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!
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!
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!
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!
Well, I’m still waiting to get the yarn from Knit Picks so I can finish the Afmaeli sweater (I ordered it almost two weeks ago!) so I started working on the Embrace Octopus sweater. This is the first time I’ve ever had two sweaters going at the same time but it’s a little less daunting than I expected. What is daunting however is the charts for the octopus sweater. There are 6 pages of charts with very small stitch blocks- they are definitely the most complicated charts I’ve ever used. They aren’t too difficult to follow, but they require a lot of concentration.
Yesterday I had a moment of panic when I realized I had somehow lost 5 stitches and my stitch counts were off. Thirty minutes and lots of frantic counting later I figured out where the lost stitches belonged and added them in. Thankfully I didn’t have to rip out any rows.
Right now I’m about halfway done with the main body of the sweater. The tentacles are looking pretty cool- especially the ones with suction cups! Besides requiring a frustrating number of floats, this sweater is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. It just requires a lot of concentration.
I’ll update you all again when I finish the body section. No guarantees on when that will be though. Classes start up again on Monday and I won’t have time to sit around all day and knit.
I am deviating from the pattern a little bit. Based on people’s comments on ravelry, I decided to use worsted weight yarn instead of bulky and go down a couple needle sizes. I was a bit worries about it being too small even after swatching so I tried it on after about 20 rows of the colorwork and it looks like it should fit just fine!
I decided to save a bit of money on yarn since I have so many projects going so I’m using Lion Brand wool-ease yarn which is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. Usually I hate acrylic yarn but this stuff doesn’t feel too plasticky and it has the added bonus of being machine washable. I got it on sale at Joann’s Fabrics for about $3 per 85g skein (each skein is about 200 yards). I bought 7 skeins for a ridiculous total of $21 in yarn for the whole sweater. A pretty good deal if you ask me even if it did mean I set aside my inherent hatred of all things acrylic. Like I said though, this stuff is actually pretty nice- I’ve used it in sweaters before and it’s pretty soft and wearable.
All in all, I’m really excited to wear this sweater!!