WIP – Amherst Cardigan

(The title was a giveaway but…) It’s decided – the Amherst Pullover is going to be a cardigan in my hands. I’ve made the pattern modifications from pullover to cardigan, and have calculated the amount of yarn required with my gauge. And guess what, it looks like the yarn I have barely covers it. Not this again! Am I somehow ultra-efficient while purchasing yarn? Is this some annoying superpower?

So I’ve started the cardigan with a provisional cast on (the crochet cast on) for the body/sleeves split (or body/sleeves join, depending on how you look at it.) I’m knitting the yoke now. When that’s done, I’ll move on to the sleeves and knit them fully as calculated. I’ll then come back to the rest of the body below the armhole, so I can reduce an inch or two of its length if the yarn seems insufficient. Hope this plan works out well. πŸ™‚

Amherst Cardigan progress

The brioche doesn’t look like much right now, but my earlier swatchings assure me that it looks just as it should. (And I seem to have misplaced a stitch marker pair, so I’m just using the plastic ones for now everywhere, while I mull upon making more markers…)

After the thin yarn and tiny cables from my last project, this sweater feels like it’s knitting up pretty fast! (But not really, my pace is still slow as usual.) I’ve reached the 2-color brioche section of the yoke, and I’m referring to tutorials again to internalize the 2-stitch decreases required at the raglans going forward. (I love how those raglans look and feel! And I strive hard not to glance at the ugly LLDs right beside, which have never improved no matter what I try.)

I’ve not decided yet if I’m joining another SAL this year, so until I get bored or want to work on something else, this cardigan is my only WIP.

And what are you working on currently?

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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?

The Forever Sleeve

I’ve been knitting a blouse for my mom, based on a pattern in a Knitting Traditions issue – the Haubergeon Sweater. This sweater has a plain body, with a lovely crisscrossing cable pattern on the sleeves that caught my mom’s eye.

The color that my mom prefers was not available in the suggested yarn weight, and we bought a thinner yarn. From my previous experience with mom, I’ve realized it’s better to knit top-down for her and keep making her try the project frequently. Since this sweater is knit bottom-up, I was going to have to change the knitting direction anyway, so adjusting stitch and row count for a different gauge shouldn’t be too problematic.

Once I read through the pattern and understood it, converting it was definitely not much of a hassle, taking into account the inevitable differences from turning a bottom-up pattern into a top-down one. (Especially the visual differences between increases and decreases.) What I didn’t expect was how long the project would go on – the cable pattern has crisscrosses in every row, and with the thinner yarn, it’s taking forever! I’ve now reached the armhole, and have continued with the sleeves, because I certainly don’t want to tackle the body first and end up having to come back to these cables. πŸ˜‰

Haubergeon Sweater - Sleeve

The looks-beautiful but takes-forever sleeve…
The picture is a bit blurry, but it accurately represents how I start seeing the sleeve after a few rows of knitting. πŸ™‚

Since November has brought with it a new section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL, I’m going to switch over to it while continuing to knit a row or two of the sleeves at a time.

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.

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™‚

Works in Progress

I’m merrily switching between my two current projects this month. πŸ™‚

The Oshara Shawl MKAL

Week 3 of the MKAL is here, and like I predicted, I’m still on Week 2. πŸ™‚ I felt that there was quite some variance in the knitting amount each week. I finished Week 1 in a day since it was just short rows in garter stitch, and have spent a few evenings so far on Week 2 since it involves colorwork and lace. Week 3, again, looks smaller than Week 2 chart-wise, but maybe they’re comparable stitch-count-wise.

Oshara Shawl MKAL progress | Anita

The charts haven’t been difficult so far, and I’m hoping they remain that way for the remainder of the project. I don’t totally get how it’s shaping up, though. This week, Susanna (the designer) mentions that she uses a top-down construction method for this shawl, and that, I think, removed some of the confusion I had, but it’s still a little bit of a mystery. πŸ™‚

I can definitely see that the yarn I’m using is thinner than the one featured on the project page – it was the closest replacement I could find – but I like the loose knit that it creates.

The one thing that I absolutely love in this shawl so far is the play of colors! My next section is a bright yellow, though, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll gel well with the rest of the team. πŸ˜‰

The Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL

TheΒ current section of this mystery SAL is a giant one that spans two months. It might look like I’ve made very little progress on the project so far, but I actually did a lot of work. It’s just that it was on designing and not on the stitching.

L&T SAL - Jun/Jul progress | Anita

This section has a lion and a unicorn among vines/plants, holding up some kind of coat of arms with our initials and the current year. The instructions also come with a helpful section that shows charts for every alphabet and digit, so we should be able to easily stitch whatever we choose to feature on the coat of arms.

I appreciate all the effort the creators of the SAL have put in for the section, buuuut I didn’t really subscribe to the coat of arms concept, even after I gave it a few days. So I tried replacing the entire coat of arms with another vine/plant, using bits and pieces from the vines that I’m stitching now. I had to move around the other pieces a little too, and I’m happy with the changes, in spite of a small curve in the new vine that I still think is a bit wonky. πŸ˜‰

So now I’m finally stitching! I’m still not completely sure of the colors I’ll use for the animals, but that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get there. I’ve done enough designing on this project for one month. πŸ˜›

That’s it for this time, folks! Hope you’re enjoying your projects at least as much as I’m enjoying mine!