Tag Archives: sweater

Buttons, buttons, I must choose some buttons

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I’m still trucking along with Buckwheat (I think I’m half and inch from once again dividing for front/back, at which point I will try it on again), but I have to say, my previous enthusiasm has waned a little. Part of this can be blamed on the ripping, which is annoying, but part of it can also be attributed to the weather. It has been gorgeous here. We had a few days where the humidex took us into the low 40s (Celsius) and it felt tropical. Then, we had a great big storm and the humidity melted and it’s been humidity-free mid- to high-20s since. In short, fabulous weather. As a result, I just haven’t been sitting and knitting the way I usually do.

Anyway, I need to get re-motivated, so I’ve decided to start thinking about the buttons that will go on the shoulders of the sweater, defining the boatneck and adding a little bit of interest to what is otherwise a whole lot of stockinette. I bought some vintage buttons a while ago, but I wasn’t sure any of them clicked, so today I went to Kensington Market staple Courage My Love to check out their selection. I didn’t bring my camera, but suffice to say I spent quite some time examining their collection.

They have a ton. There’s a quite big selection of all kinds of different buttons displayed on part of the wall, and then, just when you think you’ve become saturated, you discover more. There are probably 60+ little wooden drawers, all containing buttons. Some of the drawers have been further subdivided, and others are a free-for-all of either lots of the same buttons or an assortment of vintage buttons, and really, it’s just a big, crazy selection.

While I was perusing, I overheard a woman next to me talking about needing to find “owl eyes” and, when I asked, sure enough she was knitting Kate Davies’ “Owlet” for her adorable little daughter. She looked both thankful and a little aghast when I explained that all the little wooden drawers were also filled with buttons, and I left because I saw what she found, but I’m sure she found something.

Anyway, I found a few things, and I’ve narrowed it down to (I think) three choices. I haven’t made up my mind, so if you’re feeling opinionated, please, please weigh in.

A:

These are .5cm larger than the size Veera calls for, but I like them and think that’s not a big difference, so they’re included.

B:

Black, possibly wooden, octagons. They’re the required 2 cm.

C:

These are my ‘artfully mismatched’ selection. They’re vintage, and both the same size and iridescent style, only in slightly different shades. They’re also 2 cm.

And, in case you’d like to see them all together to better make your choice, here:

I don’t know if this makes it easier or harder.

Thoughts?

And then I ripped

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So, remember when I was all “cautiously optimistic” about finishing Buckwheat before the end of the Euro? Yeah. Yesterday I tried it on and it turns out that that nagging little voice that had been telling me it was going to be way too short, well, that voice was right. Way right. I was just about to start the short-rows on the front/back and thought to myself, hey, maybe I’ll just pull this on and see how it’s going. As it turns out, if my armpits were where my bra band is, everything would be fine, but they aren’t, so it’s tricky.

Here’s where I was when I decided to try it on…

For about three seconds I contemplated just finishing and then trying to block it out, but honestly, that would be dumb. I want to wear this sweater. I love the colour, I’m liking the fabric this knit is creating, and I will be really ticked if, at the end, I can’t wear it.

…and, not I’m back down here again.

So, yesterday, right before leaving for work, I tore it back to where I divided for front and back. Now I have to pick up all the stitches from my holders and figure out what I’m going to do. I think the problem is less with Veera’s pattern and more that it seems very few designers know what to do about breasts. I am chesty. It’s true. I had to measure myself for a bridesmaid dress this week and discovered that there’s actually an easy 8-inch difference between my bust and waist measurements, which is fine, and I’m sure not crazy unusual. The thing is, though, that generally when things get larger they get wider, but not longer. That means the extra surface area of my chest is not really being taken into account; yes, bigger breasts mean more width, but they generally also mean that, when you’re talking about a garment that isn’t meant to fit as a tent, there needs to be more length allowed.

As far as Buckwheat is concerned, there is a little more length allowed for the bottom, which is good, but for me there also needs to be more length in the chest. As it stands, the pattern says to knit 3 inches past the top of the waist shaping, then divide for front and back. In my case, I’m going to need about 7 inches past the waist shaping. I’m also debating adding some stitches to the front of the sweater, just so it doesn’t pull over my chest (not that it would be too tight, but I’d like the texture to remain the same throughout).

Anyway, I will let you know how it goes… In the meantime, have any advice? Have any of you run into similar, er, busty problem with sweaters? How did you fix them?

Edited to add: I tried it on again after taking the stitches off the stitch holder and have decided I definitely do not need any more. In fact, despite the fact that I’m knitting at a slightly tighter gauge than indicated, it might be a sort of loose, comfy, drapey sweater. Thus, just more length, not more width, do deal with the bust issues.

Friday randoms

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First I don’t usually cross-post, but today it just makes sense. Over on my other blog, Books Under Skin, I reviewed All Wound Up by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, also known as the Yarn Harlot. It’s hilarious and lovely and while I think it’s a book that almost any non-knitter would enjoy, it’s definitely got a little something extra for knitters (it’s like reading a book that’s set in your city, but not geographic, if you know what I mean).

Anyway, if you’re interested, the review is here.

Second I am making great progress on my sweater. It seems Colour Affection has instilled in me a great enthusiasm for simple knitting, and that coupled with the Euro Cup has brought the sweater to full time status. It’s ticking (not tinking) right along, and with any luck I’ll have it done before the end of the tournament. This obviously depends on nothing else catching my fancy (and honestly, so many things are), but the sweater is good sports knitting, so I’m feeling cautiously optimistic.

