Sunshiney Stripey Chevron Cowl!

Remember this stripey cowl I started a while back? I’ve been working a row or two on it when I had the chance, and lo and behold, it’s finished!

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I used Ashley Solley’s snake skin pattern, with some modifications (a different number of stitches, different number of repeats, different number of rows in each stripe…), and Frogtree Pediboo yarn in yellow and natural.

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The cowl is knit in the round, and then grafted together at the end. My grafting job is far from perfect, but I’m okay with it!

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I’m really happy with how it turned out. At first, I thought maybe I would have liked it better shorter (and snugger around my neck), but after wearing it, I like how it drapes! Great for wearing with scoop neck tops.

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And the happy yellow and white stripes! I feel like the vibe is just right for summer.

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Garter Chevron Blanket: Yellow :)

Have I mentioned that I really, really like garter stitch? And blankets? And projects that combine those two things? Also STRIPES? Also yellow and green?

I am so excited about this blanket :)

Pictures? Of course!

I used my thematically appropriate yellow and green yarn ball stitch markers.

Blanket nub!

The start of something chevroney

It started to grow really quickly right away!

Crescent!

Triangle!

Because I’ve used a different needle size from the pattern (I’m using a 5.5mm needle), I’ve adjusted the numbers a bit. I continued increasing the initial triangular section until I had a total of 269 sts (134 sts on either side of the center stitch).

Why 269? That’s when I ran out of yellow :)

Next up? Gold heather!

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Yellow, meet gold!

Matching teapot optional! In just a couple of tea-filled evenings and boredom-filled bus rides, I’ve made lots of progress already.

Matching teapot optional!

The rows are so long that they gobble up yarn like nobody’s business. Already, in just 15 rows, I’ve used up 40g of yarn.

Stripey situations getting started

How wide will the stripes be? More on that next time! It might involve a golden rule…

Spring Startitis?

Is it spring where you are?

It’s definitely spring where I am. Our winters are extremely mild (to my dismay… hush, you people with harsher winters, I know you hate them, but I genuinely miss snow!) I think it snowed one day this year? Maybe? It didn’t stay on the ground, just melted right away. And now, it’s definitely spring. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing – one landed on our balcony today, and my cat nearly had a heart attack, she was so excited!

The last week or so, I’ve been feeling a strong urge – and one I don’t feel very often… the urge to cast on LOTS of new projects! Usually I’m a finishing things kind of person. I like to have only a small number of things on the go, so I can experience the pleasure of finishing regularly. So wanting to cast on more than one thing at once is unusual for me! Nevertheless, my brain has been buzzing with ideas for new knits to start, even though it’s spring, and not exactly the right season for lots of warm woolies. (I know there’s spring knitting, too – goldy green lace and bright colours in lightweight yarns, and I have those going on already.)

Despite my urges, I’ve so far limited myself to just one new project: a totally non-seasonal worsted weight wool BLANKET! If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I really like knitted blankets. I’ve had the pattern I’m using for this one queued for a while (it’s free!!) – the Heirloom Chevron Throw, by Jocelyn Tunney/Fancy Tiger Crafts.

I’ve been contemplating colour options for what feels like forever, but finally settled on some version of a mostly (barf!) green gradient or ombré look. My pathetic paint mockup:

green gradient?

And here are the super pretty yarns I ended up with!

Barfy goldy greens!

All are Cascade 220 or 220 Heathers, except the middlemost green (the one that’s in a ball, not a skein, in the photos), which is Patons Classic Wool Worsted.

Someone else loves them too!

I’m REALLY excited about this project, and I think the finished blanket is going to look super perfect with my living room decor (okay okay… at this stage in my life, I don’t really have decor under control, but I do have throw pillows, and green placemats/coasters/okay green everything shut it). These colours are all over the place at my place! Evidence from the kitchen:

See, these colours are everywhere

Matchy matchy living room!

Pretty with my cushions!

I have all the yarn wound up and ready to go :) Hurray! (Bonus Shepherd Hoodie cameo!)

All wound up!

 

I think I’m going to call it the (Barf) Green Is Best Blanket :)

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 :)

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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 :)

Guess who has two thumbs and two sleeves?

This guy!

Two sleeves and the start of a hood!

Remember, this is Kate Davies’ Shepherd Hoodie knit in Juniper Moon’s limited edition Shepherd & Shearer yarn (which you can STILL GET right here!)

How about a super blurry selfie modelled shot? I’m expecting it to look a bit different once it’s been blocked, but you can see the general shape of the garment.

Blurry selfie!

