Tag Archives: Burrard

Bonjour Burrard


Finished! Burrard is officially a garment, and I am so, so happy with it.

L wasn't home so I took the tripod and did a bunch of fancy selfies.

L wasn’t home so I took the tripod and did a bunch of fancy selfies.

I actually cast off two nights ago, but things never feel properly done until all the ends are woven in, which is what I did last night, as well as sewing on the buttons. I tried it on and it got the thumbs up from L’s sister, who’s staying with us, and it felt great. But. But, it didn’t feel quite right. The shawl collar was sitting funny and the buttons felt just a little out of proportion with the cables. This morning, I took off the buttons, and undid the cast off, and re-cast off with a larger needle and sewed on slightly smaller buttons (from the Wooden Artist) and yes, now it is finished (except the buttons bands need proper blocking, but there’s time for that).


This is only my second finished sweater, and my first with seams and set-in sleeves, and I was a little nervous. I did a lot of holding pieces up to my body and trying to determine how they would look at the end (which is pretty much a waste of time). Once I had it all seamed, I tried it on and was pretty glad it fit, although the fit was off since it didn’t have a collar or button bands, and thank goodness those worked out the way I thought they would.


I should probably trim those button threads…

I didn’t really change much about this pattern, to be honest. It was clearly written, with lots of pictures of various parts of the sweater that reassured me I was on the right track, and aside from the mis-crossed cable incident, and the ripping out and re-doing of the cast off, this was a knit without major incident. And I got to learn how to seam and set-in sleeves and do a shawl collar, and I love learning new things, so that is a major bonus to an already excellent experience.


One thing I will keep in mind when knitting future sweaters, though, is to add some length. I am tall and busty, and (mostly to do with the latter, I think) an extra inch or two in the torso would be good. I actually quite like the length of this cardigan, but it’s something to think about going forward. The sleeves, though, are perfect. They’re the right length and knit with about zero ease, which makes them fitted but not tight, and certainly roomy enough to let me wear long sleeves under this in the winter.


I didn’t quite make the ssKAL deadline, but I have a lovely new sweater to wear, and it’s finished before the cold sets in, so I don’t care. I pretty much have to turn to gift knitting now, but I’m already planning my next big knit (I’m thinking pullover), bolstered by the success of Burrard.


Pattern: Burrard by Glenna C.
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Liberty Heather
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm
Mods: I did two extra body increases above the waist, since my bust and hips are the same measurement. I decreased the extra stitches in the armhole, which also ensured I had a comfortable amount of ease at the top of the arm, where t-shirt sleeves tend to bunch up. My gauge was a little off, with my stitch gauge slightly tight and my row gauge slightly loose, so I did a little fiddling to make everything work out. I also added two additional rows to the button bands before the buttonholes, and then made six buttonholes to mitigate the pulling across my chest. All the details, etc. are ravelled here.


We’re sorry, Burrard can’t come to the phone right now


I really, really thought I was going to have a finished sweater to show you today. I finished seaming Burrard last Thursday, before we went camping, and that just left the button bands and collar to do this week and I really, really thought that was a realistic goal. And then, well, this week rolled around and it was a day short (because we didn’t get home from camping until Monday night) and then I had long days because I was filling in for a special section at work, and before I knew it it was this morning and I’d spent about three and a half hours with Burrard and, well, yeah.


It’s not so bad, really. I’m four rows into the button band, which means I’m one row away from putting in the button holes, and since I’ve already more or less mapped out where they’re going to go, that’s a snap. And that means I’m only two rows away from starting the short-row shawl collar, and once that’s done I’m only a few rows from binding off, and then it’s just weaving in ends and I’m done. Practically nothing! Except my sister is coming to visit this weekend, and the weather looks good, so we probably won’t sit around the house talking while I knit like a maniac. But by the next week? Yeah, by then I should have a finished sweater to show you.

