Easy Bolero

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I often preface my knitting projects by calling them “easy.” The reason is because I usually select patterns that are truly simple to make. They usually require no intricate stitches and I seldom use patterns with complicated charts to read. If you know the knitting basics, any beginner knitter will agree with me. This goes for items I create on my own, like these baby hats and these lace ponchos.

I think my latest project earns the title of the easiest garment I’ve ever knit. It’s a bolero. And a cute and wearable one at that!

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I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a bigger “AHA” than when I figured out the construction for a bolero. What? All I do is knit one long piece, sew together the arms, and pick up the sides? That’s it? No seaming together pieces? How can something so cute be so simple?!?

Yep, that’s exactly how I knit this bolero: I knit a panel (that looks like a shorter but wider scarf) using a simple stockinette stitch; create sleeves by sewing two sides of the panel together; and pick up stitches around inside the panel using a rib stitch and knit 2 purl 2 all the way around.

It’s a little difficult to explain it without any visual aids but I’m sure I’ll knit another one of these little shrugs soon and I’ll post a tutorial then, for anyone interested.

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Boleros are so awesome because it’s light and perfect for breezy summer nights, just like ponchos. It’s also a great remedy for someone like me who loves summer dresses but don’t feel comfortable showing bare shoulders and arms.

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I used one skein of Cascade 220 Sport in Doeskin Heather.

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January Sweater

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It’s very hard to believe that January is coming to an end. It certainly flew by very quickly, as it does every year. I dedicated the first month of the year to yours truly, by giving myself permission to do anything and everything, to my heart’s content, without feeling an once of guilt … and I must say that I accomplished that beautifully. lol

So what did I do?  I ate all the junk food I can get my hands on (my Del Taco receipts prove that I really went all out with the bean burrito consumption); unapologetically spent obscene amount of money on hair care products; indulged in guilty pleasure by catching up on all the old episodes of The Hills and The City (I love Lauren and Whitney, what can I say); and knit, knit, and knit some more!

One of the projects I completed during the month of pure gluttony is this short-sleeve sweater. Let’s call this January Sweater since I’m lacking creativity at the moment. I applied the top-down techniques I learned from Cerulean Cardigan (which, by the way, is still in progress) and came up with my own design! I’m very pleased with the result because this is a sweater that I see myself wearing regularly.

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I made a v-neck but not too deep so I can get away with not wearing anything underneath in warmer weather, and ribbed (knit 2, purl 2) from the bust down to accommodate my growing belly without stretching out the garment. I made it into short sleeves so that I’ll get to swear it during the spring and even in early summer.

I knit this with four skeins of Cascade 200 in Westpoint Blue Heathers (9325), using size 8 circular needle (32 inches). The yarns were on sale at Webs for about $7 per skein, so this sweater only cost me $28 (not including labor, taxes, and shipping fees, etc., of course).  The yarn is a little more gray than blue you see here.

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This was the most “edited” sweater I’ve ever knitted. I had to knit some parts, like the sleeves, multiple times before I got them just right. It was my first time doing the wrap and turn while knitting short rows and it took me several attempts to make the sleeve fall nicely but I think I’ve got it now. I’m glad I learned this technique for other garments I’ll knit in the future, and also for sock knitting!

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February will be a different story. I dedicate next month to all things Pon Pon. It’s time for me and my husband to finally get serious about the baby’s arrival. We’ll be setting up the nursery, assemble a crib, purchase all the things we need, attend an infant CPR class, read baby books, and get all the paperwork (including the birth plan) in order. I will try to make time to sneak in some knitting, sewing, and hopefully some soap making time, but I probably won’t be watching the drama unfold between Lauren and Heidi all that much anymore!