A Cardigan Built for Two

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true.  I’m half crazy over the love of you……

…You’ll look sweet.

Cuddled up neat.

In a cardigan knit for two.

Really?  Those aren’t the original lyrics?

As you might remember, my girls have sort of a love hate relationship with my knitting.  They love receiving the knits, but hate the time I spend knitting.  When I brought my Solaris sweater out of hibernation to knit, I realized just how big the fronts are when they’re spread out.  I mentioned to Lily that this was a cardigan made for cuddling.  The fronts are large enough that I can spread them around the two of us.  All of a sudden, whenever there was a cool wind blowing, Lily asked me when the sweater would be finished.

Well stick a fork in it, because this sweater is DONE!

It’s actually been done for awhile now, but somehow summer arrived.  With summer came a visit from family, a play that Addie was in and a LOT of walking outside.  It just hasn’t been sweater weather.  So the sweater got blocked and put away until a cooler night.

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So I can either post this somewhat crummy iPhone photo of us snuggled up in the sweater, or I can wait until the weather cools down enough.

Pattern:  Solaris by Berroco Design Team

Yarn:  Rowan Lima

Modifications:  I used the Executive Knitter’s variation on this pattern.  Basically I did a border of k1 p1 then knit in stockinette instead of the pattern stitch throughout.

Yardage:  roughly 1680 as I wrote 14 skeins in my Ravelry Project page, and I think I used almost all of the skeins.

 

This, along with a Lydia Cowl that I finished on Sunday, brings me to my Stash Dash total of 2174 yds.  I think I’ll make it to the 3K finish line, but I’m not sure that I can eek out a 5K finish.  The summer has just been way too nice to not spend a lot of time outside enjoying it.

Synonymous in my World

I asked Adam which pattern he liked better, the chevrons or the stripes.  He looked at me blankly and replied, “those are synonymous in my world.”

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Hmmm… guess I’m on my own with this one.  I bought this Pepperberry Knits yarn at Yarnover in April.  The colorway is Beachcomber.  It’s 100% cashmere sport weight and it is super squishy and yummy.  The question I was asking Adam (to be fair I had visual aids) was which cowl I should knit from these options.

In the end, I decided to knit the 12th Man Cowl.

FYI:  If you’re planning on knitting this pattern, don’t wind your ball into a center pull ball.  You’ll do the same forehead smack I did last night.

You might ask, “Jess, is this on the plan you made for winning Stash Dash?”

The answer my friends, is a resounding no.  It’s not on the plan.  It’s 200 yds of indulgence knitting which will count towards Stash Dash but won’t get me to the finish line quickly the way a 1500 yd sweater does.  I have a craving for soft and squishy and simple right now.  Oh simple stockinette stitch, you make my heart sing.  At least right now you do.

Since we were talking about Stash Dash, here’s the run down on my project status.

The Plan:

Lettuce Pullover – 1880 yds

Haruni Shawl – 440 yds

Solaris Cardigan – 1560 yds  DONE

Hitch Pullover – 1120 yds ONE SLEEVE AND COLLAR LEFT

Wabi-sabi – 924 yds

Zephyr Cardigan – 1200 yds

Remnant Love – 850 yds

Marin – 385 yds

2nd Zick Zack – 831 yds ABOUT HALF DONE

The grand total yardage = 9190 yds.

Off Plan:

12th Man Cowl – 200 yds.

Sweet shawlette pattern gifted to me from the fabulous Diane – 330 yds

Edited to add:  Hygge Baby Sweater – 294 yds.

With a month and a half of Stash Dash left to go, I’d better get moving!

Mwa-ha-ha!

 

 

2015-06-07 21.22.58Mwa-ha-ha!  (That’s my evil laugh)  I will win Stash Dash!

I am one sleeve away from having a finished Solaris Cardigan.  That’s it.  One sleeve.  Well yes, one sleeve and a lot of seeming.  Yes, I know in this picture it looks as though I am one sleeve and a half of a front away from a finished cardigan, however that front is done.

Mwa-ha-ha!

I am really (probably unreasonably) excited that as the temperatures get into the 70’s and 80’s that I will have a finished cardigan to wear.  I know, I’m crazy, my kids tell me that all the time.  It’s really more about the fact that I will have a finished cardigan in time for fall.  And that I will use this sweater to help me win Stash Dash.

