Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Sleeves edition


I've knit a couple inches since, but this is about where my sweater stood on Christmas Eve. In other words, unfinished. I was making good progress and I swear the end was in sight. What really screwed me was having to add about 3 inches to each sleeve. I don't know why, but the measurements in the pattern would've left me with the sleeve equivalent of floods.

I technically had the Friday before off work, but that ended up being just a cruel joke. I decided, after staying up knitting until 2:30 a.m. Thursday night, that I'd rather save my sanity and enjoy what little time I did have off instead of driving myself crazy trying to squeeze in stitches here and there. It ended up being the right decision, and surprisingly, this turned out to be the most enjoyable Christmas holiday I've had in a while. Whether that was due to a lower stress level from no deadline knitting or the alcohol I consumed, I'm not really going to question it.

I've got a little less than one full repeat left on sleeve #2, then these need to be blocked and seamed to the sweater body. The body itself is finished, seamed at the shoulders and blocked. All that remains is to knit the neck band. New deadline: New Years Eve.

P.S. Another good thing about not finishing in time: I would've ROASTED at my in-laws on Christmas Eve. Thirty people in one house plus the oven running all day... I was sweating in a dress shirt.

P.P.S. On of my commenters had asked, so I'll let you know the pattern is Man's Intertwined Cables Pullover by Melissa Leapman from Cables Untangled.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Part 2

As promised, a current up-to-date WIP post...

Sweater progress
A rare accurate progress shot

If you haven't been paying attention, check out what a fast knitter I am! This is the back done and front about halfway there. I wanted to get 4 inches done today, an inch at lunch and 3 this evening, which would set me up to start the neck opening. I did pretty well at lunch, hopefully tonight isn't chaotic at home and I can get some knitting time in.

I briefly thought about using short rows to work the back shoulder decreases. It would have allowed for a three needle bind-off at the shoulder, but in the end I just decided to bind-off per the instructions. I was a little worried the TNBO would stretch the wrapped stitches and be harder to fix if it did. With hand seaming, I should be better able to control that.

To finish the body, I'll definitely get into a 12th skein, but I don't think it will take all of it. That leaves 8+ skeins for the sleeves and neck. My next decision, which I just realized, is whether to knit both sleeves at once or one at a time. Originally I was planning to knit both at once, but if I were to knit one and find that it takes more than four skeins of yarn, I'd know sooner that I would need more yarn. I really can't imagine sleeves on a modified drop shoulder sweater taking more than four skeins each, but can I risk the alternative?

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a voice yelling that I can calculate how many stitches, in pattern, are in a ball of yarn and how many rows a sleeve will take, but oy ... it's making my head hurt.

WIP Wednesday: Part 1

Lower body

This is actually from last week Wednesday, I'm hoping to have another update later today after knitting at lunch.

At this point, I was just about to bind off for the armholes. In fact, I believe I did that step that evening. It took me three tries. I kept binding off on the wrong row, which would have had me cabling on the wrong side.

I added 1/2" in length to the lower body. I originally thought I would add more, but I got worried about adding too much length. I'm assuming this will grow when blocked and I also didn't want to and length at the expense of using up too much yarn. That's the problem with deadline knitting. I want to have this done by Christmas Eve so I can wear it to our holiday gatherings. If I mess up and run out of yarn or add too much length, I won't have time to rip and re-knit.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And So It Begins

Sweater begins

Having ripped out 6 rows worth of knitting after starting with a twisted cast on, I've got a good two inches done on the body of my sweater. I'm trying to keep my arms and hands loose with lots of stretching, so hopefully I don't go down with another injury on this one. I'm glad I started before the Thanksgiving break; I should have a lot of time this weekend to knit.

P.S. Good on ya for following my train of thought on having my arms fall off whilst knitting this sweater. I'm starting with the body in case I run out of yarn too so I can just make a vest.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Swatch Watch

I'm nearly done with crocheting squares and good thing too. I'm getting a tad sick of making them. If I can get to 120, I'll start sewing together a 10x12 afghan. But enough about that.

Sweater Swatch

For quite a while now, I've wanted a dark brown sweater with cables. Why? Because I saw a friend wear one and thought, hey that looks nice, I'd like one. I bought the yarn with my birthday money and it's sat around quite long enough. I'd like to think I can finish this in time to wear it for Christmas Eve, but my arms may just fall off. We shall see.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I've Been Up To

Crochet Square Mosaic
Kinda looks like the Brady Bunch on fibery steroids, eh?

I came across this pattern on Ravelry after one of my friends faved someone else's project that really was pretty sweet. At the same time, I was asked to make another charity square and, since I vastly prefer to crochet squares than knit them, thought I would try the pattern out. I found it to be so simple and easy, that I figured it would be a good pattern to use up the acrylic I'd collected over the years. It's burning through the stash quite nicely and, though I won't buy any yarn for this project, I have gotten some donated from my mom who also wanted to stash bust. The squares are so addictive, I haven't been able to stop or work on anything else since I started. They're a great cure for startitis.

