Tag Archives: woodstove cardigan

Still in season

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So windy.

So windy. Also, it was brighter than it looks, hence the sun glasses. Sorry.

On Thursday it was 20C, this morning it snowed. What I’m saying is, I have been wearing my Woodstove Season cardigan quite a bit and it has been lovely. I’m so used to knitting small things and accessories that to knit an actual garment and then get to wear it around is a whole thing. It took me two months to wear the first socks I knit (I thought it was weird, but I was a fool) but it only took me a week (during which I thought I was going to knit pockets) from finishing to first public wear. I could get used to this whole sweater thing.

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It has taken us a while to coordinate, so when L had a minute this afternoon we went for a walk to finally take some proper finished photos. Of course, it was freezing, and insanely windy, but you have to take what you can get. I swear, my hair is usually less wild than this.

It typically flaps less when worn open, but you get the idea.

It typically flaps less when worn open, but you get the idea.

I am really happy with the way this turned out. The sleeves have enough ease to be comfortable with a long-sleeved shirt under them, but they aren’t loose, so they don’t add bulk under a jacket, and the buttons are spaced properly so there isn’t any gaping. I do wish I’d knit the collar a little longer and the body a little shorter, but honestly, those are such minor details that they’re pretty much inconsequential. This is designed to be a long cardigan, and it is, which is something I’m sure I’ll appreciate during the winter (no lower back draft!).

And buttoning the million buttons back up.

And buttoning the million buttons back up.

It hasn’t been long, but so far the yarn seems to be holding up well too. It’s a superwash, so it doesn’t have quite as much structure as an untreated yarn, but there haven’t been any signs of pilling yet and it’s holding its shape just fine.

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Crispy crispy chevrons.

Details
Pattern: Woodstove Season by Alicia Plummer
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in Cyprus
Needles: 5.5mm for the body, 5mm for the collar and 4.5mm for the cuffs and bottom ribbing
Modifications: The biggest change was really the gauge. I knit this at 4.5 stitches to the inch instead of 4 stitches to the inch because, honestly, I just didn’t like the fabric when it was looser. This led to a false-start because I chose the wrong size initially. What I ended up with was something between the medium and the large, which was perfect. I made my buttonholes every 14th row (every 7th right-side row) instead of every 12th row, in part because my gauge was tighter so I could get away with it and in part because I wasn’t paying attention at the beginning and didn’t want to tink back two rows when it wasn’t going to make a difference anyway. To make my buttonholes work out I added two pattern rows to the body (after the end of the hip shaping and before the ribbing). I also picked up way more stitches in the armpit and decreased quickly and then slowly. All the details are Ravelled here.

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That wet wool smell

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I can't believe I didn't mess up a single chevron.

I can’t believe I didn’t mess up a single chevron.

It’s the smell of triumph. On Saturday, I cast off my Woodstove Season cardigan, wove in my ends, and wet blocked it. My first sweater, and it actually fits. I don’t know why I let sweaters intimidate me, but it feels like a real accomplishment to finish one. Obviously, I already have the yarn and pattern for my next one ready to go.

Because Woodstove took all weekend to dry, I don’t have any nice photos of my wearing it yet. I’m also not 100% sure it’s finished yet. It grew a few inches in length with blocking, which is fine, but I am now feeling that the pockets I had previously decided not to knit would suit it. Pockets aren’t a huge knitting burden (and I have yarn left) so I think I might whip them up this week and see. Proportionally, I think it needs something to balance the ten million buttons. Thoughts? (I’ll do a proper FO post when I have better photos and likely also pockets.)

This funny ombre effect is not there in real life.

This funny ombre effect is not there in real life.

To balance all the worsted weight knitting I’ve been doing lately, and in keeping with decidedly spring-ish weather, after getting Woodstove into its bath, I cast on something fun in laceweight.

Despite the greys in the photo, this is knitting up to look just like tarnished copper.

Despite the greys in the photo, this is knitting up to look just like tarnished copper.

I’m tend to forget about cowls, but with bicycling season upon us, the Hunter St. Cowl by Glenna C. seemed like the perfect balance between pretty and light and something practical that won’t fly off. I’m knitting it in Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label in Lucky Penny. Even if I put it down in favour of pockets, this won’t take long to finish.

Fruitful

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This is just a quick post to say that I smashed through my weekend goal on the sweater. Despite a nice day of running around in a beautiful weather on Saturday, I was only a couple of rows shy of being done the body when I went to bed. That was easily taken care of Sunday morning, at which point the interminable bind-off began. Honestly, I think it took me four hours to bind off (probably not, but that is also not as exaggerated as it sounds).

This was the best I could come up with for photos. Sorry. I'm just going to buckle down and finish it and then wear it, which will make it look more like a cardigan and less like squiggly wool.

This was the best I could come up with for photos. Sorry. I’m just going to buckle down and finish it and then wear it, which will make it look more like a cardigan and less like squiggly wool.

