Tag: vests

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.)

Easter Show Entries 2013

Easter Show Entries 2013
It’s time again for the Sydney Royal Easter Show Competition, and this is my SEVENTH year entering. (Good grief – really?!) I’ve entered a lot of items over the years, and some of them have been awarded with ribbons. A recap:

Needless to say, Win the Easter Show has been on Hermione’s To Do list for a very long time. This year I again sent in three entries.

Catriona VestCatriona Vest
This is a pattern I’ve had in my Ravelry queue for a long time. I bought the wool (Pear Tree Merino) from Dr. K in a destash last year and it seemed like the perfect choice for it. I made a few significant modifications: I adapted it to be knitted in the round up to the armholes, and I mirrored the cables to be symmetrical. I also dug around on Ravelry to find someone who had charted the cables, which was really helpful. (Why Debbie Bliss is incapable of including a chart, I have no idea.) I really, really like the finished vest. The wool was a great choice, and it makes the cables stand out. I entered this in the Sleeveless Garment category (no more Aran for me; I’m not that masochistic) and I think it’s probably my best shot at a ribbon. I’m also really looking forward to wearing it this winter! More photos and details on Ravelry.

Juno ReginaJuno Regina
In the end, my first real lace project took me nearly THREE YEARS to finish. I started this in 2010 and I’ve been working on it in fits and starts ever since. That middle bit was a total slog! I’m happy with how it turned out though, and it’s destined as a (very late) wedding gift for my friend Kriti Sahni. The pattern is of course from Knitty, and the wool is Morris Empire 2ply. Special thanks to Miss Fee for lending me her blocking wires! (Although I had a nightmarish time blocking it. I somehow managed to catch a thread on the sink plug and pulled out a long loop! I spent like an hour hunched over it laboriously adjusting stitch tension to repair it.) Frankly, I’ll be thrilled for this just to be exhibited. The lace category is notoriously competitive, and – my fake rivalry with Reecie notwithstanding – I don’t really stand a chance. Again, more details on Ravelry.

Self-Replicating MittensSelf-Replicating Mittens with QR Code
You may have seen these as there have already been some photos on the blog. Basically, the idea was prompted by my Girl Geek talk last year on Knitting Geekery. I got excited about the idea of making a “meta” knitted object, where the item’s pattern was encoded into the item itself. After some brainstorming and research, I settled on a QR code. I knew that other people were using them on knitted items with some success. I wanted my code to be as simple as possible, so I needed to use a URL shortener to mask my intended address. I settled on using Google‘s, reasoning that it was likely to be around the longest. (Though who knows these days, right?) Google also conveniently generate the QR code for you! Then it was just a matter of knitting it. I did several test patches, but none of them worked. I tried fairisle; I tried Swiss darning; I tried cross-stitching over the knitting. I just couldn’t get any of them to successfully read on my iPhone. I was thisclose to scrapping the whole idea. With less than a week to go, I made one last attempt using very thin baby wool and the thinnest needles I had (2mm). Still no go. At the eleventh hour, I decided to try blocking the hell out of it. I cut a piece of paper to square and aggressively pinned the wet fabric to it. Suddenly – IT WORKED! I couldn’t believe it. I shared a photo to Twitter and other people got it to work too. Hallelujah! Then it was just a matter of knitting another patch and sewing them to the mittens (which I’d already finished). I set up the target page once I dropped them off at the Show. (I included a note explaining the concept and warning the judges that the website would give away my identity.) Anyway, I’m very happy with them. I entered them in Creative Knitting, but truth be told the knitting skill required was minimal. They’re more of an Art piece than anything, and I just hope people will get the concept. If nothing else, the folks on Twitter seemed to like them! Again, details on Ravelry.

The Arts Preview Night is Tuesday, so I’ll know then whether I can finally cross that pesky To Do item off my list!

Kunaal’s Cricket Vest

Kunaal's vestKunaal’s Cricket Vest
As many of you know, my good friend Kunaal got married recently in India. I wasn’t able to go to the wedding so I knew I had to come up with something amazing as a gift. I had the idea six months ago to knit him a proper, traditional cricket vest. (Kunaal is a cricket tragic.) I enlisted the help of his fiancée Kriti to surreptitiously measure some of his other jumpers for proper sizing. I also looked up the colours of the Indian cricket team to use as the stripe accents.

The pattern is Sirdar 5815, which I believe is out of print. (I got the very last copy at Morris & Sons, which they actually had to cut out of the pattern book.) The white wool is Morris Empire 8ply, and the blue accents are Morris Estate 8ply. I adapted the pattern to knit the body up to the armholes in the round, then split for the front and back. I’m very happy with how it turned out! I gave it to Kunaal before he left on his wedding trip and was pleased to see that it fit. He confessed that he had actually been thinking of buying one, so it was definitely appreciated! Thanks to Kriti for helping out with the planning…

Brycie’s Outfit and Noro Ribbed Socks

Brycie’s Outfit and Noro Ribbed Socks
Brycie's OutfitA couple finished objects to report! First up is an outfit for Andrew and Kathleen‘s new son, Bryson Burton. The whole set is knitted from two balls of the new Morris Empire 4ply in “Plumage”. Details for the vest, hat, and socks are all up on Ravelry. The vest was the trickiest, in that I was adapting a Sirdar pattern for 8ply. I ended up just knitting a bigger size and hoping for the best. It worked pretty well! I delivered the set (still a bit damp from the final blocking) to the happy parents on Sunday, and hopefully they’ll be able to post a piccie of him in it soon.

