Pullover ft. Entrelac – progress

Entrelac strip – done! In order to prevent pesky tangles, I used three balls of yarn – one for the darker entrelac color, and one each with the lighter body color for the triangles along the two sides. (Of course, very little of the light colored yarn got used for the strip.) I’m now knitting the pullover body, and joining it on the go with the entrelac triangles, like so –

Pullover with a Splash of Entrelac - progress

I’m on the fence regarding this one. I like the idea I had for this design, but not the execution.

Firstly, I don’t like that I got the darker blocks to break away by interspersing entrelac blocks of lighter color. I’d have liked the lighter color to remain stockinette stitch. I can accomplish this by knitting the darker ‘breakaway’ rectangles separately, switching to lighter-color stockinette when I’m at the breaking-away point, and joining the breakaway rectangles while decreasing / increasing lighter color at the touch points as required. But that seems like too much crazy work.

Secondly, I’d thought of making the strip go from shoulder to hip, with a square neck for the sweater body. But due to various compatibility issues with sweater width and strip width, I ended up making it more of a V-neck; I had to join the entrelac strip to the body quite a distance away from the shoulder, but still in the neck curve. I don’t like how that looks. I’d like the strip to go higher, or, as a less preferable choice, stop before it reaches the chest.

Thirdly, the joins at the entrelac edges look super-wonky, and I don’t think blocking will help here. I checked out mattress stitch based joins on a small section of an edge, but the join is more prominent there, if anything.

You can see where I’m going with this. (Ribbit!) I already have non-entrelac-based execution ideas swimming in my head. I’ll give it a few more days before I decide what to do with this project. Or maybe a few months, because it’s neither sweater weather nor sweater-knitting weather here – it’s boiling hot. I’d really hate to frog this one – it looked pretty promising – but I’d probably hate it more if I don’t like how it turns out. Wouldn’t you agree?


Ideas – Pullover ft. Entrelac

Entrelac is a technique for which I always need a refresher tutorial, but once I relearn its principles, I wonder how I ever forgot. πŸ™‚

I’d bought two colors of this speckled Nako yarn, from which I plan to make two sweaters that each have one main color and a little bit of the other color. For my first sweater, entrelac came to mind for the secondary color. (I don’t think I can go with entrelac as the primary feature in a sweater — at least not right now. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I just don’t like how it looks.)

I have started on an entrelac strip, but I still don’t have a concrete plan for the design. πŸ˜€ Here are rough depictions of a few of my ideas:

Entrelac Pullover Ideas

I do like the look of that bottom one…

While I try to refine the design some more, I’ll knit a couple more entrelac sections on that strip! It doesn’t look like the yarn shows the crisscrossing too well, but it looks fine IRL when blocked. (After all, what else can one expect from a picture with the flash on…)

Entrelac Pullover Strip

I don’t get much knitting time these days, though — I’m spending more time on the very enjoyable cross stitch from the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL. I’m close to completing the January section, so I decided to show pictures in my next post.

A Texturilicious Cardigan

I guess it was too much to hope that I’d complete this project last year, but it’s finally ready. Well, almost ready, since I feel the sweater could do with more buttons but we’ve not ordered any. However, it’s wearable now, so can I consider it done already? πŸ™‚

A Texturilicious Cardigan

A Texturilicious Cardigan

The cardigan used up almost 1400 metres of yarn, so it was a lot of knitting, and it’s pretty heavy as well. The sleeves turned out much looser than intended, because I apparently messed up copying over the measurements for my calculations! ‘Oops’ is an understatement. 😦 It’s super-cosy, however, which meets the main requirement for the sweater. πŸ˜› I like that the i-cord edges suit the cardigan well. Hope my sis finds a use for it in the few remaining weeks of cold weather.

The knitting seemed to have gone on forever, but the slipped rib + seed stitch texture of the body was really fun to knit, and needless to say, I love that texture! Here’s the pattern I used for it:

RS: sl1p wyib, k1, p1, k1, p1
WS: p1, k1, p1, sl1p wyif, p1

A Texturilicious Cardigan

What next?

Seeing Ginny’s stitching updates throughout last year, I’d been thinking of refreshing my cross stitch skills, and I’ve joined the Linen and Threads SAL this year. It’s awesome how supportive the community is on their Facebook group!

Knitting-wise, I’ve decided that my next projects are a pullover for myself, and another blouse for my mom. Let the designing begin! πŸ™‚

(I’ve totally given up on crochet, haven’t I? Hope I find something to crochet this year.)

I know I’m a slow knitter / stitcher, and yet I found myself slightly stressing sometime last year about the ‘insufficient’ number of things I was making. (Not limited only to knitting.) So I’ve decided that my new mantra is to be mindful, and I don’t mind if my throughput becomes smaller than it already is. As long as I love the process of working on my projects (and maybe get to learn a new technique or two along the way), everything is good.

And how about you? I’d love to know your new craftsy goals, and your progress on old ones.

Ear Warmers for Dad

Oh yes! My dad finally asked me to knit something! (The conversation actually went more like — Dad: “Sooo… there are these things that cover your ears…” Me [jumping out of my chair]: “Yes, I’ll make one for you!!!”)

So I made an ear warmer — a quick knit. I didn’t realize it when I started, but the pattern turned out not so bad-looking on the inside too, so at least my dad doesn’t need to worry about whether he’s wearing it inside out. I didn’t block it since it is to be worn stretched out anyway, and it looks fine then.

Ear Warmer

Ear Warmer

Ear Warmer (inside-out)

Ear Warmer (inside-out)

It turns out Dad doesn’t want the ear warmer for everyday use, it’s more for when he travels, but it’s still something! This is a great end to my knitting year. πŸ˜‰ (I have a feeling it’s gonna be a long time before he needs anything knit again…)

Hope the new year brings more wonderful knitting / crocheting to you folks. Happy New Year!

