Posts Tagged ‘lace’

04
Feb

FO: A Selfish Sweater

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, knits, sweater

Faro was off my needles pretty quickly! I actually was able to put the bottom ribbing on right before I went to Vogue Knitting Live! So I a lot of people saw it unblocked (meaning super cropped and hanging weird, whatever! She needed to be worn!). I finally got a chance to block it and I could not be happier.

You’re going to be seeing me in this sweater A LOT. Absolutely, 100% Faro has jumped to the number one spot of favorite sweaters! I decided to take some photos wearing the big floppy hat that I have no occasion for. Remember my inspiration photo? I am no model but big hats!

faro 2

First of all, I love the construction of this sweater. Knitting from side-to-side was really fun! There wasn’t a ton of shaping (really just the under-arm shaping) so it was really really simple (as in if you’re intimidated in any way by knitting sweaters, this is a great place to start!) but the lace/cables made this really fun to work up. The aran-weight Quince and Co Osprey made this really quick but totally satisfying. I could not imagine making this sweater with a different yarn. Also, there was no finishing necessary on the collar which is awesome. (I dread picking up collar stitches almost as much as I do seaming and weaving in ends.)

I’m completely obsessed with the stripes of cables and lace. Amy really knows how to make a handsome sweater. They play perfectly with the boatneck. And I must add that I’ve never really been a fan of boatnecks although I actually look pretty good in them. Note to self: more of that. The cropped length is really fun, too! I was afraid it was going to come out way too short (especially before I put on the ribbing) but it’s really just perfect all around. Trust the pattern!

faro 3

I think I mentioned before that I went with a three-quarter sleeve instead of the half. I just added a few inches in the chart pattern before I worked the sleeve shaping. I love sweaters with cropped sleeves and I think I’m going to do this with all of the sweaters I make myself. I almost always wear them over a button down with the sleeves rolled up. This way I can roll the cuff of my button down without getting the cuff of the sweater involved in that mess.

faro

I used to just knit sweaters that were patterns that I thought would be interesting and fun to make. This piece goes beyond that in adding functionally to my wardrobe. It’s not just a beautiful sweater, it’s a garment that I want to wear. This was the perfect place for me to step out of my comfort zone. Like I said, I don’t really wear boat necks often. I was really nervous about how that apricot color would look on me though I was drawn to it. I was scared that together it might be a little too much. But it all came together so perfectly. This is just amazing.

Long story short, I want to knit another one of these! I don’t think I’ve ever knit a pattern more than once (with the exception of the 12 pairs of knucks I’ve made) but this one I’d gladly make again!

What do you think? When are you casting on your own Faro?

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08
Jan

Oud Tank in Knitscene Spring 14

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, FO, knits, KYC Presents, tank top

Today I have something really exciting to share with you! I can finally show you a bit of what I was working on in 2013! My first design for Knitscene magazine is out now in the Spring 2014 issue.

The Oud Tank is a sleeveless top with lace collar and underarm panels. I had so much fun challenging myself with this construction. And I think the simplicity of the front and back contrasted with a bit of lace is very much my style.  I hope to see lots of different color combinations. Seeing it in black and white really gives you room to let your imaginations run wild!

knitscene magazine

Yesterday, I got my copy of the magazine in the mail and it was really exciting. I put a lot of love and thought and anxiety (do I do anything without anxiety being involved?) into this design and then I finished it and moved on to the next project. But here it is now! All of that effort and waiting has become a tangible thing!

oud knitscene

 

There are a ton of other great patterns in this issue so you should pick up a copy. What do you think? Will you be knitting Oud?

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02
Jan

WIP: The Selfish Sweater

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, sweater, WIP, yarn

Happy New Year, everybody! I hope you all forgot your old acquaintances and drank tons of champagne.

