Tag Archives: FO

Essex Junction

Ah…. Fall. Sweater dress weather.

Essex Junction hero

This is Essex Junction, my newest pattern – my contribution to the All Aboard! collection released just in time for Rhinebeck. As always, please favorite and queue it on Ravelry.

This one has been a long time coming! It was last february that a bunch of us designers decided to release a collection of sweater dresses. I knew then I wanted something with a color work yoke. I knew by April it was going to be another take on the modified raglan shape I used in Stammel. And I’ve been itching to do some serious corrugated ribbing for about that long too.

essex junction hems

Sourcing the yarn took a bit longer. I knew I wanted worsted or aran weight yarn. I knew I wanted either a variegated yarn, or a whole lot of solid colors. I considered a lot of brands but couldn’t find anything that really fit the bill until I asked twitter. That’s when Laura from The Unique Sheep let me know they dye their gradience sets in heavier weight yarns. Perfect.

This dress uses a semi-solid for the body (the Dove colorway) and a gradience set for the CC’s (Black Daylilly) which means just those two colorways provide all the colors in this dress. If you’re subbing yarns in you’ll need approximately equal amounts of at least four different colors for the chart.

essex junction shoulder

Once I had the yarn in hand the design came quickly and easily. I swatched and researched my little sleeve peeries. Some complicated math came into play to figure out how to make that chart fit the yoke in all sizes. But the knitting went quickly. I don’t remember much frogging at all… In spite of the long sleeves I think you’ll find this a quick knit!

essex junction back

The collection, All Aboard! Features six dresses from six different designers. I love them all and wish I had time to actually knit them all… If you’re a sweater dress person too – consider the collection, it’s an amazing deal!

All Aboard cover

Wine mitts

Here’s a project that has been languishing for months. I picked up this gorgeous skein or aran weight merino from Periwinkle Sheep at Rhinebeck last fall.

wine mitt mug

I cast on for the mitts in late winter, and was probably done knitting them by March.

wine mitt relaxed

So why, oh why, did I wait until August to weave in the ends?!? Who knows. But they’re done, finally. I squeezed in some photos yesterday afternoon while the light was good.

wine mitt close

Two mitts, long and cozy, with slightly offset cables. I love these little cables, the bigger twists are offset by little tight twists. The hands are designed long with twisted rib cuffs that can be folded back or up over the base of my fingers.

wine mitt pair

I used almost the full skein of yarn. Fingerless mitts are my perfect one skein project.

wine mitt hero

Rainy Knit Camp

We’ve been going to Knit Camp for years and years, and this weekend was the first time it was just off and on rainy all weekend (emphasis on the “on”)

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Everyone there was the sort of camper who knew how to adapt. And we had a good time, even when the rain was coming down hard enough that the people sitting at the edges of the tents got wet.

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It is slightly easier to camp in the rain when all your stuff is staying cozy. Maybe not quite dry (it was more than a little humid this weekend) but no puddles in the clean laundry is worth a lot!

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The fire sputtered, but only went out once – and that was after dinner. Hiking and canoeing happened between the showers. And I got some real knitting time!

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Summit vest

Hot off the press!* We have the summer 2016 issue of Interweave Knits: and I’m in it! I’m psyched to see my Summit Vest is in good company (check it out On Ravelry, where you can favorite and queue it as always)

interweave knits

When I saw the summer call included a theme for “mountain house” I just knew I had to submit. An entire story line in a summer issue about living in the mountains and needing a sweater once in a while? Sign. Me. Up. Working with the new editor, Meghan, was a pleasure and I love her eye for details. This issue is cohesive and beautiful.

interweave knits

I love this vest (easy for me to say). The cable and lace pattern is one that I’ve wanted to use in a garment forever. Integrating the ribbing with the chart took a bit of tweaking. So when you cast on follow those setup rows carefully. But once the ribbing is established it flows naturally into the charts and the body of the garment.

interweave knits

The body of the sweater switches to stockinette while the charts continue up the front and the ribbing continues at the sides to provide some stretchy fitting to the garment. The pattern keeps on going right up the hood and meets at the very crown of the head.

cable close up

This is not my first time designing with Imperial Yarns and I love their Columbia base every time I work with it. You all know I love single source yarns and sustainable family farms. This yarn is also woolly, bouncy, but still soft and squeezable. I highly recommend it!

*well, sort of – the print magazines won’t even be on the news stands until the 16th! But the patterns and the electronic version are on Interweave’s site already. Isn’t living in the future fun?

FO with a pompom!

