Tag: sweaters (page 1 of 2)

East Neuk Hoodie

This may well be my favourite thing I’ve ever knitted myself.


The pattern is East Neuk Hoodie by Kristen Orme.  The yarn is KnitPicks Comfy Worsted in Fairytale, and I used about 20 balls. It has a hood, a placket neck with three buttons, a pocket, and (randomly) elbow patches. It’s soft and comfy and well-made, and the colour is beautiful. I ❤️ it!

This was such a fun knit, despite the fact that my tension was way off when I started so I had to frog the whole thing and start over. Once I settled on the right size and needles (4mm), it was smooth sailing. My row gauge was still off, but that’s easy to compensate for as you go. (I did have to do some maths to make sure the sleeve cap came out the right size.) Overall it’s slightly large, but I wanted this to have the ease of a sweatshirt so I’m happy with it.

My one worry is that the yarn is going to pill. It shed a LOT while knitting (my couch is covered in pink fluff), and the comments on the KnitPicks site indicate that others have been disappointed with its tendency to pill. So I’m steeling myself for it now, knowing that I’m going to have to give this the occasional shave. I still love it though.

Ravelry details are here!

Easter Show Knitting

Easter Show Knitting
The other big thing that happened last week was that I finally finished my Easter Show knitting. I had two entries this year: “St. Brigid” in the aran category and “Albert the Magic Pudding” in the knitted toys. I think they turned out pretty well!

St. Brigid     Albert the Magic Pudding

St. Brigid is from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting, a book which is sadly out-of-print. (Used copies go for $300! No joke!) Luckily I know someone with a copy who was generous enough to share. This is my second Starmore after last year’s Na Craga. The wool is Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in colour 127 Posie. It’s a very pretty pinky red with little flecks through it. Starmore’s patterns are famously huge with lots of ease, so I had to play to get the right size. I actually used 4mm needles to get gauge and lengthened the body by an extra repeat. I also lengthened the arms quite a bit. The original version had fringe around the bottom (ew) and a mock turtleneck (ew ew), so I left both of those off. This is a very warm jumper, and I’ll probably only get to wear it a few times a year. But it’s beautiful and I made it and I love it. (More pictures on Flickr and more details on Ravelry.)

And then there’s the Magic Pudding. (No, Mom, he’s not an octopus!) He’s from a famous Australian children’s book by Norman Lindsay. The Snook read me this book, and I absolutely loved it. It’s a shame that kids in America don’t know it! I based my original design off a postcard with a watercolour of the Pudding by Lindsay himself. I was really tickled when the RAS volunteer who was taking my entries recognised him immediately. Maybe next year I’ll have to do Bunyip Bluegum? (More details on Ravelry.)

Rusted Root

Rusted RootRusted Root
I should officially move this one into the FO pile! I started Rusted Root in March as a palate-cleanser during the rush to finish Na Craga. I tweaked the pattern a fair bit based on mods I saw on Ravelry (using tubular cast-on for the neckline, adding a few rows in the sleeves, putting in hip shaping, etc). I was unhappy with the waist though, and at knitting camp last weekend I decided to frog it back and try something different. The girls suggested a simple roll edging (rather than a rib). I think it really works! It makes the whole thing just a little more casual, which is appropriate given that it’s really just a cotton t-shirt. I’m still not sure it’s the most flattering style for a large-busted gal, but since when has that stopped me before? I used 3.5mm needles for the ribs and 4.0mm for the body. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Buttercream, and I only used 4 skeins! More details over on Ravelry.

Na Craga

Na Craga
It’s finished! I dragged the Snook out for a photoshoot this morning. There’s a slight visible line from my drying rack across the front, but I’ve already steamed it out for Show delivery. The light was too nice not to go for the photographs right away.

Na Craga (Finished!)

As I said on Ravelry, I kinda feel like crying a little bit, like when I finished my first half-marathon. This WAS a marathon. Getting to the finish line is just such a relief. Regardless of whether it wins anything, I think this may be the knitting project that I am most proud of. Thanks to all you guys for your great comments, advice, and encouragement.

More photos are on my Ravelry project page and on Flickr. Read on for the technical details.The pattern is “Na Craga” from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting. Unfortunately the book is out-of-print and used copies sell for hundreds of dollars. Luckily a kind Raveler was willing to share hers with me so I could knit it.

I ended up using 19 skeins of Naturally Harmony 10ply. The last skein (used for the collar) is a different dye lot, but I can’t spot the difference at all. The twisted ribbing was done on 4.5mm needles, with the body and sleeves being done on 5mm. It took me nearly four months to do the actual knitting, and then the sewing up took another two weeks. It’s being entered in the 2009 Sydney Royal Easter Show Arts Competition in class #119 (Aran Knitting). I’ll update if/when it wins a prize!

