Vita de Vie is finished and I love it!

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Vita de Vie is finished and I love it!

I’m really thrilled with how it turned out – the way the Beaverslide yarn softens and relaxes and blooms, following a wet blocking, is just magical. And the sweater itself is light as a feather!

Ravelry Project Page
Project Details:
Pattern: Vita de Vie, from Pompom Spring 2018
Yarn: Beaverslide Two-Ply Sport/Sock weight in “Lemongrass”, 2.5 skeins
Needles: Size 5 and Size 6 circulars
Time to Knit: a little over a month!

Shoulder detail

I’m really delighted with the fit, and I love the way the lace looks over the shoulders. I would never have thought to design a sweater with this kind of construction (and I can’t say that I really enjoyed all of the finishing work this required) but the result is pretty fantastic!

Vita de Vie is finished and I love it!

I’m really delighted with how light and flowy it came out, too. In the past, all of my sweaters have been worsted or aran weight, but in the last year or so, I’ve knit several sweaters in sport weight, and I quite like them, especially in the Spring when it’s definitely still sweater weather here, but not necessarily aran-weight sweater weather.

Vita de Vie, all finished up.

I wish I could take slightly more interesting finished sweater photos with my camera, but I’m limited in terms of what I can do with a 12-second self-timer! My old camera remotes don’t work with my current camera (an Olympus PEN E-PL2) and I’m not sure what sort of remote WILL work with it, but if anyone has advice, I’m all ears!

Shoulder close-up

Isn’t that lace over the shoulder so pretty?

Neckline closeup

And I’ve come around to liking that soft V-neck! Very very happy with my new sweater – just in time for the weather to become decidedly NOT sweater-friendly!

a summer of green sweaters?

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Look what’s blocking!

it's blocking!

It’s Vita de Vie! I was a little surprised that it turned out to have a v-neck – the pattern photos don’t look that way, but there’s no way that the instructions, as written, wouldn’t yield a soft-V. My Instagram friends convinced me that the V is nice because it echoes the Vs in the lace, so I think I’m going to stick with it, but if I hadn’t been trying to follow the pattern pretty closely (because it’s such a new construction method!) I probably would’ve aimed for a rounder neckline.

i-cord bindoff.

I ended up doing an i-cord bindoff, instead of the plain one called for the in the pattern, because I thought it would look a bit neater. I’ll do a full FO post about the sweater once it’s dry and I can take some modeled photos with it.

Hazards of blocking outdoors

I wish I could transmit texture via the Internet – there just aren’t words to capture how delightful the Beaverslide Sport/Sock yarn feels after blocking. It’s just the best.

While I was finishing up Vita de Vie, I cast on for what I’m hoping will be my next sweater: a Little Wave cardigan in Bartlettyarns Worsted in “Bracken”, which has been hanging out in my stash for a good decade, I think.

The next sweater...

I’m not 100% sure about the pattern-yarn combination here, though – I love Bartlettyarns, but so far, the pattern itself is coming out kind of muddy. But I’ve only done two rows of it, so I think I’m going to knit a full repeat before deciding whether the stitch definition is what I want. If I don’t turn this into a Little Wave, I might use a simpler stitch pattern like garter rib. Maybe a Farmhouse Cardigan.

Gonna be the summer of green sweaters, I think!

I laughed when I was taking pictures and thinking about my summer knitting plans, because I think this very well could be a summer in which I knit nothing but green sweaters. Because after this one, I’m hoping to knit Tric, which a Ravelry friend very kindly gifted me (with hopes that I’ll blog about everything I learn from the pattern!) and the yarn I’d use for that? It’ll be bright green Cascade 220 Superwash (which was going to be a blanket for M, but never did become that). And then I was thinking that the leftover light green from Vita de Vie would work ever so nicely with the dark juniper green Beaverslide Sport/Sock that I have in a Rusty Tuku…which also has a very interesting construction! So I suppose it’s both the Summer of Green Sweaters and the Summer of Trying New Sweater Construction Methods, and that’s fine by me! I do have a LOT of green yarn in my stash – green is one of my favorite colors (I have green eyes, too) and found its way into my stash quite often throughout the years, but somehow I keep never getting around to using it. So that’s my plan for the summer: GREEN!

so much grafting, so much seaming!