 

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It’s a pretty sweater too.  And it matches my rug.  Oh my goodness, look at how that front drapes.

I’ve decided that having this little beauty in my living room is sort of like having art.  No one in my house even batted an eye that the girl came back up from downstairs and is wearing a partial cardigan.  Is that weird?

It’s so close to being done.  Nothing could possibly go wrong now! (This would be the point in any movie where the scary scissor wielding demon comes in).

 

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I’m going to knit very very quickly so that I don’t run out of yarn for seeming.  After all, we all know that in order to win a game of yarn chicken, you need to knit fast before the yarn runs out.

Gauge, My Nemesis

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Oh Baby that’s a big sweater!

The Hygge Baby Cardigan is finished.  Ends are woven in, buttons are sewn on, photographs have been taken.  Done.  That’s 294 yds of Stash Dash completed for those of you who are keeping track.

Just one problem.  I’m pretty sure this 6 month size baby cardigan can fit a 5 year old.  Some of you long time readers might ask, “Jess, did you do a gauge swatch?”

Nope.

Rooky Mistake!

The knitting was going so well.  The sweater was so pretty as I was knitting it!  Everything went so effortlessly.  Right up until I blocked it and it grew (no kidding) 300%.  OK, OK, maybe I thought it was more of a 12 month size right up until I blocked it.  I mean, it did seem a tad bit big.

After blocking, I even tried it on Lily to see just how big it was.

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Now Lily is a size 7 – mostly because she has long and legs – but can also fit into size 6 tops.  While trying this sweater on, she put in an order for a white version for herself!  Lily feels it has a certain Star Wars-esquee quality to it with the buttons along the side.  But back to the green sweater.

Somewhat nervously, I put the sweater in the dryer to see if that would help the problem.  Malabrigo Rios is machine washable, so I wasn’t sure how well this would work.  Turns out, it worked like a charm!  The hand of the fabric is squishy and soft.  The sweater came out definitely smaller than it had been.  I think it’s still probably a 12 month size, but that is certainly better than a size 5.  A word to wise, despite the superwash label, don’t put Malabrigo Rios in the dryer unless you want it to shrink.

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What I’m Knitting:

I pulled out my Solaris cardigan out of hibernation and started working on that.   It’s got a very interesting construction.  You make the arms, a small short back, and a very long piece that acts as the fronts and goes around the back of the neck.  All I have left to do is 1/3 of the long piece and one sleeve.

I’m also still plugging away at the sleeve of the Hitch.

Stash Dash Update:

For those of you who are keeping a scorecard at home

Hygge Baby sweater – 294 yds.  – DONE

Solaris Cardigan – 1400-1500 yds.

Hitch Cardigan – 1120 yds.

I hope everyone is plugging away at their own projects.  It’s not too late to join Stash Dash.  You don’t need to have a bunch of projects on the needles to play along.  You can just knit new projects from stash yarn.

The shrunken sweater.

The shrunken sweater.

More of a Stash Stroll than a Dash

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I’m not fast enough to qualify for a dash.  I’ll give you the two minute update of what I’ve been working on:

I am about 6 buttons away from finishing the Hygge Baby sweater.  That’s the one I’m making out of Lettuce green Malabrigo Rios.  It’s under 400 yds of knitting, so I’m certainly not going to win anything with just this.  However, every yard counts so I’m just plugging away at it.  Plus, babies have a habit of continuing to grow regardless of the knitter’s schedule.  So it must get done and mailed off to the new little one.

I’m also working on the 1st arm (pictured above) of the Hitch Pullover.  I forgot how much fun cables can be!

We can’t forget the few rows I’ve put on the 2nd Zick Zack scarf.

 

Well Begun is Half Done

Mary Poppins: Our first game is called Well Begun is Half-Done.

Michael: I don’t like the sound of that.

Mary Poppins: Otherwise titled Let’s Tidy up the Nursery.

Michael: [to Jane] I told you she was tricky.

