Tag Archives: sweater

Have Planner, Will Plan

Good Morning and happy Monday to you, my friends.

There’s not much to talk about knitting-wise this week because I’ve not done much knitting. I have made some decent progress on my sweater – I’m working on the shoulders at the moment – but since it’s such a small yarn, it’s not going as fast as my most recent projects. I don’t mind that part, though. It’s very meditative knitting… around and around and around and remember to increase in the right spots and just keep knitting. I’ve very nearly used all of the first skein of yarn and I’m not even down to the sleeves yet.

I did try it on this weekend to see if it was starting out the right way and I’m happy to say it’s going well. The shoulders fit me right the way they should and nothing’s to tight or too loose. It’s exciting.

So, if I haven’t been knitting much this week, what have I been doing?

I’ve been planning a birthday party.

For a *gasp* FOUR year old!

My big kiddo turns four this week and we’re having a party. I usually start planning his parties right after Christmas, but so much stuff was going on this year and I kept putting it off. So I’m trying to put it all together in about a week and a half. It’s coming along, and I think he and his friends will have fun.

I’ve also spent a lot of time this week just trying to get organized. I felt things going off the rails, with work and kids and trying to keep the house in reasonable order, so I am working on making myself a planner. Traditional day planners don’t quite fit my needs – I need more of a prioritized task list than an appointment calendar – so I’ve been searching for free planner pages, printing them and trying to see how they work with my brain. I’ve found a few things that are working and I’m tweaking the pages that don’t quite fit for me, so hopefully I can keep everything more tidy. I am a planner, I like lists and meal plans and organized shelves and everything in its place. The reality is that I don’t always have every little thing organized, and I have several piles of my stuff laying around in places. Plus, living with two kiddos (who prove the chaos theory) and another human (who can buy a week’s worth of groceries in one trip and make a week’s worth of meals without ever thinking about a list) means that it’s a lot of work to keep things from getting out of hand.

Last weekend, I was feeling so much stress about everything I felt was on my plate. This weekend, I am getting it organized and in its place. I have no illusion that I will stay organized forever. When I get comfortable with my routine, I won’t need the detailed planner as much, but for right now, it makes me feel so much better just to have it all written down in one spot.

I am going back to my knitting, now. Have a great week!

P.S. I am anxiously awaiting block 3 of the mystery afghan. I really hope it’s one that I will want to do. I could use a short, easy project to work on as I need a break from the big projects I’ve got on the needles.

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Now The Real Fun Begins!

So, we closed on our new house on Friday. That means it’s time to really get focused on moving. We’ve been cleaning and purging and packing some, but nothing that remotely resembles close to being ready to go.

The urge to purge has been diminished quite a bit. We bought a house that was bigger than we expected to buy. The garage is huge and has lots of storage space, for better or worse. That means we’re to the point that we’re just chucking everything into boxes and we’ll sort it out at the other end. But we all know how that goes. There are boxes sitting in our garage right now that I moved here from my last house that are still full of the same crap that I moved INTO my last house. Oh well.

Knitting has taken a back seat to packing. I’m sorry to say I won’t be doing any more new stocking orders this year. I don’t even think I’m going to get much personal knitting done for Christmas this year. I do have several stockings to finish up for customers, and I’m going to be working hard to get those done in time for them to be enjoyed. I’ve spent this week’s allotted knitting time designing four stockings for a family that have been really fun to do. I love the designing process and I really enjoy making them so personal for each person.

My main focus for the next few weeks will be packing and moving and knitting the things that have to get done. Hubby’s sweater is on hold for a little bit, even though I’m working on the last piece. He’ll get it by the time he really needs it, though.

Also, I have yet to make Jellybean’s winter sweater for this year. I have the pattern picked out and the yarn is sitting right here. It’s just going to have to wait until after all the Christmas knitting is done. (Unless I can manage to get it done FOR Christmas… that’s a possibility.)

Lollypop and I are just cruising. I’m feeling lots of flutters, and I just love that. With all the craziness, it’s been difficult to bond with this baby, but feeling the movement helps a lot. I’m also starting to get a little bit of a bump, although it’s not noticeable to anyone but me and my blue jeans just yet. Jellybean talks about Lollypop some, too, which is just adorable.

Have a great week, my friends!

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Monday’s Update (Late) on a Tuesday

This is getting to be a habit, isn’t it?

I’ve spent lots and lots of time adulting this week. Things just gotta get done, ya know? The craziness of preparing to move plus trying to find a new house plus getting this one ready to sell (we can’t find any handy people who want to bid our job!) plus keep up with all the normal stuff we need to do (for some crazy reason, my family still wants dinner. Every night!)

