Category: finished object

Golden clarity cardigan

 

 
Project: Golden Clarity cardigan ::: Pattern: Clarity cardigan ::: Yarn: Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK in colorway 224
Last week I finished my clarity cardigan, after just a minor fiasco regarding some blocking issues that will go unmentioned here (but never forgotten). But everything worked out for the best and it fits wonderfully. It has quickly become one of my favorite knitted items. Even though I curse this yarn for causing said blocking fiasco (it’s the yarn fault, darn it, not mine, of course), through the whole endeavor it has produced a lovely soft and warm fabric. Perfect for the cool weather that has rolled into town bringing fall in it’s tow. 
Besides being snuggly and cuddly, I love the styling of the cardigan. I can wear it buttoned to produce a drapey cowl neckline, but it also looks great left open with a hanging front. (Did I take any photos of it styled both ways, of course not – that requires forethought.) Who doesn’t love a great knit you can style multiple ways? One of the things I’m most proud of with this cardigan is the color choice – I tend to shy away from oranges and yellows, always afraid they may make my complexion look sickly. (It’s something my Grandma always complains about with yellows, which has struck some fear into me from a young age.) But I think I’m coming around to warmer hues of orangey-yellow, so I just took the risk with buying this yarn. And it’s paid off, giving me a cardigan in a great fall-inspired color (that will likely be worn through winter and spring because, darn it, I love it.)
The pattern itself was a fairly simple knit (which is probably why it hibernated for a bit over the summer because I got tired of working straight stockinette). There are some minor errors in the pattern itself, but those are quite easily resolved if you have a bit of knitting know-how. And if you are feeling lost, many other knitters have noted their edits to the pattern in their Ravelry project notes, so it’s pretty easy to get yourself sorted. 
As always, Rufus was part of the photoshoot. He can’t be left out, heaven forbid. And I can’t pass up this action shot of Rufus looking all rugged and wild while catching a squeaky tennis ball (a favorite of his). He kind of stole the show… as usual. 

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Chevron Delight Infinity Scarf

 
Project: Chevron Delight Infinity Scarf ::: Pattern: Chevron Delight Infinity Scarf ::: Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Jumpin’ Jellybeans
I had been working on my scarf as my “commuter project,” getting in a few rows every day to and from work. It was a perfect project on the go because it was small and required only minor attention to keep track of the chevron pattern – practically mindless knitting that just kept going and going. I didn’t have to worry about counting rows or any shaping. And because most of the scarf just sat in my project bag as it grew, I almost didn’t notice how long it was getting. So it took me by surprise when one day on the subway, lost in podcasts and knitting, I went to pull some extra working yarn and came upon the end of the skein. It was done! 
The pattern and project seem so simple, but this is probably one of my absolute favorite finished items. I. love. it. I love the colors. I love the chevrons. I love that it wraps perfectly around my neck twice. Every time I see it sitting folded on my radiator in the bedroom I smile. Man, do I have good taste or what?! I cannot wait for the days to turn a bit chillier so that I can actually wear it. 
And I LOVE this yarn! The colors are so bright and the yarn itself is a nice tight spin that looks beautiful when knitted. It was a pleasure to work with. I want to go out and buy all of it – in every beautiful colorway – and make so many fabulous hats, socks, scarves, gloves. I probably would, too, if it was a wee bit more affordable for me. But when I am off of my self-imposed yarn diet and have $30 burning a hole in pocket, I will be getting myself another skein of this for a wonderful and cherished pair of socks.

What has been your favorite yarn to work with?

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FO: Keynote cardigan

Project: Keynote Cardigan ::: Pattern: Keynote ::: Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport in Green tea heather 

Finally blogging my lovely Keynote cardigan. I finished it over a week ago, but I didn’t have a single decent button on hand (let alone seven of them), so I had to wait to take the finished photos until some lovely new buttons arrived in the post.

I’m quite pleased with the finished cardigan. It has very nice shaping to make it fitted and feminine (I don’t have much curviness of my own, so I appreciate anything that attempts to even moderately emphasize it). I did modified the shaping in my cardigan slightly: I cast on for the 34″ bust size, but then worked extra waist decreases to accommodate my petite frame. I probably could have gotten away with working the whole sweater in a smaller size, but I hate when cardigans pull across my bust, so I opted to play it safe.

My only complaint with this cardigan is the fact that the back sits rather low across my shoulders. I think part of this is due to the pattern and part to the fact that the sweater grew slightly with blocking. If I were a more apt knitter, I would’ve added some short rows to the back to give it a bit more height and a better fit for my liking, but, alas, I am a knitting chicken and don’t quite feel totally comfortable with that level of modification. (I also think I may have slightly worked one sleeve a wee bit shorter than the other… but I think only I can really tell from where it falls on my wrists. So don’t tell anyone I made such a “newbie” knitting mistake.)

