Chill in the Air

This month is definitely colder than last month. There’s a chill in the air that’s not really noticeable when standing in the sun, but slowly seeps into your soul if you’re in the shade. The kind of cold weather that’s too hot for a sweater but perfect for a shawl! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chill in the Air shawl -- blocking

I knit this shawl for my sis — it looks like she prefers the rectangular ones. Lots of eyelets in this shawl, and I broke them up into repeating thick and thin sections between blocks of uniformly wide stockinette sections. So it’s not too warm and not too airy — it’s just right. (I’m so reminded of Goldilocks when I think that! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

The eyelets form a winding texture between them that I just love!

Chill in the Air shawl

Over some serial episodes, I added quite a few tassels and formed fringes at both ends. I’d love to see them fully frayed over time — and it looks like they’re as eager as I am to get there!

So how do you like the shawl? My sis loves it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜› ) 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ These colors do make a good combination, don’t they?

Vintage vest

Vintage vest

Vintage vest

Whenever I see this vest, I think it looks like it’s about 50 years too late in the making ๐Ÿ™‚ but I love it! It’s something that I started quite a while back, and with leftover yarn from not one, not two, but three projects! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I’m just really happy with how it turned out. ๐Ÿ™‚

At first, I’d picked only the pink and brown yarn, and I wanted the patterned part to be all over the vest, but from my swatches, I knew the yarn I had would not be enough for that. So I picked additional leftover yarn, choosing to only use it for the sides. In a moment of recklessness ๐Ÿ˜› I started bottom-up though there was the chance that I would run out of yarn before I finish the project… [fingers crossed]

I made the front and back pieces separately, and it was fun moving between four balls of yarn for every row — two for the two sides, and two for the stranded pattern. The pattern itself is pretty simple, as you can see.

That I decided on a closed vest made neck shaping easier. I’m improving with neck shaping, but I’m still not there — there’re always bulges at certain points along the neck no matter how carefully I calculate. Not for garments with a closed front; the necks in these come up pretty nice, regardless of what design I shape them in. When it comes to necks in open fronts that are meant to be buttoned up, though, no amount of modifications to my calculations seems to work… [Scream of fury! Then quite a few slow, deep, calming breaths.]ย  I’ve to research and think a bit more the next time I decide on an open, to-be-buttoned-up garment, and try to figure out what’s going wrong.

Anyway, after all that silent screaming, I should really finish what I started talking about — the neck shaping was a simple gently curving one, and obviously, was joined by armhole shaping after a few rows. I worked each side with three balls, one for the side and two for the pattern, and made an extra stitch along the neck — I would pick up this stitch later for the ribbing.

The back was a similar affair, with a shaping of the neck in the final few rows.

I joined the two pieces using grafting at the shoulders and mattress stitch at the sides. I experimented with adding sleeves to make it a top, but I didn’t like how it looked. So decided to keep it a vest / sleeveless top, and added ribbing at the neck and armholes.

My sister said that it’ll go well with a white shirt. (Now when I mention this vest to her, I say “the one that goes with a white shirt.”) I must say I like the combination! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vintage vest

I still have scraps of yarn left from this project, and they will go into a tiny project, or maybe something with crocheted squares.

An earflap hat for my sis

My sis asked me to knit a hat that’s not too tight, covers her ears well and also has functional ties that she can actually tie up. We decided on an earflap hat with ties. I was dying to try out and learn intarsia in the round, so I thought this project would be suitable. I had some amounts of yarn left over from past projects that would work well for some small colorwork detail in a hat, so I decided to use those with the main yarn. I started out with a garter stitch border, and then was ready for some colorwork.

I’d looked for in-the-round intarsia methods from time to time, and hadn’t found many foolproof ways. Tip #1 always seems to be “If possible, just don’t do it.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Well I did want to, so these are what I tried:

  • Slip color-2 stitches while working color-1 ones, turn work, then slip color-1 stitches while working color-2 ones. I was pretty hopeful about this method, but it didn’t work for me because it resulted in some overly loose columns just before the first slipped stitch of a color.
  • Flat knitting simulation — Finish the right side, turn work, add an extra ‘reverse’ yarn-over (that is, with left-arm facing me), go through all stitches on the reverse side, work that extra stitch with the last stitch of the row, turn work. This resulted in a bumpy column where the extra stitch was knit with the last stitch.

