WIP: Amherst Cardigan

Progress has been slow on the Amherst Cardigan…

As planned, I’m on the sleeves of the cardigan now, knitting both together. I’m happy I work two at a time now – makes it much difficult to make mistakes on only one of the sleeves, which I’m sure I’ve made on an old project because one of the sleeves seems different to me than the other. Either that or one of my arms is fatter or longer than the other.

Anyway, I’ve reached the halfway mark, and I’m hoping I’ll finish the rest of it faster now, since there are more decreases in the sweater down the elbow. Phew, I already can’t wait to get back onto the body and complete it. It’s getting hotter here already so I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to wear the sweater immediately, but at least it’ll be there when I need it.

Amherst Cardigan - progress on sleeves

As for other projects –

The Linen and Threads SAL wall hanging now has its fringes blocked to straighten them, and it went really well. The piece now looks gorgeous in the living room. (It looks pretty much the same as it did in my previous post, so I won’t bore you with a picture again. πŸ˜› )

Speaking of SALs, I had a look at the February section of the current Linen and Threads SAL, and I’m still not sure if I want to take it up. At this rate, I’ve anyway no hope of catching up quickly, and will probably work on it at my own pace, so I’m now wondering if I want to stitch the 2017 instead. Either way, I still have to buy thread. Since I’ll be toning down drastically on the color count – just 2, or 3 at the most – and already have a couple of colors in mind, I just have to wade through the horrible traffic of Bangalore (shudder!) and buy them.

That’s it from me. Looking forward to hearing 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?

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

November’s Linen and Threads SAL section was pretty intriguing due to the intricacy of the intersecting motifs in the design. I love how it turned out!

L&T SAL - Nov finish

I enjoyed the time I spent picking my colors. The little bit of blue that I used does not really stand out. I didn’t think it would blend in that well with the green, but that’s still fine with me. (I’m a bit surprised that I’m not disappointed with this. :P)

The stitching, not to be left behind, was fun too, especially after I got the hang of the pattern and didn’t have to keep going back to the chart. Stitching while listening to books or binge watching serials – ah the bliss!

I also discovered that the new red – the one that I started using after my earlier pink ran out – does not bleed! (I was kinda sure it would, though.) While that is good, it makes the overall project look a bit inconsistent now. Do I run an ink pen over the reds to force those parts to bleed? πŸ˜€

There’s a lot of space for the December section (ooh, you can see the hem stitch border at the bottom of the picture) and I’m hoping it’s not too much to stitch. Fingers crossed.

Knitting

As for the blouse I’m knitting for my mom, I’m done with the sleeves, (and they do look beautiful), but I’ve not made too much progress on the body. I’m hoping I’ll be done before this month ends so I can finally start on a brioche sweater – one of the knitting goals I had for this year was to learn brioche stitch. I did try a brioche sample a couple of months ago, but I’ve already forgotten how to go about it, πŸ™‚ so a project will help me remember it better.


Only one month of knitting, crocheting and stitching remains before the year ends. Have you started thinking about next year already? (I haven’t.)

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Stitching in October was more fun than I’d thought it’d be, because mermaids!

I decided on my colors pretty quickly, but I could see an element in this section that might be a problem. The mermaids here appear the way they probably would if they were real – with uncovered chests. On a coffee table runner in the living room (which is what this project will be when done), this would undoubtedly result in affronted conservative eyes – a lot of them. So after some agonizing over this aspect, I decided my project would have the mermaids be Disney ones instead, wearing shells on their breasts. (Sigh!)

L&T SAL - Oct finish

After some changes in the chart to accommodate this design decision, the stitching itself went along without a hitch, so I don’t really have much left to say other than gushing about how I love the way this month turned out! πŸ™‚

I can’t believe there are only two more sections to go before this SAL is done! I’m so looking forward to the decorative section of next month.

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Looks like I forgot to talk about my completion of the September section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL!

L&T SAL - Sep finish

The single noteworthy event that happened this month was that I ran out of the pink thread. I stitched half of this section’s pink part, and the skein ended, but when I rummaged through my stash, I couldn’t find another. This came as a surprise to me, because I’d thought I had 5 skeins of this color, and had anticipated that it would last beyond this SAL. I was wrong big time!

The pink skein was an old one and I had lost the color number for it, so instead of trying to shop for a color that most closely matches this one, I decided to go a shade darker, and picked a reddish one. (Yes, this one has at least 5 skeins, however, not all of them will be used.) Anyway, my January section had a lighter shade of pink before I switched to the darker one, so it could be a natural transition to grow even darker, and end the SAL with the new color. So many improvisations!

I hope October has fewer surprises in store. πŸ˜‰