Overall, I am quite taken with the cardigan and look forward to cooler mornings which will bring more opportunities to enjoy it’s warmth, beautiful detailing, and vintage-inspired style.

What makes a perfect cardigan in your opinion? What are you looking forward to wearing as the weather turns cooler?

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P.S. You may also notice that after growing out my hair for a year, I gave up and cut it all off. I’m just not a long hair kind of girl (read as lazy, lazy, lazy).

Birth of socks

Project: Brandy’s Striped Socks ::: Pattern: None ::: Yarn: ???

Socks are one of my favorite things to knit because they are an item you can really see take shape as you work on them. There are some things you work on that just don’t really take shape until they are finished – either they are bulky or need seaming or require lots of shaping and blocking. But socks… socks look like socks. (And if they don’t, well, you probably did something wrong.) You can see where you are going and where you’ve been and when you’ll be all done.

I found this yarn on clearance and just enjoyed the color combination of nice bright colors mixed with neutrals. I’m not one for generally working plain ol’ socks, but self-striping yarns just call for it sometimes. Instead of trying to do something fancy, I decided to just enjoy the color and let the stripes do their thing. No need to get in their way. 

Unfortunately, I was very naughty knit blogger and I tossed the label for this yarn and I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. I didn’t even look at the colorway… Rookie mistake, I know. And I’m regretting it because I actually really like this yarn. It’s soft with nice stitch definition, and I really like the colors. If I could remember what it was, I would recommend it and use it again. (Maybe someone out in blog land will recognize the yarn?)

I want to get another pair of yarn on the needles, but I can’t decide on a pattern + yarn combination that I like. What are your favorite sock patterns? Or sock patterns you have always loved to try? If it’s free, that’s even better. Give me some inspiration!
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FO: Pluie cardigan

Project: Pluie cardigan ::: Pattern: Pluie ::: Yarn: Knit Picks Palette

Phewie-pluie! It’s finished – everything sewn up, blocked, and (most of) the ends woven in. I had a lot of fun working on this cardigan and pushing myself to learn a new knitting technique. At times it felt like there were a million bobbins of yarn to untangle and I was spending more time untangling things rather than actually knitting, but as I worked along, I was so happy with how it was coming together, that it was easy to keep going and work towards the finished product. I must give lots of credit to the pattern, which was very well written and easy to follow. I’ve only worked one teeny bit of intarsia one other time before this cardigan (on the heels of a pair of socks), so from my experience, I feel this cardigan is a reasonable place to start if you are thinking of tackling this technique. In my opinion, the trickiest part is correctly changing colors to avoid gaps and tight stitches. Here are a couple of sites I found to be helpful while working on this sweater:

But now what? After working almost exclusively on this project for the past three weeks, I feel kind of stuck on what to start next. Do I want to tackle a pair of socks? Or start another cardigan? Or maybe this beautiful cowl? I just can’t decide right now. Do I want another complicated project? Or something sweet and simple? I’m kind of aimlessly working on projects here and there waiting to feel that gut punch of inspiration.

FO: Belgravia in summer tee

Project: Belgravia in Summer tee ::: Pattern: Belgravia tee ::: Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Fingering in Hollyberry

I know it’s hard to believe, but I finished something else besides socks! I have had this project in mind for awhile now, but set it aside until the weather was warmer (because I always want to wear what I finish right away). Well, the weather is warmer and I’ve finished up my tee.

I am really, really proud of this project. To me, the best compliment a knitter could receive is someone being amazing and surprised that your garment is handmade. We all tell ourselves that the little blips and bobbles in our projects give them character and those things can be the fun of making handmade items. But really, deep down (or for perfectionists, not so deep at all), we really do want our work to look polished and professional because in a way it means we’ve mastered the craft. I think I’ve gotten one step closer to that goal with this project.

It’s my first time ever seaming a project. After hearing how terrible, horrible, no good, very bad seaming is, I will admit I had avoided projects that required seaming like the plague. It was all worked in the round for me. But, I couldn’t resist this tee, so I decided the time had come to tackle the seaming giant. Here’s a secret… it wasn’t really that horrible. It took a long time, yes, but the process wasn’t as frustrating and hair-pull-inducing as I had assumed it would be. (I actually kind of didn’t mind it.) And I think I actually did an okay job of it.

So I’m happy. Happy in my lovely Belgravia in Summer tee.

Linking up with yarn along.

Insert sock pun here

I’ve got two finished pairs of socks to share this week: one for Andy and one for me.

