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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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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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.

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.)

FO: Miel

Miel
Miel
Pattern: Miel
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer (Limoncello)
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My boyfriend’s sister is expecting her second child later this month, so knitting for the tiniest of humans has been back on my radar again. (I knit her first child seven sweaters before she was one.) I have a handful of patterns already picked out, but as soon as I saw Miel in my “Pattern Highlights,” I had to make it, and these two hanks of this Northfield yarn, which had been kicking around my stash for almost two years, seemed well suited for the pattern.

The day I cast on, I knitted to an inch and a half or so past dividing the body and sleeves. It is apparently an astonishingly fast pattern. I can’t decide if it was the combination of yarn and pattern or if I’ve somehow become a fast (English style) knitter, but this cardigan seemed to knit itself. I finished the body in a couple hours over the next two days. The sleeves materialized before me while I played board games and drank beer on Saturday night.

Miel

Not only was this a fast project, it was really enjoyable. The cardigan itself looks impressive, as, in my opinion, cables always do, but it’s also simply a pleasant, intuitive pattern. It’s the type of project you can multitask while working on. You can drink beer. You can play board games with friends. You can wait in line while you knit. You can watch TV and have conversations. And then you look down and see that, instead of needles and yarn, you’re now holding a sweater.

I think I like this yarn too. I’m curious to see how it wears, as some people complained about pilling on Ravelry. I already have plans to knit another — possibly two — in Northfield. We have friends with two young daughters, and I’d like to make their oldest a cardigan in the 4yo size. And I think my boyfriend’s niece will receive one of these when she turns two later this month. And really, that is, I think, one of the signs of a really good pattern: planning the next project before the first is off the needles.

WIP Summary: April 2017

April was kind of a busy month. What with all of the madness at work, I completely forgot that I had made those steek swatches! And it took me two weeks to finally make it over to my LYS to pick up the yarn they special ordered for my Fusion cardi! (And truthfully, I brought it home this past Tuesday and haven’t had a moment to even line the hanks up and confirm that my colorway looks how I pictured it would.)

But I also completed a few projects and — naturally — I started some new ones.

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

This pattern is written for sport-weight yarn, and this West Yorkshire Spinners yarn is supposed to be DK, but it seems more like something that fluctuates between fingering and sport. So I decided to take a chance and cast on a Coloring cardi. This is probably one of those times I should have swatched, but I didn’t. Because I almost never do. So fingers are crossed for this project. Right now, I’m working the sleeves two-at-a-time, then I’ll finish the body. If I have enough yarn left, I’ll probably work a vertical button band.

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

This was the project I had in mind when I purchased the West Yorkshire Spinners yarn, but it’s definitely the wrong weight for this pattern. Since I’m between sizes, I’m knitting one of the sleeves first, and from that I’ll determine my gauge and figure out how many stitches to cast on for the body. The Llama Una is very soft, which makes me worry about pilling, and it also feels light and airy too. The fabric is quite nice, but I do wonder how it’ll wear.

Palmyre
Pattern: Palmyre
Yarn: Madelinetosh Farm Twist (Oeste)

And, because I’m rarely without a quick and easy shawl project, last night I cast on Palmyre with some Farm Twist that I just got in the mail the other day. I’m curious to see how this yarn looks as it turns into shawl.


Seasmoke is also still on my needles (and still unphotographed) but I don’t think I’ve touched it in a month and a half. I’d like to move it back into my active WIP rotation in May. This also reminds me that I have a few 2016 WIPs languishing on my needles — a couple since last July — and I need to make some finish-or-frog decisions.

FO: Meadow Road

Meadow Road
Pattern: Meadow Road
Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo (Black)
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What a busy month! As a purchaser at a record store, I was swamped at work leading up to Record Store Day, so I wasn’t able to knit as much as I would have liked to this month, but 22 April has come and gone, and I was finally able to complete my Meadow Road pullover on 24 April! My goal was to finish it in time for the spring, and I’ve definitely accomplished that.

According to my Ravelry project page, I started this on 9 January, but I worked on it very sporadically at first. This pullover can definitely be knit in fewer than three months. The center pattern is incredibly intuitive and easy to memorize, and it’s otherwise just lots of stockinette. Lemon squeezy, as they say.

Meadow Road
Meadow Road

Meadow Road is the pattern that made me love twisted ribbing. I really like how it makes those columns of knits and purls so neat and tidy. The hem on the body is only twisted on the knit stitches, but when I worked the cuffs and the neckband, I twisted the purl stitches too.

And speaking of the cuffs and neckband, I made some changes to the original pattern, which called for gathered sleeves and reverse stockinette edging. I omitted both of these. Working the sleeves two-at-a-time, I continued decreasing to what seemed like an appropriate width, and then I added 8 rounds of ribbing before binding off loosely. For the neckband, I picked up either 132 or 134 stitches and again worked 8 rounds of ribbing. I didn’t change my needle size.

I’m very happy with how my Meadow Road turned out. In my experience, Arroyo grows in length and, to a lesser degree, width, and this ended up being the perfect size after blocking. It ends a couple inches below my hip and is has a comfortable / casual fit throughout the body and sleeves.