Saturday, June 17, 2017

Not so basic

Do you like to move to a new house/apartment/dwelling? Well, I have to confess that this is my least favorite activity. Many many years ago, when I was living in Moscow, my husband and I moved 21 times in 7 years. With a child. Maybe that was why moving to another country wasn't too difficult for us?
Anyway, knitting is my preferred passtime when moving. It helps me to distress and stay focused. The only problem - it is almost impossible to make anything complicated. I have to pick something straightforward. That is why the idea of Summer of Basics Make Along looked so attractive - pick something basic and have a purpose amid all the chaos and commotion.
 I picked the pattern, figured out its design, decided to make only minimal changes, and - voila! - the sweater was finished in no time. 
Pattern - Wolf River by Melissa Schaschwary.
Yarn - Rowan Kid Classic in black (approximately 7 balls)
I made the front and back the same as per pattern, and it still fits well (I was concerned about the fit but didn't have time to change the pattern). I really like the twisted stitch ribbing and how it divides the columns of lace. It is noticeable even in black.
I made some minor changes to sleeves though: knit them flat with only 7 decreases and added 4 sts in the first row of ribbing. And I did the 3-needle bind off from the inside of the garment.
Otherwise, I just followed directions which are clear and precise. There is a chart for the lace pattern in addition to the row by row explanations and you know how much I appreciate charts in patterns.
I didn't pay much attention while working on this sweater and made more mistakes than usual but even with multiple unravelings it was finished in no time. More - on my Ravelry project page.
Surprisingly enough I have already started the next project, this time not so basic.
Again I am using a Japanese pattern. It looks like a traditional fair isle sweater with a little twist. My last finished garments were in ivory and black. This time I decided to combine these two colors (I might add the third one at the end, but I am not sure yet).
I remember one day buying yarn in a yarn store and the owner asked me about my yarn choices: "Do you want it to be THAT dramatic?" This time I do. I go for as much drama as possible. Hopefully the yarn cooperates. Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Another sweater

My last project is finished and I am in love with it. It is from RichMore magazine # 128, 2016 and attracted me by its unusual construction and ribbing.
The ribbing pattern was easy and fun to make - not as boring as normal ribs are. After washing it really blossomed and looks like lace - light and breezy. The back and front are made simultaneously sideways. After making 1/3 of the top in one piece with increases for shoulder shaping I cast off one stitch in the middle and continued using two balls of yarn simultaneously, then cast that same stitch on and finished in one piece again, this time decreasing for shoulders.
All calculations and numbers are given in the pattern and are very easy to understand even if you don't know Japanese (I don't).
After finishing the body, I picked up stitches for sleeves and knit them straight gradually decreasing.
The sleeves are supposed to be tight. At first I tried to use ribbing for sleeves as well but soon it was obvious that if I wanted to follow the directions, the sleeve would be too tight for me. So I decided to just stick with the pattern and wasn't disappointed with the result.
The yarn is from Colormart. It is the same yarn that I got as a Christmas present from my husband some years ago and that I used for Cloudy (more details - here). It is hard to describe the yarn color - something between beige and oatmeal (maybe it is the same?). I didn't know if I had enough for the whole sweater but I figured that at worst it could be done with short sleeves and anyway it was worth the try. My gamble paid off. Not only I had enough for the long sleeves, there are some leftovers. One day I might combine them with the leftovers from the Cloudy cardigan and make something absolutely spectacular. Or not.
Here is another picture of this project on me. It is not form fitting, but the yarn, ribbing pattern, and construction together make it roomy without being bulky. And I love "roomy" when it is not bulky. It is easy to wear, especially in summer.
More - on my Ravelry page.
In other news I decided to participate in the Summer of Basics Make-along this year because... well, because I realized that some basics are missing in my wardrobe (I also think, that my kids wouldn't mind some basics as well).
The plan is to make a simple garment first and then a more difficult, sophisticated variation of the same idea to see which one I like better.
To start I picked Wolf River by Melissa Schaschwary. This is a lace pattern (and normally I don't do a lot of lace) adapted for thick yarn and rather big needles. I am using Rowan Kid Classic from my unraveled Echelon. Echelon was too big, long, bulky, and absolutely unwearable. One day it was unraveled, the yarn washed, rolled into balls, and stored.
I am making size L to get my size because my gauge is different from the original pattern. So far I like how it looks. By the way, I think black lace looks sexy:))))
There is also a cardigan with zippers in my plans for this summer. Yes, zippers in plural. And yes, I am terrified because I've sewn a zipper in a cardigan once before and the experience wasn't pleasant.
To fortify my resolution I bought a book with detailed explanations of how to insert a zipper in knitted clothes. If you know a good tutorial online about zippers, please let me know. I really need all the help and support that I can get. Any suggestions, recommendations, or just words of wisdom are welcome and much appreciated.
In other plans some simple patterns from good yarn and some color work.
I love planning my next projects, it is so much fun, right? Yet, I rarely follow my plans - so many distractions, new great patterns that call me like sirens. We'll see what happens. We are going back to Florida next week. Hopefully, it means more time for knitting.