FO: September House

Pattern: September House
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece Bluefaced Leicester DK (Brown, Ecru, Light Brown)
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This is what I was working on when I lost my knitting mojo earlier this year. It was a sleeve-island kind of thing. I had about an inch on one sleeve and approximately 2-3″ on the other. And I just ran out of steam. But after I finished my Turtle Dove pullover, I had a little momentum going, and I sat down with those two sleeves, and I finished them in a single day. (And then it took me another month to block.)

Because I don’t swatch and I have strong preferences about things like sleeve and body length or yoke depth, it’s important to me to be able to try my project on as I work. This led me to make one significant modification this sweater: I knit it top-down instead of bottom-up. This was my first time turning a pattern around, but I felt like I had knit enough sweaters at this point that I could proceed with confidence, and I’m pleased with the results.

The other major change I made was needle size. The pattern calls for US 8 and US 9 needles and DK yarn. I don’t think that I’m a particularly loose knitter — in fact, I’d say I have a tendency to knit a little tightly — but I knew before I even cast on a single stitch that those needles were too big for me. Based on instinct, I went with US 6 and US 7 needles, and — of course — I can’t for the life of me remember which size I ended up knitting, but my blocked gauge is 16 stitches and 28 rows (4″).

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Turtle Dove

FO: Turtle Dove

Pattern: Turtle Dove
Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Willa (Marine)
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I basically stopped knitting over the spring and summer, but I kept up with the new patterns being published on Ravelry almost daily. And when Turtle Dove was published in August, I queued it. And then, much to my surprise, I dug out some discontinued Juniper Moon Willa bulky yarn that I bought way back in August 2013. (That’s when I ended my last knitting dry spell.)

And then, I actually knitted it! Well first, I frogged a shawl and soaked the yarn — then I knitted a Turtle Dove. In five days. Three cheers for stash-busting quick knits.

The pattern itself is fine. It’s also free. If you like an incredibly roomy raglan pullover and dolman sleeves, this might be what you’re looking for. If I sound underwhelmed, it’s not because of the pattern — it’s the yarn. It was pretty sheddy to knit with, and it was pretty sheddy while I was wet blocking it, and my fear is that it’ll be pretty sheddy when I wear it, which means it’ll be covered in pills.

But I’m still looking forward to snuggling up in my Turtle Dove this winter.

Carbeth

FO: Carbeth²

This year I also made two modified Carbeth sweaters. Both use approximately 900 yards of Green Mountain Spinnery’s DK-weight Mewesic held single instead of double, as called for in the pattern. Initially, I did this out of necessity, as I didn’t have an appropriate yarn in my stash and I couldn’t buy anything new at the time that the pattern was published. But I liked the finished DK-weight sweater so much that I decided to further modify it a second time.


Pattern: Carbeth
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Mean Mr. Mustard)
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Using my Radiate pullover as my swatch, I did a little math and figured out that if I knit the largest pattern size, I would, at my new gauge, make approximately the smallest size sweater. And I had a little more than 900 yards of the mustard yarn, but I didn’t know how much sweater I would get with that yardage. So I asked myself which parts of the sweater were most important to me — a completed yoke and a comfortable sleeve length — and approached casting on from there. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On, joined in the round, to knit the yoke first followed by the sleeves. I could then dedicate the remaining yarn to finishing the body. I ran out of yarn a little prematurely, and I was worried that it might be too short, but I blocked aggressively and the length actually feels quite appropriate.

I made on-the-fly changes to the collar, using short rows to shape the collar so that it would sort of frame the chin. I was kind of hoping for a stand-up collar effect, but it kind of flops awkwardly in the back, so I usually wear it folded down. I’ve considered picking out the bind off and redoing the collar, but i’m going to see if the collar will grow on me as-is.


Pattern: Carbeth
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Blue Bayou)
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I matched the gauge of the mustard version with my second Carbeth, for which I had exactly five skeins of yarn set aside. Again, I knit the largest pattern size, but this time I knit it from the top down, beginning with a stretchy ribbed cast on and a short crewneck-type collar. I added some short rows to the back of the neck, just to raise it slightly and make it easier to differentiate between the front and back of the sweater.

In order to use up all of my yarn, I switched to the sleeves after finishing the yoke. Once both sleeves were complete, I switched to knitting the body bottom-up, again using a stretchy ribbed cast on. I added short rows to the hem to lengthen the back slightly, then I worked the body until I basically ran out of yarn. I left a yarn tail four times the circumference of the body and used kitchener stitch to invisibly sew the top and bottom pieces together.

I really like both sweaters. The fabric is lovely — a good balance of soft but slightly scratchy. I might like the blue Carbeth slightly more, if only because I was able to approach it with greater intention having already knit the first.

Radiate

FO: Radiate

Pattern: Radiate
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Evergreen, Mean Mr. Mustard)
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And here are the images to go along with another post from this past winter, FO: Radiate.

Radiate

At the time, this was the first sweater I had knit with Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mewesic yarn, which I had purchased at 40% off when Heritage Woolery closed their doors. I’ve since knit two more sweaters in it — a pair of modified Carbeths — and I’ve got to say: I really like the finished fabric. Soft while keeping some of its rustic qualities. Responds well to aggressive blocking. Nice colors.

Hopefully I’ll have those Carbeth images ready to post later this week.

Arboreal

FO: Arboreal

Pattern: Arboreal
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (Parkin, Coal)
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As of today, it’s been ten months since my tibial plateau fracture, and I recently realized that my knee has recovered enough that I can now crouch awkwardly on the floor for long enough to block a knitted thing! Let the blocking begin!

These are the images that go with my last blog post, FO: Arboreal.

Arboreal

FO: Arboreal

Pattern: Arboreal
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (Parkin, Coal)
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Yesterday I mentioned that I finished my Arboreal sweater while I was in rehab. This project traveled with me to the hospital. It laid by my side after my surgery, even though I didn’t work on it. And it went to rehab with me, where I finally had the energy to start knitting again. It was very satisfying to finish this on the final night that I was there. Very time-to-start-a-new-chapter like.

Unfortunately, I can’t really take a full picture of it to show off the yoke, because taking pictures involves a degree of mobility that I currently lack. However, it’s lovely, and I’m looking forward to wearing it this winter.

As usual, I eliminated the waist shaping and picked up extra stitches for the sleeves.

Radiate Pullover

FO: Radiate

Pattern: Radiate
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic (Evergreen, Mean Mr. Mustard)
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I got home from rehab last Friday, 29 December. The night before, I had finished my Arboreal sweater, so, as far as I was concerned, I was free to start a new project. Nevermind the lingering shawl and mitten and blanket projects already in existence.

So I cast on Radiate that evening. Because the pattern happened to be at the top of my Ravelry queue. Because the yarn was within easy reach, and I still can’t walk unassisted. And I knitted away at it for a week.

And last night, I bound off the last stitch. I don’t think I’m a particularly fast knitter, but I had a lot of time to knit last week, and I was very single-minded about this task.

I’m quite pleased with the finished object. The yarn feels lovely and durable. The yoke pattern was very intuitive. And the fit is perfect. I didn’t follow the pattern for the sleeves, instead opting to go my own way, which usually involves picking up extra stitches and decreasing less, as I don’t like narrow / close-fitting sleeves. I also eliminated the waist shaping, because I like generous, boxy sweaters.