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  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!

Advertisements

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.
20150706_181525
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.
Untitled
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.
Untitled
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.
Untitled
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.
Untitled
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.
Untitled
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?

In My Stash: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage

Before I get into today’s yarny goodness, I just wanted to let you guys know despite the sudden summer like weather I’m still chugging along on my cape. I’ve got a couple more inches of the body left and then I’m going to block it before I pick up my neckband and button bands. I’ll try to take some pictures and share on Friday. It’s coming along just perfectly and I can’t wait to share it when I’m finished. Okay…now back to yarn.
20150706_181426
As I’ve been working on baby things for friends, I realize despite the warmer temps I love the feel of good wool yarn. I bought this Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage from Webs last year and I love it. The color is Kilim and it’s simply stunning in person. Seriously these photos don’t do it justice.
20150706_181525
But here’s the problem, it’s so pretty I don’t want to knit with it. Am I insane? I find that what stays in my stash are the expensive yarns because I feel like I want to find the perfect pattern because the yarn is so perfect…but I never find the right pattern! So help me out and give me some suggestions on what you’d knit with this lovely yarn? I have 1400 yards and it’s worsted weight, so I can knit a sweater but which one?! And I want to make something with it and soon because Maryland Sheep & Wool festival is next month (are you going?) and I am going to buy yarn so I need to destash to make room!

All suggestions are welcome.