that other cardigan WIP: purple flower doily cardigan

The sleeve does not sit well. I think I need more room across the upper back of my back.

Also the transition from the back flower doily panel to the sleeve is not neat:

I will frog the sleeve, give the back panel a nice finish and then pick up stitches for the sleeve.

When the sleeves are done I will pick up stitches along the fronts and give it a wide shawl like “button band”. Close it with a shawl pin.

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Wrangling some garment WIPs

I took a look at my Contiguous Blue cardi:

It’s the sister of my Deco Cardi which are both made from one kilo total of that lovely Donegal Yarns Irish Heather, straight from Ireland.

This WIP is more round and friendly than Deco Cardi. Deco Cardi is more… deco.

It’s too wide at the back:

It’s too small at the front. It’s meant to close flush but it’s not meant to stretch like that over the bust.

I frogged it up to the sleeves (y’all still don’t like the word arm pit, do you?) and will reknit, decreasing at the back for my sway back and inserting bust darts in the front. Aran weight, needle 4,5 mm, it should go fast. I already started the cuff of second sleeve last evening, winging a copy of the detail in the first sleeve:

It’s a 3 under 2 cable, then purling 2 of those 3 and slip the 3rd. Then it’s 2 over 3 cable and knit that first stitch together with the one you just slipped. Not just knit it: make a bobble. k, yo, k, yo, k. And give it long loops because you’re not k5tog for at least 2 rows.

Then the rest of the cable: p2, k2 and p rest of sleeve round.
Make two rounds (all p, except for the two 2k from the leaf edge or frame)
Next round: k5tog from the bubble. All other stitches inside the leaf are purl stitches.
Now closing the leaf by decreasing the k-edge/frame over the p-stitches inside the frame. When the k-frame meets it’s just a double decrease in k.

Now knitting on some more because the existing sleeve is too short. Have to decide on an edge too. Either a rolled hem or garter stitch.

I frogged Yuuret, a WIP from 2013:

A wonderful pattern, Yuuret (Roots) by Kessa Tay Anlin:

It uses the cable for shaping and it would serve my sway back so well!

I’ve spend months on knitting and reknitting it, trying to get it to work on my body. But the way the cable determines the shaping and where you have to put the decreases and at which pace if you change the pattern is just too difficult. And all that seed stitch!

My style has also deviated from the clearly fairy tale vibe this pattern has. Hee hee, I’ve gone into stealth fairy tale mode 😉

Yuuret was frogged, the yarn was soaked and I started arching cables jacket by Mercedes Tarasovich with the yarn because why finish a WIP when you can start another?

Fun pattern. You start with the belt, then work up. I like the shaping at the back. I thought: “Right! A nice pattern and I will just follow it to the lettre. No thinking needed, just mindfull mindless knitting.”

So I knitted the belt. Started three times. First according to pattern. Then decided it would be too small so started again with extra stitches at the sides. Then realized this pattern looks best with stitches picked up at the end of the cable, not the end of the belt, and restarted with the fewer stitches, according to pattern.

Then I studied some of the project pages and saw that the pattern probably benefits from a bit of tweaking when you’re a small person with big busts. Bust dart probably. But keep the edge of the front panel fitting, don’t make it too loose.

Giving some attention to how the belt overlaps and where to pick up stitches, to avoid gaping. At least change the lower part, the pendulum…penta…what’s the word.. the little “skirt” under the belt. PEPLUM! It tends to draw in and this looks weird on people like me who have a tummy and/or like to breathe with their belly.
Besides, the yarn is a hard blue. (Dyed it myself)(years ago)(my taste changed)(not sure I’d wear a hard blue anything much)

Anyway. It’s now parked in the Raku yarn bowl in the middle of the sitting room. By no means stuffed in the closet. Yet.

I then took a look at Silver Buttercup or what was left of it after last week’s frogging session:

I’ve got to be honest with myself here: it stretches over the bust (not super comfortable to wear) and the way the lace bits stretches… that’s just painful to a knitter’s eye.

