Category Archives: cardigans

Cabled Cardigan Progress

The last time I wrote about my Aidez Cardigan was when I was ripping out the back piece, after realizing that it was just coming out entirely too small. I am substituting yarns for a lighter weight yarn, and my teensy tiny swatch really wasn’t good enough for me to see how off my gauge really was. The pattern gauge was given in stockinette, while the majority of the back panel of the sweater is knitted in a cabled pattern, and we all know how differently cables behave than stockinette anyways. Honestly, I should have thought things through and swatched a little more carefully, but I was just anxious to get started. (Famous last words of a knitter, right?)

My back piece was coming out 14” wide, and for the pattern size small, it should have been 20” wide. I checked my gauge (now that I had a HUGE gauge swatch) and determined that if I followed the numbers for the pattern size XXL at the gauge I was getting, my back piece would come out 20” wide- exactly the size I needed it to be. I’ve since ripped, reknit and completed the back panel and when I measure it against a well-fitting shirt, it is pretty much dead on for the size I am aiming for.

Over the weekend, I cast on for the left front panel of the cardigan, which uses different cables than the back piece. I am again in love with the cables that are coming off my needles and I can’t stop putting my work down every few minutes to admire it. This has to be the best part about knitting a cabled cardigan in pieces—it never gets boring because as soon as you get used to a cable pattern it’s time to start on another piece!

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Gauge wins again

I should have seen it sooner; that my poor sweater back was falling victim to that old baddie GAUGE. The classic symptoms of denial were present: tugging at the length, stretching out the bottom edge and telling myself it would relax with a good blocking. Then I woke up and decided to face the truth.

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First I laid it out and gave it a steamy once over to relax it just a bit. Then I grabbed my measuring tape and assessed the damage. My sweater back was measuring 14″ wide and the schematic was telling me it should be more like 20″.

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In my defense, I did do a gauge swatch. But it was pretty teensy, and it was in stockinette, which is how the pattern gauge was given. I think I would have been better off swatching in the cable pattern so I could account for how much the cables pull in on the overall fabric. I think the only positive I can pull outta this one is that now I have a really big gauge swatch. Off I go to start over again and mark this one a big fail.

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Aidez Check In

One of my favorite things about knitting cabled pieces is that you soon find a rhythm to the cable patterns.  Now that I’ve gotten two and a half repeats into the trellis chart of my Aidez cardigan, part of the #fringeandfriendsknitalong,  I can knit through most rows without checking the chart.  (Though I make sure to double check each time I’m doing a cable cross just to make sure I’m doing the right one!)  I modified the two rope cables that are alongside the center trellis pattern, as the pattern calls for double wrapping the purls on the row before you complete the cable cross so that the stitches are elongated.  I felt like mine were coming out kind of sloppy and so I just switched to a simple 2/2 left/right cross which doesn’t change the look all that much.

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I think as soon as I get tired of working these particular cables on the back piece, it will be time to start the fronts and sleeves, which are comprised of entirely new cable patterns.  Score another one for Team Seam because if I was working this as one seamless piece, I would probably be getting tired of all of the cables about now and still have a LOT of sweater left to knit.

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Aidez Progress

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It’s been just over a week since I started swatching my Aidez cardigan as part of the #fringeandfriendsknitalong, and I’ve worked my way through one repeat of the trellis pattern on the back piece; about 10”.  I’m knitting for Team Seam and will be knitting the pattern as written; in pieces and seaming later.   I always think that I prefer seamless sweaters because I dread seaming, but in all honesty this will be my first seamed sweater so it’s really too soon to tell.  I decided to work this one with seams because I like the idea of seams helping a heavily cabled garment keep its structure, and I also didn’t feel like converting the pattern to seamless!  I think that working smaller pieces will show progress more quickly and encourage me to keep on knitting.  I’ve found myself putting my knitting down every few rows to admire the way a few cable crosses change the look of the whole piece.  Did I mention I LOVE cabled knits?

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A Knitalong

I’ve decided to hop on the #fringeandfriendsknitalong train.  If you haven’t heard about it, the details can be found on the Fringe Association blog. In short, it is a knitalong for the Amanda cardigan or other similar fisherman style cardigan.  The knitalong includes a panel of experts who will be posting weekly on Karen’s blog with topics ranging from tips on yarn selection and swatching to seaming the finished piece.

I have decided to knit the Aidez pattern by Cirilia Rose and will be knitting it in Cascade Eco Wool.

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It Fits!

The baby sweater I knit not too long ago finally arrived in Switzerland and my friend Tim posted the cutest pic of baby Johann wearing it:

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He looks so adorable in it, and his jaunty little hat is the perfect accessory.

