now presenting the autumn cardigan

This yarn began as a giftcard my mom bought for me on groupon.  As always seems to happen when you have a giftcard, it is impossible to find what you want.  I went to the yarn store wit a couple yarns in mind for sweaters, but couldn’t find what I wanted.  I finally settled on this yarn, but they didn’t have enough of the gray or cream I wanted.  AFter deliberating with my mom, we decided this yellow would work for the pattern I had in mind, Aidez, then I got home and had second thoughts.  Problematically, they had already rewound the yarn for me so I couldn’t take it back.  Ravelry to the rescue.  After searching for a few minutes I landed on this cardigan from my favorites list.    It was a sweater I had liked for a while, but wasn’t on the top of my to do list.   Thankfully this rocky start did not continue into the project.  The knitting was quick and relatively easy and the finish project is just delightful.  Of all the sweaters I’ve knit for myself, this is the first one that actually fits the way I like.  I also love the color, it makes it seems very autumnal and warm.  I honestly can’t wait for cooler weather so I can start wearing it.

For the knitters out there, this is the twentyten cardigan.  The pattern wasn’t too expensive and it was written well.  I really appreciated that it was crafted so that it was knit all as one piece.  The sleeves in particular were structured in a really cool and interesting way with short rows.  This is definitely a knit you have to pay attention to, especially with the increasing and decreasing on the button band while also making the pocket or side shaping.  The only challenging place was the top of the fronts.  If I had followed the patterns entirely then I should have found off the button bands, but I just added an extra six stitches for the collar, but I don’t think it made a difference in the fit or look.  Here are a couple of my favorite features:

Pocket:

Collar:

This will probably be the last crafting post for a while.  I did get a LOT knit during Monday’s day of meetings on the Alameda Cowl, but now that students are starting to arrive, life is getting a little crazier and I’m trying to get ready to teach next Tuesday so that during Friday through Monday’s orientations I won’t have to also worry about class prep.  Don’t worry the crafting will still happen, but just not as quickly.

baby as a teddy bear

One of the two projects I needed to finish before I start using the new yarn was this cute little baby outfit.  Imagine it with a baby in it and it will help it not look like a furry ghost.  This is for a couple friends from Divinity School, who are also having a baby in October.

For those knitters out there, the pattern is by Sirdar and it’s pattern #1774. I absolutely love the finished product.  It’s soft and snuggly and washable, all of which are perfect for a baby.  The process of knitting was a little crazy.  The yarn (Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake Chunky) catches really badly and the whole time I was worried about losing a stitch because there is almost no stitch definition, making fixing a dropped stitch difficult.  It was also hard to pull the yarn apart if I made a mistake.  The other slight frustration was piecing.  There were a LOT of pieces.  I think it took almost four and a half hours to piece together, weave in ends, and add the buttons.  On the positive side, the thickness of the yarn made the knitting part really fast and it hid mistakes well.  I’m not sure I would knit it again, but I’m definitely happy with the final product.

Getting Ready for School Crafting

Last Friday marked the one-week mark to my return to school.  I decided to begin my preparations for the return to school the way any good teacher who knits (and now crochets) would do, I bought a lot of yarn.  The beginning of school, especially at a boarding school, is really busy and I knew that I would not have a lot of time to find new patterns once I finish my current project and even less time to drive to the yarn store and buy yarn.  So I went on a back to school shopping spree, except instead of buying clothes, I bought yarn.  A couple of the items will become clothes, so its kind of the same thing.  I’m so excited about the new projects, it’s a little hard to keep working on my current project before starting on something new.

Crochet

I did get started on a new crochet project, to ensure that I don’t forget what I learned in class.  I decided to go with the placemats I showed in a prevoius post.

Then I also bought yarn to make a few more potholders using patterns from the book 200 Crochet Blocks.

Knit

This week I’ll probably get started on this cowl because it’s a nice small project that I could easily take to back to school meetings.

The moment I saw this cardigan I was excited about it.  The best part is the back.  I really want to start it yesterday, but I have another sweater project I really should finish first.

