ideas for the future

yet another item in the queue?

sweaterideas

Karen Templer at Fringe Association announced the plans for her annual knitalong this year, and it’s all about top-down, improvised sweaters! I’ve read her tutorial in the past and have to admit that I’ve always been intrigued, but I’ve always had so much in the queue that I never tried it. Thing is, I will give priority to starting the Bohus sweater I’ve talked so much about, but after that I have no designs in mind to knit! So I’m giving some thought to participating in the knitalong.

Here are some quick ideas for possible designs. Of course there’s stripes, but I do kind of want any sweaters I knit to be work-appropriate, which kind of nixes casual stripes. Some fair-isle colorwork stripes might be okay though. Otherwise, I’ve been wanting a burgandy cabled sweater so that’s an idea too, but I’m not sure I want to tackle designing my own cables. I have a few pattern books with pretty cables, but I’m worried about balancing cables together. Last idea, and the one that most intrigues me, is a fisherman’s knit sweater with a turtleneck (prob more of a cowl neck) with eyelets in the raglan. I’ve seen these sweaters a lot in Japan and have always wanted one in a muted neutral.

Regardless, if I do end up joining the knitalong, I’ll probably go with a worsted weight. I’ve been knitting with so much fingering weight yarn and sport yarn this year! It’s time for a chunky sweater…maybe. I’ll have to keep my eye out on the wintery yarns that I’m sure my LYS will be putting out soon.

ideas for the future

can’t decide what to use this for

blueLook at that gorgeous blue. That’s Manos Del Uruguay’s Alegria fingering weight in Royal. I bought it a few months ago at Moorit in Tokyo while I was in the city for business. I picked this up because I figure I can always knit socks with sock yarn. The only problem is that I’ve been completely indifferent to socks lately, and I can’t figure out another way to use it.

(I get into phases with socks – I busted out three pairs in like a month so I think I socked myself out)

I’ve reached peak yarn stash, so I’d like to use this up soon, preferably after my smocked top and lace cardigan are finished. As I’ve said before, I try really hard to keep my stash small so I usually only buy yarn for specific projects. But it’s so rare to find foreign yarns in Iwate that it’s very hard to stop myself when browsing in Tokyo or on trips home to America. Of course, I only buy a skein of the stuff since it’s expensive, but a skein only works for accessories. Let’s face it: I have a huge box full of knitted accessories now. I don’t need any more hats or scarves or mittens at the moment.

collage

  1. Equatorial Nights by Audry Nicklin
  2. Arrival by Dani Sunshine
  3. O socks by michiyo, knitted by sera-y
  4. Golden Dahlia socks by Kirsten Kapur

I really like the Equatorial Nights cowl, especially since I’ve loved the concept of the starry nights beaded shawls that I’ve seen in the past. It would be a new skill since I’ve never tried beaded knitting before. Bead knitting? I forget which is which. But then, I don’t really need a new cowl. A baby sweater intrigues me because I love garment knitting and this would be knitted up in no time. Uh, there’s not actually a need for a baby sweater at this time, but y’know, a unisex baby knit can’t hurt. Somebody is going to have a baby at some time.

Then of course there’s always socks. I’ve got two patterns I like – one being the simple socks by michiyo, and the other being ridiculously complicated socks by Kirsten Kapur. The cables and lace would definitely be a juicy challenge, but truthfully I’m feeling more and more drawn to simple knits lately.

I’ve still got a lot of knitting to get done before I get to this point, but I definitely want to get something in the queue for this yarn.

 

ideas for the future

but i want to knit this too

starpullover

Still plodding away at my summer tank, and I keep thinking of the next things I want to knit. Here I was, just saying I wanted to knit useful additions to my warddrobe, and I’m thinking about this ridiculous star pullover. But isn’t it gorgeous? Normally, I HATE variegated yarn, and yet this is the most adorable usage I’ve ever seen. This sweater is just darling. I covet it. But I wouldn’t be able to wear it to work, and that means I’ll wear it maybe 4 times a year if that.

Agh, it would just be so cute. It’s so my style. I keep thinking that maybe I should buy the yarn while it’s available. I’ve gone through so much trouble to find the yarn necessary for the Bohus sweater, that I’m facing some intense fear-of-missing-out. The yarn isn’t that bad a price either…what am I talking about?! My stash basket is FULL. And what if I fell out of love with the sweater? I wouldn’t even be able to use this yarn for something else! The worst part is that the yarn kit doesn’t even come with the pattern – I’d have to buy the spring edition of Keito Dama even tho I just want the one pattern.

I’m gonna exercise restraint…for now. But if I finish my summer knitting and still want to knit this baby, that means it really was meant to be!

ideas for the future

filling in a warddrobe gap – cardigan roundup

cardiganideas2

  1. Fleurette by Melissa Domiguez
  2. Effervescence Cardigan by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
  3. Miette by Andi Satterlund, picture (c) hapichick
  4. From Way Back by Hanna Maciejewska

While I keep dreaming of summer tops and future pullovers, there’s a huge gap in my warddrobe that I need to address: Cardigans! In particular, light weight, airy, lacy cardigans I can wear over my sleeveless tops and dresses for work. Work clothes are pretty conservative in Japan, and even sleeveless tops that cover the whole shoulder are out of bounds (don’t even joke about showing cleavage. Those bare hints in those pictures up there? Would be scandalous). I just need something to cover up the very top of dem arms, so a lacy pattern with a cap sleeve would be perfect.

I’ve been thinking about the things I love wearing, and the things I love looking at yet don’t love actually wearing. I’m trying to make sure I’m knitting actually useful things. For example, I knit a beautiful red cabled vest that I adore…except I just don’t wear vests very often! It fits fine, and it looks great. It just doesn’t fit my style. Honestly, work clothes take up most of my closet, so I really want to knit things that go well in that sphere – that way, I’ll get the most use out of them. And I know I need a short sleeved cardigan. Or two.

