Picking yarn for a sweater…

So, since I don’t believe its possible for me to only be working on one project at a time (I’ve tried. It doesn’t work, haha!) I’ll just continue to show you guys bits of what I’m working on!

_DSC0178

This doesn’t look like much right now, but hopefully it’ll soon become more obvious as to what it is, haha! It is going to be a Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig from the Knitbot blog.

I made one many many many moons ago. Very close to the beginning of my knitting career in Houston. My skills were not quite ready for that, haha. In other words, it turned out terribly and I’m not sure where it is. But! I learned a lot from it… mainly about how yarn choice is really important when it comes to the type of sweater you want. Gauge is important in that regard as well. I didn’t know that (or I probably thought I knew what I was doing… I really didn’t, haha!)

Now… probably around 6 or 7 years later (crazy, right? I’ve been knitting for 8 years.) I am giving it another go, with a lot more knowledge about drape, density, durability (all the Ds, haha!) and how its important to really know your yarn… To know how the fiber content will affect your garment. It can either make or break it!

This time around, I’m using Quince and Co.’s Chickadee in the colorways “Kumlien’s Gull” (the grey) and “Egret” (the cream). The pattern originally called for Quince and Co.’s Tern base, which is extremely similar to their Chickadee base. Tern is 50% Wool and 50% Silk, while the Chickadee base is 100% Wool. And yes, Tern is technically a fingering weight while Chickadee is listed as a sport/DK weight… nothing that a little change of needle size can’t fix!

Both would be amazing options for this sweater. But heres why I went with Chickadee, instead of Tern, the called for yarn…

1) I wanted a sweater that could definitely be a sweater that would last a long time, with lots of hard use. Because of the nature of Chickadee, without the silk, I can see it lasting a little longer than Tern. Both will hold their own for a long time, I’m sure. But for what I’m looking for, Chickadee was better.

2) True, its supposed to be kind of a drapey cardigan. But I’m planning on doing some different things, so it wouldn’t have been as drapey anyway. The shawl collar won’t be as flowy and it’ll be a bit longer. Maybe the sleeve length will be longer, I’m not sure yet. Who knows!

3) I’ve had more experience with Chickadee, and knew how it knitted up, how it blocks, how much does it stretch, if at all… all that jazz. I have a specific look I’m going for with this sweater, so I needed something I knew would work.

4) Annnd… they had more color options for Chickadee d^_^b The colors for Tern were beautiful, don’t get me wrong! But for the stripes I was wanting, there were better options with Chickadee.

When it comes to sweaters, I go through a pretty long process of figuring out the perfect yarn… and this is kind of what I do! If I’m going to make myself a sweater that I’m going to love and wear all the time and be super sad when it finally gives out… that yarn has to be the perfect yarn for that particular sweater! Its all part of the fun!

I was actually talking with my mom about this the other day… Process knitting vs Product knitting. We both agreed that we’re a little both… we love the process, we love the product. But we also love the part of getting to pick out the pattern and the yarn and gather the needles, pattern, project bag… all that stuff! Its part of the fun of knitting. Probably one of my favorite parts, I think! But I love all of it… so I don’t know if that counts ;-)

Hope you found this interesting! If you like posts like this, more technical stuff, let me know and I’ll come up with ideas. Or if theres something in particular you’d like me to write about in regards to knitting leave me a comment below or you can contact me via Twitter or Instagram or Ravelry!

Moving forward with Betiko

School is crazy! And I haven’t been feeling super passionate about what I’ve been working on recently… but that is going to change! My knitting mojo will return soon, I’m sure :-)

I’ve also gotten really behind on my tv shows, haha. Project Runway being one of them… and I had heard that there was some crazy drama going on, and I really needed to see it. So, I finally caught up last night! Except for the one that aired this past Thursday, then I’ll be caught up :-P

So, while catching up, I decided to take a break from the MKAL project and work a little bit on my Betiko!

_DSC1726

I brought this with me to campus on Friday to try and knock out those 22″ inches of the striped strip thing… haha! And booyah! I accomplished those 22″ inches. Therefore, I got to start on the body!

_DSC1727

My goodness, it was confusing getting started. But! After about 10 minutes analyzing the instructions (or recipe thing) and slowly figured out what needed to be done, haha.

