Cable City!

Finally, finally! My cabled top is ready. πŸ™‚

Cable City! Top

This was the most fun I’ve had with cables till now — never a boring row! I did work on it on and off, though, so that might have been a contributing factor to the not getting bored bit. πŸ˜›

The Nako Saten yarn that I used for this was really fun to knit with. (I’ve bought more skeins to knit something for my mom.) And I totally love the color. ❀ It’s too hot right now to wear this top, but fall or winter would be perfect.

I knit everything top-down. I made the front and back separately, sewed them together, then knit seamless set-in sleeves. I lined all the edges with i-cords.

These are the cable patterns that I used for this top:

Cable City! Top

To look up the pattern names, I referred to my old post which I’d written when I’d made just a little bit of progress on this one, and saw that I’d hoped this top would be epic when done. πŸ™‚ I do think it’s turned out pretty epic (it’s my latest favorite project πŸ˜€ ), and I can’t wait to wear it when I’m out and about! ❀

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?

Autumn leaf top

I’ve always fretted about not being good at coming up with lace patterns. Cables were something that I managed to get better at with practice, and with practice, I managed to turn out good stranded knitting projects too. Lace patterns were somehow, incomprehensibly, not speaking to me at all. Regardless of what I tried, I would come up with something dumb. Most of my learning so far had comprised of eyelets and simple lace patterns. They taught me decreases and yarn-over basics, but they weren’t enough to come up with patterns that bring the lace concepts in my mind to life. I needed more to understand lace at deeper, stare-into-its-soul level. It was when I made the Ashton shawlette for my mom that I came across different lace stitch nuances, and how different stitches work together to give the look one is aiming for.

Yes, yes, I’m getting to the autumn leaf top…

My sister had wanted a loose lace top, and I’d bought some yarn in a color she liked. I decided to put my lace learning to the test, and though I had to experiment quite a bit, I finally managed to come up with a pattern that I’m proud of. Now I’m out of my very own lace box of shame! πŸ˜‰ (Well, I’m actually a bit scared, wondering if I can ever outdo this one, hehe…)

Autumn leaf top

Autumn leaf top

The pattern has some nice texture to it too, which reminds me of leaves in autumn. (Coincidentally, the yarn is yellow as well! πŸ˜› )

Autumn leaf top

The top is knit top-down in two pieces — front and back, and is exclusively composed of the lace pattern, except near the seams (shoulders and sides.) Seams have a few rows / columns of stockinette stitch to give some stability to the structure of the garment. I’ve used grafting (shoulders) and mattress stitch (sides) for the seaming; the neck, sleeve and bottom is 1×1 ribbing in a larger needle size.

Here’s my sister wearing the top —

Autumn leaf top

This top has given me a firm push into the ‘I should write a pattern’ zone. It’s mind-boggling how much good patterns need to include these days — right from the gauge to schematics with measurements. I mean, if the gauge and the number of rows and stitches are provided, it’s not difficult to figure out how much the piece measures. πŸ™‚ Anyway, that’s for me to figure out when I finish writing the rest of the stuff in the pattern, and I haven’t even started… πŸ˜›

Short jacket

Once upon a time, I knew very little about stranded knitting, but I happily went and bought some yarn color combinations — 3 balls of one color, and 1 of another, thinking I’d knit some colorwork sweaters with them. Gah! If only I’d stopped to think, even for two seconds, I’d have realized that stranded knitting takes more yarn, not the same amount of yarn, as an unstranded sweater. (Duh…)

So I had these nice balls of dark and light gray with me, and I’d wanted to knit something for my sis with them. Having already tried out stranded colorwork by then, I’d realized that they will certainly not turn into a full-length sweater. My very-understanding sis said she’s fine even if it turns out shorter than I’d hoped for, so I started knitting with them nevertheless. Of course, I knit in a top-down manner so I’d see my progress and control when I’d stop. And that’s how we make a jacket! πŸ˜€

Short jacket

The yarn is of a heavier weight, and combined with the stranded colorwork, it has made for a cozy jacket. ❀ Not too cozy, though, and that’s why it doesn’t close fully and is a one-button jacket. (Kidding. πŸ˜‰ We liked how it looks and decided to keep it one-button.) The button is from a bunch that we ordered online, and it fits the jacket in a weird way…

Lemony shawl

It’s Lemony because of the beautiful bright-yellow color of the yarn. I started this project because I wanted something different to do while I was trying to finish other projects. πŸ˜€ Some of those other projects are still not done, but this wrap finished up pretty quickly.

Lemony shawl

I first started with the top-down approach without any pattern in mind, working short rows coupled with increases until I reached a decent height, and bound off, only to realize that the yarn is pretty heavy, and it stretched the shawl so much that it looked like I was wearing a python. :-/ So I frogged it and started afresh, this time quite narrower.

I still wanted to stick to the top-down construction, and started off with a simple lace pattern at the top. This time, I thought of looking for some inspiration for a lacy bottom edging that I could play with. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not great at designing with eyelets and laces, and I thought I could practice a bit now. I came across the Annis shawl pattern by Susanna IC on Ravelry. The instructions were for a bottom-up shawl, though, so I thought this is my chance to try to convert it to a top-down one and see if it looks the same. I tried and tried with quite a few combinations of yo, k2tog and ssk, but it never really looked the same. Sigh! I’d had enough of searching and experimenting, and just picked the best-looking one from amongst my tries — I had already made much of the shawl and didn’t want to frog it all over again to restart it bottom-up.

Though it doesn’t look anything like the Annis shawl πŸ˜€ I’m still happy because (a) it doesn’t look half-bad, and (b) I learned quite a lot about eyelets from those experiments. It’s at least got me interested in experimenting with more lacy patterns to understand them better. There’s also more to pointy ends than I have read about — they didn’t come up right even after blocking, and have receded back into the body now…

Meanwhile…

My friend KG has asked me to knit a sweater for her. I’ve not worked on a large project for someone who’s not immediate family, but thought I could see how it goes. I haven’t blogged about the sweater’s progress, though, and KG checked with me last week about it. She’s given me a deadline, you see… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Now that most of the difficult initial work — thinking of a pattern, swatching, designing parts from reference measurements — is done, the actual knitting is coming along… slowly. I don’t do things for long periods these days because my eyes feel the strain and fatigue at times — my day job also involves staring at a computer screen most of the time.

I like the color of KG’s choice of yarn. (Lavender? Lilac? I’ll just call it some kind of blue.) There’s also one ball of white yarn for some stranded colorwork. And hello, the background polka dots in the picture are also blue-on-white… Coincidence? πŸ™‚

Lavender cardigan

I don’t want to post too many photos of this sweater and spoil the surprise (or shock?) for KG, though, so I still won’t be blogging much about it until she’s seen it. Take note, KG! πŸ˜›