in progress

kind of a little scare

It’s always a little scary washing superwash yarn. It loses all of its energy and bounce, and grows to like twice the size. You absolutely have to put this yarn in the dryer, or else never wash it. So I knew that going in, and still it was scary taking it out of the washing machine. Then I popped over to the laundromat, and it came out just as good as before, maybe a little softer than before. I still would prefer that my sister hand-washed it before drying, but I know that won’t happen, so I had to make sure it could survive a trip in both the washer and dryer. And luckily, this super expensive superwash came out beautifully!

in progress

cute ears

I knitted some little ears for the hood, to make it a little bit more “teddy bear” like. The good thing is that they took up most of the rest of the yarn, and I only have a tiny bit left. I love having almost zero leftovers at the end of a project! This Anzula Cricket yarn is so wonderful and scrumptious, but I wouldn’t have known what else to use it with.

in progress

kettle-dyed yarn…

While knitting with Anzula Cricket has been an squishy and delightful experience, I’m not sure I’ll use kettle-dyed yarns again. Just look at the sheer difference in colors between two skeins of the same colorway of hand-dyed yarn. The second was WAY more light, and while I successful blended between the two to be hardly noticeable, it just took too much work. It wasn’t fun having to account for this; I much prefer just … joining a second ball of yarn, not fiddling around with alternating skeins and calculating when to blend in each different skein. To be honest, if I ever wanted to use Cricket again, I might just get it in white/natural/undyed, haha.

in progress

snugglesuit

Eric’s Jumpsuit by Ainur Berkimbayeva

LOOK how beautiful the increases are in that hood. This pattern is wonderful, this yarn is wonderful, knitting for a future niece or nephew is wonderful. It’s projects like this that make me love being a knitter! In a way, it’s good I took a break during the summer, so I could find out all over again just how much knitting does for my life. I went through a series of intense events this past month – some good, some scary, some very sad – but at least having a comforting knitting project makes it easy to center my emotions. I’ll always appreciate that about this craft.

I’m almost done the knitting, and will soon have to install the zipper. I’m looking forward to it, even though I still don’t have a lot of experience with sewing with knitting. The good thing is that I’ll probably use up most of the third ball of yarn! I thought I’d have too much, but it turns out I really do have just enough, and won’t have to worry about using up the leftovers. (I also am 99% confident that I have enough for the project, though I would certainly die from financial shock if I had to get another ball of that liquid gold Anzula Cricket yarn…)

in progress

it turned out pretty okay

I alternated the skeins for this version of Eric’s Jumpsuit. You can still sort of see where I joined the new yarn if you’re inspecting it closely, but I think I did a decent enough job of blending it in, slowly alternating out the original skein. I wanted to have some left to alternate for the sleeves and the hood as well, though I suppose it would be harder to notice a color shift in the hood. I still haven’t broken into the third skein, but it seems similar to the second with more variety of tones than the first skein.

I think I’ll have a LOT left, so I might make slippers for my sister. Or maybe a (barf) bear hat.

I chose not to alternate the skeins at the end of the row, because I want to keep those neat and clean for when I attach the zipper. But it’s SUPER annoying to alternate in the middle of a flat-knitted piece, as you’re going to run into holes for sure. You can see here a line where I twisted the yarns around each other but it’s not noticeable from the front. Since it’s garter, I invented (?) a make-shift method for alternating the skeins without holes.

1. (WS) Attach the new skein (B) on the back somewhere. I stuck mine on the side between two cables. I knitted one stitch with the two yarns, and then took the new yarn and knitted the rest of the row. Leave the old skein (A) dangling off the back.

2. (RS) Knit the next row in pattern. Work the stitch where you attached skein (B) as normal.

3. (WS) Knit to the stitch directly above where you attached the new skein (B), but don’t knit it. Bring the (B) yarn to the back of the needles and then drop it. Bring the old skein (A)’s yarn up and knit the stitch. Then, wrap (B) around this stitch and bring it back to the front of the needles, then drop it. Continue knitting the row with skein (A).

