In Progress: Ridiculously Big Cowl Neck Sweater

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I seldom post pictures of my craft projects in progress because I’m always afraid that I won’t finish them. I might mess them up royally and I have to frog them (which happens often), or I might just get bored (which happens often as well) and decide to put them away in a drawer where all my previous unfinished objects come to live, or die, permanently. Then what? It’s depressing.

Well, I’m currently nursing a sore right arm, an injury I incurred during nights of non-stop knitting, so I don’t have photos of finished projects to post. All I can do to at the moment to calm my knitting urges is talk about some projects in the works and pray that I’ll soon get to finish them all.

I have three sweaters in progress, including this simple, black sweater knit top down, in the round. I wanted something simple with no designs like cable, is oversized so I can layer, and with a ridiculously big cowl neck.

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I did manage to finish the piece and knit up the ridiculously big cowl neck one night but I think that re-aggravated the injury so the sleeves would have to wait for at least a few more weeks until I’m completely healed. The bright side is that this will give me some time to decide if I want the sleeves short, ¾ lengths, or full.  Any suggestions?

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PATTERN: Seed Stitch Cowl

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Cats might have nine lives but this skein of yarn lived just about 10. I initially purchased this cozy Blue Sky Worsted Cotton (in Bone) yarn from Purl Soho, along with several other pastel colors, to knit a baby blanket for a friend who’s expecting her first baby in December. I actually finished the blanket but I didn’t like how it turned out (it was too narrow) so I frogged it and tried again with some necessary tweaks. But even after knitting six skeins of yarn twice (and blocking the blanket twice — eek), I still didn’t like it. I took that as a sign that these yarns were meant to become something else.

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I got the idea to knit a cowl after reading this post from Knit and Bake. It’s a very straightforward seed-stitch but its simplicity is so lovely it made me swoon. I love a seed stitch – it creates such wonderful texture and warmth. I can’t wait for the temperature to drop so I can adorn my neck with this cozy cowl. And a great part is that this knits up in no time.  I finished mine in about 4 hours, while watching the old Sex and the City episodes when the baby was a sleep at night.

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Seed Stitch Cowl
(This pattern was inspired by a cowl by Knit and Bake. I changed the needle size and the number of cast ons.)

Supplies:

Circular needle (20 inches or shorter) or four double-pointed needles in US size 10.5 mm
1 Skein of yarn (100 g).  I used Blue Sky Worsted Cotton in Bone (80).

Instruction:

Cast on 77 stitches. Knit in the round, while trying not to twist. K1, P1 all the way across the row, until you have just enough yarn to bind off. Bind off loosely.

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The finished cowl measured 24 in (circumference) x 8 in (length).

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Just a quick note: I like my cowl really loose. If you like yours a bit more snug around the neck, reduce the number of cast on stitches. As long as the cast on ends in an odd number, you’re good to go!

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Is it fall yet?

In Progress: Cerulean Cardigan

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I’ve expressed on more than one occasion here on this blog that I dislike seaming in the knitting process — with passion!evil But I always thought it was one of those things that I cannot avoid and I just have to live with the torture … until I discovered a miracle called the top-down knitting method!  Who knew that there was a way to knit a garment from the top down, in one piece!  Thank you, Wendy Bernard, creator of one of my favorite knitting blogs, Knit and Tonic, and author of the book, Custom Knits, for introducing me to this amazing alternative!

I spent many hours reading the instruction for the method in her book.  Just like her blog, Wendy’s instruction is very well written, but for some reason, I just couldn’t decipher how garments were constructed. Everything was so new that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Determined to crack the code, I purchased her DVD tutorial and after watching it, like five times, I finally saw the light.  Once I had the “a-ha” moment, everything started to make sense, and I was finally ready to tackle a project – and I selected Cerulean Cardigan that accompanied the DVD.

I am not done with the cardigan yet, but I decided to post some of the photos that show the cardigan construction.  I found some of the Raverly posts with in-progress photos extremely helpful and I wanted to share mine as well, in case some confused souls stumbled upon this blog.

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The Back: The first picture is what the piece looks like when both the back and two fronts (right and left fronts) are knitted. As you can see from this photo here, the initial cast-on row is now on top. The piece makes more sense when it’s draped on a form.  (There’s a yellow yarn on the cast-on row because I used Provisional cast-on with waste yarn.)

