Today you can see my Baby Keller Sweater on Knitted Bliss. It’s part of Julie’s Modification Monday series, which highlights projects that started from existing patterns but then underwent significant alterations.
I’ve been following Knitted Bliss for years – if you’re a knitter you should add it to your blogroll – so I was thrilled when Julie messaged me asking if she could feature the sweater.
Last week I knit up a second modified version. This one is also based off the same pattern, but the stripes and cropped bolero shape are a little more feminine. After splitting the yoke for the sleeves, I stopped making increases on the bodice and knit about 12 more rows (the last 6 in 2×2 rib) before binding off. I finished the sleeves and neckline with a few rows of navy Madelinetosh, and crocheted two buttonholes on the front.
Doesn’t it make you want to saw awww?
Remember all this?
The stockpiles are significantly smaller now. First, I visited the SoWa Market again with a friend and popped into Grey’s, a fabulous little fabric store. I picked out 2 yards of upholstery fabric in this modern aqua/taupe gray diamond pattern and sewed us a big couch pillow.
It’s stuffed with every last bit of the white fiber, which was too long to process into roving. There’ll come a day that I’m sure I’ll regret not making a fancier (removable) pillow cover, but by that time I might be tired of the pattern and want something different anyhow. It was only $15, much cheaper than the kilim covers I was scoping on etsy.
There…doesn’t it look at home with the others? There’s a faint whiff of alpaca when you put your head down on it, which might offend some but I kind of like.
Second, I spun about 150 yards of the 50/50 alpaca and wool blend (the gray pile in the earlier photo) and 150 yards of Into the Whirled ‘s Wensleydale Combed Top…and was inspired to use them together.
I looked at a bunch of bonnet-shaped hats on ravelry before sketching this and calculating out the numbers. It’s made with sz. 7 needles and the two handspuns held together. I was going to give it to a family member since the colors are vaguely Ohio State, but I dunno now…it’s becoming my new favorite (ravelry notes here).
Christine let me borrow her Norby tassel instructions, which were incredibly clear and helpful. Then I read the Techknitter’s post on how to make a pom, also good (in fact that site is one excellent post after another…bookmark/pinterest/delicious it). I was determined to make a non-wimpy pom with swagger, so I wrapped that little “C” cardboard shape until it would hardly hold any more. BAM! Tell me that’s not a good looking pom.
I’m finalizing edits on two new hat patterns. They’re both made with my friend Christine’s hand-dyed yarn – Skeinnydipping- which is absolutely gorgeous and available on her website or etsy site.
Christine supplied the yarn and the photography in fact (fist pump for talented friends). I wanted the photographs to look fall-ish and spring-ish, respectively, so it was a challenging finding backdrops that didn’t reveal just how leafy and summery it is right now.
The first hat is Ryegrass, knit from Journey worsted superwash merino.
The second is Joyride, knit from a 55/45 wool silk blend fingering weight.
The test-knitters are doing their thing and the patterns will be up soon.
For the first time ever I was a pattern test-knitter! This ZIG ZAG cowl caught my eye so I responded to the designer’s ravelry request for help. Jae wrote up a great pattern and I had so much fun test-knitting it.
ZIG ZAG is a long tube knit in the round and then seamed at the end…so it’s delightfully thick, hefty, and squishy. The graphic design is big and bold.
I agonized for weeks over the yarn choice and ended up pulling the trigger on two short skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage - ”ink” and “glazed pecan.” These colors are from nearly opposite sides of the color wheel and pretty high contrast…I’d love to knit this pattern up again in low-contrast colors (gray and seafoam green?)
Madelinetosh Vintage is thinner weight yarn that what the pattern calls for, so my cowl is a little petite. But still plenty cozy.
This week a big box came in the mail – the return address was my friend and former Oregon coworker. She likes rummage sales and thirftstores, and her own garage is full of oddities, tools, and things she can’t bear to throw away. Opening a package from her is always exciting. The box weighed hardly anything…what could it be?
Six pillows of soft carded fiber (!!!). I jumped up and down and yelled some happy expletives. The birthday card inside said, “Bid on this at an auction for you – came from “Sunshine”. Miss you much.”
I think “Sunshine” was a sheep, but I’m still learning my fiber. Maybe an alpaca.
