The Lightweights

So — culling knitwear! Following on from the introductory post, today we tackle the lace, fingering, sport and dk weights. All pictures are read top to bottom, and I’m categorising garments into Keep, Reconsider or Fix, or Discard.

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Dark Neutrals
Icarus Dress – Totally, uselessly, unworn as a dress because too tight, too lacy. But I really like the lace skirt, so I think I’ll tweak it into a Coachella. Reconsider or Fix.
Tiger Whisperer – unworn because I need more coverage if I want to wear a cardigan. Discard.
Tangled Vines – Unworn because boring colour which goes with nothing. Discard.
Lacy Vesper – Unworn because I keep forgetting about it! Move into heavier visibility and see if it gets used or not. Reconsider or Fix.
Milk Maiden – Worn and loved! Perfect for layering in winter. Keep.

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Reds and Pinks
Zick-Zack Cardigan – Worn and loved! Goes wonderfully with dark bases like navy and black. Keep!
Cranberry Nectar – I love it and it looks great, but never seem to wear it because I never see it! Store for better visibility. Keep.
Manu – Sadly unworn. It felted slightly because of my dying experiments and has been just a little too tight ever since. I probably should knit another one, this is such a great pattern. Discard.
Delysia – Loved, but never worn because I don’t see it (seems to be a common theme with my cotton and other warm weather knits!). Store for better visibility. Reconsider or Fix.
Boticelli Tunic – Not yet field tested since I haven’t been in very cold weather since making this, but I totally love it. Keep.
Red Arrowhead – Sleeves were always too short, hitting at just the point where they enlarge my bust. Discard. Actually, I quite love the fabric… maybe cut and make a cushion cover or bag?

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Oranges through Greens
Ginger Lizette – Store for visibility, wear more. Keep.
Chainlink – Just finished, so not field tested. Keep.
Citrus Chevrons – Not field tested. Keep.
Shifting Sands – I love this one but never wear it because the short sleeves are uncomfortable! I’ve already bought the yarn to make longer sleeves. Reconsider or Fix.
Katharine Hepburn – The most useful cardigan ever! I’ve worn it with practically everything for five years, and the fabric is still strong and beautiful. Keep, keep, keep!
Climbing Vines – Well worn in chilly weather. Fabric still good. Keep.

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Blues through Purples
Blue Bamboo – Loved and still being worn. Keep.
Eyelet Top – Never worn because the armscyes are too tight. I learnt sooo much while making this one, probably because it was the first garment at the beginning of my knitting fever (fuelled by the internet) way back in the winter of 2008-09. I figured out lace pattern placement, positioning shaping in knitwear, modifying patterns and crochet finishing a neckline, only to stumble at correctly calculating armhole depth. However, this has been worn several times, and has served its purpose in teaching me to knit fitting garments. Discard.
Adriatic – Pretty, useful and wearable. Keep.
Nightblooms and Seedpods – Absolutely adore this one, but it leaves my arms very cold. Maybe order a skein to lengthen sleeves? Knit and attach contrast undersleeves? Keep.
Deep V Vest – So many memories! Reading Eunny Jang’s wonderful blog and finding the pattern. Ordering a pattern online for the first time (so speedy!), buying my still-favourite 3.5mm circulars, and falling in love with the heathered Zara Chine yarn line. I even remember I was at a training course and went to the big department store nearby, where the perfect combination of colours leapt out at me.  But most importantly, I value the experience of measuring my own body and discovering its quirks for the first time – and creating a measurement set that allowed me to make well fitting garments for years. I still use those figures from 2009 when I’m not using CustomFit to generate a pattern. Unfortunately, this vest never got worn because I could never find a suitable inner layer. Goodbye beloved garment! I’m glad I’ve already found you a loving home. Discard.

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Greys
Victoria Yoke -meh. This one feels as though it should be useful although I’ve never worn it. Probably because when I travel to a cold place, I save luggage space for gorgeous handknits and not a drab little thing? Must get over this thinking. Reconsider or Fix.
Thermal Kitten – Love! Keep!
George Street – Utterly, totally, useful as an inner layer in winter!! Keep!
Charcoal Dahlia – Very pretty, very useful. Keep.