There were a couple of other methods that seemed to me similar to these. I stuck with method #2, and my sis was considerate enough to ignore the bumpy column, but I’m still going to figure out sometime how to make the first method work correctly for me.

Before starting with the earflaps, I first confirmed with my sis where she wanted the colorwork column to be positioned. ๐Ÿ™‚ After marking out the spots for the flaps, I started out with knitting them, but then decided to crochet instead because I thought they would do well to be thicker.

I then strung yarn into the crochet edges and made 5-strand braids for the ties.

Earflap hat

Both my sis and I love how it’s turned out!

Triangles in the works

My first multicolor project (which I mentioned while talking about a different sweater) is still going on. Not the multicolor part — no, I finished that. Here’s how it looks…

Triangles top - front

I got the idea for the triangles when I saw a character in a TV series wearing a top that had a lot of triangles in it. And the only way I would get tiny triangles was if I knit using a fingering weight yarn. I did quick tests with some larger-weight yarns and didn’t like how they looked. The fingering weight yarn is silky, and as a result, my stitches don’t sit evenly, but I’m not too worried about that. Instead, I’m actually pretty stoked about the eye-catching stripes of triangles!

Anyway, that picture was of the front. I’m now knitting the back, and it’s not even multicolor, and that’s the part that’s pretty slow-moving. It’s made me swear that my next fingering weight yarn project (if ever there’s one) will be a lacy one. Something quick.

I’m knitting a few rows of this every day most days, and inching closer to completion. Kinda reminds me of the song Waves by Mr. Probz — “Wave after wave, wave after wave… I’m slowly drifting…” For this project — “Row after row, row after row… I’m slowly knitting…

Bulky jacket

Finally. I’ve been wanting to write about this bulky jacket, but properly photographing the jacket was just not happening. This jacket was pretty difficult to pose in and click, and it’s the only one that made me feel like buying a mannequin for displaying it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’ve done the best I can (without a mannequin, of course), and here it is — It reaches the middle of my waist.

Bulky jacket

This is a top-down jacket, and I knit it without worrying about gauges. That’s what’s fun about bulky yarn. ๐Ÿ˜€ The initial, topmost portion is stockinette stitches radiating outward on a base of reverse stockinette stitches. Once I crossed the shoulders, I moved to plain stockinette stitches. Not for long, though. The body was beginning to look too plain, so I added a quick decoration — a trio of unaligned, different-sized vertical lines made of eyelets. They stretch a bit when I wear them, and are more visible then. I also shaped the garment slightly by decreasing a stitch or two along the way.

The edging is plain 2×2 ribbing. I stitched two buttons in the end, too — no buttonhole planning was required since the bulky yarn left holes in the garment big enough for these buttons to fit comfortably in.

I wish I could have made the sleeves longer, but the jacket didn’t really look good then, so I ended them where I did.

Textured shawl inspiration

Textured Shawl

I knit this shawl inspired by the notes jotted down in the Textured Shawl pattern by Orlane Designs. I think this was the first shawl that I ever knit (but it remained on the needles for a long while.) The notes vary the number of pattern rows, whereas I kept it constant, and I introduced two plain stockinette rows after every two pattern rows. Also, my shawl has a seed stitch border.

This shawl made me realize that triangular shawls aren’t my favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not because they result in way too many stitches per row as the project progresses — it’s because they grow too long without getting wide enough. I’ve tried the common method of doubling the increases on the edges (i.e. increase every row on edges, but only every right-side row at the center) but I didn’t really like the slightly curved shape that the edge takes on.ย Kristen Hanley Cardozo mentions quite a few methods of shawl-shaping in her Craftsy post, but being the experiment-crazy person that I am, I’ve now started on a shawl that is mostly triangular-shawl-like in its increases, but I’ll work a lot of short rows in so it gets wider without growing long enough to reach my knees. It uses the fingering weight yarn that I mentioned earlier, so it’s going to be a long while before it’s done. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