Category Archives: knitting

Afternoon Coat

Here’s the pattern for the Afternoon Coat cardigan I made a few years ago. The photocopy has seen better days, but it is still legible.

Sometimes I think the color work looks like animal skulls.

Sometimes I think the color work looks like animal skulls.


This was one of the first projects I actually finished and liked enough to wear. Were I to do it again, I’d probably pick other colors to match more in my closet, but the two purples are lovely to look at. I used Cascade Heritage for this, but I’ve been using Valley Yarns Huntington a lot lately, and I think that is a good yarn choice as well.

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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in knitting


My New Glasses

I just got my new glasses!

I think maybe I liked them a little more when my pupils were dilated. Or maybe it’s just that my other pair are so easy to wear with any outfit. Purple and magenta aren’t exactly neutrals…

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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in knitting



Sweater Fail

On Thursday I stayed up a bit late to finish the sweater I started in Guernville. It’s “Easy Stitches for a Chic Jumper” from Stitchcraft, and available at zilredloh’s blog here.

Easy Stitches for a Chic Jumper

Maybe this sweater actually only looks good from this one angle

It looked really cute when I finished, but when I tried it on it was massively unflattering. I could make it look okay from the front if I belted it into submission, but it still looked atrocious from the side or back. I think this is mostly the fault of the yarn I used. I thought it would have enough drape, but the cotton turned out to be just a little too stiff. Working with larger needles and adjusting the pattern accordingly might have helped, but that would have made it necessary to wear a cami underneath. I think this yarn is just meant for a structured garment rather than one that drapes and skims the figure.

Finished Jumper

I didn’t have enough yarn to do longer sleeves, but I don’t like sleeves that hit at the elbow crease anyway

It is possible that with some agressive steaming I can transform this into something like a 1920’s tunic top rather than the at-the-waist top it is currently trying to be. Mostly I just want to soften up the fabric a bit so it drapes better, and don’t mind what length it ends up. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll pull it out and save the yarn until I come across a project that calls for soft but rather stiff cotton.

Stitch detail for Chic Jumper

Cute yoke detail

Despite not liking this particular incarnation, I liked this pattern. The sweater was easy to work up, and the only major change I made was to add the sleeve to the round after casting off for the arm holes, rather than doing all the armhole shaping and then joining near the shoulders. It’s similar to the method used for a Scandinavian style round yoked sweater.  I also reduced the length of the sleeves and the height of the neckline due to yarn constraints, but might have made those changes anyway. I’m not a fan of super high necklines or sleeves that hit right at the elbow.

I’m pretty sure I will make this again some day, and when I do I will also make the button placket 6 stitches rather than just 4, and probably reduce the number of buttons. A button every 4 rows is just too crowded.

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in knitting



Third time’s a charm?

I’ve had the Round Yoked Sweater pattern in my ravelry queue for years now, but only recently got around to trying it out when I decided to focus on knitting some everyday basics. It’s a quick pattern, and after I converted the weird neck shaping instructions to short rows, it’s an easy pattern too.

BUT. The first time I knit it, I was worried that it would be too tight. All the other projects show it as very skin tight, and I wanted something with a little more ease. So I added 20 stitches, based on calculations that implied it would give a very slight negative ease. Nope! It was huge, but what seemed to be 20 stitches. So I ripped it out and tried again, this time sticking strictly to the pattern.

Still huge! And this time I sewed in the sleeves on before trying it, and they are too big too. I think I can get away with just unraveling them halfway and starting the armhole shaping earlier. But the sweater, once again, seems to be about 20 stitches too big. This yarn has so much give!

So I ripped it out and knit it again, another 20 stitched smaller. And it is still too big! But belting it makes it look okay, so I’m calling it done. I feel like I did it over another 20 stitches smaller, it would still be big! SMC On Your Toes bamboo yarn has some serious give to it. I imagine any sock knit from this yarn would instantly puddle around your ankle. But it does have a nice drape and it’s soft. So maybe reserve it for things like shawls and unfitted garments.

round necked sweater

I wore this for St. Patrick’s Day.


Here’s a close up of the back of the neck. Not terribly exciting, but it shows the true color of the yarn better.

round collar sweater buttons

The buttons look like little hard candies. 


