FO: The Pink Professor

I’ve been using the Summer of Basics Makealong to propel my fall knitting for myself forward. Unfortunately I’ve been a little too excited about my knitting to sew up my dress but I will get there…eventually. In the meantime, how about another finished knit? The Pink Professor is off my needles, blocked and ready to become a wardrobe staple this year. And funny fact, although I am an adjunct professor I hardly ever wear a wool sweater in my classroom because it’s insanely hot. I’ll die of a heat stroke, so I typically teach in light layers.
The Pink Professor
And now on to the details…first I have to say that I love a lot of yarn but Madelinetosh is by far a favorite brand. Her colors are just out of this world and speak to me. Whenever she has a sale or I have the opportunity to get a sweater quantity at a discount (yarn.com is a particularly favorite site of mine) I jump at the chance. Knitting with good quality yarn makes such a difference and it makes you want to pick your needles up and knit on forever.
Pink Professor progress
These are the last stages of the sweater since I posted about my process on sweater knitting. I moved quickly with this one just because it was such great yarn to work with.
The Pink Professor
I’m working on understanding short row shaping more and I figured the only way I could truly learn is to incorporate it in things I knit so I did it with a shawl collar this time. I’ve done it before but always find my collars don’t fold as well as I want, they’re just not as thick Β and deep (like how well the collar flips on my Royally Striped cardigan) as I always hope they’ll be when I’m finished. But it does look good on when it isn’t flipped down so I don’t mind the finished project but that just means I have to keep on testing and learning to get exactly what I want.
The Pink Professor
I also decided to add a faux seam detail to the sweater. It was such a simple and plain cardigan that I was trying to add little bits of detail here and there and this was simple a garter stitch stripe that runs down the side seam.
The Pink Professor
And once it was finished and blocked I really felt like it needed something else, so I added in an afterthought pocket. I had originally planned to make a pocket and then said no once I finished. But then I realized I only used 5 skeins of the 7 I had (just 1,000 yards) and used them up almost completely. And then I thought well I’ve got the yarn left…so I wound up another ball and whipped up two small pockets to add to the front. I tried to place them in the same spot on both ends and felt like I could’ve added them slightly further back but also didn’t want to get to close to the seam. Either way it’s nice to have something to throw my phone into or my hands into on a particularly chilly day. Pockets are always a good choice, right?
Pink Professor planning
The other thing I’m super proud of is that I sketched this out and essentially made what I sketched. I wanted something with a bit of ease, super simple in structure and shape and with pockets. I’m always amazed that I can sketch something out and then make it a reality.
The Pink Professor
That’s the thing about knitting that I love so much, I can actually make clothes with my two hands. And I’ve finally gotten better at reading my swatch to determine length and ease so my sleeves hit me in just the right place! Sometimes they can be a bit short or way too long. I have enough ease in this to wear something underneath and it’s not too fitted in the sleeves, I wanted to make sure I had room to layer under this. I am super proud and when I make things like this with great success I just want to make more and more…and so I will. And on another note…I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a video podcast, to show more of my knitting and things in progress and talk about yarns and stuff that I just don’t do here. Would you be interested? Would you watch? Let me know so I can make a decision on what to do next!

Stitching Status: Almost Finished

I’m still plugging away at my Pink Professor sweater.
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Last night I got down to working on the cuff of the first sleeve and I’ve finished the collar. I had to do a little steam blocking to help relax the body and the collar after I took this pic to make sure I didn’t need to rip it all out and redo it but it seems to be fine.
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I love picking up stitches but always feel like it’s too tight and with this sweater I made sure to slip the last stitch at the beginning of each row to have clean edges to pick up. Once I steam blocked it a bit it seemed to fall better into place but I do think once I’m finished it will definitely need a good soak to relax it a bit. My shawl collars are never as big and cozy as I have them envisioned in my mind but overall I’m really loving how this sweater is turning out. This yarn is just really, really pretty. I’m hoping I’ll be blocking it on Saturday! And in non-knitting news…

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Excuse my dirty mirror selfie LOL

I got Jellybean a little carrier. We own a big backpack style carrier call the Muttmover that I bought a few years ago when Kendell ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I needed a way to keep Cher with me as I went all over Brooklyn cheering him on but I also needed her to be safe and not get stepped on. I’ve recommended that backpack for lots of people and everyone who buys it says it’s worth the money. But for Jellybean I needed something a bit smaller because we’re thinking of going to Chicago and New York next month and she’s even smaller and I need to keep her from getting stepped on in the big city too. Plus I’ve found when there are lots of people around she gets scared and will immediately turn around and ask to be picked up. So I figured I should be proactive and get a carrier for her. I went with this $15 find on Amazon. Of course she loves it. Snuggled down in it and got cozy as soon as I popped her in it. Of the two dogs she’s the most easy going as long as you’re holding her close. Perhaps in a past life she was a baby kangaroo?

So my weekend will definitely involve some knitting, what’s on your needles?

Sweater Knitting: The Process

In July of 2015 I bought this sweater quantity (1400 yards) of Madelinetosh Vintage in the colorway Kilim on sale. It is gorgeous. Pictures don’t do it justice to all the flecks of color in this dusty pink yarn. I love it.
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But the yarn was so gorgeous that I kept trying to find the perfect sweater to make with it but couldn’t find anything good enough for it. I was at the beginning of my sweater knitting craze in 2015 so my skills weren’t where they are currently so I just kept looking lovingly at that yarn in it’s drawer. And this summer I’ve been trying to dig through my stash (and actually document it on Ravelry) and really use up a lot of what I have in order to move on and buy more yarn. Plus I know I love how good Madelinetosh feels and I wanted to knit with it. So I decided it was time to pull out the insanely gorgeous yarn and just make something as part of my Summer of Basics Makealong projects.
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On Friday night while my husband and I have pizza and watch a movie I finished off another little dress for a baby girl and then decided to swatch the yarn for the next project.
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I decided to use size 9 needles, they’re my favorite. They’re not too small and not too big. Pre-blocking my swatch was 5 stitches per inch and post-blocking and drying it worked it’s way down to 4 stitches per inch. The magic of blocking folks. It truly changes your yarn.
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Saturday morning I got up and looked at my blocked swatch and decided to go ahead and make myself a very basic raglan sweater. I’m going for simple stockinette stitch because the yarn really does speak for itself, garter stitch bands and a shawl collar. I did add a little faux side seam because why not? And I’m considering picking up stitches and doing some patch pockets and perhaps adding elbow patches. I’m calling this one the Pink Professor because it seams like it would be a scholarly kind of knit plus I’m a professor. Although my classroom is always so hot I never wear my knits to lecture.
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As of Tuesday night I’ve gotten 9 inches of body from the point of separating from the sleeves. My hope is that by Wednesday night I can finish the body and by Saturday finish the sleeves. So far it fits really nicely and I’m hoping once it’s blocked there will be a bit more ease to it. I want it to be like a nice boyfriend cardigan but I added in waist shaping because I didn’t want it to just be a big box on me. I thought I’d document this one via my Instagram stories because so many people say they don’t think I sleep and I just knit. And I thought it would be a good one for my Sweater Knitting Series on how I actually go through a sweater from swatching to blocking. And I promise and I sleep and don’t knit in my sleep. I’m in bed passed out every night by 10:30/11pm. I promise.
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But Jellybean is also a tiny drill sergeant and makes me knit faster and faster so she has more warm yarn to burrow under. Perhaps that’s the secret to my success? So when it comes to really awesome yarn, how do you decide what to make with it?