Friday, September 10, 2010

My Buttony Sweater Pattern ~ or the Tweedy Fall Cardigan

I have fallen in love with short-sleeved cardigans! The weather was rainy and cloudy yesterday, cool and in the 60's... Perfect for trying out my new buttony sweater! And oh, was it fun to wear. I can't wait until the next time I wear it, it really does it's job. It kept me warm and cozy, but it was lightweight in feel, and because of the short-sleeves it wasn't bulky. Quite amazing how it all fell together.

I kept notes of what I did as I knit it, and I would say it turned out to be an xsmall-small size. If I could knit it again, I would definitely start with less stitches (I would give it about 2 inches more negative ease) and start the decreases about an inch sooner (although if it was slimmer probably wouldn't need to do that). The yarn is very stretchy, the tweed yarn that I used I mean, so it really has a lot of spring and sproing and give.

Check out the buttons I found! I really love these... these are stones from a beach in southern California. Hand-drilled to make them into buttons. The organic energies of these buttons feels so great on my sweater! When you touch them, you can almost feel like you hear the waves splashing gently on the shore...

You can find these buttons by a wonderful Etsy artist, Made For Fun . Not only are her stones reasonably priced, and well-made, but they came packaged & wrapped beautifully, and with a couple of extra buttons to boot!

I love to buy local when I can, and definitely hand-made when I can... I'm always on the lookout for local or other hand-made artisans of every type, buttons, beads, fibers (I love finding great yarn/roving bases for dyeing!), or anything else. Drop me a line if you are a hand-made artisan so we can talk :)

OK, so onto the rest of the pattern and pictures.....

I'm very happy with the fit around the wait and hips

Perfect Fall outfit is complete with this quick and cozy knit...

Now... onto the pattern I ended up working out for this sweater. You can find the original pattern here on the web, and here on Ravelry. I looked over Raptwithfiber's notes and then started off on my journey on making it fit for me.

I choose to use two worsted wools held together:
Araucania Nature Wool & Plymouth Tweed
I started with a size #10 needle, but switched to a #9 needle. I would suggest using the #9 for the whole way. I just didn't want to tear it all back out again and thought it would be OK like it was. Knit back & forth on circulars. The edging with the buttons/buttonholes is knit in garter stitch, so you will be knitting the last 6 sts no matter which side you're on (WS or RS).

WindingRiver Buttony Cardigan

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Elvish Cami Project

During July I ended up working on the Inamorata Camisole. I began it three times, with the third time seeming to be the one that was charmed. I'm not sure why, but although I got gauge with a #6 needle when I tested it, I had to go way down and use a #2 and #4 when I was knitting it. This is why I ended up re-starting it because the first time I knit it, it was about 6 inches too large.

I used my 'Prince of the Wood Elves' colorway (this is a colorway that's named after Legolas from Lord of the Rings) and thus began my Elvish Cami. I held it double during the entire project and it created a very nice, and dense fabric. It's quite cool and comfortable to wear as well. So after all of my work, I needed to find the perfect buttons. A local Portland clay artisan was the answer. BeadFreaky makes these lovely clay buttons, beads and pendants. I absolutely love the tree buttons with the yarn, all coming together to make my Elvish Cami be what I pictured in my mind.

The best part is that the yarn is a superwash and I decided to try washing it inside a pillowcase the other day. I also tossed said pillowcase into the dryer on medium and then pulled it out after a regular cycle and hung it up to finish up drying since it was just the slightest bit damp. It looked just as fabulous as when I'd soaked it by hand and blocked it! I have to love that "wash and wear" aspect. Superwash yarns are beginning to really get on my good side, I'm telling you...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Video ~ knitting cables without a cable needle

For most cable projects, I've found it's easier to not have to use a cable needle in addition to your regular knitting needles. For a project like my Elvish Cami I'm knitting (aka Inamorata), this is especially true as the cables are 2 sts total.

