Project Parade – vol. 7

I just realised it has been ages since I have done one of these! Here are a few things that have hit my Pinterest boards over the last week or so. The first two are from my LYS, Loop, as I have been spending so much time lurking in the store lately with  weekly knit nights!

I’ve been lucky enough to paw samples with my sweaty little trotters in person, and even tried on the new Honeyblossom sample on Thurs. I have to say, is even cuter in person, and the squishy cable yoke is truly lovely up close.
Honeyblossom by Yoko Hatta

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 09.43.29
Pop Spots by Juju Vail

This next on carries on with my ‘Spanish theme‘, but will have to wait until I get the tension on my fair isle technique sorted out!

Arrowhead Cardigan by Anna Cohen

And lastly, with a rather Japanese wave-like pattern:

Song of the Sea by Louise Zass-Bangham

I have been queuing patterns like a madwoman, and am realising that there is no way IN HELL I will be able to knit even a fraction of these before I die! That’s normal, right?



Project Parade – vol. 6

It has been AGES since I have done one of these! And this is not because I haven stopped adding projects to the queue – I have just fallen behind.

Here are some of the latest ones:
Lillian Top by Kari-Helene Rane – this one is great, as it is convertible and can be worn a number of ways

The yarn suggested is 100% alpaca, though, which I wouldn’t recommend as the ribbing needs a bit of bounce for elasticity which alpaca just doesn’t have. Think if you picked an alpaca/wool or silk/wool you would get the right combo of drape and elasticity.

The Artemisia Sweater by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark below is being offered as a workshop package on Crafty, which includes the yarn and step by step video instruction on how to knit the jumper. Think this is perfect for someone who has reached the level of wanting to do a more advanced (but still simple) garment, but wants tutorial back-up. A great idea Mercedes!

I desperately need new wool socks, so these pretty babies are on my to-do list – Pomatomus by Cookie A. These are also FREE!

Lastly, a simple, pretty, shawl-ish scarf (or so I am insisting on thinking of it) – bowland by Amanda France



Breathing a sigh of relief over finishing this one. I had my doubts that I would get it sorted out with the sleeve issues I was having. A re-occuring theme on this blog! Sleeves kill me.

As you can see below, I ended up having to modify things because I used thicker yarn and also had less yarn than I initially thought. As a result I had to fiddle with the final decreases in the neckline and fudge where the pattern ended. Not an ideal solution, but made it work …after 3 tries! You can see how the raglan decrease starts to go up straight on the last 10 or so rows in the photo below:

Luckily this isn’t  as noticeable when it is on:

(Some of you might recognise the lip position I am doing above… a somewhat modified ‘Lucy Lip-point’!).

I also had to re-do the bind off as I used a yarn over bind off to begin with (left below) and it was flappy and loose. I ended up using a K2tog bind off which looks nice with the garter. There it is on the right before blocking:

and after:

Next up – Sleeves – otherwise known as A World Of Pain.

As I was quickly running out of cashmere (from the bought sweater I frogged, and had no idea how many yards it contained, so then naturally cast on with too small needles! Dork.), I decided the best way to deal with the sleeves would be to cast on stitches at the yoke join, as I learned to do in my Owls cardi, and then knit down until I ran out once the body was already finished.

A FANTASTIC idea in theory, this would have worked out brilliantly if I hadn’t overestimated how large I needed the armholes to be (due to the opposite problem in the previous project). So of course I knit ages of armage before realising/admitting they were huge and sloppy and just wouldn’t do. So I frogged. Again.

I had to do some serious decreasing at the back that I was sure wouldn’t work, but in the end they did the job and aren’t too noticeable.

The last bit of suffering…on trying it on at what I thought was the end, I realised it was a titch short. So I attempted to frog back and knit the pattern the opposite way around. Which you think would be straightforward. But wasn’t. Sigh.

I couldn’t seem to pick up the right number of stitches no matter how hard I tried. I kept missing a YO or something. After frogging back 3 rows of pattern and not getting it, I gave up and added a thick garter border to match the sleeves. Design-wise it is probably more coherent this way in the end, but it does change the delicate look of the intended sweater.

