with some better pictures!

I did 2 swatches for this and ended up sizing down a needle to get gauge.  I'm glad I did as I think it fits rather well.

I honestly love this cardigan and I wear it all the time.  The yarn I chose is Tahki Yarns Donegal  tweed in the colorway # 882 Goldenrod.  I wanted something bright for the dark winter months and this fits the bill without being over the top.  This yarn is also quite warm. Often times indoors I find it to be uncomfortably warm and I perspire a bit.  It may be too warm for people who live in warmer climates ie. places where it routinely gets above freezing in the winter!

Getting all the knitting done on this truly took focus and perseverance.  I did the sleeves simultaneously on one long circular needle so they would match and also because I couldn't bear the thought of doing another sleeve after completing the first.

After all the knitting then comes the gargantuan task of seaming and knitting the button band!  I used mattress stitch for the side seams and used a crochet hook for the shoulder seams and setting in the sleeves.  The hood is done using a 3 needle bind off which is actually kind of neat and leaves a nice seam finish.

I love the finished look and I'm glad I finished it, but honestly knitting a sweater in pieces and then seaming is really a bear.  I got so depressed about the whole project several times and lost a lot of momentum throughout.

The next big knitting project I attempt I think will be a top down pull over or cardigan that requires little to no seaming.

What do you think?  Top down knitting or do you not mind doing pieces and then seaming later?

Thanks for reading.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Where have I been?

Where in the world have I been?  Well, I certainly haven't been blogging!  I have been doing lots of knitting and sewing, though.  I wish I had some super excellent photos to show for it, but it being winter here in Oregon means tons of dark and cold weather and terrible lighting for photos.

My 2014 New Year's resolution is definitely to keep up more on this blog.  I don't really care for making New Years resolutions as it always seems like so much pressure.  Then I needlessly beat myself up for not meeting my resolutions and expectations.  What's so silly about that is the pressure is all in my head.  Sarai at Colette patterns has an excellent post today talking about her definition of perfectionism and it really rang true with me.  I always am setting these high expectations for myself and then when I don't meet these expectations I needlessly beat myself up about it.  I have slowly gotten better about this over the years, but I still am guilty of putting pressure on myself.

In any case, I'm endeavoring this year to make a better chronicle of my projects and sewing but also to relax a bit with the process.

Which brings me to an inspirational gift I received this year from my mother-in-law.  She got me a dress form and I have named her Lady Jane.

Lady Jane is a Dritz My Double Deluxe.
I am so excited to have this addition to my sewing room as it is going to make fitting problems so much easier to address.  Lady Jane has an adjustable torso, which I am absolutely thrilled about.  I was able to dial her down for my short waist.  I have always been vaguely aware that I am short waisted, but I've never really altered patterns before to address this fitting problem.  I was never sure exactly how much tissue to remove from the pattern and get the precise fit that I want.  When I started tissue fitting on Lady Jane it was like a light-bulb went off for me.  I was able to see exactly how much to remove and could change the pattern accordingly.  I actually ended up removing 1.5" from the torso length!

Tissue fitting on Lady Jane showing how much to remove from torso length.
I got this super crazy 80's print rayon jersey knit from JoAnn here in Bend.  My hubs thought it was completely ugly.  I don't think it's so bad.  It was dirt cheap and I thought it would good to experiment with. I had originally planned on making a Renfrew with it, but when I started draping it, it seemed like it would look better as a dress.  So I dug in my pattern stash and found Simplicity 9103 1 hour dress pattern and decided to start playing around.  I wanted something that would be super easy that I could do mostly on the serger.

Crazy 80's print for JoAnn.  It was a red tag April Johnston rayon jersey knit.

Simplicity 9103

I'm pretty happy with the result, though it took me a lot longer than 1 hour!  Probably around 5 hours total over about a week.  My sewing time is in fits and starts, either before work or on weekends while my little one is sleeping.

I've also been doing quite a bit of knitting.  Knitting is a nice thing to do while I watch my Little Princess as she loves lots of interaction.  I can sit on floor and play with her while getting quite a bit done.

I finally finished this pair of socks that I started 2 years ago.  Yikes!  I should really never let UFOs languish that long.  I used the Red Heart Heart and Sole sock yarn and it was actually pretty nice to use.  