As promised, pretty finished photos of the bunny hat! As always, you can check out extra photos and favorite the project over on Ravelry.

bunny adjust

So nicknamed because the gray yarn I used for the MC is a 60% angora blend I picked up at VT Sheep and Wool festival, I think it was 2013 (I have vague memories of buying this skein while hugely pregnant.)

The additional colors are all from Sunday Knits, either her merino/angora or her merino/cashmere blend. So this hat is warm and soft, even though it’s not bulky at all. The stitch pattern incorporates regular 2-strand colorwork and some fun knit and purl patterns in the trim which help the motifs stand out.

bunny pattern

I finished the hat and had an awkward amount of leftover yarn. Not enough for another accessory. But too much to just give up on. So the pompom seemed like an obvious choice. Oh boy do those things suck up a lot of yarn! Especially when you’re making one as gloriously large as this.

bunny pompom

It’s my first real pompom so it’s not perfectly round or perfectly trimmed. I wanted a piebald effect, using the same colors as the colorwork, so I wrapped each color in separate chunks, making sure to focus mainly on the main gray with splashes of the other colors here and there. At least that part worked well and gave exactly the effect I wanted!

bunny other side

leafy

Remember the green leafy thing I was knitting? My streak of having more knitting time than computer time continues! This was finished almost two weeks ago, but I’m only just getting to share it with you.

full back

This is a thing of my own design, and I don’t even know exactly what it is. A vest, maybe? But with those cap sleeves that doesn’t sound right. A top? Not exactly, I think of those as summer wear. A cap sleeved cardigan? I guess that’s the closest so far, it’ll have to work.

front full

But “cap sleeved cardigan” is such a long term for a cozy and simple garment. The entire body is knit straight up with no shaping. Since it opens at the front this works perfectly. The front edges don’t quite meet at the hips, but overlap at the button point under the bust.

shoulder

There’s some negative ease at the full bust, but that just helps show off the lace. And it can be worn open easily too.

front unbuttoned

The cap sleeves are created quickly with underarm bind off on one row followed by cast-ons for the caps on the next row. I worked up to the end of that repeat of the chart, then started the yoke decreases.

shoulder close

I admit to being nervous about running out of yarn while I worked those looong yoke rows. But it turned out just fine. I decreased at the yoke and then my plan was to work seed stitch for another inch, or until I ran out of yarn, whatever came first.

back close

Instead I worked and inch and felt it needed something more. I added just a couple short rows across the back to raise the collar up on that side – an addition I’m really glad I had yarn for. After a couple more rows I knew the neckline was the right height and it was time to bind off.

back open

I took some pretty close notes on this one, but who knows if I’ll have time, or still feel inspired by it later, when I have time to write and grade it. Maybe it’ll just be a one-off for myself. Who knows? There are even more photos on Ravelry, if you’re curious.

(and I’ve cast on for another garment already. Don’t look now, but I’m knitting up a storm these days).

Meet roam

I’m so very glad I dug this project out of deep hibernation and finished it. Roam is a lovely sweater dress. It is cozy and warm. Well designed with good shaping and supportive ribbing on all the hems.

roam tunic

My yarn is Bartlett in their heathered green Bracken colorway. It’s not the softest yarn but the crimp of the fibers makes the cables pop and helps the dress hold shape. These photos are from the end of the day and the only evidence are those creases in the front that show maybe I was sitting still too much that day.

roam tunic

In the end I don’t have many visible mods. Mainly the ribbing at the bottom hem is longer than the pattern calls for. When I cast on in 2012 I thought I was making a vest, and I un-modded those mods by adding ribbing at the bottom hem to make it tunic length again after all. In the process I decided to carry the braided cables down into the hem for visual interest.

roam tunic

I worked garter ribbing instead of standard 2×2 ribbing throughout because I wanted more drape in the cowl and hem. That 2×2 would be plenty soft in the alpaca yarn the pattern calls for, so this mod is based on the yarn I chose.

roam tunic

I now have three hand knit tunics plus one store bought sweater dress. I love them all and I find myself wondering if I can knit one more before the end of winter. Then I could live in them all week long!

roam tunic

Blueberry

I love this sweater so, so much. I’m giving it a post of its own! This is my blueberry sweater (on ravelry for more photos). The pattern is Bluegold, the January sweater from Cast Iron, Cast On. This pattern was inspired by the coziness of winter and the pretty latticework on fancy blueberry pie*. This is not the only book sample which I knit in my own size. But for some reason it’s totally my favorite.

blueberry gaze

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve loved this book sample to pieces. I wore it almost constantly while pregnant. A cardigan is probably the best maternity sweater out there. The fabric has pilled a bit, but the superwash DK yarn from Periwinkle Sheep is brilliantly strong as well as holding those deep, saturated colors so perfectly. The biggest tragedy was the hole in the shoulder – pretty sure we have one of my cats to thank for that.

