Amherst Cardigan

I’ve finished knitting the Amherst Cardigan! Emphasis on the word ‘knitting’, since the actual finishing – the blocking – still remains to be done. I’ll get to that after about six months, since that’s probably when I’ll finally use the sweater. The ends are woven in, thankfully, since I weave in ends as I go, so I won’t have to worry about those pesky things when I block.

Amherst Cardigan

The button bands are also i-cords, since I didn’t have yarn left for ribbing. I hope they show after blocking. (And I wish stockinette didn’t curl…)

Phew, this sweater took me a long time – three months! The result looks underwhelming and does not appear to justify the time taken, but I think because I didn’t actually get much knitting time in the three months, it just about accounts for it. Still, it was pretty long, and all I want now is to knit some lace shawls. πŸ™‚

Other than the time taken, I don’t have any qualms about the project – I now have a sweater that’s taught me brioche basics, and is still wearable during the winters here since it’s not all squishy brioche stitch. I got to work with brioche stitch with one color, both flat (the hip border) and in the round (the cuffs), and with two colors (the yoke, of course.) Then there was the brioche decrease as well (the Raglan decreases.) Though I’ve still not mastered the stitch, I’ve learned how to fix mistakes in my knitting. And that’s a sign that I might actually have gotten to know the stitch a bit better now. Brioche-learning goal mostly accomplished! πŸ˜€

Amherst Cardigan - Yoke

I’d like to add a loop-and-button setting, at least at the top. I’ll probably get to that when I block the sweater. (And my short row technique definitely needs an upgrade. Can you see the bumpy distortions in the stockinette stitch row near where the raglans end in the picture?)

What next?

This month might just see some excitement of looking for a new knitting / crochet project (or designing one.) My sis and I would like to decide on a project for her – probably a shawl, but I’m wondering if I should also start a shawl for myself (potentially for my mom if she ends up liking it) as an alternative project. Ahem, yes, big plans, considering I’m short on crafty time. πŸ˜€ Since I don’t want to purchase new yarn for myself, I’ll need to take stock of my current stash and decide what to make…

I’ve not been blog hopping much last month; I hope this gets fixed soon. Meanwhile, I’d love to know what you’ve been up to!

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Wall Hanging: L&T SAL 2018

My Linen and Threads SAL project is now a wall hanging!

Wall Hanging from Linen and Threads 2018 SAL

We haven’t selected a place for it in the living room yet, but when we do, this is how it’ll look.

I added decorative crochet edgings to the top and bottom of the piece, a dowel at the top, and a fringe at the bottom. The fringe is still wonky, and I’m hoping to find methods to straighten it. If all else fails, I’ll just find some heavy-ish beads to add to it, and that should do it.

Edging Details of Linen and Threads 2018 Wall Hanging

I made up the crochet edging as I went, and had to redo the first row quite a lot to find the right crochet hook size to work with – scrunching up the cross stitch fabric is obviously a deal breaker. Turns out the 4mm one was perfect. I used the crossed double crochet pattern for the main feature of the edging – though I added a treble crochet stitch, and worked on the wrong side: * sl 2 st, tr in 3rd st, dc in 1st slipped st, dc in 2nd slipped st. *


Knitting-wise, I’ve completed the brioche section of the yoke, and have started finishing the neck using an i-cord bind off. When that’s done, I’ll move to the sleeves.

Amherst Cardigan brioche yoke

Looks like my swatching didn’t catch my distinct loose brioche purl gauge. I tried to fix it as I continued, but it persisted. This definitely calls for more practice! πŸ™‚

During this knit, one of the thin (2mm) bamboo needles that I was using for the brioche section cracked. (Doesn’t that happen to all of us at some point on the job? πŸ˜‰ ) Well, when I’d bought the needle set, I knew it would happen some day. There are no local yarn stores near me, and I’ve been waiting for discounts on steel needles online, but they never seem to be on. International shipping and possible customs taxes would make the cost prohibitive without discounts, so for now, I’ve bought a cheap set of thin metal needles as replacement – after all, it’s not every day that I use the thin ones! (This might be the first project that I’ve had to go so thin.)

Have you ever had needles crack or come apart during a project?

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Hurrah! I did manage to finish the December section of the Mystery SAL from Linen and Threads. And that means the year-long project is now complete!

