Off the Needles

I am woefully behind on sharing my most recent finished objects.  You know they aren’t really finished until someone wears or takes a photo of them, right?

One morning this week before opening, I did a little photo shoot inside Stash.  I can only imagine what people thought as they walked by the window and saw me laying back on the sofa taking photos of my feet.  Oh well; knittas be crazy.

Then I played around taking photos of my reflection in all the mirrors in the shop.  Also crazy fun!

This was a really fun project, and it has sort of started me on a hat kick.  I’m thinking Slable next.

Hope you’re having a fun weekend, perhaps even finishing up a project of your own!

Work Knitting

I’ve been knitting again!  Granted, I never really stopped knitting, but there was some ennui, a certain indifference toward my knitting in the past couple of months.  Yarn yarn everywhere and not an urge to knit!

So now, as I have the opportunity to sit back and look at all the yarn around me all day, I am feeling inspired again.  One of the yarns that has been calling out to me since I put it on the shelf just had to be a hat. I could no longer resist the call of Scorched Lime.

I’ve been knitting this at work, and for the most part it is going quickly and smoothly.  There have been a few times where I was certain a grave error had been made, when in reality it was just my own inability to count.  Is seems to be smooth sailing now as I have the pattern (from Weekend Hats) memorized.

Are you able to knit at work? Do you have to be sneaky or are able to knit out in the open during meetings and lunch breaks?

Happy weekending, everyone!

The Great Green Giveaway

Happy Forest colorway, worsted weight, 250 yards

Thank you for all the positive feedback on the Climbing Vines Pullover!  I think overall it was a successful knit, due in large part to the gorgeous yarn it was knit in.  To me, the vibrant, verdant greens in the Happy Forest colorway speak of spring and all the new growth that it brings.  Those tones and thoughts really kept me knitting through the dark winter days and challenging moments of the project!

Good news– I have an entire luscious skein of Dream in Color Classy leftover. In the interest of sharing the green goodness and having a little interactive fun, I propose we have a giveaway. The winner shall receive this yarn, plus a couple of surprise goodies.

How to win? Simple: just leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite green thing(s).  It could be a place, a yarn, food, color, scent, anything! Leave your comment by midnight PST on Friday March 4th, and I will randomly choose a winner over the weekend.

FO: Climbing Vines Pullover

Well, it took me from November to finish this sweater, but I did it!  I was beginning to think it would be one of those seasonal knits that gets finished just in time to wave winter goodbye, but we’ve had a return to the cold temps so a wool sweater has been a necessity.  My little family spent some time playing in the backyard this weekend and Sweetie snapped these shots in the lovely morning light.

  • Pattern: Climbing Vines Pullover by Joelle Meier Rioux from Interweave Knits Winter 2008 (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in the Happy Forest colorway, 4 skeins (approx 1000 yards)
  • Needles: US 7 & 8/4.5-5mm
  • Mods: Added length to the body and sleeves.  See Ravelry notes.

What can I say about this project? I learned so much along the way, it’s hard to know where to begin.  Let’s start with what I love about it: the simple shaping, scoopneck, and leaf motif.  That’s why I chose the pattern in the first place. I think it’s a very wearable piece that looks good over a t-shirt, tank, or even a button-down shirt as it was shown in IK.

The yarn and colorway are stunning and lovely to work with.  Classy is a sturdy, superwash merino that produces smashing stockinette and makes those leaf motifs pop.  It’s also soft enough to wear against your skin.  I did not choose to alternate skeins, and was happy with how the color looks over the whole sweater.  Cheerful!

Brrr...need more wool...

It is a fairly straightforward knit, but my inexperience in knitting a sweater in pieces psyched me out, and I did a lot of second-guessing; this is probably why it took me so long to finish.  In fact, the knitting has been done for weeks, the pieces blocked and waiting for me to gather up the gumption to tackle the seaming.  Seems like a shame, now that I’ve done it and realized there was nothing to fear!  I took a lot of time and care getting the seams just right, but still ended up with some bunching at the shoulders.

I did encounter a few tricky bits during the making up of this sweater.  My first flub came way back at the beginning when deciding on sizing.  I had a 38″ bust at the time (subsequent weight loss only ads to the following misstep).  The sweater appeared to have very little positive ease built in, and I wanted something that would work as a layering piece.  The sizing options were such that I felt compelled to knit the size 42″ instead 38″ bust.  This ended up working out for me in the hips, but being large everywhere else. I didn’t make the connection that as I was adding length to the body, I could have also removed length and/or width from other areas, essentially creating a hybrid of more than one size sweater.  I’m comfortable making these types of modifications in top-down raglan style pullovers, but didn’t know how to go about it with the sweater in pieces.

In the interest of being totally transparent, let me show you what I’m talking about:

Too much positive ease, armhole too tall, wonky shoulder seams

My hand indicates where my actual underarm is...

Remember, knitting is not homework, but it can be helpful to do your homework before you start knitting.  Here are a few tips I learned on this project:

  • Have someone help you take measurements of your body.
  • Knit a swatch.  Wash and block this swatch.  That way there will be no surprises after you’ve spent hours and hours knitting a sweater to your measurements, only to find it outgrow them when wet.
  • Don’t be intimidated by new techniques.  There are loads of resources out there to help you tackle them, from resource books, helpful videos, and generous knitting group friends.  Seaming is nothing to fear!
  • Just because your bust is one size doesn’t mean the rest of your body is.  I’m a classic pear shape with a long torso and slight shoulders.  Choosing to knit a size based on my bust measurement and my desire for positive ease left me with a too-large armhole and shoulder.
  • Customize the fit where you can.  Having knit a couple of tops with my long torso in mind, I knew I would have to add at least 2 inches to this sweater to get a comfortable length.  I also added a couple of inches to the sleeves to make them full length.

In case you’re a novice sweater seamer like I am, here are some resources I found helpful on my journey.

And when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to take your bag of sweater pieces to knit night and ask for help and support.  This is what I finally did, and it gave me that final push I needed to get finished.  Thanks, Laia!

When the Official FO photo shoot ended, I joined PB in the garden for some exploration and compost churning.  It was chilly, but Spring is definitely in the air.

frozen Brussel sprout, anyone?

Have a great day today, and come back tomorrow for a little giveaway!