FO: Stripe Parade for Laura

It was my beloved C.S. Lewis who once said, “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…'” A few years ago, I became friends with a young woman with whom I share many common interests. We share (among many other things) a love of fashion and creating clothing. She sews; I knit.

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So when she asked me to knit her a sweater, I jumped on the opportunity. This is someone who I knew would I appreciate what I knit for her. She’s always admiring my knitting. She likes to look at my patterns and feel my yarn. She once took the yarn from my Birkin to pet-and then her mother took it and started petting it. She’s knitworthy.

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We agreed on a pattern-Stripe Parade, one of my favorites. She picked out the colors she wanted, and I bought the yarn. Then, I knit the sweater.

Man, that sweater traveled while I was knitting. It went to several baseball games. It saw Bridget Jones’s Baby three times. (What can I say? It has the hots for Colin Firth.) It went to Canada and saw three plays. (It really likes Sondheim musicals; Arthur Miller plays make it cry.) It went to Canada a second time and learned that I get really cranky during the last day of the baseball regular season.

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And then, I finished it early in a day of Poldark binge watching. I blocked it. And last night, I gave it to Laura. Okay, first I let several of our friends touch it, and I got a lot of praise for it. But the best compliment of all? I gave it to Laura and she immediately went to the bathroom to put it on.

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I think she likes it. She definitely looks good in it.

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Raveled here.

FO: Birkin

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At some point early in 2014, I discovered the Plucky Knitter. I was intrigued by her colors and the collection of bases. (And she’s from Michigan!) Somewhere in there, I bought four skeins of her Traveler Sport yarn, which is a wool/silk/yak blend, in vignette, a beautifully deep purple. I’m not sure what I originally intended for it, but it sat in my stash unused for months. Last December, I found it and began looking for the perfect sweater for it. I settled quickly on Amy Miller’s Birkin. In February, I wound the yarn. In March, I cast on, and for about two months, I worked on the body ribbing here and there when I had time. I was working on other projects during that time, and while I liked the yarn, I wasn’t committed yet. When I finally finished my Sazerac in late May, I buckled down on Birkin. It took me a while to finish the sweater, but during the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio Olympics, I finished it. IMG_2465

The pattern is well-written. I like Amy Miller’s patterns because they pull me out of my knitting comfort zone and help me to grow as a knitter. Despite having some new to me to things in the design, the directions were easy for me to follow. I figured out how to do these new things, and now I have new knitting skills.

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I adore the lace pattern. I screwed up a little at one point, but that’s the result of trying to knit a sweater while trying to watch the Tigers play the Yankees AND trying to buy yarn in Comerica Park. (Yes, I have now used the CoPa wi-fi to buy yarn. It was during a Plucky update, and I really wanted a sweater quantity of Primo Fingering in Plucky’s new Cecilia colorway.) Anyway, my screw-up fits with the rest of the design. The lace pattern was easy to memorize, and I love the way that it looks. I’m planning on using it for a cowl later this year. IMG_2472

The yarn was a dream to work with. Traveler sport is a wool/yak/silk blend, and it’s like holding a dream in your hands. I loved it. While it is a little pricier than I prefer, I definitely want to use it again. I loved the way the lace looks. IMG_2479

Aside from my baseball game mistake, the only other modification that I made was an applied i-cord edging on the neckline in place of the recommended ribbing. I was afraid of running out of yarn, and I did this to make sure that I had enough yarn to finish the sweater. I really like the way it came out; I think it adds a little class or elegance to the sweater. IMG_2482

I don’t know how well you can see her, but this picture is your first introduction to my new kitten, Madeline. I’ll blog later about who she is and why she’s in my life. But for now, that’s Miss Madeline. IMG_2494

I’m in love with this sweater. I enjoyed making it, and I love wearing it. And I might need to make myself another one someday soon.IMG_2509

Pattern: Birkin by Amy Miller

Raveled here.

 

FO: Sazerac

If you pay much attention to my knitting posts, you may have heard that I really like the work of a designer named Thea Colman. In February, Thea released a sweater pattern that I knew that I needed to make. It’s name is Sazerac, and it looked like the comfy sort of sweater that I love. Thea had used YOTH Yarns Big Sister, which is DK weight. I’d never heard of YOTH before Thea started referencing them on Instagram and in her Rav posts, but I thought I’d try them out. Thea spoke highly of them, so I sprang for a sweater quantity of Big Sister in Thyme. Thyme is a brilliant blue-green that spoke to my mood back in February. As soon as it arrived, I was in love.

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Sazerac is not a hard knit. The pattern is well-written. If you can follow a chart, the cable chart is really straight forward. To be honest, I had the chart memorized fairly quickly. The reason it took me a little more than three months to finish the sweater is that I was busy and it requires focused attention. The cabling is NOT hard to do or to memorize, but it does require that you focus on the pattern. This is not mindless knitting. This is not a pattern that you can work on while you watch War and Peace or Captain America.

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It is, however, a pattern that is definitely worth the time and the effort. Prior to this sweater, it had been quite a while since I’d made a sweater worked in pieces and seamed together. But this was worth the time. This is a gorgeous piece that I’m thrilled to have in my wardrobe for the winter.