While I’ve made lots of goals and plans for this year, I’m going to be a little selfish this month. I was totally floored by the amount of work I completed in 2013. Most of that work I haven’t been able to share with you guys yet but, trust me, I was busy! The last time I finished a knit that was purely for my own enjoyment and wear was back in the spring (remember the Poolside test knit?). I spent the second half of the year just designing my little heart out and I loved it. So making something just for me feels like a guilty pleasure but every once in a while, I need to indulge! (I also bought myself a pair of new boots. All of my shoes have holes in them so when I say “every once in a while” you know that I mean RARELY. It’s time!)

I have really been dying to get Faro on my needles for a few good months now but I was halfway through a big (secret) project when it came out. Then I had to work on design swatches. Then the holidays happened. Now Faro is happening. It’s jumped the queue, in front of all of the sweaters and socks I’ve been promising to knit for Jon (and, not to mention, in front of some real work I should be doing) but I don’t care. It’s happening.

Choosing a color is always a difficult task for me. I love wearing blues but when I knit, I try to stay away from navy and turquoise so I can change up my wardrobe. Anyway, I went looking through my Pinterest board to see what kind of sweaters were living in my hopes and dreams to get some inspiration. I found a few photos of apricot cabled sweaters so I figured that was the way to go.

faro inspiration

I decided to go with Quince and Co’s Osprey in Apricot. It’s just the right color and a fabulous yarn to work with. It’s soft yet sturdy and chunky but light. And it’s working up so quickly.

faro wip 2

Since casting on, I had a few issues. It’s really embarrassing that I was mis-reading the chart. Then I worked about four inches before I realized that the under arm increases were supposed to be worked into the chart pattern. Then after knitting up the arm I realized that, though I thought the half sleeve would work since I’m short, I really wanted a 3/4 sleeve. I did a lot of ripping but I never felt discouraged and I am SO happy that I didn’t just let some of the mistakes slide as I usually might. Note to self: Go back and do things right!

And even after all of my mistakes, I feel like this sweater is coming together insanely fast!

faro wip

This pattern is really fun because it’s worked from sleeve to sleeve. So what you’re seeing above is a sleeve on the left, the back is up top and the front is where I’m working on the bottom. Then they’re going to be rejoined after the neck opening and the other sleeve will be worked. After seaming, ribbing will be added to the bottom to lengthen the garment. It’s so ingenious. I’ve never seen another pattern execute that construction as elegantly as Amy has here.

Now, as usual, I’m paranoid that it’s too small. Maybe I should just start knitting a size up so I stop freaking myself out. Also as usual, I’m assuring myself that blocking will help. Besides, I already ripped out the first sleeve about fifteen times so if I have to re-knit the sweater, I probably won’t even notice at this point. Just kidding. Blocking will fix it. I don’t mind if it’s a little cropped since I plan to mainly wear this over a button down. I plan outfits for my WIPs way in advance, don’t you?

What are you knitting for yourself these days? Do you knit mostly for you or for others? Have you knit a sweater sleeve to sleeve?

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21
Jun

FO: Poolside Sweater

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, knits, lace, sweater, yarn

So I’m usually not so bad at getting photos of a FO. Most sweaters I finish and I immediately want to get them photographed. (Can I tell you a secret? I plan photo shoots long before my knits are finished! My neighborhood has so many spots that I can’t wait to use for backdrops.) This time I totally slacked off so I’ve had the Poolside test knit finished for a couple of months. I even wore it for my appearance on Nora Meets the Maker. But there are real legitimate photos now.

poolside

I’m actually glad that I waited to post photos. Since I’ve worn this garment a number of times since completing it, I’ve been able to get a feel for what I like and dislike. Especially since I was trying out something new by knitting with cotton. I now have a full report!

poolside 2

First off, this pattern is gorgeous. The lace is so beautiful. I still love looking at it and I get lots of compliments. Isabell Kraemer’s pattern was a breeze to knit up. It was great travel knitting even though a few times I lost track of my lace and messed up a some spots while I was trying to keep myself from having a panic attack on the plane but I can’t even tell where that happened anymore. I’d love to make another one in a different fiber just to see how it turns out.