I prefer crew-necks over v-necks, so I already have that design choice down. And I think I’d like a cropped cardigan, because I have a short waist and I think it would look better over dresses. But I want to be careful. Cropped cardigans can have a real “mall fashion” vibe to them when they go wrong. I’ve followed Andi Satterland for a while, and I love her consistently cute and refined cropped sweaters. Miette feels like the winner, but it’s a bit simple. I really love the Effervescence Cardigan and its unique cable and lace design. But I’ve never tinkered with a pattern to the extent I would need to for this one. Hmm.

Atleast I have the colors already picked out. I’ll do a white/natural linen colored cardigan, and then if I’m feeling into it, I’ll choose another pattern and pick a peach-colored yarn. I bought a lot of new summer clothes, and the majority of them are white, navy, and/or grey, so peach should be a great pop of color.

ideas for the future

I may have found them

Pictures from the Moorit yarn site

These may the best replacement yarns I’ve found yet for the red and yellow colors of the Bohus sweater I was talking about. It’s Shilasdair’s Silk Wool Laceweight and it’s available at Moorit (a yarn store near Tokyo Station) so I can get it in Japan! The yellow seems pale enough to match the wispyness of the original – there’s no way I’ll match the yellow, pink, and light blue variegated yarn in the original, so I’m just aiming for the yellow. The red is not quite as orange as the original, but that particular red is only used in sparse dots throughout the pattern, and I think the silk content of this yarn will help it stand out.

Then again, it might be worth it to wait until the Japanese yarn companies start coming out with their new cold weather yarns. I’ll think about it (I’ve made a lot of online purchases lately haha). In any case, I have some time. I’d like to start this sweater by late August/September so I can have it ready for the cold Iwate winter.

ideas for the future

the quixotic sweater

quixote

I love stranded knitting, and in a way I feel like that’s the pinnacle of knitting. Maybe because, for so long, “knitted sweaters” equaled fair isle or Norwegian stars or lice patterns. Lovely, by the way, how such a cute pattern can be called “lice.” For all of my love for stranded knitting, I haven’t done very much of it, limiting it to some hats and a pair of gloves that I consider my top achievement thus far.

It’s just very slow going. I knit with both hands, and it’s just a bit clumsy. I’m a pretty fast knitter, so I don’t really like having to slow down. However, my tension has gotten much better over the years, and I’m ready to take the plunge in knitting a whole stranded sweater.

In fact, I always thought my first stranded sweater would be something classically fair isle, in a grey-yellow combination or something like that. But enter THE SWEATER:

yoke

It’s a Bohus style sweater in a 2013 issue of Keito Dama (Knitting Vogue in Japan). I’ve had this magazine for a while, but in the last year or so I all of a sudden just knew that THIS was the sweater I wanted. On the face of it, it’s a strange choice. I’m not a purple girl, usually, yet that maroon is so deep and lovely. And combining it with a dull army green? And yellow and teal? Not color choices that I would ever make.

Yet they go together so well. And it feels interesting, and unique. Plus, you can tell there’s a bit of a texture variation since some yarns are a bit thinner than others. I just love it. It’s a rare Japanese pattern that’s written in the round, and best of all, it would be my first yoke sweater too, which I’m curious to try.

My weakness is choosing colors, and I knew I just wanted the exact color scheme in the photo. (In fact, I usually choose patterns based on the photos. If it’s knitted in coral or grey I’ll probably want to knit one myself). Well, the good thing about knitting from Keito Dama is that all the yarn can be sourced in Japan. This one is made with Puppy yarns, which is a pretty big company. I hunted down the yarns a couple of months ago online, and mostly all of them were available, so I decided to wait on purchasing.

Well, the bad thing about knitting from Keito Dama is that the yarns get discontinued extremely fast. Looking again recently led to the discovery that Puppy had deleted all the necessary yarns off of their databases, so obv- all discontinued. Luckily, searching Rakuten and Amazon yielded all of the Boboli yarn, which was 75% of the yarn required.

However, the New Pichenette line is completely gone. First of all, the yellow (which is actually a yellow, pink, and blue variegated yarn) probably was a limited time thing, because I can’t even find listings for it anywhere. The red is a tomato-red color which should be easy to substitute with some fingering weight yarn. But the blue is that special shade of light blue-green that is impossible to find ANYWHERE.

pichenette804 pichenette715 pichenette709

Light blue is easy. But light blue green must not be a popular shade in Japan. I’ve looked through Hamanaka and Diakeito’s selections, and NOTHING matches. Even other Puppy yarns must take dye differently, because they have bright neon green yarns, yet none of that beautiful marine shade. The yellow yarn can be substituted for some solid yellow shade, but this marine shade seems non-negotiable.

So then I searched some foreign yarns, and it seemed like only Knit Picks Palette had what I needed. But Knit Picks doesn’t ship to Japan – I can ship it to my mother, who can forward it to me, but I held out for something purchaseable here.

malabrigo yarn

And then, flipping through my secret tumblr feed (mostly it’s knitting blogs and anime trash), I saw it. The perfect shade, knitted up in a shawl. It’s Malabrigo’s Lace in Water Green. And luckily enough, I found a place that sells it in Japan! (honestly the place is a bit sketch so I’m waiting for them to contact me back) Even if it doesn’t work out, I now know exactly what I need – and hey it’s not like I’m going to be starting a heavy knitted sweater as we roll into spring and summer, yeah? Maybe?

(Casts on immediately after getting the necessary yarn)

Oh, who am I kidding? I still need to find a substitute for that weird yellow yarn too…