Here it is in non-pained condition:

I frogged it up to the start of the waves. “If I just put in a couple of more waves, making sure the “dip” is still at centre front, then it will be fineeeee.”

No it won’t. I won’t have enough yarn. So I’m going to frog it all and start over, in another year or so. See if I can bring in some colour stripes, to save the grey yarn. Speaking of grey: my hair is turning rapidly. I am loosing contrast in my face. Wearing a grey top like this will wash me out more.

So that’s where the colour will go: at the neckline and probably the whole of that lacey bit too. If I find a suitable yarn that will play with this silk cotton blend by Rico.

Nijntje Sweater!

Looks good. Separated for sleeves. Knit on for at least another hand’s width. Then start designing those stranded flowers.

Good 🙂 mindless mindfull knitting.

Crazy Stripes sweater was fixed by sewing.
I determined the excess flap and pinned it with clothes pins that happened to be stuck on our bathroom mirror (?? my husband is an odd one)(well, isn’t everybody’s spouse?)

I put the sweater on my sewing table, centre front on centre back. Can you see what’s weird here?

Front excess is one finger wide, back a full three fingers wide.

That’s what you get when you put the mammas in mammal. The front of my garments need more room than the backs. That’s what bust darts do. That’s why the back of all my sewing patterns have less width than the front. Not only at the bust but also below the waist because I have a tummy and a sway back.

For this knitting garment the side seam is not at the exact side of the garment. But it is at the exact side of me. Here CF is not at CB but the excess flap now has as much width at the front as it has at the back:

Sewed it shut, with a wide straight stitch, just to determine fit. Here worn inside out because that’s how you determine fit when sewing darts:

Looks good to me. I will knit on, towards the hem. I will deal with how to finish that dart properly later.

I made decisions on two other garments but I’m done writing for now. I’ll let you know about those two later. The funny thing is I could not make decisions on all my WIPs (there are five more!) because I’m now fired up to knit on the garments I mention here. I don’t want any more to deal with, I just want to knit these!

Contiguous Blue, Nijntje sweater, Crazy Stripes and Little Flower Cardigan (more on that one a next time).

A better armhole and nice things on the walls.

This is the new armhole:

Much better!

It may still look a bit large but in my experience it shapes up when you pick up stitches (3 for every 4 rows) and start the sleeve. Tubes always feel more narrow.

I kept the increases at the neckline the same because I will attach a shawl collar to it. It feels a bit weird, having fronts that do not close and a neckline that even runs over the apex of the bust. But my Grey Pumpkin Ale has the same neckline and wears very nicely with its shawl collar. (And this yarn is soft enough to wear next to the skin.)

Oooh, what’s that behind me, in the hallway? Is that an embroidered cat?

It is!
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
This is a vintage embroidery I found at the thrift store many years ago. Somebody put lots of love and effort in this! It came with the frame too.
I often stand before it and have a little pause, appreciating it.

It hangs over my birthday calendar, right between the front door and the hooks where we keep our keys. Under it hangs a small ceramic cat hanger, bought at the x-mas market in Muenster. There used to be some glass x-mas baubles there too, all year round. A happy little hippo and a cat, but they broke in the course of time.

The first few years we had the cabin I’d go to the church thrift store in the village here. This was before thrifting gained a main interest. It was just old farmers bringing their stuff and trying to raise some money for (the roof of) the church. It was an empty building with local ladies volunteering and a table with a coffeepot and a tin with cookies for people to have a sit and chat.

I’d look for old handmades with a friendly vibe to put on the wall of the cabin. My foot treadle sewing machine is from there too. And my kitchen scales. Most of the crockery. Some hand tools.

In later years having friendly decorations became more important as I had fallen ill by then and was staying at the cabin permanently. I’d lie on the couch most of the day, not able to move or think, and it was vital to have friendly things in sight, wherever my gaze fell. This is the wall opposite my couch:
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
The embroidered cats came from the thrift store, the rest are gifts from Ravelers (=people from Ravelry). All from people who understood I had to be approached softly but not tepidly. Most of them I hadn’t met in real life when they send me things. There are hummingbirds under the lamp 🙂

Over the years family and ravelers send cards and handmades and I stuck them on my walls and they encouraged me when I felt down:
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
The birdy paperclips were a birthday present.

