Queue Check — December 2019

Queue Check — December 2019

I took a break from my delightful green cardigan WIP to work on the baby sweaters — one of which I finished and the other of which is nigh — so it’s only grown about 5 inches since last you saw it. It would be farther along, but I took it on an 8-hour road trip on Thanksgiving completely forgetting that the WIP in my bag had no yarn attached and no spare skeins along for the ride. Having since wound more yarn and placed it in the bag where it belongs, I’m hoping to race through this gem between now and year’s end!

But as that year-end approaches, I took stock of what else was on the WIP shelf. The first is the unspecified cowl-dickie object I had started last winter before diverting some of the Luft yarn into the garter kerchief that is now never separated from my neck. Seriously, I love that thing more than life itself. So the question remains what to do with this dickie that wasn’t quite doing it for me.

Meanwhile, I also discovered the Carbeth Cardigan I had abandoned back in the spring when it wasn’t going to be done in time to wear. I was shocked to find it was as far along as it is — and also that I had picked up the button-band stitches while clearly having not blocked the body. That’s unheard of for me, so I’m not sure how that happened. But I am coming to terms with the fact that this rediscovered WIP leaves me cold, as it were. I should be thrilled to find a nearly done black cardigan, since that is what I wish for every single morning. But nope. It’s a classic case of “if I can stand to not be knitting it, it must not be right.” And between these two things, I’ve realized that I’ve always known what my heart wants in both cases, which is a cardigan in the black Luft yarn. So I’m just going to sit with that thought while I concentrate on the green cardigan. If I’m diligent enough, I’ll be wearing it by New Year’s Eve.

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: October 2019

Pure wool sunshine

baby Anker's cardigan sweater (knitting pattern) with Jen Hewett x Fringe Field Bag

When I asked you all for baby sweater pattern suggestions back in October, reader Dianne inadvertently reminded me that I’ve had Petite Knit’s Anker’s Cardigan on my own wishlist for ages and that there’s a baby version, Anker’s Jacket. My niece had asked for a baby sweater in the same goldenrod Germantown yarn as the mini Sólbein — of which I had plenty left over! — and Anker’s seemed like the absolute perfect use for it, as the two little cardigans would have some design resonance. Perfect tiny sister sweaters.

But really, I couldn’t have imagined how darling this would be. And again, it took barely more than a skein of yarn! (Which means I still have enough for 2.5 more, lol.) Rather than worrying about pattern gauge, I went with the gauge I had gotten on the sister sweater — 4.75 sts and 6.5 rows per inch on US8 needles — and knitted the 3-6 month size, knowing it would come out more like 6-9 months. I never buy newborn sized clothing as they tend to outgrow it way too quickly, and definitely didn’t want to knit anything that would last so briefly. It came out at about a 21.5″ chest circumference so she’ll have some room to grown into it. I just hope she doesn’t grow into and out of it in the middle of Texas summer next year!

baby Anker's cardigan sweater (knitting pattern)

Apart from gauge, I made very few departures from the pattern. I knitted the sleeves flat and did only one set of sleeve decreases along the way, with the rest on the first row of cuff ribbing, so the sleeves are a bit more balloon shaped. And I did garter-stitch bands (on US6) instead of ribbing because I’m still really into garter-stitch bands.

I bought the little felted animals in India, and while I thought I had once put together the cutest baby gift I ever would, this one made my heart impossibly melty. I hope Baby E and her mom both know how much I love them.

(Buttons, Jen Hewett x Fringe Field Bag and Lykke needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

Idea Log: Cropped wool shirtjacket

Idea Log: Cropped wool shirtjacket

I’ve had one of those moments where two thoughts collide in my head into one bright idea. Thought One was how much I love my army shirtjacket that I refashioned a couple of years ago (seen on me here) and hate that I don’t have a cold-weather counterpart for it. Thought Two was how much I love my pal Jen Beeman’s chainstitched rendition of her new Thayer Jacket pattern. As much as I want a chainstitched one now, it got me thinking about how useful a little cropped, unlined Thayer would be for indoor-outdoor wear in cooler weather — a good cardigan stand-in. I happen to have some nubby black wool remnant fabric in my stash that could be great for this, although I’m not sure it adds up to enough fabric to pull it off. But I feel like I need to clean off my table and spread it all out to see if I can make it work.

While I ponder what my chainstitched version might be …

(As I uploaded this image, I realized the buttons in my drawing look like nipples! Forgive me for that.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Summer sweater-jacket

Queue Check — October 2019

Queue Check — October 2019

It’s officially knitting season. I know because my brain is like “What’s a sewing machine?” and my fingers are like “Why are we not knitting?” I am knitting, but it’s also officially peak crazy season for me with work, so there’s little time for anything else. But as it goes, by squeaking in a row before bed here and there I’ve crossed the magic dividing line, and my cardigan-in-progress now has sleeve caps and a body. I’m absolutely dying to get to the shawl collar on it, and given that it’s as much knitting as a sleeve, I think I’m going to change up the order a bit on this one and finish the body first (which I usually do last), so I can do the collar next, then the sleeves last. I’m convinced that having that collar on there will light a fire under me and I’ll race through the sleeves so I can wear it.

But I’m also pondering baby sweaters. I’ve got two tiny new great-nieces (cousins to each other), and the circumstances for their arrivals are complicated. So I feel strongly that my first baby cardigans are in order. I just need to settle on patterns and yarn and then they’ll take precedence over this lovely green stockinette beast. Feel free to tell me your all-time favorite baby sweater patterns!

