Tag: cardigans (page 1 of 3)

Blackberry Cardigan and Argyll Vest

Yesterday I picked up my entries from the Sydney Royal Easter Show Arts & Crafts Competition. I entered two projects: a cardigan for me that had been hibernating 90% done for over a year, and a hipster vest requested by the Snook at Christmas. I’m really happy with how both of them turned out. (I didn’t win any ribbons this year, but I’ve given up trying to understand the judging criteria. That way lies madness.) Anyway, the details…

Blackberry Cardigan

Blackberry CardiganThis is a cardigan I started knitting for myself back in 2013 but never finished. I love knitting cables, and I wanted something warm and snuggly to wear in winter (and in my freezing cold office). The wool is Filatura di Crosa Zara merino wool, which I’d previously bought from Reecie in a destash. I’d knitted a couple things out of it previously, and I knew that it would give great stitch definition yet be soft enough to wear directly on my skin. I hate sewing up, so I knitted the body in one piece up to the arm holes. Then I split the piece and worked the back and two fronts separately up to the shoulders before joining them with a three-needle bind-off. I also knitted each sleeve in the round up to the sleeve cap, which I knitted flat. At that point, I lost my knitting mojo and the pieces sat in my craft room for well over a year. When I unearthed them, I realised there wasn’t a great deal left to do. I picked up and the knitted the giant shawl collar (which goes all the way around and includes the button holes for the front), then blocked all the pieces before sewing them together. I found the buttons at Sew Make Create. I’m really, really pleased how it turned out. I’m wearing it right now, in fact! (More details over at Ravelry.)

Argyll Vest

Argyll VestOver Christmas we were having lunch at a cafe in Newtown when the Snook asked if I’d knit him a “hipster sweater vest.” He so rarely asks for knitted things, I got really excited and pulled up Ravelry that minute on my iPhone to start searching for patterns. When I saw katarina’s Argyll Vest, we both knew it was the perfect one. Happily I had the pattern book it’s from already in my collection! We walked straight up to The Granny Square and picked out the wool on the spot. We selected three different “heathered” colours of Morris Empire 4-ply. The only pattern mod I made was to make the body a bit longer, because Rodd has a very long torso. Since the neckline is meant to start at the top of a diamond, I had to decide ahead of time how much length I was going to add (so I could add it on at the bottom above the ribbing). And of course, you can’t knit intarsia in the round so I had to knit the front and back separately. I love the neat geometry of intarsia and had a lot of fun seeing the diamonds emerge. The diagonal lines – which I learned are called rakers – were embroidered on with Swiss darning. Then I just had to block it, sew it up, and knitting on the bands. He really likes it! I think it’s going to get a lot of wear this winter. (More details over at Ravelry.)

Paper Dolls

Paper DollsPaper Dolls
I should properly document this one, huh? The pattern is Kate Davies’s Paper Dolls, which is a short-sleeved pullover with a fairisle yoke. Since I can’t do anything simply, I decided to convert it to a cardigan. I bought the main wool (green Rowan Felted Tweed) nearly three years ago at the Wool Inn in Penrith. The brown and cream contrast colours are Grignasco Tango from Miss Fee. I went up a size or two to get some ease through the body. I still knitted it in the round, adding a 6-stitch steek up the middle (and making that the start of all rounds). For the sleeves, I simply made up the increases making sure I finished on the right number of stitches for the yoke pattern repeat. When it was done, I did a crochet steek with hand-stitching for extra reinforcement. Then I cut it open. I had originally intended to put a button band on it, but once I tried it on I realised it wanted to be a jacket with a zip. So that’s what I did! I did an i-cord edging along the fronts and then hand-sewed in a zipper. I love it! (More photos over on Ravelry.)

Adventures in Dyeing

Adventures in Dyeing
After I got home from cheese-making, it was time for more fun with giant pots. It was finally time to dye my February Lady Sweater. I always meant to dye it, but I was just too lazy. The cream did nothing for me though, and I never wore it. So I picked up some Jacquard Acid Dye in Burnt Orange and got to work (with some much-needed email guidance from knitabulous). The cardigan – which had been previously washed and soaked overnight – went into the pot along with some citric acid, dye, and lots of water. It was very vivid and murky. I kept it on a gentle simmer for about 40 minutes, checking on it often. I was pleased to see the water clearing just like Ailsa said it would! I turned off the heat and left it overnight. In the morning I dumped out the water and gave the cardigan a rinse and another soak (with hair conditioner). That night I finally squeezed out the water and had a look at the final product. To be honest, I was a little surprised at how blotchy it was. The dye didn’t take up evenly, and the effect is almost like tye-dye. (I’ve since read on Twitter that this is a common problem, and that dying whole garments rarely works perfectly.) Anyway, I let it dry thinking I’d make a final assessment later. Today, I actually wore it to work. And you know what? I think I like it!

