FO: Babies Sophisticate

Babies Sophisticate
Pattern: Baby & Child Sophisticate
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight (left: Evergreen, Avocado; right: Indigo Heather, Seraphim)
View My Ravelry Project #1 / View My Ravelry Project #2

Baby Sophisticate is a fun, quick pattern. I chose it because I wanted a cute, mostly stockinette cardigan in a variety of sizes that I could customize with mosaic knitting. I used the charts from the Rusted Roof Shawl and Walk in the Woods.

In addition to the obvious addition of mosaic knitting, I also cast on two additional stitches, which I used for a slip stitch edge while working the garments. I then picked up the collar stitches from the slip stitch and cast on edges at a ratio of 1:1, because I’m a #lazyknitter and instructions like “pick up 1 sts for each garter stitch ridge, 3 sts for every 4 rows along sweater sides and 1 st for each cast on st around left edge” make me cringe. I’m happy with how both collars turned out.

If I did this again (and I might), I’d probably play around with the mosaic patterns a bit more. For the green version in particular, I should have added a stitch at the center back so that the fronts would be even. I also could have removed one mosaic repeat in favor of longer horizontal stripes in the front. I don’t totally love the way the fronts look on the green Sophisticate. But on the whole, I’m pleased with how these turned out.


Baby Knits for June

I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, nor do I think this is even necessarily possible, but I’ve decided to set aside my personal knitting this month in order to focus on baby knits. Because there are several patterns I’ve wanted to knit for awhile, and my boyfriend’s sister is due towards the end of June. In theory, I’ll finish those two WIPs pictured above and transform all of that yarn into sweaters and maybe a diaper cover. Plus a cardigan sized to fit a four-year-old.

On one hand, it seems a little too ambitious. I work 46 hours a week, and I don’t have an abundance of spare time. On the other hand, I can usually finish a three to six-month sweater in about two days, if I don’t have any major distractions. But I’m also going camping for six days later this month, which will provide me with lots of free time while simultaneously diverting some of my attention away from my usual activities. (I’ll be without my bicycle for six days!)

Baby Knits for June

But rather than thinking about what I could accomplish or typing about what I’d like to do, I should probably just be knitting. (And in fact, I’ve completed half of this sleeve while not so carefully considering my words for this post.)

WIP Summary: May 2017

Find Your Fade
Pattern: Find Your Fade
Yarn: Madelinetosh Euro Sock (Antler, Havana [Minimal / Optic], Crudo, Burnished)

If I had to pick a “WIP of the month,” it would probably be my Find Your Fade. I’ve been chipping away at this very consistently since I cast on and, on Monday, while I sat on a lawn chair at an annual Memorial Day party, I finally reached the point in the pattern where the increases and decreases cancel each other out (Section Seven). I’m on my fourth color of six and seem to be at approximately the halfway point.

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

Gull Island was my second most-worked-on project this month, however it’s still just 3/4 of a sleeve and most of a body. I’m still have one or two inches left on the body before I set it aside to finish the sleeves and join all of my stockinette tubes. I would like to see this project finished before the end of June, but I’m not sure how serious I am about this goal.

Pattern: Coloring
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Wensleydale Gems DK (Jet)

This is probably the project I’m most in need of, but I worked on it the least this month. I keep switching between knitting the sleeves two-at-a-time and working them separately, unable to decide which method I prefer for this particular project. (I generally prefer knitting sleeves simultaneously.) Despite my indecision, I somehow managed to half-complete both sleeves, and I’m hoping to buckle down and put a big dent in this project next month. I suspect I won’t be finished with it by the end of June.

Baby Sophisticate
Pattern: Baby & Child Sophisticate
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight (Indigo Heather, Seraphim)

I cast on this little three-month-sized cardigan yesterday afternoon. My boyfriend’s sister is due next month, and I’ve been squeezing in baby sweaters throughout May. (Hence the slow progress on my own sweaters.) I actually knit two Flax sweaters this month — both of which still require finishing — as well as a Miel cardigan. This Baby Sophisticate has some mosaic work on the back, but I don’t love it. More on that in a later post.

Seasmoke is still languishing on my needles. It’s ignored, but not entirely forgotten. Instead of working on it this month, I impulsively cast on a Cameo Flower shawl, which I’ve enjoyed working on. Currently, I only work on it on Saturdays, and only on the foul-weather Saturdays, so it too has recently come to a bit of a standstill, but I might move this into my at-home rotation in order to get it off my needles.

#stEEkal: Prompt #3: Snip Your Knits

So, this morning I snipped my swatches. I reinforced all of the soon-to-be edges with a fingering weight 100% wool yarn that was hanging out in my stash, and then I picked up my scissors and cut into my knitting. It was all rather straightforward and easy and not at all the anxiety-filled moment I thought it might be. Either I reinforced my stitches correctly, or I didn’t. Either my swatches would unravel, or they wouldn’t.

