The Sweater Saga: A Thrilling Conclusion (not directed by Michael Bay)

It’s really sad when I realize that my last post was back in July, which means I whittled away an entire summer of not posting. It’s even sadder when I realize my last sweater saga post was in April.

So what happened to my sweater?

Well I spent parts of my summer crawling through the stockinette, using it as a “break” from other projects. I even took it with me to my LYS to work on it, where a lovely lady took a peek at it and complimented me on my tension and the lattice parts. Of course that gave me this false sense of self-esteem and confidence, and I plowed through the last bits of it:

I was so proud of myself I completely forgot that I have no idea how to seam sides at all. But again, inflated confidence and all that that after that second picture was taken I just jumped right into it. I used the mattress stitch or whatever to do so, and I was very impressed at how it was invisible.

Throughout this entire project, I had so many worries about the fit and stretch of the material. During the first 4 inches of this sweater, my mom took a look at it and was convinced it would be too small on me. I had my doubts, it seemed like it would have to stretch a lot closer to my hips. And while working with this yarn, I didn’t find it to be the most stretchy. (Actually to note: parts of this fucking yarn were puffed and pilled so much… I tucked those into the inside of the sweater and although they aren’t noticeable, I can still see some parts of the stockinette that don’t look uniform)

NEVERTHELESS, I tried it on. Halfway through pulling it down my head I was already impressed at the stretch and then finally:

A perfect fit! It’s still mostly warm here, so I’m waiting for colder temperatures so I can wear it with a cardigan and skirt. And with that ends our Sweater Saga.. for now

I have made about a zillion more things in between this and the blanket that I want to share PLUS I’m getting in the mood to share Christmas gift ideas and do some more book reviews since I keep buying pattern books, oops.

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The Illusion of Starting Early.

As far as the sweater saga goes, I probably won’t be updating much about it until the last stretch. There’s not much point in sharing row after row of suckinette stitch, as I’ve already clearly run out of barely humorous ways to describe it. So until I get to the part where I pretend I know how to sew, we’ll move onto other things.

I’m already pretending like Christmas gifts are a priority in my life. The sad truth is I’m just trying to decrease the amount of yarn I have lying around for ~~~future projects~~ well THE FUTURE IS NOW AND HERE I AM. So I started making this rather pleasant scarf known as “The Dudester”ย and it’s going well. I’m really digging the various textures the pattern gives, and it yarn I’ve picked for it it really durable. A problem I’ve had with this is that said yarn is chunky instead of worsted, so I omitted the last repeat for rows 3 and 4 and cast on 36 sts instead – as suggested by the pattern creator in the comments section. It almost worked except that I was left with 6 sts instead of 3 at the end of the third row. So with some imagination (read: don’t panic, never let your yarn see you panic) I just made it slightly asymmetrical. Pictures will follow later on, I’m trying to get better lighting with dark grey yarn, and I want it to be longer as well.

I should also add that my favourite part of this was forgetting where I left off and becoming incredibly confused. Rather than yanking my needles out completely and having that terrifying row of 36 live stitches, I found a better (slightly saner) way of “frogging”. That’s also for another post coming soon! Plus PLUS that book review too!

So basically we’ve established that I have mentioned 3 actually interesting topic here but have failed to make better posts for them. At least I shared a pattern with you, at least you all have that now.

Give me a break, it’s standardized testing for my students and I have report cards and 50 weddings/wedding related events to go to. I’m happy I actually banged this thing out right now.

p.s. I’m thinking of starting the Beekeeper’s Quilt with all my leftover yarn. Huge endeavour, I know. It also would be the first pattern I’m paying for. I haven’t decided if I want the full puff effect, or to deal with flat hexagons. Anyone else doing this? Talk me though it, I know you’re out there fellow knitters/crocheters/bloggers.

“Stash” is such a harsh word, I prefer “disorganized pile of hopes and dreams”

Before I launch into this whole mess, I just wanted to say that the original intent of this post was to busy myself until this awesome seamless fashion knitting book was delivered to me. And it almost worked, except it arrived today and this post is still not created. SO, expect another book review soon, but for now let’s take a look at every knitter/crocheter’s simultaneous pride and shame: the stash.