I’m also really psyched about this color. It’s kind of purple but not really purple but also kind of grey. Not a color I’d normally choose for myself (really the only color I wear is blue and I’m trying to change that). I’m proud that I switched it up a lot with this project.

poolside 4

Now, to get onto the stuff that I’m not crazy about.

The cotton was a great challenge for me but I’m still not really sold. Sorry, cotton, I just don’t think that plant fibers are really my thing. (That being said, the Blue Sky Alpacas is probably the nicest cotton yarn I’ve felt.) I love that this garment is summery but it’s still heavy and feels like it’s slowly stretching out the more that I wear it. Also, the stitches are still super pronounced and I should definitely have followed the rules and joined new skeins at the beginnings of rows instead of right in the middle of the chest. I learned my lesson there.

I also thought that I was being smart and knit the sleeve edges in reverse stockinette stitch in the round (purling every row) instead of doing faux garter stitch in the round (alternating between knit and purl stitches) as the pattern called for. That was stupid. The reverse stockinette doesn’t look neat and flat like the bottom of the sweater, it is all rolled and bothers the crap out of me. You can really see it in the photo below. I could’ve gone back and ripped it out but I didn’t and probably never will because I tend to never look back. Call me lazy or stubborn, I will pretend it’s some kind of life philosophy.

poolside 3

All in all, I’m super happy with the garment as a comfy, loose spring piece. It’s feminine and cute but it lends itself to my anti-fussy, easy-to-wear wardrobe perfectly. Some of the fitting issues that I have with it, I think, are really in my head. Seeing photos of the garment, it looks nice and not baggy or stretched out. Does that ever happen to you?

So, what’s your verdict? Will you ever love knitting with cotton? What fiber would you use for this sweater?

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24
Apr

WIP: Poolside Test Knit

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, sweater, WIP

When I saw Isabell Kraemer’s Poolside top, I was bummed that the pattern hadn’t been released. It was one of those pieces that I instantly wanted to make. So I told her so and Isabell asked me if I’d like to test knit it. I love sneak peeks and previews so I was really excited to get in on the action ahead of time.

poolside test
I wasn’t going to post a WIP for this project but since the pattern’s been released, I wanted to take some quick photos to show off how beautiful it is. As you probably saw before, I’m using the Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Cotton. I’m loving it. I got a lot of work done on it on my trip to Chicago. A few hours of plane knitting put a good dent in the project.

poolside test 2

The lace part of the body was so much fun to work on. I was worried about how it would hold up using the cotton yarn but I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I’m sure blocking will really make it smooth. I’m almost finished with the sleeves so I will have more updates for you soon!

What are your thoughts on cotton lace?

ps. Just a few days left to enter the Craftsy giveaway!

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22
Apr

Famous Knits: Amelia Pond

Written by Sarah. Posted in famous knits

I just starting to watch Doctor Who recently. I know it’s hard to believe that someone nerdy enough to totally rock these pants (if she had $85 to spend on leggings, that is) isn’t already a Whovian. But it’s true. But I’m catching up, guys! So please indulge me as I talk about fish fingers and custard  as if they were something brand new.

But, seriously, guys. I know those of you that like Doctor Who will always be willing to talk about it. Same goes for knitting. So this is a double whammy because we’re going to talk about Doctor Who and knitting. Right now.

amy pond cardigan

Let’s talk about little Amelia Pond wearing the best cardigan slash rain boot ensemble ever. I always get super excited when I see a really great piece of knitwear on screen. This was certainly no exception. I love the lace details. Love them! And the cream ribbing paired with the too-short sleeves make it look like a great ’60s or ’70s hand-me-down. Aw, poor Amelia Pond!

amy pond cardigan 2

I’m about to go out and buy some yarn for this cardi! I checked on Ravelry but I could only find one Amy Pond sweater that was a pullover. Adding this to my nerdy knits queue (which is a thing that I actually have) right now. Somebody get me some red wellies!

amy pond young

I’m so excited to start my own journey with the Doctor. I’m a little late to the game but I’m certainly already obsessed.

