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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WIP: Amherst Cardigan

I finished the sleeves of my Amherst cardigan, and they fit just the way I like them! The Brioche stitching of the cuffs never seemed to end, but it finally did, icord-style. Brioche stitch looks wonderful with two colors – I like it more than the single color version – but I don’t think itsΒ  2-passes-per-row paradigm is for me. With my already-slow knitting pace, this stitch just takes forever.

Amherst Cardigan - finished sleeves

Does it look like the sleeves are ready for a fight? I think they are!

Though I decided earlier that I’ll pause the sweater after the sleeves, I think the tiny success of the sleeves has made my knitting mood stay put, and I’ll continue working on this one, though maybe only a row or two if I’m up to it before I go to bed, since that’s when it’s not too hot. This sweater will definitely only be ready by this year’s winter, since the band at the hip is also a Brioche stitch one and will take a while to complete. πŸ™‚

In other news, my hopes of having the 2019 Linen and Threads SAL be my alternate project have ended. Three months in and it’s still not speaking to me, so I’ll just not join this year.

Stripey Mat Weaving - III

The picture is not great quality, but I assure you, neither is the weaving…

So for a change of pace from the knitting, I’ve started weaving a third placemat to add to the two that I’d already made. No new techniques here – just multiple, uneven stripes of the two colors instead of the earlier A-B-A color placement. However, I already seem to have forgotten how to weave neatly – the weft in this one is all over the place. Maybe I should weave slower in order to ensure even tension in each pass? I’ll have to figure this one out.

Two steps forward…

… Two steps back, and almost a step forward.

That’s the state of the Amherst Cardigan right now. I almost completed the sleeves, when I realized I didn’t really like their form and fit much. Well, it’s better to knit it right instead of letting it slide and being unhappy when I wear it, so I decided to reknit the forearm a bit looser with a different decrease rate. I’ve now ripped that section out and have started again.

Reknitting Amherst Cardigan sleeves

I rechecked if this’ll eat into my yarn requirements and shorten the body’s length. It doesn’t look like I’ll have to sacrifice much – about 3-4cm (1.5″) which I think might be okay, assuming my gauge-based yarn calculations are correct. I think I’ve started hearing a whispered chant of “yarn chicken, yarn chicken…

I’m not getting much knitting done these days so I wondered whether to write anything at all, but this is as good a time as any to post an update. πŸ™‚ The weather’s gotten hot already and it’s becoming a tad uncomfortable to knit during the day on weekends, and I keep feeling like pausing this project and getting back to it later in the year. But I’m afraid my notes might not be enough to make further adjustments in the future if finagling is needed for the project, so I’d rather just keep at it, and finish at least the sleeves, if not the entire project!

So that’s my adventure so far. How are you faring in your projects?

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!

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?

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?

Pullover ft. Entrelac

I can’t believe I managed to finish the entrelac pullover before I start the Oshara Shawl MKAL! It’s definitely not what I had in mind when I started experimenting on featuring entrelac, but it’s also definitely not a bad attempt.

Pullover ft. Entrelac | Anita

My main concern in this design was to account for decreases and increases in the entrelac pattern at some point (not counting the obvious one along the body.) Since this project has had its fair share of mistakes and frustrations in the first attempt, I wanted to minimize those. So I chose to start the entrelac from one side of the body – the right seam, as it turns out – and continue towards the left seam. With this approach, the start and finish of the pattern would be easy, the decreases / increases of the entrelac squares would be concentrated on one side – around the neckline – while the other side would just continue as usual. I hoped this would make it manageable, and it definitely did!

Another area where I experimented was with starting the pattern exactly at the seam – I made the pattern run from armhole to hip, and tried increasing its width after a few rows to make it now run from shoulder to hip. This gave mixed results while increasing, so I decided to frog it and use plain stockinette till I increase for the sleeve, and then switch to the pattern. Anyway, that section would be mostly hidden behind my arms. πŸ™‚ This made my life easier. The seam is pretty visible, though. :-/

The rest of the front was just picking up stitches along the slanting entrelac edge and knitting increasingly longer rows top down. The back is plain stockinette, and so are the sleeves. I wanted the side seams to have slits, and on a whim, also made the back longer. I still don’t know how I feel about this. I think I like it, but if I decide later that I don’t, I can always rip it out and redo the ribbing. (Thank goodness it’s top down!)

I feel that designing with entrelac is definitely a challenge, with its share of table-flipping level of frustrations. But looking back, I think I learned much from the overall experience – I had to think and try out stuff quite a bit. If I make this project again, I think the entrelac will look good as the ‘outside’ of an inverted V, or maybe even the inside of the V, instead of as a simple diagonal. I might need to construct it differently, though. I’ll try that in a few years though, when I’m a better designer. (Fingers crossed. πŸ˜› )


And what about the MKAL? Yes, I did start it yesterday, and knit quite a bit, before I realized that I was using the wrong color. (I’m using different colors than suggested.) Frogged, restarted; but at least now the pattern is already imprinted in my mind so maybe it’ll go quicker. πŸ™‚

Oshara Shawl MKAL