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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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!

Advertisements

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 itsย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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?

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. ๐Ÿ˜›

Isn’t the overall project just beautiful? โค 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!