Project: Andy’s ribbed socks ::: Pattern: none (made it up as I went) ::: Yarn: Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock Yarn in Northern Lights

After Andy dropped some hints that he wanted another pair of hand knit socks, I resigned myself to the fact that I could part with my Misti Alpaca sock yarn, even though it is luscious and made with alpaca, because it was the most masculine sock yarn I had in my stash. I know what you are thinking, “What?! You didn’t use this as an excuse to go buy more sock yarn?! You have betrayed the sisterhood.” I have. But shopping for sock yarn for myself (in colors I’ll like/wear) is more fun than picking out brown/gray/black yarn for a stinky boy. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

I winged the pattern, working toe up and just using a 3×1 ribbing so the sock wasn’t entirely stockinette stitch (boo! boring!). He likes them. Or at least he’s a good enough husband to tell me he likes them. It’s a little warm for him to wear wooly socks, so the real test will come when the weather gets cooler again. Either way, I think they came out nice and I still love the yarn – it’s one of my favorites to work with.

Project: Party casual socks ::: Pattern: Business casual socks ::: Yarn: Turtlepurle Moonbeam in Saphire
For me, my business casual socks are finished. I LOVE THEM! They are so sparkly and blue and sparkly and comfy and blue! With the worked in sparkle and deep shade of midnight blue, they look like a night sky of twinkling stars… on my feet. I definitely need some more sparkly yarn. Now. 
The pattern was really fun to work. It isn’t suited for doing two-at-a-time socks because of the way the cables cross at the end of the pattern repeat (which requires stitches to move across needles). So I ended up working the leg of each sock separately and then joining back onto one circular needle to work the heel and foot so I could still finish them at the same time. I will definitely work this pattern again as the finished project is just wonderful.

FO: Summer boating socks

 Project: Summer boating socks ::: Pattern: Edwardian boating socks ::: Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Handpainted

The weekend was a little dreary (but warmish, at least), so I took the time to finish up my boating socks. They are so fun. I’m wearing them as I speak blog. They are also surprisingly soft for socks knit with ‘bargain’ sock yarn. This Stroll yarn is probably one of my favorite sock yarns that I have worked with so far.

This week…

Knitting: Some sparkly business casual socks for me and some basic toe-up cabled socks for A.

Operation Honey: I’m at 17 hexipuffs so far this month. I doubt I’ll make my original goal of 40, but I should make it to 20-25 at least.

Reading: Still working on Miserere which is turning out better than I thought. It has an interesting premise that involves religion and history in our world along with fantasy elements in a different world, so it’s keeping my attention.

Watching: I’m finishing season one of Hannibal (talk about nightmare inducing tv), so to balance that I’m also watching season one of Chuck on Netflix for some lighter viewing.

Loving: More fruit is coming into season! I can finally afford strawberries! I can feel summer coming. I can’t wait for peaches and mangos and all things sweet and lovely.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

FO Friday: Seaglass Socks

Project: Seaglass socks :: Pattern: My Cup of Tea socks :: Yarn: Araucania Botany Lace 
The sock-a-palooza continues! I think I may have an addiction. I may need to seek help. But it’s not hurting anyone… except maybe my poor store bought socks. Yesterday when I opened the sock drawer they looked a bit conspiratorial. A sock mutiny may be upon us and I will just disappear into a pile of boring, white, gym sockiness. If you don’t hear from me, send a search party. 
I’m very pleased with these socks. I think they are my favourite pair to date for reasons I can’t quite put into words. It’s not like it was a complicated pattern or any real feat of knitting. But there’s something about the the blue of the socks that reminds me of seaglass and the repeating pattern working up the foot that reminds me of the scales of a mermaid’s tail – I just really like these socks. And I think I need a beach vacation…

Hitchhiking

 

Project: Hitchhiking :: Pattern: Hitchhiker :: Yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk

I loved this pattern. I loved this yarn. I love this scarf. It came out even better then I imagined (don’t you love it when your ideas turn out to actually be good ones?!). I couldn’t resist these colors and how they looked together, so I decided to adapt the hitchhiker pattern to be a bit of a gradient scarf – slowly shifting from green to purple by changing the width of the stripes. 
This is my first time working with pima cotton. I’ve always been kind of hesitant about working with cotton because my only experience with it really is the stiffer stuff mostly used for knitted washcloths. But this yarn is so soft and lovely. I have enough yarn left over that I’m thinking of working a matching hat for springtime. 
I highly recommend the hitchhiker pattern (and with over 14,000 projects, I must not be the only one). I worked on this almost exclusively while commuting to & from work and it was a great travel project because of it’s simplicity.