FOs: sweaters galore

over the last 2 semesters, i haven’t gotten to do a whole lot of designing. in fact, other than alterations and free-form hats, it’s been a completely creativity-stifling couple of months. but hey, i guess that’s what university is for, right? anyways, even though i didn’t have time to write my own patterns, i did have a LOT of time for mindless knitting. with at least 14 hours a week of commuting and lecture classes, i realized in the first week that i needed to make something more time consuming than hats and gloves.

i’m not really a sweater knitter– i have way too much ADD–and i don’t like following other people’s patterns– but i started a whole group of sweaters for mindless knitting. half of them have been pictured here in previous weeks, but haven’t been technically blogged yet.

the first project involved finishing a sweater that was already about 3/4 done. the minimalist cardigan just needed another sleeve and some seaming. this was something i started when the fall 07 IK first came out– i knew when i saw it in the preview that it was the first sweater i wanted to knit from a pattern and cast on immediately in cheap acrylic yarn from walmart (*canadian* walmart– this ain’t even simply soft). i finished the fronts, back, and one sleeve within a month but got SO bored and never finished the second. turned out i hated the one sleeve i had made but i couldn’t bear to rip it out (that seed st is brutal). after working at a yarn store for 6 months, constantly telling people that when something wasn’t right they had to rip it, i finally got up the guts and fixed it. i think it’s ok. it softened up after being washed but still fits kind of funny. i think its the plasticy yarn too. but its ok. (ravelry project page)

next up, i decided to go with something a bit more luxurious, owls in trendsetter kashmir. it knit up really quickly– i changed the gauge and made it a cardigan with picked up button band. this sweater is SO gorgeous. in fact, it’s so nice that i can’t for the life of me find buttons that are worthy to accent it. it’s also warm. deadly warm. when i try it on for fit, i break out in a sweat. i also kind of wish i had just done it as a pullover– it doesn’t look good unbuttoned. but there’s not much i can do about it now. (ravelry project page)

most recently, i cast on (and ripped out) mrs darcy in sublime cashmere merino silk aran. i didn’t love the way it was turning out… i dont know why i bought so much of this color but i felt like it was going to look really silly as a solid cardigan. then i took a peek in vogue holiday and saw kate gagnon’s heart yoke cardigan. perfect! the color was just tacky enough that a colorwork yoke would be just the amount of cuteness it needed. i started the cardi immediately, but put it down multiple times to find yoke yarn, then to wait for it to be ordered, then to get back into the swing of sweater knitting. all together, it took two months, but i didn’t work on it for a majority of that time. i made a few alterations, mostly due to clarity issues at the yoke (i also decreased the amount of colors used– sublime just doesn’t have that many shades of gray). i finished it just in time for xmas, as you can see above– so it has been deemed my tacky xmas sweater (as an atheist, i never thought i’d have one of my own!). (ravelry project page)

and now, a few weeks ago, i tried my hand at the deadliest, most traumatic fear to the common knitter: a steeked sweater. yep, it’s ysolda’s little birds… so far, so good. although no cutting has been done thus far. i’m just about done with the sleeve ribbing so i’ve got a few more days before i lose my mind. (ravelry project page)

so there you have it, i’ve gone from not being a sweater knitter at all to someone knitting 4 sweaters in a row, and simultaneously. what’s next? socks??

…no, seriously. i cast on a pair of socks over xmas. what have i turned into?

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FO: surprise swallowtail

swallowtail is done and currently blocking…

swallowtail shawl

swallowtail shawl

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl
Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Buckingham
Needles: US Size 4
Started: March 25, 2008
Finished: April 1, 2008
Modifications: only did 12 repeats of the budding lace pattern. other than that, pretty much kept to the pattern as written (it’s the first time i’ve ever knit from a pattern and had my result actually look like the reference)

the first few (hundred) times i looked at the charts, i nearly had a heart attack… but i figured you only knit one stitch at a time (unless you’re purling five together, that is)… and a week later she is blocking on my dollar store foam tiles. i found the pattern really addictive and amazingly quick. i was thinking of making a second one for myself but i don’t know if it’s my style. but i really love this one and i think my grandmother will too 🙂

in other news, the yarn basket in portsmouth, NH is officially carrying my double knit earflap hat pattern– both the “i ❤ new york” and “i love love” styles. i’m honored to have my patterns here– it’s an amazing little store and if you’re nearby i highly suggest stopping in and just checking it out.

and, in more awesome news, classes are over next week! aghlfksdak… one more of each goshdarned awful boring useless class, two weeks of finals, and i’m free to write patterns and knit all summer! and don’t think i wont 🙂 although to be honest it doesn’t seem like summer will ever come, as i look out my window to cold rain and mounds of snow taller than i am (you’d think yesterday’s rain would’ve melted ’em, eh? but no luck). i guess i’ll trust millions of years of common knowledge that spring and summer follow winter and just keep hoping…

progress on the min cardi

aghhh this cardigan has moved from novel to a drag on my knitting spectrum… i knew if i let it sit on the needles too long i’d never want to finish. but i had the night with all my other yarn packed snugly away for our big move saturday and so i finished the front panels.  i pinned it roughly just now and i absolutely love it. gave a little more spirit to this project.

without further ado

min cardi

the quality is awful because, of course, the camera is packed (and dead, for that matter) but you get the idea. the colour is a really deep teal. i’m in love. more updates… when i get up the motivation to start the sleeves

WIP: minimalist cardi

my new goal is to finish one piece per week. last week it was a hat, the week before a scarf. this week i’ve decided on a slightly larger project, so i only planned to finish the back– and i almost did. next week will be the front, and the week after the sleeves, blocking, and seaming.

the sweater is the minimalist cardigan from fall 07 interweave knits. yarn is red heart soft touch in teal.

minimalist cardigan part 1

so far its turning out really well. the notion of seaming is a little frightening. it’s always the last step where i end up royally ruining the project so i try and knit in one piece but i didn’t want to knit this seamlessly because i needed it to be portable. but i guess i’ll see.