Sources:

Placemats: purlbee
Potholders: 200 Crochet Blocks
Cowl and Sweater: Knitscene, Fall 2011 

the fiona for nola

I love baby knitting.  Normally the patterns knit up quick and look adorable.  Plus baby’s aren’t so fussy about things flattering their body, because they pretty much look cute in everything.  The only bummer about baby knitting for me has been that of ten baby outfits I’ve made in the last few years this is the first where I know it’s a girl before she is born, so I could chose something really girly and beautiful.  I present to you the Fiona.

This was a great project for all my June travels.  This and the audio book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, got me through multiple flights and a few delays in transit. It also helped me make ALOT of friends on the airplane.  I had a lot of reading to do for my summer reading grant, but I just couldn’t put this down.  I actually finished it during the pictures before my brother-in-law’s wedding.

For those interested in knitting this: The pattern is slightly expensive and has a few errors in it.  I didn’t find the errors problematic because the lace pattern is pretty self-explanatory after the first or second repeat.  I deviated slightly from the pattern by knitting it in the round and found a lot of helpful suggestions on ravelry (see link above) on how to do this.

a productive weekend of crafting

I don’t know how it happens that I have all week off from teaching and I still don’t get anything done until the weekend.  Maybe it’s the break from reading or maybe its the energy from going on a bike ride Saturday morning or maybe it’s buying a second air conditioner.  Who can say?  All I know is that making progress on projects this weekend got me excited to get started on more new projects next week.  Here’s what I did:

1) I pulled out and re-stitched the quilt top. Now I need to cut out and sew the edgings and then figure out what to do with this quilt.  Ideas?

2) I made a headband. I saw the pattern at the beginning of the summer on pinterest (the pattern can be found here) and now that my hair is getting longer I thought having a few headbands might be a nice change of pace.  David tried to help me take a picture, but the camera ran out of batteries and then he got busy with his own project so I was left to my own devices with the big camera.

3) I updated the design of the blog (with David’s help).  Hopefully no picture is necessary for this one because you are looking at it.

4) I’m making a pie for my advisee who is here for summer camp and helped David carry our media unit up to the fourth floor (using the elevator of course).

5) I finally finished knitting a baby sweater for a friend who is due I think sometime this summer, but I’m not totally sure when.  They just haven’t had the baby yet.

This is the Jasper Cardigan from Kristen Rengren’s book Vintage Baby Knits.  I’ve been working on it since at least May.  It was a fun knit and helped keep me focused during the faculty meetings at the end of school.  I actually finished the knitting back in June, but didn’t have time to block it until a week ago.  The best part about this sweater is that I found the buttons for 20 cents at a hardware store today while I meandered around waiting on David.

Happy Mother’s Day

time for the close up

A long time ago, okay really not that long ago, I began a sweater.  It was about the same time I started the shawl, I hoped to finish before school started.  Well that project has remained stalled as you can see from the countdown to the right.  And so did the sweater, until February when I started knitting again.  And I knit and knit and knit.  I took it to meetings and softball games and even to dinner, although I never actually knit at dinner.  And finally I finished it.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!  Which is important because it was for my mom.  She picked the pattern, the color, the yarn and then I did the labor of love.  Here’s the result:

pretend its my mom in the sweater

A Moment of Calm

my favorite new accessory

As you have gathered from previous posts, this semester has been a whirlwind.  Right now I am procrastinating both getting ready for class AND writing midterm comments.  I’m still confused as to where all that extra time I was going to have has gone post-basketball season… Anyway, over the February long weekend, I decided to treat myself by knitting something I have been wanting to knit for awhile. It’s called the Textured Shawl Recipe.  I went all out, buying the really nice yarn and some new, square needles (they are supposed to help your wrists).  Despite my busy-ness this shawl only took two weeks to make.  It was an easy project to knit on the basketball bus and at department and dorm meetings.

outlining the shawl

When I asked David to take a few pictures of the shawl laid out flat, the cat couldn’t help joining in to model.  He’s become a regular model in our house because I can only take being photographed so many times when David is praciting using his new photography equipment.  Calvin has stepped up to the challenge and I think shows a real talent for kitten-modeling.  Meow-Mix here we come!

playful kitten