Posts by Julia

I’m a transportation cyclist and knitter. I love steel bicycles, wool yarn, and loud music.

FO: Arboreal

Pattern: Arboreal
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (Parkin, Coal)
View My Ravelry Project

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.

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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.

Knitting Goals for 2018

This year felt like an uphill battle, and my knitting ebbed and flowed as I dealt with all of the obstacles and disappointments of 2017. Despite the lulls, I completed 32 projects, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll finish Arboreal before the year is up. So really, not a bad year for knitting, even if everything else sucked.

I didn’t get to check off many of my 2017 goals. I steeked three swatches, but I decided against knitting a whole cardigan. I didn’t attempt a pieced sweater. Neither did I knit seventeen shawls this year. Maybe I’ll do these things in 2018. Maybe I won’t.

But I did continue assembling a me-made wardrobe. I finished knitting eight sweaters for myself this year — not counting Arboreal. Something about that is kind of incredible. And I have several sweater-quantities of yarn in my stash, so it looks like 2018 will continue this trend. But it would be nice to make something other than sweaters. (I’m toying with the idea of learning to sew.)

Next year, I’d also like to take another stab at brioche. I started something on Christmas Eve 2016, but never got very far with it. I have some yarn set aside for brioche projects, and maybe I’ll revisit this in the forthcoming year.

In 2018, I’d also like to buy less yarn. I have so much yarn! And so little space. My bedroom is a labyrinth of bicycles and fiber-filled bins. So I’d like to knit out of my stash for at least the first six months of the year.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2018. If you feel like sharing, what are your knitting goals for 2018?

Rehab Knitting

Unfortunately, I’m not here to share a lovely knitted object that I’ve recently started or finished. In truth, I’ve knitted very little this month.

On 2 December, while I was biking home from work like I do every day, I was struck by another cyclist and ended up in the ER with a tibial plateau fracture, which required open knee surgery.

I brought my knitting with me to the hospital, but recovering from surgery and the process of rehabilitating my knee has been exhausting. It’s difficult. It hurts. And I’m always so damn tired. So I didn’t knit in the hospital.

Last week I was discharged to a sub acute rehab facility, which isn’t as good as home, but it’s better than the hospital, and I can get the assistance and daily PT that I need right now. A couple nights ago, I finally had enough energy to pick up my knitting, and I was able to finish the body on my Arboreal sweater. Hopefully it’s the right length. It’s hard to judge these things when you can’t stand up in front of a mirror. Yesterday I started the sleeves. I’m sort of knitting them two-at-a-time. I’m using two needles, but my plan is to knit to the decrease round on one and then do the same on the other sleeve, repeat to cuff. This is how I ended up knitting the sleeves on my Coloring cardigan, and I liked it. For socks and mittens and other paired things, I think I still prefer the classic two-at-a-time method, but it seems easier to gauge my progress on sleeves when I keep them on separate needles.

I also have my Schwarm shawl — my apologies for the lack of links, but I’m doing this on my iPhone. I started that back in September, and the pattern is easy to remember, and the texture is quite lovely, but I keep putting it aside for other projects. (I also probably should have gone up a needle size, but there’s no turning back now, as I’m already on my second ball of yarn.) I have several sweater quantities of yarn at home, and I’m kind of itching to start those projects, but I’d like to see Schwarm completed before spring.

So that’s where I’m at. I can’t really take pictures. Not nice ones, at any rate. And I won’t be able to block anything until I’m off crutches, which might be another three months. I’m frustrated that I can’t ride my bicycle this winter, as this is my favorite time of the year for riding. I’m sad and angry that after such an emotionally challenging summer, this is how 2017 is wrapping up. But I’m not in a body bag. And at least I can still knit.

Gull Island

FO: Gull Island

Pattern: Gull Island
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Llama Una (Black Dahlia)
View My Ravelry Project

I meant to block this. I’m usually very good about blocking knits, and I actually really enjoy that final step in the process of knitting a new thing.

But, after finishing this sweater on 8 October, it sat, neatly folded, on the corner of my desk for weeks. Over a month. Nearly two. And at that point, I decided to just start wearing it. Because it’s incredibly soft and quite warm, and I really like a good henley.

So I’ve been wearing it with all of the slight imperfections that disappear with a good wet block in plain sight, and I’ve accepted that it’s simply not going to get blocked until I wash it for the first time. Sometime next year. Probably. I’m kind of expecting it to grow, which is okay, because I like my sweaters kind of oversized.

Gull Island

I vaguely recall not loving knitting with this yarn, but honestly, I worked on this project for such a long time that I can’t really remember the details. I do remember that this project underscored that I don’t like bottom-up sweaters. But the yarn — it might have shed more than I wanted it to? Perhaps it was ever so slightly splitty? Who knows. It’s presently lovely, and I have only good thoughts about it.

Bromley

FO: Bromley

Pattern: Bromley
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed (Ash)
View My Ravelry Project

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been telling my mother that I’d knit her a hat. She’s a very picky person, and it was difficult finding a hat pattern that she liked. So I didn’t produce a hat last winter, nor this summer, and then suddenly it was late fall, and I wanted to be able to bring her a hat on Thanksgiving.

Bromley, with its subtle texture and beret-like shape, seemed like something she’d like. (She’s a hard person to please.) I didn’t end up loving the process of knitting it, but eventually I found my rhythm, and I finished knitting it yesterday (Thanksgiving) morning. The cabled texture was kind of hard to capture in a picture, but I think it looks nice.

Bromley

The crown shaping was a giant pain in the ass though. Twice because I wasn’t reading the directions. Once because I was reading the directions, and I simply didn’t like what I saw. So I went a bit off the pattern for the crown shaping. Instead of starting each decrease section with a k2tog, I knit an ssk and ended with a k2tog. And then I worked the left and right cables based on what appeared in the previous rows.

It worked out perfectly, and I’m not at all convinced that there’s a problem with the pattern, because who knows, maybe I made a mistake in my setup, which caused the crown shaping to not really work for me.

Strokkur #2

So Long, Strokkur

Like, I imagine, many knitters, I have a lot of handknit sweaters. I also have very limited space. This year alone, I’ve added seven sweaters to my wardrobe, plus a sweater vest. And I’m in the middle of Arboreal. And I have yarn set aside for several other sweaters. I’m pretty sure that I’ve crossed the line into Too Many Sweaters.

In theory, it’d be nice to give away a sweater for each new sweater I make, but I know that’s not going to happen. Even if, for example, my Fireside Pullover doesn’t get worn very often, I like it a lot. I’m not ready to give it away. But there are a couple that I don’t feel especially attached to, like my black and gold Strokkur, which I finished last November.

Strokkur

I actually got a lot of wear out of this last winter, but I want to keep my Swans Island Strokkur. Plus I have two other Léttlopi sweaters, and at least one more on the way. This was kind of an obvious choice. I have a coworker, who is approximately the same size as me, so with any luck, it’ll be #newsweaterday for Jamie tomorrow.