Above my sewing machine these two hang:
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
That pincushion is a handmade taking hours of love, also a present from a Raveler 🙂 Someone I’ve met maybe twice in the past 8 years! Talked to her online four times total. You don’t need to be an active presence in my life to contribute significantly to my wellbeing 🙂

The wren I painted myself, sometime in the last century. The frame is all oak, from the church thrift store.

And this is the window sill next to my sewing machine, right over the chair Lillepoes loves to sleep on. It’s also opposite my couch so I’ve seen these cards every day all day long for the last 8 years 🙂
cabin cosy decoration cat window sill cat embroidery
Cards from Ravelers, handmade pincushions, cats and fairytales. These are the four subjects my happiness revolved around for all the time I’ve been ill 🙂 I’d simply enjoy the colours and the sentiments if I was very brainfogged. I’d explore compositions and alternative storylines if I had two braincells to rub together.

I no longer live at the cabin. I’m a city girl now.
Times have changed here too. The thrift store has moved into a real store and is now a professional venue. They still have coffee but it’s a machine now: drink up while you shop.
The old farmers have all gone and their (grand)children have sold all their stuff online, cashing in on “vintage”.

We visit the cabin for short stays now. A weekend here, a midweek there. I slide right back into the old habits of friendliness and peace. But it is not sustaining me anymore if I stay here for longer periods. If I stay here longer than 5 days by myself, I get antsy and sad. I feel society’s progress closing in. There’s always more traffic, more people, more stuff being build around here. Time is running through my fingers.

It’s still a safe haven but it’s edges are defined now.
I wonder where the next decade will see us. Me and the cabin.

By the way, I recognize this antsy-ness, the feeling of being restrained. It’s the sign of one door closing and not yet seeing which window opened. It’s the sign of new opportunities. Ones you can forge yourself, should you desire to.

It’s an uneasiness I know from points in my careers, studies, relationships, internet groups, society as a whole, you name it. So I’m not unsettled by the uneasiness itself. After all, it’s the breeding ground that brings forth the most innovative things.

It’s the possibility to determine and forge a new direction that hinders me. It feels like an obligation. Be smart. Act.

But I’m not ready to bring the cabin to a new era. I’m still very much attached to old ways, old nature and old embroidered cats on the walls.

Or other beasts:
cabin kitchen wall decoration embroidery bird gaai
(that’s the wall above my stove:)
cabin kitchen wall decoration embroidery bird gaai

Once, twice, Little Flower Cardigan

It’s happening again…

Is it a knitting law?
That whenever you knit a fitted garment you actually knit it twice. Knit once, wisen up, rip it out, knit it again, better.

This is my Little Flower Cardigan. The one from my handdyed sportsweight, where I start with a lace backpanel and then improvise a cardigan, inspired by Dahlia Cardigan. Two weeks ago I blocked the back panel in the cabin:

And then I spend all the time I didn’t knit on the green handspun rolls vest calculating and knitting the two front panels to the back panel. I had to figure out the rate of increases and the armhole and where to pick up the parked stitches from the back panel.

I used Grande Plage cardigan  by Claudia Geiger as my guideline since we share gauge and it has sleeves you knit after you knit the bodice:

And now I have two front panels and am at the bottom of the back panel and should start some waist decreases soon (or a bust dart) and I haven’t knit at it for a few days mainly because of distraction by thrummed earmufflers but also a bit because I was unsure about it:

These front panels are a bit skimpy. I reasoned: “I’m going to add a shawl collar, just like with Grey Pumpkin Ale. It’s going to be beautiful!”

But it’s not the front that’s the problem. It’s the sides. That armhole is very big.
“It’s allright. Your Grey Pumpkin Ale has big armholes too!”

So I showed my friends the picture and asked: “Are these arm holes too big? What would you do? Would you reknit the front panels?”
And they said: “Yes, they are too big. Reknit.”