They didn’t.

#stEEkal - Steeked Swatches

I am, however, not entirely convinced that I did it correctly, because the entire process seemed too simple. Surely, it can not be that easy. I must have done something wrong. Except my swatches are intact. I tug on them, and everything (more or less) stays in place.

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This is the first of the two hand sewn swatches. I reviewed this tutorial before I got started. The steek stitches were knit in a checkerboard pattern, and I sewed down the center of the fourth and fifth stitches. I also cut between these stitches. Of the three swatches, the edges on this swatch seem least stable. The cut stitches seem like they could come loose quite easily. I do, however, like that the edges look neat.

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This is the second hand sewn swatch. This time, I reinforced the center of the third and sixth stitches while cutting between the fourth and fifth. The steek stitches were also knit in vertical stripes. I definitely prefer the vertical stripes, which were easier to see when I was sewing the back stitch. Initially, I didn’t think I liked the excess yarn ends, which result from moving the reinforced stitches further away from the cut line, but the edges seem more stable.

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Finally, here’s my swatch that uses the crocheted reinforcement, which follows Kate Davies’ tutorial. This would probably be the easiest of the two methods, except that I have two left hands once you put a crochet hook in one of them. The cut edges are definitely stretchiest using this approach, but I wonder what all of that stretch means for the snipped stitches over time.

I think I’m going to explore Kate Davies’ steek sandwich as a way of further reinforcing and hiding the cut edges. The Fusion cardigan — my end goal — has picked-up front button bands, but the steek sandwich could be too bulky for that application. I definitely have some more experimenting and swatching to do before I cast on for Fusion.

#stEEkal: Prompt #2: Preop

I finished knitting my #stEEkal swatches on Saturday afternoon. Since I work all day on Monday, I’ll be doing the reinforcement and snipping my knits on Tuesday, but here are my “preop” swatches.

The top left swatch uses the Fusion chart minus one background color. It has eight steek stitches, which are knitted in a checkerboard pattern. I’m planning to reinforce the edge stitches using the sewn method, since that’s what the Fusion pattern calls for. I’m planning to do the sewing by hand.

The bottom right uses a chart I made in Google Sheets moments before I began knitting the swatch. As I’m planning to try the crochet method of reinforcement, this swatch has five steek stitches.

The third swatch is also a chart I threw together in Google Sheets. It has eight steek stitches knitted in vertical stripes. I will again hand sew the fabric to reinforce the steeked edges. I made this swatch to see if there’s a difference between knitting the steek stitches in a checkerboard pattern vs. stripes.

#stEEkal: Prompt #1: Swatch n’ Steek

One of the things I want to do this year is to learn to steek, with my goal being to knit the Fusion cardigan by Elizabeth McCarten. And conveniently, Shannon Cook, Caitlin Hunter, and Drea Renee are hosting a steek-along.

I was at work the day that the KAL was announced, so I’m posting this a few days late, but here’s a picture of the yarn I’m using to knit my swatch, along with my scissors. I dug into my stash and pulled out some leftover Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and Valley Yarns Northampton, which I’ll use to knit the Fusion chart. The pattern actually calls for sport-weight yarn, but for the purposes of learning, I’ve decided to go with worsted.

The other thing worth noting is that while I’d love to learn the crochet method of steeking, Fusion calls for the sewn method, and I’ll be sticking closely to the pattern and knitting eight steek stitches. I’m also curious about whether there’s a difference between knitting a checkerboard or striped pattern in the steek stitches, so I might knit a few swatches.

FO: Freesia Shawl

Freesia Shawl
Pattern: Freesia Shawl
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (Larch Heather)
View My Ravelry Project

Finishing this shawl makes me want to knit all the lacy fingering-weight shawls. I rarely knit them, but they’re immensely satisfying when I finally complete them. And the last four that I’ve knit, I’ve given away. But this one is mine.

Needless to say, I’m very pleased with this shawl. I used yarn from my stash. Yarn that I purchased in August 2013. It matches my winter coat and my favorite not-knitted winter hat, both of which are somewhat masculine in appearance. I wanted something lacy (but not too lacy) and army green to wear with them. This is that thing.

Freesia Shawl

The garter stitch body was wonderfully unfussy, and the applied lace edging was eventually memorable. I chipped away at it rather inconsistently while working on other projects, and the garter section took me six days, whereas the edging took me 22 days.

The only change I made was knitting the  Left Leaning Decrease  as ssp on the wrong side. (The chart legend defines that symbol as ssk, period.)