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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in knitting


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Making the Hard Decisions

I finally started on my house sweater last weekend, but real knitting was delayed while I tried to figure out which stich pattern to use. I did some swatches and settled on a stich, but once I saw it in the whole width of the sweater rather than a 4 inch square I decided I didn’t like it. Rather than making more swatches and running into the same problem again, I decided to test stitches in the full width. And after a lot of agonizing and unraveling, I finally settled on a version of Swedish Check from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (page 20 if you’re interested).

swedish check pattern

The original Swedish Check calls for you to knit through the back loop for all knit stitches on the right side, but that slowed down my knitting and didn’t change the look of the pattern much, so I ditched it for knitting through the front.

close up of Swedish Check

I just reached the armhole shaping, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish the body tonight. Then on to the sleeves!

sweater and yarn

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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in knitting


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After my triumph with the new Girl Friday sweater, I went back to the Demla coat that I started in the fall, which was languishing in my knitting pile over the holidays while I focused on gifts and holiday sweaters. I was actually farther along than I thought, and had completed both fronts pieces and most of one back piece. But after finishing the first front piece and knitting the second back piece and one of the facings, I really needed a break. There isn’t much shaping in this coat, and it gets boring.

I decided to make a short sleeved raglan pullover. Not only would it add another needed top to my wardrobe, but it would knit up quickly and give me a rush of accomplishment. At first I thought I’d use up the rest of the Kertzer yarn that I used for my Must Have Cardigan, but it’s turned out to be a difficult color for me to style and I don’t think it would look well as a top. Luckily for me, I had some light blue Plymouth Jeannee yarn tucked away in my stash.

[jeannee yarn]

I made up the pattern on the fly, going for a 1930s sportswear look. It think it’s mostly a success, but there is maybe 1/2 an inch too much ease, which is often a problem for me. The top looks cute belted, but I haven’t found a skirt to wear it with unbelted, and it is a little too thick to tuck in. All in all, it was a successful experiment that makes me want to knit a few more short sleeved tops.

It looks really dumpy on this hanger, and kind of dumpy on me unless it's belted.

It looks really dumpy on this hanger, and kind of dumpy on me unless it’s belted.

The space between the raglan shaping at the neck is just calling out for a brooch, don’t you think?

Maybe there is something in the mail to fill this void?

Maybe there is something in the mail to fill this void?

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in knitting


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Girl Friday, Part Two

I knit this sweater the first time in 2011, although I used a stich from Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns rather than the one specified in the written pattern. I liked knitting the sweater, and I liked knitting with the Reynolds Utopia yarn, but the end result wasn’t very flattering. The yarn has too much body to drape nicely, but the pattern isn’t fitted enough to take advantage of the yarn’s sculptural properties. Whenever I wore it, I found myself tugging at the hem and lapels and feeling self-conscious.

A very dinosaur green

Girl Friday I, the dinosaur

Over the holiday break I ripped out some unsuccessful sweaters, and almost added Girl Friday #1 to the pile. But while the sweater doesn’t work for me, it’s still made well and might work for one of my friends. It’s in the clothing exchange pile, waiting for a new home. Making the decision to pass it on made me realize how much I liked the idea of the sweater, so I took the yarn from one of the sweaters that did get ripped out and set about on round two.

I picked yet another stitch from Treasury of Knitting Patterns, which turned out to be a simplified version of the stitch I used in GF #1, although I didn’t realize that until later.

Ice cold, but cozy

Girl Friday II. Ice cold, but cozy

I really love how #2 turned out. It’s hard to see in this picture, but the sleeve caps have a little puff to them that gives the sweater a Victorian vibe.  I was lazy and didn’t try to stretch the kink out of the reclaimed yarn, but I actually like the end result. It looks vaguely like boucle yarn. I’ve enjoyed working with the Plymouth Encore for each of its prior incarnations, even if those sweaters didn’t turn out to be keepers. It’s got a nice drape and squish, and is smooth and soft to the touch. I like it so much, I’m going to knit a third Girl Friday (with pockets) to be my new house sweater.

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in knitting


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