L&T SAL - Dec finish

I’d altered the section to shorten the dress of the human in this section, and I like that it turned out not too bad.

I did make a mistake while coloring the chart, however. It’s not at all evident in the section, but maybe if you see the overall tapestry –

L&T SAL - The Entire 2018

I styled the flowers differently for Jan (green and pink) and Dec (only red)! I’m not going to redo it, though – too nitpicky, too much hassle, and I’ve already celebrated the completion of the project. πŸ˜›

Isn’t the overall project just beautiful? ❀ Now we’re wondering if this really needs to be a table runner, and if it’s not too late to turn it into a wall hanging or something. πŸ™‚

And now, the knitting…

For my brioche stitch project, I’ve chosen the Amherst Pullover by Amanda Scheuzger. This has brioche stitch only for the yoke and not the entire project, and that’s perfect for me, because the weather here doesn’t really require the squishy coziness of the brioche stitch. (And with all the swatching I did, I think I’ve now got the theory of both flat and in-the-round brioche stitch.)

As usual, I didn’t find yarn that fits both recommended weight and colors that I like, so I’m just going with colors that I like (albeit not too light weight-wise!) Right now, I’m reworking the project instructions to fit my gauge and preferred fit, because I can’t get the required gauge with this yarn without the stitches getting too loose.

I’m still undecided about retaining the pullover style of the sweater, or turning it into an open cardigan with i-cord edges replacing button bands. The pullover looks great, but by the time I finish it, I’m guessing the ‘harsher’ winter weather here would be over, and the sweater would be too hot / uncomfortable to wear, which probably means it’ll get an year of storage in the attic. A cardigan might be better for this sweater so I can use it more, but I’m not sure how it’ll look. Your vote on this oh-so-difficult decision?

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and are enjoying some crafty time too!

The Haubergeon Blouse

After completing the forever sleeve(s) of the Haubergeon Sweater-based blouse that I was making for my mom, the body knitted up quickly. Blocking soon followed, and my mom has already worn it a few times now! (Mornings are finally a bit colder here…)

I can definitely say that I loved the knit, even if the tiny cables on the sleeves drove me a bit crazy. (But I’m already forgetting the difficulty of the cables – see, it was a great idea to tackle the sleeves first after splitting at the armhole! Plenty of time to recover while working on the body. πŸ˜› ) I like that even with my modifications to the original bottom-up instructions to make the project top-down, it doesn’t look too weird.

Haubergeon Blouse

There’s one thing that I really, really hope to take away from this project – and that’s not to use yarns of lighter weight for pullovers / no-button blouses, regardless of how much we like its color. I use the magic loop method on circular needles to knit in the round, and while it works fine for heavier yarn, the presence of ladders at the beginning of a new loop seems to be a given for lighter weight ones. I managed to tweak the stitches before and during blocking to get rid of the ladders, but their ghosts still linger… (I could buy a bunch of DPN’s instead, and try to get rid of the dread that I feel working with them.)

Another minor issue is that I used 2.75mm needles for this, and though I thought the stitches looked fine on my swatch, they don’t appear too tight now on the blouse. But maybe it’s just me, because my mom didn’t seem too bothered.

Current projects

As for this month, I haven’t started on another knitting project yet since I wanted to concentrate on the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL’s final section for the year. However, there’s not been much progress on the cross-stitching either, because design alterations! (Did you guess that? πŸ˜‰ ) This month’s section circles back to the January one, with a human surrounded by flora and fauna. There was too much empty space at the bottom of the current section due to the long dress that the person wore, and I ended up cutting the dress so I could trim down the space at the bottom to match the top of the project. And since I’d already hem-stitched the bottom border when I’d started the project, I undid and redid it along the new border.

I colored the chart, and now the cross stitch is limping along, but I’m in the mood for knitting again, and have started looking for brioche stitch projects. Does this mean I might not complete the cross stitch by year’s end? I don’t know, and I don’t mind if I don’t. πŸ™‚

That’s me so far this month. How are your projects coming along?

Fall Shawl

I think I just completed a perfect shawl for transitioning into winter, and though this one is for my sister, I might want to make one for myself. πŸ˜‰ I even want to use the same color, because it’s so bright and cheerful and gorgeous!