In the meantime, how about some finished socks? These were my everywhere socks. I carried the first one with me around Boston and grafted the toe shut on the plane on the way home. The second sock took longer, but I every night on the way home from work for the last couple of weeks I’ve knit a couple of rows (including a few while camping), and wouldn’t you know it, they all added up and now I have a finished pair. This is the kind of stealth knitting that surprises even me. All that time, feeling like I wasn’t making any progress and then all of a sudden I was dividing for the heel and then, before I knew it, decreasing for the toe. It wasn’t fast, but it was exactly what I needed.

I kind of love the weird way colours pool around a flap heel. It should bother me, but it's so unpredictable I almost look forward to it.

I kind of love the weird way colours pool around a flap heel. It should bother me, but it’s so unpredictable I almost look forward to it.

I am a big fan of this pattern (Simple Skyp Socks, which has been knit by everyone I think) and this yarn (Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock) and I suspect to see both in my near future. If you, like me, are late to the Skyp Socks party, I say don’t wait. They’re addicting in the way that patterned socks can be, but also mindless enough that you can pick them up and put them down and not worry about wondering where you are when you get back to them. They’re perfect for social – or transit – knitting, and the pattern includes a range of sizes. Even better? They don’t gobble up much yarn. I have size 9 feet, and knit the leg longer than normal, and still had 32 g left over.

I'm still working on the whole selfie-sock-photo thing. I'm getting better though.

I’m still working on the whole selfie-sock-photo thing. I’m getting better though.

Holiday knitting is right around the corner, so I might not finish another pair of socks for myself for a little while, which makes these even sweeter. They’re the first cashmere blend socks I’ve knit for myself, and even if it takes a few months for a repeat performance, at least I know my feet will be cozy and warm in the interim.

Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks by Adrienne Ku
Yarn: Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Admiral Benbow
Needle: 2.5mm
Mods: None, really. I forgot to knit a purl row after the ribbing, so I left it off the second sock too. The only other tweak I made was when dividing for the heel I arranged my stitches so the instep would be symmetrical, with one purl stitch on each side. Otherwise I just knit as the pattern directed me to. Ravelled here.

I knit both of these socks from the same skein, but they looks totally different. Somehow, the second half of the skein had way, way more of that rusty orange colour. I love that about hand painted yarns, especially with a pattern like this one.

I knit both of these socks from the same skein, but they looks totally different. Somehow, the second half of the skein had way, way more of that rusty orange colour. I love that about hand painted yarns, especially with a pattern like this one.

First things first


Before I say anything else, let me just say that fall has arrived. At least in Toronto. Today is one of those glorious fall days with a wide open, deep blue sky and a true crispness in the air. It’s definitely chilly enough in the morning and in the evenings to wear a warm sweater and wish for mittens. It’s Toronto, so we probably (hopefully) haven’t seen the end of warm days for year, but still, it’s nice to be excited about the temperature dropping.

I was never this excited about cooler weather until I started knitting. It’s exciting.


Down the Rabbit Hole mittens, photo Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Also exciting: Kimberly Wepplo (commenter #11) is the winner of the Lit Knits giveaway! Congratulations Kimberly! Please let me know how to get in touch with you so I can pass your contact info on to Audrey. You’ll have to let us know what you cast on for first.

This was my first giveaway and I just wanted to thank you all for your enthusiasm! Your comments about the book and its patterns were so much fun to read, and I especially liked that you encouraged each other to try patterns you liked that were a little out of your comfort zone. Audry has put together a gorgeous book, and if you would like your very own copy of Lit Knits, you can buy it either on her website or on Ravelry. There’s still time to get the sweet pre-order deal, that includes both a print and an e-book version – it’s only available until Sept. 25, so now is the time to scoop it up. (There are also still giveaways you can get in on. The blog tour list is here.)