As a result, the sweater feels a bit clunky to me. But, to be positive, as my first hardcore lace chart project, it is a decent result.

The cashmere is super warm and bloomed beautifully when I steamed. I actually went over it with the steamer after wet blocking to get the halo fluffed up! I say actually because I am usually not one for halo, but I realised with this project that my negative association with it is from the kind of fluffy angora mess that ends up in your eyes and nose – which I HATE. If something is fluffy but not sheddy, I like it fine!

Here is a close up of furry goodness:

Things I have learned from this project:
1. I can do lace – but dense lace. Thin lacey patterns are still too hard for me to read and sort out mistakes along the way.
2. I should probably do provisional cast ons when knitting from bottom up from now on! Save me so much time.
3. For god’s sake, stop second guessing sleeve hole size!!! Trust my gauge.
4. Bigger sleeve holes are still better than too small…



Endless Imogen

Don’t know WHAT is up with WordPress lately. Have they stopped updating the software or something? I just realised that this post below from weeks ago never went live.

Thanks post scheduler!!! Hmmph

Here it is, be-lately.

I am STILL fumbling along with my Immie, and despairing a little at my choice of thicker yarn, as it has screwed me up quite a few times in this project!

Why do I do this to myself? This project was supposed to be a straighforward one.

I had finished the body with it’s complex lace and felt I was nearly done – then had troubles with the arms. Again. Too wide/too frumpy looking this time – so frogged and retried several times before giving up and going for short garter sleeves. I had to decrease awkwardly at the back of the arm to make them fit.

I have decided that arms/arm holes are my knitting Achilles heel (no sock pun intended!). I have to find a way to work them out better, as at the moment they seem to go buggy every time. The easiest time I have had with them was on my first cardi, Miriam. Ridiculous!

Thinking it through, it is likely because I actually – and here is the crux of it-  followed the pattern as written instead of modifying things.


Also in my list of pain and suffering on this project, I ended up frogging and redoing the neck AGAIN – 3rd go – as the bind off I used the first time was too stretchy and loose and looked horrid. The left image below is the yarnover bind off after blocking, believe it or not.

What a bubbly mess. The image on the right is the new, thicker edge with a K2tog bind off – BEFORE blocking. Tons better already.

I replaced it with a K2tog bind off – my new stretchy go-to for garter edges, which blends in a bit with the garter and gives a dense/solid but stretchy line. It is ok now, though I may still cover it up the whole nasty business with a thick cowl left over from the original sweater I frogged this yarn from.

The straw that broke my humpy camel back was when I tried it on after finishing the neckline and decided that and it feels a bit short for cold weather… so frogged the bottom, this time around, and tried adding a half repeat of Frost Flowers. However, I couldn’t seem to match up the pattern the other way around, nearly lost what is left of my mind, and gave up. I am now adding a thick garter border at bottom to match sleeves.

All and all, feel I have sort of botched this beautiful design a bit. It makes me sad, as I was so proud of getting that lace pattern done. Felt I had really reached a milestone…

…only to find that it has launched itself at me and cracked me in the chin.

I am hoping I can bring myself to redo it in the intended weight yarn with long sleeves one day.

Immie – Updated

My Imogen Wool is coming along slowly but nicely.

I have been trying to take pictures of my progress regularly to spur myself along.

It is always so much more satisfying to see the images together and see how far you have come! Nearly there.

The image on the right is from yesterday, just before I cast on stitches for the sleeves. I am planning on doing the full body before picking up the sleeve stitches and knitting down until I run out of yarn. It just seems less stressful that way. It is looking fairly good, though, and will surely have enough for at least 3/4 length sleeves if not longer.

Very relieved.

Project Parade – vol. 5

I have been falling behind on my ‘project parade’! So many patterns to post, and so little time.

I have fallen in love with Lisa Mutch‘s glorious Obsidian

and am anxiously waiting for it to be released so I can use my precious Habu N-80 stash:

So elegant, but also slightly edgy. Love her designs. I was all ready to cast on with this one a few weeks back, but didn’t read the listing properly and missed that it was being released in November, so am now doing the knitting equivalent of the pee-pee dance until it comes out!!! Doh.

