When I was getting ready to go to Rhinebeck, I realized that I had nothing to wear. I’d designed a bunch of sweaters in 2013 and 2014 but I didn’t have any of them! Some knitters may not know that when you design for a publication you don’t always get your samples back and, when you do, you often don’t see them for a long time. (It’s kind of a funny surprise to get a sweater you made a year ago in the mail.)
I found out that I might be able to get Ilsa back in time to wear for the big event so I was pretty excited to show her off. But I got an email that basically said, “Vickie Howell would like to wear your cardigan for an episode of Knitting Daily TV that’s shooting just before Rhinebeck. Sorry that we can’t give it back!” And I was like, “If Vickie Howell would like to wear my design on TV, I will find a hat to wear to Rhinebeck.” This is not something that happens to a girl every day!
And she really did! The Ilsa Cardigan is featured in Episode 1402 “Thick of It” and Vickie looks great in it! It was styled so well. I love the way the bunched sleeves make it look over-sized and casual. It’s a really fun piece and I’m honored to be part of her show! Check out the trailer:
I haven’t seen the episode yet. Vickie Howell’s show for Interweave airs on your local PBS station! If you don’t get that channel or you’re too cool or cable, you can get a DVD of the complete season here. I’m going to get one for my mom so she can be proud of me forever.
Have you seen this episode of Knitting Daily TV? Were you like, “I wonder where I can find the pattern for that gorgeous cardigan”?
After all of the complaints about startitis last week, I am super excited about what I have to share today! The preview for Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue came out on Friday so you can finally get a peek at my first design for their magazine.
Creamsicle is a summery sweater, slightly cropped with half sleeves and a bobble front. You know I love bobbles. I’m always pleased when I can put my personality and style into a piece of knitwear and this vintage-inspired, whimsical top is exactly that.
The sweater is knit with Kettle Yarn Co’s gorgeous Wimbledon yarn which is the most delectable superwash merino I’ve ever laid my hands on. Working with it is a dream and it’s super soft and silky which is perfect for a light sweater like this. Linda is a really fantastic dyer. The colors were beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m obsessed with how the peach and melon work together.
And, of course, I’m just completely over the moon with how amazing the photos are. The ladies at Pom Pom always impress. They really know how to style things perfectly.
The summer issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is available for pre-order right now in both print and digital forms! I definitely think you should pick up a copy and not just for the purposes of shameless self-promotion. All of the patterns in this issue are going into my queue. Speaking of, you can add Creamsicle to your queue and add it to your favorites on Ravelry. Best of all, Kettle Yarn Co has already opened a pre-order for Wimbledon kits so you can have your yarn on hand when the magazine comes out later this month. Did I mention how amazing this yarn is?
Will you be knitting a Creamsicle? Do you love bobbles or do you love bobbles?
Sometimes. Not often. But every once in a while, I screw up. I’m just kidding. If you know anything about me, you’d know that I’m kind of a disaster but I don’t like to focus on my faults and, when it comes to knitting, I’m pretty good at making a stumble look like a dance. Usually, I don’t screw up in a big way so I can gloss over it. Nobody has to know. But sometimes I just get myself into a mess and I make mistakes.
Coming off of a knitting high of some recent knit-related ass kicking, I dove right into the BT Men’s lookbook, ready for a new challenge. Like I said, I was immediately itching to make a Timberline for Jon before the release day was over, I’d ordered a box full of Shelter. Since the sweater was for Jon, I asked him to help me pick out a color. I want to make sure he wears this damn thing. He liked the color of the Slade cardigan so I ordered Cast Iron. (I really thought he’d want a cream colored cardigan but he wasn’t excited about that anymore. Boys, always changing their minds!)
The yarn came in two days! I never order just one skein and swatch until I like the yarn and then get the rest later. I am all about instant gratification. I want to swatch for a maximum of 15 minutes and then I want to GET KNITTING. I can’t wait. I am not patient. Knitting is not for the patient! So I ordered 15 skeins.
