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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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!

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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Just In Time for Christmas Sweater

While watching an episode of a Japanese variety show called SMAPxSMAP the other day (I’m so addicted to the segment called Bistro SMAP), I saw one of the hosts and actor/J-pop star Takuya Kimura show up wearing this simple but super cool blue cable hoodie and I said to myself that I MUST have one just like that immediately! surprised  But after failing to find something similar online, I decided to go ahead and knit my own.

I wasn’t in the mood for something too involved, so I turned to a pattern in a book, The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Beyond the Basics, for a quick and painless knit! I ditched the zipper in front (that would be too much work) and opted for a basic pullover instead.  That’s what’s so wonderful about knitting – you can create any piece of garment you desire, as long as you’re willing to spend some time on the craft.

My finished piece doesn’t completely resemble Kimutaku’s version, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.  This is the first sweater that I knit that I would actually wear.

Knitting all pieces

I used Cascade 220 yarns in turquoise for the project. They were on sale for $6.75 (regularly $9) per skein from WEBS Yarns and I only used 6, so the price for this sweater (sans labor, shipping, and taxes) was a mere $40!

Blocking

After all the pieces were complete, I blocked each piece by soaking them in water and pinning them flat on a towel. Wet yarn really makes your place smell like a herd of wet sheep just walked by.

Sewing Pieces Together:

Sewing is my least favorite part of the knitting process. I don’t mind the actual sewing but I don’t enjoy threading the yarn through a needle.  I knit a hoodie but I decided to omit it because it was becoming a major pain to sew it onto the sweater.  I’m actually happy with the decision because I like the slightly formal and womanly feel that it now has.

Posing for the Camera

And here is me, sporting my new favorite sweater!

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you enjoy this special time of the year with your friends and family!