In other news, Burrard is in its final stages, which is perfect, because I could really use a big cozy sweater right now. I blocked the body on the weekend while I was finishing up the arms, which I blocked yesterday. Now I’m sewing in my sleeve caps. These are my first set in sleeves, so I did a lot of reading about how to ease them in, how to seam, etc. If you too are wondering about seaming and/or setting in sleeves, the best resources I found were this Vogue guide to seaming (which covers a ton of different seams, with illustrations) and this Berroco video, which Cassy linked to a few weeks ago. My seams aren’t perfect, but you know what, they aren’t bad.

Half-seamed set-in sleeve. So far so good, I think.

Half-seamed set-in sleeve. So far so good, I think.

I’m hoping to finish the sleeve caps and get started on seaming the body tonight, but even once all the seaming is done, I’ll have the button band and shawl collar to pick up and knit. I was all set to pull this one out in time for the SSKAL deadline, but then I realized that we’re going camping this weekend (backwoods, canoe-in camping) and since there’s no way I’m bringing an unfinished sweater with me, I may have to resign myself to finishing a few days after the deadline. Since this still means I get a finished sweater by the end of next week, I’m not devastated, but it would be nice to make the deadline. Maybe if I don’t sleep quite as much? We’ll see.

So, any tips on seaming or setting in sleeves? Do you see a horrible error in my photo that my novice eyes didn’t catch? Please tell me! I promise a photo of a fully-seamed sweater later this week.

Back at it


There is nothing like a long weekend to help you regroup. I don’t know where July and August went, but somehow it is now September, which means we’re heading into my favourite season. Whether it’s the product of canny marketing or just the subtle change in the air, September always feels like the start of something new, which drives me into a frenzy of organizing and cleaning and taking stock.


This long weekend has seen lots of that, and – hooray! – lots of knitting too. After nearly three weeks off (how did that happen? where did those weeks go?) I got back to Burrard. I finished the back this morning. I have another little project on the go, but I’ll wrap that up this week and then start the left front and the other arm. Everything will feel quick after the back, so I’m hoping that a few good knitting weeks lie before me and I’ll get this sweater done just in time for the air to turn crisp.


Did you enjoy your (long) weekend?

Second verse better than the first


So, after much internal debate, I sat down after work on Friday night and ripped. And you know, it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be (not that I want it to be by usual Friday night activity or anything).

Late-night phone picture of frogged yarn. It felt so good to get past the crinkly yarn into fresh stuff again.

Late-night phone picture of frogged yarn. It felt so good to get past the crinkly yarn into fresh stuff again.

Thank you all for your helpful and supportive comments. Seriously, it is very reassuring to see so many people who would also choose the painful path of perfection (how’s that for alliteration?). If I hadn’t already ripped, I think Audry’s comment would have put me over the edge. To do all that work and then not wear the sweater? Ugh.

I also realized that if it bothered me now, it would both me far, far more when there were six or seven properly worked repeats above it. Yes, it’s the back and it’s low on the back, so I wouldn’t be able to see it while wearing the sweater, but I’d know it was there. And sure, it sucks to rip out basically half of your progress, but in this case it was only 26 rows, and I more than made up that ground by the end of Saturday. And don’t you think it looks better?

I have colour coded the cables to prevent mis-crossing from happening again.

I have colour coded the cables to prevent mis-crossing from happening again.

Oh damn


So, here I was, all prepared to do my Burrard progress post and report that I was almost through the waist decreases on the back with nary a problem and then I looked at the photos, and yeah, miscrossed cable. One full repeat back.


Can you spot it? Let me give you a hint:


Sigh. The only reason I even noticed it is because I was going to say how it’s a shame that this dark yarn hides the details in the knotted parts of the cables, and so then I looked at them more closely, and yeah. I almost made the same mistake in the row I just knit (which is hard to see, but is right under the cord at the top). Maybe if I had repeated the mistake then it wouldn’t be so noticeable? Because it would be continuous? I don’t know. That mistake is about 26 rows back, which is several thousand stitches, and I’m not sure I have it in me to rip that. If I really hate it later, I can always duplicate stitch, right?

(I can’t decide whether I want you to encourage me to be a perfectionist and rip, or tell me it’s okay and let me carry on.)

Anyway, before I noticed that, I was also going to say how I had to rip back all the ribbing after I started the cables and realized I was three stitches off in the ribbing (despite checking the errata) because I apparently can’t count. Ribbing isn’t such a big thing to rip out, though. I actually ought to be somewhat farther along, but this has been kind of a long week work-wise, and by the time I got home (often at least an hour later than usual) all I could handle was plain stockinette, so I turned to these, which were cast on months and months ago at another time when all my brain could handle was plain stockinette. The splash of colour was a welcome distractions as well, and I figure that if I knit a few rows a week, I’ll get both some colour therapy and that much closer to a finished pair (the first one is done), so it’s win-win.

Maybe I’ll pick them up now while I debate what to do about this cable situation.


Jangly cables


I am making progress on Burrard. I’m actually tempted to say I’m making good progress, but a) I don’t want to jinx myself, and b) that’s all relative. I’ve never knit a sweater in pieces before, so the sense of satisfied completion I got when I cast off the right front on Tuesday is likely illusory. I mean, I still have the left front, the back, a sleeve and a half, and all the finishing, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Sorry about the boring photo – the lighting around here sucks today. Anyway, I pinned it out for the photo, but I'll wait to block it with the other front, so they match.

Sorry about the boring photo – the lighting around here sucks today. Anyway, I pinned it out for the photo, but I’ll wait to block it with the other front, so they match.

Nonetheless, that little gleam of accomplishment? That will work wonders at pushing me through this project in a timely manner. One of the reasons I’m drawn to smallish projects (such as socks and mittens and things) is, I think, because on the way to a finished project, I get to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I tend to think of myself as a process knitter just as much as I am a product knitter (by which I mean, I choose projects that I will both enjoy knitting and enjoy wearing) and finished pieces satisfy both sides of that coin.

But lets talk about Burrard. I am so entirely enchanted by the various cables that they can occupy me for hours (or could, if I had hours and hours of free time to knit). I love that each column of cables is different, and that the orderly ones are offset by the sort of jangly (as in: jingle jangle) motif that is the real star of this cardigan. Those cables are orderly too, but the way they slosh from side to side is so much fun. I am really looking forward to the crazy cable that winds its way up the centre of the back, which I think I’ll cast on for next, while I still have some momentum.


It starts now



So, after a fair bit of thinking, I decided to go with Burrard for the Summer Sweater KAL. I have had this cardigan in my queue pretty much since the the Winter 2012 issue of Twist Collective came out. I love the symmetrical, geometric cables and the shawl collar (especially the shawl collar), and I don’t have anything like it in my wardrobe, so I know it will end up in pretty heavy rotation once the weather gets chilly.

To be honest, though, I came very close to going with the Everyday Linen Raglan. I liked the idea of a speedy project that would probably allow time to also finish Grace by the end of September. What made up my mind, though, was that I wanted to take advantage of the KAL to learn something new. I’ve never knit a sweater in pieces, and this seems like a good time to tackle seaming and piecing.

So, here we go. I cast on for an arm when I got home last night – I wanted to cast on for one of the fronts, but an arm functions like an extended swatch, so it seemed like a better, if less exciting, choice. Once I get through a few more inches and know what my gauge is saying, I’ll cast on for a front and then had two pieces going at once: one in plain stockinette and one with cables. That’s a good balance and should keep me pretty focused as things progress.

Did you decide to join the KAL too? Do you think it’s crazy to knit a heavy sweater in the middle of summer? If you’re worried about being subjected to nothing but purple/grey knitting photos for the next two months, don’t be – I cast on for my Daphne‘s last week and finished the first sock yesterday, before casting on for Burrard. I want theses socks on my feet, so I promise to pop flashes of colour in here from time to time, because they are beautiful.