(This is an Improv sweater in Kelbourne Woolens’ Andorra, held double. Lykke needles via Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: Early Fall 2019

Q for You: What’s your favorite travel project?

Q for You: What's your favorite travel project?

I’m back from my trip and can’t wait to tell you about it, but it’ll take me a minute to organize my thoughts and photos. As a knitter will tend to do, I took too much yarn with me and knitted only a fraction of what I thought I might, but still, I did come back with a good 7 or 8 inches of my green cardigan after doing the math on the first runway and casting on as we took off. I even managed to keep my needles when going through security in India — counter to what some of you and google had warned me — and was relieved to have them for the long trip home.

I mentioned before I left that a top-down sweater is the ideal travel project for me, so while I re-adjust to Central Time and work on that recap, this is my Q for You: What’s your favorite kind of project to travel with, and why?

(Jen Hewett x Fringe Field Bag and Lykke interchangeable needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: What are your Fall making plans?

Queue Check — Early Fall 2019

Queue Check — Early Fall 2019

Do you recognize this yarn? This perfectly green Andorra that’s been on my Yarns in Waiting list since late 2017. I’ve been dying to knit with it but cognizant of how warm it is — a delicious wool and mohair blend — and whether it would be sensible for me to make a sweater in it. At this point, given that I have wanted this theoretical sweater for two years, I feel good about committing to it — at least on the level of “how well-considered is this make,” and “will it really be cherished?”

But there’s still the question of (excess) warmth. As much as I would like it to be a simple pullover, a cardigan would be safer, and after searching high and low for a less-warm green yarn that I felt anywhere near as inspired by — due diligence, y’know — I gave myself permission to just do it. Um, held double. Trying to get a sweater’s worth meant ordering from two different stores, and when a dear friend caught wind of my plan, she reminded me that she knitted a Weekender in Andorra-held-double and finds it too warm for our climate. So she loaned me her sweater, I wore it for part of an 80+-degree morning with the window open and then into some frigid a/c. And I found it perfectly cozy! Granted, this is a far-from-scientific experiment, but I want to knit this sweater and if it turns out I can’t wear it, I will find someone who will love it as much as I do. Which shouldn’t be hard, because it is going to be gorgeous.

So this is my travel project — a simple V-neck, stockinette cardigan, most likely with a shawl collar, knitted top-down over the next two weeks as I travel to and around India. (I’m of the opinion that a top-down sweater is the ideal travel project. You get to do the fun starting bits as you embark, then settle into the rhythm of the yoke during your journey, and it generally doesn’t get unwieldy before you get home.)

I leave tomorrow morning and will be back to blogging sometime the third week of October. I’m hoping to tell you a little bit about the textile workshop portion of the trip when I’m back, but I will be offline until then, fully present for my trip.

. . .

If anyone is wondering about Slow Fashion October, I only alluded to it at the time, but 2018 was meant as my last year hosting it. I organized it last year around the notion of how to build a wardrobe you’re committed to, which is at the core of slow fashion — because loved clothes will be taken care of and kept, not treated as disposable — and left a note at the end saying it’s there for anyone to follow anytime. And that remains true! If you’d like to go through the process, it’s there for you in the feed and the entire history of Slow Fashion October can be revisited here on the blog as well. The conversation is obviously far bigger than me and I encourage you to keep having it, with or without me — feel free to use #slowfashionoctober this month to do so! Or start another and I’ll be happy to spread the word. In addition to everyone who’s ever been featured on @slowfashionoctober, I also recommend adding @thesustainablefashionforum and @melaninASS to your follow list!

. . .

Given that I won’t be available to respond after tomorrow, I’ll be turning off comments while I’m away and will re-enable them when I’m back.

The blocking kit pictured above is via Fringe Supply Co. and I should note that my absence will have zero effect on anything with that — the shop is open and DG will be shipping orders just as efficiently as always!

Catch you on the flip side—

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: Midsummer 2019

My little black cloud

My little black cloud

Not all black clouds are gloomy, it turns out. In fact, this little cloud I’ve made to line my neck with is just the opposite!

Several months ago, as previously mentioned, I cast on an unknown object in the dreamy Woolfolk Luft I had originally acquired for another project. I knew I wanted it around my neck, but not what form it might ultimately take. I simply cast on 3 stitches and began knitting a garter-stitch triangle à la Purl Soho’s Triangle Garter Wrap, but with an undefined end goal. Along the way, I’ve imagined it growing into a giant triangle, a square (with or without some variation in the stitch pattern), a large rectangle on the bias … Basically, I was waiting for it to tell me what it wanted to be. Meanwhile, it’s been handy to have lying around for those nights when you can only manage a row or two of knit stitches … and then may not touch it again for days or weeks.

As it reached a certain mass and I took to wrapping the super-soft WIP around my neck, I was reminded of the little kerchief I knitted for my mom many moons ago when I was a brand-new knitter. I’ve always wanted to repeat it for myself, and given Luft’s extreme lightness and softness, it seemed like it might be just the thing. Rather than leave it at pure garter stitch, I knitted a wide 2×2 ribbed edge, which gives it a little more grip, less slip. And I ceased increasing when I started ribbing, as I am not fond of the pointy ends on triangle shawls/shawlettes. It may block out a bit bigger, but at present it’s 18″ x 36″, and used 140g of Luft.

In the end, it’s a little gem of a thing and I can’t wait for the first day cool enough to leave the house with it draped around my neck.

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PREVIOUSLY in Finished Objects: A Fen for Faux Fall