Nachtfalter

Well a few weeks ago I finished my Nachtfalter (my submission for the Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL), but with all of the spinning and knitting that I have been doing I am just getting around to posting about it now.

The Nachtfalter is a fun and addictive knit that looks way harder than it actually is, as long as you can read a pattern, knit and purl you should be fine.

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The butterfly lace section of the top was a lot of fun and was very easy to memorize. After the first lace repeat section was done I had the pattern memorized and I didn’t have to look at it until it came to the garter section.

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I lengthened everything about this top which I am very glad I did because I prefer my tops to be longer.

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Pattern: Nachtfalter

Project page: here

Yarn: Jilly by Dream in Color

Colorway: Poppy

Mods: I did the size small but followed the measurements for large on the baby cable ribbing and butterfly lace, medium for the sleeve holes, and small for the top garter section. I also used a fingering weight yarn, the pattern calls sport/dk, but I got gauge with the exact needles size called for.

I surprisingly only used 682 yards which I am kind of glad because I loved the yarn and color and now I have some left over yarn to use for stripes or something small.

The yarn is to die for, it is up there in my top three favorite single ply yarns. Northbound Knitting and Madelinetosh’s tosh merino light being the other two. Jilly is one of Dream in Color’s newest bases and it is amazing and has a ton of fabulous colors. I had a hard time picking what colors and I ended up buying two other colors  for other things.

 

 

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DownEast

Well the never ending saga of me and the DownEast sweater finally came to a close today. It finally dried and the rain finally let up so I could take some pictures and blog about it.

As you have read or those of you who are new to the blog are lucky and haven’t had to read my endless complaining about this sweater. The complaining is now over. I think I have finally decided what ultimately is wrong with this sweater and it isn’t the pattern. It’s the yarn, I hate it. It wasn’t right for this project, as you can see in the pictures below the sweater is a little bit see-through and I have decided it is because the yarn wasn’t bulky enough.  Another strike against the yarn is the fact that I just didn’t enjoy working with it, though it is a wool blend it has acrylic in it and well I hate acrylic. I will admit that I am a yarn snob and well acrylic is not my cup of tea. I use it from time to time, but those projects are never for me and the person has generally hired me to make it so to keep it the item at a decent price I compromise and use cheap yarn.

*Disclaimer I am not saying that this yarn is horrible in anyway, I had no problems with the yarn its self. I just didn’t enjoy working with it and it was the right yarn for this project.

I think besides all of my mishaps stupid mistakes with this project ultimately not enjoying the yarn is why this project lingered on the needles so long.

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IMG_5108The pattern on the other hand is really well written and is beautiful. The sample of the pattern page is knit up on Swans Island (Out of my price range when I went to buy yarn, but is totally worth the money if you have it) and I figure that if I would have chose that yarn it would have turned out perfect and it wouldn’t even be see-through.

Pattern: DownEast

Designer: Alicia Plummer

Yarn: Berroco Vintage Chunky

Colorway: Tide Pool

Mods: none

Project page: here

Gift Knitting

I am a humongous selfish knitter. There I said it and I am not ashamed! I like knitting for myself, there is just something about spending that much money and putting that much time into something that I just hate to give it away. Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love making knitted gifts for my family, especially now since they seem to appreciate it more, but there still nothing like knowing the thing you are working for is staying with you.

This project however is not staying with me though (you might have figured that out with the title),  it is going to a family friend. My friend Barb who is basically like an Aunt to me admires my knit wear, and it just so happens that her daughter do too! You might remember this past Christmas when I talked about a family friend that hired me to make four shawls for her four daughters, that’s Barb (by the way her daughters love the shawls). Well this time Barb asked me to make a cardigan that would be a Birthday gift for her daughter (happily only one daughter this time), and as usual I said yes. She had already decided that she wanted to have me make the Grace because her daughter saw me wearing it and really liked it. Then after much discussion and pining over colors we decided that I was going to make it in tosh light colorway antique lace.  So here it is!

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Luckily her daughter is around the same size as me, just shorter, so I was able to try it on as I went.

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I have already made myself a Grace cardigan so I knew what to expect so it made it a truly easy project. This time though I decided that once I separated the sleeves from the body I would  knit the sleeves just to get them out of the way. I really liked getting the sleeves out of the way, plus it was super nice to not have the weight of the sweater weighing you down when you work on the sleeves.

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I did reinforce the button band like I did for the first grace I made. It still has some kinks to be worked out, but the process was much smoother this time around.

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Overall it was a great knit and once I was finished I was kind of sad to see it go because of all the hard work I put into it and well the color is just lovely. But then I told myself that I am knitting the hitofude in that exact color and I already have a grace in a neutral which made parting with it easier.