Take all that and add in a toddler who’s dropping naps (woe is me!) and it’s a struggle to get anything done.

I’ve instituted a daily quiet time for the toddler, which will allow me too get something done, and I’m using my MDO time to pack and sort through all our stuff. Which only leaves bedtime for knitting. The plus side is that we can put jellybean to bed early when he doesn’t nap and he usually doesn’t have an issue with that.

I’ve been focusing on my husband’s sweater for the last week or so. I’ve finished one sleeve and made good progress on the second. The pattern is easy and predictable, so after the first repeat, I didn’t need to look at the chart anymore.

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Beginning first sleeve

This sweater is constructed differently than my cardigan. My cardigan was knit all in one piece with no seams. This sweater is knit with the front, back and sleeves being separate pieces.

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First sleeve finished

Patterns always start with instructions for the back, then the front, then sleeves. I started with the sleeves, though. I do have a reason! The sleeves start out at the cuff, and are only 54 cast on stitches rather than 120-something. I used the first sleeve as a gauge swatch, so I sorta cheated. Turns out I hit the gauge right on the money so there was no need to rip out. Always a good thing.

When I started the second sleeve, though, I realized I forgot to change one of the needles after the cuff. (The ribbed cuffs are usually knit with a needle one or two sizes smaller than the body.) So I knitted the entire sleeve with an 8 on the wrong side and a 9 on the right side. Oops.

I’m not really sure if that will have a huge effect on the overall fabric, but just to be on the safe side, I forgot to do it again on the second sleeve.

I have a few stockings that are washed, blocked and ready for details and personalizing. Two are for the shop and the other two are claimed. One of these nights, I’ll take a break from the sweater and get them finished up.

I have plans to offer some luxurious lip butters and lotion bars in my shop this fall, too. My father-in-law keeps bees, so I have an awesome local source for untreated beeswax. I’m very excited about this!

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at more houses. Wish us luck that we find one we like! Have a great week!

P.S. I wrote this entire post on my phone, since I’ve been to busy to sit down at the computer. I hope the mistakes are few and forgivable. 🙂

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Epic Sweater Reveal!

After much anticipation, I can finally reveal my epic sweater.

This is my healing sweater. I have failed no less than three times to make a sweater for myself. Reasons for failure include lack of skill, lack of confidence and complete stupidity. But this one is a complete success!

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My skills and confidence have improved so much in just the last couple of years. Making sweaters for my tiny human has helped my sweater confidence a lot, but I’ve learned a lot about reading patterns and techniques that make garment knitting easier. (I’ve also learned a lot about staying committed to the finished product.) I was able to modify this pattern just a little bit to make it fit me the way I wanted it.

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This will be my winter sweater. I plan to wear it over layers, so for that reason I wanted a looser, not fitted garment. I also have long arms and broad shoulders. This means that commercial sweater sleeves tend to end up being about 3/4 length on me. It’s annoying and my wrists are always cold. I’m not so into the trend of shorter length sweaters, either. I was able to make the sleeves and body long enough to my satisfaction.

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I might have made the sleeves just a smidge too long, but the wonderful thing about knitting it myself is… I can redo it if I want to. I would just undo the bind-off, rip out the cuff and a few rows, then re-knit the cuff.

"Why are you wearing a wool sweater in August? Are you crazy?"

“Why are you wearing a wool sweater in August? Are you crazy?”

The construction of the sweater was interesting and fun. The designer wrote the pattern so that you knit half of the back part of the collar then you stop there, pick up stitches along the cast-on edge and knit the other half. When you get to the same point as the first half, you pick up stitches along the edge and continue on down the body. If you’re not a knitter, that is probably completely confusing, but it works and it’s fun to do.

I modified the pattern at the hem to avoid having a split between the cable and the ribbing. That took some fancy needlework, but it was worth it. The only other modification I would make is to do a provisional cast on when beginning the collar. That way you would have live stitches to use when you started the second half and it would be seamless. As it is, the seam is pretty much invisible from the outside.

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I love this sweater so much. It’s warm and soft. The cables are beautiful. The construction was simple, but interesting enough to keep me interested. I will wear this for years to come. I am so happy I made this!

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Merle sweater designed by Norah Gaughan. Made in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. (Just for an interesting tidbit, Norah Gaughan is the same person who designed the pattern for the Aran Afghan I finished last month. I think you could say I’m a fan.)

 

P.S. Thank you so much to my awesome hubby for taking these photos for me. I am almost never satisfied with the photos I take, but I am almost always satisfied with his. <3

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