Archives for posts with tag: sweater

Let’s talk about moderation.  Specifically, my lack of moderation.  Popcorn and ice cream after dinner followed by girl scout cookies (thin mints, please)?  Not a problem.  That’s future Freshy’s problem.  She’ll be older and wiser by then, so I’m sure she can handle it.  Reading ten books at once?  Child’s play, in my opinion!  I’ll remember where I am in every one of them and will know exactly what’s happening….  Although now that I think of it, maybe that’s not true, but I’d like to think I can handle the challenge.

Presently, I have two projects on the needles, the lace baby pillow and Deco (ok, three if you count Rob’s hat, which I have mutilated beyond belief and is in a time-out until I can wrap my head around my varying gauge).  This is all fine and good, but I’m starting to get an itch in the tips of my fingers.  Wouldn’t it be great if I could just add another fun project in there?  Another sweater perhaps, one with cables all over.  Or a tweedy skirt to wrap up the end of winter.  Or maybe a fun gradient scarf to play with colors and welcome spring.  Or how about getting a jump start on summer with a flowing linen tunic.  Yes, yes, YES!!  I want it all!!  I want it right now!  Fade in to a warm sunny day: I’m giggling as I skip through an open field, arms stretched out towards a bountiful basket overflowing with skeins of Shibui, Madelinetosh, Manos, Jamieson’s and all that is glorious.  When we finally touch… magic.

Fade out.  Yes, I have a problem with moderation.  Have you seen my stash on ravelry yet?  It’s bad.  Oh I’m sure it’s not the worst of the bad, but it’s pretty close.  It takes every ounce of willpower I can muster to resist the temptations in the yarn store.  I have a basket at work, where I put all the things I want on hold.  I take it out at my lunch break and fondle them.  Then I hang my head low and cry a tear or two as I put the basket away.  Finish the sweater.  Finish the baby pillow.  Use your stash.  Words that are daggers through my merino-loving, anti-moderation heart.

It’s a good thing I have a few goodies in my stash already, not to mention all those projects that I really, really, really had to have last year.  Honestly, the purpose of completing an inventory on my stash was so that I would be persuaded to use it.  You want to buy more Madelinetosh?  Get a hold of yourself, woman!  You already have fifteen skeins of tosh in your stash.  But I digress….

I have chosen to add the Simple Straight Skirt by Churchmouse onto the needles today.  I purchased the yarn and made a swatch for the project months ago, before Christmas knitting hit the fan.  Adding this project to the needles is really a necessity more than anything else.  I have the lace edging to finish on the pillow and then seaming, and I’m about ready to split for the sleeves on Deco.  Both of these tasks require my undivided attention.  Stockinette knitting is a must in order to maintain balance in my universe (kind of like reading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time in between all the other reads); it is the perfect project for the times that I want to knit care-free while eating popcorn and ice cream simultaneously.

Immoderation.  Totally necessary.

I opened up my laptop, because I was supposed to be doing something.  But I completely forgot what it was that I was supposed to do.  I’m sure it’s something really important, because I only forget the important things.  All those stupid little things I always remember, like how I always remember to get a bag of chips at the grocery store, but then forget the toilet paper.  Why is it always the toilet paper?  I’m stocked now, in case you’re wondering…

Well, since I’m here and since it’s 1am and I can’t sleep (because I am not a normal person) and I can’t remember what it was that I was supposed to be doing, I’m going to obsess over knitting stuff.  I finished the sweater!  A couple of weeks had gone by and my hands recovered mostly (I’m pretty sure I developed early onset arthritis in my thumbs), so I picked up the needles again to finish knitting the pockets.  It really amazes me how often I underestimate the amount of work that needs to be done for something.  I looked at this pattern and thought: yes, I can totally knit that in three weeks tops.  It’s all stockinette, what can be so hard about that?  I suppose I never really took into account the fact that I was going to be knitting on the tiniest needles imaginable for a sweater.  Turns out it doesn’t take only 10 minutes to knit each pocket.  I think I must have an extreme amount of blind optimism for knitting.

Knitting a sweater for someone was definitely a new experience. Knitting a sweater is no easy task and right now, I have nothing to show for it besides some really crappy pictures (thank you Seattle for another dark rainy day).  It’s weird having knit something like that and not being able to fondle it with love and affection while wearing it.  Maybe I’m suffering from withdrawals.  I’m not sure.  Maybe I need to buy more yarn to assuage my postpartum knitting depression.  Something super bulky…. Don’t judge me.