More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the EyeMore than meets the eye…
From the front, it’s just a normal grey jumper with a patch of stripes. But from the side… suddenly you’re an autonomous robot life form from Cybertron! (More photos available on Flickr and Ravelry.)

I’m proud to report that this is the first jumper that Snookums actually requested and helped design. Somehow he saw some shadow knitting and asked whether it would be possible to knit the Autobots logo onto the front of a jumper. I pondered this. Most examples of shadow knitting are scarves where you’re looking at the design from the bottom up (like in the Dark Mark Illusion Scarf). The Snook didn’t like the idea of having to do a back-bend for people to see the image, though. So then I toyed with the idea of knitting his jumper sideways from cuff-to-cuff… but that tends to make for a rather shapeless garment, and not something that looks very good on a guy. That left knitting the logo sideways and then rotating it ninety-degrees before incorporating it into the jumper. So that’s what I did. (Read past the jump for a link to download my chart.)

The pattern I settled on was Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “Seamless Hybrid” from Knitting Without Tears, mostly because I’d never done saddle shoulders before. I was also greatly inspired by Brooklyn Tweed‘s gorgeous version. (I nicked his idea for doing contrasting hems.) The yarn is Filatura di Crosa Zara in #1469 (Dark Grey) and #1494 (Light Grey). I used about 12 of the main colour and 2 of the contrast. I experimented with different ways of “mounting” the shadow knitting, and ultimately what worked best was just sewing it in as I went along. (Which meant that I was knitting back and forth and leaving a “window” for the patch, so there was definitely purling involved.)

Okay, so the final verdict. I guess I’d give this about a 9 out of 10 rating. The shadow knitting worked great, and the Zara is a dream to knit with. (It also feels incredibly soft to wear, which is very important for the Snook, who finds most wool prickly.) I’m just not 100% happy with the fit of the shoulders, though. My gauge was off from Elizabeth’s sample so I had to scale it up a little bit, and I’m just not sure her percentages for the saddles work as well this way. I think once it has a wash and a press it’ll look better though. (That’ll also help with the way the patch slightly pulls in a bit.) The Snook is happy and he has a new jumper to wear with a few weeks of winter left, so that’s all that matters!Download my chart: Here’s a PDF file of the chart Snookums made for me. Start in the lower right and follow as you would any other knitting chart. If you’ve never done shadow or illusion knitting before, basically you’re just knitting 2-row stocking stitch stripes. Nothing difficult there, right? Well, occasionally – wherever there’s a dash on that chart – you knit instead of purl on the second rows. (So you’ll have garter stitch in that spot instead of stockinette.) And that’s it!

Productive Day

It was a very productive Saturday!

Buttons! Gumbo! Socks!

First up was the Snook’s cotton jumper, which you may recall I finished over a year ago. Yeah, it’s taken me that long to put buttons on the thing. I just forgot! They’re lovely round carved horn from the button shop. Doesn’t it look nice?

Next is the Snook’s offering for dinner tonight: Seafood Gumbo. The recipe came from Herbie’s Spices and we picked up the seafood at the Fish Markets this morning. It has scallops, prawns, and crab meat. It was delicious! Just the thing for a cold winter night.

And lastly, those are some socks I just finished for my Secret Pal. The pattern is “Uptown Boot Socks” from Interweave’s Favorite Socks. Yes, this is the third pattern I’ve knit from this book. It has a subtle cable twist down the leg and the top of the foot that this photo really doesn’t do justice. (You can see it better here.) The yarn is Heirloom Jigsaw colour 37. (One ball was more than enough.) I hope my Secret Pal likes them!

Oh, and what’s that you say? One of those socks appears… blockier than the other? That would be because Snookums has completed the prototype of my very own Sock Blocking Forms. This is basically a flat wooden foot in profile that you use to stretch the sock into the correct shape. I’ve wanted some for ages but I’ve never seen them in Australia, and I can’t be bothered paying to get them shipped from overseas. Instead I traced my own in Illustrator and made a resizable template. The Snook cut this one for me out of plywood. He still has to drill holes in it to allow the sock to dry faster, and then give it a coat of varnish so it doesn’t get moldy. I’ll be sure to show you the finished product though!

