Tag Archives: knitting

outfit: February fitted pullover, winter wonderland style

Thanks for the suggestions I got for how to wear my newly finished February fitted pullover that I shared recently (and here is the ravelry link to the project)! I have a short list of ways to try wearing it (feel free to offer more suggestions if you can think of any!). I did wear it last weekend the way I mentioned in that post – with my grandma-dress.

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It’s a little funny; in my mind, the blues of the sweater and the dress would match perfectly, but in certain indoor lights they were purpely blue and green blue, respectively. It looked fine though, so the lack of perfect colormatching doesn’t bother me too much. And I can tell you this much – that sweater is quite warm! It certainly kept me toasty even with just the strapless dress underneath. Score one for the sweater. I paired it with a belt to break the blue expanse up a bit (and match my boots of course).

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The pictures are on the artistic (wacky?) side – taken at dusk one day with the only camera lens available that day (it’s actually broken, but works as a sort of handheld tilt-lens). I find it funny how the city behind me in this last picture kind of looks like a little model!

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February Fitted Pullover for the win, I think?

I wanted to show you the dress I’ve been working on these past weeks, but it’s not done. And, being winter and all of a sudden busy at  my two not-so-new jobs, I really only have Sundays available to take pictures in actual daylight. I plan to have a pretty, summery, and finished (!) dress to photograph and show you next Sunday, but for now, we can take a look at my brand newly finished February Fitted Pullover:

I started this sweater over two years ago (according to my ravelry notes), and the road has been a little less than smooth. While I wouldn’t call this a beginner pattern, it’s not entirely the patterns fault that I’ve had hiccups. I should have printed out the pattern and circled all the numbers that went along with my size, but I didn’t, so I’ve been swapping between, which of course didn’t always work out so well! I’ve also taken alot of breaks (ehem… two years to knit a sweater?), and completely forgotten what in the world I was doing in between. No matter, it is done now!

If you look at this from the right angle, I swear there is a bit of a herringbone pattern going on, which makes me wonder how I can play that up in what I pair this sweater with. In fact… I wonder what in the world to pair with this sweater, period! I’m thinking jeans might be too close in color, and the kind of see-through-ness of the lace pattern could limit underlayers. Let’s all play a game and brainstorm what to do with this sweater, shall we? I’ve noticed a lot of people on ravelry wear theirs with button-down shirts, but that’s not really floating my boat. I’m planning to try it with my grandma-dress (I think the colors will look nice together!), but then what? Help a girl out!

around here

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I skipped a week of these “around here” posts – which is in large part bacause I’ve been out with several colds in a row (ugh!), and days have been filled with a lot of resting, and not much else.

Moving on, this week, I’ve been enjoying spoils from our trip to Italy. We brought several pommegranates back (who knew no-one at the airport would bat an eye at pommegranates?!), as well as fig jam from a neighbourhood farm. Yummy weekend breakfasts! I’ve also in earnest started my second new job, which is a sewing/tailoring/alterations gig (at least for now – this has the potential to lead to some very exciting things!), so lots of suit jackets for me this week. It’s located in a building built in 1930, and it has a lot of art deco-style details, which is a lovely thing to see every time I work there.

Suddenly it’s winter, but being on the fairly mild west coast, it mostly means rain. Sometimes freezing rain, sometimes windy rain, and later in the winter I suspect, a couple of days of real snow. In the meanwhile we try to take advantage of the clear days, maybe go for a short bike ride and take a picture of the city at dusk (which is at 4.30 pm now, yikes!), and then make a fire to sit by and mend mittens and knit. My current choices include stockinette in green, simple lace in blue, and more complicated lace in green and blue.

designing knits, part 2

Picking up where I left off: My yarn arrived, I’ve cast on, and started knitting! The yarn is as soft and delicious as I remember – and yes, it will pill a little since it’s so soft. That’s the nature of the beast for a single ply merino wool, but it’s a trade-off I’ve chosen to deal with to gain the soft feel, the drape, and the pattern effect. Actually, that leads me nicely into what I wanted to share about the process of designing this top: compromises.

That doesn’t really sound like a good thing in designing, but here’s the deal – knitting this lace top the way my original pattern is written would be somewhat convoluted, and probably a little irritating. Let’s go back to how I made the pattern in the first place: I used a soft jersey to drape the top on a dressform to the look that I wanted, then transferred that to a paper pattern. Knowing my gauge from having knit my sample, it was just a matter of marking all the places that had changes in angles (like the waist, or the tip of the shoulder, or the collar line for example), measure the distances, and calculate the amount of rows and stitches that needed to change in between all those points. It was quite a lot of math work, but I think it was a pretty accurate way of coming up with the shaping of the garment.

Now, I followed these numbers accurately. This meant counting rows all the time, and in order to keep track of where I was, I kept having to note on my pattern what row of the 8 row pattern-repeat the next increase or decrease would happen on, so I knew I was on the right row. One decrease might happen on row 5 of the repeat, then I had to count 17 rows and make sure the next decrease in fact was on row 6 of the repeat, and so on.

I don’t think most knitters would find that approach very enjoyable, or logical, or clear. So here is where my compromises come in: in order to make it easier and less frustrating for the knitter, I am choosing to move the decreases and increases to always be at the same point in the pattern repeat. That way, all you have to count is how many of those repeats to go before the next decrease. Yes, the shaping won’t be as optimal as the original, but the tradeoff is a pattern that is better to work with. In the end, I think moving a decrease 3 or 4 rows won’t make too significant of a change to warrant a more knitpicky kind of counting.

Any other pet peeves in knitting from patterns? Mine is knitting in sections and sewing the back and fronts together when it could just be knit in one piece from the start!

around here

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There is a little delay in my “around here” this week, since I just got back from a long weekend in Italy! It’s olive-picking time, and my family’s estate cabin has an olive grove that warrants a yearly small gathering of people willing to rake olives out of the trees. It happens with a net underneath, and little rakes on sticks that you use to comb the branches of olives so they fall into the net. Then you gather the net and dump the fruits into baskets, which you finally take to an olive pressing place, that presses the oils out of the pits and gives you jugs of peppery green olive oil. And then you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Good fun, and good work.

We were lucky to have some really lovely weather while we were there, as you can see from my bare-armed (wool!) olive picking-outfit. That’s my dad in the background, for a contemporary and alternative spin on American Gothic. Other activities included knitting of course, fires in fireplaces in the cool evenings, and loads of cheese and bread and wine. And now we’re back to the daily life, which for me includes hopefully soon finishing that dress I was cutting and prepping last week.