Embrace octopus sweater: Just keep Knitting…

With the semester starting to wrap up and no exams for the next couple weeks, I’ve had a bit more time to continue working on the embrace octopus sweater. I’m knitting the second sleeve now which has a tentacle spiraling up it. It’s extremely difficult to knit since it’s so small in diameter and I have to float the white yarn all the way around while using double pointed needles. Keeping tension equal has been difficult too—there’s one portion that is a bit tight and a few spots where the white stitches are kind of loose. I’m not really enjoying knitting this and I just want it to be done. Unfortunately, that means pushing through it because I really want to wear this sweater! For now I’m just working on it a bit at a time since I get a bit frustrated with it pretty quickly.
Have you guys ever tried colorwork on double points? Do you have any tips on how to make it easier? I considered not doing the floats but then I’d have 800 ends to weave in and that didn’t really appeal to me either…
I just keep reminding myself how awesome this sweater is going to look when it’s done!

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Embrace Octopus Sweater: sleeve number 1 is done!

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Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Classes have been kind of crazy and I’m getting ready to take the MCAT on May 17. With all of this going on, I’ve barely had any time to knit. I did however cast on the first sleeve of the octopus sweater a few weeks ago and I finished it today! This sleeve is mostly solid black with just the very top of the octopus’ head showing. It was quick and easy to knit up which was nice (although I still have to weave in a million ends because I didn’t want to float the yarn all around the sleeve). The next sleeve has a tentacle spiraling up the arm though so it will be a bit more complicated. I’m planning to cast on for it tonight but I doubt I’ll finish it before the end of the semester.
As you can see, the sweater is slowly starting to come together!

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Embrace Octopus sweater: almost done with part 1!

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I’ve already been working on this sweater for almost a month and I’m just now finally close to finishing up the body. Exams have started up so I’m afraid I’m going to have even less time to knit now so we’ll see how it progresses. This is definitely one of the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on with all of its charts but I’m having a lot if fun with it.
The sweater looks awesome so far. The tentacle pattern really stands out now- I’m so excited to get to wear this!

Cable knit headband

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Although I did start an Etsy shop last month I’ve been really slow in stocking it since classes started. I just don’t have enough time to knit for myself much less to make enough things to fill a store. That said, I did finally have the time to make another item- this cable-knit headband. It’s made from 50% wool/50% acrylic yarn and it feels nice and cozy warm. I really want to just make a blanket out of this yarn and cuddle up under it all day (especially since it’s currently 5 degrees outside). This project was nice and quick- it was definitely a nice break from the octopus sweater! Hopefully I’ll have some more time in the next few weeks to knit up a couple more things to sell.
The headband is listed here on etsy for $10.00. If you want another color just let me know and I can custom make one for you.

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I made yarn!

Today was a dreary rainy day in St Louis so what better way to brighten it up than by dyeing and spinning some yarn! I bought some natural cream roving on Etsy a few months ago but I’d never found the time to do anything with it. After spinning about 1/2 of it, I got kind of bored so I decided that Id try dyeing it! I found this handy tutorial on Knitty.com
I bought three packets of Koolaide and prepared the roving.

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Then I mixed the Koolaide and water making sure not to add any sugar to the mix. The roving went into the pot and I heated it for about 10 minutes. I then let it sit and absorb the dye for about 25 minutes when the water was mostly clear.

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I rinsed the roving in warm water (making sure not to felt it) and hung it up to dry. I turned out to be a beautiful purple color. The color isn’t even but I think it gives the wool some character.

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After separating out the roving and laying it out so it could finish drying I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I just had to try spinning it today. I used a top whorl drop spindle that I got on Etsy for pretty cheap. It takes a long time to spin any decent amount of yarn but for the amount of spinning I do I can’t justify buying a spinning wheel. They’re so expensive! I spun about 1/3 of the roving this afternoon. I’m still deciding whether I want to ply it. The yarn I made is a DK/ thin worsted weight so plying might make a bulky weight yarn. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to make yet so I think I’ll hold off on making that decision for a bit.

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After spinning, I wrapped the yarn around a chair back, spritzed it with water, and now I’m letting it dry under tension to help smooth it out.
It was really fun to take the yarn through the entire process of dyeing and spinning- I really want to work on my spinning skills in the future. My yarn today actually wasnt too thick and thin which was a bit surprising as I need to work on my roving handling skills while spinning. All in all, I’m really excited to use this yarn and to make more in the future.
So what do you guys think? Do you spin as well as knit? Do you have any helpful tips or resources for beginners like me?

Circular needle case

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Over break, the plastic case that my Knit Picks circular needles came in fell apart so I asked my mom, who’s an amazing sewer, to make me one. I spent some time on Etsy getting ideas for a design and we figured out a combination of features that would be best for the case. After that, we made a trip to JoAnn’s fabrics to pick out a quilted fabric for the body of the case and a pattern in a corresponding color for the lining. My mom wrote out her own pattern using paper bags and sewed it together. Im so impressed by the results! There are pockets for the needles and for four different sizes of cables. There’s also a little zipper pocket for miscellaneous things. The case folds up in thirds and is held together with a button.
I love how it turned out. Its very practical and helps keep all of my needles in one place. I love the colors in the fabric too! Maybe someday I’ll learn to sew too but for now, I’ll just stick to knitting (sewing looks really hard). Thanks again mom!

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Embrace Octopus Sweater Update

Hey everyone! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since classes started and I haven’t had much time to knit. Add the fact that this is a really complicated pattern and I haven’t had much free time and you’ll understand why I haven’t posted for a while. The octopus sweater is coming along slowly but surely. It’s really cool to see the tentacles take shape as I knit more rows. I love all of the suction cups!
Here’s how far I’ve gotten on the front:

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And here’s the back:

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This is a really difficult project so my goal is just to finish it this semester. One of my New Years resolutions was to watch less Netflix so unfortunately I have a bit less time to knit. Hopefully once I get back in the swing of things I figure out when I have time to just relax and knit.
Here’s a reminder of how awesome the sweater should look when I’m done with it:

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