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And Finally…

Discard (by which I mean ‘Find Loving Homes For’):

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Reconsider or Fix:

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Keep:

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Next, tackle the heavyweights!

Only Four Years

This was the slowest ribbing ever. Less than two inches, and it took me nearly four years to complete!

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I’ve mentioned these repurposed sleeves on and off over the years — always with a bit of bafflement as to why they never got done — and now, suddenly, they are. Originally intended as sleeves of a sweater, now turned into legwarmers because the Harrisville Shetland turned out too itchy, despite several washes, steams, conditioner and shampoo treatments. Which means even as legwarmers I can only wear them over tights, but that’s all right. Cable pattern is my own unvention.

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Ravelled here.

Warm Little Kitten Sweater

‘Tis done!

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love this colour. It’s a brownish grey, and that sounds dirty and smoggy, but is actually very delicate and beautiful. The brown also makes it a warm grey, perfect with warmer skin tones.

Not much more to say here beyond what I’ve already mentioned. I generated an hourglass shape, close fit, scoop neck pullover with CustomFit, using my stockinette gauge. I worked the body only in the stitch pattern, keeping the sleeves in stockinette. I haven’t decided on the buttons yet, but made the holes anyway. And finished all the twisted ribbing with tubular BOs to maintain the refined feel of the sweater.

Also, have you joined the #howiknit hashtag party on instagram? Here’s how I do it!

Hashtag party!! #loop2loop #howiknit

A video posted by @onkuri on

Look at those delicate princess seam shaping lines. I love!

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Details
Pattern: Thermal from Knitty
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light, 2.60 skeins, “Kitten”
Needles: 4.0mm and 3.5mm. However, I knit lever style for most of the sweater, so the effective needle sizes are probably a size down. If you watch the video above, you can see how the yarn holding position doesn’t allow the loop to go as much around the needle as ‘regular’ knitting would, leading to the creation of smaller size stitches.
Ravelled: here

The Life Changing Magic of Pretty Knits

I started out by doing another Rainbow FO day, but decided to put a little thought into it this time. I want to keep the pretty, joyous stuff, yes, but also the ones which work, with my lifestyle and wardrobe.

I haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book yet, but all the reviews and media frenzy it has generated have convinced me that I must; not for guidance but for vindication. I confess I’m the type of person who is quite horror-struck at the amount of stuff the knitting world thinks necessary – a boundless stash, millions of dinky stitch markers, multiples of every needle size. At least – this was the case a few years ago when I first discovered knitters online; now, I’m happy to note, a more thoughtful buying pattern seems to be setting in.

Of course, everyone must decide on their own level of comfort with stuff. And we all have our own ideas of the ideal, hardworking wardrobe. For some, this may be a cool, stark palette of neutrals, but I confess that the very idea makes me shudder because I love colour. But I realise that a clown vomit wardrobe is a bit useless, which is particularly galling to someone like myself who loves being a product knitter.

I want knits I can wear (even if only in a specific season), which warm me in the way I like (no elbow-sleeved woolies), which work. I want to keep the ones which spark joy, decide which ones can be tweaked, and which ones to bid farewell.

So I piled up all my laceweight to dk weight FOs:

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And my  worsted to bulky weight ones:

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And also my accessories:

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Join me as I sort through them over in posts over the next couple of weeks, deciding what to keep and what to give away!

PS: I should add, I’ve already finished the culling in a single afternoon, and am only posting about it in stages. I don’t recommend lingering over this process because that’s the beginning of emotional attachment to stuff. 

Lightness

This fabric, it’s like playing with soft moonlit clouds. I’m loving the light, frothy texture, and yet terribly, inexplicably, afraid that my yarn will run out.