First pair of socks using Red Heart Heart and Sole in "Faded Jeans" colorway.
Over Christmas we spent some time in Elkton, Oregon with my in-laws.  My husband has a huge, close-knit family from a small town.  His Grandmother just loved the socks and the color so I already started her a pair for next Christmas as a gift.  I decided to do a little lace pattern on the cuff.  The pattern is called "Crest O' the Wave Socks" and I got it out of my I can't believe I'm knitting socks book.

Crest O' the wave socks for Grandma in law.  Getting a jump start on Christmas gifts.
I spent a lot of time in November and December slaving away over Christmas gift knits.  Among the gifts I finished were a pair of mittens from a Patons' book and some fingerless mitts from a Churchmouse pattern.  The Cabled Mittens were pretty difficult!  I had to frog many areas a bunch of times.  I feel like I learned a lot and really increased my knitting skill, though.  

Cabled mittens and Welted finger-less gloves for Christmas.  My family doesn't know how good they have it!
Remember way back when I bought yarn for my Central Oregon Hoodie?  Well, in case you were wondering I did actually finish it!  The photo below doesn't show it that well, but I wear it all the time!  It's my new favorite cardigan.

Modeling my Central Oregon Hoodie with my Little Princess
Whew, so that's what's been going on for me.  Lots of knitting and sewing and playing with my little girl.

Here's to more great projects in 2014!

What have you been working on?  Tell me in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Miette Almost complete!

The Miette cardigan for my Sister has been completed, as far as the knitting goes, for nearly 2 months now!  I'm completely stalled on attaching the buttons.  I DID find the most beautiful wooden buttons, but I just can't find the right color grosgrain ribbon to attach to the button band.  Sometimes it really sucks living where you don't have access to good fabric and knitting supplies.  Sure, I can go run on thousands of miles of trails any old time in just minutes, but finding good fabric and notions???  Joann or Hancock are my choices!!  Total craft monstrosities.  And what's with all the stupid cartoon and PAC12 fleece?  Anyhow....

Here's the finished sweater just awaiting buttons.  I'm really happy with how it turned out and I feel like I became a much better and faster knitter by the end of it.

Here's me modelling it with my growing bump.  Even if it did have buttons I wouldn't be able to use them now!  Good thing this is a gift!

Speaking of trail running, I totally miss it.  Here's a nice shot from a run I did last summer.  Can't wait to hit the trails again after meeting my sweet little one!

These logs showed up on my trail one day.  No more soggy running shoes!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

New knitting project preview: Central Oregon Hoodie

I'm totally late to the party on this one, but once again I saw this on Lladybird's blog (yes, I have a girl-crush on Lladybird and I stock her blog) and I knew I just had to knit it! It's ravelry famous Central Park Hoodie. Here's the colorway I chose.  It's the Tahki Yarns Donegal tweed Shade 882, which they call "Goldenrod."  

My new yarn!
This yarn was really not cheap. It's probably the most money I've ever spent on yarn before ever!  It is exactly what is recommended in the pattern, though so I hope things work out well once I get gauge figured out.
In honor of the gorgeous part of the country in which I live, I'm renaming this the Central Oregon Hoodie and calling my colorway "Sagebrush."  In the spring the sage blooms and has gorgeous tiny flowers that are exactly this color!  I started swatching today.  Is to swatch a verb?  Who cares?  I'm using it as one.  

Sagebrush in full bloom near my house.  It really looks like this yarn, doesn't it?

Here's the swatch sample I started today at work.  I only had a chance to do 4 rows.  And then, oops!  I realized I'm actually knitting on a size 6 needle and the swatch should be on an 8!  Oh well.  I can switch easily enough to an 8 for my stockinette gauge test.  I've only just done the garter border which doesn't really count anyhow.  
Oh yeah, swatching is the bomb!
I was discussing gauge swatches with my Mom and she was asking me wasn't I worried about running out of yarn if I cut off the gauge swatch and block it?  With a cardigan this large I figure I'd better swatch or I'd be really sorry later.  I guess I just figured if I ran that low I could just pull out the swatch and use it as a last resort.  I'm not sure how that would work, though, after blocking.  Has anyone tried that before?  What are the results?  Since I bought this yarn online, I'm not sure I could get a matching dye-lot from another order.  Hmmm.  It's so damn pricey I really didn't want to buy an extra hank just to have enough for a swatch.  I guess time will tell.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fair Isle Cap