I started getting into the pattern. It’s 24 pages long (a full page of construction notes, three pages of charts, two pages of cast on instructions, etc). To say the very least, it’s intimidating. I’m not sure why but looking over the charts made me feel dizzy and tired and then laugh maniacally.
But I’m very confident. I can knit anything. I’ve never doubted myself when it comes to following a pattern. I’ve certainly ripped out and messed up before but I can’t remember the last time I looked at a pattern and thought, “I can’t do this.” So I dove right in.
I swatched a little bit and I started working up the sleeve and then my worst fears came true. Two things happened: I screwed up some of the cables and I hated the color. I was prepared to frog the piece. It’s not like I haven’t ripped out two days of work before. (We’ve all been there, right?)
So I decided I’d go back and do a bigger swatch to really get a good feeling of the cables. I was really breaking a sweat doing these cables. It was certainly a knitting work out. But the whole time I was looking at the piece thinking that I just wasn’t happy. I know this feeling. I can’t knit a whole sweater with this feeling. The yarn was just too dark to show off the details. It was nice but it wasn’t stunning. I don’t want to put in days and days of work and not get stunning as a result. I won’t even be motivated to finish it.
Last week I decided to exchange the yarn. I’m impatient so it’s super frustrating to have to wait even longer to begin but I think it’s for the best. I’m going to go with Long Johns. I think it would be a better color way, still masculine but bright enough for the cables to really shine. I think it’s the right thing to do.
I made a mistake. Luckily, it’s easy to fix but it’s still a bummer that I have to wait longer before I can get started on this sweater. It’s probably for the best. I have a few projects with loose ends that need tying up (pun intended) before I jump into a big commitment. And, besides, maybe next time I’ll be more careful before I jump in, do more research and really get a feel for the yarn before making a big purchase. And, as always, I need to trust my gut. Jon really liked the dark grey but I knew deep down that it wouldn’t be what I wanted. I’ve got to trust myself!
Do you like to admit your knitting mistakes?
You may have read about it on the twitter already but I have a cool announcement today! In honor of yesterday being Mother’s Day, I am working on a mother-daughter knit a long.
My mom taught me how to knit when I was in fourth grade (and then again when I wanted to get back into it when I was in high school). She is a great knitter. She made me so many things growing up and I’ve always been inspired by the way she picks up her needles to shoot off gifts for just about everyone that’s expecting. I come from a family of crafty women and I owe this blog and everything I’m doing now to their awesomeness.
So we’re knitting together! My mom requested that we knit the Stonecutters cardigan. Being a fan of Amy Christoffers must run in the family! I’m also very excited to knit one of Amy’s patterns for this because she’s a mom, too! I’m going to knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Wool Socks. My mom will cast on Berroco Brookstone Tweed in Marsh. It was awesome fun texting with my mom, debating over yarn choice and chatting on the phone about colors. We’ll have two matching garments that represent ourselves. It’s going to be really fun!
I am lucky to have such an amazing mother who has taught me so many things. Although she sometimes drive me crazy, she always makes me laugh. She always seems to have that random button or recipe that I need and I’m always learning from her. I’ve always been in awe of how hilarious an creative she is. She is my number one fan and I can’t thank her enough for all of her support. I’m so excited to be part of her first KAL!
I’ll be updating here about my and my mom’s progress on our cardigans!
Have you ever knit with an important lady in your life?
How was your holiday? I hope you got some time off even if you weren’t celebrating. Jon and I cooked Christmas dinner for my mom’s family. It was overwhelming but it turned out great. It felt so wonderful to take the pressure off of my grandma who has made us many many Christmas dinners and deserves to have some time off from all of the fussing. Besides,who else can cook a better Christmas ham than a couple of New York Jews?
