How do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.?
In sweaters? I knit 18 sweaters this year (four of the miniature variety)!
In pairs of socks? I knit 9 pairs in 2011!
In yards of yarn? Sweaters+Socks+Gloves+Hat= ~23,094 YARDS! That's a LOT of yarn!
In sewing? 9 Projects Complete in 2011.
I didn't achieve my 3-tier monthly goal (1sweater, 1pair of socks, and 1 sewing project each month), but overall, I'm proud of all the things I DID get done! There's obviously room for expansion and improvement in 2012, which I see as a welcome challenge! It's pretty amazing to compile and look at all the things I created in 365 days, and to see the progress I'm making as a DIYer. I'm already planning projects for 2012; I can't wait to see you all on the other side!!
And, however you measure your year, I hope that it's filled with love.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Early in the year, I knit Mike this sweater. A month or so ago, he proudly put it on to wear at a social gathering, and I immediately made him take it off. I then preceded to undo the seams and completely unravel it. I know it sounds crazy. Maybe it is. But, I couldn't have him walking around telling people I'd made him such an ill fitting garment. I've learned a lot about fitting and knitting for Mike since April, and so I applied that information the second time around to come up with something we both agree suits him better.
It was a bit awkward and unnerving to work with recycled yarn since it doesn't look as even and smooth during the knitting process. However, the uneven texture resolved, mostly, during blocking. If I get the urge to re-use yarn from a previous project again, I would likely try to hank and soak the yarn straight before beginning knitting.
The sweater took less yarn than the original, due to modified gauge. I knit with size US7 throughout, which created a nice lightweight fabric. Originally, I used 1650 yards of yarn;I only needed about 1300 the second time around.
As for the pattern.... we winged it. I started from the bottom-up in the round and added seamed raglan sleeves after the divide. As for any sort of reproduction.... I couldn't keep track of all the modifications Mike and I made as I knit, re-knit, and knit again.
There's something very appropriate about finishing this particular project on the eve of the new year. It's a fresh start and things are looking good! I'll be back later with a recap of 2011. Until then, cheers to you! Happy New Year!
I may not have lightning speed, x-ray vision, or extra-human strength, but I definitely feel pretty super about my latest accomplishment.
I set out to start Simplicity 7262 back in October. But, life got in the way, and this project got shoved to the side. As the seasons started to shift, I worried I had missed my opportunity. Fortunately, we have had a VERY mild start to winter here in the Windy City, perfect cape weather! And, if the forecast continues to cooperate, I should get a fair amount of wear out of it before it's retired to the closet for next fall.
Of course, when I decided to sew myself outerwear, I immediately concluded I needed to knit coordinating accessories to complete the ensemble. I have a shockingly small supply of hats/scarves/mittens for a knitter. It's embarrassing, really.
I'm thrilled with the gloves (my first pair!), but I definitely see the appeal of mittens and gauntlets. The digits are a bit tedious to work. I wanted a slouchy stocking hat; however, I think I put a little too much length into it. It might need some rehashing before I'm completely pleased with the fit.
This cape represents a lot of "FIRSTS" for me. First plaid, First outerwear, First collar, First topstitching and First buttonholes. I took EXTREME care to match my plaids. And, it paid off! They're virtually perfect at all the seams. The collar concerned me at first, because it was nearly too dense to fit under my presser foot! In fact, I attached my lining by hand because I was worried I would do damage to my machine. All things, considered, this was a huge confidence boost.
Pattern: Rikke Hat by Sarah Young
Yarn: 1.5 skeins Paton's Classic Wool in peacock
Notes: As I mentioned, I might go back and remove a bit of length from the hat. I followed the pattern exactly, but added a pom pom on my own accord.
Pattern: Long Gloves with Cables by DROPs Designs
Yarn: 1.5 skeins Paton's Classic Wool in peacockPattern: Long Gloves with Cables by Drops Designs
Notes: I was knitting these under extreme sleep deprivation. When it came time to change from size US 4 to Size US7 needles, I removed my size 4 tips, took the size 7 tips from the case, replaced my size 4 on the cord, and put the size 7 tips back into the case in the place the size 4 tips belong. I didn't realize what I had done until I slipped a glove on to assess my thumb placement. They're snug. But, they'll do.
Pattern: Simplicity 7262
Pattern Date: 1967
Fabric: Wool Coating (90% wool 10%Rayon)from Fashion Fabrics Club ( I searched for it, but it's sold out). The lining is crepe backed satin.
Notions: 6 1940's Deco Buttons from my favorite button store
The construction of the cape was very easy. The wool was a bit of an adjustment to work with, because it was stiffer than I'm used to and didn't respond readily to pressing; minor obstacles considering the end result. The fabric has a fantastic drape and is much warmer than I anticipated. It was 45F today, while I was out running errands, and on several occasions, I had to take off my hat and unbutton to keep from overheating.
