The Phoenix (My do-over pullover)

My pullover has risen again from its own ashes, and is now a beautiful sweater that I’m waiting for colder temperatures to wear! I absolutely adore this pullover! ❀

The Phoenix (my do-over pullover)

The Phoenix (my do-over pullover)

Of course, I did wear it to model it… Phew! The weather’s definitely way too hot for all this stuff. (Look at the glare from the sun seeping through the curtains!) I think I was fidgeting and the picture’s a bit blurry, but it’ll have to do.

The Phoenix pullover

So right now, the pullover’s neatly folded up, and is awaiting a ‘proper’ inauguration. Sleep well until winter, my pretty! πŸ™‚ (Did you know that’s called aestivation? The equivalent of hibernation, only, this happens in summer.)

Blood and Ash top

The two-tone top is done! I used up the entire skien of the gray yarn, right down to a tie-cord accessory πŸ˜‰ at the neck. I still have almost one skein of the red left, though. I’ll have to think of a project for it.

Blood and Ash top

Blood and Ash top

I’d mentioned earlier that I’d made a ribbed raglan for this top, and I continued with stockinette stitches for the body and sleeves. I used tight 1×1 cables for the edgings instead of simple eyelets that I’d thought of before, and it suits the rest of the top, I must say!

Blood and Ash top

I’m happy with the length of the top and the sleeves. (Phew! Glad the gray lasted — in the end, I was knitting from both ends of the skien and alternating between the sleeve rows.) I like the ease in the top as well. The cord at the neck is still too wiggly, but one more stretching treatment will hopefully fix it. The only problem I have is that it’s still super-hot weather here, and I want it to cool down fast so I can wear this one!

Two-tone top

Remember when I talked about my novice self strutting off and buying insufficient amount of yarn for stranded knitting? Yeah, in the same shopping spree, I’d also bought another insufficient set — 3 red and 1 gray skeins of the same yarn that I used for my horizontal cables sweater.

Before I bought the yarn, I’d given some thought to the placement of the stranded knitting areas, but now, I knew that working on stranded knitting would result in a short jacket at most. And the placement I’d thought of won’t do for a short jacket. So instead of stranded knitting, I decided to knit a two-tone raglan top / sweater with the yarn.

Since the top would just be stockinette stitches, I decided to add some ribbing along the raglan shaping, and finish all edges with some simple, discreet eyelets. (Weird combination, I know, but that’s me! πŸ˜› ) This is how the raglan ribbing looks for the red body and gray sleeve —

Blood-and-Ash two tone top

The yarn is worsted weight, which means the progress is so much faster on this! I’m going to name it the Blood and Ash top. πŸ™‚ These colors do make a good combination, don’t they?

Vanilla and Liquorice Cardigan

The Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan is now finished, and is lying in my mom’s closet. It was already done a couple of weeks ago, but I was too lazy to click pictures of it. I eventually ended up presenting the cardigan to my mom on her birthday. (My sister thought that was very calculating of me, but I assure you, there was nothing calculating about it. πŸ˜‰ )

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

I mentioned in my previous post that the neck was really not in a great shape for the ribbing. To maintain the shape of the neck, I had to eventually make some increases at two places on each side of the body while knitting the ribbing. I still don’t really like how it turned out, but my mom thinks it’s salvaged well enough — she really didn’t like me undoing the yoke. So for now, it’s fine since she’s fine! πŸ™‚ For future projects, I think I’ll need to adjust the yoke cast-on stitches to not contain more than 1 stitch for the neck — that should prevent this quandary.

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

As for more projects, I’m knitting shawls these days, because sometimes sweaters are just too warm, and shawls certainly finish faster than sweaters. πŸ™‚

Vanilla and Liquorice Cardigan — I

I was really hungry when I was considering giving this cardigan a name, so I’m calling it what it reminded me of. πŸ˜€

I’m making this cardigan from the most adorable cream-and-dark-gray striped yarn that I bought during a sale. The cardigan is nothing fancy, just a raglan-style one before I practice with a different construction style again. The raglan was worked with the ‘fern leaf‘ decorative increase that I described in a previous post.