December has been a really wild month and I’m excited to see what is in store for next year. I don’t think I’ve ever said that before! (I actually feel nervous and sad around the end of the year most of the time. I think I get a little bit too nostalgic. This year, I’m looking ahead and excited by what’s on the horizon!) I’ve been very good about taking photos, as I promised.
The month is certainly not over yet but here are a few of the pictures I’ve taken in December.
A lot happened this month. And there are plenty more photos on instagram where you can see all of the crazy projects I’ve been working on. I can’t wait to reveal them all!
Did you have a busy holiday? Are you excited for next year? Do you have any knitting goals lined up?
I finished my Maxfield cardigan! It took my a while but I’m going to blame it on the big break I took to make Katie’s wedding present. No regrets there! But I was just in time because I got to wear my newly finished Maxfield Cardigan to Rhinebeck! But I didn’t take any photos because I was so busy!
Okay, that’s not true. I took this photo with design crush Amy Christoffers! Both of us wearing her designs! Be still my heart!
Hint: There will be a KYC Presents interview coming up featuring a lovely designer who’s name rhymes with Jamy Tristoffers! Did you guess who it is? Are you excited? I am not the only fangirl for Amy’s designs (you know who you are) so I hope there are lots of you looking forward to that!
Anyway, I finished my Maxfield Cardigan. And there were no pictures since that little sleeve teaser and some Instagrams of the front. But here are some photos of the whole shebang.
I love each one of Amy’s cardigans more than the last. This one seems even more wearable than the Pomme de Pin. (I love them both.)
The Malabrigo is so yummy and soft. I am very pleased with how the colors turned out. Just how I’d imagined it! But, honestly, I want to make another one. Maybe grey and black? I think I need more neutrals. And by that I mean to say I’m addicted to neutrals.
Look at that collar! I know that I knit the chevrons differently than the pattern specified (with the dec/inc going through the MC sections) but I like the way it turned out. But, really, the front panels are killer.
I had SO MANY knitters come up to me at Rhinebeck and ask what pattern I was wearing. I was so excited! It is such a compliment to hear other knitters wanting to cast on once they’ve seen your work. But I was mainly psyched to spread Amy’s name. I want everyone to be knitting her sweaters! Make this sweater! It’s so much fun!
ps. You’re looking better than ever, New York! Don’t forget to participate in the Subway Knits Sandy benefit raffle! Lorna’s Laces is also selling sock patterns to benefit Sandy victims through Feeding America.
pps. To all of my American readers, tomorrow is the election! I hope you all plan on going to the polls (or have already voted, as I have!) VOTE!
I’m still working on my Maxfield cardigan. Here is proof. I want to finish it so badly! Especially with the weather being as chilly and wonderful as it’s been. I’m dying to get it off the needles. I had a few projects to complete before Katie’s wedding, so it’s been a little neglected.
But something’s going on. I have this feeling recently that I’m running in quick sand and nothing is getting done. I feel like it’s exhausted me and I just need to clear my head before I can keep going on. I just need to wake up and get going and all of my projects will be finished. Right?
When I posted about the Ishbel shawls, I was worried I would have to wing it! But the response that I got was overwhelming! I reached out to a lot of knitters on Ravelry and so many people were happy to be involved. I’ve gotten really supportive comments. You guys are the best! It’s really fun seeing my videos come together but when I feel that others want to be a part of it, it is even more meaningful. Thank you all!
Aside from editing up a storm and cooking some yummy stuff, I’ve been working non-stop on my Maxfield Cardigan. As predicted, I am obsessed with it. I am lucky I’ve left the house to go to work.
At first I was very nervous. I thought the stripes were too subtle especially with the variegation of the hand dyed MC. But the more I work on it and the more I see it in the sunlight, the more in love I become! The Malabrigo is softer than I could have dreamed. It’s really going to be wonderful to wear.