Anybody else coveting this red sweater?

ps. Don’t forget to enter the Craftsy giveaway if you haven’t already!

pps. Somewhat unrelated but: a clip from the film Jon and I shot (was that two years ago, now? Time flies!) was featured on Eater last week!

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02
Apr

Stashed: Yarns from the Second City

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, travel, yarn

Let me preface this post by saying that not all of these yarns were actually produced in Chicago. What I mean by the title of this post is that I bought these skeins while I was on my trip. I might’ve gone overboard. But I like to give my money to local yarn stores even when they’re not local to me. I want to help make sure that they stick around for my sister knitters! It’s my duty. Also, I was on vacation. And my mom always says that I can buy whatever I want when I’m on vacation. She’s smart.

stash chicago 2

On my second day in Chi-town, I visited Loopy Yarns. They have a whole room for hand dyed and hand painted yarns. That’s where I spent most of my time. I was really drawn to the Miss Babs yarns. I hadn’t seen any of it in person. All of the colorways were really gorgeous and unique. As is true for my form, I decided to get a skein of sock yarn. (As I’ve said before, I like to buy sock yarn when I’m buying stash enhancements since I can usually at least get a pair of socks out of it. There’s usually enough yardage for one pair so I don’t have to splurge on multiple skeins. I feel like I can buy a tasting, if you will, of yarns. And it actually gets used instead of just living in my stash for forever.) It’s a really soft merino yarn. Once I’d picked my favorite, about three other women came in and one after the other announced, “I heard you just got some Miss Babs! I’m here for the Miss Babs!” I knew I’d made the right choice. I think I might make Jon a pair of socks with this salmon color. I know what you’re thinking but I think pink socks look awesome on men! (Exhibits AB, and C.)

I was just going to stop at the skein of Miss Babs but in the sale section I saw this Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace. I had to buy it. (Also Jon said I should treat myself. He’s smart, too.) Aside from the price and it being a beautiful skein of silk and merino, Lorna’s Laces is based in Chicago so how could I not buy a Chicago yarn so close to the source? (Side note: I would have loved to have seen their studio but I’m not sure if they do any tours/visits. If I’m ever back I’ll have to explore that. Their yarns are so pretty, I’d love to just give them a high five.) I don’t really knit lacey lace things so I was hoping the yarn might inspire me. I’m thinking about making Jared Flood’s Rock Island shawl with it because that thing is gorrrrgeous and designed around this yarn.

stash chicago

When I visited Nina, I was having so much fun looking at all of their yarns that I almost forgot to buy something. I know that sounds silly but their shop felt more like an art gallery than a store (I mean that in the best way!) so I didn’t want to disturb any of the yarns. I was also having a post-brunch buzz (banana bread french toast is a thing, everyone, and it tastes as ridiculous as it sounds) so I was having a tough time deciding. All of their yarns are beautiful. For some reason I was really drawn to a basket of Schoppel (Skacel) merino sock yarn. I guess I have a thing for merino sock yarn. This is just a wide self-striping yarn in shades of blue and grey, nothing too crazy.

I really liked that the tag has this big red warning that says, “Stricken kann suchtig machen!” which is German for “Knitting can be addictive!” Now you tell me!

All in all, I’m really happy with my yarn purchases. I don’t buy post cards or magnets or anything (I was looking for local honey but no luck!) so these are perfect souvenirs!

What kind of souvenirs do you like to buy when you travel? (My mom’s favorite is playing cards!)

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19
Feb

FO: Great Divide Shawl

Written by Sarah. Posted in accesories, blocking, FO, knits, lace, life, photos, shawl, technique

Wow! I had such a productive long weekend! While most of it felt relaxing (because I was knitting), I got so much done (mostly in the knitting department…I also made cookies). One of the things that I finished was my Great Divide shawl. And I’m in love.

great divide

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really into wearing shawls. That is definitely going to change. It’s exactly what I need for chilly spring days. (Speaking of, it was way more than chilly while taking these photos. Oh my god was I freezing. Can you tell?) I’m psyched that I had these colors in my stash. I’m one happy camper.