Aaand this is how the body looks –

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

I used stockinette stitches for the body. Being the cables devotee that I am, I added two columns of simple left-twisting cables along the edge of the cardigan to relieve the monotonousness. (That’s right, even though the stripes in the sweater kinda relieve the monotonousness already.) I’ve also added buttonless bands using 1×1 ribbing. My mind must have been wandering really far off then, because the neck is still on the needles and it is too early to do a ribbing. I’ll just have to work on that detail later. (Come to think of ribbing, I don’t really think the neck is in great shape for a neat ribbing… Something to think about.)

Before I wind up this post –

Working on big projects gets boring really soon, so I also have another project going on. More on that later, but look at how the remaining yarn resembles a croissant! Yum? (Or I might just be hungry again…)

Croissant yarn?

Decorative increase: Fern leaf

I’ve been working on a sweater that’ll probably be ready by winter due to the on-and-off nature of my knitting. I’ve gone back to knitting Raglan style sleeves for this one. πŸ™‚ The last Raglan sweater I made had invisible increases for the Raglan. For this sweater, I wanted to add some decorative element there (no, not eyelets from yarn-overs…) After some experimenting, this is what I came up with –

Decorative Increase: Fern Leaf

Decorative Increase: Fern Leaf

I call it the Fern Leaf increase because, well, it looks like a fern leaf to me. πŸ™‚ I’m sure this pattern, or something very similar to it, already exists with a different name, but I’ll just stick to Fern Leaf.

This pattern works well for symmetrical increases, that is, a left increase and a right one that occur in a regular interval. (That way, the fern looks healthy. πŸ˜‰ ) It is worked with one central stitch that acts as the ‘stalk’ of the fern. I’m going to assume that the central stitch is placed between two markers where the increases are made. The increase is worked on the right side (RS) row, and the leafy decoration happens in the immediately following wrong side (WS) row.

RS (increase): *k* till marker, M1R, SM, k1, SM, M1L, *k*.

WS (decoration): *p* till 2st before marker, TL and purl both twisted stitches, SM, p1, SM, TR and purl both twisted stitches, *p*.

Abbreviations

M1L, M1R: Make 1 Left, Make 1 Right

TL, TR: Twist Left, Twist Right

SM: Slip Marker

That’s all there is to the pattern! I’d love to know how you find it. πŸ™‚

Eyelet-patterned raglan cardigan – finished!

The cardigan is finally done! For the edges, I finally ended up using a regular 1×1 ribbing. (Nothing like the ol’ ribbing for sweaters…) It went pretty slow because I was busy with other stuff, and then I had to wait for my sister to model it — she was busy with other stuff. She is, by the way, happy with how it looks and wears. Phew! [Wipes sweat off brow.] We finally got some time today to click pictures of the cardigan. Here it is —

Eyelet Cardigan

Eyelet Cardigan

While I was knitting the ribbing, I got to thinking more about the cast-off (bind-off.) For this cardigan, I simply cast off in pattern, i.e. continue with the 1×1 rib pattern while slipping the previous stitch off the right needle. It’s easy that way for top-down sweaters because all borders are knit towards the outside from the middle of the fabric. Whether it is the body and the sleeves — where one just switches to the ribbing after the last main row, or at the neck and the front — where one picks up stitches and makes the ribbing, the bind-off is the last row for all parts of top-down sweaters. Not so for bottom up ones knit in parts — there, the body and sleeves have borders whose bottommost rows are the cast-on rows, but for the neck and front, the bottommost row is the bind-off row. And that means that the cast-on stitch needs to match the bind-off stitch. So it’s research time, since I’m going to make my next cardigan in a bottom-up fashion.

The next step that I want to take is to write pattern instructions. Not for this cardigan — it has some increases that are non-uniform and need careful counting, and since patterns need to be written for various sizes, it’s more than I can handle. Next time I think of a relatively easier pattern, I’ll give instructions-writing a go!