FO: Cardigans for Comfort

It’s Monday and I’ve got a crazy work week ahead of me, so why not start out with a finished object?
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I finished my Bermondsey cardigan for my Aunt over the weekend. I was originally going to make her a blanket and I bought 8 skeins of Berroco Vintage Chunky, 4 in grey and 4 in green (her favorite color). But then I decided a cardigan would be better for laying around in while you’re recuperating, right? So I decided I’d do a little color blocking but wanted to add a brighter pop to break things up. So I dug into my stash and pulled out a skein of Patons Shetland Chunky in a citrusy green shade. It was just enough of the punch that I needed for this one.
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I followed the pattern body to a tee but this time I made ribbed sleeves instead of garter stitch ones. You may remember that when I made my black and white Bermondsey my sleeves came out a bit long when I blocked it and I eventually went back and fixed them. Since she’s in Memphis and I can’t easily fix them I figured ribbed cuffs were easier to fold back if too long than garter stitch ones.
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I really do love this cardigan and the fun drape the front panels have. I knit this a size down from what I made myself (I’d say a medium) and since she has a small frame I wanted something that would be cozy on her. I think it will hug her perfectly. I do love how this Vintage Chunky yarn worked up and it washes up beautifully. I didn’t have any fuzzing or pilling and it is so soft and cozy. I’ve still got a few skeins of these colors left and I have 2 other shades in my stash…perhaps I’ll get to make something else with it soon!

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FO: For Friends Who Love Football

I have a small circle of adults I’m willing to knit sweaters for in my life. My mom, my sisters, my husband, my BFF Jess and my cousin Safia are my main circle of people who will get hand knit sweaters from me and then of course most of the babies in my life. I have two other girlfriends I think of as sisters and one asked me in a random text if I’d be willing to knit her a Washington Redskins sweater. Well…I did.
Charmaine's Redskins hat
I have to preface the fact that because my house is a NY Giants household, I had to include a picture of Cher and Jelly in their Giants jerseys and require that my girlfriend Charmaine put that pic up in her home or office so people know where my heart belongs. I also made sure my husband was okay with me knitting in the burgundy and gold before I started, but because it was for Charmaine he gave it the green light. LOL And honestly I could’ve told him this was a Gryffindor sweater  and I think he would’ve been okay with that too.
Charmaine's Redskins sweater
I decided to make the Montagne sweater for Char. It’s a bulky weight knit (you can see the one I previously knit here on Ravelry) that’s super simple and I knew I could make it over a few days. I also wanted a chance to make this sweater again because I have never been satisfied with how the pocket turned out on mine. In the instructions they have you cast on new stitches and then sew the pocked flap to the inside of the sweater and I hate that you can see the stitches. I never got it to lay nicely. For this version I decided to knit front and back over the 35 pocket stitches and on the next row I held the ones that looked like purls to the back (to keep working in the round) and held the ones that look like knit to the front on scrap yarn to work after I finished the body. Once I finished the body (20 rows – 10 gold, 10 burgundy) I went back, knit the front flap of the pocket and then knit those stitches back together on the last round.
Charmaine's Redskins sweater
The end result was a much cleaner looking pocket and me being much happier with the end results. I also worked alternating 10 row stripes in the burgundy and gold, Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn. Unfortunately, the burgundy bled a little on the white collar and cuffs so it’s a very pale pink. I was worried it might make the yellow look orange but it held on to just the white and I was okay with it and Char could’ve cared less. She was just thrilled to have a new warm sweater in her team colors – she’s a season ticket holder and she’s going to the game in London this week and is taking it with her!
Charmaine's Redskins hat
I also decided to whip up a hat because you can’t just have the sweater, right?! Plus I had just enough yarn to make the hat and the sweater.
Charmaine's Redskins hat
For the hat I knit the Lodge Toque from Within, the new Jane Richmond book. The hat is knit with two strands of bulky weight yarn on size 13 needles. I whipped this up in about 2 hours and used the last of the yarn to make a big fluffy pom pom on top. I didn’t tell Charmaine I was knitting her a sweater, I just knit it. I knit it in my size because she’s a little smaller but I knew it would fit or have some room to layer a tshirt underneath for when the games are really cold in November. And because it was our alma mater’s homecoming I was able to deliver it to her in person on Friday. The best knits are the ones that make people happy and this one definitely made her day. I’m happy I was able to put a smile on her face and I know whenever she wears either piece she’ll always think happily of me.

So what’s the best knit you’ve made as a gift? Share!

Wishing & Hoping

I do this every year. I create spreadsheets and lists of what I want to knit between now and February. I’ve also been attempting to whittle down my stash and buy new yarn with my plan in mind. I try my best to stock up while things are on sale so that I get the most for my money. I would love it if every sweater in my closet was a hand knit, I want an awesome hand knit closet. Plus, I average about 2 1/2 weeks to complete a sweater, so I can feasibly make this wish list happen but I also know between work, teaching and making gifts for those close to me I might get through 3 or 4 of these sweaters this season. Now remember, this is just a list of what I want to knit for myself…this does not include what I want to make for others.
Katrine sweater for Safia
1. The Katrine Cardigan. Last year I knit this for my cousin and it was a quick and satisfying bulky knit. My office is always freezing, so I like a nice warm cardigan to layer with in the winter. I grabbed some Bernat Wool-Up Bulky yarn in Lemongrass when they had their friends and family sale and plan to use it for this project.
Lila Winter
2. Lila Winter. This is another sweater from the Madder Anthology 2 and I have some deep teal Berroco Vintage Chunky that I think would be lovely with this pattern. It also has short row shaping at the hips and I love me some short row shaping!
Yellow Brick Road
3. Yellow Brick Road Cardigan. At the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I picked up 2 huge skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in the Celebration colorway and I think this cardigan would be perfect with it. I have a skein of gorgeous cobalt blue Neighborhood Fiber Company that I intend to use for the button band, collar and ribbing around the cuffs. I also love that it has a pleated sleeve, a technique I got to use on the Tutu top a few months ago.
Toulouse Pullover
4. Toulouse Pullover. Maybe it’s because I love Toulouse Street in New Orleans or maybe it’s because I love a good tie around the neck but I’ve wanted to make this sweater since I saw it the 2012 Knitscene. I have some very yummy Madelinetosh Vintage that I plan to make this with in a gorgeous pink colorway. This might be one of the first things I make for fall.
Trail Jacket
5. Trail Jacket. I get slightly overheated with knit sweaters so I like anything with an elbow length sleeve and this jacket would be perfect for my work wardrobe. I want to knit it with a Kelly Green Plymouth Yarn Encore Chunky I’ve had in my stash for a bit. Green is my favorite color so I need a pretty green cardigan in my wardrobe.

And for my final choice, I’m a bit torn. I have enough Cascade 220 Superwash to complete one of these two sweaters. I purposefully bought it in a camel color so it could be a neutral I could wear all the time (because I’m notorious for making something in a neon bright and can’t wear it all the time). So which one of these should I make with it?
Beacon Hill
Option one is Beacon Hill by Jane Richmond. I love her patterns and this would be a visually interesting shawl collared cardigan with texture.
Barn Sweater
Option two is the Barn Sweater, another from the Madder Anthology 2. I can do three quarter or full length sleeves and it has pockets on the front as well. I keep going back and forth between the two and I just don’t know what I really want to make!

So what would you choose? Please help me decide or suggest another pattern to make me even more confused! Poll below.