During the course of my knitting this, I filled in the chart and ended up converting it from chart-form, to written out instructions. Since I normally do charts in the round, the whole back & forth charting, with purls and knits being both grey squares and white squares depending on which row I was on, I just found it faster for my brain to not have to go through that step each row. You can find my blog with the written pattern here.

And, now onto the video.......

Inamorata Chart - converted to written

Wow, life's been busy again...I've been working on Inamorata with some gorgeous Tinsel Toes merino/tencel blend yarn from The Unique Sheep. Painty had a Lord of the Rings sock club (now she's onto #3) a while back, and I could not resist her lovely yarns. This was back before I started dying my own yarns, and when I saw Inamorata needed a sock yarn held double, I dug through my stash, and there it was.... Prince of the Wood Elves staring at me, shining silvery with little flecks of brown and green. One of my favorite things is to wind up yarn just before a project so I get to see the light play across it's colors and help me envision the finished project. It's a different type of yarn for me, since it has 50% tencel in it, it has more of a feel like a cotton will, and I predominately knit with wools or alpaca/llama yarns... but it is nice, and is a perfect yarn for such a Summery camisole. Just the right color to show off the cabling, and just the right fibers for a light Summer cami. Now... if only I can get the right sizing. That is another blog post though, and this one I'm going to have the cable chart conversion on, so I'll get to the subject. I will also add in another blog later with a short video with cabling without a cable needle. This is a great project to learn it on too since these are tiny cables and quite simple to cable without a separate needle.

Note: I didn't think it would be necessary, but I found this pattern to be much easier with using stitch markers to mark each pattern repeat on my work. I had my two end stitch markers to separate the 3 (or 2 depending on the size you're making) stitches at each end of the work that are not worked in the pattern repeat, and then I used plain ring stitch markers to separate each 8 st pattern repeat. This way, if I made any errors, my brain found them faster and could identify the pattern much more easily as I went along. It saved much time down the road rather than counting out each section all together to see where the mistake was etc.

Inamorata Chart Conversion

Queue this on Ravelry
Inamorata pattern on Knitty

*keep in mind that you are knitting back and forth in this chart, not in the round. You can easily knit this in the round, by not joining it but knitting as though it were. If you do this, on every even numbered row, you'll need to reverse the directions & stitches (i.e. row 2 would become: p2, k2, p4).

(Begin and end each row with the 3 (or 2 if your size requires) each reverse stockinette stitches as pattern states)

Row 1:  p2, kfb, p4
Row 2:  k4, p2, k2
Row 3:  p1, c2b, c2f, p3
Row 4:  k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 5:  c2b, k2, c2f, p2
Row 6:  k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 7:  k1 tbl, k4, k1 tbl, p2
Row 8:  k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 9:  c2fp, k2, c2bp, p2
Row 10: k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 11: p1, c2fp, c2bp, p3
Row 12: k4, p2, k2
Row 13: p2, c2f, p4
Row 14: k3, c2f, c2b, k1
Row 15: c2b, k2, c2f, p2
Row 16: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 17: k4, c2f, c2b
Row 18: k1, p2, k5
Row 19: k5, c2b, k1
Row 20: k1, p2, k5
Row 21: k4, c2b, c2f
Row 22: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 23: c2fp, k2, c2bp, p2
Row 24: k3, c2bp, c2fp, k1
Row 25: p2, c2f, p4
Row 26: k4, p2, k2
Row 27: p1, c2b, c2f, p3
Row 28: k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 29: c2b, k2, c2f, p2
Row 30: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 31: k1 tbl, k4, k1 tbl, p2
Row 32: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 33: c2fp, k2, c2bp, p2
Row 34: k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 35: p1, c2fp, c2bp, p3
Row 36: k4, p2tog, k2

Like the pattern states, you will have 7 stitches for the pattern repeat, increased to 8 sts for the repeat beginning on Row 1. Row 36 decreases you back down to your original number of stitches.

If you see any mistakes, please email me so I can update it :)

Here's a pic of what my chart looked like after all my notes on it