FINISHED Shepherd Hoodie!

Finally! Finished, blocked, buttons-sewn-on, totally dunzo photos of my Shepherd hoodie!

In case you need a recap (or you’re new – hello!!)…

Pattern: Shepherd Hoodie by Kate Davies

Yarn: The Shepherd & The Shearer by Juniper Moon (still available for sale here)

Buttons: Handmade antler buttons from Button & Needlework Boutique

I LOVE this sweater. I would knit it again in a heartbeat! The yarn was right up my alley: a little bit rustic, a lot unique. The pattern was well-written, easy to understand, clearly illustrated, and easy to adjust too. I’ll let it speak for itself from here :)

Shepherd

Shepherd

Shepherd

Shepherd

Shepherd

Shepherd

Button band

Button and tulip buttonhole

More photos on flickr, if you want all the gory sweaterey details!

I’m sad to be finished because it was SO fun to make, but I’m really, really excited to wear it :)

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?

Cozy, just in time!

Remember back in the summer when I was working on an Ease sweater (design by Alicia Plummer) in Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine yarn?

I finished it! I finally finished all the deadline knitting I had on my needles, and turned back to Ease. I only had to bind off a sleeve and work a few more rows of ribbing on the bottom of the sweater, block, and voila! I knit it more or less to pattern, although as always I adjusted the length and the sleeve length to be right for my body, and I think I worked fewer inches of ribbing than the pattern called for.

Finished!

Lots of ribbing

Ease sleeve

Cozy!

As you can see, Ease is designed to have lots of positive ease, meaning that the sweater is larger than my body. It’s totally a cozy, slouchy, Saturday-afternoon kind of sweater, to me. If I was a leggings person, I’d wear it with leggings and feel totally 80s (but, I am not a leggings person).

The design is quite simple, but with some nice details. I’m very pleased with the deep ribbing on the cuffs and hem, and the wide rolled collar. I also like this yarn/pattern combo because I think it really lets the yarn shine. Moonshine is such a soft yarn, it seems perfect to cuddle up with. And the colour?! It’s called “swimming pool”, and I totally love it (even though I’m still 100% committed to barf green. It’s still my favourite.)

The BEST kind of mail :)

I really love receiving mail. Almost anything is good – even catalogues make me smile, usually. But the absolute BEST thing that ever comes in the mail is YARN!

Last week, a package came full of yarn that I’ve been eagerly anticipating. My 2013 Juniper Moon 100% cormo yarn share! If you don’t know about Juniper Moon Farm… it’s amazing. I’ve been a shareholder since 2010, and I cannot speak highly enough of their product, their people, or their values.

This year, along with the share yarn, they sent out gorgeous project bags!

Yarn + project bag!

So pretty!

This is some seriously luscious yarn.

Cormo wool and the skyline

It practically glows, doesn’t it? Turns out someone agrees with me about how interesting this yarn is…

Interested...

Still interested...

Mmmm delicious yarns

What, this isn't for cats?

I think she’s hoping that if she just hangs out near it long enough, I’ll let her have it to play with. (NOPE!)

Look what else was in my package!!!

Look what else was in my package!

Holy gorgeous.

Juniper Moon’s The Shepherd and The Shearer is an amazing project. I am OVER the moon about this yarn, and the patterns that go with it. I am definitely going to be knitting up The Shepherd (designed by the incredible Kate Davies) as soon as I finish the piece of deadline knitting I’m working on right now!

TWO SWEATERS' WORTH OF YARN!

Two sweaters worth of yarn. I cannot even tell you how happy this stuff makes me :) It smells amazing, it came from happy, well-cared for sheep, it was made and marketed by kind, ethical, excellent people, and it’s going to be an absolute delight to knit up. I can’t wait!!!

If I can get it back from the cat.

If I can just wrestle it away from my cat… ;)

One Ease-y Sleeve :)

So, I’ve finished the first sleeve on Ease!

Like the rest of the sweater, the sleeves have positive ease and are kind of slouchy and cozy. Sleeves are one of the easiest things to modify, I think, and something I change on just about every garment I make.

I made mine shorter than the pattern calls for, but they’ll still be quite long on my arms. I also opted to knit just a regular ribbed cuff instead of the extra-long foldover cuff shown in the original pattern, both to save yarn (because I’m certain I will use up every inch) and to keep it looking intentionally oversized instead of comically so. (I am 4’11” after all!)

Here’s the finished sleeve!

Ease-Sleeve1

Just one left to go!

Ease-Sleeve2

I like having a chance to win free stuff! No joke.

So, I’m a huge and unabashed Juniper Moonie. Meaning that I moon over basically whatever Juniper Moon Farm does. (Too cheesy? Moonie? No? Yes? PUNS?!)

And they’re having a really, really awesome contest right now. There are instructions on this blog post over there for what to do (very easy)… to get the chance to win a TON of gorgeous patterns! For freeeee! Free stuff. I’m saying, free stuff is good.

Full disclosure: although I’m pretty much just a huge fangirl, I’ve tested and sample knit some of their patterns in the past. They are lovely patterns (here are all the ones available digitally right now – there are more in print booklets that might be at your LYS!), and even lovelier people running the company.

Check out their stuff! Juniper Moon! Go go go! :)