😡 I don’t want to go back to where I was two weeks ago. I want to wear this cardi, now.
So I said: “My Grey Pumpkin Ale has big armholes like this! I’ll just pick up stitches and start decreasing in the round before I knit the actual sleeve. Here, like this:”

And they said: “They are too big on your Grey Pumpkin Ale too. Look at all the fabric at the underarm.”

😡
Stupid hobby. Stupid knitting laws. I’m bound by this gorgeous yarn. I want that nice cardigan, with a nice fit. So I will reknit. After I recalculate everything.

In the mean time I’ve cast on for a loose fitting sweater. With a bouclé yoke. With sparkles. Without a pattern:

And I’ve bought fingering weight for another cardigan. With speckles. And stripes. (I don’t like stripes.)

And I’m ignoring the three vests and four cardigans I already have on the needles. They are in the closet.

I feel there are some more knitting laws in play here and that I’m not using any of them to my advantage.

Weird Wool Wednesday: a frog with a silver lining.

I thought I got away with nothing weird in my knitting this week. But tonight I must admit that the shaping on this back looks really awful:

It’s like I’m hiding three little frogs under there!

These are reeeeeally long rows, top down, seamless. In fingering weight.

Front looks alright. The yarn is nice and soft against my neck.

It’s my New Old Town cardigan in my handdyed yarn. I’ve been knitting on it for days now, enhancing the pattern with some back shaping to suit the small of my back. That’s where the owl marker was used! But I guess I’ve started too late and have decreased too much in too few rows. It sags horribly.

It’ll have to be frogged to just a few centimeters below that copper centre back marker. Where I still have breasts to cover on the front, which is why I postponed all decreases until I had knit past them. I now think I will insert some gradual back decreases high up but no side seam decreases yet…

Hmpf! I was enjoying the mindless rows of stockinette stitch because we’re dealing with tropical heat in this little frog of a country and I’m also writing new reports for the courts and we have painters in and around the house.
My days are packed and stressful, I need my mindless knitting at night!

Well, the half full kind of person would say I now get to do even more of that soothing mindless knitting …
He looks so not impressedpic by Colin Campbell

Finished: grey Pumpkin Ale cardigan

It’s finished but it’s not: the pockets need to be cut out and sewn in. But the knitting is done!

Pattern Pumpkin Ale by Ysolda Teague

Cabled back panel from free pattern 123-9 Lady Love by DROPS design

The yarn is Chester Wool Superwash merino 300m/100gr and I used 4,35 balls. That’s about 1300 meters.
It’s wonderfully soft and very suited to wear against my skin. Like the collar in my neck.
I look forward to finding out how well it wears. I expect pilling with this softness.

Knit on needles 2,25 mm getting a gauge of a-smidge-under-20-stitches-in-10-centimetres. Except on the sleeves where I knitted with a gauge of 26 stitches per 10 centimetres. That is why I write in bold on all my project notes: knit sleeves on bigger needles!
If only I learned to read and follow instructions…

The back panel is so beautiful!

No time to think.

My Pumpkin Ale Cardigan is coming along fast. Back panel done, sidepanels done, one sleeve on its way:

Only I’m not sure about the sleeve set in. I’ve reduced it a lot at the underarm. And I don’t think it suits the pattern… my decreases do not look nice.

I’ve got to have a good think about it and then make up my mind.

But I don’t want to think. I want to knit!

So I started another cardigan. Here’s the little flower for the Little Flower Cardigan:

Now I must think about how to make this into a rectangle and then into a nice back panel.

This thinking thing again? Ugh. I’d rather cast on another cardigan:


Old Town Cardigan and I’m already shaping the shoulder!
There’s half a back panel here and half a collar but the pattern is so ingenious that I don’t know which is which and the picture being upside down is fitting.

Just following the pattern, no thinking required. Which is good because my mind is mulling over colour combinations and stranded knitting:

Wolop dyed four skeins to go with the four big purple balls of DK yarn. That will make a great stranded top! A cardigan.
All it needs is a little bit of thinking and deciding.

Haven’t got time for thinking. Gotta bake cookies.

