I have a case of senioritis. A bad one. With only a week and a half of classes left, I’m ready to be done. As a result, I’ve been doing more knitting than I probably should.
My first project comes from the book Mini Knitted Woodland by Sachiyo Ishii. It’s a dangerous book. The projects are all tiny and adorable and woo you with the thought of “Well, it’ll only take me an hour to finish.” NO! Put the book down. Yes, each project only takes a couple hours, but once you start you will not want to stop because you are so close to a finished project. It’ll be a great book once I’m done with classes and finals but for now I think I need to hide it somewhere so I’m not tempted to make anything from it until I’m done with school. Here is the product of my afternoon yesterday (please ignore the mess in the background. I’m going through my stuff in preparation to move):
Like I said, the projects are adorable, but addicting.
In another chapter of the senioritis saga, I have learned that crocheting is not as terrible as I once thought. I always found it very confusing, but once you figure out the basic stitches, it isn’t so bad. I decided to learn how to crochet for real this time (I’d previously only crocheted a lopsided mini pig) and this teacup was the result.
It was all single crochet so pretty straightforward, but the end result is pretty cute for a first project if I do say so myself.
Ok, enough crafting. I need to get back to work.
Hey everyone! Sorry for being absent from the blog for awhile. The summer was really busy since I was working full time, and once the semester started, things got even crazier. I confess that I haven’t even really been knitting lately. Before last week, I actually hadn’t worked on a project in over two months which is kind of sad to think about.
But now I’m back! And I actually finished a project! The impending holidays motivated me to get back to knitting things. And so, I have embarked on a month of hats! Hats are nice quick projects that make great gifts- perfect in other words for getting back into the swing of things while preparing for the holidays. They also make for great stash-busting projects which I desperately need right now (although I just bought a bunch of yarn to make this sweater…).
Anyways, I adapted this witch cat hat pattern for worsted weight yarn, of which I have plenty laying around. I actually cast on the same number of stitches using the same needle size called for in the pattern. This gave me nice tight stitches which will make the hat nice and cozy. The worsted weight yarn did take up more vertical room than the recommended gauge so I left out the cat face repeats on the crown. The friend I made this for loves cats, but the faces seemed like a bit of overkill. Here’s the finished product:
I know that I’m supposed to turn under the bottom rows, but I want to make sure that the hat is long enough for my friend before I do that. I’ll post a picture of her wearing it once I give it to her. The white and gold yarns are just leftover Lion Brand worsted weight yarn, while the red yarn is Knit Picks Reverie worsted- a super soft and fuzzy blend of 80% baby alpaca and 20% acrylic. I’ve already started a second hat for another gift. More blog posts on that to come…
The day after my MCAT, I drove the 9 hours from St. Louis to Minneapolis where my family lives. We then headed up to our cabin in northern MN. There isn’t anything that I need to accomplish this week so I started working on the Song of the Sea scarf using my Fyberspates rural charm yarn. It took me a few hours to wind the yarn into a ball since despite my best efforts, it ended up in a tangled mess (I don’t have a swift and ball winder although I want to get one after having to do it by hand). I then had to start over after several rows because my counting was off but after all of that, things have been going pretty smoothly!
I knit the large waves yesterday and now I’m on to the medium waves. It takes me awhile to knit each row since there are 256 stitches but the scarf is actually knitting up relatively quickly. It’s a really great pattern- easy enough to memorize but not so easy that it’s boring. It’s nice to have something to work on where I don’t have to be staring at the charts the entire time like I had to do for the octopus sweater. Overall, song of the sea is going well! I’ll post more pictures once it’s done!
My MCAT is done! And so is the Embrace Octopus Sweater! I spent my study breaks these last couple weeks working on it so I just had to weave in the ends today (which took forever…). Here’s the finished product:
I’m driving back to Minnesota tomorrow (a 9 hour drive. Ick) so I’ll post a picture of me wearing the sweater once I’m there and have someone to take a picture of me.