I’ve recently discovered that I totally love blocking. I used to really hate it (I might’ve mentioned it here). In an effort to change my ways, I’ve had a tub for blocking for a while now and I bought some proper wool soap (though I’ve used Doctor Bronner’s – which my aunt Sherry said she used to use on embroideries, thanks for the tip! – the past couple of times since my wool wash was packed away and I’ve enjoyed the results!). I guess having some space in the new apartment to lay out the pieces without being totally in the way is encouraging. The blocking kit my mom got me helps too, though I’ve had that for a long time, too.

great divide 2

 

Although this wasn’t lace per se, this piece really needed a good blocking and everything opened up beautifully! I’m totally learning the merits of blocking my knits and I don’t hesitate to do it any longer!

I’m very excited about this shawl! It looks like I’m still growing as a knitter! Knitting shawls and blocking things! What a change! Maybe I’ve been replaced with an alien or a robot? I like cleaning the kitchen now, too. I’m definitely sick, guys.

Brb, going to check WebMD.

How do you feel about blocking? What’s something you made that surprised you?

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15
Feb

WIP: Great Divide Test Knit

Written by Sarah. Posted in accesories, knits, shawl, WIP, yarn

Like so many other things (mainly cookies and potato chips), I have no self control when it comes to knitting. Which is why, when Michele was asking for volunteers to test knit her first pattern, my answer was something like “Oh me, me, me! Please pick me!” even though I promised myself I’d get back to my other WIPs. I’d seen the early stages of the Great Divide Shawl on instagram and immediately fell in love. I’ve written before about how I don’t like shawl and I don’t want to knit them. This one changed my mind.

What caught my eye was the awesome neon yellow she used. Neons paired with neutrals are my favorite. Stripes dominate my wardrobe so the design was great. I loved the stitch pattern that is pretty but not terribly lacey and delicate looking like most other shawls. This fell solidly into my minimalist style.

I don’t think it’s proper to share a test knit before it’s finished but Michele has already posted the pattern for it on Ravelry. So I think I’m in the clear here! Besides, I’m sure you can all forgive me because it’s just too much fun to not post photos!

great divide wip

Immediately after Michele sent me the pattern, I started panicking. I wasn’t even sure if I had any yarn to use and I certainly wouldn’t have time to swing by my LYS. So I worried. As soon as I could, I tore apart my stash looking for the appropriate yarn.

As it turns out, I had some bright pink (Espadrilles)and purple-grey (Calligraphy) Madeline Tosh Sport that was once destined to become a lattice tank top. I’d started the top when the weather was warm but totally doubted my color choices. By then it was too late. I’d decided what I thought in the store was white was a weird pinkish-purple but this was after I’d completed about 8″ of stockinette of the body. I ripped out what I’d started, half hoping that no one would notice how purple it is and half thanking my stars that I actually had two skeins that were even the same base.

great divid wip 2

I love how it looks. Much better than it did as a top! I’m actually really glad that I pulled this yarn out of my stash. The superwash merino and the color will be perfect if spring ever rolls around. I love something light that I can throw over a cardigan without looking fussy. I still have a ways to go with the pattern but it’s simple and quick to knit but with an intuitive, clever design. I’m already up to make another!

How do you feel about shawls? Do you like lacey or understated?

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26
Apr

FO: Pomme de Pin

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, knits, photos, sweater

Well, it’s done! If you haven’t been following me on instagram, you might’ve missed this picture of my finished cardigan.

I love it so far. Very soft and warm. The sleeves are a little too long but I guess I’ll have to deal with that! Otherwise, it’s perfect.

I know that picture is definitely not the best and then I put words all over it so you can’t see anything. I’ll have more detailed pictures of this FO after the weekend when I can take some nice photos in the sun! I just really wanted to celebrate the fact that it is finally finished and I’m never taking it off!

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