Big/Little

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Ever since learning that my friend Tim and his wife Liis were expecting, I knew I would be knitting a sweater for their little one.
We met Tim when we were living in NYC; he’s an amazing photographer and one of those people that feels like family after you’ve only known them a short while. Tim and Liis moved to California while we were still in NY, and then we moved to Texas and Tim and Liis moved to Switzerland. Their beautiful baby boy Johannes was born in December and Auntie Kim is a bit late in getting a sweater to this little guy. I knit him the Storytime Scholar Cardigan by Lisa Chemery in the 9-12 month size, and I think it will easily fit him well into his first year. You can’t go wrong with a grandpa sweater for a little boy, and the garter stitch elbow patches really sold me on this pattern. The yarn I used is quickly becoming an easy go-to yarn for baby sweaters: Berocco Vintage. I like it because its soft, wooly and heathered, but with an acrylic content so its washable and no-fuss for the parents. I think it resulted in a sweet little sweater and I hope it keeps baby Johann warm and stylish in Switzerland.

I also wanted to share the sweetest thing Tim said when I was asking him how he was enjoying life with a new son. “Johann is my little and I am his big/ the cosmos just paired us up is all.”

Spring Pattern Love

I wanted to share a few patterns I’ve been ogling on Ravelry lately:

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Sperry by Amy Miller

Sperry  by Amy Miller is a classic fitted raglan sweater with trendy stripes and a pretty shirttail hem.  I think the choice of a springy, robin’s-egg blue is perfect for this time of year (as are those great 3/4 length sleeves).

Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig  is another robin’s-egg blue, 3/4 lenth sleeved sweater I’m in love with right now.  This one is lightweight and would be perfect to wear over a spring or summer dress in an overly air-conditioned office during the summer.

Boxy by Joji Locatelli

Boxy by Joji Locatelli

Boxy by Joji Locatelli caught my eye with its oversized slouch factor paired with slim fitting dolman sleeves.  I’ve been seeing this shape in lots of tops lately and I love this relaxed and breezy look for spring and summer.

Relax by Ririko

Relax by Ririko

Relax by Ririko has a similar shape as Boxy and also has the dolman style sleeves that quickly narrow to a fitted 3/4 length.  This looks like it would be perfect for wearing with brightly colored ballet flats to go to a lazy saturday brunch.

Can you tell I’ve been itching to cast on for a springy sweater lately?  I have a few other things in the works that have to be finished before I’ll let myself start yet another new project, but these are definitely on my to-knit list.

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Baby Knits

A little over a year ago on the eve of 2012, Joey and I were sitting around a fire with some of our closest friends and discussing the dawning of a new year. One by one we went around the circle, each of us sharing in turn some of our most closely held ambitions. One of my goals was to design and publish a knitting pattern (which I did here and here). One of Joey’s goals was to build and open a recording studio (which he did here). When it came to our friend Israel’s turn, he looked at his wife Laura and shared that they really wanted to become parents in the coming year. I’m excited to share that he and Laura will be welcoming little Miss Willow Blanche towards the end of February!

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Of course I had to pour my love and excitement for them into a couple of snuggly knits for this little one and now that they have been gifted I can share them with you.

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The cardigan is the Baby Sophisticate pattern which is a really quick and adorable knit.  The hat is the Super Soft Super Simple Baby Hat by the Purl Bee and I am in love with the silly pom pom on top.  I used Berroco Vintage chunky yarn for both.

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Color theory

Way back when Joey and I were discussing color choices for a grandpa cardigan I was planning on knitting for him, we decided upon a bright shade of turquoise.  I knew in the back of my mind that a bright, eye-searing turquoise might not be the best choice but I went for it anyways because I am always up for something fun and a little different.  The cardigan, which I knitted using Jared Flood’s Smokin pattern, came out really great and Joey received lots of compliments on it.  (I’m quite sure it was due to the eye-searing shade that it was noticed and commented on so often.)  Flash to three years later and that sweater has migrated its way to the back of the closet specifically because of that eye-searing shade of turquoise that we were once so excited about.  It was in retrospect, perhaps a little too turquoise.

With thoughts of a more classic-looking grandpa cardigan in mind, I decided I would dye the sweater grey.  After a very long hour spent stirring a lumpy mass in a pool of dingy grey water in my kitchen sink, I discovered that using grey dye on an eye-searing shade of turquoise does not result in a classic grey cardigan, it only results in a somewhat dingy-looking turquoise cardigan.  And so a second dye was attempted, this time using black dye which resulted in the very nice, classic-looking navy blue that you see here.

And thus, the sweater has been saved from the depths of the closet as I can now see Joey wearing it much more often this winter.   Also, I think I might need to go back and study my color theory a bit more because in all honesty I was expecting the sweater to come out black!

 

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