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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In August of 2013, I picked up my knitting needle and some scrumptious Tanis Fiber Arts purple label yarn in the gorgeous Midnight colorway and started knitting a sweater. It was going to be a ¾ sleeved cardigan with a lovely lace motif in the upper back. I knit the sleeves and I started the body, but I quickly realized that this wasn’t what I wanted. So I threw it all aside with the intent of coming back to it later.
Occasionally, I would pick it up and work on it a bit, but it wasn’t much of a priority for me. Somewhere in the winter of 2013-14, I decided to move it from the original size 4 needles unto a pair of size 6 needles and take it from being a cardigan to being a pullover. I dabbled with that pullover when I was bored with everything else until late March of this year. Then, I decided that I was going to focus on this pattern in earnest. I was going to finish this pullover so that I could wear it this spring. My goal was to finish it before I went to Holland in late May because I had this weird goal of wearing it by Lake Michigan. (Please note that it is not yet late May; I have accomplished my goal.)
I worked the sweater up to the row before the sleeve join on the size 6 needles. Then I switched the whole thing back to the size 4 needles. Here, to give the piece a little more visual interest, I worked two rows in aurora (one on 6s, one on 4s). Then I went back to midnight when I joined the sleeves. The rest of the sweater was worked on size 4s.
After the sleeve join, I worked a three-stitch diagonal line in aurora on the right side of the back. It gives a little more visual interest, and I think it makes the sweater more fun. I ended that diagonal line with a single row in Aurora across only the back. Two inches above that row, I worked another row in aurora. I think that this makes the sweater unique and more “me.”
I bound off with an attached i-cord. After a good soak, the part of the sweater that was knit on size 6 needles grew, turning the sweater into a tunic. The yarn is soft, comfortable, and gorgeous. I am very pleased with the results.
Usually, when I write a finished object post, I like to tell you some story about how I found some pattern that I loved and some amazing yarn. Today shall be no different. One Tuesday in early January, Mary Annarella released a new pattern, and as soon as I saw the Enfield Pullover, I knew that I needed it. Then, I noticed that she used the Plucky Knitter‘s Snug Worsted, and I got even more excited. I was scheduled to have a sweater quantity of snug worsted in Skies of November coming in early February.
So, the yarn came, and I started knitting the sweater. It’s a very clear pattern and very easy to follow. The construction is slightly different from anything that I’ve done previously because you build up the back and sleeves for a bit before you cast on the front. This is designed to deepen the neckline, and I think it’s a great design feature.
It’s also a pretty quick knit. And the end result is gorgeous. I love it. The yarn is soft and warm. The color is gorgeous. And while I don’t think (and I don’t hope) that this sweater will get too much wear this winter, I’m pretty stoked that I’ll have it around for next winter.
For the third straight year, I’m participating in Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club. The first pattern of the 2015 club was Wex, which Tanis (rather brilliantly) paired with a rainbow-colored skein of cosmic blue label.
Here’s what I’ll tell you about this pattern. It’s pretty easy to memorize (eventually), which makes it great traveling knitting-once you’ve memorized the pattern. It also grows pretty quickly, so you can see your progress as you’re knitting. This is also really comforting. But the absolute best thing about this was the color of the yarn.
Look at that color. It’s so bright and cheery and happy and sparkly. That was a major motivator for me to knit this shawl so quickly. I just wanted to look at something that wasn’t white or gray or snow. I’m already thinking about starting another one. Raveled here.
At some point last fall-maybe in September, I started seeing pictures of an absurdly fabulous cabled cardigan pop up on Thea Colman’s instagram feed. I was smitten, and I knew that I had to buy this pattern and knit it up-as soon as Thea released the pattern. By mid-November, I knew that the pattern would be released about a week before Thanksgiving.
Shortly before Thea released the pattern, I received my November shipment for the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour. When I saw the “cloudless” color, I knew that this was the color that I had to knit this sweater out of. So, once Thea released the pattern, which we all now know as Chartreuse, I contacted Tanis and asked her if I could place a special order for a sweater quantity of cloudless on orange label-her worsted weight wool/cashmere/silk blend. She got it to me by early December, and then it was just a matter of finishing up my other WIPs so I could make this sweater.
To sweeten the deal for me, Thea is hosting a Knit-Along in her Ravelry group that began in early January, and that provided me with extra motivation to knit the sweater. I finished it yesterday-a mere 34 days after I started it, and I’m completely in love with this sweater. The pattern is straightforward and easy to follow; it’s also MUCH easier than I thought it might be. And it’s beautiful. As soon as I knew the sweater was done blocking, I put it on. And I’m refusing to ever take it off ever. I’m planning on living in this sweater.
I used approximately seven skeins of orange label to make the sweater, and I’m completely thrilled with the end result. I love the way that orange label makes cables squooshier. It’s a warm, snuggly sweater, and it’s exactly what I need for this cold winter we’re having.
And for the record, I’m planning on making another one at some point in the not too distant future.
The final pattern of the 2014 Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour was the Tantramar Toque. It is a beautiful pattern with gorgeous colors-concord and cloudless. It’s lovely colorwork. But I’m not a hat person. So, I turned it into a cowl.The colorwork is addictive, and I’m planning on working it into a future sweater that I’m dreaming about. The colors are beautiful, and I love cloudless so much that I’m making a sweater in that color right now. The yarn is warm and snuggly. Overall, it’s awesome. I finished it a few weeks ago, and I finally took pictures of it today. Raveled here.