So before giving this sweater a photo shoot of its own I wanted to patch that up. I was thinking about the duplicate stitch darning I’ve seen tutorials for. But since this hole is in the knit/purl pattern I just didn’t have the mental energy to figure out how that would work. Instead I made up a system as I went. I started by putting in a framework:

foundation

Then I wrapped the yarn around that first strand – so that the working yarn is like a coiled spring that runs through the live stitches at the bottom and around the first rung.

The next set of coils went around the second rung and through the tops of the first coils. The final row goes through the live stitches at the top and the coils of the row below. It’s a patchwork job. But this coiled yarn maintains the stretchiness of the lattice work pattern in way that a traditional darning job wouldn’t. And (while being hard to describe) was easy to accomplish.

patching up

And then I took some new photos

blueberry back

So soft, so lovely!

blueberry texture

And that patch job? It doesn’t look half bad either!

blueberry patch

*Note that the recipe in this chapter ended up being a blueberry jam cobbler – no lattice pastry required. Sometimes the recipes evolved beyond the inspiration of the pattern. That’s the organic nature of our book writing process.

Quickie

Here’s a quick little project: more toddler mittens!

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If you spend a little time in the knitting-mommy groups on ravelry you’ll start to hear stories about daycares (ok, probably true about any circle of people containing more than two moms). I’d heard that some daycares :::gasp::: don’t like wool mittens because they get WET. Nevermind that wool keeps you warm when wet, unlike synthetic mittens.

But, as in many other ways*, Windsor’s daycare is amazing. They have not worried once about her mittens, honestly they told me that all the toddlers mittens get wet every time they go out. I mean, this age group spends most of their time scooping up snow and shoving it in their mouths. Of course their hand-coverings get wet.

So when the monthly newsletter asked that all kids have two pairs of mittens (in case they go outside twice in a single day) I knew I needed to whip something up. These used scrap yarn and no particular pattern. She’s getting so good at putting her own mittens on that I wasn’t even begrudging about having to knit teeny-tiny thumbs.

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In this iteration the icord has loops at the end. These loops are meant to go around the velcro closure at the sleeve cuff, hopefully this’ll make it easy to switch the pairs of mittens and she still won’t loose them. That’s the theory anyway. It’s been below 10F with windchill for a week and a half and no one has had a chance to try them out…

*they didn’t bat an eyelash when I sent her in as a baby in cloth diapers with woolen covers. That was a sign about how chill they are.

The other way they are amazing is that they take the kids outside at least once any and every day that the temperature/windchill is over 10F. I can’t imagine getting EIGHT two year olds dressed in all that gear on a daily basis.

Gift wrap up

I never did a GAL wrap up after the holidays, mostly because I had a serious case of camnesia and forgot to take pictures of a lot of things. But let’s see what I can scrounge up.

I knit two of these Snowshoe hats for my two nephews. This is the smaller one, modeled by Windsor – and it doesn’t fit her very well…

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It’s a cute hat with a LOT of stretch (thanks to that gorgeous cable knot) I’ve always wanted to design a garment where 90% of the shaping comes from some kind of stretchy cable. Someday I’ll find the time for that…

I also knit Windsor a Puddle Duck sweater. Which she loves. Actually, she loves anything with pockets. The only thing better than pockets are pockets AND a hood.

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See? More badly lit cell phone photos. Aren’t you glad I’m not trying to photograph any designs right now? Winter is such a hard season for any kind of photography…

I also finally wrapped up the little Colin sweater that I’m knitting for a co-workers first baby. She doesn’t know if she’s having a boy or a girl, so she gets a red sweater:

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And I have actually, finally, finished this sweater. It’s blocking downstairs. We’ll see if I manage to get a final photo of it before I wrap it up and give it away. It’s more of a 9 month size. Which means I almost put it on my littler nephew for a photo. But that didn’t seem fair, since it’s not really for him…

And now that January is upon us I’ve fully embraced selfish knitting month. I dug a half-finished sweater dress out of deep hibernation and I can’t wait to finish it up. I’ve got three sweater dresses in rotation right now but I want more. More! Good thing this WIP is 3.75sts per inch. It’s knitting up FAST. Stay tuned!