Dec 072011

First sweater circa 2005

Sometimes looking back is the best way to make you feel better about where you are.  I knit my first sweater about 7 years ago.  It was some acrylic.  Size 10.5 needles with worsted.  It was 3″ too short (at least).  I knit three sleeves because the first two didn’t match and the final two that did were way too long.  But I loved it!  And I wore it everywhere for EVER.

My next one I made was when I was 8 months pregnant with my son.  I “guesstimated” what size I would be post-baby.  I was very wrong.  That one is still sitting on the bottom of a trunk in my craft room where it radiates guilt intermittently.

I don’t have much of a good record with sweaters.  Even my most recent one was a bit of a hair-puller.  But NOW, I’ve done it!  I’ve knit a good one!  One that makes me want to squeal with happiness.  I’ve been wanting to knit Aidez for a while, ever since seeing Katy Jane‘s.  This one fits like a glove.  The sleeves are perfect length, as is the body.  And it has the one thing I always longed for in the first sweater: pockets!  Hooray! I feel like I deserve a merit badge for this final, 7-years-in-the-making project.

The Cascade Eco Wool was nice to work with but it’s starting to pill already.  Oh well, for a $30 sweater, I’m not going to fret.

 December 7, 2011  knitting Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Dec 042011

I am not generally a colorful person.  90% of my closet is gray and black, punctuated by red and pink.  I’m not exactly sure when it became this way.  I know there was a distinct point at 16 when it all went black but before that it was pale and muted colors, naturals and dusty shades and such.  Lately I’ve been trying to think back to when it was that I seemed to lose certain colors.

In fifth grade (let’s see… 23 or so years ago!) my favorite was color was yellow.  Since then I generally can’t stand it.  I think it’s easily been over 20 years since I’ve owned a yellow piece of clothing.

Early in November I went out to get yarn for an Aidez cardigan.  I had my heart set on Eco Wool since I am frugal to a fault and a $30 cardigan had great appeal to me.  I was thinking of choosing a gray or oatmeal color, similar to the shade that most people seem to choose for this sweater.  When I got there the store had no two matching dye lots of Eco Wool with the exception of yellow.  Bright yellow.  Mustard yellow.  I thought I’d take it and over dye it, thinking of a nice brown or dark green.  But I got those big balls of yarn home and fell in love with the color.  I started knitting up the Aidez and it just looked perfect.

It’s going to be a totally different feel than the oatmeal color of the original but I decided I like that.  It’s currently 12 degrees outside with a foot of snow on the ground so the thought of wrapping myself in this bright sunshiny color by the end of the week sounds oh so heavenly.  I have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I will finish this and it won’t be what I want, but I’m going to plow through!


 December 4, 2011  knitting, WIP Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 312011

Five months and lots of hibernation and this sweater is finally done!  I’m not entirely happy with it but it’s done and it’s wearable so I’ll take it.  I ripped out the lower half and added more shaping but by the time I finished I was a slightly different body shape than when I started so it fits kind of funny.  It may take a trip through the dryer eventually to shrink it up.

One thing that irked me about the end result was the stitches that showed through at the color change.

I duplicate stitched over these spots and now you can’t see them.

Lessons learn with this:

  • I CAN graft 440 stitches together and it will look good
  • If you knit a sweater in the postpartum year, don’t make a shaped one
  • I need to start erring on the side of too small rather than too big with sweaters so I don’t keep ending up with bulky ones
Jan 272011

My mom kept her buttons in empty film containers.  To this day just the sound of one of those containers opening makes me smile, remembering sorting those buttons while my mom sewed.  I love looking at all the variety, comparing sizes, sorting colors, all that stuff.  Last summer I found a tin of buttons at a rummage sale for $2.  It was a church sale and this was obviously some old lady’s collection from the last 40 or so years.  I was so excited to take them home, sort them, and stick my fingers in that tin the same way you would your toes in soft sand.

It was well worth $2 for the nostalgia.  For the functionality, though, I’m not sure.  It seems most crafters I know have a variety of buttons in their supplies but personally every time I need buttons for a project I end up going out and buying new ones.

The sweater I’m working on calls for ten buttons.  I have looked through all of the buttons in my house and I just don’t have them.  It seems so silly to me.  All of these:

and there aren’t any that meet my needs.  I have considered mixing and matching but I just don’t know if I’m the sort of person that can pull that off.

I guess I’ll just hold on to these and someone can buy them at my garage sale when I’m old.

And here is the so-close-to-needing-buttons cardigan!

I’ll be channeling The Little Engine That Could today and plowing through it.

 January 27, 2011  knitting, WIP Tagged with: , , , ,  4 Responses »
Jan 262011

Today’s question:

Do I dare graft together 212 stitches that join the re-knit sweater bottom with the already finished ribbed edging or re-knit 2 1/2 inches of k2p2 ribbing?  I don’t know which is worse.

Either way, between grandma coming over to play with the kids this morning and knit night tonight, I’m confident that the knitting part of this sweater will be done by the end of the day!



 January 26, 2011  knitting Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »
Jan 232011

I am a total sucker for stripes. No, really. Look at all the striped things I knit. When I saw the Bergen Street Cardigan, it was love at first sight. The only thing better than stripes is stripes on cardigans.

I started this in August, determined to finish by the first snow (which in Colorado can be anywhere from the first few weeks of September to mid November). Mid September rolled around, I got to the top and tried it on. Too baggy. Lesson learned: when choosing a size for a garment measure across the bust AND around the waist. The bust width fit perfect while the waist was way too large.

I took my scissors and ripped out a row somewhere under the armpits, picked up the live stitches, and started knitting downward (the original sweater is bottom up). I hemmed and hawed over it lots before letting it sink to the bottom of my knitting pile.

When I came across the Twist Collective’s February Finish Fest, I knew this was the kick in the rear I needed. This is back on the top of my list, ready to be completed in the next eight days. It will be done!

And for added motivation, I told myself I won’t work on any other project until this is done. I think that will get me moving!

 January 23, 2011  knitting, WIP Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »