My huge sweater

I am not having a whole lot of luck in the selfish knitting department. First there was Lady Kina, which came out somewhat on the gigantic side. I’m frogging it as soon as Icome up with a new use for that yarn.

Then there were the three sweaters I started in one week, all of them with enough problems that they were each unraveled by row 50.

My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation)

And now there’s this. My new Everyday Cardigan. I made it with cap sleeves, and intended to wear it over a tissue tee or one of my ubiquitous home sewn peasant shirts. The plan was for it to be more body-skimming than my long sleeve version. I even added waist shaping to it.

And yet…

My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation)

I’ve got about eight inches of ease in this sucker. That’s eight inches more than I wanted. Ugh.

I really really thought I had checked my gauge before I started, but how is that possible given these results? Perhaps I measured incorrectly. My gauge was a full stitch per inch less than I thought it was! 4 sts instead of 5 sts. And that translates into a much wider silhouette than planned.

There are things I love about this sweater.

My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation) My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation)

For one thing, I still really find this yoke design quite attractive. Front and back.

For another thing, the yarn is lovely! The variegated neutral color really appeals to me. And the yarn itself is so soft and super squishy.

That last point, though, as much as I like the way it feels, contributes quite a bit to the stretchiness of the sweater. It’s already huge on me. I don’t need it to stretch out even further.

My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation) My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation) My Everyday Cardigan (Cap Sleeve Variation)

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with it. I have tried wearing it several different ways (as you can see) and most of them make me look about 20 lbs heavier than I am. I’m barely willing to own my actual weight, so I’m really not excited about artificially inflating it.

The good news is that I knit this up in record time, and if I do decided to unravel it I’m only looking at a week wasted. I can justify it even further by pointing out that I really enjoyed the knitting experience (which is not always the case) and so it could hardly be called “wasted” time.

I’m not going to make any decisions about this right away. I may feel differently about it when cooler weather comes. Right now, in the middle of August, it was kind of an awful photo shoot. Long sleeves, long pants, and a wool sweater in the summer? Ugh. Not fun.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to scratch the sweater-knitting itch by doing someone else’s pattern for a while. I sometimes get caught up in tweaking my own design, and I forget how much I can learn by knitting something completely new.

2015 222/365

So I cast-on Tin Can Knits’ Caribou, and I am really liking it so far. It’s got an unusual yoke construction that is just enough of a challenge to keep me enthused, but not so much of a challenge that I am overwhelmed by it. I’m knitting it in a pretty yarn that is usually over my budget, but I was able to grab thanks to a generous gift certificate from my in-laws (from Christmas 2 years ago – it took me a while to choose something!)

I have high hopes for this new one. I’m hoping to break my unlucky streak. After that, maybe I’ll be ready to unravel the super wide cap-sleeve Everyday Cardigan and try again for a more reasonable fit!

(Somewhere in there I need to figure out what is up with my gauge – lately I knit much more loosely than I used to!)

WWYD with this damaged vintage afghan?

Damaged vintage crochet blanket, WWYD?

My mother recently came across this blanket that her grandmother made for her. It’s spent many years in an attic and is somewhat worse for wear.

We were looking at it last night and trying to figure out what could be done to either restore it or repurpose it, and it occurred to me that my online community might have some experience with this, or at least some great ideas!

So, here are the details as far as I can tell:
Damaged vintage crochet blanket, WWYD?

  • My mother says her grandmother only used wool, and the amount of felting in this blanket seems to bear that up.
  • On the other hand, some colors have survived largely intact, while others are nearly entirely eaten through. That suggests to me that some of the colors might have had synthetic content?
  • The squares appear to have been crocheted together at the end with a slip stitch (I think? I’ve never done that myself, so I can’t be sure) rather than sewn together or done join-as-you-go style.

I could probably make some new squares and insert them where the old, damaged squares were. Or we could cut it up and use the pieces for different things (I thought of a scarf, or a pillow).

What do you think? Any creative ideas?

TWiP: Knitting and socializing

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

It seems a theme has emerged this week: copious amounts of knitting, punctuated with the occasional family gathering. It was a good week.

I ended up re-starting the doomed cap-sleeve Everyday Cardigan I frogged last week, and I am kinda surprised to be saying this, but I’m almost done! I’ve got something like 3 inches left to knit on it. And this is 8pm on Friday night, so you know that by the time you read this on Saturday morning, I’ll be even closer to the finish line. Because knitting in front of the SyFy channel on a Friday night is how I roll. #knerd

A sweater in a week? My knitting speed has really improved! Sure, it’s sleeveless, but still. I’m impressing myself 😉

Maybe it’s because I spent most of the week trapped at home without a car. And maybe I felt a tiny bit like I needed to allow myself a little extra knitting time to make up for how bummed I felt to be without transportation in the summer.