I’ve made a few mods in this first sleeve. I began with the 1×1 rib on size 2 needles instead of size 3. I’ll be honest, I did it because I wanted to cast on and I didn’t have any size 3s or time to swing by my LYS. But I rationalized this decision because I’ve been wearing my Pomme de Pin a lot recently and the sleeves are way too long and a little too wide for my taste as well. I think the smaller needles will make the cuff a little more secure. Since I was working on smaller needles, I added 3 rows of ribbing just for good measure.
The other modification I made (which you can’t see in this photo) after completing the increases, I decided to continue with the chevron pattern in the MC only. The pattern has you continue with the CC chevrons (making 6 sets total) but I wanted to make sure that the last set of chevrons didn’t look less pointy as I continue with stockinette stitch. I believe the sleeve length is 18″ where Amy suggests 19″ but, like I said, I was erring on the side of caution. Also, I’m very short.
This next picture is just because I’m obsessed with a nice shallow depth of field:
It could use some better exposure, though.
I think I’m off to a good start. I am loving the yarn and, of course, the pattern is fantastic. I think I’ll have this cardigan done in no time.
Have you cast on your Maxfield yet???
Amy Christoffers has come out with a new pattern, everyone! As if you hadn’t heard! It’s called Maxfield and my jaw hit the ground as soon as I saw it. Seriously. Amy, I am not worthy.
Immediately, I started planning. I had so many ideas. First off, I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to use Madeline Tosh. I’m sorry, MT. It’s not you, it’s me. I just think I need to try other yarns.
I was sneaking peeks at the Ravelry yarn pages for Lorna’s Laces at work. I did some intense Google-ing. I took screen shots of every yarn that was a possibility so I could pair it with different colorways and see which worked best. I distrusted every photograph I saw on Webs and Jimmy Beans and cross-referenced them with stash pictures on Ravelry. And then I distrusted those.
Basically, I was like some crazy yarn psychopath for about 48 hours. I finally settled on two colorways of Lorna’s Laces Honor (which is what Amy’s pattern calls for) and then I couldn’t find them anywhere! I looked for a long time but no one was selling Honor in a colorway I’d set my heart on. But then I started thinking about some other possibilities.
You see, my basic inspiration is a southwestern-style Dude-esque cardigan. (Side note: Is there a name for that style of cardigan that’s brown and white and has, like, Native American patterns on it or moose?) I really wanted a neutral or beige with, like, a desert sunset for the chevrons.
This is what I found:
I worked with Malabrigo Silky Merino a few years ago and I thought it was so luxurious. I think it will work well with the pattern and the color is perfect! I’m using Acorn for the MC and the CC is Viena. I love the purple and orange. I hope it looks just like an old poncho! My only worry is that since it’s 50% silk it might be a little shiny. (Honor is a merino/alpaca blend which sounds fantastically soft.)
I’m so excited to cast on. I just can’t stop looking at the pattern and at Amy’s pictures. Are you casting on a Maxfield cardigan of your own? What are you waiting for?
Don’t worry, everyone. There won’t be any spoilers here. About the plot, at least. But if you were hoping to be surprised by the outrageously beautiful cardigan Don Draper wears in the season’s finale…well, spoiler alert.
I caught up on Mad Men before the start of this season. I’m completely hooked and I don’t know what I’ll do now that there’s no Mad Men to watch! And this season was a real roller coaster!
This last episode was filled with beautiful images. But I think this sweater might have been my favorite. My jaw dropped and Jon immediately asked me to find a pattern so I could make one for him. Sorry, no spoilers here. I wasn’t actually listening to anything Megan was saying…I was too busy drooling.
Has anyone else had a hard time finding a truly elegant mens’ shawl collar cardigan pattern? I find they are either too flimsy or too chunky. If you’ve got one that you like, send it my way! I’m itching to cast on for a Don Draper sweater!
Maybe Trudy has a pattern I could borrow. Wonder what she’s working on…
Can’t wait to find out more about this sweater! In the mean time, I will be reading Mad Men Unbuttoned like crazy.
Until next season (fingers crossed)…I love you, Mad Men.