Archive for the ‘cardigans’ Category

There aren’t too many hard and fast knitting “rules” that I subscribe to. I’m hard-pressed to think of any that I follow faithfully every time. Even swatching is hit or miss; I typically don’t bother for anything other than sweater projects and I can think of a couple where I didn’t even bother (with the expected results, naturally).

So I’m not sure why it tickles me so much that I tossed convention aside and am knitting this baby cardigan in whatever order strikes my fancy.

I knit on the button bands, sewed on the buttons, and even started weaving in ends – all before I started the first sleeve. It’s actually kind of nice. I don’t have bits of sweater flopping around, since I just keep it buttoned up.

The bottom hem is bugging me though. I bound off loosely as I usually do and as convention often dictates, but since I made some slight modifications regarding needles size, it’s a bit flare-y. I’m going to rip back the cast off and try it again tighter. If that doesn’t work, I’ll rip back the garter band altogether and go down a couple needle sizes which is more in keeping with the pattern.

But since this is intended to be a next winter sweater for the little dude, and I’m in no great hurry to get it finished, I’m going to work on this long cast aside project:

For a couple days, at least.

I took this photo last year; on 12/4/11 to be exact. It’s come a bit farther since then, but not much. I typically work on it a few days in between big projects, or when I’m feeling out of sorts and restless with my knitting or other things.

As the countdown to D-Day (Delivery Day) has commenced, it’s safe to say I’m feeling both out of sorts and restless with life in general.


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New Year, New Sweater

I technically finished the Lodi Cardigan well before the new year (I count 4 days as being well before), but “Old Year, New Sweater” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. I’m happy with how it turned out, and I anticipate getting a lot of wear out of this one. I couldn’t even wait to get pictures before I started wearing it, so when I finally got around to taking some, it has that decidedly “lived-in” look to it. But I’m ok with that.

Pattern: Lodi Cardigan by Tanis Gray

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Solstice in 2306 Buff

Needles: US5/3.75mm and US7/4.5mm

This is the first sweater I’ve knitted that changed needles sizes to incorporate shaping instead of increases and decreases. It made me realize how much I look forward to doing something different when I get to the body of a top-down sweater, especially when it’s in stockinette.

I did make a couple modifications. I shortened the sleeves by 1″ and bound them off fairly tightly to try to avoid them “belling” out. Also, since I’m pretty short-waisted, I worked the purl ridge detail at the waist at 7.5″ from the underarm instead of the 9″ the pattern called for. This puts it pretty much at my natural waist instead of below it. And then, because I do like to camouflage my lack of torso whenever possible, I lengthened the body to 13.5″ instead of 10″ before starting the garter-stitch hem.

My only slight disappointment with this cardigan is that while I can just button it all the way down, it tends to pull and gap more than is flattering. I call this a slight disappointment because I think that it looks good unbuttoned, so I know I’ll still get a lot of wear out of it. But it did bum me out a bit, because I was fairly certain I had allowed enough ease to be able for it to function as a fully-buttoning cardigan. I think where I went wrong was not stopping to consider that buttons spaced 4″ apart are not flattering to a busty girl; I just blindly followed the pattern in that respect. I will keep this in mind with the next cardigan I knit.

My one of my favorite parts of this sweater has got to be the buttons. My best friend’s mom gave me a whole shoebox full of buttons this summer, and these are from part of that stash. I love the little pop of color they give to the neutral yarn.

And my very favorite part of this project? My finishing work, to be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever woven ends in so nicely, and I backed the buttonband with grosgrain ribbon and used backing buttons for the first time. I’m ridiculously proud of how even and how almost invisible my stitches are (if I do say so myself).

I didn’t back the buttonhole side, but I think I might eventually to keep it from stretching out of shape. I did some preliminary research into this, and it seems some people will use their machines to put buttonholes into the ribbon itself. I don’t think I’m that ambitious. My first thought was just to back the sections in between the buttonholes themselves, to make sure they still have enough stretch to accommodate the buttons, and I think that’s still what I’ll do if I ever get around to it.

And just to prove that I do actually wear my knits, not just model them on my dress form, I present a “Lodi in the Wild” picture.

The wild being my backyard.

I don’t get out too much in the winter months. I prefer to stay in and knit.

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Hello, Lodi.

