FO: Flore Sweater

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Flore1

I decided not to block it, but here is my completed Flore sweater.  I am generally happy with how it turned out.  It is warm and soft to wear.

Flore

My reasons for knitting this sweater were that I really wanted to use this yarn, and I wanted a nice, hand knit, winter sweater that I could wear casually.

Flore3

The pattern is Flore by Julie Hoover.  You can click HERE for the pattern on Ravelry.  The pattern is a bottom up sweater design that is quick and fun to do. 

I knit this with Bernat Denimstyle yarn in the colors cream and acid wash.  It is an Aran weight yarn that is a blend of 30% cotton and 70% acrylic.

I used size 8 Addi Turbo Lace circular needles and size 8 bamboo DPNs.

Flore2

In the meantime, I have started yet another new knitting project.  Here’s a preview:

B1

~Happy knitting!

A Sweater For Winter

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I’ve been working on some projects that I have not yet mentioned here on the blog.  (I’ve been quiet, but that’s because I’ve been busy…)  One is a sweater that I’m knitting from a cotton blend, worsted weight yarn:

Proof of Sweater

It is this sweater:  Flore by Julie Hoover

I was hoping to have a blog post called “A Sweater in Three Weekends” because I am whipping right through this sweater pattern, and after two weeks, I was  two-thirds of the way done.  One sleeve and the shoulders/neckline are all that is left.  Alas, I got side-tracked by yet another new project that I have been working on, and my Flore got put on hold. 

When the mood strikes me again, though, I’m sure I will finish it up so that I have a new sweater to wear this season.

I didn’t really have a plan to knit a sweater this close to the holidays, but I landed at a Hobby Lobby the weekend of Thanksgiving (long story involving my car breaking down…), and I found this yarn called Bernat Denimstyle there that I just love.  I’m a sucker for cotton-blend, sweater yarn anyway, and this was soft and green and the price was right. 

It seems to be working out well with the pattern, and it appears (gasp) that the sweater will actually fit me.  You may recall that although I am an awesome knitter in general, I am still a bit challenged in the sweater department, especially in the areas of fit and gauge.  This fact played a role in my decision to knit this sweater up with relatively cheap yarn.  Nothing is worse than knitting a wonky, too small, sleeves on the ground, goofy-looking sweater out of $200 worth of hand-dyed yarn.  I may or may not be speaking from experience here.

~Knit on! 

FO: Garden Cardigan in Cotton

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I finally finished blocking my Garden Cardigan.  It is my second project for Camp Loopy this summer, and it is also my entry into this year’s Lake County Fair, in the cardigan sweater division.

I knit this cardigan using Addi Turbo Lace 32 inch circular needles as well as a set of DPNs both in the size 5.  The yarn is roughly 1200 yards of Cascade Ultra Pima cotton in the colorway Wine. 

The pattern, designed by Jennifer Thompson, is available on Ravelry.com, and can be found by clicking:  HERE

I enjoyed the pattern.  It was interesting, simple to follow, and produces a nice, wearable garment.  You can click on any of the above photos to see the sweater in better detail.

~Happy knitting!

County Fair Preparations and Just General Whining

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I have been waiting and planning for nearly a year to enter some knitting in this year’s county fair.  As mentioned previously, this is a first for me.  Today is the big day to bring in our entries, and Thursday evening will be an open house for participants to get a sneak peek and go in and check out all of the entries, and to find out the results of the judging. 

With juggling work and home-life, I’m frustrated to say that this long anticipated weekend met me with exhaustion, and the preparation and finishing of my projects hasn’t really been fun.  I never had enough time to finish the improved version of the Chivalry Mitts that I had planned to enter, so I will have to enter the already finished pair and see how it goes. 

I planned poorly for final blocking preparations of my items.  It has been insanely hot and humid here for some time now, and I was worried that if I blocked my lace scarf and the sweater too soon, they would not be as crisp as I want them when I actually bring them to the fair.  What I failed to recognize was that my sweater would take DAYS to dry after blocking, despite the fact that it was spun out and rolled in dry towels prior to being pinned out.

After 48 hours of blocking, it was still wet as of last night, so I set up an old dehumidifier that came with my house and had it running next to the blocking boards all night.  As of this morning, the day that entries are due, the sweater is still wet.

I hadn’t even reblocked my lace scarf until 10:30 last night, and I was complaining of my knitting woes to my Mom on the phone when she suggested a fan.  What a great idea.  I set up a fan, on high, to run over the blocking scarf, and that thing was dry in less than 12 hours!  Mom:  you’re my hero!!!

Needless to say, the fan has now been moved to a place of honor next to the dehumidifier that is desperately trying to dry the sweater that just won’t dry. 

Good times!

Camp Loopy knitting for the final project of the summer has begun today as well.  I haven’t even had time to wind my yarn, let alone make a final decision about the pattern I will knit.