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It’s only about 80 degrees Fahrenheit today. This sweater was only worn for the photo shoot. IMG_3135

Overall, the sweater took me five and a half skeins of Big Sister, which leaves me with a skein and a half leftover. I’m hoping to make myself a cowl for winter with that selvedge. But for now, look at more pictures of the sweater! Aren’t those cables glorious? I’m really thinking that I’ll need to make a baby blanket using this cable pattern some day. Heck, maybe that cowl I’m dreaming up will use that pattern.

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Those cables! All those books…I love books. I think that I need more books.

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Raveled here.

FO: Rolling Rock

My most recent knitting project was a another pattern from the fabulous Thea Colman. From the time I first saw the Rolling Rock pattern, I knew that I needed it. However, it took me several years to actually get around to knitting the sweater up. I was waiting for the perfect yarn.IMG_2750

The perfect yarn came in the form of the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Sport. Primo Sport is an amazing yarn. It’s soft and gorgeous. It gives any color beautiful definition. But there was something special about this color. See, this color is named “Smitten with the Mitten,” a reference to the Mitten State. And it’s the perfect color for me. It’s an amazing mix of blue and green that just feels Michigan to me. IMG_2751

The only modification I made on this one is in the front. I added a bit of the bottle lace to the front of the sweater to give it a little something extra. I think it works well. IMG_2752

As far as sizing goes, I went for a more fitted sweater. The sweater is designed with positive ease to make it a bit loose, but I wanted something a little more fitted. IMG_2753 IMG_2754

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And trust me; I’m quite pleased with the end result.

Raveled here.

FO: Cassidy Lady Sunnyside

It’s been more than a year since I last posted about knitting my first Lady Sunnyside for myself. I said then that it wouldn’t be my last. Well, about a week and a half ago, I finished my second one, and now I get to show you the pictures.

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Oh, and you get to meet one of my kittens, Scout. Her brother, Jem, refused to be photographed today, but Scouty wanted to be held the whole time I was taking these pictures. IMG_2315

The yarn is Scholar by the Plucky Knitter in the color Cassidy. It’s a rich blue that is almost impossible to photograph.IMG_2340 IMG_2348 IMG_2356 IMG_2370

I did make a few edits to the pattern. I knitted this one to hang open or be closed with a belt instead of buttoning up in the front. I also added a cable running down the sides to make this one different from my other Lady Sunnyside.

Raveled here.

Oh, and there are totally more Lady Sunnysides in my future.

FO: Stripe Parade

 

 

In late April, The Plucky Knitter released her spring pattern collection, Spring Forward, that features patterns from the Plucky Knitter herself as well as Amy Miller and Jill Zielinski. There were a few patterns that caught my eye and ended up in my library, but there was one pattern that I knew that I needed. It was Amy Miller’s Stripe Parade. I procured yarn for the sweater; I wanted to use Plucky’s primo fingering and after a bit of destash hounding, I ended up with three colors that I really liked. My goal was to make a sweater with pink and gray stripes and a purple accent stripe. It’s not exactly my normal color palette, but it is colors that I like together.

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I’m not the world’s fastest knitter, and I’ve been a bit busy this summer. (Also, in June I decided that I wanted to make it into a sweater dress instead of a regular sweater but I digress.) But I finished the sweater on Saturday morning. And I love it. It is exactly what I wanted. IMG_2384

But it’s done now, and I love it. I recommend the pattern highly. It’s well-written and easy to work with. And the yarn, well, it’s delightful. IMG_2385 IMG_2389

Raveled here.

FO: Sparkly Lifesavers

When Tanis Lavallee started posting sneak peeks of what would become the Lifesavers cardigan last summer, I knew that I needed that sweater. When the pattern came out, I wanted one RIGHT NAO. I cast on a few days after the pattern came out, and then it took me nearly three months to knit the sweater. It’s not a hard knit. The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. My problem was twofold: firstly, I was knitting it at the same time that I was working on other projects that were a higher priority for me, and secondarily, it’s a fingering-weight sweater and it went slowly.

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But it’s done now! And it’s lovely. The thing that makes my sweater unique is the fact that I used TFA’s Cosmic Blue Label for my three contrast colors. My main color was TFA blue label (80% wool, 20% nylon), but my contrasts were blue label (84% Merino, 16% Nylon) in Chris grey, blushing mauve, and dove. They sparkle, and it’s gorgeous. The sparkle is subtle but perfect. I love the little detail/delight that it adds to the sweater. I love it. And I highly recommend using Cosmic Blue Label for another Lifesavers cardigan.

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The sweater is a nice, lightweight option for spring. The yarn isn’t too heavy. (And okay, aside from the photoshoot for this post, I’m probably not going to wear it in 80 degree weather, but you know…) It’s soft, and it fits well. The thing that I really like about it is that I can wear it with a variety of different kinds of outfits. I could wear it with a skirt or over a dress, and it would look great. I could wear it with jeans, and it would look casual. Today (as you can see) I’m wearing it with my purple pants, and it looks fabulous. I really love this sweater. IMG_2286 IMG_2294 IMG_2295 IMG_2304 IMG_2309 IMG_2311 IMG_2314 IMG_2319 IMG_2337