Dyed cardy

I’ve had some compliments on it at work, and everybody seems to think the dye effect is intentional. It’s definitely more wearable than the cream version was! I may still have a go at touching it up; I’ve got more dye that I can “paint on” the lighter areas. But for now, I’m pretty happy with my first go at dyeing. Thanks to Ailsa and everybody who gave advice on Twitter!

Snook’s Hipster Cardy

Snook's Hipster CardySnook’s Hipster Cardy
As my knitting buddies know, this has actually been finished for more than a month but I’ve only just now gotten around to documenting it. This was my entry to the 2011 Sydney Royal Easter Show, where it didn’t win anything. The pattern is “#17 Man’s Cable Cardigan” by Josh Bennett for the Winter 2009/2010 issue of Vogue Knitting. (Many thanks to Reecie for lending me the pattern.)

The Snook was not initially receptive to the idea of a cardigan, because they seemed either a) too daggy and “grandpa” or b) too hip and trendy. That’s when I started calling it the Hipster Cardy. I told him that as a bicycle-riding, bearded I.T. nerd from the Inner West it was his sacred destiny to wear an ironic grandpa cardigan. So I knitted it anyway, knowing he’d like it once he had it on. He’s worn it several times now. We’ve had some fun staging photos where I tell him to “Look supercilious! Like you think my favourite band is crap!” and stuff. “More condescending! Sneer at my carbon footprint!”

Snook's Hipster Cardy Snook's Hipster Cardy Snook's Hipster Cardy

It’s actually a very nice cardy and he does sincerely like it. I was worried about the ribbing along the buttons, because I had seen others that came out very wavy and ripply. The instructions say to cast off as loosely as possible, which seems INSANE. That would just make it more ripply! I did a sewn cast-off, and I’m mostly happy with it. He tends to only do up a couple buttons anyway, which means you can’t really tell.

The wool is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in “Pumpernickel” (a nice dark flecky brown). I actually knitted on the recommended needles (4mm and 4.5mm). The buttons are vintage men’s buttons I got at All Buttons Great and Small. (Ravelry details)

And as always, the Easter Show judges can suck it. 🙂

Eyelet Yoke Cardigan

Eyelet Yoke CardiganEyelet Yoke Cardigan
One of my co-workers just had his first baby – a little girl – so I decided to knit something for him. I had some Morris Empire 4ply in #436 Bloom that I thought would be perfect. I went to Ravelry to look for suitable baby cardigans with patterns that wouldn’t compete too much with the variegated wool. (And no Baby Surprise! I am going to come out of the closet and admit that I think they’re pretty ugly. I’m going to stop torturing myself by knitting them.) Anyway, I found this Eyelet Yoke Cardigan that seemed like it would work. It was really quick to knit up, and I used less than 2 balls of the Empire (on 3.5mm needles). The eyelet details on the yoke (pic), sleeves, and waist kept it fun and interesting. For the buttons, I was pleased to find 5 similar-ish buttons (pic) in my stash all in colours that matched the wool. Hooray for mismatched buttons! (More details on Ravelry here.)

I gave the cardy to Fei this morning and he was thrilled! I can’t wait to see pics of it on his little girl.

Olivia’s Rainbow Blanket and BSJ

Rainbow Baby BlanketOlivia’s Rainbow Blanket and BSJ
Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the first two projects shown on my knitting round-up below haven’t actually been blogged yet! That’s because I only just finished them yesterday. First up is an actual, honest-to-god CROCHETED item: Olivia’s Rainbow Baby Blanket. This is a project that I basically made up myself. My Mom had sent me 5 balls of “Sugar and Cream” cotton last year and I’d idly started crocheting squares based on this pattern. When my niece was born a couple weeks ago, it inspired me to join them all up into a blanket for her. I did 12 multi-colour squares (rotating the stripes each time so the squares are all different) along with 4 solid squares. I joined them all together with Cream, then crocheted a Cream border all around. Then I did a scalloped border in a different colour on each side. I’m really happy with how it turned out! I was debating on whether to back it with some fleece or flannel, but I think I like it the way it is.