Pictured above are the first 25 squares I made and I'm probably up to around 60 now. I don't know how large of a blanket I'll end up making, but I'll keep going until I've exhausted as much of my stash as possible. I  have four requirements for color combos in this blanket: 1. squares must have a lighter color on the inside, 2. no repeat squares (very similar combos with different shades are acceptable), 3. there are a few color combinations I just won't do, e.g. red & green (Xmas), green & white (MSU), bright pink & turquoise, etc., 4. don't trim every color in black or make a white center with every color trim.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What do you think about men who knit?

I just took a survey (for Rav users only) regarding Knitting as a Gendered Activity and one of the questions (listed in the title above) got my brain working a little more than the others, perhaps because it was asking me to talk about myself. Here's how I answered:

I think it's great. I think it's no different than other socially accepted men's hobbies, for example woodworking. If a guy decides he wants a bookshelf (and has the ability) he makes himself a bookshelf and no one sees anything wrong with that. If I need a pair of gloves or a scarf or hat or sweater, I knit it. Basically, if you have the skills and materials to make something, why should your gender matter?
What do you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wearing Wool on the Beach?

How many knits can you spot? It was about 45 degrees with steady winds. I was glad to have my sweater.

image 203

Monday, September 26, 2011

This Is Cool

I don't often do this with my blog - show off stuff I've seen on the internet - but this was just too cool not to.

Friday, September 23, 2011



So yeah, that neckline's not gonna work...

And now you can totally see the difference in yarns. Who knew skeins of undyed yarn could look different?


I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally don't want to rip and re-knit. Especially since I don't have a clue how to fix it. Other than changing how the sleeves are attached.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

One of the many great things about having a baby is practicing techniques on small knits. I've had plans to knit Elizabeth Zimmermann's January Aran Cardigan for years now. Two winters ago I knit a swatch cap to see how the cables would turn out in my selected yarn. Last week, after tiring of my sock knitting, I decided a small scale sweater would be the perfect next step in inching my way toward an actual cardigan for myself. (As it turned out, I cast on the same number of stitches for this baby sweater as I did for my hat. Yes son, your chest will soon be as big as my head.)


After all, I needed to test shoulder construction/sleeve insertion and *gasp* a steek! Yes, that's right, I plan to cut my knitting. I finished the knitting yesterday afternoon and sat on my couch staring at the sweater for most of the evening. Finally I researched a crocheted steek (I used this tutorial which, while verbose, was ultimately helpful) since I don't own a sewing machine, found some yarn and just went for it. I find that's the best approach when facing something intimidating, plunge right in before your anxiety can overcome you. So far so good, in the right photo, you can see I've already started picking up for the button band. Eunny's tute suggested thinner, high contrast, feltable yarn, so that's why I used the yellow and brown scrap sock yarn you see. I figure it will end up a fun little hidden detail in the end.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Knits in the Wild*

Dandelion BSJ
First BSJ I ever knit, years before we even started trying to have kids. Got machine washed (ok), with velcro bibs (not ok). Worn maybe twice, now it's pretty much too small for him. :(

Bucket Hat
Cotton sunhat knit in the span of three days while we were up north after realizing his current hat didn't fit anymore. Fits him perfectly right now and it worked to keep the sun out of his face, dubious look aside.

Little Sophisticate
Little Sophisticate shawl collared cardigan. I sewed the buttons on this weekend when it got chilly and I remembered that I knit this. It fits him great right now, though the sleeves are long, so he should be able to wear it a few times this fall.

*The wilds of our living room that is.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here are my new socks

New socks

Started this last Thursday and I'm already this far. Can you tell I like these a lot better? I'm keeping the pattern simple with just a 4x2 rib and using Cat Bordhi's Foxglove master pattern for the gusset increases. It's not so much a pattern as a guideline to where you can place the increases. In this case, you can put them anywhere. I've decided to put them just before the sole stitches and am incorporating the rib pattern. I've never liked how gussets end up just being a (small) sea of stockinette, so this is a nice solution. It's also a good test for another pair of socks (that just so happen to be in the same yarn, but different color) I plan to rework using Cat's construction techniques.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Asked and Answered

I made it this far:


After my last post, I ignored everyone's responses and decided to just finish the rest of the first sock since I was so close. I wanted to see how the pooling would play out and also test a cast off. Fine on both counts, so I started the second sock.

I convinced myself I was ok with the pooling on the foot knowing how the leg would turn out. All was well until I hit the heel increases. I don't know what it is about Knit Picks multi-colored yarn, but the pooling just deteriorates far too quickly for my liking. I'm generally ok with either wide fat stripes or tiny barely-even-stripes, but not both in the same sock. Plus the longer I looked at the foot, the more it looked like a dark brown sock that had been bleached.

I started a new pair of socks today with this yarn and I'm already several inches in. I feel much better about this. I don't know what will become of the brown yarn.

Monday, August 15, 2011


IMAG0020, originally uploaded by Camping Jason.