Once the sleeves were finished, I moved on to the last big knitted element – the hood! Working the hood requires you to collect stitches on hold and pick up new stitches, from the front button band edges, up along the shaped fronts, and across the back. (Bonus cat hair in the photo! Thank you, cat, for spreading your body hair all over everywhere.)

Smooth pickups across the front

Tiniest hood progress!

Then there’s a sea of seed stitch to work!

Seed stitch ocean!

The hood requires quite a lot of yarn, so I ended up unravelling my swatch to reclaim the 30+g it had used up. Here’s the swatch yarn unravelled…

Ramen yarn?

…and after a soak and air dry! Much better.

That's better!

I’m so looking forward to having the finished sweater available to wear, because it’s been quite cold lately (cold for my corner of the country, anyway). But I’ll also be a tiny bit sad when the knitting is done. This piece has really been a pleasure to knit, and the yarn is an absolute favourite. I’ll be looking for more hard-wearing, lanolin rich yarns in the future, for sure: they’re awesome to knit with, and they result in garments that wear and last extremely well.

I admit that I’m looking ahead to what’s next too – a pretty, shiny lace project!

Shepherd Sweater: Sleeves, part 2!

I hope you’re into the Shepherd Hoodie, because it’s all hoodie all the time around here these days :)

I finished the first sleeve!! Aaah excitement! I modified the length and adjusted the decrease placement slightly to fit my actual arm. The cables look so lovely all long and lean!

Sleeve cables!

Here’s what the underside looks like – you can see that the cables in this section get a bit distorted as you integrate decreases into the pattern.

Underside of sleeve - decreasing in pattern

The cuffs are worked in seed stitch, and are designed to make a bell shape, which I find extremely charming.

Seed stitch progress

Sleeve cuff

I bound off my cuff using the plain old “Work 2, *pass second stitch over first stitch, work 1, repeat from *” method. I bound off purlwise, so that the bind off would be less visible from the right side of the work. (You can see how it looks on the inside of the cuff below.)

Sleeve cuff - inside bind off view

It was a pretty exciting milestone to finish the first sleeve. One more sleeve to go, then the seed stitch hood, weaving in ends, and buttons! I can almost see the finish line if I squint!

Seed stitch bell cuff

One sleeved sweater!

Shepherd Taking Shape!

Since my last Shepherd sweater update, I’ve made some exciting progress!

I finished up the right front, which was shaped with a combination of binding off stitches and decreasing at the neck edge.

Close up of front shaping

Right Front

Then I worked on the left front, shaped in the same way.

Left Front

Doesn’t it look pleasingly symmetrical? I’m starting to see “sweater” when I look at it instead of just “rectangular block of cables”!

Body without top back!

Now I’ve moved on to the center back portion of the body. It’s wider than the front pieces were, so it’s a bit slower going, but no shaping to keep track of! I’m looking forward to finishing this bit, because then I get to join the shoulders and start SLEEVES!

Even for such a large and labour-intensive project, knitting this sweater isn’t at all a slog. There’s constant evidence of progress to keep me feeling motivated and excited! I only wish it was small enough to carry with me on the bus ;)

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 :)

Knitted Goods are Needed

Things are, predictably, busy this month. But yarn is still a constant for me, which is a VERY good thing. Because it’s been unusually cold the last week; knitted goods are needed!

I’ve been wearing wooly owls,

Owls!

And knitting with the brightest green,

Brightest green!

Hex!

And starting a sock for a beloved with cold feet.

Sock!

Hope your knitted goods are keeping you toasty and cheery, too :)

One Track Needles

Last weekend I took a short break from all the natural undyed-ness and cabley-cabledness of my Shepherd sweater to knit… a natural cream cabled hat. I like what I like! ;)

There had been a cold day that week, and I realized that I don’t own a single hat of my own! What?! That seemed completely ridiculous to me.

So, I knit Alex Tinsley’s Snowdrift pattern with half a skein of a singles, bulky weight alpaca wool blend from the Alpacas at Southey Point Farm, Salt Spring Island, which I bought on a fun trip over in the Gulf Islands a few summers ago. The yarn came from Stitches Fiber Arts on Salt Spring!

Pre-hat hat

It was a super quick knit, and I really love the way the crown decreases are worked into the cables.

Half hat!

But, it’s also winter… and it was way too dark to take photos when I got home after work every day this week! So, I have this one sad photo, snapped hastily in the morning before I ran to the bus.

Hastily snapped hat

The hat is cozy and cabley, but it might also be a teeny bit small for my (apparently big) head. I haven’t decided yet whether this is a for-me keeper or a gift for someone with a smaller head, but either way, a really fun knit!