Rainbow Blanket   Rainbow Blanket   Rainbow Blanket

Next is yet another Baby Surprise Jacket. I used some Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed that was leftover from my St. Brigid. It came out quite big, but I figure she’ll grow into it. The buttons are made out of coconut. 🙂

Baby Surprise Jacket   Baby Surprise Jacket

Maile Sweater and Swirl Hat

Maile Sweater and Swirl Hat
Hey, I knitted something! It’s been months and months, actually. But last week my friend Kevin’s first child was born, and such a thing demands commemoration. I picked the pattern and the yarn before the birth, assuming that the combination would work for either gender. It helps that the father is Irish. 🙂

Maile Sweater

The cardigan is the Maile Sweater. It’s knitted from the bottom up in one piece. I actually knitted it twice: the first time on 3.5mm needle as per the pattern, and the second time on 3.75mm needles. (I thought it looked a little small so I frogged it and started over.) On the first attempt, I followed the pattern exactly including knitting the sleeves flat and joining them with no cast-off stitches. I wasn’t thrilled with it though, and the underarms had a few stitches that looked very stretched. So when I frogged and reknitted, I took the opportunity to experiment. The sleeves were knitted this time in the round via Magic Loop. When I joined them, I set aside 4 live stitches on the body and 4 live stitches on the underarm of the sleeve on waste wool. I later grafted these together (a la Elizabeth Zimmerman). It makes for a very nice finish, and it definitely made those first few rows after joining easier.

The wool is “Merino Chubby Sock” in Barleygrass by the Knittery. One skein was plenty to knit the jumper, and I had so much left over that I actually made a matching hat. The pattern is the “Swirl Hat” from Sheepy Time Knits. And I still have wool left over! This stuff goes a long way.

As usual, there are more photos and details over on Ravelry: Maile Sweater / Swirl Hat. Now I just have to wait to get a photo of the baby actually wearing them!

Baby Cardigan and Tasman Summer Tunic

Baby CardiganBaby Cardigan and Tasman Summer Tunic
I finally finished off a couple lingering kids’ projects that I was working on. The first is a cardigan for my friend Venks’s new baby. The boy is named Vivaan and he was born about two weeks ago. The wool is Wired for Fibre’s “Elizabeth” sock wool in colour Serenity. The pattern is free and is knitted sideways (cuff-to-cuff). I got some adorable teddy bear buttons from the button shop in the Rocks last Saturday to finish it. I can’t wait to see it on Vivaan!

Tasman Summer TunicNext is the Tasman Summer Tunic for my niece Indie. The pattern is by Just Jussi and is available as a free Ravelry download. I knitted the smallest size and used three balls of Morris Paddington (80% bamboo, 20% merino) in colour #611 “Dover”. I left off the beads at the hem, but other than that I didn’t change anything. The ribbon at the front is very cute, and I found a pretty star button to use as the closure at the back. I hope it fits her!

February Lady Sweater

February Lady Sweater - Finished!February Lady Sweater
This sweater took Ravelry by storm a few months ago. There are now more than 1400 finished projects, and another 5000 people still have it queued up. Why did it get so popular? If I had to analyze it, I’d say there were three important factors: it’s based on a famous baby sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman, who most knitters revere; the pattern was released for free; and the author looks SUPER CUTE in the photo. (That shouldn’t matter so much, but it really, really does.) Anyway, I somehow caught the bug and started it ’round about WWKIP Day. The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, but I decided to use an 8ply instead. I’ve had two packets of discontinued Cleckheaton Alpaca/Wool in my stash for some time, and it seemed like a perfect match. The knitting went really quickly, even though I was making the biggest size (to compensate for the thinner yarn). The top-down construction means you can try it on as you go, so I did plenty of fittings. Since I’m so tall, I had to do quite a bit of straight garter stitch after the raglan increases finished to get the sleeves to meet under the arms. That’s why I ended up doing a 4th buttonhole. The original plan was to dye it, but I realized today that I’d rather get some wear out of it now, this winter, rather than waiting to mess around with dyes. So I’m calling it finished! I’m loving it. It’s lovely and comfy and warm. The buttons came from the Button Shop in Newtown. I may still dye it in the future, but the cream is growing on me… (Ravelry details are here.)

And that photo? Was taken off the deck at Amy and Rob‘s new house! I knew it was in the bush, but man. Actual trees and nature! Very weird for these city dwellers… 🙂

Nieces and Nephews

Nieces and Nephews
Last weekend I managed to finish off two small knitting projects that had been languishing. The first is a matinee jacket for my yet-to-born niece (assuming that she does, in fact, turn out to be a girl). The pattern is from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino book, and I substituted Sirdar Snuggly DK for the yarn (going up to a 4mm needle). I just need to get a bit of ribbon to go around the waist.

Matinee Coat   Pirate Vest

The second item is a vest for my three-week-old nephew Isaiah. I spoke to my brother on the phone the day of the birth, and I said I wanted to make something for the baby. “Do you think you guys will want to dress him traditionally?” I asked. “Or would it be okay if I did something more modern, like something with a skull on it?” “I think that would be pretty bad ass!” my brother said. Sweet. This vest is based on the “Pirate Jumper” in Zoe Mellor’s Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots. I just used random 8ply wool from my stash. I think it’s pretty appropriate, given that the baby’s dad works at a Harley Davidson shop!

As always, more details are over at Ravelry. (I can’t wait until the site’s open and I can directly link to stuff there…)