Queue Check — June 2017

Queue Check — June 2017

I’m in Kansas right now — I came for a family reunion and have stayed for a funeral.* My eldest aunt, who had been ill for a very long time, succumbed just at the moment when eighty-something of us had already come from near and far to be together, which was characteristically polite and organized of her. May she rest in peace. So I’m about one-third of the way into the first sleeve of my Bernat fisherman sweater (in Arranmore) for the Summer of Basics and already there’s Squam dock time and this precious family visit knitted into it. And if that weren’t enough, this is the most joy I’ve ever gotten from two sticks and a ball of string. I crave it when it’s not in my hands and love working every stitch. (My top three Joy of Knitting projects — pure pleasure in the stitch patterns and the yarn in my hands — are this, Gentian and Channel.) Having charted out the vintage written-instructions pattern and seen what is happening, which is quite straightforward, I have no need to look at either the pattern or the chart and can just knit away at this happily, with just the right amount of brain detachment and engagement, watching the textures develop. It’s true love in every way.

I even made a tiny mistake in the very first cable cross, and left it, so that’s out of the way!

I did make some more progress on my so-called Summer Cardigan (in Balance) before casting on for the fisherman, but at this point it’s going to be impossible for it to get my attention. Hopefully the same won’t be true of my Archer shirt for #summerofbasics, which I plan to cut the muslin of this coming weekend.

*Hence the lack of response from me on Friday’s Q for You answers, but I have read them all and hope to respond when I have a chance — great conversation as usual.

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: May 2017

Queue Check — May 2017

Queue Check — May 2017

With my linen Sloper finished, I’m back to this allegedly-for-summer grey cardigan, the lone WIP at the moment. (Actually, that’s not entirely true — I’m also finishing up the hat samples for my Squam class. More on that to come.) I had the idea that I would knit the Sloper during my 10 days in Florida and then finish this cardigan by the end of May, but forgot I was working from my sister’s house and not actually on vacation! So apart from the drive home, there wasn’t much more knitting than usual … and thus here we are, the cardigan still very much a WIP. In addition to really needing this sweater right now, we’ve got Summer of Basics starting Thursday and I haven’t finalized my plan for that yet, although it will include the grey half-texture pullover. Plus there’s the make and mend list I just put together a couple of weeks ago. Plus I’m dying to swatch for the vintage fisherman sweater. It’s like I’m on the brink of starting so many (great, useful) things! So for the moment, I’m just taking a deep breath, concentrating energy on this cardigan, and seeing what I can do with it before the deluge.

Queue Check — May 2017

PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: April 2017

 

Queue Check — April 2017 (and a correction!)

Queue Check — April 2017 (and a correction!)

Queue Check — April 2017 (and a correction!)

After very little knitting time on the big trip, and no knitting of any kind during Fever Week, I’ve finally made some further progress on my (painfully) mindless grey cardigan. I still believe I’ll be happy to have this sweater when it’s done, but this is one of those projects that I’m so apathetic about picking up at night that it makes me wonder if I’ve fallen out of love with knitting. (I haven’t — I’m just bored by this. That’s how it is sometimes!) What is lighting me up, though, is my swatch for the upcoming Sloper Knitalong! Which I’m knitting with two strands of Kestrel on US13s.

I’m really excited about this little summer sweater. As you can see in my sketches, I’m making a few key diversions from the pattern: lengthening it a bit, adding a slight bit of texture (thinking chunky Andalusian stitch could be interesting), making it a V-neck instead of a turtleneck (all of which we’ll go over!) … and knitting at a slightly different gauge.

Speaking of Sloper gauge, though, MAJOR MEA CULPA: I gave out bad intel in that Sloper KAL intro post. I knew it sounded wrong when I was typing it, but that’s what my notes said — except I was looking in the wrong place, and realized it when I was working on my own swatch here the other night. The pattern gauge is 2.25 sts per inch, not 2.5, and that was achieved on US15 (10mm) needles, not US11 (8mm) as originally stated. The 11s were the ribbing needle, not the main fabric. To anyone who’s been swatching ahead and trying to get gauge, I am so deeply sorry for the error. It’s been corrected in that post and will be correct when I post the “pattern” on Monday. But we’ll also be talking about how to adjust for gauge differences, so hopefully I haven’t made anyone too totally crazy with this! Sorry sorry sorry.

Regardless, I hope a lot of you are excited about the whole Sloper thing, which will kick off on Monday! I’m so excited to see what everyone will make. And I’m wishing you a magnificent weekend in the meantime …

Cardigan pattern: Improv
Yarn: Balance by O-Wool in Talc

(Lykke needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: March 2017, a whole new queue

Pardonnez-moi

What I knitted on my Paris vacation

Hey friends, I’m back in the land of biscuits and gravy, eager to tell you about my trip. I spent a huge chunk of yesterday working on an epic recap but had to concede late last night that I need at least that much again to finish it up. (So many photos to comb through …) Tomorrow I have something else fun to tell you about, but I’ll definitely have the Paris handmade-wardrobe travelogue for you on Monday! Meanwhile, here’s a picture of what I knitted on my spring vacation — the beginnings of the summer cardigan plotted out here, and knitted on just the two flight days and knit night at L’Oisive Thé, There was no other time for knitting! But still pretty good progress, n’est-ce pas?