I actually finished this hat around September of last year. A large portion of it I knitted by firelight while camping last summer.  It's so weird knitting warm items in the heat of the summer.  It's like I forget every year that winter and super freezing temperatures will certainly return with a vengeance! Since Bend officially hit 0deg F this morning I thought it was a good time to get some action shots of this cap!
First of all, I love the colors and the pattern. It was my first try knitting a fair isle pattern and using a chart and I have to say I love charts! They make my knitting life so easy. I hate trying to figure out where I am in a row based on a series of K1, P1, K2Tog, blah, blah, you get the idea.
What I don’t like is how short it seems and how it almost seems to be pointy at the top. (You can really see in my 3rd picture, the profile.) It tends to ride up as I wear it. I’m not sure if that’s because I was pulling my contrast color too tight, or maybe I was knitting too tight and should have gone up a needle size. It’s sad; due to the fit issues this hat is not likely to get much wear time. I have worn it running a few times and with my headlight on it does keep the riding up issue at bay.
The pattern is just so beautiful and I worked so hard on it I just can’t bear to rip it out and redo it. Perhaps I will attempt knitting it again. Next time I’d add at least 1” to the ribbing and also do another row of the strips at the bottom to give this hat more room at the crown.

What is going on with this pointiness?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Shilling Hat

I'm always trying to think of projects I can knit for other people as gifts.  I love giving hand-made and knitted gifts, but I want to be sure they are items the receivers of the gifts will actually like and use.  I've been noticing my father-in-law does wear stocking caps quite often so I thought, I am going to knit him a nice warm hat!  
Well, after all the Christmas festivities I found myself in Eugene, OR for a few days. I managed to leave Bend without my active knitting project so I needed to get some “emergency” knitting supplies, as my husband called it.
I headed over to The Knit Shop, in Eugene. I was sad to see they don’t carry my current favorite yarn, Cascade, so I settled for the Lamb’s Pride worsted instead.
The pattern is free on Ravelry and it's called the Shilling, by Chris Terramane.  I loved the look of the basket-weave type pattern and the cabling.  I'm trying to conquer my fear of cabling so I'm attempting projects that have a bit a cables to get my feet wet.
I’m so pleased with how this turned out! I was a bit worried when I started that it would be too small. I cast on 110 stitches for the size large as I always manage to knit tight. This thing was so dinky when I first started it looked like an elf hat! I kept questioning the size 4US needle for the ribbing as called for in the pattern. My husband kept asking me, “Are you sure that’s going to fit Dad?” Despite some initial doubts, I pressed on with the pattern recommended needles sizes and I’m glad I did. After blocking, it fits Hubs great (I figure he and FIL have about the same size head.) It’s a bit big for my head and looks kind of slouchy on me, but I think it’ll be perfect for FIL.
This was my 2nd cable project and I’m happy to say I’m no longer intimidated by cables. What was I ever scared of?? Jeeze!
It’s a breeze to knit and most of it I did while watching Netflix with Hubs and only referring to the pattern every once in awhile. I love the look of the texturing and I hope FIL enjoys it.
BTW, it was 9deg F in Bend when I took this photos and my head felt nice and toasty warm! Way to go, Lamb’s Pride!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Knitting Progress on the Miette

I feel completely crazy for starting this project right now, but as soon as I saw Lladybird's version of this cardigan I got this weird crazy urge that I must start knitting it now!  The thing is, I've already started my Anise Jacket and I've made a commitment to myself to knit a bunch of stuff for family as Christmas presents this year.

Ah!  It's so easy for me to get sidetracked.  What can I say??  The solution is I'm going to knit it as a gift for my Sister for Christmas!  Perfect idea.  Now I can satisfy my crazy deep urge to knit this thing and satisfy my Christmas commitments at the same time.  What a perfect plan!

So, here is my start on the Miette pattern, a free download from Ravelry.  

Again, bad cell-phone picture and I have no excuse other than I'm super lazy.