Pattern Details:

Pattern: Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik
Yarn: MadelineTosh DK in Venetian and in Tern (pocket lining)
Needles: US 4 [3.5mm] Circulars
Modifications:  Nothing too drastic: did a couple extra increases in the yoke because I felt it was too tight originally.  I didn’t follow her decrease notes on the sleeves and just worked it myself.  I thought hers made for really baggy sleeves (even if I didn’t do extra yoke increases).
Recommend to a friend: I would only recommend this pattern to experienced knitters.  Although simple to knit, the pattern itself was a pain to follow.  I had to rely on my intuition a lot as I found a few errors and inconsistencies with her writing.  It’s a great design, but I think the pattern deserves another once over from a better tech editor.
Notes:  See my notes on my Ravelry page.  And think twice before you cast on for a sweater on size 4 needles.

PS. Sorry for my uber crappy photos.  It’s always great to see a lifeless sweater limply styled on a plastic hanger.  My friend is giving this to his mom on Sunday and he said he’d take a picture of her wearing it.  I hope she likes it.  If not, they better lie to me because I don’t think I’d be able to handle that sort of rejection.

It’s December 21st, in case you were wondering, and I’m flying out tomorrow to visit my folks in Reno for the holidays.  I’m halfway through both sleeves of this sweater, still need to knit the collar and pockets, sew on buttons, weave in ends and block the damn thing before a reasonable enough hour tonight so that I can maybe get a couple hours of sleep in some sad effort to reboot my system out of this insane I-can-knit-a-sweater-for-someone-else-before-christmas illness.  In other words: I’ve exited the realm of sort of crazy and entered the realm of bat shit, there’s no turning back now, crazy.  Madness.


Last night, as I was staying up way too late on account of my mental problems, I decided to try on the sweater, because jeezus, it looks huge.  I immediately freaked out because the thing is down past my ass and I could probably fit another one of my arms through the sleeves.  Panic set in because I need to give this to my friend in about 36 hours and there was no way I could fix any of these issues.  Then I remembered that I’m 4’10” (4’11” on a good day) and of course this wasn’t going to fit me.  Seriously, you’re looking at a genius right here.

I’m still slightly panicking today because what if it doesn’t fit her either?  What if she hates it?  What if this was the worst idea ever and oh my god, is that a dropped stitch?!!?  If you know me, I’m pretty much freaking out all the time about stupid things.  I know I do it and I know that it’s completely irrational.  But I won’t stop freaking out until someone can prove to me through scientific reasoning (bonus points if you bust out polynomial equations) that I’m freaking out for no reason.  So I headed to the yarn store where I work, hoping someone there with more experience knitting sweaters for average sized people would talk some sense into me.  And they did.  The sweater fit one of the women (of similar size to the recipient) there and so now here I am, eating a grilled cheese sandwich, click clacking on the keyboard, and talking myself up some big game, like I’m a hot shot.  I know what’s up.  I knew I had it in the bag the whole time.  I’ve got aaaaaaall night to knit this puppy up.  ha. ha. ha?  gulp.

I love knitting a sweater flat in stockinette stitch with size 4 needles!!!!!  Said no knitter ever.

I don’t even want to get into the fact that it’s been on too small of a bamboo circular needle.  If only I had some metal needles so the yarn wouldn’t stick so much.  If only I had a longer circular needle so my project wasn’t bunched up so much.  If only….and then it happened:  The world went dark and I started spinning.  I completely blacked out.  I could hear voices ringing in my ears.  I felt something leave me in that moment.  It was strange, like someone ripped open a tiny hole in my body and took out a thin, rectangular plastic organ.  It felt like an eternity, but it must have only been mere moments.

When I came to, I was clutching onto this:

Addiclicks Lace

Honestly, guys.  I have no idea how that happened.  No idea whatsoever.  But hey, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Even though, technically, I gave myself the horse and therefore am fairly certain of the condition of the mouth (gross, by the way…horse mouth).  What I’m trying to say is that this makes knitting a sweater flat in stockinette stitch with size 4 needles a little more bearable.  Ok, I’m just trying to tone down my excitement about these needles.  It’s more like knitting with butter (though, I wouldn’t recommend that).  I got the lace tips, because lord knows the sharper the tips, the better the knits.  I totally made that up, but I much prefer sharp needles.  Oh man, if I could just tell you how nicely the stitches glide along the needle and work off the tips.  It’s just heaven…. Excuse me a moment, I must go fondle my needles some more.