After figuring it out, it was perfectly simple, haha! My super confusion was probably due to the fact that it was 1:30am and watching super intense and dramatic Project Runway episodes and wasn’t giving 100% of my attention to what I was doing :-P

The pattern, once figured out, makes perfect sense and its such an awesome way to go!

Its extremely customizable! You could do pretty much anything you wanted to that fit in the stitch count, haha! I didn’t want to do a particular stitch pattern, I was really interested in making one that is like the top picture on Lee Meredith’s website. But I’m positive that whatever kind of pattern or striping put into this recipe would produce something absolutely amazing!

FO!: Handspun Norie

My goodness, things have been busy! But busy with good things! And lots of awesome things have happened as a result of being busy… so its all good d^_^b

One of these things, was that I had my NSC (New Student Conference) at A&M last Thursday+Friday… which is where we got kind of oriented and registered for my classes! Yessss!!!

And of course, I brought a long my knitting… I can’t bear to sit still for long periods of time (or any time at all, haha!) without knitting or doing anything with my hands. I had two goals for the two days.

1) I was going start and finish Norie (a hat pattern by Gudrun Johnston) the first day.

2) I was going to at least start, and get some progress on a pair of socks knit with some A&M yarn that my bosses (who are some of the sweetest people ever) gifted me.

_DSC1559

Tada!! I got my first goal done! In one day! BAM! Haha, if you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, you probably saw my progress through out the day :-P

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my yarn before… I finished it pretty shortly before we left, and I didn’t get the time to write a post about it :-P

But this was the last braid that I got from before the Tour de Fleece from Daybreak Dyeworks (which now I have to decide which of Dawn’s new colors I’m going to get… ohhh, the trials of a spinner ;-P)

_DSC1546

(Bertie couldn’t restrain himself and just *had* to be in the picture… he just *had* to.)
The colorway name is Dance Fever, and its some of the softest most vibrant things *ever*!

_DSC1550

When I started to spin it, I had a hat in mind.. so I was super excited to find out that I had gotten what I wanted/needed – a DK weight with a ton of yardage (404yds in total… I used about 200ish for the hat)

Once again, its a fractal spun 2 ply ;-P Haha, I don’t see the pattern of fractal spinning will be changing any time soon.. its so much fun!

So, as soon has I finished it and got it niddy-noddied up, I threw it in a bath so I could get it ready in time in order to knit Norie while walking around campus and sitting and listening to people talk about financial aid.

It actually didn’t dry in time.. but I set it in front of a fan, and that fixed things real quick d^_^b

_DSC1569

I am super duper happy with how the hat turned out… I followed CatReading’s mods by excluding the Cat’s Paw lace sections and just putting in plain stockinette instead. Also, because I was using size US6s instead of US5s, I didn’t do as many repeats before starting the decreases.

_DSC1558

In my rush to get everything ready to go, I forgot DPNs, haha! And my tape measure (which Sarah of Knit York City replied to my tweet of despair with a recommended measuring tape app, haha. Thanks, Sarah!) So that was a huge bummer… thankfully, I was able to squeak by at the end with two circulars (I have a 10″ circular I carry around in my notions bag… super handy, haha!)

_DSC1586

The hat can be worn so many different ways, and its really long… but not too long to look goofy, haha! And its the perfect pattern for handspun :-P

I’m definitely going to be making more of these… I foresee many Nories being made for Christmas presents d^_^b

A&M Knucks

So, I’m really excited about going to College Station this fall. Like, kinda really really excited. So excited that I may have an A&M blanket…

_DSC1085

Which, in reality, it’s just a piece of polartec at the moment. It’ll eventually have a piece of white polartec on the back… but I was just so excited when we got it, that I had to start wrapping myself up in it. It’ll get done! Then it’ll be even more amazing ^_^

But, like I mentioned yesterday, because College Station is a bit more nippy than Houston is (music to a knitter’s ears – “It’s a bit nippy” or anything that has to do with it being cold, haha) I’m creating a list of knitterly accessories/sweaters that I must make at some point… so I can stay warm ^_^ These items may or may not require techniques that use more than one color (i.e. maroon and white)

So, to begin my adventure on knitting all the knitterly things that are awesome (which is basically everything, haha) I started with a pair of Knucks! (free pattern on Knitty, woot woot!)