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t have liked that game as a child either.  However I do buy into the well begun theory when it comes to work and conquoring challenges.  I did tell you we were going to win Stash Dash, right?  Don’t tell me there is no winning something that is a personal challenge against myself.  I’m determined to win.  I will win.  I will conquor the stash.  (Ask me some time about the guy who last said something could not be done.  Mwah ha ha!)

So back to the well begun theory.  The idea of Stash Dash as I understand it is to complete all those half done projects and knit some of the pretty yarn that you’ve been saving for…. well whatever it is that you’re saving it for.  You can start new projects out of stash yarn if you’d like.  But that’s where the well begun comes in.  Because if you want to win (I do) and you want to knit a crazy amount of yarn (I do) then it makes sense that you would start with a half done project, right?  I think Mary Poppins would think this makes excellent sense.

So here’s the plan as I see it.  You can follow along with pictures waaaay down on the right hand side as all most of these are in my Ravelry Project Pages.

Lettuce Pullover – 1880 yds

Haruni Shawl – 440 yds

Solaris Cardigan – 1560 yds

Hitch Pullover – 1120 yds

Wabi-sabi – 924 yds

Zephyr Cardigan – 1200 yds

Remnant Love – 850 yds

Marin – 385 yds

2nd Zick Zack – 831 yds

The grand total yardage = 9190 yds.

Now I don’t think I can stretch to make a 10K, which would be 10,936 yds, so I’m going for a 5K.  That’s 5,468 yds of knitting.  Which means I would need to do the top 4 projects plus 1 more.  Once a project is finished, then all of the yardage in it counts.  If you spin the yarn, it counts.  If you spin the yarn, then knit a project with it, it counts twice.  Unfortunately this won’t work for me as I haven’t been spinning.  But for some of you it might work.

Stash Dash begins on May 22.  On your mark…… get set…….

What I’ve Been Knitting:

I’ve made some serious headway on the Hitch pullover.  I have finished the front and back and have started one sleeve.  The cables on the sleeve are slow going because I’m working off a pattern on my iPad.  The iPad gets used for more than just knitting (go figure) so it limits my time.

In other knitting news, I finished my Zick Zack!

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That little tiny ball of yarn is all that I had left when I finished.  It was a bit of a game of yarn chicken to see if I could cast off with the remaining yarn.

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I’m pretty thrilled with the way it turned out.  Thrilled enough that I started a second one out of JoJoland Melody and Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn.  This one has slower color repeats and is more harmonious in color – It will look like a completely different scarf!

Stash Enhancement

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Mini Skeins for a Shawlette

Shhhh…. don’t tell my husband.

I might have done a little stash enhancement this weekend.  You see, I was surrounded by beautiful yarn at Yarnover.  It practically sat up and begged me to take it all home.  I found some beautiful skeins from Knitting My Way Home.  I also watched a gorgeous skein and some mini skeins go home with the woman who got there right before me.  Ah well…. you snooze, you lose in the world of buying handspun yarn.  I made up for it in other ways though.  I also picked up two kits with mini skeins.  One for a shawlette and one for a chevron cowl.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for the mini skeins!

I went to Yarnover to take a Franklin Habit class.  The class was about learning to use the Schact Zoom Loom and sewing up the woven squares into a stole and knitting a lace edging.  John Mullarkey taught the morning portion which was all about the loom.  He was a very entertaining teacher and I would definitely take a class from him again.  He was patient with us as we learned to warp our tiny little looms.  Taking the itty bity little woven squares off the loom was very satisfying!

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The afternoon was the class with Franklin Habit.  Now this was the 2nd class I haven taken with Franklin, so I wasn’t surprised that he was much more quiet spoken than his blog might lead you to believe.  Delores even left us a little note!  Franklin’s teaching style is very structured – he leads you all the way through something before having you try it yourself.  What I appreciated most was his willingness to give me the next steps to move forward as he helped those who maybe weren’t moving as quickly.  I don’t think anyone felt rushed or held back by the group.

And he was very gracious about posing for a picture with me.  I promise I didn’t go all fan girly on him.

Loose Ends:

The Knit Girllls released more information about Stash Dash here.  It runs from May 22-Aug 14.  You can choose from knitting a 3K, a 5K or a 10K’s worth of yarn from stash.  UFO’s count, so go ahead and use this as a reason to finish a lot of those half done projects you’ve got hanging around.  (please don’t tell me I’m the only one)  I’ve also heard that as long as it’s in your stash, the yarn counts.  It doesn’t matter how long it’s been marinating in there.