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This is intended to be a Thermal, from Knitty, and I’m making it with stockinette sleeves for textural contrast with the body. Easy, fun, soothing knitting, especially while listening to Jane Austen’s Juvenilia, which itself is delightfully frothy reading, best summarised by:

“Run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint -” 

Kitteh!!

No, no, I haven’t gone and bought a kitten. That would be absolute mayhem! I’m talking about this yarn:

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A subtle, dusty grey; Madelinetosh Merino Light in “Kitten”. After the high drama of the last FO, I decided to make something useful again, to plug a much needed and frequently identified gap in my wardrobe: simple inner layers. Pretty enough to be worn on their own in mildly chilly weather, but good for layering under thicker knits in the cold.

Every time I travel to Kenya or India, I promise myself (teeth clenched and shivering), “more light inner layers!” And then I return to warm humidity and forget. But not this time. This one’s going to be a Thermal (I confess to waves of nostalgia after looking at the issue containing Monkey; was the sock craze really nine whole years ago?) with stockinette sleeves for textural contrast. Everything shaped with CustomFit, of course.

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Steeks on the Cusp

Happy New Year, everyone! In today’s breaking news, the Cusp is done!!

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I seriously think this is the most striking thing I’ve ever knitted. Almost everything else I’ve made fits into a sweater template — a regular shape with a variety of necklines and sleeves, in different textures and fabrics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But I didn’t feel like knitting more of the same and yeah Cusp was different!!

I’d been looking to make a poncho for a while now, but was a bit bored by all the existing patterns I could find. Cusp with its circular construction and intriguing sleeves was the answer.

However, all the modeled photos showed some odd bubbling at the biceps, as if they were too rounded. I solved that by making vertical arm slits along the side seams (instead of horizontal ones on the front piece, as in the pattern).P1090941

I also steeked in a V-neck since the crew neck in the original looked really incongruous.

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I’ve got some more detailed thoughts on modifications on its Ravelry project page, but will leave you with a couple of shots of the quality inspector…

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… and the back!

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Details
Pattern: Cusp
Yarn: Classic Elite Portland Tweed, 10 skeins, “Golden Green”
Ravelled here.

Behind the Cusp

A quick post to say, the back is done!

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This is it unblocked. I did a quick steam block as recommended in the pattern, shaping it into a hexagon rather than a circle, and now the fabric has become beautifully light and drapey. Which is good, since I don’t want a stiff wheel on my torso!

As planned, I’m going to steek in the arm slits and a v-neck on the front since I don’t like the high crew neck of the original pattern. I’m keeping it very plan-as-you-go. I held up the back to my shoulders to see where the neck steek should begin, and will figure out exact bind-off stitch counts as I start the seeks. Onwards!

Navel Gazing

Brooklyn Tweed released their first CAPSULE collection a few days ago, and it is gorgeous! I was totally smitten by Cusp, even though it is highly unlike anything I ever wear. However, I’d been thinking of making myself a large poncho thingy for a while now, and when I saw this, I just KNEW it was meant to be.

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This lovely tweedy, flecky, yarn (Classic Elite Portland Tweed “Golden Green”) was originally saved for a Leitmotif cardigan, but I’ll make that with something else now. Although the yarn is Aran weight (as opposed to the worsted weight required for Cusp), I figured it would be an easy substitution because of the way the pattern is constructed: it is, basically, two circles knit in the round, each radiating outwards from a belly-button start; they are finally joined around the top halves of their circumferences for the shoulders while the bottom circumferences get a ribbed hem. And additional ribbing finishes the arm slits and neck.

I was very wicked and did not swatch. See, something knitted in the round should be swatched in the round. So a correct swatch for this sweater would be a centre-out piece… which is the actual beginning of the sweater itself. So I used the first few rows as the swatch, and decided to just stop knitting it once the circle was large enough. I’m making the back first, to get an estimate of how large the front circle needs to be, and I’ll probably steek in the arm slits on the front. And I’ll definitely steek in a V-neck, no high crew neck for me!

I’m well on my way through the back now; this is so much fun!

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