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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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.

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.

Gable

FO: Gable Sweater

Pattern: Gable
Yarn: unknown fingering, 100% animal fiber
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So, it’s been awhile. I had a pretty horrible summer, and a lot of things in my life changed. And it got so bad that I stopped knitting. Then I moved. And now I have a different job with normalish hours, which leaves me time to knit, which I resumed doing in earnest in September. I’ve actually finished a few projects since the end of July: Find Your Fade, my Palmyre shawl, an Overskyet shawl, my Coloring cardigan, and finally the Gull Island henley, which still needs to be blocked and will likely end up in a post here.

But today, I’m sharing my recently completed Gable.

Gable

A couple notes about the pattern: the sweater is constructed from the bottom up, but I’ve never enjoyed knitting sweaters that way. I’ve done it. And when I cast on for Gable, I had actually just finished Gull Island, also bottom-up. So I was kind of bottom-up’ed out. Instead, I decided to knit Gable from the top down, basically reversing all of the instructions until I completed the yoke, at which point I could knit the body on auto-pilot.

This worked really well for me. I’m incredibly pleased with my decision, because I’d probably still be working on this if I had started with the body and sleeves separately followed by the yoke. I might have also had issues with the fit, because I’m part of the #noswatchclub. I did have to shorten the yoke to fit my measurements.

Gable

As far as the yarn goes, it was gifted to me last November by a friend, who had had it in her stash for years. The labels are long gone, but the bleach test revealed that it was 100% animal fiber. It feels like wool. Very scratchy wool. I don’t think it’ll ever be a next-to-skin garment, but I’m quite looking forward to wearing it as an outer layer. It seems like it would be a durable fabric.

Anyway, I do believe that “I’m back.” I missed knitting, and I’m glad that I’m doing it again. Another recent change is I decided to stop wearing all black all the time, which has opened up entirely new yarns and designs to me. It’s very exciting, and I have some sweaters in my queue that I’m really looking forward to working on this winter. But more on that later.

FO: Miel

Miel
Pattern: Miel
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer (Lupine)
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I finished knitting my second Miel cardigan on Saturday. In the bright sun, it’s surprisingly difficult to photograph, and the shade is no better. But the sweater is nice, and hopefully purple is still the favorite color of the four-year-old Vivian, who is receiving this on Thursday.

Miel
Miel

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.