Pattern: Grace

Designer: Jane Richmond

Project page: here

Yarn: Tosh merino light

Colorway: Antique lace

End of the Month of WIP’s

Well March has come and gone and boy I am glad it is gone. The month of March was not very kind to me and well the amount of school work was ridiculous, but I know that this month will be worst. Well anyways the month of wip’s was decently productive, I finished 4 projects, 2 sweaters, 1 pair of socks, and a shawl; I still have two shawls, a pair of socks, a sweater left on the needles. I have decided now that I must have at least one but hopefully two of the leftover wip’s done by the end of the following months. Being that the sweater, socks, and one shawl are in the final stretch I don’t think it will be too bad.

So the finished wip’s round-up I guess will start with the one we already talked about, the dissent:

IMG_5018As I stated in the last post this is the dissent shawl by Lisa Mutch, and well I love it.

Now for the socks:

IMG_5034The socks are the Climb socks by Jane Richmond. They were first published in the Journey book, but they are up for individual sale (I do recommend the book though, it is just lovely and the other patterns in the book are beautiful). I think my favorite feature of the socks besides the stripes would have to be the heel. I adore the make-up of this heel, I think what made me like this heel so much was the fact that I didn’t have to worry about the gaping that happens when you turn the heel.

Now the sweaters, first up is the Eastwood Cardigan, and boy is this cardigan fun!

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This cardigan has tons of  fun details and an interesting construction that made working on it a treat! I mean there really isn’t anything bad i can say about this cardigan, I mean it has stripes, it has pockets, and it has a fun triangle pattern on the front panels. The Eastwood Cardigan is an Allyson Dykhuizen design that was published in Holla Knits. The yarn was enjoyable, but just like the Dissent shawl above is also discontinued, but if you are curious the yarn is Sheffield from Valley yarns, it is a merino, angora, silk base.

The final sweater is the Rolling Rock.

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The Rolling Rock is another Thea Coleman design and as usual it did not disappoint. It has all the features that I have come to expect which are: an enjoyable knit, a great and easy to read pattern, and fun design features. I just love this sweater, but I fear that I have ran out of weather to wear it in being that we have been in the upper 60’s and 70’s this week.

The yarn for this pattern was a treat to work with (I actually used the yarn the pattern calls for which is pretty rare for me), it is plucky traveler sport in the colorway November Skies. It is lovely and well this was my first experience with plucky and I was not disappointed. Plucky is pricey, but the quality of the yarn and the colors make it totally worth it. This yarn has a great depth of color to it that I don’t think any picture could do justice.

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And the games began

Well the Olympics started and before I knew it they were over. My goal for the Olympics was to start and finish two sweaters and as I stated in my last post I only got one finished because I didn’t get the right amount of yarn and when I realized it and ordered the yarn it was too late to get it in on time. So the yarn arrived this past Monday and because of my frustration of not meeting my goal the sweater is in time out.

The sweater I got finished is called the Sundottir (originally called Skydottir but due to copyright issues the name was changed). I thoroughly enjoyed this sweater. Even though my first time starting it I cast on for the wrong size and didn’t realize until I was about 5 inches in so I had to rip out and start all over. The second time around everything turned out perfectly, but during the body of the sweater I was incredibly sick so I don’t even remember working on most of it, but happily it turned out perfectly.

This is my first completed Brooklyntweed pattern, I have a pair of socks started and almost finished that was published through Brooklytweed, but it got put on the back burner during the Olympics.

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I really enjoyed the yarn I used. The yarn is Kenzi by Hikoo. It is a 50% Merino Wool/ 25% Nylon/ 10% Angora/ 10% Alpaca/ 5% Silk blend and it feels fabulous. It has a rustic tweedy look, but is soft and washes up beautifully. It was a great substitute for the Brooklyntweed yarn. I haven’t used Brooklyn tweed yet but as you saw in my last post I just got some so I don’t know if I like one more than the other, but Kenzi is a semi affordable yarn if you can’t afford to get Brooklyntweed yarn.

Pattern: Sundottir

My project page: here

Yarn: Kenzi

Mods: I lengthened the arms by about and inch and a half and I am sure glad I did. I have been told I have monkey arms, basically saying that I have really long arms and on average I should technically add length to the arms of any sweater I make. Other than that it was a perfect well written pattern that I would totally suggest to any one.

I knit it up to have no ease and in my opinion the sweater fits perfectly! The sweater also had some back short row shaping that was really nice and I think enhanced the fit of the sweater.

Now onto my shamefully unfinished sweater. It is the Downeast sweater by Alicia Plummer. Like I mentioned above I didn’t get the right amount of yarn so I had to order the yarn. With ordering new yarn I knew it would be a new dye lot so I waited to start the sleeves because I didn’t want any weird striping due to different dye lots. But actually with this sweater nothing seemed to go right. The yarn I ordered back in November was back-ordered until a week before the Olympics started, my local yarn store was out of the double pointed needle size I needed for the sweater so I had to borrow a friends who I luckily got to randomly see because of a class and then I ran out of yarn. It feels like I am not suppose to ever finish this sweater. But enough complaining. Here is my sad unfinished sweater that will be finished next month during the month of WIP’s.

