FO: Sunshine Spindrift

Let’s start Monday off with a finished object, shall we? I finished the Spindrift cardigan for my sister over the weekend.
Sundrift
This was the cardigan I was excited to make because I got a chance to use the now discontinued Classic Elite Chateau yarn in such a sunny hue.
Sundrift
This is very simple and quick top down knit. I worked this up with bulky weight yarn on size 11 needles. I really like the diamond pattern that runs down the center panel and the side shaping is done with simple increases and decreases. And the best part?
Sundrift
It has patch pockets! Perfect size for my sister to carry around her work badge and cell phone. My sister has talked a lot about how cold her office is and sent me pictures while she’s bundled up in blankets so I thought this would be perfect with the snuggly garter stitch collar to keep her warm and cozy. This yarn is super light but after wearing it for a few minutes you realize how warm this alpaca blend really is, she’ll be very happy. I knit this in a size smaller than I would normally wear so I feel like it’s just a tiny bit snug for me. That means it’ll fit my sister. And this sunny yellow will totally brighten her day.

And in other news, I’ve got the entire week off before I start working! So that means lots of getting my house together, reading my new textbooks and lots of knitting!!

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Stitching Status: Preparing for Fall

Fall is coming. I can feel it in the air.
Burrito
Mornings are getting crisper. Cher has been snuggling deeper and deeper into her blankets. I pulled out my fall/winter clothes to transition my closet and said hello to all my yummy sweaters I packed away in the spring. Over the last few months I’ve been knitting away for myself. It started with a Happy Little Sweater, then my charcoal grey Trail Jacket and then my Four Color Fable. I took a break and did some summer knitting but then dove into my super fun Technicolor Dream Coat (I’m dying to wear that a lot), then my rainbow Teazel, then the Pink Professor, then my Angelina and lastly my Mint Madness. I’m building a warm wardrobe that I love. But that also means putting other projects to the side and sometimes I feel a slight pang of guilt but then I remind myself that they’re my two hands and my yarn budget…so I’m not obligated to make anything except for what I want right now. A little harsh but so true. I have a few child sized things and toys I want to make for friends for fall but I accidentally stumbled upon this awesome yarn pairing that distracted me from that.
Untitled
Madelinetosh Neon Peach – top, Miss Babs Yowza in Oyster – bottom left (as seen in this cardigan) and Madelinetosh Snowcone Shack – bottom right. I was saving these for other projects and somehow I picked up Snowcone Shack and thought, if I could blend this with Neon Peach it would be awesome! So I weighed what I had of each and decided to do another improvised top down raglan. I started knitting and realized there was one more color I could pull from my stash to add to this – the remainder of my mint yarn leftover from Mint Madness! And that’s how I ended up here.
Faded raglan in progress
It’s such a pretty blend of colors. I know it’s a super soft palette and very neutral up top but when I finish it with the Neon Peach it will feel like a DWJ knit. The neutral helps balance the neon that’s coming. It’s not a super fitted sweater so it has a touch of ease to it that I think will make it an awesome throw on pullover with jeans or skinny pants if I wear it to work. When I get excited I just don’t want to stop knitting! Now if it would just get a little bit cooler so I can just wear cardigans in the morning I’d be happier. What are you making to get yourself ready for fall?

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!