Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FO: Elizabeth Zimmerman Pullover

This is the first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern I've knit. But when I saw my friend Ann's pullover I knew I wanted one just like hers. I've been dreaming of just a basic stockinette sweater for awhile, something to fly off my fingers on and a cozy pullover to wear through the winter.

I bought a bag of Knit Picks Swish DK, when they discontinued the turmeric color (How could they? Wouldn't everyone want that beautiful yellow??) But it worked out in my favor because I got a whole bag of it super cheap.

For anyone not familiar with Elizabeth Zimmerman patterns many of them are based on percentages and your own personal gauge. I did do a gauge swatch, like a good little knitter, but I really under estimated my own personal preference for negative ease (how tight a garment is). I originally had two inches of negative ease (so it was two inches smaller around then my actually body is) but when I got about half way into the body, I tried it on and I was swimming in it. So when I cast on the second time I took out SIX (6!) inches of negative ease. I was really worried I was being crazy, but luckily I stuck with my gut feeling because it fits just perfectly, exactly how I wanted it to. I'm also a little more on the loose side as a knitter, so I tend to have a lot of stretch to my knitted fabric.

My cousin Kedar was in town last weekend and snapped some photos for me. When I handed it to her folded, I hadn't noticed it was inside out, so a few of my photos feature the purled side of the fabric. But once I got it on I didn't have that problem.

I love how simple and comfy this sweater is, I still plan on adding a small pocket to the front and although it was 75 here yesterday, knowing Minnesota I'll still get plenty of time to wear this.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Georiga Cardigan

I've realized there's quite a few sweaters and projects that haven't made it over to this blogosphere so expect to see some new things in the next few weeks.

Keeping knitting affordable is always a concern of mine and it's why I love Knit Picks so much. I can make a sweater out of quality yarn that isn't going to keep me from making my student loan payments.

That said I recently have been dabbling into more luxury yarns. On a whim I  bought a skein of Madeline Tosh Light from Windy Knitty. This eventually became the Sad Day Shawl. I quickly became pretty obsessed with the Madeline Tosh line. I mean, look at all of those effing colors. I had caught an eye full of a color named ginger when I bought my first skein of Mad Tosh but they only had one skein in stock and the more I looked at it the more I knew I need a whole sweater of this stuff. It took me a little bit to decide on pattern but when Laura pointed out Georgia I knew that it was perfect. A simple, classic cardigan ideal for showing off a show stopping yarn.

After reviewing my purchasing options (and determining no Chicago yarn stores had any in stock) I realized that I would have to buy online and I had my heart set on ordering from Webs. If I'm going to spend that much on yarn, even better if I can get a discount! In addition, none of the Madeline Tosh yarns have dye lots and I felt the most confident in the expert yarn handlers at Webs giving me the best three skeins together so I didn't end up with some crazy ugly variations. (At this point I know people will point out that I can alternate skeins every few rows and to that I will say. No. I will probably never do this. It's too fussy and involved. So I will get the best color match I can, but variation and difference can be some of the most exciting things about knitting with artisan dyed yarn.)

Although it took me about three months of waiting for the color to come back into stock I finally got my hands on this yarn. Look at those colors!! Definitely worth the wait. Now, I know I'm really crazy about this yarn because I'm knitting a sweater ( A SWEATER) in sock yarn, on size 2 needles. Not really my style, if you know anything about me. But I've been surprising myself over the last few months with the projects and yarn size I've been choosing. I know that this is going to be a long term commitment project.

I pick it up in between projects, or when I simply get sick of working on something and so far it's been working. I've put the sleeve stitches on holders and am working through the body. It's just lots of long, long rows of stockinette stitch. But it's a nice break from all the lace (LACE?!? Who am I???) projects I've had on the needles.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Holla Knits Spring/Summer Launch!

Hop on over to Holla Knits to check out the launch for the Spring/Summer Collection. I'm loving El Matador by Allyson. A cute bobbled cape! Count me in! There's lots of great patterns so be sure to follow along with the blog tour for a chance to win some great goodies!

April 16 – The Sweatshop of Love – Pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
April 17 – Canary Knits – Pattern giveaway
April 18 – Yarn Hollow – Pattern giveaway
April 19 – Under the Red Umbrella – Pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
April 22 – Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog
April 23 – Emma Welford Designs – Pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
April 24 – Pink Brutus Knits – Pattern giveaway
April 25 – Rewolluzza – Pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
April 26 – Knits in Class – Pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
April 29 – WEBS Yarn Store Blog – Pattern kit giveaway
May 1 – Masi Knits – Pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
May 3 – Unplanned Peacock – Pattern giveaway

Friday, April 12, 2013

FO: Tara's Christmas Mitts

Here in the Midwest it is still pretty chilly. So chilly indeed that one could make practical use of a Christmas gift even if it was say, four months late.

I made these mitts for my friend Tara as a belated Christmas gift. Knit flat you seem these suckers up the side leaving a gap for your thumb to fit. Throw some cute buttons on (fabric covered of course!) and you've got yourself an adorable set of hand warmers.

I know that Tara appreciates grey and yellow together almost as much as I do, so I couldn't resit popping a cute little bee covered fabric button on each of them.

Hopefully you'll be much smarter than I was and actually make these in a reasonable amount of time for someone to use them. I can't count on an April snow storm to save my late Christmas gift giving behind every time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

FO: Hot & Cold Blaket

As I've been going through my pictures I've realized there's quite a few projects, past and present that haven't made it onto this space. The crocheted Hot & Cold Blanket is one of the oldest.

I first started these squares as a way to learn how to crochet using stash yarn I had lying around. I started them way back in 2010 and this blanket took me a good two years to finish. I ended up finishing them and edging them with just a classic Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in White.

But finish it I did.  I love how crisp and clean the colors look together. The loose crocheted weave is so cozy to cuddle under on the couch, great for cool or warm weather.