Stitching Status: Here Comes the Sun

I still haven’t gotten my Sheep and Wool stuff uploaded but I hope to do that over the weekend. I’ve had a hectic week, it’s always like that when my husband travels abroad. He came home yesterday and then our central air died on us. It’s supposed to be 90 degrees on Saturday and the HVAC guy can’t come until Monday morning. Ugh. But as the temps are getting warmer and I’m coming to the end of my test knit I’m getting excited about diving into my summer knitting. And you know there’s the Tees, Tops and Tanks Knit Along going on this month so you should totally make something short sleeved to wear this summer. So I thought I’d share some patterns that have me excited. Have you see the latest preview images for Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue?

Leiden by Natalie Selles
Leiden by Natalie Selles via Ravelry

The issue is all about stripes (my favorite) and I’m in love with so many patterns it’s making me rethink my summer knitting plans. The first one I fell in love with is Leiden. It’s a modular knit, so you start with the middle square panel and pick up stitches along the sides. I don’t know why but I love picking up stitches. I totally want to make this tee.

Anni by Gina Röckenwagner
Anni by Gina Röckenwagner via Ravelry

I’m also equally smitten with the Anni top. Three colors, dk weight yarn and a great shape that will feel so great on a hot day in a light cotton. Plus my stash is still full of Berroco Weekend DK I was thinking of using for other projects but now may switch over to these. And because it’s Friday and despite worrying about melting in my home this weekend, I’m grateful my husband is home and safe from his travels.
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The girls were super excited to see him too and Cher wouldn’t take a paw off of him all night. And as soon as he went to bed early from jet lag she was right there with him. Have a great weekend everyone!

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FO: Cosette Tee

I feel like I’ve been on a roll with summer knits lately. But of course when I say, “no I won’t knit myself that hat because it’s warm out…” the weather takes a nose dive. It’s been cold and rainy and insanely breezy so I haven’t worn my latest finished object but it was light enough when I got home from work to take pictures!
Cosette final
Here is the Cosette tee, part of the Berroco Pima 100 collection. I wanted to make this tee when I saw the pattern and then I saw a sample in store at Fibre Space and immediately new I wanted to make it as my next project. It’s knit from cuff to cuff so the stitches go side to side instead of up and down so I decided why not play with doing vertical stripes for this one. So how does one set that up for this pattern?
Cosette color blocks
I colored on my schematic of course. I use the Bamboo Paper app on my iPad a lot to make notes and draw on top of patterns. So I decided to color block out how I thought it should go and then I read through the pattern and figured out the easiest places to do a new color join. Essentially anywhere there wasn’t a decrease or increase in the pattern was where I decided to add a new color. It’s the same on both sides but I found that the blue/purple side has a row or two more than the pink side. Of course only I notice that. And since I didn’t do a solid color I decided to add a few rows to the neckline instead of just picking up and doing a purl bind-off immediately.
Cosette final
I also thought using the navy blue yarn would be a nice way to pull it all together. Initially I was only going to make this with five colors and make the center a stripe of purple but when I saw the lavender shade of yarn I decided to just make it an even six color blocks. And you already saw I barely had enough purple yarn left but hey it worked out in this instance.
Cosette in stages
This is what it looks like once you’ve knit it from cuff to cuff (see how it matches the schematic?). It was hard to wrap my brain around this piece and I kept worrying it wouldn’t fit but I had to trust that my gauge was right and I was doing what I was supposed to do. Once you knit it, you fold it in half.
Cosette in stages
And then you just have to sew up the side seams! Of course the first time around I was slightly off and had to take out the pink seam and redo it. I was proud of myself for seaming it fairly neatly on both sides. I don’t love seaming but hey you gotta do what you gotta do.
Cosette final
I love how the piece curves around the hips and back and when you block it the piece grows a bit. The bottom is finished off with picking up stitches all the way around and then just doing a purled bind-off. It leaves a slightly raised edge. I actually felt like my ends were clean enough to leave on their own but I think they did this so that it wouldn’t curl up on you. And it’s funny, I think I like the pink side more but overall I like this fun color palette in general. I’m glad I opted for more color. And I could see myself making this again with all white and then one big block of green or something.
Cosette final
Again, I really do love working with the Berroco Pima 100 yarn. In the images where I’m wearing the tee this was after I washed it on delicate cycle in my washing machine and let it air dry. It holds up well and is soft and light on the body. It’s a perfect summer weight and it’s making me think about knitting more light weight cotton sweaters for fall and even winter. It’s still soft but not as hot and heavy as a lot of my wool sweaters are at times. Especially when we have mild winters around here in the Maryland/DC area. Next up I’m working on a test knit for Alicia Plummer again for a summer tee. Her version uses Quince and Co Kestrel yarn but I have leftover Berroco Maya from my Bragita top from last year that I’m using. I’ve really wanted to try some of the Quince and Co yarn but it’s a bit on the expensive side so I’ve held off on making a purchase. So what are you working on for summer right now?

FO: Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee

I’m giddy.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
I love this top so much. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE IT. I finished my Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee and am already wearing it. So let’s get into the details on this project.

Here’s my initial inspiration sweater photo compared to what I actually made:
Comparing sweaters
I wanted the following:

  • A short sleeve tee for summer made using saddle shoulder construction.
  • I didn’t want a lot of ease and for it to be a fairly fitted crew neck (not too tight) so I can wear it with an a line or full skirt.
  • COLOR! You guys know me and know how much I love color and so I picked a bunch of Berroco Pima 100 in varying colors I liked and just went with it. I was surprised at how close I was to some of the colors in the original sweater.

In the end I think this was a great finished object. It’s not perfect (few knits are) but I think I did a solid job on this one without really knowing how this was going to all come together. Also the yarn worked up well and wasn’t hard on my hands like some other cotton yarns.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
For another saddle shoulder style sweater I would run a pattern like an open chevron lace on the saddle so I could carry it all the way down the arm of the sweater. That’s what makes it such a useful design technique. And in regards to how you construct it, thank my friend and reader Lavon for realizing it’s a lot like turning a heel on a sock.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
The saddle stitches are live and you pick up the stitches around the armhole. Add in some short row shaping for the sleeve cap and then you’ve got a sleeve to work with! It’s not a difficult technique at all. And I’d say the fit is more in line with a raglan style and not as close under the arm as a seamed sweater would be.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
So I’ve started off my summer staples knitting with a bang. I can’t wait to knock out more tops for myself and I’ve still got yarn leftover from this project so you may see these colors in a striped tank too! So what plans do you have for summer knitting? What projects are topping your list?