Tuesday, January 28, 2014

At the Boardwalk

Second pattern from the 4 hats with 2 skeins.
At the Boardwalk is now available via Ravelry.
Yarn was Cascade Heritage 150 (sports weight), with gauge of 29 sts and 33 rows = 4"x 4" / 10 cm x 10 cm in stranded colorwork.

I have a simple shawl just cast off my needles last week, but I'm totally lacking the motivation to take photos. Hopefully soon.

School started last week. It's always exhausting at the beginning trying to put in the rules, at the same time being encouraging so to build students trust.  It's a funny thing to teach art.  Because we give a lot of constructive criticisms, and there is a lot of egos invested in works that students do, even at such beginning level. Sometimes, it's a fine balance to tell one students s/he is not as good as s/he thinks, and turning around and say to the next student that s/he doesn't suck as bad as s/he think.

Monday, January 13, 2014

First Came the Hat

Then came the sweater...

My winter break is about to come to an end.  As far as I can tell, next semester may just continue the rocky trend but with different issues. Meanwhile, I'd finished a sweater, and sewn a pair of pants to go with it, a rather fulfilling few weeks preceding the storm.

I was inspired by a hat I made before Christmas.  It was the last of the 4 hats from 2 skeins of Cascade Heritage 150 series.  For the hat, yarn was held double. A fun and quick project and the idea just somehow came to me.  It was deisgned with graduated ribbing in contrast with graduated textured horizontal bands.

yarn: Cascade Heritage 150, held double, total 230 yards
needles: US 2 and 3

I really digged the hat.  In fact, Paul really liked it too.  I think he's gonna take it from me.  Good thing I want to make another anyway.

The sweater took the same concept and the front closure added to the asymmetry. It was knitted flat in one piece from bottom up, joined sleeves at underarm, then raglan decreases and a funnel neck to top it off.

I finished it last week, but I was unhappy with the neckline being slightly loose after blocking. So I ripped back the neck, added 2 more decrease rows, and used smaller needles for the neck. Now I'm very happy with the result. The one thing I wish I had done was to knit the cuff area in smaller needle as well, which I will add into the pattern that is mostly written.  I didn't want the sleeves to be snug like regular sweater, so there was no shaping, the sleeves were straight from cuff up to underarm in same pattern to keep it more modern looking.  But I think smaller needles may just make it a bit better.

yarn: Cascade 220 Heather, color 8012 Doeskin Heather, 1250 yards
needles: US #4, #6

While the sweater was blocking on Friday, I cleaned and re-organized my storage area. What a mess it was. I'm really terrible at house keeping stuff.  But honestly, I just don't care.  I like the way I live. But even that mess started to disgust me.

Glad I re-organized. I found some green stretchy broadcloth fabric in the ever growing fabric stash, and I thought it would make a nice fitted pants to go with the sweater. I used the pattern drafted few months ago. I knew if I kept the same seam allowance at 5/8" the stretchy material would make the pants feel a bit loose.  So I added wider seam allowance when I serged the seams.

The pants came out nearly perfect, according to my not too critical self.  But I think I'll change the shape of pockets next time, as they don't sit right somehow.  Overall, I perfer the way pockets sit on a pair of jeans.  It could easily be that I just wear jeans all the time so I'm more used to that style of pockets.

I'm still trying to improve my sewing skills as things tend to look unsightly sometimes on the inside of garments.  It's getting better. This time, I actually didn't make too many mistakes that required ripping the seams.  This really helped with my serger confidence.

Very happy with the hat, the sweater and the pants.  Paul not only liked the hat, he too thought the sweater was a winner.  He's very supportive of what I'm into, but he is always honest about what he thinks of the results.  This is one of the rare occasions that we both love the projects.

Light Bulbs Pattern

It's ON!

The pattern is called Light Bulbs, a Cap. It's available via Raverly.
yarn: Cascade Heritage 150
needles: size 2 and 3

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014

Another year gone by, another year ahead.
As usual, we didn't do much for new years eve.  The town is filled with tourists, the usual gathering of huge crowd near the casinos, and on top of that, the Snowglobe music festival. I'm really not into crowds. It's always a bit scary to go out on New Years Eve considering tons of drunk pedestrians and drivers on the main street.  

We stayed in and watched documentaries on Netflix.  A really good one we saw last night was Reel Injun, about portrayals of Native Americans in Hollywood film. And we finished up Art of Flight, a backcountry snowboarding film making story.  It satisfied our missing boarding this year.  In many ways, we're glad not to get passes for the resorts, but there has not been ANY snow lately to even think about doing backcountry around here.  It's sad, very sad the lack of snow here.  Even our neighbors who had long refused to believe in global warming (yes, they're like that, but they're the nicest people, really) said, "I think there may really be global warming happening!" Everyone in town is shaking his/her head.  No matter, tourists are still piling in on the slope and enjoying the man-made stuff.

I'm ringing in the new year with coupla brand new finished projects.  Yes, knitting this time! Using Cascade 220 Heather. I really dig it's wooliness. I find myself liking more woolly sweaters than soft merino type.  The color is Birch Heather.  Bought the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Two hats and a sweater. One of the hats came first.  And it inspired the sweater, then I made the hat again with the same yarn as the sweater.

I actually made the first hat using Cascade Heritage 150 first.  The hat was a remake of a hat I did coupla years ago that I wasn't as thrilled with the finished look so I never bothered to take pictures.  First I remade it with Heritage 150, third part of the 4 hats using 2 skeins of Heritage series (the first was the light bulb hat, the second was the carousel hat, which was finished weeks ago, and I just realized I never blogged about it here.)

Anyway, the hat then inspired the cardigan. Cardigan was designed with round yoke, with cables and the leaves motif all along the yoke.  Rest of the sweater was knitted in reverse stockinette stitch. It turned out pretty much as I'd  hoped.  I was waffling between changing the body to more swing style, but.. I ended up with more the practical and ordinary body.  I gave myself 2" positive ease, kind of a trend of me lately, liking a little room for layering, also more along the line of what I normally wear.

After finishing the sweater, I had enough yarn left to make the second hat to match the sweater, not that I'm into the matchy thing.  It feels kinda like a little girl outfit set when the hat matches the sweater. But I'm definitely liking the second hat just as much as the first one. I love making hats since they're so very quick to make.

So, here they are.
Have happy and fulfilling 2014 everyone!