 

The pattern recommends EZ’s sewn bind off and, since I hadn’t tried it before, I figured I’d give it a go (thank you Knitty for the clear instructions). It’s very clever, but holy moly does it take forever. It also eats a lot of yarn and I was briefly worried that I was going to have to join another ball of yarn just to finish the bind off. I made it through though, and the body took almost exactly four skeins of SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted (there was less than a yard left). Assuming the arms use a skein or so each, this sweater will come in at six skeins, exactly as I first thought. (After finishing the body, I went back and wove in all my ends. For some reason, this is making me feel like a genius.)

And, speaking of arms, although my goal was just to finish the body, I decided to keep trucking and start the arms. I was going to trade in this heavy yarn and return to either Shaelyn or my current socks-in-progress, but dammit, I want this sweater. I’m two thirds finished arm number one, so I would consider this a seriously fruitful knitting weekend.

Lots of snow means lots of knitting

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I grew up in rural Nova Scotia, which meant that every winter we’d get close to a dozen snow days (one year, we had so many school was almost extended into the summer to make up for it). Snow days were, of course, the best, and usually an excuse to sleep late and be lazy all day (except when we were little and then they were an excuse for a lot of playing). Living in Toronto, we don’t tend to get much snow, and working at a newspaper, my workplace is never closed because of weather.

Last week, though, Toronto got hit. That same big storm that barrelled through the the East Coast hit us first, and although we didn’t get quite as much snow, we got a lot (over a foot!). It mostly came on Friday and, yes, I had to work, but waking up on Saturday to a city that was still digging out meant that everything was quite and beautiful and wintry. If that combination doesn’t fill you with the desire to knit, well, I don’t know what does.

After long grey days, snow really brightens everything up.

After long grey days, snow really brightens everything up.

L was busy marking assignments, so while we did go walking around in the snow and admiring how much prettier the city is in the snow – it was one of those perfect winter weekends, with a bright blue sky and no wind and snow everywhere – I spent the majority of the weekend happily knitting and listening to Tina Fey read Bossypants.

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I was was a little all over the place knitting-wise, but here’s what I occupied my needles most:

I wish I'd taken a photo on Saturday morning, because I just about doubled the size of my Woodstove cardigan.

I wish I’d taken a photo on Saturday morning, because I just about doubled the size of my Woodstove Season cardigan.

I can sometimes be a reactionary knitter, thus, a new hat. This is Scrollwork by Irini Dmitrieva and I'm knitting it out of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Plume.

I can sometimes be a reactionary knitter, thus, a new hat. This is Scrollwork by Irini Dmitrieva and I’m knitting it out of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Plume.

And, last but not least, I'm making good progress on my Everyday Socks. They're good TV knitting, and with the cold, I'm extra motivated to get another pair of socks finished.

And, last but not least, I’m making good progress on my Everyday Socks. They’re good TV knitting, and with the cold, I’m extra motivated to get another pair of socks finished.

A little all over the place maybe, but I like variety; it keeps me interested and helps ensure my hands don’t get tired or sore. Those cables are addictive, though, and if it’s still cold out when I finish that hat I will probably cast on right away for the matching cowl!

February is for focusing

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I was going to say that February is for finishing, but then I realized I have too many unfinished projects to possibly make that claim during the shortest month of the year. So instead, a compromise. I realized this week that, other than my Christmas socks, I haven’t knit anything for myself since mid-November. I’m not saying that this is some kind of travesty or anything – I love giving handknits and also how knitting gifts gives me the opportunity to tackle projects I wouldn’t necessarily knit for myself – but there comes a point when you just want to knit something that doesn’t have a gift-by deadline, you know?

I got this yarn (and two more skeins just like it) for Christmas. This skein, or part of it, is destined to be a headband.

I got this yarn (and two more skeins just like it) for Christmas. This skein, or part of it, is destined to be a headband.

So, this month I’m going to try and focus my knitting on a few key things that I’ve been wanting. The main thing on this list is mittens. Since October I have knit three pairs of mittens and one pair of gloves and this has given me a lot time to think about what mittens I want for myself (mine, knit last year, have grown very thin indeed). Thus, they are priority number one, and would be a super quick knit if I weren’t designing my own (with the intention of releasing the pattern, which slows things down a little). I also need a headband, which shouldn’t take more than an afternoon, really.

In progress. I'm already knit and ripped and reknit a couple of times, but I think I've got it more or less figured out now.

In progress. I’m already knit and ripped and reknit a couple of times, but I think I’ve got it more or less figured out now.

The real focus of this month, though, will be my Woodstove Season cardigan. I started it back in November, then realized I was knitting the wrong size and ripped it out. I got re-started after the holidays, but put it down again to focus on the Moose Gloves, but now that those are finished (!) I am feeling the pull of the sweater. At least part of that is reactionary, since it’s been steadily cold for the past few weeks and I hate being cold. But I’m also starting to feel like a full finished sweater is a hurdle a need to get over, and I think this one is the one to get me there. I’m almost ready to divide for the armpits, and from there it’s pretty straightforward, so I just need to stick to it and it’ll be fine.

I love this colour. I am also totally smitten by these chevrons.

I love this colour. I am also totally smitten by these chevrons.

So, that’s where I think this month is heading – I’ll try to work on things in cycles so at least the blog will stay interesting. What are your plans for this short month?