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 3.25mm 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?

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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.

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

Pullover ft. Entrelac – Attempt #2

Since I hadn’t much liked how my entrelac-featuring pullover attempt was going, I decided to try a different, easier-to-execute design. This one features more entrelac area, and looks better with alternating colors of narrower entrelac strips. I haven’t frogged my attempt #1 yet – that’ll depend on how my progress on this one goes!

Here’s a peek of how attempt #2 looks so far.

Pullover featuring Entrelac, attempt #2 - progress

So many strands to weave in! πŸ˜‰

It’s a short post this time because it’d been slow progress on this project till recently, but since I’ve picked up some pace now, and the entrelac strips shorten with each step, I’m hoping to finish some more of this pullover before I start on the April section of the Linen and Threads SAL.

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.

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.

Through Thick and Thin; The Difficult Yarn

Uh oh, the neck seemed to be coming along nicely, but when I join the left and right segments, the stripe at the join distorts. My sis and I remember owning a striped top a long time ago that distorted similarly, but I’m not really keen to have it remain distorted like this.

Through Thick and Thin top - neck stripe distortion
Is the tension at the edges of the neck too tight, making the fabric scrunch up at the join? I’ve tried to keep the edges as loose as I possibly can without the slack propagating to adjacent stitches. Is there some trick or tip that can straighten it right now, or will it get fixed when blocked? I hope it becomes undistorted. And if it doesn’t despite my best efforts, well, then I’ll just wear it anyway! πŸ˜›

Through Thick and Thin top - ribbing
Meanwhile, this is how the junction of stockinette and ribbing looks with TECHknitter’s tip. The knit stitches have consistently appeared pretty seamless, and the texture doesn’t do a visible ‘step up’ at the ribbing, so that officially makes this tip a staple in all my ribbing transitions! πŸ™‚

The difficult yarn :-)
As for a design for my sister’s cardigan, I’ve tried samples of a few vertical striping ideas that I had, and none seem to look that good. The color of this yarn is just gorgeous, but it doesn’t seem to lend itself well to stripey looks. πŸ™‚ My usual sources of inspiration, Ravelry and Pinterest, don’t have much that we liked either. If I don’t come up with a viable design soon, we’ll probably change our preference to something else. Wish me luck!