I really need some sleep after the week I have had, so I have no idea when I will begin that project.  Our NW IN knitting group will be meeting again tomorrow morning for some coffee and happiness, so there is something to look forward to.  It will be fun to hear about what others entered into the fair, and how their prepping went.

~Happy (grumpy) knitting 

Checking In

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I haven’t been able to post much lately due to the upcoming knitting deadlines within my normal, busy, work schedule.  If I have some spare time on weekends, or in the evenings, it is used for actual knitting rather than writing about the knitting.  The good new is, I finished my cardigan last night!  I can’t believe I knit a cardigan in a little over 3 weeks.  That’s crazy-town.  I have the finishing to do today, which will include closing the neckline and the under-arms with kitchener stitch (being a sock knitter, this is an easy and comfortable task) as well as knitting on some toggle style button loops for two buttons that I guess I need to run out and purchase today.  Then of course, there will be blocking. 

I already know it fits (cue marching band…), since I had to try it on multiple times to figure out when to stop the raglan sleeve decreases and start on the neckline.  I have never knit a bottom-up sweater construction before, so it was an experience, and I think with my not so impressive history of seaming in sleeves, this may be the way to go for me when choosing future sweater patterns.  I’m just sayin’.

With the time I will have left until next weekend, when the county fair entries are due in, I am hoping to finish knitting the improved pair of Chivalry mitts that I have been working on.  Mitt #1 is nearly done now, but I have not had time to take photos.  They will turn up in future posts.

This past week, while I was out trying to get the lawn mowed after work, my neighbor stopped by to give me two freshly grown cucumbers (they were delicious and I ate them both in one sitting when I got done with the lawn) along with the crocheted cotton dish towel pictured at the top of this blog.  Isn’t it cute?  I love the colors.  I don’t think she knows that I knit, and I didn’t really get to tell her, but I did tell her how I love me a good hand-made dish clothI thought it looked pretty with the cucumbers and I felt the need to photograph it.

I’m off in search of buttons (and breakfast)!

~Happy knitting

Progress

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My Garden Cardigan is complete from the under-arms down.  It’s tough for me to know how much more time I will need to put into it since I have not made this pattern before, but I am feeling less stressed about having it done by July 26th (the Camp Loopy Project two deadline) at this point.

Getting through both sleeves was really slow going, and I was beginning to worry about what I had gotten myself into.  Now that I have them attached, I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it, likely with a little time to spare.

 

~Keep on knitting!

Red, White & Blue

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When I set the above photo up to show you my SLOW progress on my Garden Cardigan, I didn’t realize it had an overall red, white and blue look to it.  Happy Independence Day, a day late! 

I spent mine at a parade with some family.  I made good use of my umbrella chair yet again since we are under a dangerous heat advisory here until Friday, and the sun was blazing. 

My brothers are in town as of today, and I spent my afternoon shuttling one of them in from the airport – yay!  It never feels like summer until my brothers come to visit.  After that, I headed over to get my car emissions test updated since it is due in about 2 days, and now I am back home for the evening.

I have been working on my Garden Cardigan since I must complete it by July 27th.  I have been having fun working the body of the sweater from the bottom up, but after 5 pattern repeats, I am ready to move on to the next part.  If my measurements are correct, I need one more pattern repeat on the body before I start the sleeves since I would like my cardigan to be a bit longer than the pattern calls for. 

If I can stay awake long enough, I’ll be working on getting those last 20 rows done tonight so that I can begin the first sleeve, which is done separately, in the round, on DPNs and then attached in the round later in the pattern.  Should be interesting.  I have never worked a pattern like this one before.  I am anxious to see that it works out OK. 

Meanwhile, I need to be thinking about our local Lake County Fair, since I plan to enter this year, and the completed entry form is due July 11th…

 

~Happy knitting!

Camp Loopy 2012: A First Look at Project Two

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My raggedy knitting chair & latest project.

Knitting/crochet for Camp Loopy project two began this past Wed, June 27.  We will have four weeks to complete this project, which is a significantly larger project for most of us participating as compared to project one.  For me, it will be about 3 times the yardage that I knit for project one.

As I indicated in a previous post, I am knitting the Garden Cardigan using Cascade Ultra Pima cotton in a bright red color.  Despite the chaos of the last week and a half, I have made some good headway.

 

 

Leafy border on the cardigan

I have sort of spiraled down into a project schizoprenia again, which doesn’t surprise me, since I’m learning that I seem to cycle.  I can go a while being focused on a few main projects, get them completed, and plan for the next round.  This is then followed by a wave of yarn obsession and pattern envy which drives me to start a myriad of projects, work on them for a day or so, and then drop all of it for an entire new set of ideas and fiber that I want to work with.