Teddy was very intrigued. He walked over and did that knead-bread thing with his paws, all blissed out and purring.
Now I have more than a summer’s worth of spinning lined up. I’m also working on finalizing a couple of new patterns (here’s a little pattern sneak peek):
I made some new handspun to play with…about 280 yards of Widdershin Woolworks, mostly BFL wool with a little silk.
Lots of navy, sea blue, deep greens, and some purple. Widdershin leaves the color unnamed, so I’m calling it “Oregon lavender field.” So pretty!
I sewed my friend Christine a roll-up case for her double-pointed needles, and in return she’s going to let me pick out a skein from her yarn-dyeing shop, Skeinny Dipping.
When we last got together to watch trashy television she let me take a few skeins home to test the colors against my handspun. I think my favorite was this milky silver:
I’ll have to trade out this test skein for a thicker weight, and then the two can become a striped shawl, like Veera’s Different Lines or Stephen West’s Chevry.
Before I show you pictures of my finished vacation-knitting-project, a few quintessential SoCal scenes:
Footprints of the Stars (were Rita’s feet really so small?!)
the Garment District
It’s been a super sunny and relaxing vacation. Even the LA traffic was tolerable since I was always a passenger and always had my knitting in hand. Today I finished Holl – the structured but slouchy pullover made from di.Ve’ Zenith.
I love it. It was really hard to frog the pretty little Vignette when I’d just finished it, but it was the right call – this pullover is more my style and the batwing sleeves keep my pits from sweating.
Following the advice of Meganimal, I did a provisional cast-on. This allowed me to initially add an extra band to the body of the sweater and then decide later whether I wanted to keep it (I didn’t). It also allowed me to join the front and back and knit the bottom band in one continuous loop.
There was just barely enough yarn….here’s a picture of everything I had left over after seaming:
Pattern: Holl by Kirsten Johnstone
Yarn: di.Ve’ Zenith
Size: I had a diff gauge so I knit a Large – it’s more like a Small
Mods: none, just the provisional cast-on
And then randomly at the end of our photo shoot, a chicken walked into the yard. I fed him some apple.
Today I am struggling with what I’ll call “the ghost of the better knitting pattern.” It’s a powerful nagging shadow that haunts nearly all of my projects, appearing about 75% of the way in and lingering until the end. In the beginning it manifests as seemingly practical questions: Do I already own too many cardigans?; What could I wear this sweater with?; and Is this the best use of this yarn? If things are really bad, I start cheating on the pattern before the garment is even done…running searches on ravelry and comparing. Sometimes when the piece is done I love it after all. Sometimes not.
Yesterday I got to the last seam in the Vignette Cardigan and the ghost was telling me to frog it. I went to sleep thinking about it, woke up thinking about it, tried it on again:
: and ultimately decided to not decide for a while.
The pattern I was cheating on Vignette with is this:
The Vignette is a cute sweater. The pattern’s well written and there’s nothing obviously wrong with the fit or size of what I made. But I forgot how much fitted wool sweater sleeves make my armpits sweat. For real! That’s why I had to give Neulottu Naisen Jakku to momser who is always cold. And sadly, it’s why I made need to unravel sweet little Vignette and turn it into something else.
For now I’ll set it aside and work on one of those poncho patterns.
See that there? I’m applying my Spanish skills.
According to ravelry, 101 Kami Hats have been knit! When I put up my first knitting pattern this fall I didn’t know if anyone would see it, much less knit it, so watching the number of projects slowly climb has been a thrill.
Here are some of my favorites…
(left-right, top-bottom) dipgirlflesh, MsAnnaLisa, jieuenne, kijibaji, brakenfern, cerebralneedles
Today is Super Bowl Sunday but unlike the rest of New England, we might not watch the game. Whether we do end up watching football or International House Hunters (my new favorite…I’m inspired by all the people picking up and moving to provincial France), I’m going to be working on the sleeves for my vignette cardigan.
The pattern is easy to follow and has clever details. I don’t have much torso curve, so I removed some of the hip and waist shaping, and I don’t think I’m going to flare the sleeves. It’s too bad the di.Ve Zenith yarn was discontinued – it’s soft and squishy and has great stitch definition.