I started knitting a sweater for my husband in September or October of 2019. I’ve written about it several times (here and here) as I made progress, but to sum up, I knit three quarters of the thing, then stopped due to project fatigue and a repetitive motion injury. Six months later I started the second sleeve, but set it aside again when it wasn’t the same size as the first (this is a prime example of shifting gauge. The first sleeve was knitted on vacation, the second in the middle of a pandemic). After doing a little math I made the new sleeve work. Then I sewed up the seams, knit the front bands and neckband, and sewed on the buttons. I was so excited to finally be finishing the sweater, and I documented my progress copiously on Instagram.
Seaming the body up.
Setting in the sleeves.
Adding the front bands, collar, and buttons.
I thought it was perfect…until my husband tried it on. The sweater didn’t fit. The fit issues were partly due to gaining the COVID 15, but equally at fault was the too-loose gauge I chose for the sweater. The front bands gape and refuse to hang straight even on a smaller body. And the neckline is wonky. It’s too low to be a crew neck, but too high to be anything else, and it stands out from the body instead of fitting snugly to the chest and neck. Part of me wants to rework the neck portion and the front bands and see if that will solve the problems. Another part of me wants to burn the thing and then pretend it never existed.
What do you do when disaster strikes your knitting?
In August of 2017 I started knitting Portage, an open-front textured cardigan. I knit the first 6 inches of the raglan increases before I lost my place and couldn’t figure out what row I was on or what my stitch count should be. In the interest of sanity (and because I enjoy knitting and I didn’t want this to spoil it for me) I set the sweater aside for another day.
This year I decided that the time had come to restart this beautiful sweater. I love the yarn and I’m always cold at work, so this would be such a useful item to add to my closet (ok, let’s be real – it will live at my desk). So I ripped my stitches out and re-swatched to make sure my gauge hadn’t changed drastically since the last time I cast on. Then I started the sweater again, and this time I used ALL THE STITCH MARKERS to make sure I didn’t lose my place (My mom sent me these Llama/Alpaca stitch markers. Isn’t she sweet? HI MOM!!).
Friends, I am ecstatic to tell you that I finished the raglan increases correctly. Just to make sure I wouldn’t have to redo them again I ran a lifeline through the last increase row. You know, just in case. Now I’m working down the body slowly but surely. I am trying really hard to enjoy the knitting, but have a love/hate relationship with cables (I love to look at them and wear them, but hate to knit them), and the 1/1 cables that make up the whole back panel are driving me a little crazy. But I am soldiering on because this sweater is going to be so warm and cozy and I will have made it and it will be mine.
Ok, back to the grindstone. If I keep knitting on this maybe it will be done in a few years….
Friends, I am so excited to tell you about my newest pattern, the Ribless Hat.
This hat started when a dear friend gave me a beautiful skein of yarn. It wasn’t something I would have bought for myself, but when I really looked at it I realized how lovely it was. I knit on this hat through a move and a job change, and once it was finished it became my go-to hat. It is stylish and easy to wear and just the tiniest bit slouchy.
And (this part is key) it doesn’t have any ribbing.
To celebrate the release of the Ribless Hat, I am offering you a discount. Use the code HOORAY18 to receive 18% off the regular price until January 18. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
I have a friend who knits (well, I have a lot of friends who knit, but this story is about a particular friend). Pam is a lovely person and a great knitter. At the beginning of November she surprised me with the loveliest skein of yarn. A gift of yarn from a dear friend is too precious to be unceremoniously dumped into the stash, so I immediately cast on for a hat. I wanted this hat to be in cozy garter stitch, I didn’t want to sew anything, and I didn’t want that jog you get when knitting garter stitch in the round. So I added a cable. I knit and purled, round and round, and pretty soon I had a pretty perfect hat!
The pattern has been tech edited, and I am looking for testers to knit it up (it would make a great Christmas gift!). If you’re interested, please read the requirements here and reply in the thread.
I can’t wait to see all the different versions of this hat!
My husband and I moved to a new apartment last week. I know myself well enough to know that when my life is in uproar I need something simple and soothing to knit. One of my knitting friends just gave me the most gorgeous skein of yarn (it’s Ella Rae Lace Merino DK in colour 201), and rather than tossing it into the stash I decided to cast it on right away. Originally I planned to make a Rikke Hat, but I just cannot stand the jog you get when knitting garter stitch in the round. So what is a knitter to do, but design her own hat?
I made a swatch and blocked it before measuring my gauge (Can we just take a moment to discuss how important blocking is? If you plan to wash your knitting ever, you need to wash and block before checking your gauge. Wool reacts to water. Sometimes it grows, sometimes it shrinks. Sometimes there is no noticeable difference. But you don’t know until you block it. Block your swatches, people!). Then I measured my head, calculated the number of stitches I needed, and cast on.
In order to avoid the dreaded garter jog I added a cable to my hat. Simple, effective, and very cute. I can’t wait to wear this thing!
What kind of project is “comfort knitting” for you?
I’ve been working on another design, this time for fingerless gloves. They are knit with fingering weight yarn and US 3 (3.25 mm) needles. I started the first glove September 8, according to Ravelry.
Of course the first glove was not quite right. So I had to knit a second first glove. I finished it last night and I think it is just about perfect. So now I am racing to the finish line, trying to knit the first second glove before the end of the month. Why the rush, you ask? The gloves have already been accepted by Knotions Magazine for their December issue. Squeee!
It’s been a white since I published my last design. This hasn’t been intentional, but I find that if I don’t plan things out I don’t do them. Accordingly, I drew out a calendar for the next few months (can you believe that I don’t have a single calendar in my house??) and wrote in several design goals for the next few months. I included time for swatching, time for knitting parts of a pair (if applicable), time for pattern testing, and hopeful release dates.
So I have started work on my next design. It will be a pair of lightly cabled fingerless mitts. My first swatch is done and blocked, and I’m ready to start the second.
I started Portage yesterday. I think it’s interesting that even though I don’t enjoy cabling (it kind of scares me) my 2 sweaters are both heavily cabled. My trick for working with cables is to colour my charts. I colour cables of one type one colour, and choose a different colour for cables of another stitch count or direction. That way the knitting goes more smoothly (and quickly) and I’m not constantly squinting at my chart. Plus it’s pretty.
I’m almost 2 increase charts into the sweater and I’ve already messed something up royally and fudged a solution. So now that that’s out of the way the rest of the sweater should go swimmingly, right?