Fall Shawl | Anita

Since this is a rectangular shawl, I designed it to have alternating horizontal sections of two textured stitches, with each section pair separated by a couple of eyelet rows. The textured stitches I used are moss stitch and diamond honeycomb stitch. The sections are of varying height, although symmetrical between the top and bottom halves.

I’d originally thought of having same-height sections for a given textured stitch, but while knitting, realized that there was a high probability that I’d run out of yarn. So I played with the section heights in my design until I was sure I’d use up most of the yarn but not run out of it. I barely have half a meter of yarn left now – so that’s another point to this project! πŸ˜‰

Fall Shawl | Anita

Another constraining factor for this design was that my sister wanted this shawl to completely cover her arms, but she also doesn’t like narrow shawls much, which meant it had to be at least medium sized. There definitely wasn’t enough yarn for that, and since this yarn is at least a year old, I couldn’t order more. How about adding yarn of a different color? We couldn’t think of any other color that would work well with this one.

So I decided to use a super-stretchy cast on and bind off – Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On and her Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe not, because the yarn itself turned out to be slightly heavy, and now the shawl totally stretches lengthwise when it’s worn. πŸ™‚ Hence, I thought blocking it would probably be useless. My sister is anyway happy because it does completely cover her arms and is of a satisfactory height, so we thought she could wear the shawl unblocked for a while, and I can think about further finishing if it comes to it.


Now, after this high, I’m weirdly not in the mood to work on anything yarn related, so I’m left without a yarn project again. No matter, the September section of the Linen and Threads SAL is out, so I’ll take a tiny break and pick it up.

A ‘Fishy’ Sleeping Bag

I used up leftover yarn from a project or two, and made a sleeping bag for one of our favorite jewelry models – Penguin. πŸ˜€

'Fishy' sleeping bag

This project was a UFO till recently – I think I’d started it more than a year ago. I’m pretty happy that I finally picked it up again and finished it! (And I used up both leftover balls, so that’s another yay!)

The project itself is pretty simple. The tail fin is single crochet stitched in a circular manner so it stays stiff. (It still twists a little, though.) The body is double crochet, also worked in circles with color changes. The finishing at the top edge is a row of shell stitch, and I made the stitch spans wider so the edge becomes a bit more snug. (Also, I was running out of yarn. πŸ˜€ )

When I’d started on this project, I had grand plans of adding some fins on the sides too, but I guess I overestimated the amount of yarn (or maybe underestimated the size of the project), and in the end, there just wasn’t any yarn available for the fins. No worries, I think Penguin likes it just the way it is! πŸ˜‰


After that satisfying finish, I’ve completed designing a rectangular shawl for my sister. We’re using a single color for this project – which is a change from my previous shawl project, the colorful Oshara Shawl – so all I needed was a lot of textured stitches, which I’ll use for sections of the shawl. More on this one when I work on it enough and click pictures of it!

I’m also working on the August section of the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL – I’ve just finished figuring out the colors, and have started stitching with my main color.

That’s it from me this time. I’d love to hear how your projects are going!

Oshara Shawl

I completed the Oshara Shawl MKAL, and I’m in love with the shawl!

Oshara Shawl

My joy is threefold – that the shawl turned out alright though I didn’t know what I was going to make, that my choice of colors turned out alright just brilliant, and that my slight modifications to the pattern turned out alright.

My pattern modifications were nothing big, just a few alignment and increase adjustments. Weeks 3 and 4 had sections where the left and right edges of the shawl didn’t match. They would definitely not be noticeable when the shawl is worn, but I would know! πŸ˜› (And I would not be as happy while knitting these sections.) So I moved / changed the repeats in those sections a little to make them match. For one of the sections, this would slightly mess up an increase row, and I changed the way I increase to retain the expected stitch count.

 

Overall, I’m ecstatic about the result. I wish I could wear this shawl right now, but it has turned out to be a wonderfully lightweight summer shawl, and summer is long gone here – it’s pretty chilly now. No worries, I can hope for a warmer day or two, and if that doesn’t happen, well, the shawl will be ready for next year.

Can I just say again how glad I am that the risk of joining this MKAL paid off! Thank you Susanna for designing such a fun and beautiful project, and Interweave for the opportunity to play along! I don’t know if I’ll work on more MKAL’s in the near future, though – my thirst for knitting mystery projects seems to have been quenched for now. πŸ™‚