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I made great progress on the knitting of Vita de Vie in the last week, which meant that it was time for grafting the two halves of the sweater together, straight up the center of the front and the center of the back.

Pretty pleased with my grafting!

I actually kind of enjoy grafting, but I’ve never grafted such long stretches of stitches before, and never in such a prominent location (the center front??!). This took a LOT of fussing around with each grafted stitch to ensure that the tension was just right…

The Vita de Vie pattern requires grafting two sweater-halves together up the front and back. I do like grafting, but gosh, getting the tension even so there’s no visible line is TEDIOUS!

…which led to eye strain, so I had to take quite a few breaks. But I think I did a pretty darned good job of it in the end.

Then, it was time for some incredibly long seams – up the sleeves and down the sides, on each half of the sweater. I managed to get ONE of those sleeves seamed last night, but oh my goodness, seaming is definitely not one of my favorite things to do.

so much seaming!

My curiosity about the manner in which this sweater is constructed has been fully sated at this point, and I’m ready to return to my beloved seamless knits! But I still have three seams to finish, and then a long ribbed hem, and some kind of neckline finish (I’m leaning towards using an i-cord rather than picking up and then immediately binding off the way the pattern calls for).

But I need to decide soon what my next project will be, because we’re heading to Ohio next weekend to spend Memorial Day with my husband’s family, and that means I need a sweater project to bring with me for all that time in the car, etc. I do have the Elle Melle that I started for M, but since that yarn is on cones, it’s kind of awkward to carry around with me. I’m tempted to start a new sweater for me, but which one? I have quite a queue of possible sweaters from yarns in my stash and I don’t know where to start!

working with much pointier needles

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Today is the first day since before the start of Spring Semester that I haven’t had anything I *needed* to do, or anywhere I *needed* to be! What a treat! I decided to take advantage of it by getting out the sashiko mini sampler kit that I got from Miniature Rhino awhile back. I’ve been wanting to learn about sashiko stitching for awhile; I’m really drawn towards geometric patterning of the sort that is often featured in sashiko, and I’ve also heard that sashiko is a useful skill if you want to be able to mend your own jeans.

practicing sashiko stitching.

It took me a few tries to get used to running the needle through the fabric, but I eventually got the hang of it (though I think I need to get a thimble, because ouch, pushing that needle through doesn’t feel very good on my fingers!).

Doing all the vertical stitches first.

I first did all of the vertical stitches, then did the horizontal ones, because that’s what the instructions said to do. I loved seeing the little “plus signs” emerge!

Next, the horizontal stitches

It was so exciting when it was all done!

Finished sampler number 1!

It looks pretty nice on the wrong side, too:

The backside.

While reorganizing crafty things, I found another embroidery project that has been long-buried: the ABC Sampler from Posie gets Cozy, which dates back to when I was pregnant with my daughter.

An old project I rediscovered

I apparently only made it partway through the “C” before setting it aside for 7.5 years! So today, I finished the “C”, and also the “D”. Maybe I can try to do one letter per day? We’ll see!

I really liked spending my morning off the computer, off my phone, just stitching quietly. I’m trying to build in more “offline” time, because I’ve noticed that I am quite prone to picking up my phone and kind of mindlessly scrolling if I ever have even a moment of quiet, and that’s a habit I want to break. Speaking of mindlessness (or rather, the opposite: mindFULness), I’m going to be doing a training in a few weeks to become a Koru mindfulness educator at my university, which I’m pretty excited about, so reading the book was another quiet activity for my morning:

Reading the book for my mindfulness educator training

I’m excited about expanding my needlework skills a bit! Knitting will always be my first love, but embroidery makes me pretty darned happy, too.

stitching away.