4. Keep alternating this every row, then every two rows, three rows, etc.

I kind of did a WT method without turning, which hides the hole you get from switching yarns in the middle of a row. Wrapping the yarn in front of a stitch makes it look like a purl, so it will only work with garter or another type of patterns with purls on the front. It does leave a pretty noticeable ridge, too. I’m sure I didn’t invent this, but maybe it’ll help someone!

in progress

do you see it

Whoops. Looks like my inexperience with kettle-dyed yarns has come to bite me. See the clearly different section of yarn towards the butt? That’s where I changed yarns, haha. It really is true what they say: you HAVE to alternate skeins even when they’re from the same dye lot. In this case, the second skein has a lot of streaks of a light gold, where the first had barely at all, and it’s just more variegated in general.

I’m going to rip it back to before the short rows and try alternating from there. If it’s still too much of a color shift, I guess I’ll have to start from the beginning…but I hope I don’t have to.

In any case, I DID want to keep knitting and knitting this thing!

in progress

adorable bearsuit

I’m loving every moment of knitting Eric’s Jumpsuit by Ainur Berkimbayeva. Not only is the pattern easy and well-written, it’s the perfect match with the Anzula Cricket yarn. That soft merino-cashmere-nylon blend makes the squishiest garter stitch, and I want to keep knitting and knitting so I can keep feeling each luxurious knit stitch. It’s going to be so cozy for my future niece/nephew.

I’m knitting the 6-12 month size, as the baby will be born in the spring and won’t need a wooly jumpsuit anytime soon. I’m exactly on gauge with size 3 needles, the same as the pattern, so I think I’ve finally found a pattern designer with the same loose gauge as myself!

I also appreciate how mindless it is to knit, yet has such a perfect detail with the side cable. It’s so easily memorized that I didn’t have to look at the pattern after the first ten minutes. Then again, I’m really good at memorizing cable patterns. (Not like lace, where I still had to look at the pattern for the Sari shawl six months into knitting it.) Plus, the cable is the same type of slip-stitch type that I found for the first time in the Charlestown pullover (meaning, it’s not even a cable as you’re not crossing stitches).

This was the perfect antidote to the Summer-of-No-Knitting. Scrumptious yarn, a beautiful pattern, and miles of mindless garter. I wish I was knitting something for an adult so this would last longer.

in progress

aw, i can’t

Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater by Carole Barenys,
with color combination inspired by 13 / Little Jacket by Florence Merlin

As I mentioned last post, someone very close to me has gotten pregnant, and that set off a RENAISSANCE of thinking about knitting in my mind. Frankly, I haven’t been this excited about knitting since I cast on for the Charlestown sweater in January-ish. It took me literally only a week to finish this grey cardigan. Dude, I am SO HYPED for knitting all the things for this little baby.

It’s way early, so they have no idea about the sex of the baby, which is why I chose grey. Honestly, I don’t care about knitting blue things for boys and pink things for girls, and neither does the recipient (the beanie in the last post could be given to a bouncy boy and I think that would be perfectly fine). But I figured grey would be a nice color to have, and besides, I didn’t like the other colors they had at my LYS, which, admittedly, has very few things that I could use haha. They do have a lot of baby yarns, but it’s mostly acrylic, and I’m a horrible yarn snob (plus, it looks like cheap acrylic). I picked some cotton from Hamanaka’s Paume line, which I’ve used before in a sweater that I’ve grown to love more and more as I’ve used it. It’s machine wash and dryable, which is super important. I don’t want things I knit to be worn only once in a while because they’re too precious. I want that baby to be decked out in my knitted stitches at all times!!

(I can only imagine when my own ass gets pregnant, and I’ll have produced an entire knitted warddrobe for the baby within a month of finding out (hell, knitting for an eventual child was kind of why I wanted to get started in the first place))

You may notice that there are no buttons on the cardigan. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget (though that of course would be possible). I decided I wanted to attach snaps, which I’ve never done before, and sew some decorative buttons on top. I’ll wait til they know whether it’s a boy or a girl for placement. I want to be super careful and diligent when attaching them because I know buttons/snaps can be a choking hazard, and I’ll also place this sucker in the washer and dryer to check afterwards.

The knit itself was fun because it only took like five minutes, and it’s seamless so you don’t even have to pick up for the button bands. I don’t mind picking up or sewing bits together (honestly they can be more fun than knitting at times), and I 100% believe in seams for adult garments. But a baby will spend maybe 3-6 months wearing this so I think it’s okay without ’em. I already have a ton of ideas of what to knit next, and I. cannot. wait.

in progress

yet another one hit the needles

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.

in progress

slow progress

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.

I just love those zig zags. Ugh!!