What I’ve been up to

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Since my last post, I’ve taken photos a few times with plans to write about them here on the blog, and then not actually done it. I’m teaching 4 classes this semester, so I’ve been quite busy since the beginning of February! But I’m actually (very temporarily) caught up on work today, so I figured I’d pile ALL of the photos & topics into one mega-post.

I almost finished my Bleideag pullover, but once it got to the point where I could try it on for fit, I discovered that I really should’ve trusted my gut on the sweater body. I had considered adding some length, and some waist shaping, because I was very skeptical about a 12″ sweater body without any shaping, but I decided I would trust the pattern. After all, the fit was supposed to be on the boxier side of things, but what I’m realizing is that the slightly more cropped & boxy fit only works on my body in yarns that are very drapey. Not in lettlopi!

Ill-fitting Bleideag; gonna rip out the body and reknit it top-down.

A few things went wrong, honestly. My gauge ended up a little bit tighter than my swatching suggested it would be, so instead of a 40″ sweater, it turned out more like 38″ inches in the bust; that’s still loose on me (I’m more like 34″ in the bust) but that did mean that I lost some of the positive ease that was intended. And despite careful management of the floats, the colorwork at the bottom hem just pulls in slightly compared to the single-color knitting, and especially compared to the ribbing that’s just below it. And I’m broader in the shoulder than I am at the hip. Add these things together and you get a sweater that’s baggy/poochy over the area where I’m narrowest (below the bust through the waist) and then pulls in right where my hips start to go out.

ill-fitting Bleideag; gonna rip the body off and reknit it top-down

I just hate the way it looks on me. But I like the way the yoke looks, so what I’m thinking I’m going to do is cut off the body, and reknit it top-down; the stitches will be going in the wrong direction, but I think that because it’s single-color stockinette, I can get away without it being noticeable (I will test this before I make the snip!). I hope to add some waist-shaping, and also some length. It’s funny that I feel the need to add length, given that I’ve never thought of myself as a long-waisted person (I’m all limbs! And I’m only 5′ 3 1/2″, so it’s not like there’s a lot of length to me, period!). And I’m pretty sure I’m going to just leave off the colorwork band at the the bottom; the yarns are not especially high-contrast, so I don’t think it adds much, and if I’m knitting top-down, colorwork is a spot where it actually WOULD matter. Anyway, the sweater is currently in time-out while I figure out what I want to do with it. Which brings me to…

Farmhouse Cardigan sleeves!

…another Farmhouse Cardigan! I’ve had this Cascade Eco+ in my stash for a seriously long time. I realized that I wear my green Bartlettyarns Farmhouse Cardigan a lot for teaching, and realized that Cascade Eco+ would probably get the same gauge. So I cast on, and knit two sleeves in just a few days; it turns out that mindless knitting in the round is exactly what I needed when I was feeling like a stressed out, overwhelmed mess during Week 2 of the semester.

Double-knit pockets are fun.

I’ve been using my green Farmhouse Cardigan as a “pattern”, because I made quite a few little changes to the actual pattern while knitting it the first time, including some light waist-shaping (really, back-shaping) and changing it so that the patterns were double-knit at the same time as the body, rather than constructed via a flap. I just find double-knitting to be really fascinating, and I’m absolutely amazed by the fact that I can create a pocket with two layers of knit fabric constructed with a single strand of yarn!

Double knit pocket!

I’m also amazed by how much sweater I can get out of a single skein of Eco+! I was able to knit two sleeves AND the bottom 1/3rd or so of the sweater body from the first skein!

All of this from one skein of Eco+

I’m now almost to the point where I’ll be joining the sleeves to the body. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be able to finish it this weekend? We’ll see.

Once I finish Farmhouse Cardigan the Second, I should go back and work on fixing up the Bleideag that’s in timeout. (And on fixing the in-progress Waterbearer Cardigan whose brioche collar I screwed up back when my brain was first getting scrambled by this “work at home while your kid learns at home” gig. And on fixing the sleeves on my kangaroo-pocket pullover.) But what I want to work on is an idea I had for a yoked pullover inspired by the embroidered flower mittens on the cover of Making’s Intricate issue.

An idea...

I’ve had this green Rowanspun DK for a very long time (in fact, I think this might be from the first batch of “nice” yarn I ever bought for myself, back when we’d just moved here for graduate school; that was 15 years ago now!). When I was daydreaming about this potential yoked sweater, this yarn came immediately to mind as a good candidate, and I was able to find some Knitpicks Aloft (in “Tarragon”) that blends with it perfectly. See, I’m still sticking to my “only buy new yarn if it enables me to turn stash yarn into a completed project” policy! (Though I may make an exception for things to knit for my kid, whose favorite color, red, is almost entirely absent from my stash.)

An idea...

I’ve got lots of planning to do to figure out the optimal spacing of the bobbles that become the centers of each flower; I’m planning to knit this from the top-down, and have the flowers start out very densely packed and then more spread out as I reach the bottom of the yoke; I also hope to create a somewhat “random” rather than overly regular appearance. I can tell from my tiny swatch that actually embroidering the petals around each of those bobbles, on the scale of an entire sweater yoke, is going to be quite the labor of love, but I think it’s going to be worth it!

So anyway, that’s what I’m up to at the moment, knitting-wise. Who knows when I’ll get another chance to update the blog again!