I'm really happy to have a sewing victory. It's been a while since I've attempted a sewing project, and I really needed a success to get me back in the mood.
P.S. Kudos to Mike for having the patience to play photographer for me today!
Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?
These socks, for whatever reason, were very difficult to photograph. I'm not sure whether the pattern or the yarn complicated my attempts. Both? But, I couldn't get a decent shot for anything. At any rate, the countdown to 2012 is quickly approaching, and I'm making a mad-dash to the finish line.
I'm more than a little behind on my monthly sock goal for 2011, so I've made it my mission to come as close as I can with what little time I have left.
Pattern: Sailor's Delight by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
Yarn: 2 hanks Knitpicks Imagination Sock yarn in the Wicked Witch colorway
Needles: Addi Lace 1.5US
Notes: I knit to specification for size small. I probably could have dropped down a repeat worth of stitches for a better fit through the cuff, but they'll do. Maybe I can get a slight shrink when I wash them.
We're headed homeward for a fun-filled holiday weekend; I hope you are able to enjoy the same! See you soon!
Comfort and Joy
I've been eyeballing the Creature Comforts Cardigan for quite some time. The oak leaf panel up the center back is pretty irresistible. I suppose the only reason I haven't knit it before now is, it falls into that grey area for me in the department of wearability. I see other people wearing this style on a very regular basis, and I'm pretty sure I look no more ridiculous than the next person walking around in a giant blanket-like garment, but I feel very self-conscious in this style clothing.
Also, I hesitate to call this project a sweater, because, it's not. It's a shrug; there's absolutely nothing in the construction of this garment that warrants it be considered a legitimate cardigan. That's probably knit-picking...I digress.
After a day-long test-run, I'm warming up to it and feeling a bit more comfortable with my appearance. Nobody seemed to stare at me like I had two heads, not that I saw; that's a start. And really, those oak leaves.... LOVE. Besides, It's another neutral toned addition to my winter wardrobe. I will likely consult my much more fashion-forward little sister for pointers on pulling this off, but I'm not ripping it back to oblivion.
Pattern: Creature Comforts Cardigan by Madelinetosh
Yarn: 5.5 balls Classic Elite Moorland
Needles: US size 7 and US size 8 Addi Click interchangeable
Notes: The pattern instructs the knitter to continue in pattern for "28 inches before binding off and joining. THIS IS WAY TOO SHORT! I am barely 5'2 and my "28 inches left me with a waist length shrug that pulled at the sides. I blocked to "33 to obtain the results photographed. Additionally, I intend to rip and re-knit my cuffs using US 5 needles in order to achieve a better fit.
Can't Catch Me Gingerbread Socks
A couple inches into the cuff, it became extremely obvious I was working on coordinating, rather than matching, socks. I knit these at the same time, using the same number of stitches, and yarn from the same dye lot. It occurred to me, I may have wound the yarn from opposite ends of the hank. Hmm.... shouldn't the color repeats be the same length regardless and appear, well, in opposite order if that were the case???
They start to match up almost identically after the gusset, despite no difference in increase/decrease rates between the two.
To me, the LBC (Little Black Cardigan) is equally quintessential as the LBD (Little Black Dress). Which is why I consider it slightly strange that this is my first stab at knitting one.
Often, when I'm picking out yarns, I gravitate towards purple and green palates, and I really do admire them. However, I don't wear a lot of "loud" colors. I'm a pretty basic "Grey, Black, Brown" sort of dresser. It's probably something I should work on. But, until I channel my inner Betsey Johnson, why fight it?
Pattern: Soltice by Cecily Glowick MacDonald
Yarn: 9balls Lenox by Valley Yarn
Needles: US 10.5
Notes: The whole time I was knitting, I thought I had cast-on for the 33 1/2 bust. Turns out, I can't count. I cast on for the 31 1/2bust instead. It worked out. I don't have as much drape in front as I would have liked. I'm getting over it. Lenox is INSANE soft and cozy. It knits fairly evenly, but definitely looks cleaner in rib, seed and twisted stockinette than it does on the sleeves. I worked the pattern as written, but gave myself an extra inch in the length of the body. I can't stand a sweater that needs constant tugging and pulling down. I find it's usually better to be safe rather than sorry.
First, If I ever end up in a padded cell, I want it to be technicolor, pieced together afghans. Do you think that could be arranged?
This video by Seventeen Evergreen is most likely a premonition of total world domination by knitters and what we can expect things to look like when it happens. :-D
Happy Hump Day!