Overall, I enjoyed this sweater but it was definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever knit. The directions weren’t very descriptive (especially for a $17 pattern…) but the detailed charts were great. I just had some trouble interpreting the directions for the short rows of the neck. I’m not sure if I did it correctly but the sweater fits so I guess it turned out ok. The only part of this sweater that I really disliked was the left sleeve with the tentacle spiraling down it. I had to float the white yarn all the way around the entire way up or else I would have had 500 ends to weave in. It took forever and I just got kind of tired of it. I messed up a bit on the tension towards the bottom so it’s a bit tight but it works.
Just to demonstrate all of the floats I had to do, here’s a picture of the inside of the sweater:
The only thing I changed was using worsted weight yarn instead of bulky as suggested in some of the comments on the pattern. The sweater is a bit tight but I think that if it had come out too large, the octopus wouldn’t be as visible.
Overall, if you’re up for a challenge, I’d definitely suggest knitting this! It’s pretty fun and it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever made.
Ive really been struggling to get the second sleeve on the octopus sweater done. The fact that it’s finals time and I feel guilty for taking time away from studying to knit hasn’t helped so I’ve decided to take a little bit of a break from knitting the Embrace Octopus sweater and find some fun summer knits to make.
First in my queue is the Song of the Sea scarf. It’s a beautiful lace scarf and I think it’ll make a good first lace project for me.
I just bought a beautiful skein of yarn for it as a birthday present for myself (I turned 21 yesterday!)- Fyberspates Rural charm in pale turquoise. It’s 70% Bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere and I think it’s probably the most expensive single skein of yarn I’ve ever bought.
After Song of the Sea, I really want to knit something that I can wear this summer in St Louis when it’s going to be 100 degrees and humid. I found this really cool pattern on Ravelry- the #22 Lacy Tee from the spring/summer 2013 issue of Vogue Knitting.
I haven’t picked out yarn yet but I’m thinking of using something in linen or cotton since I’ve never knit with either of those fibers before. Do you guys have any suggestions?
I’m really excited for this summer. I was awarded a biomedical research fellowship so I’ll be working in a biology lab full time which will leave me lots of time on the evenings and weekends to catch up on my knitting. I can’t wait!
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!
After three and a half weeks (1 to 1.5 of which were spent waiting for my yarn to arrive from knit picks after I ran out), i finished the Afmaeli sweater! This was a really fun sweater- the beginning went quickly since it was just plain stockinette stitch and the end was really fun with all of the colorwork. It helped that I used bulky weight yarn so the sweater knit up ridiculously fast.
This was my first ever yoke sweater and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I like that I only had a few decrease rows and didn’t have to worry about doing decreases every row in one spot like in a raglan. I didn’t really swatch this sweater either since I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn- I just did my measurements off of the first 6 inches or so that I knit and confirmed that I was at gauge. Thankfully the sweater fits my friend Neveda really well! The only problem is with the sleeves which I should have measured since she is kind of short and has shorter arms than I do. That’s not a usual measurement to make so it didn’t even cross my mind. The sleeves ended up a bit long as a result but they aren’t too bad.
I did have a lot of yarn problems with this sweater though. I didn’t order enough black or green yarn from knit picks when it was on sale and by the time i needed it, they were out of stock in the green. This is where I had to be a bit creative. I found a Donegal Tweed yarn at the local yarn store in a bright yellow color and added that in instead of the green. I actually think it turned out looking really nice! I ran out of black yarn too but thankfully they still had some skeins of it available online so I just had to order more. Unfortunately knit picks was super slow and it took them almost a week to actually ship the yarn so I was stuck waiting, unable to work on the sweater for a while.
Despite my problems running out of yarn, I really loved working with it. I used City Tweed from knit picks which is a blend of Merino wool, baby alpaca, and Donegal tweed. Its a beautiful shiny yarn and its so incredibly soft! I want to make a scarf out of it sometime just so I can have it up against my face- it feels amazing. The tweed looks great too in this sweater. I like how it helped tie the colors together. All in all I would definitely recommend this yarn. It’s amazing!
With the amazing yarn and beautiful colorwork, I had a hard time giving this sweater away. I might have to make another one for myself! For now though I have plenty of projects to work on and classes just started up so I have a lot less time to knit. I’m taking fewer classes this semester so hopefully I’ll be able to finish the octopus sweater in the next month or two!