Ahem…anyways, you know what else makes knitting a sweater for someone else on size 4 needles more bearable? ToshDK.  No need to clean your monitors, you read that right.  I’m knitting a sweater for a friend’s mom for Christmas.  Why?  Because I’m crazy and I have a hard time saying no to people.  Also, I’m crazy.  Really, I thought you guys would have figured that out by now.  I’m knitting Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik.


I think I might be in a purple phase.  Maybe I’m finally over that lace shawl from hell and can face knitting with purple again.  Come to think of it, this is only the third time that I’ve knit in purple and all three projects were destined as gifts.  It must be the color of gift knitting.  Also, purple is a weird word.  Am I right?  Purple? Purrrrrple?  I stayed up late knitting, so you must forgive my state of mind at the moment.

It’s possible to finish this before Christmas, right?  I think that since I’m at pocket level, it’s totally doable (but then again, I have unreasonably high and unmet expectations for this sort of thing).  Oh ya, I totally forgot to mention that I’m going to Costa Rica soon.  And I may or may not (which, of course, really means that I do with all certainty) have more gift knitting to take care of before then.  Do I really need to tell you that I’m crazy again?  I didn’t think so.

Back to endless stockinette…. What are you doing with your weekend?

When someone asks you where you were this weekend and you respond: “A sheep and wool festival in New York”, they will most likely look at you like you are from another planet.  Unless of course they are knitters/crafters/fiber lovers.  You know what I love the most about Rhinebeck was that you were surrounded by the warmest (quite literally) people on the planet that love what you love and totally get why you flew all the way from the other coast to pet sheep and fondle the sweaters of strangers.

The weekend at Rhinebeck was absolutely wonderful!  I was so excited to finally meet Holly in person and get my knit on with her and she is ever so sweet and amazing in person as I thought she would be.

I’m not sure what I was expecting with the festival, but it far exceeded anything I could have ever imagined.  Of course it was beautiful and everyone was wearing such amazing works of art and the sheep and alpacas stole my heart over and over again.

I bought a couple of things, but no yarn (I know, that’s absolutely crazy): a yarn bowl and some buttons made from sheep horn.

I awkwardly approached Ysolda and probably annoyed the crap out of her with my terrible fan-girl stutter.  I took a nip with Steven.  I knitted, I laughed, I ate good food and met some really great people.

This weekend, however, didn’t go without an accident, because it’s me and I’m accident-prone apparently and the world enjoys laughing at my sorry ass.  It’s ok, though because I like laughing at my sorry ass too.

The first morning, I decided I needed coffee, which I never ever drink because caffeine makes me crazy, but I thought it would be a good idea because I’m going to Rhinebeck and needed to have my wits about me.  Also, because I might have possibly stayed up until 3am after flying all day to weave in the ends of my Rhinebeck sweater.  Oh…woops.  Anyways, we’re driving to Rhinebeck and because I’m a coffee noob I don’t get a sleeve for my cup.  Also I can’t find the cupholders in the back seat of the car.  So I’m holding this really hot cup of coffee…until I’m not holding it anymore because I drop the entire thing in my lap.  As the seatbelt pins me down to the seat, the hot liquid soaks through my only pair of jeans (because of course leather seats don’t soak up coffee) and burns my ass while I scream obscenities (possibly deterring Holly from ever wanted to interact with me publicly ever again).  Miraculously, the white sweater that I am wearing, that I finished at 3am the night before, does not get a single drop of brown liquid on it.  My pants are soaked and smell like coffee and I’m pretty sure that a blister has formed on my lower right cheek.

Coffee: 1, Freshy: 0

Later in the day, we purchased a bottle of red wine so we could drink and knit at the tables and make Holly’s gentleman, Jake, feel terribly uncomfortable and sorry that he didn’t bring his knitting.  I’m knitting with white silk, so you can see where this is going…  Along comes a freak gust of wind, knocks my cup (because we’re classy like that) of wine over and onto the pretty white silk.

Red wine: 1, Freshy: 0

Here’s the upside to all of this: My pants were dark, so no one noticed they were wet with coffee and they were dry by midday.  I managed to wash most of the wine out of the silk when we got back to the hotel that night and I don’t think you can tell, but now I have a knotted mess of silk to deal with.  So I give myself 2 points for quick recovery.  That about evens up the score.  And really how upset can you be when you’re hanging out with this guy?

Oh did you notice that I also finished my Naragansett sweater?  That means I owe you two FO posts.  But that will have to wait, because Tales From New York, Part 2 is coming up next…

More Rhinebeck photos can be found here too!

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