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Other than the fact that it’s starting to resemble the leaning tower of Pisa, it looks harmless enough. I mean there’s a box, my books, my WIP, and the hat box right? So there’s a bunch of yarn sticking out of the hat box? It’s still good, it’s still good.

Let’s take a gander in the shoe box – which is the best stash box in the existence. God Bless u, Jeffrey Campbell.

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Here we have new skeins of yarn, leftover skeins, yarn labels, my first ever knitting and crochet instruction book that I bought for $1 in Walmart, and (I barely believe this fits in here) the unfinished work of a blanket I’m going to get rid of shortly to make more room in the box.

Then we have the yarn overflowing from the hat box

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And a look inside the hat box, featuring more leftover yarn balls, all my knitting needles, and all my crochet hooks. Also some unseen tapestry needles and ribbon embellishments I will totally use one day. Don’t look at me like that. Don’t judge me.

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In a perfect work, I’d love nothing more than to have a cute looking space to neatly organize everything. Maybe some day I will and I can make a new post. In the meantime, I’ll continue to marvel at the fact that a year and a half ago I had like 2 knitting needle sets, 0 crochet hooks, and 2 balls of yarn.

And before I get totally sentimental with that – what’s your stash look like? I’d love to see a comment here, or a post sharing it. Anyone? Bueller?

How about some book reviews?

My sweater is coming along nicely and I’m sure you would all love to hear how I am now doing the exact same thing I was doing before, but in reverse. Don’t worry I will be posting all about that, but in the meantime I feel like I can add more entertaining things on here. Since this sweater is my only active project right now (don’t get me started on my cowl that I haven’t touched in a month and that ball of yarn that should be turning into the start of a scarf gift ANY MOMENT NOW) I figured I could post some awesome book resources for knitting and crochet.

Now, I’m no stranger to the internet. Ravelry, youtube, and reddit forums have provided me with a ton of amazing knitting and crochet patterns, as well as skills needed to up my yarn game to the next level. But when it comes down to it, I find it incredibly hard to actually concentrate on a computer screen. When I was trying to learn to crochet it took me 3 days because I kept bouncing between this one youtube video and the 93854968 other tabs of Tumblr/Facebook/Livejournal activity. So naturally I still turn to books for pleasure reading, and for my hobbies. I recently went on a little bit of a binge on them, and now I’m here to recommend some of my new favourites. ๐Ÿ™‚

Knitting by Design

Emma Robertson

Amazon Link

Amazon description:ย Fashion-forward knitters who crave more than a project book will delight in this visually rich collection. Emma Robertson presents a unique and creative approach to knitting as she walks readers through her process from the kernel of inspiration to its rewarding execution. For each of the 15 stylish projects, Robertson presents hand-drawn sketches, eye candy-laden mood boards, and Polaroids of the objects that inspired her-and encourages knitters to think outside of the yarnbox by incorporating other materials into their wares, from a knitted vest with a leather pocket to a breezy tank with a dip-dyed finish. With page after page of stunning photography, this book will motivate knitters to look around them, cull inspiration, and design their own fabulous looks.

Level: You probably should know how to knit and purl for this, it might get tricky in some parts.

My Thoughts: It’s delightful when a lot of the knitting and crochet books that I own (and yarn labels too) kindly offer up patterns to work on, along with skill building instructions. It’s really disappointing when the patterns themselves are so outdated that I actually check the manufacturing/publishing date on them. Knitting By Design is like a breath of fresh air, and I also liken it to “setting Ravelry’s search to ‘hip and trendy knitwear’ and then turning that into a book”. I was iffy on buying this at first, already holding in my hands 3 other books, but opening up the pages of Knitting By Design completely hooked (bad crochet pun and not even relevant sorry) me. Each pattern has beautiful photos of the finished project, as well as design inspiration captions and trial and error notes, which is basically my bread and butter in knitting (this usually helps me answer my question of, “where did I go wrong???”)

The instructions are super clear and offer the usual skill level, sizes, measurements, yarn, needles/tools, gauge, and any special stitch instructions. Clothing is divided up into sections, and accessories in clear steps. Remember my sweater anxiety? Totally ebbing while looking at how easy a long-sleeved sweater is to make in here. There’s a beautiful pattern for a cute pair of casual shorts, and even one for a gorgeous dress. I should warn that some sewing experience seems to be required here, but nothing out of the scope for a beginner.