Tomorrow a few cat loving knitters come to visit:
cat cookies
Ginger orange pepper cookies 🙂

Finished: Cool Wool Serra Cardigan

Finally, a handknit cardigan to suit my natural grace:
handknit cardigan
I’m so bad at having my picture taken… I keep talking while posing.
Turns out I’m not a very gracious talker. (What word requires me to stick out my tongue??)

Anyway. Cardi done! 450 grams of sportsweight Lana Grossa Cool Wool, knitted on 2,75 mm needles (3 for the sleeves). 14420 meters. The blocking evened out the stitches nicely. I wonder how the collar will keep, it’s meant to roll a bit.

I’m glad with it. It was a fast knit, six weeks from start to finish! Not much thinking required, just follow the pattern. Ish.
handknit cardigan

When I knitted the collar I decreased in the neck and at the corners with the shoulders, so it would sit a bit more snug in the back of my neck:

At the upper half of the collar I did some shortrows so I have a bit more collar around my neck than I have at the midfronts:

The pattern starts with the shoulders and then stitches are picked up to knit the cardigan top down. The ends and beginnings of that picking up is not very beautiful:

Oh. Shh! Neighbours are watching. Better act as if I belong here. Fake your status woman! There, that’s better:
handknit cardigan

Alright, that lasted all of two seconds:
handknit cardigan
Can’t fool the neighbours I guess. We lost their respect anyway, the moment we painted that door red.

Cardigan-wise I’m not entirely happy with the back. It could have had more shaping and thusly flattering the small of my back:
handknit cardigan
Critiques the woman on felted flipflops and hacked off socks for leg warmers with a chopped up pullover for a cowl,  standing outside of her outrageously red front door in an otherwise respectable street.

Yeah. A more flattering back shaping would have certainly brought more glamour to my life.

 

Strong urge to knit a cardigan

Every Saturday evening when I’m at the cabin and mentally preparing for travelling to the city the next day, I have the strong urge to start a new cardigan. I don’t know why.

I do know I already have 4 cardigans on the needles….in various degrees of finishing. All I need to do is get them out of the wool cabinet in my living room in the city and start knitting on them again. But I don’t.

Instead I bring a bucket full of white wool for a bodice and my green bouclé handspun for a yoke to the city. Or all the Norwegian yarn I had. All the Irish yarn too.

Each Sunday I’ve brought yarn for a cardigan to the city. Haven’t casted on though. Yet, today, I’ve gathered up all the dark handspun. I even spend hours deciding upon a pattern…

This is 134-17 Mist by DROPS design:

Large needles, fast knit. Koffieboontjes! The vintage Dutch lock rib, my favourite.

But upon inspection this pattern is knitted bottom up and seamless, which means you need to have gauge spot on. Also: I never figured out how to incorporate sleeves when going bottom up, and closing for the shoulders.

I’m rewriting this top down. Also I prefer the look and shape of Colors of Kauai: set in sleeves. So basically I’m rewriting Colors of Kauai for needles 10 mm.
With the DROPS pattern look and its koffieboontjes, because I do like the look of it (apart from the decreases at the top). Top down also means I can make it as long as I want to. I want a work horse for winter wearing.

I’ve tried to knit with this yarn before. I did nearly a whole Wrenna cardigan but I really don’t like the lace stitches in this bulky yarn. Mine is not as beautiful as the pattern picture:

pattern Wrenna by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes:

 

 

 

 

 

There’s also Iceland by Stephanie White:

Which I once made into a more fitted cardigan called Sidewind:

The special thing is that the leaves run sideways on the sleeves in accordance to the front/back panel even though it’s not knitted as part of those panels. Here you can see it all started with a rectangle that I wrapped around myself, then I added a part consisting of a sleeve, a top yoke (shirt sewing terminology, not a knitted yoke) and the second sleeve:

I started the sleeve with a gusset and half a sleeve. Then I worked to the wrist cuff, turned and somehow added the back part of the sleeve, having the leaves run the other way.

I’d love to reknit this sweater. Solve that problem of flowing leaves without knitting half sleeves sideways. But better not with the bulky dark yarn. That just doesn’t look good in YO stitches.

