A Texturilicious Cardigan

I guess it was too much to hope that I’d complete this project last year, but it’s finally ready. Well, almost ready, since I feel the sweater could do with more buttons but we’ve not ordered any. However, it’s wearable now, so can I consider it done already? πŸ™‚

A Texturilicious Cardigan

A Texturilicious Cardigan

The cardigan used up almost 1400 metres of yarn, so it was a lot of knitting, and it’s pretty heavy as well. The sleeves turned out much looser than intended, because I apparently messed up copying over the measurements for my calculations! ‘Oops’ is an understatement. 😦 It’s super-cosy, however, which meets the main requirement for the sweater. πŸ˜› I like that the i-cord edges suit the cardigan well. Hope my sis finds a use for it in the few remaining weeks of cold weather.

The knitting seemed to have gone on forever, but the slipped rib + seed stitch texture of the body was really fun to knit, and needless to say, I love that texture! Here’s the pattern I used for it:

RS: sl1p wyib, k1, p1, k1, p1
WS: p1, k1, p1, sl1p wyif, p1

A Texturilicious Cardigan

What next?

Seeing Ginny’s stitching updates throughout last year, I’d been thinking of refreshing my cross stitch skills, and I’ve joined the Linen and Threads SAL this year. It’s awesome how supportive the community is on their Facebook group!

Knitting-wise, I’ve decided that my next projects are a pullover for myself, and another blouse for my mom. Let the designing begin! πŸ™‚

(I’ve totally given up on crochet, haven’t I? Hope I find something to crochet this year.)

I know I’m a slow knitter / stitcher, and yet I found myself slightly stressing sometime last year about the ‘insufficient’ number of things I was making. (Not limited only to knitting.) So I’ve decided that my new mantra is to be mindful, and I don’t mind if my throughput becomes smaller than it already is. As long as I love the process of working on my projects (and maybe get to learn a new technique or two along the way), everything is good.

And how about you? I’d love to know your new craftsy goals, and your progress on old ones.

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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.

Textures and Mistakes

I’ve reached the armholes of the textured cardigan, and wow, was this an engaging knit or what! The continuous change in textures between the body and the cables and the sleeves made sure there was never a dull moment so far.

Engaging or not, mistakes happen, and I had to rectify them. Usually, every few rows, I eyeball the past few rows as I knit the current row, just in case I need to fix something. In this sweater, however, one mistake got away from me, and I only noticed it after 20+ rows — I’d purled a stitch instead of slipping it. It was so visible that I wondered how I’d ever missed it. (Don’t mistakes always seem that way once noticed? πŸ˜‰ )

Texturilicious Cardigan - progress

Correcting mistakes — even I can’t find the fixed stitch in one of these ribs.

Mistakes in these simple textures are nowhere as painful as, say, those while knitting lace, but undoing a long column ofΒ  slipped stitches was something new for me. New, but still familiar; it’s essentially a longer stockinette stitch, isn’t it? Come to think of it, it was probably easier, since the float at the back of the slipped stitch nudges the undone stitch forward. It’s almost like it’s eagerly waiting for you to snag it with your hook and put it back where it belongs. πŸ™‚

As for the cardigan, I debated whether to continue with the sleeves now or with the body — keeping the sleeves for the end has traditionally resulted in boring latter half of projects for me. However, right now, I’m keen on continuing the slipped stitch texture, so the body won. πŸ™‚ I’ll probably get bored of the body soon, and then I can park it and come back to the sleeves. Love the convenience of having so many textures in a single project! πŸ˜›

A Texturilicious Start!

After a successful stripey top, it’s time for a new project! The project on my needles right now is a cardigan for my sis that I started this week.

Earlier, I mentioned a delicious orange yarn that we thought of working with, but I couldn’t really come up with something that would do justice to the yarn, so we put it aside. And, ahem, we bought some new yarn for her cardigan. πŸ˜€ This is Nako Pirlanta, the same yarn that I used for a shawl for my sis, so I guess she likes this one!

Texturilicious Cardigan

The color this time is Almond, though it doesn’t remind me of any almond I’ve seen. πŸ˜› It’s still a gorgeous color, though. I’ve abandoned the vertical stripes plan for this project, and have gone with a lot of dense textures instead. The cardigan is raglan style, with simple eyelet-infused cables running along the raglan. The sleeves are seed stitch, and the body comprises of seed stitches and slipped-stitch ribs. I think I’ll have a better picture to put up when I make actual progress on it. πŸ™‚

This is supposed to be a winter project, and I’m knitting it combination style to see if I notice an increase in my speed. Even so, I’m not sure how fast I can knit it so it’s ready to wear this winter — even late winter. I’ll just do my best!

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!

Through Thick and Thin – progress

I’m almost done with the back portion of the top, and will finish it with a k3p2 ribbing. I’ve been using TECHknitter’s tip for a more uniform, less distorted fabric at the transition from stockinette to ribbing. And I must say it works great! Ah, the magic of slipped stitches! πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to seeing how the transition looks on this top.

Through Thick and Thin top -- progress

Speaking of slipped stitches, I decided to knit this top as separate front and back parts since I didn’t want to deal with jogless stripes. But I guess I’ll end up dealing with them when I knit the sleeves, since I’m gonna knit them in the round. They’ll be pretty short below the armhole, and I’m really not interested in knitting them flat and sewing the seams.

I love the colors in this one, and like the appearance of the pattern on the reverse side too, and I wish I knew of some good ways of joining seams and weaving in ends so this could be a reversible top! Knitting it the Raglan way would avoid seams, of course, but there seems to be no escaping the weaving in of yarn ends. πŸ™‚ (Also, Raglan is fine for sweaters, but for tops, I like the more fitted shape of non-Raglan construction.)

I’m in the stripey mood right now, and for a sweater that I’m planning to make for my sis, I’m thinking vertical stripes! πŸ™‚ My sister is okay with this. (Hurrah!) I’ve still not figured out much of the details yet, and I’m hoping the design will come to me soon. If it ends up being stripes, I also need to find some compatible yarn that would be a good color match — we’d bought just the main color back then.

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?