I am still working on my Immie, but was checking around last night to see what other patterns have used the Frost Flowers chart and found the Panna Frost Flower Lace Shawl by Foldi knit, a free pattern!

So pretty, isn’t it? I am thinking of doing it for my mom for xmas, though maybe just 3 repeats of the pattern, as it might kill me! I have the perfect Colourmart cashmere/merino left over from my stripe study. The only problem is I can figure out the yo’s from the wrong side with the Frost Flowers! I tried to add short rows to my Immie, but just get a crossed stitch mess, so am doing something wrong.  This one may have to work until I understand lace better.

These next wrist warmers are going to be my first colourwork project.

Cutie patooties!

Immie – In the Pink

I have started a number of new projects as autumn is flying in here and I need to get some warmth knit up, pronto! Along with the Aidez I mentioned in my last post, I have gone up another level in complexity and have started Imogen Wool by Carrie Bostick Hoge.

It is gorgeous and I have been eyeing it’s shortsleeved predecessor for months, but didn’t dare try it, as my chart reading skills are still pretty basic.

After my successes with the Aidez cables, though, and as I need to continue to trade off knitting projects to give my wrists a break from the thick Cascade Eco+, I figured I would give it a try.

What did I have to lose?

I chose the pink cashmere I had frogged from a sweater I never wore as it was too hot (thick ply cashmere with a doubled cowl neck??? Really? Whoever designed it must live in the Arctic):

I got a couple days in before I realised it would be much too large on the 4mm needles I was using, so frogged and started again on 3.5mm and went down a size.

It made the yarn really tight, but I didn’t want to start dealing with mathematical mods again on this one – giving myself a break, supposedly – and was already at the bottom of the sizing for the pattern.

The only thing is…the fabric started to curl. The faded out image below shows it after my first, gentle attempt at steaming straight:

Still curled right after the garter band. Gulp.

I panicked and went to the Ravely Forums for help. Those forums are AMAZING. Within minutes I had opinions from people all over the world! Ok, so some of it was conflicting, but it was so nice to have the support and suggestions.

I got some great links to info on hems and solutions from TECHknitting.

In desperation I decided to have another go at steaming it before frogging my days of agonising work and showed it no mercy! I steamed the bejesus out of it and it worked!

You can see how the new, unsteamed part, on the needles on the right hand side is still curling but the hem is now sitting flat. PHEW.

Brickage averted.

Here is the lace, thus far. I am SO proud!

Only now, I am not so sure I will have enough yarn for sleeves…

Project Parade – vol. 4

I have decided that, while I need to continue to work on depleting my stash (and stop being so yarn-greedy!), I also need a thick wool jacket/cardi for autumn. Ahem.

(This is how the downward slope of an entire room filled with wool begins, isn’t it?)

I used to have a  heathered green, fitted wool mandarin collared jacket that I picked up at a charity shop and LOVED in my twenties, and want to go for a similar style in a sturdy green yarn.

These are the two top runners on my queue:
The bobble-y cable Forecast by Stefanie Japel:

…and the Flogs Jacket by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

I am leaning towards the latter for my jacket, as it is in bulky wool and maybe more suitable for outdoor wear, though I have seen some lovely, paired down versions of the Forecast which are less fussy and would be nice.

Struggling a bit to pick the wool, though. Have been at it for weeks. I want something sturdy enough to hold it’s shape and be a proper ‘jacket’ but not overly itchy. I don’t want to be able to feel pokies through my clothes!

In my search for yarn I have ended up purchasing some Cascade Eco+, which I was pretty certain wouldn’t be firm enough for what I had in mind with Flogs…and was right.

As a result I have entered the land of textured cables with the rather simple, in the end, Aidez.

I am doing it in the same colour as below – Shire! (what a perfect name):

[image from Conundrum on Ravelry]

I am pleasantly surprised by the yarn. It is much softer and squishier than I thought it would be. I can just barely wear it against skin, and think it will be soft enough not to have any itchies.

The only downside is that doing all these cables in such thick yarn is KILING my hands. I stopped altogether for a day and have had to start icing and trading off between this project and my newly cast on Imogen Wool to try and keep them functioning. I really should stop altogether for a week, but think it might….just…kill me…. heh.