Long-Sleeved Cotton Polo

Long-Sleeved Cotton PoloLong-Sleeved Cotton Polo
At last, a Finished Object to report! I’ve been working on this jumper for the Snook for well over six months. It’s based on a Wendy pattern (#5101) which I converted to be knit in the round. To tell you the truth, it was pretty boring through most of the body and the sleeves and only really got exciting once I finally got everything together on one needle. The raglan shaping and vee neck took a little brainpower; I ended up using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the decreases. The collar was supposed to be knitted separately and sewn on. As if. I just picked up around the neck and knitted it on. I have to say, I’m really, really pleased with how this turned out. The yarn (Jo Sharp’s Soho Summer DK Cotton) was an absolute beeyotch to knit with, but the finished garment is so soft and warm that I’m already planning one for myself. All that’s left is to get some appropriate buttons for the placket neck and she’s finished!

Knitty Pattern Round-Up

ClapotisKnitty Pattern Round-Up
Finally I’ve got another Finished Object to share with you, along with two knitted Gifts. First is my take on the ubiquitous Clapotis. I never planned to knit one of these wraps (which have gotten ridiculously popular in the last year), but I just happened to be listening to the KnitCast interview with the designer on the same day that we got this luscious new shade of Noro in… and I was powerless to resist. I worked out that I needed six balls of Kureyon to do the pattern as written, but after I’d casted it off I realized I wanted it longer and frogged it back to include a seventh ball. As it is, I can wear it as either a really big scarf or a smallish wrap. I like it. (I blocked mine out into a rectangle and I prefer it knit-side out, both of which are different from the model photos.) Next is Shimmer, a glamorous little lacy shrug that was knitted by my friend Miss Fee. She made it for herself to wear for a wedding but afterwards decided it was too big to wear again (and too nice to consider unraveling). She persuaded me to try it on and pronounced it a perfect fit, and then she gave it to me! How nice is that? It’s knitted out of Filatura di Crosa’s Zara mixed with Night to give it a bit of glitz. I know I was anti-shrug before, but this one is just so pretty and girly! I need to get some nice tops to wear with it. And last is the long-awaited picture of baby Ruth Cunningham wearing the Norgi jumper I knitted her. I have no idea how Nat and Staci managed to get it over her head, but doesn’t it look adorable anyway? I love it with her little jeans!

Shimmer   Ruth in her Norgi

Looking Glass Jumper

Looking Glass JumperLooking Glass Jumper
At last, the Snook’s new cabled jumper is complete. It’s pattern C from Sirdar’s Denim Book of Aran Knits and it was knitted in the Denim Sport Aran. (The Snook was the third size; I bought the required seven balls but even though I lengthened the body and sleeves, I only used five-and-a-half.) This was my first attempt at converting a pattern written for flat knitting into circular, and I’m about 90% happy with the result. There is a rather glaring error on the front of the jumper – clearly visible at right – but we’ll just call it my Amish mistake. (It was too far to frog down and too complicated a spot to correct with a dropped stitch. I thought about swapping the front for the back, but that felt like I was trying to hide it too much. I like that it has a real human error in it. Can you spot it?) The jumper was so named because every other row of the pattern had to be inverted and read backwards to be knit in the round. It only really got fiddly once I started doing the neck shaping; I was juggling five sets of decreases at once (left front, right front, two sleeves, and the back). I just sorta winged it. Pretty nice huh?

Incidentally, it’s really hard to take a decent photograph of cables. I took both the ones below before I figured out that I had to do it without the flash. But isn’t the Snook with his Puss-Puss sooooo cuuuuuute?

Snookums's new jumper     Snookums and Dr Amy Jones

Finished Objects

Finished Baby Objects!
Nat’s baby package is nearly ready to go out. On the left is the completed Baby Norgi sweater, which I finished up today. I pretty much followed the pattern exactly for once. The wool is Bambi by Grignasco, which is an extrafine 4-ply 100% Italian merino. (And it’s nicer than anything I’ve ever knit for myself!) My only reservation with this project is the fear that the baby’s head won’t fit through. Babies have big heads. I tried to make the neckline as loose as possible, but who knows. Nat and Staci might have to save this one for their next kid and hope for a smaller noggin. 🙂

The second item is a secret one that I finished a couple of weeks ago: the Sirdar Sleeping Bag. Isn’t it the cutest thing ever? It even has little teddy bear ears! The cuteness of it almost makes up for the fact that Snowflake Chunky is the worst, most godawful thing in the world to knit. It’s as if someone took a nice terrycloth towel and cut it into a long, very fine strip. You can’t see any of your stitches amidst all that fleeciness, which kinda defeats the purpose of hand-knitting something in the first place. I mean, if you saw that in a shop, would you think it was hand-knitted? (Slight wonkiness aside?) Nope. So while it’s definitely a cute project, I don’t think it’s quite heirloom quality. At least I know that one will fit though.

Baby Norgi   Sleeping Bag

Now all I’ve got to do is give them a final wash to get all the cat hair off…