Or maybe practice really does make you better/faster at things. Imagine that!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot with my DSLR for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some phone snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: 2015 213/365 – Saturday afternoon bag o’ yarn, soon to be a sweater (if I can get more than 50 rows in before having to rip it out – my track record hasn’t been so good lately…)

Sunday

Instagram: Remember last week when I knit 50 rows of an Everyday Cardigan in the wrong size? Yeah. Good times. I took a short break from it and now I’m starting again. I really do enjoy knitting this pattern. #knitting #pdceverydaycardigan

365: 2015 214/365 – Spent Sunday afternoon visiting my brother and his fiancee. Had bagel sandwiches and stuff :-)

Monday

Instagram: Breakfast, #knitting, and last night’s Poldark. Not a bad way to start a Monday. #pdceverydaycardigan

365: 2015 215/365 – Worked up such a sweat today between all the vacuuming and the dusting and such. I love the results, but I kinda wish I had a nice pool to dive into right about now.

Tuesday

Instagram: It’s possible I have a problem. I don’t mean an addiction to reading glasses so much as a tendency to lose them and then replace them. I found five of these pairs last week, when I was looking for one particular pair ( which is not pictured because I still can’t find it). Also not pictured: a pair of sun readers and a pretty sea green pair that I (ahem) ordered online at 1:30 this morning. OK, maybe there’s a tiny addiction at work, too. 😋

365: 2015 216/365 – Time for a little mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Wednesday

Instagram: OK, peaches, let’s go home and make a yummy crisp. #jerseyfreshlove

Instagram: My kitchen is about to smell really, really good.

365: 2015 217/365 – Cousinly portrait, fueled by fruit crisp.

Thursday

Instagram: My #pdceverydaycardigan is coming along nicely. I’m enjoying listening to my kids talk about their strategy for their latest YouTube Minecraft series while I knit. #knitting

365: 2015 218/365 – Just a quiet Thursday at home, Neil downstairs on the xbox, me on my bed with my knitting and Inspector George Gently series 7. We’ll reconvene later for some sci-fi and maybe Jon Stewart’s last Daily Show.

Friday

365: 2015 219/365 – I love this sweater, but I never wear it because the buttons are too thin and are always coming out of the buttonholes. Time to find some new (old) buttons.

Instagram: Found these unusual old buttons. They’re perfect for my green cardigan, but I only have 4. I need 6. Maybe it’s time to get out the #polymerclay and try to fashion a reasonable facsimile.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Little peasant dresses

Everyday Baby Sweaters and Polly Peasant Dresses

I forgot to show you these dresses I sewed a few weeks ago.

My intention was for them to be a match for the Everyday Baby sweater prototypes. I thought my niece could wear them together as full outfits.

Everyday Baby Sweaters and Polly Peasant Dresses

As it turns out, I love the sweaters, and I love the little dresses, but I don’t like them together, especially in the tiny sizes. Oh well. No biggie!

These first few I made using the free Infant Peasant Dress printable pattern from Sew Much Ado.

Polly Peasant Dress

Polly Peasant Dress

It would probably be more accurate to say that I used the pattern pieces, but I went my own way with assembly. It turns out the shapes in this pattern are nearly identical to the ones in my favorite shirt pattern (Simplicity 3835) so I just put the dresses together in the same manner that I have sewn about a million shirts for myself.

It wasn’t until I went back later and looked at the instructions that I noticed she constructs the garment entirely differently. It’s all good. Either way works.

Polly Peasant DressSince I’m super comfortable with this pattern, and since my niece won’t be a size 0-3 months forever, and since I do have a 2-year-old niece as well, and a couple of little girl friends who are almost five, and I think it would be fun to sew for all of them, I sprung for the Polly Peasant Dress pattern (also from Sew Much Ado), which is essentially the same as the 0-3 month freebie, but includes 10 sizes up to 6 years.

I sewed the hedgehogs in the 3-6 month size. Or was it 6-9? I forget now and the pattern is all the way upstairs 😉

It’s funny that despite evidence to the contrary, I still believe that these dresses are a perfect match for my little sweater pattern. I’m telling myself that the problem has been in the tiny sizes, and that it might be a different story if I tried it in a toddler or preschooler size.

I’m feeling quite stubborn about this, which means once I am done with the selfish knitting I’ve been working on, I will probably cast on a bigger size Everyday Baby sweater (or work up a prototype for the Everyday Kid adaptation I’ve been considering), and sew up an equally bigger Polly Peasant Dress to go with it. If (when) I do, I will be sure to share my results here!

A good wool and fabric combination

P.S. I’m thinking robot fabric for the dress, and leftover September sweater wool for the cardi. (And now I’m wondering why I never wear that skirt and the sweater together!)

P.P.S. I have no affiliation with Sew Much Ado. I’m just a happy customer :-)