Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Freshly Minted Sweater

You guys, I knitted a sweater! It started out with a false start, then got a little rocky, but the big reveal is below. (Spoiler! It's totally wearable!)

I totally blame all the talented knitters on Kollabora giving me serious knit lust. But you can see that I've only made knit scarves before and only with two patterns (I made the Vite cowl 3 times and the ruffle scarf 3 times).  So, I thought I would start my sweater knitting journey off simply with a piece that was knitted flat and seamed up.

I used the Corrugated Asymmetrical V-neck sweater pattern from Teva Durham's Loop-d-loop book which I had bought on a lark at a used book store, only 75 cents! It only has 2 pieces and 4 seams, and there's nothing much crazier than knits and purls.

You guys, I'm scared of cables, but at the same time I am totally infatuated with cabled sweater patterns. Somebody teach me! (I want to make this Severus pullover so bad in that awesome jade green colorway. And also Neville's sweater when I learn colorwork.  My knitting eyes are obviously way bigger than my stomach. Also Harry Potter, ahh!)

I had this pound of love acrylic yarn in this minty green, and I figured this was the most yardage of anything I have, it'll be perfect for making my first sweater since it might be an unmitigated disaster.  I only have one set of needles, and I wanted to use this yarn, so I basically fudged the gauge and called it close enough with stretching.  I wanted it to be somewhat tighter than the picture anyways.

I cast on twice as many as the smallest adult size thinking I could match gauge by adding more stitches. But I learned, that's not how you do it, and the piece I started with was not what I thought it was. I basically had the idea that I was knitting from the waist up.  I knitted a few rows before I realized something crazy was going on and then I ripped it out and started again.

So when I started, it looked like this (see below). And I was thinking, there's no way this is going to be right. It looks like a uterus. This is after I ripped out the first try. This is actually one of the sides of the sweater, you turn it sideways when you seam it together with the other piece.  I actually had started knitting the sleeve flat in this picture.


I also learned that I have freakish hulk arms and that I should probably size up in the sleeve or not decrease so dramatically.  The first sleeve I made was according to the pattern and it was comically tight and stretched out on my arm.  I debated making another but figured it would be more wearable if I did, so I scrapped the first one.

But here it is after all the trouble!  I shamelessly copied Kendi's styling with this mint and navy combo.  It's so brilliant together though, right? Totally fresher than mint and black which is what I would have defaulted to.


The jasmine blooms for about a week in the course of an entire year and then all the pretty blossoms promptly turn brown and fall off.  I tried to get these pictures in before they all started dying because that bush is pretty marvelous if just for that one week.


I actually nixed the corrugated pattern on the sleeves since I thought they looked kind of frumpy and opted for stockinette all the way down and then used a modified rib knit for the cuff. I thought it would be fun to have a nonstandard cuff so I finally settled on [K1, P1, K1, P3] repeat around the cuff.


I think it ended up a little short (and tight!), so it's more of a cropped sweater.


Totally learned and practiced my JSSBO (Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off) on the cuffs! I made the mistake of using a traditional bind off on the first extremely tight sleeve, and it was all I could do to get it over my hand.


Strappy dresses/tops only under this thing I guess since the neckline is so weird.  It's definitely a cool effect though.

I have no idea how much yardage I ended up using, but there is still a comically large ball of yarn left even though I was convinced I was going to use up much more than I did.

Not bad for my first try, eh? I still have yet to wear this out anywhere (do I dare?) but it's been quite hot, so that's my excuse.  I actually have a second sweater in the works right now, and it's already looking much better than this one!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


That's pronounced cro-SHAY-vees.

Crochet + cavies = crochetvies!

Look at those sweet furry and yarny faces! 



They're my furriest inspirations :)

Anyone else doing some pet related crafting?

Monday, July 14, 2014

A little bit of crafting, a lot of sewing, and no blogging

My apologies to anyone still out there.. sorry I've been so lackluster around these parts!

But it's hard work keeping up the blog. For the most part, I've been doing a lot of uninteresting things, with the exception of a few big events. However, it's hard to set aside time to put together a blog post when that time could be spent frustratingly enjoyably sewing. Plus, I'm a little camera shy, and a lot of my recent makes involve me gussying myself up and preening for the camera (in a preferably picturesque locale). You can see why I don't do this.

Funnily enough, my friend just posted about blogging procrastination. It's a much funnier version of what this post essentially says (TL;DR Sorry I suck at blogging). Go check it out, she's a very funny lady.

I thought I would just share this little phone snapshot of a bit of embroidery work that I did on some lab coats for work. The university provides us with lab coats with personalized embroidery but there's a turn around time of at least 6 weeks. And it didn't work out with a student worker, so we got these two with his name even though he'd been long gone. I took the liberty of unpicking/cutting off the embroidery and going over it with a little bit of hand embroidery of my own to hide the many pin holes left behind by the previous name.


I'm hoping to up my blogging game in the coming months since I'm going to try and do Sally's summer stash-bust challenge. I've already technically finished a piece after June 21, but sadly I have no pictures to do it justice. So, I'm just going to have to suck it up and go out there dressed to the nines to pose for a self timer.  Blogging is weird, right?

Incidentally, you may still yet see some interesting side projects that I have been working on (cloth napkins! wood burning!)

Is blogging about your life weird when you don't do much? Or maybe it takes a certain kind of person to like blogging? Anyone else out there with me on this?