Ribbed Noro SocksI also finished the Noro socks I started when I taught the Morris and Sons sock workshop last month. The pattern is Wise Hilda’s Basic Ribbed Sock, which I knitted out of Noro Kureyon Sock on two 2.75mm circular needles. (Rav details) I’m really pleased that I got the colour gradients to match up so nicely. (I wasn’t actually really trying.) I finished these off yesterday morning before work and put them straight on my feet. Man, there is nothing better than wool socks in winter. I feel my sock mojo starting to come back…

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…)

Flurry of Finishing

I had meant to make this weekend a Flurry of Finishing (with regards to my knitting) and I guess I was moderately successful.

Argosy Colts Vest Jacket Steek

Okay, first up is Argosy, which is a scarf I started a couple weeks ago as a way to use up the leftover Noro Silk Garden from the Cabled Jacket of Doom. It’s a fun little pattern to knit and it grows pretty quickly. I was nearing the end of it at the TC SnB Thursday night when Kate asked if anyone had any scrap wool to use as a stitch holder. I gave her about a foot-long piece. Would you believe that twenty-four hours later I ran short by EXACTLY THAT AMOUNT? D’oh! Rather than frogging back and making it shorter, I laboriously trimmed down all the tails from my joins and then spit-felted them all together. Yes, I spit in my own hand and rubbed the yarn in it til it joined. This scarf is riddled with my very own DNA. Hence, I’m not giving it as a gift to anyone. It’s pretty though, right?

Next is my entry in the perpetual Best Sister Ever Sweepstakes. My little brother Joey loves the Indianapolis Colts (who just won the Superbowl). So as a surprise, I made him this hooded vest. The pattern is from this great new book and I drew the intarsia graph for the logo and name myself. (It’s here if anyone wants it.) Very cute, huh? I knitted it out of Heirloom Easycare 8ply. Mom predicts he’s absolutely going to love it.

And lastly… I’m thinking of renaming it the Zombie Cabled Jacket That Just WILL NOT DIE. I had planned to finish the damn thing once and for all, but nothing with this project is easy. I did manage to get it steeked though. What’s more, I actually had one whole side of the zipper sewn in and the other one halfway done before ripping it off completely. The little cut ends were poking out, you see. It bothered me. I can’t get them to lie down nicely so I can trap them beneath the zipper. I’m thinking now of possibly ironing on some sort of interfacing just to keep them smooth. Any thoughts?

Craft Weekend

Argyle VestWhat do baby pirates wear? Arrrrrgyle!
This was a very crafty weekend. I just can’t stop knitting baby clothes! They’re like knitting crack. As soon as you finish one, you’re on to the next. My sister made an offhand comment in an e-mail recently about dressing her kid (who is now two weeks overdue) in an argyle sweater, and I immediately thought of this design. It’s Debbie Bliss’s Argyll Slip Over from Baby Cashmerino 2. I casted this sucker on Thursday night and I finished it up this morning. Isn’t it cute? It’s got two buttons at the back of the neck too so it’ll fit over the bub’s noggin. And while some might laugh at the idea of knitting a sweater vest for a newborn, I say with a name like “Penn” we might as well get the kid started now! (I’ve also got enough left over to make some matching socks, I think.)

You’d think that’d be enough craftiness for one weekend, right? WELL, YOU’RE WRONG. On to the baked goods! The Snook made the sort that you can actually eat… while I made the sort that a baby can wear. Miss Fee came over for a visit today, and the Snook stunned us both with this tea of homemade scones with whipped cream and jam. They were delicious. (For those wondering, a scone is not real far off from an American-style biscuit. Maybe just a little sweeter.) And then, the most frivolous baby knit of all time – the Baby Tart Hat. I couldn’t resist. Of course, I now also have arthritis. I knit that sucker TODAY, folks! The “crust” is Lana Gatto Jaipur while the “filling” is Debbie Bliss Cathay. So it’s basically all cotton, and the majority of it is purling bobbles. I’M SERIOUS; MY HANDS HURT. I think it’s worth it though. We’ve blown up a balloon to the appropriate baby head size and the dampened hat is now blocking. (Sis, I don’t care if you think this is the stupidest thing ever. I just want one picture of a chubby-cheeked baby wearing this thing.)

Scones     Baby Tart

Cheesylove is Finished!

CheesyloveAt long last, Cheesylove is finished! This is the Knitty pattern I started well over a year ago. At one point, I completely frogged it back to the beginning and started over (which meant re-casting on A THOUSAND stitches for the ruffle. Do you know how long it takes to do ANYTHING a thousand times? I do.). I was toying with the idea of putting short sleeves on it but in the end I decided I liked it better as a vest. Pattern notes follow.For the body of the vest, I used Heirloom EasyCare 8-ply. I can’t even remember why; it was that long ago. But it gave me the right gauge and it’s not too scratchy. The hearts are done in Heirloom Aristocrat 12-ply mohair/wool, which makes them stand out nicely. As usual, the Knitty pattern had several problems wrong with it. The biggest was that it told you to mark the side seams and then do your shaping on either side of it, without any indication which increases/decreases to use nor where to place them to ensure the ribbing didn’t get buggered. (This is part of the reason I frogged it back. My initial seamlines looked crap and it bothered me.) In the end, instead of merely marking the seam, I actually used two markers to isolate the actual side rib. Then I made paired increases/decreases in the ribs on either side of it so that they grew or shrank organically while the center rib remained whole. (Yeah, yeah, I know. It was a lot of thinking and planning for what basically amounts to the armpit of a garment. But I’m really happy with how I did it, and quite frankly I get a little thrill out of knowing that I did it the best way possible.) For the armbands, I simply picked up around the holes with the smaller sized needle and knitted 5 rows of K1P1 rib before casting off. (That way it matches the neckband.) It’s not the most stylish garment in the world, but I think I executed the design better than any other pattern I’ve tried before.