And since writing down a pattern for an ear warmer is far less work than one for a sweater πŸ˜‰ here’s a summary:

The main pattern is a multiple of 12 stitches and 8 rows. My stitch gauge was 21.25 st per 4″/10cm, so I used 108 stitches for a width of around 20″/51cm.

Cast-on 96 stitches using cable cast-on with larger needles. Join in the round. Switch to smaller needles.
Preparatory rows:
Row 1: *k*
Row 2: *p*
Row 3: *k*
Row 4: *p*, while increasing 12 stitches uniformly. Total stitches: 108
Rows 5, 6, 7, 8: *k3, p3, k1, p1, k1, p3*
Main pattern:
Row 9: Same as preparatory row 5
All even rows: Knit the knits, purl the purls
Row 11: *k3, p2, m1r p-wise, p1, cdd, p1, m1l p-wise, p2*
Row 13: *k3, p2, p2tog, m1r, sl1p, m1l, ssp, p2*
(In row 14, treat the sl1p in previous row as a purl stitch.)
Row 15: Same as preparatory row 5
Repeat rows 9-16 until the ear warmer is almost wide enough. (I made only one more repeat.)
Finishing rows:
Rows 1, 2, 3, 4: Same as preparatory row 5
Row 5: *p*
Row 6: *k*, while decreasing 12 stitches uniformly. Total stitches: 96
Row 7: *p*
Row 8: *k*
Bind off using purl stitches with larger needles.

The Center Pull Catastrophe

How does one get along with center pull? It has never played nice with me. And after my latest tangle disaster, I’m not in a hurry to re-experiment with it anytime soon.

I’d knit the body of my current textured cardigan project till the waist, and I decided to switch to the sleeves for a much-needed change. Instead of knitting them one at a time, I thought I’d try the center-pull method “one more time” and knit one sleeve with yarn from the outside like always, and another with yarn from the center.

Textured Cardigan - progress

This is where I was a few days ago.

I’d knit only a few rounds when I noticed I just couldn’t pull the yarn from the center anymore. It had gotten tangled on the inside! I thought I could try winding the yarn from the outside into another ball until I reach the tangle, but I was wrong…

Long story short, I spent an entire afternoon untangling a horrible mess, even after I’d snipped away the yarn from the knitting. I was so irritated that I thought of just dumping it in the trash, but no, there would be no wastage, not when I’d even bought an extra skein for this project because it looked like I’d need more yarn. (And lucky me, they were able to send the new skein from the same batch as the old ones.) So I persevered. At the end of it, I wasn’t even sure if it was worth it. I’m hoping it was. πŸ™‚

After a few days of break to get over the trauma, I’m back on the project. Next time I work on two sleeves at a time, I’m just going to use two balls of yarn, even split a skein in two if it’s the last skein. I’ve concluded that for me, a center pull is just not worth the risk of bald patches on my head from all the hair-pulling. πŸ˜‰

And if you prefer center pull, a tip of my hat to you. πŸ™‚

Textures and Mistakes

I’ve reached the armholes of the textured cardigan, and wow, was this an engaging knit or what! The continuous change in textures between the body and the cables and the sleeves made sure there was never a dull moment so far.

Engaging or not, mistakes happen, and I had to rectify them. Usually, every few rows, I eyeball the past few rows as I knit the current row, just in case I need to fix something. In this sweater, however, one mistake got away from me, and I only noticed it after 20+ rows — I’d purled a stitch instead of slipping it. It was so visible that I wondered how I’d ever missed it. (Don’t mistakes always seem that way once noticed? πŸ˜‰ )

Texturilicious Cardigan - progress

Correcting mistakes — even I can’t find the fixed stitch in one of these ribs.

Mistakes in these simple textures are nowhere as painful as, say, those while knitting lace, but undoing a long column ofΒ  slipped stitches was something new for me. New, but still familiar; it’s essentially a longer stockinette stitch, isn’t it? Come to think of it, it was probably easier, since the float at the back of the slipped stitch nudges the undone stitch forward. It’s almost like it’s eagerly waiting for you to snag it with your hook and put it back where it belongs. πŸ™‚

As for the cardigan, I debated whether to continue with the sleeves now or with the body — keeping the sleeves for the end has traditionally resulted in boring latter half of projects for me. However, right now, I’m keen on continuing the slipped stitch texture, so the body won. πŸ™‚ I’ll probably get bored of the body soon, and then I can park it and come back to the sleeves. Love the convenience of having so many textures in a single project! πŸ˜›

A Texturilicious Start!

After a successful stripey top, it’s time for a new project! The project on my needles right now is a cardigan for my sis that I started this week.

Earlier, I mentioned a delicious orange yarn that we thought of working with, but I couldn’t really come up with something that would do justice to the yarn, so we put it aside. And, ahem, we bought some new yarn for her cardigan. πŸ˜€ This is Nako Pirlanta, the same yarn that I used for a shawl for my sis, so I guess she likes this one!

Texturilicious Cardigan

The color this time is Almond, though it doesn’t remind me of any almond I’ve seen. πŸ˜› It’s still a gorgeous color, though. I’ve abandoned the vertical stripes plan for this project, and have gone with a lot of dense textures instead. The cardigan is raglan style, with simple eyelet-infused cables running along the raglan. The sleeves are seed stitch, and the body comprises of seed stitches and slipped-stitch ribs. I think I’ll have a better picture to put up when I make actual progress on it. πŸ™‚

This is supposed to be a winter project, and I’m knitting it combination style to see if I notice an increase in my speed. Even so, I’m not sure how fast I can knit it so it’s ready to wear this winter — even late winter. I’ll just do my best!