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?

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

November’s Linen and Threads SAL section was pretty intriguing due to the intricacy of the intersecting motifs in the design. I love how it turned out!

L&T SAL - Nov finish

I enjoyed the time I spent picking my colors. The little bit of blue that I used does not really stand out. I didn’t think it would blend in that well with the green, but that’s still fine with me. (I’m a bit surprised that I’m not disappointed with this. :P)

The stitching, not to be left behind, was fun too, especially after I got the hang of the pattern and didn’t have to keep going back to the chart. Stitching while listening to books or binge watching serials – ah the bliss!

I also discovered that the new red – the one that I started using after my earlier pink ran out – does not bleed! (I was kinda sure it would, though.) While that is good, it makes the overall project look a bit inconsistent now. Do I run an ink pen over the reds to force those parts to bleed? πŸ˜€

There’s a lot of space for the December section (ooh, you can see the hem stitch border at the bottom of the picture) and I’m hoping it’s not too much to stitch. Fingers crossed.

Knitting

As for the blouse I’m knitting for my mom, I’m done with the sleeves, (and they do look beautiful), but I’ve not made too much progress on the body. I’m hoping I’ll be done before this month ends so I can finally start on a brioche sweater – one of the knitting goals I had for this year was to learn brioche stitch. I did try a brioche sample a couple of months ago, but I’ve already forgotten how to go about it, πŸ™‚ so a project will help me remember it better.


Only one month of knitting, crocheting and stitching remains before the year ends. Have you started thinking about next year already? (I haven’t.)

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.

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Stitching in October was more fun than I’d thought it’d be, because mermaids!

I decided on my colors pretty quickly, but I could see an element in this section that might be a problem. The mermaids here appear the way they probably would if they were real – with uncovered chests. On a coffee table runner in the living room (which is what this project will be when done), this would undoubtedly result in affronted conservative eyes – a lot of them. So after some agonizing over this aspect, I decided my project would have the mermaids be Disney ones instead, wearing shells on their breasts. (Sigh!)

L&T SAL - Oct finish

After some changes in the chart to accommodate this design decision, the stitching itself went along without a hitch, so I don’t really have much left to say other than gushing about how I love the way this month turned out! πŸ™‚

I can’t believe there are only two more sections to go before this SAL is done! I’m so looking forward to the decorative section of next month.

Something New…

Lately, I’ve been a bit bored with my usual pursuits, and I ended up trying a couple of new creative outlets. Gel printing was one, and the other – weaving.

I experimented with a cardboard sheet, some reclaimed yarn from a UFO, and a tapestry needle. I cut notches into the cardboard to use as slots for warping the yarn. I wanted to see if I’d like the repetitive back and forth action of weaving.

It wasn’t bad, though it might have been a tad too repetitive. I’m guessing that was because I had no pattern or design to follow.

Something New - Weaving

I love the cheerful colors!

I made two striped placemat-like rectangles, the first with taut warp threads and a little less squishing of the weft thread, and the second with less tension in the warp threads plus more squished weft. The second one turned out just a big longer, if you haven’t guessed yet. πŸ™‚ It was fuller but also less neater. I like the weaving feel of the first attempt better, but I’m not sure if the warp was too tight. Hope that in time, I’ll learn what the right tension is.

Speaking of tension, beginner weavers need to be cautious about not working the weft too tightly. Tight weft causes the warp threads to get pulled towards the center, and the rectangle ends up with a narrower center compared to the edges. I was pleased to see that I had managed mostly constant width in the rectangles – not bad for a first attempt.

I made and fixed my first mistake too – I missed a warp thread and had to undo a couple of rows of weft to fix it. I miss knit-fixes that involve undoing only a column (or two) of stitches! πŸ˜› But now I wonder if I could have just left the mistake as is, and it would eventually have gotten hidden.

Something New - Weaving

Can you tell the first attempt from the second? πŸ™‚

I could retain these rectangles as placemats, or combine them with one or two more to make a table runner. Regardless of which route I’ll go, I thought a single-crochet border for each rectangle wouldn’t hurt.

I’m trying out a third rectangle. I’d like to use a pattern for it but I’m not sure if it’d work well, because the weft threads are too widely spaced apart. (After all, notches on these cardboard sheets can only be so close together.)

I’ve not decided yet if I like weaving, but I’m definitely going to try some more “crude” creations before I start wondering if investing in a loom will help me decide better. πŸ˜‰ What do you think – some basic tapestry after the third placemat/runner rectangle?