_DSC1083

This is a learning experience, as I have never done a pair of mitts with the fingers before. After typing that out, I just thought of knitting a pair of toe socks.

Anyway, so they’re light grey. It’s Imperial’s Columbia yarn, the sport weight. Then I plan on putting “Texas A&M” (cause it FITS. WOOT!) on the fingers, in maroon.. of some sort. I am quite excited.

Or, I might add some stripes… somewhere? Maybe? I don’t know. We shall see ^_^

Selbu Modern

I cast on something small. Something small, nothing big. Tests and papers have been coming back for school, and I’ve been extremely happy with my grades (a 95 on a big paper, a 99 on a math test…yes, a math test.) and lots of other happy stuff.

So I thought I’d reward myself with a little something :-)

I started the Selbu Hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn for the Fibre Company (which is a free pattern, woot woot!) using KnitPicks Palette in Cayenne (color#:6460) and Cream (color#:10)

I ended up using US1s for the ribbing (partly because I couldn’t find US0s… okay, maybe thats the only reason why I used US1s. Eh hehe ^_~)

I’m headed on a trip to Joplin, Missouri for a family wedding this weekend. We leave pretty shortly after my classes on Friday. I’ll definitely be taking this little project along on the plane.

Chunky Indulgence

I have been indulging myself in a very chunky knit while I take breaks from school. It’s very therapeutic, and I’d totally recommend it. I don’t know what it is about the whole bulkiness of it all, but it’s so rewarding.. and makes you feel good about yourself. (Though, I guess it does make sense, because you can knit like 5 inches, in 5 minutes on big needles with big yarn :-P)

Recently when my parents went out shopping, my mom saw this big big knit blanket that was really squishy and just awesome.

Only problem? It was 129$. And of course, she thought “Psh, we can make that.” And If you’re a knitter, you’ll know what I’m talking about… whenever you see something knit in a store that’s ridiculously priced, you immediately analyze it, think of a pattern and yarn that would work for exactly the same result, but a lot less money.

So that’s what we did! She came home, showed me the picture online, and I came up with the yarn that I’d use. And the blanket was so simple, I’m just coming up with it as I go. Easy peasy.

I’m using Lion Brand’s Thick and Quick, so that’s amazing. And then I’m using US17 size needles. Even more amazing, haha :-P

And it will not be repossessed by the cats when I’m done with it. They can snuggle *with* me. But they cannot snuggle in it *without* me. Otherwise, I’ll never see it again :-P

Cuddly Cables, I loves them.

Oh my goodness, I LOVE the Rocky Coast Cardigan. I know I keep saying it, but OH MY GOODNESS.

(side note: I do apologize, it is not your computer screen that makes the sweater look dirty/funky/smudgy. The mirror I used to take these pictures was a bit smudgy, which I didn’t notice until after I took them and sat down to write this post. So sorry! >.<)

I'm just about to start the ribbing on the bottom of the sleeve, I think. I'm shortening the sleeves a little bit, because I didn't want sleeves that long.. (it would have hit me about 3" above my wrists)

I’m so happy with the length I went with (16″ instead of the 13.5″ the pattern called for)…I have a longish torso, so the I don’t think I would have been happy with the 13.5″. I *love* long sweaters, they just make me happy. Then you add the cables, then it’s just heaven.

My yarn color is absolutely brilliant. It’s one of my favorite dark neutral colors…. it reminds me of fall and snuggling up in it with either knitting or a book (plus a cat :-P) and enjoying a rainy afternoon.

I’m going to get so much use out of this cardigan, oh my goodness. If you are in the market for a sweater you can cuddle up in after enjoying the process of knitting it, this is the sweater for you. It’s absolutely perfect.

It also helps that I have an awesome project bag ^_^ When these bags came out, my mom and I were like “OOOOO, must get NOW”. And I’m so glad we did, because the first shipment thing sold out really quickly! They have more now on the Quince and Co. website, but they might sell out again, so get yours soon!

I love this sweater. I love the Olympics. I love doing KALs.

I love being a knitter.