I’m flying through another Vasa by Dianna Walla at the moment, one I’ve been planning for a year (see the bottem of that post). I love it pretty much, except for the looser gauge than I intended, and the wonky neckline. I used the exact same linen yarn as my first one, the exact same needles, and the exact same pattern for the top grey bit. But it’s looser. I hope my gauge doesn’t continue to loosen with age/experience. At a certain point I’ll have to go FOUR needles down from recommended sizes. It’s fine for worsted weight stuff, but for fingering weight projects I’ll have to find like 000s or something. EFF.
I modified the pattern in regards to the stripe pattern, and also gave it a garter-ish treatment for the sleeves instead of leaving them plain. I also joined the two pieces together after the shoulders/arms for done, and converted the pattern to the round, just because I really just wanted a mindless knit-only stockinette project after both a lacey stole and cabled sweater. It has only taken me around three weeks to get to this point, whereas my first Vasa took me like two months. So I certainly can knit a lot faster than I used to! (I also don’t get bored with stockinette quite so much, since I can do it without looking and can watch tv instead)
The neck waves and ruffles out, since I cast on too loosely at the top. I crocheted a line of single crochets around the neck to give it more stability and tighten it up a bit, and when it’s hanging from my shoulders, you can’t tell at all. But just laying down like this it looks a bit unpleasant. It’s okay though, I think the linen should settle in place quite nicely. My other Vasa is so soft with perfectly even stitches now, so I’m confident this will end up just like that. The gauge is still a bit looser, but I really like how drapey it is.
I also finished the Charlestown pullover by Cheryl Cole ! This is such a beautiful sweater, and the size came out perfectly! The arms are a bit tight, but I think they’ll stretch a bit with wear, and the rest is fantastic. Close-fitting up top, and then looseish on the bottom. I can’t wear it for more than a hot second because it’s sweltering and humid right now, but I can’t WAIT til it gets cool and I can wear this alpaca-wool cream goodness.
It took longer than expected since I was busy with work, but in a way I’m glad I got to savor this sweater. It had been so long since I had so loved the look of any sweater. All the patterns I see have a samey-ness, or they’re just not my style. It’s rare to find something that hits my sweet spot of pattern love. So once I saw this, I knew I had to throw out the rest of my queue to just throw this on the needles. I’m so glad I did!
Now… I can’t get this thing any where near coffee or wine…
I finally finished the Sari by Kieren Foley! It took me basically over half a year to finish, and it was a TOUGH knit, since I could never manage to memorize the pattern, and each row took over 100 stitches. Lace on both sides. Colorwork, stranded AND intrasia. 4 different colors to keep track of. But it’s done, and it’s gorgeous, and it’s safely arrived with my mother for her 60th birthday!
I feel like I never want to knit something like this again, but we shall see, won’t we? I’m just happy it’s over. This knit took up so much of my knitting headspace, and I’ve been so busy with work otherwise. Now that it’s over, I hope to actually knit some more things? But then again, it’s been nice not being QUITE so productive, knitting-wise. I feel like I’ve wanted to get back into other hobbies, spend time with friends. Knitting by Youtube is so fun and relaxing, but sometimes I spend too much time doing that. For a majority of this year, I’d maybe knit for a half-hour a day, because I didn’t want to work on Sari and wouldn’t start anything else either. The knitting kind of stank, but I like the balance it added to my life! I’ll try to remember that going forward.
(knit things I’m not excited about so I’m not so obsessed with knitting. Interesting! Haha)
Finally I’ve roped in one of my friends into knitting! My friend A really needed something to distract her from some stuff, and told me she was trying to knit. She actually tried a bit by herself, with 100-yen-shop needles (actually, they’re quite good quality), and 100-yen-shop yarn (meh, but it’s better than Red Heart Super Saver). It wasn’t going so well, since she’s knitting left-handed, so I tried to teach her.
I ended up teaching her all backwards, since I don’t knit left-handed myself (and it had been a while since I had knit English style to boot).
Anyway, I tried again, after watching some Youtube videos on how to knit left-handed (which I guess is not a bad technique to know in general). And I’d say she’s pretty much got it. The way I had taught her before resulted in her twisting stitches, and she’s got an tight gauge to begin with, so she was knitting acrylic scrubbies you could scratch car paint off with. I gave her some old bamboo straights I had that are size 7mm (not size 7s, but 7mm! When could my loosey-goosey ass ever knit with one of those?), made sure she knew what a twisted stitch and non-twisted stitch look like, and she’s been off at the races ever since.
She wanted to try a garment (so brave!) so she’s knitting a simple ribbed rectangle pattern that will be sewn up at the end like a shrug. It looks great and I’m honestly so proud of her. I didn’t feel brave enough to try something like that until like, two years of knitting. She even figured out a k2tog decrease by herself. I’m just so happy to find someone else that knits (there are a few of us foreign ladies in Iwate who do knit, but we all live pretty far from each other so can’t exactly meet often for stitch’n’bitch sessions).
