Sweater Love

It’s about time I tell you about this sweater!  It’s finished and I’m thrilled that it’s still cool enough that I can wear it comfortably.

The pattern (in case you haven’t been following along) is the Smocked Cable Coat, published in Vogue Knitting.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Vintage in color Mourning Dove.  I knit it on US6/4mm needles.  The back and fronts were knit flat and seamed.  The sleeves were knit in the round and then sewn in.

I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it and it seemed the perfect match for this yarn.  I wear a lot of blue and I will definitely get a lot of wear out of this sweater!  It really sucked up a lot of yarn though.  I used 9 skeins for this thing and normally 7 would be enough for a sweater for me.  The bottom is really full and skirt-like and all the cables make it thick and warm at the back.

It might look a little big on me, and I might have gotten away making it a size smaller, but I want to be able to wear it as a winter sweater with something substantial under it, so this is fine.  I also purposely made the sleeves this long.  They are kind of a ruffled look at the bottom and I liked them longer.

All in all it was a really fast, fun knit.  I highly recommend the pattern.  Be sure to check for errata though as there were mistakes in the printed version.

Here’s a photo of me sewing up the shoulder seam.  Unlike a lot of people, I really don’t mind sewing up garments.  Maybe that’s because I’ve done it a lot and I know quite well how to do it.  There’s no guesswork.  And a good seam is a beautiful thing, strong and functional.  You can’t even see where my side seams are, if I’m allowed to brag a little.

I’ll have more news about sweater construction, seams, finishing and all that in a later blog post.  I have some exciting news to report but it’s a little early to start blowing horns.

Anyway, you can bet I’ll be wearing this sweater every chance I get before it gets too warm outside.

Still in Love

Even after spending a lot of time knitting these days, I’m still in love with it.  I have so many ideas in my head for new designs, or for other people’s designs I want to make!  If only my hands worked faster so I could get more done.

Here are some progress photos.

Yesterday I blocked the back and one of the front pieces of my Smocked Cable Coat (link is to a nice youtube video showing the model).

If you remember from previous posts, I had to buy more yarn to finish the sweater because the back piece was sucking it up so quickly I knew I wouldn’t have enough to finish it.  I bought 4 skeins from the Loopy Ewe, which arrived very quickly, and I carried on alternating new/old skeins of yarn.  I started with that alternating at the point where the cables begin (looking from the bottom up).  Can you tell that I’ve done this?  Yes you can.  You can see that from the point of the cables the color is definitely grayer.  What am I going to do about it?  Absolutely nothing.  I think that wearing it in real life you won’t notice.  I had the same issue with the cardigan I made last summer using Madelinetosh Sock yarn in color Celadon.  I was ready to rip out the entire thing after looking at photos of it and seeing decided color changes.  But you know what?  Now when I wear it, and look in a mirror, I don’t notice at all.

I’m also busy working on a brioche blanket/afghan.  I’m about 3/4 finished with it.  It’s made in the round, starting with the center and working out.  Each round is so long now!  I’m making it with Madelinetosh DK yarn in colors Moorland, Lettuce Leaf and Lepidoptera.  The finish blanket will use 2 skeins of each color.  Here are some WIP photos, both the front (dark green dominant) and back (light green dominant).

front, brioche blanket
front, brioche blanket
back, brioche blanket
back, brioche blanket

Stay tuned for finished photos of both projects, and a published pattern for the brioche blanket.

Cardigan WIP

I’m working away on my smocked cable cardigan.  Above are the two sleeves done, and part of the back piece done.  I got up to the part of the back where I should start making the cables and realized I was in trouble.  I won’t have enough yarn to finish this sweater.

I have 8 100 gram skeins of yarn and you’d think that would be plenty.  The first problem is that ONE of the skeins is a really different color than the rest.  Now, if 2 or 3 were different, I could alternate skeins and work them in and all would be fine.  But ONE skein being different just makes it unusable in my opinion.  Secondly, I think I will really need 9, not 8 anyway.  The back piece takes up huge amounts of yarn because it is long, flared and wide at the bottom, and is full of cables at the top.  Here’s a photo of what the back will look like:

smockedcablecoatback

What am I going to do with this thing?  I realized on Thursday night I’d be short of yarn.  Friday morning I woke up and got right on this problem.  I went to Ravelry to see who stocks Madelinetosh yarn and then I went stocking those sites, looking for Vintage in color Mourning Dove.  I only had to look to 2 shops before finding some at the Loopy Ewe, out of Colorado.  YAY!  Do you know how hard it is to find this yarn?  Hard.  I am so lucky.

Anyway, I ordered 4 skeins.  FOUR? you ask.  Yes, four.  I’m guessing I’ll need 2 and maybe 3 and what if I’m completely wrong?  I ordered 4.  I can always destash the leftovers or make something to go with this sweater, like mittens or a hat.  You can never have too much Madelinetosh, that’s what I always say (and have the stash to prove).

But I still have the problem of skeins that are not the same color as the knitting I’ve already done.  I’m going to try something I hope will be ok.  I’m going to knit the backs and fronts up to the start of the cable pattern with the yarn that I have.  Then at that point, when the pattern and fit of the sweater changes, I’ll alternate in the new skeins.  At least a slight change in color will be at a changing point in the pattern and should seem like it makes sense.  Working with hand dyed yarn is beautiful and lovely, but sometimes a pain.  No 2 skeins are perfectly matched and you always have to take that into account.

My yarn shipped yesterday and I should have it in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile I’ll continue knitting the fronts and will also continue knitting a secret project that I can’t show you yet.  But soon!

The Last FO for 2012

I’m pretty sure this will be last Finished Object for 2012.  This is the warm and squishy scarf I made to go with my glittens and hat.  It’s made with Madelinetosh DK, held double and knit on 7.5mm needles.  I used 400 grams in total (4 skeins).  It’s so thick and comfy!

There are several patterns out there that are similar.  Mine is not a cowl (like one popular design), the cables are a little closer together and fat, and the gauge is really different.  Therefore, I’m quite happy to tell you here exactly how I made it, without worrying about stepping on anyone’s copyright toes.  It’s dead easy:

CO 40 stitches.

row 1:  Knit 8, (k1, p1) x 8, knit 16.  row 2:  knit 16, (k1, p1) x 8, knit 8.

Repeat over and over and over.  Every 10 rows make an 8×8 cable over the 16 off-center (k1,p1) stitches.

This creates a reversible, thick scarf.  You could join the ends together to make a cowl, but that’s not what I wanted.  You could do the cables every 14 rows to make longer, less thick, cables.  You could choose to put the cable in the center.  Just play with it.  Have fun.  Knit yourself something beautiful and functional.

Now all we need is some really cold weather!  (I might regret saying that at some point…..)