Beyond the projects, the beginning includes a lovely introduction to the author and how she ventured into knitting, knowledge on basic tools and yarns, abbreviations, and information on how to create your own designs. (As someone that is very interested in doing this, I found this super informational and it has inspired me to start sketching my imagined knits!) The end includes resources of booked, online resources, and additional inspiration.

Overall, this is my favourite modern knitting book in my collection. I can’t wait to make the projects in here (and blog about them!) to wear, enjoy, and gift to others. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay tuned for another book review soon~

 

Sweater Saga: Watch out! A neck-hole appears!

On our last post of the Sweater Saga, our intrepid heroine set out on her journey to master 4 rows of latticing. She bravely set forth and mastered this simple (yet sometimes trying) task and conquered 6 1/2 inches of lattice glory:

(She also got a better header for her blog and irritatingly decided to speak only in the third person and as if she were in an epic fantasy/adventure story.)

Anyway, the neck-hole’s been looming for the past couple of day now. After putting it off to the point where I refused to look at the damn thing, I devoted an hour of my time today to figure my shit out.

The first 23 stitches were easy enough, and so was my really quick review of binding off (something that no matter how often I do, I can never remember exactly what to do for it!)

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All done with the binding off part! I had a moment of realization after taking the picture below that I added on an extra stitch, so I slowly went backwards and fixed it. I also forgot how to breathe normally during this time because, knitting panic.

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Then I call this part: Krissi learned “cabled cast-on”, it’s supper effective!

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I should also add it was hell on my hands, and so was the next row after it.

 

But now we’re all done that and I have a neck-hole that seems right. So in my PJs, sweater backwards, I decided a self-congratulating selfie was in order.

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Now, back to doing everything I’ve already done in reverse. That should take me another two months to accomplish and then I’ll finally have a sweater to wear! In July. In summer.

I clearly didn’t time this well at all.

Sweater Saga: Slightly less repetitive work.

So I’m happy to report that I’ve FINALLY moved on from inches upon inches of stockinette to new and greater things: The Back Lattice.

Unlike my ribbing attempt when I first started, I was determined to not frog/tink/whatever-else-we’re-calling-failure-today this part of the sweater, so looked up the perplexing part of this section: yo k2tog

I’ll pause here for a moment and let you all laugh at me. Okay? Okay.

 

ANYWAY, reading about it failed me yet again. So I turned to youtube and used this handy video:

Fuelled by my new-found knowledge, I threw myself into this and managed a whole 1 1/2 inches of it before my hand cramped up in defeat. Apparently this requires longer breaks to accomplish, so I’m sure I’ll have another sweater saga post to share with you in a few months. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ In the meantime, enjoy this close-up of the lattice. Really bone-crushingly pretty isn’t it?

Don’t worry though – I’m also working on a cowl, scarf #2 for my boyfriend, and I’m thinking of crocheting a hat with all my leftover small yarn amounts, so there will be more to post!

 

Still Making a Sweater: Now with Filler!

So I’m still battling the sweater. At this point in time I’m two inches away from (temporarily) finishing row after row of suckingnette. On the plus side, I am now able to knit while reading, watching tv, and probably while sleeping IT’S THAT MONOTONOUS OF A STITCH. I took this photo on Friday to showcase my ~dazzling~ progress

I would also like to share that while working on it, a friend’s mother commented that I have “excellent tension” and it was probably the best comment I’ve ever received. I think by next week I’ll be ready to start my contrast colour on this!

In the meantime, I’ve been combating the mind-numbing chore of this sweater by engaging in other things, like starting a seed stitch cowl in multiple colours!

This was way easier than I assumed it would be, so long as I remember what row I’m on and to switch colours. I love the yarn as well… who would’ve thought DeSerres carries an awesome selection of yarn now?! (Hint: not me.)

I also grabbed some super bulky yarn because I’ve never used it before and made myself a really thick warm scarf. I thought I wouldn’t need to use it until next winter, but given that on this lovely spring April day we had 5cm of snow and it was a balmy -9C I actually took it for a spin!

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And that’s my half-assed yarn update for today. I’ll leave you with what my entire “”””stash”””” looks like – yes I’m using my Litas box to store yarn and yes I really like neutral whites/creams/greys clearly.

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