Share Season: Juniper Moon 2014 Spring Share Time!

Hi! It’s been a hot minute since I last posted! The last month has kicked me right in the butt.

I got the BEST mail recently: YARN MAIL! My 2014 Juniper Moon yarn share arrived! YEAH!

(Are you familiar with Juniper Moon and their yarn CSA? 2015 is the last year they’ll be offering shares, so if you’re into it, get one while they still exist! There are other similar systems now, but JMF is the original and, in my opinion, the best.)

Anyway – my share yarn! Ooooh :)

YES!

This is 100% cormo wool – cormo is a breed of sheep, and they grow wool which is squishy and soft and amazing. I love it. The 2014 share is the 5th annual share I’ve had the pleasure to receive (mostly as gifts from my amazing family – Hi Family!). This year, the share came with a super cute stamped project bag and a customized measuring tape! It also shipped in a box, which my cat was very interested in.

Bonus awesome bag!

Feline yarn supervisor.

Shareholders have the option to have their yarn sent to them undyed (I did that last year!), or to have it dyed in a very limited range of colourways which change each year. This year, I went for the Orchid colourway, which is this gorgeous gray-toned mauvey colour.

Orchid gorgeousness

Oooh purpley

Mauvey

Soooo pretty. Yes.

I have some fairly firm plans for this yarn. Every year I’ve had a share, I’ve knit a sweater out of it. (Here’s 2010 (blue), 2011 (pink), and 2012 (green) – I still have last year’s undyed 2013 share waiting to be knit up, because I focused on finishing Shepherd last winter!)

TRUE BLUENANTUCKETMy new favourite sweater! High quality tags :)

The 2014 yarn share in Orchid is, I think, destined to be a cardiganized version of Knitty’s Beatnik pattern. I am a huge fan of the Beatnik cables, but am also a committed cardigan wearer. (Check out this amazing version!) I may not have it finished this winter, since I have such drastically reduced knitting time (to keep my wrists healthy), but knitters are patient people, right? ;)

Shepherd Sweater: On to the SLEEVES!

The Shepherd Hoodie is really starting to look like an actual garment! SO exciting :)

First, I finished the upper back portion of the sweater body.

Body!

Upper back

Then, I joined the shoulders using the 3 needle bind off, which is a really cool technique. I think it creates a very tidy and pleasing finished look!

Shoulder Seam - 3 needle bind off

Here’s a wrong side view of the shoulder seam:

Shoulder Seam - Wrong Side

And here’s how it looks on the right side!

Shoulder Seam - Right Side

Next up: sleeves! The sleeves are worked in the round, from the shoulder to the wrist, and include a wedge of seed stitch in the armpit that gets decreased away as you work sleeve shaping. I’m working the sleeves using a long circular needle and the magic loop method. It’s my favourite for small circumference knitting! I don’t mind dpns for lighter weight yarns, like sock yarn, but for heavier weights, I prefer magic loop. (What do you use? I’d love to know!)

Shoulder Seam & start of sleeve!

Starting sleeve cables!

Sleeve!

My execution of the decreases in the seed stitch wedge is not as great as it could be; or, more accurately, my integration of the decreases into the rest of the seed stitch is not as invisible as I would have liked. HOWEVER, since it’s in the armpit (and who looks at armpits?!), I’m not going to rip it out.

Bottom of sleeve seed stitch wedge

In order to make sure the sleeves are a good size for me, both in terms of diameter and in terms of length, I’m trying the sweater on as I go. This is one of the great advantages of this type of sweater construction! I do want the sleeves to have some positive ease, so that I can wear other garments underneath, so I might not end up decreasing as much as the pattern suggests.

I feel like I’m getting so close to wearable sweater even though there’s a fair bit left – a sleeve and a half, the hood, and finishing work still to do! How’s your knitting going?

Shepherd Update!

The last time I showed you my Shepherd sweater, I was making steady progress on the lovely, heavily cabled body, and generally gushing about both pattern and yarn’s considerable charms.

Shepherd before dividing!

I’m still totally in love with the pattern and the yarn – no surprise there. I know it’s been said (by me, and by others) already, but the yarn for this project is just SO so special. It’s not buttery soft like most of the commercial yarns available today, but it’s not really what I would call “rough” either. It just has more substance, more body, more crispness, and I loooove it. Also bears repeating: it just smells. so. fantastic. Lanolin is magical, and fragrant.

ANYWAY! I took a little break from Shepherd over the holidays, to crank out a pair of socks for a beloved whose feet were cold and whose office mates apparently had handknit socks made by their wives. Now my attention is back on the sweater!

Like my friend Amber, who is also knitting (and blogging!) the Shepherd hoodie, I’ve just divided for the fronts, back, and sleeves. (*waves* HI AMBER!) Before I divided, I worked the body length to about 16.25″, a little bit shorter than the pattern calls for, for my size, because I’m a bit shorter than, um, most eighth graders ;)

A bit messy

I prefer to put held stitches on extra circular cables, instead of waste yarn, so that they’re super quick to pick up again when I need them. So, that means my sweater looks like a bit of a hot mess right now. All is well, there are just a lot of extra cables flapping around!

Starting the right front!

Progress :)

I’m making progress on the first front piece, and getting really excited about being able to try on a sweater body sometime soon :)