January 29, 2012

finished julia

Pattern: 'Best Friends Pullovers - Julia's Sweater' by Kristin Nicholas (in 'Color by Kristin')
Yarn: Nashua Handknits Julia (wool, mohair, alpaca) in 'magenta', 'squash', blue thyme', 'coleus', 'velvet  moss', and 'lady's mantle'

I've had the yarn in my stash for about a year with the intention of making this sweater, so I'm glad I finally set aside some time to do it. It only took a little over 2 weeks, while working on other stuff as well, so it was pretty fast. The worsted weight helped, too. And this yarn! Such loveliness in this fibre blend and the colours are saturated and gorgeous.

The pattern itself is great, too. The motifs in the charts are interesting and the embroidered embellishments are fun additions (there are also supposed to be French knot thingies on the tops of some of the flowers which I attempted and failed miserably at, so they're omitted).

I did find the collar needed decreases added to the corners or else it stood up awkwardly, then I shortened it so the opening wouldn't be too small. I also wish the sleeve openings were a touch longer. Once you have steek remnants and hem stitches in there they bunch a bit under the arms. I lengthened the sleeves by several inches, since the pattern has 3/4 length and I wanted full. Otherwise, I'm generally happy with this warm sweater, and I think the girl likes it.

January 23, 2012


Pattern: Variance by Lisa Mutch
Yarn: dk weight 2-ply yarn I spun from NorthboundKnitting Superwash BFL roving in 'Wicked Witch of the North' colourway

The NorthboundKnitting group on Ravelry is having a knit-along and I couldn't resist using this gorgeous yarn I spun last fall from Lisa's fibre. I love these colours and her wonderful cowl pattern is a perfect vehicle to use handspun yarn to its best advantage. It even wraps twice around your neck for maximum warmth. Love. Love. Love.

January 21, 2012

more julia

Now that the holiday knitting season has passed I've reverted back to my old habits of working on too many projects at once. Bad me. So I'm trying to finish up several smaller things this week to check off my list while I work on the above obsession. The body's now done save for blocking and doing the embroidery bits on the row of flowers. You can see how it's a basic tube with steeked sleeve openings and neck. No shoulder shaping, either. Even though it's fair isle, the worsted weight means it's knitting up super fast.

It's crazy cold and we've all been sick this week, but the upside is it's fantastic knitting time. Stay warm, peeps.

January 14, 2012

winter winds

Oh, January. Why must you bring dreary, freezing weather, winter winds and stomach flus? In rebellion, I've played hooky from the projects I probably should be doing right now and turned out a fast gift for my friend's birthday...

Pattern: Gretel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in colour # 21211

and started a colourful pullover for the girl that's cheering up the dreariness...

Pattern: Best Friends Pullover - Julia's Sweater by Kristin Nicholas
Yarn: Nashua Handknits Julia

I've made Gretel once before and I love the pattern and its fabulous cables. The Rialto Aran is a great yarn for stitch definition and would be perfect for any cable project. The Julia yarn is also wonderful - it's a merino, mohair, alpaca blend with a soft and lovely halo and saturated colours. I just realized Ravelry indicates it's now discontinued which is a huge shame. I'm thoroughly enjoying this quick and interesting project.

Also, here's a modelled shot of the wee sweaters I made my niece's sons last month. Are they not the cutest brothers ever?

Stay warm and knit what pleases you.

January 2, 2012

first FO of 2012

Happy new year! I hope 2012 brings you much in the way of good things.

I have some resolutions, including finally finishing up several projects that have been lying around here for far too long. The following is a good example, started about a year ago for my sweetie. It's the Cambridge Jacket by Ann Budd, in Cascade 220 Heathers colour #2425. I don't usually match the called-for yarn and colour exactly, but I really liked the heathery burnt orange of this one.

I made many mods to this pattern, including lengthening the body and sleeves and working the sleeves from the top down using short row cap shaping. I'm happy I did because it allowed me to fine tune the length several times. I also skipped the crochet chain edging in the pattern (because many Ravelers said theirs rolled up continuously) and did hemmed cuffs on the sleeves and body with a grey contrast lining.

I like the bit of weight this gives the bottom and grey and orange are a favourite combo of mine. I think I'm also growing fond of zippered cardigans.