Posts by Julia

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

FO: Gull Island

Pattern: Gull Island
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Llama Una (Black Dahlia)
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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.

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Bromley

FO: Bromley

Pattern: Bromley
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed (Ash)
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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.

Erie Hat

FO: Erie Hat

Pattern: Erie Hat
Yarn: Stone Wool Romney + Merino (Quartz 03)
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Another simple ribbed hat in another yarn from Stone Wool.

I followed the pattern with three minor exceptions: I did a long tail tubular cast on; I didn’t begin the decreases until I had knit 8″; and after the final decrease round, I did one additional round of k2tog.

I’d like to think that I’ll block this before I wear it, except that I’ll probably wear it tonight.

Pom Pom It!

FO: Pom Pom It!

Pattern: Pom Pom It!
Yarn: Stone Wool Cormo Worsted (Tobacco 03)
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I had every intention of blocking this, but then it briefly got quite cold, and this cozy hat was the first thing I grabbed. I wore it on my bicycle, I wore it while I worked, and then I stopped caring whether it was blocked. Maybe in the spring.

I’ve knit myself a lot of hats, but I can never seem to knit one that I like on my own head. But this one — I like it. I skipped the pom pom, because I’ve realized that, while I like poms, they make it harder to stuff hats in coat pockets and overstuffed bags. I also skipped the twisted rib, because I was feeling lazy and I had already done a non-twisted tubular cast on. (I actually think twisted rib looks a lot nicer than regular rib.)

Really, you don’t need a pattern to knit something like this, but knowing a number of stitches to cast on using which needles and what weight of yarn is useful. And I appreciate that Stephen West is giving this information out for free.

Arboreal

WIP: Arboreal

If this pattern combined with these colors doesn’t say #fallknits, I don’t know what does.

I cast on my Arboreal sweater on Thursday morning, which is actually my Sunday, and I finished the yoke chart on actual Sunday morning (my Wednesday) before I headed off to work. The chart is rather easy to follow, but I can also be very single-minded about certain projects and tasks, so I just kind of plowed through it. And with the brief short row section complete, I can now mindlessly knit through the body and sleeves.

Initially I wasn’t going to start this sweater yet. There’s a Lopi sweater I was going make first, but then I saw a hat that I want to make with leftovers of this lovely Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. But that means I need leftover yarn. Which means I need to knit this sweater.

So here I am: knitting this sweater.

Pattern: Arboreal
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (Parkin, Coal)
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Milliken

FO: Milliken

Pattern: Milliken
Yarn: Mountain Meadow Wool Sheridan (Prairie)
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This is one of the first yarns I purchased, once I decided that I was going to start wearing colors. Sure, I have a couple of stranded sweaters that aren’t black, but now I’m wearing blue jeans and non-black work pants and earth-toned flannels. (Plus my standard black tee, as some things do not change.) All of this is a lot of color by my standards, and I like it. And it means that’s a wide variety of yarns that are available to me now, like naturally dyed yarns or American and British wools that often don’t come in black.

So when I saw that Heritage Woolery would be closing its doors in December, I jumped at the opportunity to buy a generously discounted pile of 100% American-made yarn in non-black colors. The “Prairie” colorway, slightly more olive green than the pictures show, of this Mountain Meadow bulky yarn was especially attractive to me, and I purchased a vest-quantity of it.

Milliken

Initially, my plans were to knit a different Elizabeth Smith-designed vest, but the Quince & Co. “Arctic” collection was published not long after I made my yarn purchase, and I really like the simple design of Milliken. This is actually the third pattern I’ve knit by Elizabeth Smith, so there’s definitely something about her designs that speak to me.

The vest is intended to have 9″ positive ease, but that’s a lot of ease — too much, I thought. So I knit the 40″ size, which, after blocking, was in fact 40″ wide. I added an inch or two to the body, because there are few things I dislike more than feeling like I’m pulling on the hem of a sweater all day, because it’s too short. In retrospect, I could have made this longer, but since it’s a thick fabric, I might end up being happy with this length when I’m riding my bicycle.

The only big change that I made to the pattern was to extend the slipped stitch and garter motif into the cowl neck. I also shortened the collar, because an abundance of fabric around the neck will definitely become too warm on my bike.

Very pleased with how this turned out, and it looks like I might be able to wear it tomorrow, as the weather report is currently predicting a high of 37°F and a low of 26°F. (Maybe it’s also time to shut my bedroom windows.) That’s definitely cozy woolen vest weather.