I have enough started projects that I could almost do a 10K (10,936 yds of yarn).  However, I’m not really sure that’s realistic for me.  At least not without telling The Boss I am going on a 3 month vacation and hiring Merry Maids to vacuum under my feet as I knit and eat bon bons on the couch.  So I’m going to shoot for a 5K.  I’ll share my plan for how I’m going to cross the finish line next week.

Our training starts today!  Leave me a comment if you’re joining me on this trip to Crazy Town.

The Comic Relief

 

 

Lily just said, “You’re not funny, you’re Craaa-zy.”

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She might have a point.  I’m running down to the Twin Cities (2 1/2 hour drive) on Friday to go to an all day knitting class on Saturday.  Then, I’ll turn right around and come home Saturday night so that I can be up bright and early Sunday to work.  And I’m excited about it.

My job tonight will be picking out yarn to bring with me for the class.  I know, it’s a rough life.

 

What I’m Knitting:

The Zick Zack scarf continues to grow at a snails pace.  The balls of yarn are getting smaller and smaller so I know I’m making progress.  I keep picking them up and giving them a squish to see just how much longer this scarf will grow.

The gray sweater also is growing slowly.  We’ve had a cold snap here which has made me think that perhaps a wooly gray sweater is exactly what I want to be wearing in Duluth/Superior in April.

I also cast on an itty bitty baby sweater.  It’s Hyggy Baby from Loop.  I’m knitting it out of Malabrigo Rios in the lettuce colorway.  The Rios is superwash and just as soft and squishy as other Malabrigo yarns.  It’s making an amazingly soft sweater.  No one which flavor this baby will be, so the lettuce green is a nice gender neutral color.  I’m kind of hoping it will be a girl so that I can put some pretty pink buttons on the sweater.  But then again, wood buttons or blue would be striking too.  I sort of have a “thing” for this color green.

The parents do not live near us, so I’m looking forward to sending this one off.

 

What I’m Not Knitting:

After all my talk about beads and how pretty they are, I’ve set the Stockinette Haruni aside.  I look at it longingly every once in awhile, but there it sits.  I’m really trying to get the Zick Zack scarf finished.

 

Knots & Tangles:

I had a bit of a problem with the Hygge Baby right off the bat.  It was probably due to the fact that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the episode of Outlander that I was watching.  (Only Diana Gabaldon could make 1743 Scotland so darn appealing!)  Somehow I missed reading the K1 before every 3-in-3 stitch.  Luckily I caught the error right away and didn’t need to rip much out.  That really is the beauty of baby knits, if you make a mistake you’re not ripping out 500 stitches in a row.

 

Loose Ends:

I have heard that Stash Dash starts on May 25, however that is not confirmed.  Stash Dash is basically knitting a 5K’s worth of yarn (from stash) over the course of the summer.  I know that all those projects you have started but haven’t finished do count – in fact, their entire yardage counts.  So dig out those half finished blankets!  I don’t have much for rules yet, but will be looking into it.  Until then, who wants to play Stash Dash this summer with me?

Never Say Never

Life’s Stash

My thoughts on knitting with beads.

1.   Pretty.  Very pretty.

2.  I can’t travel with it.

3.  I have 2 children and a very large dog.  Having beads in the living room is too tempting for all of the parties involved.

4.  See #2.  If I can’t throw the knitting in my purse and walk out the door with it, it really isn’t working for my lifestyle.

5.  It’s slower than just knitting a pattern.

6.  But so pretty!

7.  Have I mentioned #3?  The dog is very very large.  She believes she is a family member and that her nose belongs everywhere that there might be danger hiding.  Yes, beads might be dangerous.  Just ask my German Shepherd.

8.  Can someone else just add the beads on afterward for me?  I just want to knit.

9.  Beads are seriously tempting.  Both for 8 year olds and adults.

So why on earth am I knitting my Haruni Shawl with beads?