I have half a sweater!

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Right half of Vita de Vie is finished!

And given the way that Vita de Vie is constructed, it looks more literally like “half a sweater” than the halfway point of any other sweater I’ve knit!

Such an interesting construction

I’m also finished with grading now! Which means I’ll likely have more time for knitting (and gosh, after the busy busy semester I had, I am more than ready for a break!). I’ve already cast on for the left side, and hope to make good progress on it.

Vita de Vie, lace closeup.

It’s really a relatively mindless bit of stockinette knitting, except for the lace part – but even the lace is pretty simple to memorize, so it’s a great project for the brain-fried state I am in after a very busy year of teaching.

Right side of Vita de Vie is finished!

Here’s to hoping I don’t miscount anything while knitting the left side, and that I can kitchener the two pieces together neatly once I finish it!

an almost-finished octopus yoke CARDIGAN!

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Today was sunny and warm, so I was able to set M’s Octopus Yoke cardigan out on the deck to dry post-blocking.

Octopus Yoke cardigan, pre-steeking


Then, while M played on the trampoline at her new neighbor friend’s house (they live diagonally across the creek from us, so I can watch them from the deck in our backyard), I cut the steek, so that it was ready for her to try on when she got home!

Octopus Yoke Cardigan!
I really love how the folded rib collar turned out!

She wasn’t the most cooperative model today…she’s GRUMPY because she wants it to have a zipper, and it WILL have a zipper, but I have to measure and get out to Joann to buy one and then actually stitch it in. Sorry, kiddo!

Grumpy because she wants it to have a zipper RIGHTNOW.

I do really LOVE the way the zipper facings I knit came out – that edging of pink i-cord is just perfect.

It's a cardigan!
Seriously, it’s so great as a cardigan!

I’ll try to do another round of photos once I’ve TRULY finished the sweater, zipper and all. But it’s totally wearable as an open cardigan for now, and gosh, it’s just so darned cute on her!

The cardigan is just so stinking cute on her!

It was so wonderful to have a warm, sunny day after the wet and chilly Spring we’ve had so far. We had to celebrate with some bubbles (and yes, the bubble solution was knocked over within 5 minutes of opening it, because isn’t it always?). I hope she doesn’t outgrow her new sweater over the summer!

Blowing bubbles in her new sweater!

it’s a Baa-ble hat!

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Finished (but unblocked) Baa-ble hat!

It hasn’t been blocked yet, but the Baa-ble hat that I mentioned in my last post is now finished!

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Baa-ble Hat
Yarn: Scraps of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in “Faded Quilt”, “Sap”, and “Fossil”, as well as an unknown but similar-weight dark grey-blue yarn (for the legs/faces)
Needles: size 6 (for ribbing) and 7 (for the rest)
Time to knit: less than a week!

I ended up deciding against making a pompom – I do like the way it looks in the pattern, but the practical side of me knows that I’ll wear a hat more without a pompom; on cold days, I like to put the hood of my coat up over my hat, and with a big pompom, that doesn’t work so well.

sheep hat!

I ended up doing what I always do when I’ve gone on a big cast-on spree: I get fixated on one of the projects and end up finishing it before I do much of any knitting on the other things I cast on. I can’t help it, I’m pretty solidly a “one project at a time” knitter, but I do like taking advantage of a quiet, kid-free day to cast several projects on at once, because that tends (for me) to be the easiest thing to screw up when I’m being frequently interrupted!

sheepy hat!
(I like the way the “Sap” colorway goes with my eyes!)

I just couldn’t get enough of those sheep – once I got to the feet, I just had to keep knitting to see what the sheep looked like, and then once I got to the sky, it was so close to being finished I didn’t see the point in waiting! I absolutely love the way the colors of the yarns look together, and knitting with Shelter is a joy. I’m a crunchy woolen-spun yarn lover through and through.

And now I have a sheepy hat!