Ready for a little holiday knitting?

I’m working on finishing touches for a pattern…hoping to get it out in time for post-Turkey relaxation knitting.

It’s a quick pair of lined baby mittens, knit all in one piece, perfect for holiday gift-giving and personal stash-busting. I’ve made a half dozen prototypes and passed them out to friends, who report that the mittens are super warm and don’t fall off. YEAH!
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I’ll never make this sweater again

And that’s not because I don’t like it, but because it required so much tinkering, frogging, and reknitting that I lost track of the edits. This was the most INFURIATING pattern. Simultaneously a work of origami-genius and a huge hot mess. My biggest complaint was that there’s no measurements schematic, and as someone who hardly ever gets the required gauge I rely on the schematics to make size adjustments. I recall that I down-sized the needle, widened the sleeve openings, and lengthened it considerably (it looks long on the pattern picture but knit up like a crop top). Oh, and I took the advice of others and knit the entire garter strip and then grafted it to the other front piece in stockinette (versus grafting the two garter halves).

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When I finally cast-off I couldn’t stand looking at the thing and it sat in a suitcase for a few months. The pattern was covered in undecipherable numbers, calculations, and notes. I threw it out.

UntitledYesterday I felt ready to face the music. And much to my surprise, I don’t hate the finished sweater. I think I like it in fact. If I wear a thin white shirt underneath I think it could transition to the office…yes? Otherwise it’s a good summer shirt on its own. Here’s a ravelry link.

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Amecameca infinity scarf pattern

This pattern has been in the works for a while. I sketched out a few motifs after visiting a Latin American textiles exhibit two winters ago, then I played with the lines until there was a nice little tightrope dance between the positive and negative spaces.

At first I tried making a big squishy worsted-weight cowl, which was meh. After a few other stop/starts, I tried laceweight knit up in a slightly looser gauge than what’s typical for stranded work. Ahhh…a delicate and beautiful sheet of patterned fluff started to emerge from the needles. I had a winner.
Amecameca infinity scarf

Now I’ll be honest – this is no kami hat. It doesn’t knit up in one evening of binge television. But my thinking is that after all the holiday knitting you’ve done for others it might be nice to stretch out with a longer, more luxurious pattern. Especially one that practically makes you buy some new yarn, because if you’re going to do a long stranded project there’s no sense in using anything but the prettiest. Right?
Amecameca infinity scarf

The pattern is all set up in the shop, and from now through Christmas Day I’m offering it at 50% off. It includes charts for the main motif as well as its photo negative – depending on your particular yarn colors you can choose which will look best.

Amecameca infinity scarf pattern

Amecameca infinity scarf

Stonecutters Cardigan

Stonecutters cardigan

LOVE this cardigan. I can’t button it over my big belly, but I think it will fit my non-pregnant self quite well. My parents visited Mexico a couple of weeks ago and my mom modeled for these photos before trying to steal the cardigan. While home in Ohio my Grandma tried to steal it too…so its appeal is at least universal with the women in my family.
Stonecutters cardigan
Stonecutters cardiganI bought two big hanks of undyed 100% merino yarn at Reinbeck years ago because it was soft and extremely affordable ($13.50 for 1322 yards). It sat undyed for a long while until skeinnydipping turned it into a gorgeous green/gray/blue.
Stonecutters cardigan
Here’s the link to its ravelry page
and below are some notes on construction:

Needle, Gauge, and Sizing: The yarn was thinner than that suggested by the pattern, so I used sz. 6 & 4 needles instead of 7 & 5. After checking gauge and doing the math, it looked like I should knit a Large to get something more like a finished Small. However, I noticed that most of the FOs in the photos were on the fitted side. Some users commented on how their FO turned out smaller than expected, and I wanted more of a menswear fit, so I ended up knitting the XL.

Shaping: My (nonpregnant) hips and waist sizes are about the same, so I omitted the waist shaping entirely.

Pockets: I thought the pocket size was a little tiny, especially with my smaller needle size. I wanted something functional, not just decorative, so mine are 28 sts wide (not 19) and 24 rows tall.

Collar: The pattern calls for attaching the front button bands and then knitting the collar. This creates a visible seam if your collar is lying open. I chose to knit the button bands with a provisional cast-on, attach them to the front, and then integrate their cast-on stitches into the picked-up collar stitches. You can see in the photos that this results in an invisible seam…definitely worth the effort I think.

Sleeves: Before knitting your sleeves, run the numbers and compare against your own measurements. Several other knitters have said their sleeves were too snug, and when I did the calculations I could see that they would’ve been too small for me too (I’d say my arms are normal size). For my reworked sleeves:
CO 48 sts
increased 2 sts every 12 rows until 56 total sts
increased 2 sts every 6 rows until 72 total sts
increased 2 sts every 12 rows until 78 total sts
BO 13 each side
decrease each side of every RS row until 33 sts
decrease every row until 13 total sts
BO remaining
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The Sheboygan cardigan is shop-ready!

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The test-knitters did their thing, the edits are made, and this cardigan pattern is all set to go! Now through March 8th I’m offering it for the promotional price of $5 (instead of $6).

Even though winter is clearly sticking around for a while, this sweater is good for more than sub-zero temperatures. I have sweaters that are beautiful but….they make me sweat. This one is all wool but the Phatastic yarn has lots of air spun into it, and so I wear it comfortably in a wider range of temperatures. I like this sweater over a plain v-neck tee with skinny jeans and boots. Maybe a nice infinity scarf on top.

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I’m a modifier

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?

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Pillow, pom & tassel

Remember all this?

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…and this?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

UntitledChristine 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.Untitled