What I’m Knitting

2015-04-06 19.18.06I seem to be knitting the Stockinette Haruni with beads.  It sort of just happened one night as I sat down to knit.  I just happened to have the beads that coordinated nicely with the yarn.  I also just happened to have the itty bitty crochet hook to put the beads on with.  It just all sort of came together that way.

It’s slow going, but I’m really enjoying the satisfaction of a beaded row.  I have to say that my whiney attitude towards beads was not entirely justified.  While knitting with beads while my children were tolders was flat out crazy, now that the girls are older its not so bad.  They actually have a sort of laissez faire attitude towards my knitting these days.  I’m not even entirely sure that they would notice it unless it were to jump out and bite them.

I’m also working on the Zick Zack scarf.  I put in a removable stitch marker so that I can see the progress I’m making.  It makes me feel like I’m actually getting somewhere with the Zick Zack.  The scarf is just over half my wing span.  It continues to get compliments when I’m out and about with it.

I kind of sort of just bought yarn for a second one.  I found myself in a yarn store over Easter break and I fell down the rabbit hole.  I had great intentions of “just looking” for new ideas and before I knew it I was sitting on the floor with a bunch of gradient sock yarns looking for some serious contrast.  I’m forcing myself to finish the first Zick Zack before starting a second.  It’s taking serious will power on my part.

2015-04-07 22.13.55And look!  I made progress on the sweater also!  This is a great break from beading and counting.  Because let’s face it, sometimes your brain is too tired for anything but stockinette (with a tiny amount of twisted rib thrown in)  Now that the weather is warmer and I’m working on some colorful projects, I don’t mind the dark gray color that much.  And compared to a scarf with fingering weight yarn, this feels like it is making some serious progress.

What are you working on this week?

Breath In, Breath Out

Breath in 1-2-3-4  Breath Out 1-2-3-4-5

Breath in 1-2-3-4
Breath Out 1-2-3-4-5

As I type this, the littlest one is doing some sort of April Fool’s day trick with my refrigerator.  My husband set it up for her, so I’m not too worried.  But it does make my control freak nature a little twitchy.

Breath in, breath out.

Life’s Stash

I feel like this time of year always goes into hyperdrive.  The next time I blink, it will be turning the calendar over into May.

Breath in, breath out.

What I’m Knitting

I’m still working on the Zick Zack scarf.  I am thrilled and amazed and fascinated by the way the stripes work out.  It’s so much fun to work on.  I hit the point where it felt like I wasn’t actually making progress on the scarf but instead was knitting the same row over and over again.  Sort of like being stuck in neutral but still revving the engine.  I put a locking stitch marker in one of the rows so that I could actually see the progress I made.  You know what?  I’m actually making progress!  The scarf really is growing.  Who knew!?

I also picked up the Stockinette Haruni again.  I pushed through another color repeat and got to the lace border.  Although the colors right now are not looking quite as gradient like as I was hoping, I think it will work out all right in the end.

Breath in, breath out.

I hope it will work out all right in the end.

I need sunlight to work on the Haruni, so I’ve been doing a row (or a partial row) in the morning when I get up with my first cup of coffee.  Even though the sun isn’t up quite yet, it’s still better than working on it with tired eyes.  In the evening I work on the Zick Zack scarf.  I also have been taking the Zick Zack scarf everywhere I go.  It’s starting to get quite a lot of attention.  I even sneak in a few rows during my weekly meeting with The Boss.  It’s okay, his mom is a knitter so he understands the compulsion.

What I’m Not Knitting

Oh the sweater and the socks and the blankies….. they’re all calling to me but I’m trying to finish the Zick Zack before I go back to these.  Or maybe finish 2 Zick Zacks as my brain keeps running through all the yarn I have in my stash.

Breath in, breath out.

Knots & Tangles

I think I might have an entire blog post about the blonde moments I had while knitting the Haruni.  Apparently counting to 289 has not been my strong suit lately.  Counting to 4 and 5 for the Zick Zack is enough.

Breath in, breath out.

Loose Ends

I’d like to send a shout out to all the lovely knitters in Arizona who are now reading the blog.  Thank you.

And thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and who signs up to get an email whenever a post goes live.  Thank you also for commenting, you humble me.

Zick Zack

Zick Zack

 

 

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