A Sweater for My Man

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This little beauty marks the end of my Christmas knitting and I couldn’t be happier. Remember my Saturday deadline for the sweater? I met it and JB was able to wear this on Sunday. When he put it on for the first time I couldn’t stop giggling. Not sure why but I like to believe that it’s because I was just so giddy to have finally finished it. It might also be the fact that he just looks so darn good in it. Am I right?

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The yarn is Valley Yarns Buckland. It’s a chain plied worsted weight yarn. A wool, silk, and nylon blend. When it came in the mail I was a little disappointed and when I swatched I was even more disappointed. Let me tell you though, I am glad I stuck with it because after blocking this yarn is a beauty! So soft, substantial and sturdy. It really took to the cables well an the chain plying adds a bit of texture to the stockinette. JB says it has a texture much like tree bark. Whatever it feels like, it does feel delightful. It’s going to be hard to keep my hands off this guy when he wears the sweater.

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I forgot to get a closeup of the finished sweater but I was able to find some brass sailboat buttons (JB’s request). After searching online for several months, I took a trip to the garment district resigned to find some plain wood buttons at Lulu’s Button Shop (a great little gem). I jokingly asked if the owner had any sailboat buttons and to my surprise he had about four different styles! The perfect addition to a sweater fit for a sailing instructor. If I ever have to move from NYC I will definitely miss the plethora of fine crafting supplies at my disposal. For now, I will just be happy.

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I also have to say that the pattern (Bespoken) is simply wonderful! It’s Knitthehellout’s first men’s sweater pattern and I won it in a giveaway. Thanks Cassi! It’s well written, easy to follow and seriously beautiful. The fit is amazing and I didn’t have to change much besides adding a few inches to the body and sleeves. The one other modification I made was adding a cable down the sleeves. JB has been drooling over cabled sweaters lately and I had to humor him. I think they add something nice though.

JB says he feels like he’s in Narnia when he wears this. A compliment to be sure! Whew! After all these gift knits I am feeling a little neglected. I’ll be casting on a selfish treasure tonight. A post will come soon.

Meadowlands: a Flea and a Sweater

ImageI finished my Hitch finally! I am calling my version Meadowlands in honor of the awesome flea market that we used as a backdrop for photos. How beautiful is that sky and more importantly how handsome is that man next to me?

ImageHahaha, we had a great day at the market with friends. I found an awesome collapsible metal shopping basket (pictured clearly below) and we happened upon this adorable handmade dollhouse. Just the sort I always wanted to make when I was younger. I will have to give my dreams another go when I have kids of my own because this was darling.

ImageMy favorite things about this sweater are the slouchy construction (so cozy), the cables which lay remarkably flat, and the garter stitch edges. I have an interesting love affair with wide garter stitch bands. They are super simple but somehow elegant.

ImageA shot of the garter stitch neckline. Mmmmmm.

ImageAn an “epic” shot to finish the post. I think my face really shows the victorious feelings I have about finishing this sweater in time for Thanksgiving next week, especially because I have about four Christmas gifts on needles. I was a bit ambitious this year so I don’t know how reasonable it is that I will finish everything. You can find details on some of the projects on ravelry.

Happy Friday, I am back to writing finals!

Germany, in Terms of Yarn

I just returned from my first trip to Germany and I want to go back already. I had the amazing opportunity to travel with my boyfriend and his family for a week and a half. The German countryside was amazing. We spent many days hiking in the alps and ate far too much Coffee and Cake (a customary afternooon treat). I was delightfully surprised by German knitting culture. Imagine walking into the grocery store to a rack full of Regia sock yarn for under six euros a skein. Pure joy. Hand knitted socks were visible everywhere. I was especially excited to see beautifully crafted cabled socks worn by men in Leiderhosen. They were obviously custom shaped to each person’s calf. I have a serious ambition to add some custom cabled socks to my queue.

Of course I couldn’t escape without purchasing some delicious yarn. Here are some photos (courtesy of my boyfriend, hereby known as JB) of my German yarn tour.

