Stitching Status: Mending Mistakes

Before we left for our vacation to Savannah I started on my Royally Striped Cardigan. I should’ve taken the dress for my goddaughter that has a billion miles of stockinette stitch but I just didn’t want to do it. So I started on Royally Striped instead. I always think, oh this will take me a while to make and then something about the pattern will excite me and I plow right through it.
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Before we started our road trip I started about this much of the first section to create the cardigan. What I love about this project is that you can use up a lot of single skeins of dk weight yarn you might have, the color combinations are endless and it’s nice and mindless garter stitch with a few basic short rows (without the wrapping – hooray!). Added bonus I finally figured out a project where I could use my Hikoo Abracadabra color changing yarn I bought ages ago. This is a great car project in the early stages and a great end of the day winding down kind of project to work on too.
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This is a little bit more progress I was able to make in the evenings in our hotel. I loved our hotel because they had these amazing green chairs with huge ottomans in our room so I had a perfectly cozy knitting spot.
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And the end of every row you slip one stitch with the yarn in from (SL1 WYF) and it makes it super easy to ensure you’re picking up the correct amount of stitches around the edge. As much as I love picking up stitches I’m horrible at getting the right number. This time I got my numbers right (isn’t the inside just beautiful?) but unfortunately I picked up my stitches on the WRONG SIDE. Yeah, you read that right. But I didn’t panic! And you might have seen this on my Instagram Stories.
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I realized as I was at the end of this massive block on the back and was going to need to do my side pieces next that I did indeed pick up from the wrong side. I was a little confused and had hoped the pattern would’ve had a better picture for my brain to grasp where to pick up but it didn’t so I did what I thought was right and it was so wrong. So instead, my solution was to pick up stitches on the correct side and then use the side I hadn’t finished yet to do a three needled bind-off to attach it. My color block is upside from where I wanted it but I was able to flip it without a problem. I was also able to easily unravel the other side where I picked up stitches and put the correct amount of stitches back on my needle. I was so proud of myself. Now I’m sure there are other ways I could’ve worked this out but I don’t care! LOL I worked this one out on my own with lots of success.

All that’s left is the border on both sides, two different colors and the short sleeves. But I love that it has armholes and a shape so I can actually put it on. I’m super excited to see this as a final project and cannot wait to see the yarn truly change color in the sun. The only problem? I’ll have to wait until fall to really wear it but whatever, it gets cold in my house in the summer with the AC on, right?

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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!

FO: Neutrals & Neons

Remember the cardigan I was making for my BFF Jess but it ended up my size in some weird way? Well, here’s my Cracked Pepper cardigan…ta-da!
Cracked pepper
I’ve got a couple of pictures wearing this different ways because I like showing how to wear hand knits and how to pair some of my crazy color combos. Taking this pics takes me back to my outfit posts from the Art of Accessories. Hopefully you find them useful and cute! But first the details on the knitting…
Cracked Pepper Cardigan
For the body of the sweater I used a little less than 2 skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Co studio worsted in Charles Centre, a lovely grey. I love this yarn, I really do. Their site says it’s worsted but it’s really a light worsted/dk weight and it created a lovely fabric with a lovely drape to it when you knit with size 10 needles. The ribbing and bands are done in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in the neon peach colorway. I had almost 2 full skeins leftover from my Comfort Cardigan project and was holding on to it for something fun.
Cracked Pepper Cardigan
And the best part of this cardigan (in my opinion) are the buttons and I picked them up on my lunch break Friday at Looped Yarn Works in DC. I also bought some see through peach buttons but they just faded into the button band and I decided to go big and bold with the buttons just like I did with the neon peach.
Cracked Pepper Cardigan
I was on gauge and followed the pattern completely for the smallest size and yet somehow it came out fitting me, a size that’s typically large in knitting patterns. I felt so guilty for it not working out for my BFF but Jess wasn’t bothered and I know it’s not a big deal but I was just disappointed. But her loss has now become my gain. I also know if I wasn’t super lazy in my blocking and pinned the edges of the button band they’d be perfectly straight…but I was being lazy and I can live with how they look.
Cracked Pepper Cardigan
I also wanted to show the three ways I’d actually wear this cardigan since I know the crazy bright color with the neutral throws some folks off. Also, hand on my hip is my signature pose 😉 Plus, I typically hate the styling in knitting magazines (Who tucks a sweater into slacks and puts suspenders over it? I’m talking to you, Intervweave Knits Spring issue). Plus I know a lot of people only think of wearing their knit sweaters over jeans and that’s cool but there are other options too!

The top picture is actually what I’m wearing to work today. I’m pretty much wearing neutrals with a navy and white dress, navy tights and clog boots and ironically the zipper on the back of my dress is bright coral – so I figured why not throw this on as a layer since it’s a sleeveless dress? Totally works and adds a nice punch of color to a neutral outfit. For the more casual look, I paired it with my light grey jeans but added a light seafoam green shirt underneath. I like pairing the pastels with the vivid neon and will probably do this a lot on the weekends with this cardigan (did I mention how cozy it is?). And then for the last look if you want to go tone on tone, I’ve got a crazy bright shift dress and I buttoned the buttons all the way up over the dress so you could see it buttoned up but also see it styled a bit more seriously. Three different ways and three different color palettes but they all work! And the possibilities are endless. So also this project did not turn out as expected it still turned out to be a winner. You learn something new every time you knit a new project, right? So tell me, what’s on your needles right now?