So I picked this sock back up after it lying dormant for over a year after finally finishing off my pair of green socks. I initially started to knit the established pattern, but quickly realized all the reasons I put it down in the first place: dark yarn, small stitches and mock cables were not making for a very enjoyable knit.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and simply continue on with a 4x2 ribbing pattern. (The switch happens about halfway up the leg, so not a normal starting position for the ribbing at the top of a sock.) I really like how it's turning out, both the fabric of the sock and how the yarn is pooling. I told myself that I wouldn't care about where the ribbing started and that I'd even knit the second sock in all 4x2 ribbing and not care that they will be fraternal twins.

I like the pattern I'm knitting now so much that I'm wondering if I should rip out the mock cables and make a pair of socks that I'll really like instead of a pair I'll just tolerate. The problem is I know that if I rip this sock out, there's a very slim chance that I'll actually restart it instead of knitting some other more fascinating project. However, I do hold the slim hope that if I finish this sock as is, then knit the second how I now want to, that it may give me the push to "fix" the first sock.

So what do I do?
A) Continue knitting sock #1 as is, knit sock #2 in 4x2 rib and hope it inspires me to reknit #1?
B) Frog sock #1 immediately and try to restart in 4x2 rib knowing that I may abandon the project completely?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Howzabout a WIP Wednesday?


I started another Baby Surprise Jacket this past weekend. It's knit in Sock That Rock Mediumweight, Monsoon, which has been languishing in my stash waiting for the perfect project. I started two other projects with it only to end up with pooling I didn't quite like. The miters on the BSJ take care of that problem nicely.

I'm using size 4 needles which, combined with the medium weight STR, should make for a bit larger sweater than the last fingering weight BSJ I knit. (Speaking of, that sweater lost a battle with velcro in the washing machine. Unfortunately, superwash doesn't mean completely indestructible. I'm hoping a handwash and careful blocking will return things to normal.)

It's resting gently in one of my office desk drawers at the moment where I can grab it for a few quick, sneaky rows in between work. Lately it's been very slow in the office so I've grown bolder with sneaking in a few stitches. Thankfully my office is tucked away in a corner and it's been fairly quiet, so I can hear people approach.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What is it?

What is it?, originally uploaded by Camping Jason.
Any guesses?

Hint the first: It's not finished (though it is now)

Hint the second: It will live outside (as things of this sort usually do)

Hint the third: There's another color to be added (you can see a bit of it peeking)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For Mojo

#1 Fan

C'mon Red Wings. Let's do this.

This is what we brought E home in (over a month ago!). I knit it in about a week. It's a top-down raglan sweater with no shaping whatsoever, therefore the front of the collar sits a bit high. I did insert a placket on the left shoulder to make it easier to get on. I then sewed two or three snaps in to close it. I had initially intended to put buttons on, but snaps are SO much easier to manage on a squirming baby. And boy does he squirm.

I knit the logo across the chest as I went after I initially planned to use duplicate stitch. If I recall correctly, I was feeling pressed for time and thought this would be faster. I'm glad I did it this way, I think it looks better. To manage it in the round, I cut long lengths of the white yarn and started the first row in the middle of that length of yarn. I then had approximately the same length left waiting for me when I came around for the next row. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It ended up being a tad long, but hopefully that means he can wear it again when hockey resumes this fall. He's little guy, but he's also gaining weight quickly. If he outgrows it, I'll be knitting another one.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For the Birds

Angry Cardinal

I'm exhausted from lack of sleep, so I'm not feeling terribly creative with the words today. I was able to knock this guy out over the weekend though. Which may have started an obsession with knitting all of the Angry Birds patterns and amigurumi in general. I envision live action Angry Birds. Unfortunately, with my self-imposed embargo on yarn purchases for 2011, I'm going to have to scavenge for the proper colored acrylic yarn.

One last things before I collapse into a coma at my desk: This little guy is weighted down with a custom made bean bag. Those are real beans in there.

Bean Bag

If you're interested in materials, the fabric was left over from our bedroom curtains and is stitched together with an oddment of *gasp* Wollmeise. The beans are red. I may have overestimated the weight as the bird acts like a freaking Weeble. I fear for anyone that crosses its angry flight path.

P.S. If anyone has any Red Heart yarn they're looking to get rid of, I could use some in the following colors: Bright Yellow #0324, Spring Green #672, Delft Blue #0885

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brevity is the soul of wit

In what is barely more than a Flickr repost, I bring you progress on my latest knitting conquest.

Green Socks

I had grand intentions of finishing these by St. Patrick's Day, but seeing as how that is merely a week away, it's not going to happen. Though I have finished this first one and cast on for the second. It's not SSS this time,  I just have to finish something else on a deadline, hopefully only a few weeks away. I'd tell you about it now, but let's save that for another blog post, shall we?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Emmett's Hat

Emmett's Hat

I haven't been knitting a whole lot lately, but I did manage to squeak out a preemie hat or two.