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Germans really have the whole font thing down.

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Choices, choices, choices.
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JB picked out some sock yarn for a new pair of Argyles. Hopefully the superwash yarn will help him refrain from felting these ones.

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And some organic cotton for me. I couldn’t wait to cast on my Cap Sleeve Lattice Top from Purl Bee. It’s almost finished. Stay tuned for updates.

So squishy I’m gonna die!

A couple months back I bought 3 skeins of Malabrigo Lace yarn at a moving sale at my LYS. Ever since then I have been drooling over 1500 yards of beautiful lace weight wool. I even resorted to cuddling it close to my face a couple of times. Patterns came and went but I never found a project worthy of the yarn. That is, until I saw the Die Cut Vest on the cover of Knit.Wear Magazine.

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The pattern is knit in a linen yarn and I was a little skeptical about knitting this up in a fluffy wool. I am pleasantly surprised by the way the pattern is knitting up although I am a little uncomfortable with the idea of a wool vest. In the Northeast it might not make a ton sense to have a sleeveless wool garment. I may end up adding sleeves at some point but for now I am planning to follow the pattern. Here is my progress on the lace portion. I love the way it looks and I can’t wait to see it blocked out! Even more, it just feels so wonderful and squishy.

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With that, I’m off for a day full of fiber lust with my boyfriend and his mom. I have plans to find a red floral fabric to match this odd skein of Malabrigo lace. I bought it at the same time as the pink and again, have been drooling over the color for about 5 months. Not only is it beautiful, it shares my name! I’m thinking it will look wonderful in a geometric lace/fabric hybrid project. More to come on that. It will be a patternless adventure.

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No longer a sweater but not quite yarn.

One of my favorite knitting feats is ripping out a thrifted sweater and knitting it into a new design. I have done it twice before and both times I have been immensely pleased with the results. You can see one of my finished pieces here. Pictures of my most recent project to come soon, hopefully. There are several things I love about this process.

1. You can find sweater quantities of high quality yarn for SUPER cheap. Think Angora, Silk, Wool blends for $10 a sweater. Simply irresistible.

2. Come on folks, frogging is fun. Admit it.

3. There is something beautiful about seeing an ugly thrift store sweater transformed into a garment that someone would actually want to wear. It really reinforces my love for the process of knitting to see a garment come full circle.

I am currently ripping out this red cotton sweater. The yarn is sportweight-ish. Not quite sure but that seems about right. I think I will knit it up into either the Everyday Linen Pullover or the Sweatshirt Sweater. Thoughts?

One potential problem I see with this particular sweater is that it appears to have been knitted white and then dyed red as a whole garment. I haven’t encountered this before in a sweater that I have ripped out.

If I actually get a chance sometime, I will post some instructions on how to do it. I haven’t ever read anything on how to pull apart a sweater. As with most of my knitting projects, I just decide to do it and hope everything works out. More often than not it does, by some crazy stroke of luck. Hence the blog title.

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Stripe Obssession

I have recently realized that a majority of my clothing has horizontal stripes. At the risk of looking like a perpetual inmate, I decided on a horizontal stripe pattern when I cast on my next project.

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I just finished the yoke and now all I have to do is add a ribbed border and do some finishing work. I am super excited because this is the first sweater I have ever done without a pattern. I literally cast on and went for it. It looks so great right now and I am beyond excited to see how it looks when I am finished! Update to come…

Late night musings

Sometimes I knit into the wee hours of the morning. It’s always a delightful experience because I get into “the zone.” Really it’s more like a zombified state because I literally can’t put my project down.

This is the Vergennes pullover from the Summer 2011 Knitscene.

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I pulled apart a sweater that I bought at goodwill over break so this gem only cost me about $10. It is a wool, angora, silk blend and it is delightfully soft. I’m mostly excited that it is A dull shade of grey as I don’t have enough neutrals in my wardrobe… Wait, that’s all I have. I need to get to work on some colored knitting I guess.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my late night zombie musings.