Well what do you know, another Saturday evening gone and I didn’t knit a stitch.

I did remember that there’s this pattern in my bundle called Love to Make it One Day:


It’sConcrete by Nicole Feller-Johnson
Easy to make, gauge not important. Start a square until wide enough to think about arm sleeves. Think about a warm neck instead: make it a bit higher, perhaps add a few decreases so the collar won’t gape.

Reminds me a bit of Drops’ Eskimo Shrug that I knit into a Franken-eskimo-vest before and which has inspired me before to knit that other cardigan that started with a panel on the upper back:

Those weird things happening at the armpit… knitted lines towards the apex of my bust.
With the weird buttonholes not matching up with the front panels.

I only wear this one when at the cabin. But not because of the weird things. Because I’ve gone off this colour completely. Turquoise, mint, bluegreen, teal. Don’t want it.
It feels like orange to me. Bluegreen is the new orange and I don’t want it.

Time to wrap this up. My Saturday evening is spend, cats and husband are milling around the room, hinting they want to go upstairs.

So: skip rewriting Colors of Kauai in a ridiculous large gauge. Start a back panel in the round, like Concrete. Get to the front. Remember to make it high in the neck at the back. Add some sleeves. Make it a good length. Add buttonbands and let them have koffiboontje mock rib like the DROPS pattern up top.
Need to make up a name for it.

Oh! I haven’t even told you about the yarn. It’s an oldie but a goofie 😉
400 grams, 700 meters. Short stapled organic fleece, akin to Zwartbles. All spun in one weekend back in January 2010 when I was fairly new to Ravelry and spinning and participated in a spin-along.

I spun it semi long-draw ON A LOUET S10 and Lillepoes was very interested:

Sewing for knitting:

Over the Summer I’ve been sewing my new wardrobe. I had major plans: skirts, blouses, vests, pinafores. All in that colour palette and all flattering my body shape.

This is what I managed from May 1st until now:
Sewing skirts, learning to.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Skirts. Well, one skirt, actually. This is the progress towards developing one pattern that fits me well and has all the features I want (pockets!) and that I know how to make (sturdy seams, pockets, waist band, lining, hem, zipper, zipper seam allowance catching the lining).

I’ve got it down now. I can sew a skirt in a week, I feel.

So last week I finished a skirt in a fabric to compliment the Wollmeise Fliederbusch of my Colors of Kauai cardigan:

sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

The idea was to make a bellowing skirt to flatter my Colors of Kauai cardigan, just like these, both from the very inspirational Jettshin:

But I didn’t have enough fabric. And a bellowing skirt doesn’t fit my body shape very well (lack of a waist). But now I do have this pattern that flatters me. So I cut the fabric on the bias and followed my own pattern:

sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

Oops, cut it a bit too narrow! Never mind, I’ll just put in a strip of fabric, even if it has to be cut on the grain. Might as well since I’m not sure how well flimsy fabric on the bias can support a pocket so I’ll go ahead and put a little patch pocket onto that strip. There, all done.

Time to fit!
Ah. Uhm.

It seems that without a distinctive flare it doesn’t really work, this sewing with this knitting:

Nice lady, no doubt. But not quite the flair or femininity that Jettshin project photos show.

I don’t know why I thought this skirt would work. I talked myself away from the very goal I was aiming for!

“Yes, I’ll sew a bellowing skirt because that fits Colors of Kauai so well! But I’ll make it without the flare because arguments. Hey, I’ll even cut it on the bias for even more drape and droop!”

Yeah…

Well, the skirt works great on its own. It’s light and lined with pure silk and it flutters around my legs. It’s a nice Summer skirt for the city.

Wearing it without wooden clogs also helps to class it up.

Now I’ve got an incentive to sew another skirt to got with this cardigan. Which means fabric hunting.

But first I’ll try and sew a fitting blouse/dress shirt. I need those to go with the many vests I’m knitting. With any luck I’ll be wearing the combinations before x-mas.

(bag felting went well this weekend! I only want to switch the flaps between the two bags and then visit the shoe maker to get belts attached. So still very much in progress.)

sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag