One less WIP!

OK, I know I said I would be updating you regularly on all the WIPs I have on the needles, but I got a wee bit distracted. You see, I got super focused on knitting this:

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It is Pioneer by K-bomb from the Spring 2009 issue of knitty. I started it back in October and kint through the v-neck increases (it’s knit in the round from the top down) but once I got to the torso I lost all hope and the project went on a long hiatus. It’s knit in sport-weight yarn on size 5 needles making it a good light-weight spring garment, but also meaning you need about 200 stitches for every single round. I used Knit Picks new sport-weight version of their sock yarn Stroll. The color is called Hot Rod Heather. The yarn is 75% wool 25% nylon and, best of all, is machine washable. I find the yarn very soft and have no problem with it touching my skin.

One of the things that makes this sweater a bit tedious to knit is that every other row there are itty bitty two-stitch cables that form columns down the back, down the sleeves, and under the arms. They look pretty cool and break up the plain stockinette, but they also mean that this sweater falls into a weird realm of not-quite being mindless take-anywhere knitting, but not really being that intriguing to work on. Here are the columns:

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The neck edge is a shell crochet pattern. My crochet skills are by no means advanced, limited mostly to the few amigurumi I have made, but I did not find this very difficult to execute. I have found that even with the crocheting, the neck edge tends to roll under a bit and I have to keep straightening it and patting it flat… I’m hoping this will magically go away otherwise I may have to take the crocheting out and do the v-neck in moss stitch which is how the arms and bottom of the sweater are finished.

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That is intended to be a close up of the crochet edging around the neck, not a close up of my chest… The reason it took me 10 days to get back to the blog is because I really wanted to finish this so that I could show you another FO instead of marching through my shameful number of WIPs. Unfortunately this didn’t want to be finished on the time line I had in mind. First I knit it to the length called for in the pattern, did the moss stitch, bound off, and tried it on. (Don’t remind me that I could have tried it on before doing the moss stitch and binding off, I know!) Anyway, it was too short. Not actually too short in the way that people would look at it and go, “that sweater is too short for her” but too short in the way that when standing normally it looked fine but when I raised my arms above my shoulders suddenly large swaths of my belly were exposed… Not my favorite look. So I added the crochet neck edging and knit the sleeves (I couldn’t bear to rip back just then) and after “finishing” the sweater I went back, frogged the moss stitch, knit an extra three inches of body, and re-knit the moss stitch. This meant that I finished a few days later than anticipated, and delayed my blog post. Good excuse, no?

The sweater I got to wear three times

Sadly, I’m almost finished updating you on all the projects I’ve completed in the past six months… There’s only one more after I show you this sweater. Then I can move on to showing you all the things that are on my needles currently… all TEN of them.

This project you’ve actually partially seen before. Here. And here. And here. But here it is for the first time completed.

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This is my climbing vines pullover by Joelle Meier Rioux. The pattern was in the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, I loved it when I first saw it, but needless to say it took me a while to get around to finishing it. I started it in Wisconsin because I wanted to stash-bust the slightly bulky yarn before moving. Sadly, I didn’t quit finish and ended up just having to move the half-finished sweater. Then I spent the summer in New Mexico and didn’t really feel like working with a wool/angora blend. I finally picked it back up during the Portland winter.

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The yarn is Berroco Pleasure which has been discontinued. It was picked up for me at a sale at my Wisconsin LYS for a song. The original price is about $14 per ball, but after all the discounts, I got it for about $5 per ball. The sweater bloomed quite a bit in the wash and does have a halo now from the angora but not terribly. It’s so snuggly, I find myself cuddling my arms and belly when I wear it… Probably I should make sure too many people don’t see me doing that…

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Of course, basically as soon as I finished this, the weather turned beautiful and much to warm for wool. I managed to wear it about three times before the heat made it impossible, but now it is in my closet waiting impatiently for next winter.

The one single problem with this sweater is that it can’t be machine washed and it takes forever to dry. Its hard to find a place to lay it out for three days straight in my small apartment and with my cats… This is the 4th adult-sized sweater that I have completed and I have loved each of them so much. Luckily I have two more on the needles, which you will see soon, so hopefully there will be more in the future.

If it weren’t me it might be funny…

So, in my last post I told you how I broke my size 7 harmony straight needles for the second time while working on my Climbing Vines pullover. Well, I set that project aside and waited (impatiently) for my order from Knit Picks with my new needles (and some yarn… Damn you free shipping, Damn you!) So it came, but in the meantime I had begun another project… you know, just until the needles came… and got totally distracted by it.

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It’s the Traveling Woman Shawl by Liz Abinante. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca Sport Weight. I know the bright pink of my blocking mats tends to distort colors but that’s pretty close to what the blue actually looks like. The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn but I wanted to make a bigger shawl so I chose a bigger yarn and needles rather than adding more repeats. I ended up using about 2.5 hanks of yarn but I wouldn’t have had enough to do another repeat.

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This was my first time working with 100% Alpaca yarn and I love the way it drapes–perfect for a lace shawl. It really didn’t bother my hands to work with at all, but when I wrap the finished project around my neck it feels so itchy. I washed it in Soak before I blocked it so I think it’s just that Alpaca and I don’t get along.

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Now here’s where the would-be-funny part comes in. I started this project on my size 6 Harmony straights (sometimes I like working on straights) and two days after my Knit Picks package arrived with my new size 7s, I step on one of the sixes and break it. Grrrr… I’m a disaster when it comes to Harmony needles, but I love them so much! I finished the project on my circular 6s but I have a new shopping cart going at Knit Picks as I debate whether or not to place another order.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with the other project that I recently finished. I made it on a whim to use up some half balls of yarn I had lying around. It’s a baby sweater.

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The pattern is Helena from a back issue of Knitty.com. Again, the pattern called for smaller yarn that I used. The pattern calls for DK weight but I used worsted because that what I wanted to use up some leftovers. I followed the instructions for the 3 mo. size but it came out more like 12 mo. because of my gauge. It doesn’t really matter since I don’t have a recipient in mind.

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This is what it looked like in progress. I worked the body and both sleeves at the same time to make sure the stripes were even. The yarn is what was left over from my Knit Picks Montavilla Market Tote. I only made one of the bags… Not a bad pattern, I just don’t have an inclination to knit it again… I had about half a ball of each of the colors of Simply Cotton Worsted left so I jumped into this hoping that there would be enough to finish. It’s technically been done for a while but I just bought the button and attached it today.

I’ve been adding a few stitches here and there to other projects but these have had most of my attention for the past few days.

Sorry the photos are so bad this time. This semester my brother is taking a digital design class and he needs a digital camera, which he doesn’t have, so he borrowed mine. These pictures are all from my cell phone.