Pattern: Improv
Yarn: Balance by O-Wool

Queue Check — March 2017: A whole new queue

Queue Check — March 2017: A whole new queue

Queue Check — March 2017: A whole new queue

Here I am at a pivotal moment! My you-know-what cardigan is done, and the shape of my sweater collection changed drastically this month, leaving me with effectively nothing on the needles and a whole new knitting horizon to consider. The next thing I cast on actually has to be my hat pattern for my Squam class in June, so that’s likely going on the big trip with me. But then, as previously noted, I’ll be picking two sweaters to cast on — one from the mindless column of my list and one from the challenging column. As it happens, I have a nice long list to pick from! But the top two are above:

MINDLESS: The least exciting sweater in my sketch pile is the one I need the most. I’ve been saying for as long as I’ve had this blog that I need a good summer cardigan, and Bellows had stepped into that role the last two years. Now that it’s gone to live with my mom, I have to immediately fill the summer-cardigan gap. Rather than make another superbulky shawl-collar to improbably fill that role, I’m going with something more basic and adaptable — a simple V-neck Improv cardigan. But I do think the yarn should still be Balance, as Bellows was. Holding this yarn single (it was doubled for Bellows) means alternating skeins and I’m lazy, so I got to thinking about other ways to deal with the ball changes. I’ve always loved Joelle Hoverson’s idea, from her Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf, to knit a stripe wherever she happened to be when she put the project down, and thought I could follow similar logic here, except knitting a couple of garter ridges wherever the ball change happened to occur. I debated sticking with the Graphite colorway, since that had worked well for me, but think this particular cardigan might seem too somber in charcoal, so I’m going with the light grey, Talc.

CHALLENGING: As eager as I am to replace my shawl collar, I think it’s high time I knitted the fisherman sweater I’ve always dreamed of. 2017 is the year, dammit! And I plan to take my time with it, so I better get started. I believe I’ve settled on the vintage pattern, Bernat 536-145, that keeps turning up in my path, over and over, since that feels like the universe trying to make a point. I haven’t tried it yet, but for the yarn I’m hoping I can make Arranmore work, because I’m in love with this yarn and think the tweediness of it would be both attractive and useful here. We’ll see what a swatch says!

Beyond that, I’ve made three more pattern/yarn decisions — all standing in the Mindless line:

Queue Check — March 2017: A whole new queue

TOP: There’s a sweater floating around Pinterest the last few years that I find myself never not wanting (I think it might have been Steven Alan), but of course it was several seasons ago and no longer available, so I’ve decided that’s what I’ll be doing with my treasured Junegrass. (Improv) I also have ideas about the timing and context of this one, which I’ll have more to say about soon!

MIDDLE: I knitted this swatch with the two weights (bulky and DK) of the brassy TN Textile Mill merino held together, and I’m deeply in love with it. Want to make a big, simple funnel-neck pullover, and am so tempted to do it right away — it would be so quick! — but that’s silly when it can’t be worn for months and I have a pressing need to fill. So it will have to wait. (Also Improv.)

BOTTOM: For all the times I’ve said I wish my purple Trillium cardigan was grey, I’ve decided to make a grey one. I happen to have the two random sleeves I knitted long ago from my beloved Sawkill Farm stash, and am planning to see if I can make them work for Trillium. Not sure if I’ll do the chevrons-and-nups treatment around the yoke or modify that somehow.

And then there are the others on the horizon that I haven’t made any yarn decisions about yet:

Queue Check — March 2017: A whole new queue

TOP LEFT: I’m champing at the bit to try the Cocoknits Method of top-down, which leads to English-tailored shoulders and set-in sleeves. I want both a big bulky pullover and a chunky cardigan, and will likely follow some version of the Emma pattern for whichever I ultimately decide on.

TOP RIGHT: Yep, it’s that sleeveless turtleneck again. I’m going to knit another one and hope you will too! I’ll have lots more to say about that tomorrow.

BOTTOM LEFT: Not letting go of the cowichan-ish idea, likely a customized version of Jane Richmond’s West Coast Cardigan.

BOTTOM RIGHT: And pretty sure the shawl-collar replacement will be Norah Gaughan’s Sourcebook Chunky Cardigan. Not sure about yarn yet, but this will likely come next in the Challenging column, someday when the vintage Bernat is done.

Either of those last two would make an excellent Rhineback sweater-jacket, so that may have bearing on how the queue plays out over the next few months!

(Fashionary sketch templates and Lykke Driftwood needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: February 2017