Sorry for the poor quality Iphone picture.

Sorry for the poor quality Iphone picture.

The yarn is berroco vintage chunky which is a decent yarn, it has some acrylic in it and I’m not a fan of acrylic, but it worked for this sweater. I’m not sure if I would use this yarn again. I will post more about this sweater (no complaining promise as long no new obstacle pop up while making the sleeves) once I finish it.

How did your Olympic knitting go? Did you participate in the knitting Olympics? What are you knitting on?

52

52, that’s the number of finished knitting projects I made this year! That is 20 more than last year and 17 more than my all time high in 2011. Because there are so many I decided that I am only going to hit on the top two of each of these categories: most interesting, most annoying, most enjoyable, and most used and well loved things that I made.

First off, the most interesting:

This was my first ever mystery KAL and first ever Stephen West knit. This shawl really pushed me and made me step out of my comfort zone. It was rather exciting not knowing how it would turn out and it was even more exciting to see it finished. This pattern probably had the most interesting construction, which is why it is my number one most interesting.

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One more shot of it.

Next most interesting would have to be the mandeville. I haven’t really talked about it yet because the pattern hasn’t been released yet, but I had a lost of fun with it and it too had a very interesting construction.

IMG_4779 IMG_4780I will talk more about the madeville one it gets released.

Now for the most annoying:

Coincidentally they are both Christmas gifts. First up are the sock monkey booties. The reason they are so annoying was because the pattern that I bought was not very well written so I had to rip them out and mix two patterns to get this finished object.

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The second would have to be the afterglow, but that was because I made stupid mistakes in sizing, I wrote more on the  sock monkey and afterglow patterns on my ravelry project pages so to save space you can visit those to find out the problems.

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Now for the most enjoyable knits of 2014, in first place is the tonic water by babycocktails!

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The tonic water was actually a gift for my cousin that I just finished yesterday just in time for her Birthday which was yesterday. The reason this was so enjoyable is because it is incredibly well written (which is to be expected I mean it is from babycoctails), but it also looks way more complicated than it really is! I just couldn’t be happier with out it turned out and I loved knitting it up because it had just enough going on the I was always interested, but never overwhelmed. Plus the pattern is pretty easy to memorize.

In second place is the thorough bred by Alicia Plummer.

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These mitts were so enjoyable the pattern was so much fun, easy to memorize and oh so simple. Also the yarn I used is just wonderful.

Now on to the most used and well loved things of this year. This section is quite difficult because I love all of my hand knits, but if I have to choose they would be the grace and the chocolate stout.

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I wear both of these cardigans a lot! They fit so well into my wardrobe and they totally are by go to sweaters for outfits.

While looking back through my list of categories and seeing all of the pictures I am reminded of what was going on throughout the year while making those knits, it’s been a long year and I can’t decide if I am sad to see it go or not. A lot of things have happened and it’s funny how things have changed, but it really doesn’t seem to be a big change.

And now I will leave you with the most recent finished Christmas gift, my sisters holden, modeled by my sister.

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My mom is still patiently waiting for her present which will get finished after the new year. I’m also sad to report that I have at most 6 WIP’s that will be following me into the new year, hopefully if tonight goes well it will only be 5, but those except for my dang helix scarf will get finished within the first two weeks of the new year so I can start some new stuff!

Happy New Years Eve everyone!

Too much to knit, so little time

The Christmas season is quickly approaching and I think this maybe the most behind I have ever been since my first Christmas of Christmas knitting. It just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. There are a lot of things to blame for me being behind in Christmas knitting and for the most part it is all my fault. First thing is school work, I have a lot of it and well I the past few weeks I haven’t felt like working on it so it has been taking me forever to get it done (I just recently started having more of a desire to get my homework done early). Secondly I have been biting off  more than I should, I have been volunteering to test knit like crazy. I still have two test knits on the needles which due dates are surprise surprise, in December or January for them. And thirdly I still have so much stuff that I want to make myself that I only want to be selfish.

On the plus side I have my two biggest projects for Christmas knitting almost out of the way, as I mentioned over the summer I made a sweater for my niece and now I am finishing up my nephews sweater. I am knitting him the flax in a bright blue color, I am about halfway done with the body of it and coincidentally it is great textbook reading knitting.

So now that all of that mess is out of the way I have a pretty great announcement.

My Ease by Alicia Plummer is finally finished! After months of talking about it and posting WIP pics it is done and I love it!

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So here is my project page.

yarn: Cascade 220

colorway: walnut heather

I love the yarn and the color of it! The sweater is great too! It is just so comfy and warm. I had been really wanting to make it for a while and I so glad that I finally did! The only thing that I wish I would have done differently would be to go down a size or two on the neck to make it stand up better.

Oh yeah and now my niece and I can be twinsies when I give her her Christmas gift! Yay! But don’t worry in case you don’t remember my niece is getting one in pink.