That black line indicates about where I was when I picked it up after finishing Colour Affection on Saturday. I’ve knit about 5-inches since then, which isn’t bad considering how long it took me to get to that black line in the first place.

Third My parents were in town for my sister’s graduation on Wednesday and my mum has requested a knitted double-thick tea cozy for Christmas. That means the scarf is on the back-burner and I am probably going to start knitting practice tea cozies. Don’t say you weren’t warned. (For context, my first attempt, which I knit for myself, turned out like this. This is what she based her request on, but I intend to make something much nicer and less, erm, puckered.)

Very. Slow. Progress.

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I know the key word there should be “progress,” but mostly it just feels like “slow.” Anyway. Remember all that time ago when I said I was casting on for a sweater? Well, I actually did that. And then I got distracted by socks and life and it languished. It’s my in-the-background project, so I was alright with it not being a priority.

Last week, though, I decided I should dedicate some actual time to it, otherwise it was just going to be a background project forever, and nothing is less motivating than returning to a project that seems to be going nowhere. So, Tuesdays and Thursdays are now for sweater -knitting only (well, and work and cooking and all that other stuff; it’s more like any knitting that gets done on those days must be for the sweater). It’s been two weeks, and this is what I have to show for myself:

April 10, barely beyond the ribbing and before my dedicated sweater knitting plan.

April 20.

Today

This is Buckwheat by Veera Valimaki and I am being unoriginal and knitting in the same colourway she did, which is Malabrigo Sock ochre (had I seen Boticelli Red at the time, things might have been different). To get gauge I had to go up to a 4.5 mm needle, which means the wool and needle pairing are not exactly natural (tiny wool, biggish needle), so I feel the need to hold everything more tightly than normal, which is slowing me down.

I’m not quite at the waist shaping, which means I’m just far enough along to start worrying that it won’t fit. I have no reason to think this except that I tend to think this about everything  knit right around the point that I’m far enough into it that ripping back seems unfathomable.  Thus, I will not be ripping this and will instead persevere with the assumption that I’m being crazy and everything will work out.

Ribbing Forever

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As promised, I cast on for both the sweater and my second sock this week. I thought it would be nice – you know, give my knitting a little perspective to have a big project and a (relatively) little one. But then I realized that I’d miscalculated. I should have cast on one, worked for a while, and then cast on the other. Because right now, I’m in a neverending loop of ribbing.

At least they're complimentary colours? I don't know why the lighting is so yellow, though. In real life, the sweater is much softer than this.

I suspect every knitter has their thing that they hate, but for me, it’s ribbing. I know it’s important. I know it will look nice when it’s done. I don’t care. Ribbing, for me, is slow. It isn’t interesting slow, though, like following a lace chart or something, it’s requires just enough attention to allow me to properly do anything else, and it goes on and on and on.

The only bonus to all this ribbing is that, compared to the sweater, the sock is flying (it’s also ribbing with mini cables, so it isn’t quite so annoying, but still). I still have half and inch on the sweater’s ribbing and, well, I really can’t wait to get there. I briefly contemplated not finishing the ribbing – just stopping at an inch and calling it a day – but I knew I would regret it when all was said and done. So I rib on (and on and on and on), and when the day comes that I get to pass through the glorious gates of stockinette and just knit mindlessly while listening to something, or watching something, or maybe even reading something, then I’ll be glad that I toughed it out.

Mini cables are still ribbing.

A Cautionary Tale

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Yarn splurge

Last weekend I went into Lettuce Knit to exchange some wool (I had an extra, unwound skein of the wool I used for Almondine, so I thought I’d plan ahead and get something for the next pair of socks). I had just started the Happy-Go-Lucky socks, and thought I’d ask Natalie what she thought – I’m still new to colourwork and wanted to make sure I was doing things properly. For the record, this is how far along I was:

Happy-Go-Lucky

Just a bit of top.

At that point, I could get my foot through without any trouble. Nonetheless, Natalie took one look at them and said “be careful.” Her warning: She has highly-arched feet and there are some socks she just can’t get her foot into. I thought about that for a minute and then decided to just got for it. I was knitting above gauge, I thought, surely that will save me. Still, her warning haunted me all week, and when I Friday rolled around and I was halfway through the foot I thought I should check. The heel did seem small to me, and I was (secretly) a little worried. I couldn’t get my foot through. It was because the socks were still on the needles I reasoned, and plowed on.

Still, I was worried. I went to work that night and then spent all my downtime on Ravelry looking at projects I could start on the weekend in case these socks decided not to fit. I need to do this. I need to plan for the worst so that if it doesn’t happen, I can rejoice, and if it does I have something else planned already so no worries. I picked two patterns (this one and this one) and decided that I’d finish the Happy-Go-Lucky toe on Saturday morning and then go buy the necessary wool for the other patterns. No big deal.

Of course, then the sock fit. Only barely, to be fair, but I got it on and it was comfortable and lovely. Perfect, right? Well, yes and no. You see, in all my planning for ways to not be horribly disappointed in case they didn’t fit, I got kind of excited about these other projects.

Happy-Go-Lucky

Half of a pair. Secretly, I'm pretty pleased about how this looks – especially the surprise stripes on the sole.

That meant I went to the yarn store anyway.

Yarn splurge

Three skeins each of Cascade 220 Heathers in colourway 4008 (for the scarf) and three of Malabrigo sock in colourway Ochre (for the sweater).

I have been swatching ever since. I will cast on the second sock this week, but I might also cast on a sweater. Maybe today. Maybe right now. You see what happens when you preplan for disaster?