Always Teaching

Since I’ve started teaching this fall I’ve had a much more flexible schedule. My busiest days of the week are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so my Thursdays and Fridays are usually fairly low key. I grade papers and prep for the week but over the last two months I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with my Mom. Her friend Ann told me she wanted to knit a sweater for her grandson like all of the little ones I make. She already knew how to knit and purl but didn’t know how to read a pattern or gauge so I invited Ann and my Mom to come over for knitting lunch on Thursdays. It’s been fun and hilarious. My Mom does not knit but she’s always good company and over the last two months I’ve helped Ann manage the Child Sophisticate sweater and the final results are in!
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We opted out of the shawl collar for now, I didn’t think she was ready to learn about wrap and turn. I challenged her enough with knitting on double points for those little sleeves. But I was so proud of what she was able to make for her grandson, Lucas! Her son is in a fraternity and the colors are purple and gold and she wanted his son to have a sweater to match his fraternity sweater. It’s so adorable, I can’t wait to see the pics when he wears it! In other project news…
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I’ve been only working on this great brioche hat pattern, Liebelle, on my commute. I love the crazy combination of colors I’ve picked and adore the pattern BUT I don’t know if it will fit with my new wild hair! LOL I’ve just been kind of letting my hair grow and it’s like a wild pompadour, so we shall see if I end up giving this one away and making myself something bigger.
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And just to end this post on a cute note…we are in full on sweater season in my house. Jellybean is cozy as can be. Look at that little leg popped up. I adore her. Have a great weekend!

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Obsessed: Gneiss

I love pattern releases so I’ve been eagerly anticipating seeing the latest patterns in the fall 2017 issue of Amirisu. They were finally uploaded yesterday and there is one pattern in particular that I’m completely obsessed with.

Gneiss image via Ravelry
Gneiss image via Ravelry

Meet Gneiss. It’s dk weight (Hello, Miss Babs stash!), suggests highly contrasting yarn (my specialty) and can be a color explosion. These all scream DWJ. The only thing that made me pause was that it has intarsia. Well, I’m so in love with it I started watching YouTube videos with intarsia and I’m determined to tackle this one. I’ve been hesitant to really deal with colorwork but I want this sweater, so it must be done. I’m also taking a two color brioche class starting next week because I have got to make this vest for my sisters!

So my obsession leads me to learn. What is something you’re trying to learn with your knitting?

Sweater Knitting: The First Sweater

I’m finally introducing a new series of posts about sweater knitting and the lessons I learn along the way.
Sweater Knitting: What I Have Learned Series
This isn’t a tutorial series (at least not now) because I’m not an expert. I am always learning. What I want this to be is a space to share what I’ve learned, you tell me what you’ve learned and we all share in hopes that it will help someone else. That’s what I love about the blogging community and knitting in general – we help each other grow in our skills. So to kick this off I thought I’d start by sharing my very first sweater knitting project.
Gemini Sweater
Meet Gemini, my very first sweater. Little did I know it would begin my love affair with Jane Richmond patterns and sweater knitting in general. Gemini was an interesting starting point for sweaters but it was the suggested pattern for use at my LYS’s Intro to Sweater knitting class. Reasons why I like this as a first step into sweater knitting:

  1. It’s short sleeved. You get just enough finishing that you have a sleeve but you don’t have to do a full or quarter length sleeves. Baby steps, folks.
  2. It’s top down so you can try it on as you go along.
  3. It had some lace detail just at the top. It kept things interesting.
  4. The pattern was easy to read and understand and it was free! (I should also point out that Lion Brand has a free My First Pullover and My First Cardigan patterns that are also both free).

When I learned how to knit in 2011 I went in stages. First year I knit a billion scarves and baby blankets, the next year I added hats, then it was fingerless mitts and gloves. My patterns were getting more complex and so in 2014 I took a sweater knitting class just to see if I’d like it. I kind of loved it. I could knit an actual garment that fit me in as much time as it took to make a baby blanket. So what did I learn from that first sweater?

  1. Do not be intimidated by a large project. There is no deadline, it’s not a race. Do what you can do and frog it back if you make a mistake.
  2. If you can, take a class at your local yarn store. It’s nice to have someone give you tips, answer questions and help you learn from your mistakes. Plus you’re learning with others who are probably just as intimidated by the thought of knitting a sweater.
  3. Your swatch gauge is super important. Buy that extra skein of yarn because you might make 2 or 3 different swatches just to figure out your closest gauge to the pattern. Without getting the right gauge your project will be all over the place.

Six Point #2
The next sweater I did by myself after this one was the Six Point tee that I’ve made again. I wanted to make something fairly quickly after to keep my knowledge fresh and I went with a bulky weight knit to make it a quicker project and my first solo sweater project was a success! So if you’re dipping your toe into the sweater knitting pool, what intimidates you? And if you’re a seasoned sweater knitting pro, what have you learned? Do share!