Stitching Status: Spring Spirit

It has been freezing here in Maryland/DC even after our big snow and it’s definitely not feeling spring like at all. But I know it’s coming and I’m knitting!

Jellybean would like to switch to her lighter layers soon.

I’ve still got my Tamsyn neutral sweater on my needles but I haven’t made much progress since I finished my Mom’s sweater. I’m working on the body of a Carbeth for my cousin but on my snow day I couldn’t resist starting something else new for myself that was swirling around in my brain. I have a swing coat I love that I bought from Anthropologie almost 2 years ago now but I’ve always known I could make something better. Plus every time I wear it everyone asks if I made it and I knew I could I just needed more confidence in making my own stuff.
So I pulled out this Miss Babs Yowza in Dahlia (the peachy coral shade) and Hedgehog Fibres Merino DK in Bollywood and have been making up my own version of a swing coat with wide sleeves for spring. I’m doing the sleeves, trim and pockets in the variegated Bollywood shade and the body in the bright coral. I already had to frog back a few rows because the box pleat I wanted to do just didn’t work out the way I wanted but I’ve already got other ideas on how to give it the shape I want. I’m super proud of myself for even being able to frog back and just work the two rows over. Before I would’ve panicked and probably started it all over but with time comes more confidence and knowledge. I’m excited about the possibility of what I can create and I’m hoping that if I knit myself a cute spring jacket it will help usher on spring.

So what are you working on?


FO: A Vibrant Fade

Well, my first sweater of 2018 is finished and I loooooooove it. I want to wear it all the time because the colors make me so happy and it’s so soft and cozy. But of course because I went so bold on the color palette I feel like I shouldn’t wear it EVERY day but whatever, I do what I want. Let’s talk about my Comfort Fade Cardigan.
Finished Comfort Fade
I knew when I originally decided I wanted to make this cardigan that it was going to be colorful. I initially thought it would be a mix of the bright pink, orange and coral but when I put those colors together in the light they didn’t flow the way I wanted. I’ve seen a lot of muted and soft pastel fades or neutral fades but I wanted this baby to be me. So I went for all the color. And to my surprise I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this one in person. Folks seem to like all the color. Starting at my shoulder and going down, the color order is:

  • Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Torchere. You may remember this color from my Colorblocked Boyfriend Cardigan a while back. This is such a gorgeous color with lots of flecks of red, pink and orange. It’s a favorite of mine.
  • Hedgehog Fibres Merino DK in Pucker. This is like punch you in the face orange with bits of pink running through it. It as an impulse purchase at Fibre Space one day and I’m glad I picked it up.
  • Miss Babs Yowza in Perfectly Wreckless. This might be my new favorite Babs colorway. It’s so good. Also I just love the gigantic skeins of Yowza – fewer ends to weave in!
  • And a surprise ending with Miss Babs Yowza in Ghoulish. You might remember this color from my Mom’s Christmas sweater!

Finished Comfort Fade
I didn’t realize when I saw this pattern originally and really not until I started to cast on that this was done in reverse stockinette stitch (essential wearing it on the purl side). But the color fade looks better on the reverse! So it made sense. It’s super stripey on the inside and the purl side kind of helps to blend the colors better. I added in new colors on knit rows and not on purl rows just because I liked how the blending worked but you could do it on the purl side too.
I also knit the sleeves inside out so that I wouldn’t have to do all that purling. It was so weird to think of the knit side as the wrong side but eventually I got the hang of it.
But really what I love the most about this is the opportunity to melt all that color together. I mean look at this sleeve and cuff. It’s gorgeous! It’s so vibrant and bright and it just makes me happy. I also decided to go with the longer sleeve (not my normal) to up the coziness factor. The shawl collar is gloriously huge and I really like how she played with short row shaping in each color to help with the blending. I add a Jul Design leather closure to the front so that I can pull it closed if I want to instead of adding buttons/buttonholes.
Finished Comfort Fade
My only regret, I need pockets. I’m actually thinking about picking up stitches and then using my leftover yarn to fade a pocket to match the body and just sew it on. With something this big and cozy you just need good pockets to give it that finishing touch. Right?

So is anyone else going to make themselves a Comfort Fade Cardigan? What color palette would you choose?

The Process: Color Pairings

One of the biggest things people ask me is how I come up with my color combos. I kept saying I’d discuss it in a blog post but I honestly haven’t found the time to sit down and tape one yet! So I’m going to talk a little bit about my process now. I love all color and because I tend to like such simple shapes in knitwear I think they can handle vibrant batches of color. I saved up some money for the Fibre Space Miss Babs Trunk Show the other weekend because I love her yarn and colors and how big the skeins of Yowza are (560 yards!!) when knitting a sweater.
I came home with these four colors:

  • Fig (top left)
  • Be Witching (top right)
  • Perfectly Wreckless (bottom left)
  • McHale (bottom right)

But while I was there I was already thinking of color pairings. My first color combo mixes Fig and Bewitching with a skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co Studio Worsted in Easterwood ( a dark teal and blue shade that I originally picked up thinking it would pair with my Mint Madness cardigan).
Easterwood picks up the other colors running through Bewitching and Fig is a shade within Bewitching too. The colors aren’t necessarily perfect matches but they blend. And that’s what you want. It’s an easy trick of the eye. My second color pairing was more vibrant.
I am mixing Perfectly Wreckless with the vibrant blue McHale – even though there isn’t any blue in the wilder skein. Why? Because I’m using that blue as a neutral base and it pulls on the undertones of the pink and green in the more vibrant color. And I’ve got a bit of Floyd leftover from another project and the pinks match so that might become ribbing!
Once I have a color combination in my head I like to draw it out (even more so now that my husband bought me an iPad Pro for my birthday with an Apple Pencil!). I play around with color combos, consider yardage and just sketch out what I could make. This is how my mind works. I see color and I just want to put together as many great color combos as I can. How do you guys figure out color combinations?