While I don’t necessary love working with cotton, even in blend that is mostly wool as it is here, I cannot deny that I really enjoy the crispness it lends to my stitches. I especially love the garter stitch bits!

This is my Lodi Cardigan! Here’s what it looked like before we road-tripped to Wichita for Round One of family Christmases last weekend:

I got this far in roughly a week or so, then let it sit for three or four. For some reason I tend to get stalled out when starting sleeves, but I got it in my head to work them before I finished the body so that I could make it plenty long enough. I’m not sure why, exactly, since I bought more yarn than the pattern even recommended for my size. I got a pretty good start on the first sleeve while out of town:

The difference in the lighting tells you how gloomy and dark it’s been this week. Cold, icy rain? Not a fan.

I actually finished this sleeve last night and promptly started the second like a good little knitter. Hopefully I can keep up this momentum and have a new sweater in a couple weeks.

I’m toying with doing a grosgrain ribbon behind the button band, even though the cotton makes the band pretty stiff as it is. I’ve been wanting to try this for sometime now, but it seemed pretty daunting. But after hand-sewing in a zipper on J’s Zip Up Cardigan, I’m feeling somewhat confident I can handle a ribbon!

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The Geodesic Cardigan has tucks! It also has sleeves. In fact, I finished it last night and was so stoked I wore it to work today. I had blocked the body and both sleeves before setting them in, so it wasn’t a total mess but it could probably use another good blocking.

The “official” FO post will have to wait, though, because we’re going to St. Louis this weekend to see U2 with my brother and sister-in-law, and I got a cracked notion about taking the pictures there. I’m silly-tickled with the thought of “going on location” for my sweater’s photo shoot. Hee. So between now and then I will be posting a couple other finished projects I finished lately.

Up next, the Providence Hoodie. I’ve been itching to cast this baby on for over a month but figured one sweater on the needles, particularly in the summertime, was quite enough. I think this is the sweater that Abby from the Knit Knit Cafe podcast said she couldn’t imagine knitting for all the moss stitch a few episodes back. That made me smile, since that texture is what attracted me to it in the first place! Definitely different strokes for different folks!

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I’ve fallen behind on posting my recently finished projects. So here I go again playing catch-up, starting with my first-ever Baby Surprise Jacket:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Blue Lagoon

Needles: US5/3.75mm

I won’t re-invent the wheel by waxing poetic about the genius of this pattern, and of EZ herself. Suffice it to say this was a very enjoyable knit. It was so intriguing that I finished it in less than three days. I started it on a Saturday afternoon and finished it up on a Monday night as soon as I got home from work. I just couldn’t stop knitting on it, wanting to see how it would come together.

I did start (and finish) this with no particular baby in mind, but it didn’t take very long for a recipient to present itself. A couple weeks after it was done I gifted it to a co-worker who is expecting her first baby, a little boy, in September. Lest you think I’ve lost my mind and have taken to foisting handknits on unsuspecting (and undeserving) people, I did test the waters with a pair of booties. Both her and her husband were so delighted with them that I knew immediately that they were knitworthy, and decided to gift them the sweater as well. She was so happy to receive both gifts, and said she’d like to learn to knit, as did another co-worker. Hopefully we’ll find time soon to sit down so I can get them started.

As a knitting ambassador, I consider this a job well done!

The color is more true-to-life in this picture.

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…particularly when there’s a little something extra to it.

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Vine Bolero

I think I’ve said just about everything I have to say about this sweater. All that’s left now is the parade of finished photos!

Pattern: Vine Bolero by Emily Johnson

Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Bobby Blue

Needles: US7/4.5mm

I’m pretty happy with how this came out. It is a bit bigger than I usually wear my sweaters, but I don’t think it looks too bad or sloppy. I’m still on the fence about whether or not to add a stabilizing ribbon to the bottom hem. When I put it on to take some pictures it looked better than I thought it would, so I’m going to wait a while and wear it a few times before I make my final decision. I should be able to put it to good use soon – it’s gotten up in the 90s the past couple days, so I’m going to be breaking out my summer dresses sooner than later!

And now for some modeled (by me instead of my dress form (do people name their dress forms like they name their spinning wheels?)) pictures. I didn’t have J cut my head off on all these on purpose, it just somehow ended up that way.

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