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The Shoulder:  Because you pick up stitches from the Provisional cast-on, there’s no need to sew the back and the fronts together. I love it — there are no seams!

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The Body:  This is what the front of the cardigan looks like. It looks like a sexy bikini at this stage!lol

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Armholes:  The extra stitches that you casted on on both the back and the front allow these pieces to come together in the middle.

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Knitting Together:  Here’s what it looks like when you knit the right and left fronts with the back panel together.  Although a circular needle is used to knit these pieces together, you don’t knit all these pieces in the round because this is a cardigan with opened front, unlike a sweater.

Okay, off to knit some more! Now that the more confusing parts of the construction are over, I hope the rest of the knitting will go, well, seamlessly.lol

Update (1/9/13):

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Making progress. OMG, NO SIDE SEAMS! I’m doing a happy dance right now!

Update (1/13/13):

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Front and Back / Ribbing: I finished the front and back, as well as side ribbing. I like how it came out, but the caveat here is that I used two circular needles in a different size (size 7 and 8) and the rib sizes came out inconsistent! eek Once side is definitely smaller than the other! Oh well, I hope it’s not too noticeable when I wear it.

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Eeek, my arm pain came back while knitting this cardigan.cry Could this be from being pregnant? It’s not atypical for me to knit for hours and hours but I never had this kind of pain until I conceived. I know that carpal tunnel syndrome is common for prego ladies, but I’m not certain it this is it, or just Tennis Elbow for knitting too much (and a bit too tight). Whatever the cause, I spent two horrible days and nights with frozen fruit bags wrapped around my arm, battling this incredibly uncomfortable dull pain on now my right arm. I know it’s my body’s way of telling me to take it easy on the repetitive motion of knitting so I will probably take a few days of sabbatical from this garment. It’s probably also the Universe’s way of telling me to get off the couch and clean the apartment!

In Progress: Ribbon-Edged Cardigan

I’m happy when I’m knitting.  Sure, it’s not all roses when it comes to complicated patterns, dropped stitches, and losing count in the middle of a row, but all in all, knitting brings a smile to my face.

Now that we’ve officially entered fall (although that just means it’s 70 degree in Southern California — no, I’m not complaining), my craft fever scale has tipped slightly in favor of knitting over sewing.  There’s nothing more joyful than sitting on the couch and knitting a lovely project in a cozy home, while watching some silly television shows — all while the husband helps untangle the ball of yarn for you. This is what happiness is all about.  I’m so incredibly blessed.biggrin

Currently on the knitting needles is this adorable ribbon-edged cardigan from Debbie Bliss’ Special Knits that I’m making for our little Pon Pon.  I’m making one for 12-24 months baby so it’ll be a while until she gets to sport this pink cardigan, but I know how quickly the first year flies.

I was really looking forward to finishing it this week but it turned out that I didn’t have enough yarn!  I actually got these Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic DK yarns in Hibiscus by accident a few years ago (I was actually trying to buy them in purple to finish this project but got them in a wrong hue), and only had three skeins on hand.  I just placed in order so it’ll be a good few days until the Pony Express delivers them to my doorstep and I can resume the project.

I think I’ll cast on a new project while I wait for the delivery.  I’m so glad that my arm is feeling better now.

Updated 12/7/12: I finished knitting the sleeve and the sweater is complete!   It is currently being blocked on the dining table. Weaving in ends took forever, but I’m happy with how it came out. It’s time to look for matching buttons.  Can’t wait to post the final photos soon.

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Better Late Than Never: Lacy Scarf

I finished the Lacy Scarf for Maya over the weekend.razz I started the project back in April and it sat there for a few months, but it’s finally finished and ready to be shipped to her for her birthday!

I’m thinking about making this for myself, maybe in a different color. I love how it fits around the neck. It’s not too heavy because it’s airy but it keeps the neck comfortably warm!  I’m glad Maya suggested to double the width from the original pattern.  I think I like this size much better than skinnier version.

Cooler weather and the urge to knit certainly go hand in hand. Now that the season has officially turned to fall, my love for knitting reignited in full force. I can’t stop thinking about what to knit next. My goal for the season is not to acquire any more new yarns and try to use up everything I already have. I have a few sock yarns that I purchased a while back so maybe it’s time to cast on my first sock soon.

Updated 12/26/12: Thanks, Maya, for sending me the picture! Here’s my BFF with the scarf! 🙂

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