Madewell was, well, Made Well

It’s finished.  After 11 months on my needles, of picking it up, putting it down for weeks, then the flurry of ribbing at the end, my Madewell Cardigan is finished.

And I love it.

My only really modification came right at the end.  The collar involved picking up over 300 stitches and ribbing for 28 rows. I was thrilled to ‘Bind off as established’ as called for the pattern but as soon as I tried it on, I wasn’t happy with it.  ‘If only I did a stretchy bind-off’ I thought.  Hoping it would block okay, I washed and blocked and crossed my fingers.  Tried it on after and still not happy.  So what do I do? Because I’m apparently insane, I took out the bind off edge, carefully putting the now live stitches back on my cable needle, and bound off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off.  This process must have taken about 3-4 hours, removing, putting live stitches back on, and re-casting off all with black fingering weight yarn, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m SO much happier with the finished edging, and I love my new cardigan to bits.

Pattern: Madewell by Joji Locatelli
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Solids, black; the elbow patches were from bits and bobs of leftover Manos del Uruguay Alegría.

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2018 Yarn Challenge

It’s started. Every year, one of my LYSs hosts a yarn challenge; she picks the yarn, the colours, prepares kits, and knitters do their thing and make something using the yarn. In 2016, I made this:

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And last year, I made this:

 

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I’ve already cast on my project and won’t post pictures until the challenge is over, but here is the yarn for the challenge:


I’ll be honest, I did find it hard to find a project that nicely incorporates five colours, but I cast on and I’m really happy with what I have so far. And I’m sure you were wondering, the yarn is Borgo de Pazzi’s Amore 160, a DK weight yarn. I’ll share my FO in a few weeks. Another reason why I love my local yarn shops!

Making Madewell Progress

Since March last year, I’ve been slowly but surely working on a cardigan: Madewell by Joji Locatelli.  It’s a fingering weight project, and because I like, ahem, challenges, I decided to make it with black yarn.  When I’m working on it around others, like at a LYS, people often share their own black sock yarn horror stories (“Never again” is often exclaimed), and on a few occasions I’ve been asked why am I punishing myself. Black sock weight yarn can be a wee bit hard on the eyes. Challenges aside, I love it, and with my wardrobe, a black cardigan will be worn time and time again, hence my colour choice.

This has been a great project to pick up after having put it down for weeks at a time. It’s largely stockinette, lots of knits and purls. Because I no longer feel the urgency of holiday knitting, I’ve been able to dedicate more time towards this project. I was nearing the end of the body, no more shaping increases or decreases, so the knits and purls proved to be great mindless knitting, working on a row or two while watching TV or reading on my e-reader.

I feel like I’ve actually made some progress with it this weekend, finishing the bottom ribbing and starting working on the sleeve.  This is my first experience with raglan sleeves, and I must say I love it. You don’t need to worry about setting in and seeming. The stitches came off the holder, onto a 16″ circular needle and away I knit in the round. Once again, being all stockinette, it’s proving to be fantastic for mindless knitting.

One whimsical feature of this sweater are the elbow patches, a great way to use up a few metres of that extra sock yarn everyone has in their stash.  I had three colours of Manos Del Uruguay that worked well together, so after binding off the main body, I took a break and knit up one elbow patch. They add a great pop of colour to this staple sweater.

Can’t wait to get back to knitting and hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to show off the finished cardigan!

It’s a PineHatpple

The name my sister gave to this project. We’re both uber dorks.

A friend from the Museum Studies days was having a baby. This friend and I started working in the same city within a few months of each other, at different cultural organizations, and even after she moved on to a different opportunity in Toronto, we would still get together a few times a year for dinner, drinks, and to catch up.  She is notorious for her pineapple collection.  When I found out she was having a baby, how could I NOT knit her something pineapple related.

Here is the PineHatpple

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Finding the right pineapple hat on Ravelry wasn’t easy, and I ended up combining elements from two different patterns, following the lead of others who did the same thing.

The hat was made from the Pineapple hat pattern by Becky Veverkar. It was knit in the round with the wrong side facing you. As you knit the hat, the inside has the wonderful bobble-y texture taking form, and before you add the crown, you turn it inside out. The crown was made from pineapple tea cozy pattern, linked here. If it looks a little dodgy, don’t worry. Both the hat and crown patterns have been ‘archived.’  The yarn used was Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.

Not long after the hat was sent to my friend, I got a lovely text back with her new daughter wearing the pineapple. I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out and that I was able to make it for a good friend.

An Asymmetrical Adoration

This summer, one of the many projects I worked on included a sock weight shawl. I bought a lovely skein of SweetGeorgia from a LYS and cast on immediately. An easy pattern to memorize, and being completely in love with the colours, it knit up rather quickly:

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This stunning pattern, which is perfect for showing off two different yarns, is Graphic Kerchief by Ce Persiano, a free pattern.  I made my own mods to the pattern as written, noted on my Rav project page, and I love it.  It was also a great way to use those extra little bits of sock yarn still in my stash. The contrast is leftover Madelinetosh, the majority of which went into a pair of socks. The rest of it is an amazing pop against the Sweetgeorgia auburn.

Because shawls are a great go-to fingering weight project, I’m always seeing what interesting projects I can find on Ravelry. I have no idea why, but I’m always captivated by the asymmetrical shawls. I find their construction more appealing that the traditional triangle shawl.  Of course, this isn’t my first asymmetrical shawl, others have included:

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504 King West by The Knit Cafe Toronto

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SMASH by Rebeka Darylin

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And, Braidsmaid by Martina Behm.

I have quite a few skeins of sock weight yarn in my stash (which, as we all know, doesn’t actually count as stash), and I’m always on the search for my next asymmetrical shawl.

Do you have a go-to shawl pattern? Do you prefer triangle shawls, asymmetrical, or no preference either way?

Judging a Pattern by its Rav Picture

This is totally the knitting equivalent of judging a book by its cover, I realize, but it is a sin I am guilty of.

During my lunch hours, it’s not uncommon to find me at my desk reading, perhaps watching a safe-for-work episode of a TV show, all the while keeping my hands busy by knitting.  I’m also frequently browsing Ravelry’s ‘Hot Right Now’ patterns.  A few days ago, as I was mindlessly clicking through the patterns, I realized how the featured picture of the pattern completely impacts whether I’ll click on the pattern or not. Artistic, engaging image with the lovely yarn shown off in an aesthetic fashion? You bet I’ll click on! Poor quality, dark shades, hard to make out the stitches, and I find myself even questioning how this pattern is currently ‘Hot.’ The same goes for overly artistic photos where you can’t even tell what the project is – if it’s hard to discern the pattern, I have zero interest in the project.

While knitting is very much a tactile art form, the feel of the yarn, the movement of the stitches, it is also extremely visual. Even though you likely shouldn’t judge a pattern by its Ravelry picture, it’s a sin I’ll continue to commit.

Works in Progress Wednesday

BFF goes to New Brunswick on vacation.
BFF brings back two skeins of yarn from Briggs and Little as a gift for me.
BFF reinforces BFF status.

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Yarn in my stash that was being eyed for one project suddenly has a new purpose.

After buying new needles (which, by the way, I’m in love – I may have a new favourite in Lykke needles!), I’ve cast on what will be my first felting project, a garterlac purse, inspired by the Garter Striped Square Bag pattern. I’m apparently rather ambitious as I’m hoping to ultimately add a lining and perhaps a few pockets. I’ll first see how the felting goes.

The first row of any entrelac project always looks a bit wonky, but here is my project after a few hours’ work:

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