Knitting with dealines requires that I focus a bit more, so I am trying to dwindle it down to three or so.

A second deadline I have now set for myself is my sister’s birthday in a few weeks.  I started the Green Grocer bag in hopes of giving it to her as part of her gift if it turns out nicely.  It is actually a crochet pattern!  I am not much of a crocheter anymore, although I was rarely without a hook in my hands in my youth.  I just don’t seem to enjoy it anymore, and I find the versatility of knitting so much more satisfying.  That said, I am enjoying this pattern, and I forgot about the ‘instant gratification’ associated with how quickly crocheted projects work up! 

Here is what I have so far. 

It is actually turning out to be a rather large bag.  Doesn’t it look like it belongs on the beach, or at a farmer’s market somewhere?  I am crocheting it with yarn from my stash called Pattons Pure Organic cotton in a bright pink color that is simply called “red” on the yarn band.  It is SO soft, I am starting to think I should have saved this yarn for a sweater, and crocheted the bag with something else. 

I’ll be working on the bag a bit more tonight, so we will see how far I get.  In spite of all of my ambition and plans for this weekend, I hit a bit of a wall after I got up this AM, so I made it somewhat of a ‘mental health day’ instead: resting, cooking, and hanging with the dogs.  I’ll be off for part of the upcoming week, and my brother is coming into town, so I will have lots of time to get caught up on my knit/crochet projects.

 

~Happy knitting!

Camp Loopy 2012 – Project II

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This week, Sheri finally put us Loopy Groupies out of our misery and announced the details for project #2.

I already ordered my yarn:

 

 I purchased a big ol’ pile of Cascade Ultra Pima cotton in the color Wine.  It’s actually 1320 yards of soft cotton.  I’m loving it!

Challenge #2 is to knit a project that contains at least one color from my own country’s flag.  The project must be 800 yards minimum.  Since I am born and raised American, I had my choice of red, white or blue.  Knitting with this red color in the month of July will feel so patriotic.

Since I’m not a big shawl knitter (yet!), that yardage, to me, said sweater.  This is convenient since I have had my eye on a host of sweaters for the last little while.

There is this one:  Gemini sweater

I love this one:  Mud season

And I have been totally planning to try my hand at this with some KnitPicks CotLin:  Garden Cardigan

After some mulling, I decided on knitting the Garden Cardigan in some DK weight cotton that The Loopy Ewe carries (so that I could keep within the rules of the camp).  Hence, the Cascade Ultra Pima.

I am SO excited to knit this sweater.  I have seen some really nice outcomes posted by knitters who have knitted it for themselves.  I already purchased my pattern. 

Camp rules state that we can’t begin to knit project two until June 27th.  How am I going to wait that long?!!??

I’m done with project one, and I’ll be posting photos soon.

I feel some gauge swatching coming on…

~Happy camping! 

 

Rebellious “Tendon”-cies (and FO: Calumet Socks)

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I was planning to begin this post with a recent photo of my left arm.  If I had, you would see that I am sporting a splint from my elbow to my wrist, and that my left index finger is wrapped and immobilized.  According to the nice doctor (a DO, actually) that I saw last Thursday night, I have tendonitis in my left arm.

It came on suddenly, and I don’t really know how it happened, but I suspect it resulted from a combination of things that may or may not include knitting.  I was prescribed some strong anti-inflammatories, and I am to keep my forearm wrapped in a pressure wrap, as well as ice it a minimum of three times daily (icing in progress as I type). 

For the most part, I am following the orders religiously, since I really NEED this issue to clear up ASAP for both my job and my sanity.  The part that I’m finding the most difficult to comply with is the order to avoid things that make it hurt, which include knitting, for 7 days.

I had not touched a needle since last Wednesday night until last night, when I may or may not have strayed from my own better judgement and finished the second Calumet sock.  Doh!

  

This is HARD!!!

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I mentioned previously that I had purchased some Knit Picks CotLin yarn in a pretty color called Planetarium in hopes of knitting a summer sweater. 

I had a bit of a tough time finding a pattern, but I finally found this one (and it’s free!) that I love:  Gemini (click the name to see the pattern and  photos) by Jane Richmond.

I hope to knit it up soon.

In other news, I have been super excited since I realized that SWTC had published yet another book in the Socks a la Carte series, this time with colorwork patterns! 

I did find a used copy for $12, and I’m glad I decided to purchase it, because my creative juices are now flowing in a whole bunch of new ways.

I’m in love with this cuteness from Lucy Neatby.

I hope you are having a great weekend.  I’m going to go concentrate on healing, and on resisting the call of the knitting needles.  Wish me luck…

 

…and happy knitting – for everyone but me 😦  

I have been wanting to read up on the history of sock knitting for some time now, so this may be my opportunity to finally read my copy of Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.

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