I always tend to watch Youtube or something else online when I knit, which works especially well since I can memorize a pattern and just watch the screen instead of my knitting. But with my Sari stole, I can’t really watch many tv shows or let’s plays because I can’t pay attention to anything else but the pattern. So I’ve been turning on podcasts instead, just to have some sort of interest for my brain. Lately, I’ve been watching knitting podcasts, which is a little bit funny for me. Thus far, I haven’t been interested. Most podcasts I’ve seen follow the same pattern: “Here’s what I’m knitting! Here’s the tea I’m sipping! Here’s my huge stash of ugly sock yarns! (lol)” I’m a judgemental bitch, I know!
Well, I’ve found some I like. They’re still pretty much the same format, but the hosts are all so delightful that it doesn’t matter! I actually like these ladies because they talk about their own lives as well, instead of only cooing over some godawful lime green-pink-lavender striping yarn.
Ruby Moss Cottage
It’s so relaxing to hear Joyce’s lovely voice as she talks about her latest knits. Honestly, I just really love her accent, and how positive she is about everything. Plus, it’s adorable how much she loves Stephen West.
The Grocery Girls
Oh, I know everyone else loves them too. But they’re just so funny together. Their podcasts are LONG but don’t feel that way because of their snappy banter. I want to be like Jodie when I grow up. (I agree with everyone else that their new Crafty show is not near as good as their podcast)
The Girls in the Yarn Cafe
This mother and daughter team sells their own dyed yarn and so they talk a lot about their dyeing process which is pretty interesting even though I wouldn’t use that yarn. (It’s just my own bias, I know) But also, I love how much they talk about their jobs (they’re both in the psychiatry field), and their philosphies about things. It’s pretty fascinating! I’d like to take Christy’s “I’m the CEO of my own life” for my own purposes, thanks 🙂
I have to knit about another inch before moving on to the ribbing, but here’s the body of the Charlestown Pullover! The past few weeks have been slow going, since I’ll knit my Sari stole and then not feel like knitting anything else. Plus, it’s getting warmer, so even if I finish this sweater quickly I don’t think I’ll be able to wear it this season. Maybe if I didn’t have anything else on the needles I could have finished this by now… I still enjoy the knit, but I’m antsy to start the sleeves.
Once I finish the body I’d like to block it out wider first, just to make sure it’s okay. It’s quite tight – it doesn’t look bad, but I’d like to block in a bit more looseness to the lower body. But I’m actually quite confident that I can get a few more inches on each side, because it’s SO stretchy. If this works out well, I’ll now know to knit things with a few inches of negative ease going forward.
This is the Sari stole, now 20 repeats in. I only have enough purple yarn for about…. 3-4 more repeats? Not sure. Maybe a little bit more. And I think that will be enough. It’s long enough now to wrap around the neck though still a bit short.
I know I’ve written about how much I’ve come to dread knitting this thing, but since I started my system of 4 rows a day, I’ve been able to make peace with how much time and concentration this takes. It’s almost comforting now, my routine of pulling it out for about a half hour a day. I don’t think I’ll miss having it on the needles but it’s not so bad now that I can see the end in sight.
Ignore the green tint! I was playing with the colors with the Peach-tone Argyle Cardigan by Yoko Hatta because I’ve admired the pattern for a while but I don’t want any more peach-colored clothing. I’d love to try knitting this with Purl Soho’s Linen Quill, using the lovely kettle-dyed black as the main color, and definitely making use of the Turmeric Yellow. Not sure what other colors I’d like to pair with it, but could see a slate-blue and grey tones going well. Make yellow the only bright color (maybe a brown and taupe thrown in too).
Then again, Purl Soho would be expensive to send to Japan…haha. It’s already getting a bit too warm for knitted sweaters, so this might have to be an idea I juggle for a while.
I finished the baby vest I knit for my friend and his wife who are expecting – the Garter Stitch Baby Kimono by Joji Locatelli. It was all stash yarn, and it’s all either linen or superwash wool/sock yarn for ease of care. The linen is a little stiff but I think this will just be worn over other clothing so it should be fine even if it’s not, like, cashmere soft (or will it? I’m pretty ignorant about babies). I love the way the stripes worked up, because it kind of reminds me of the skyline by the mountains.
The baby is actually a girl, too! I knitted this without knowing the sex of the baby, but I had a feeling it would be a girl. Well, I’m sure the baby will be drowning in pink stuff so a nice blue vest might be just what the doctor ordered. I think this would look so cute over a white dress.
(Jk I’m just doing my part to smash the patriarchy >;) )
I finally got around to knitting a zodiac animal for the year. I like to decorate my genkan (front entranceway) with the “Year of the whatever creature it is”, and had a crocheted monkey for the past year. Well, it’s now the Year of the Rooster, and I had some pretty alpaca grey yarn to play around with. I used the Plucky Hen pattern by Claire Garland, which was just massively fun. Knitting short rows to shape a stuffed animal is far more fun to me than crocheting the same sort of thing, even if crocheting is probably easier. I just love this little dude and his fat butt.