Posts Tagged ‘cardigan’

Honeycomb Cardigan

I just finished a test knit for a designer last night, and I thought I’d share the final product with you.  I’m looking forward to wearing it, but it’s so warm that I think I will have to wait several months yet.  I still need to block it one more time to even out the button band, but overall I’m pretty pleased with it.  The buttons are my own; you can find more of my  handmade buttons at Knitterings and Things on Etsy.

What to knit?

I have been ordering more decadent yarns lately from Webs and yesterday my 5 skeins of  backordered Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the fig colorway arrived.  Since it’s a pricier yarn than I’m used to using, I’m agonizing over the pattern choice.  I know I want a cardigan that would be useful for layering and frequent wear, but interesting enough to make it a unique part of my wardrobe.

Here’s the yarn:

Here are the contenders:

Which do you prefer?

First Post of 2011!

After an entirely too-long hiatus, I figured now was as good a time as any to post a mostly useless blog entry.

5 hens all sitting next to the sliding glass door on the patio

Over the last few months we’ve acquired 3 “new” hens to include Netty and Honey, the formerly free range 18+ month old Delaware and Buff Orpington hens, and Helen, the Easter Egger hen who first arrived at our house as a day old chick with Evie and Lilly last February.  Joanna too has seen a flock increase: she went out and picked up 2 POL hens from a lady I made contact with concerning hens for my mom (who decided to hold off on getting any in the end) and returned Helen to us in the process.  Helen never fit in with Joanna’s flock and Evie has had some trouble with Ruth ever since Lilly died, so I suggested that maybe these probable sisters could be a friend for each other.  Of course, adding new chickens to a flock doesn’t result in harmony overnight (unless, of course, your name is Netty or Honey) so we expected a period of transition.  So far there isn’t any ganging up on Helen, but she’s definitely not an integrated part of the flock yet.  We’ve only had her since New Year’s Eve, however, so we’re not worried.

hens in snow

The coop itself has seen some changes too.  We added a 4′ long shop lamp to the inside of the coop with the lights on a timer from 7 am till 7 pm, and egg production is currently at 2-4 per day (with 4 hens actively laying and 2 molting or finishing up from a molt).  We also hung a heat lamp with a red bulb in the coop, and put a 1 gallon heated water bowl in the run.  Both of these are on 24/7 during bitter cold weather.  Finally, we cut a hole in one of the plastic coop doors and installed a small doggie door to help keep the heat from blowing out… however we had to remove the clear plastic flap for the time being, as the girls haven’t figured it out yet.  I have plans to create another run sometime in the spring or summer, once our 6′ privacy fencing project in the back yard is complete, utilizing 4′ wide x 6′ long chicken wire panels sandwiched between 2 frames of 1″ x 4″ boards.  These would be arranged to form a 4′ tall x however-big-we-have-room-for run attached to the current run with another doggie door for access, but with only the wire panels as a roof.  This would give the girls much more room to scratch around during the day (since our yard is not safe for free ranging without supervision) and the option to get out of the rain and into the covered, smaller run and coop at will.  In addition, the panel idea would make it easy to disassemble the planned run and easily move and reassemble it, should the need arise.  More on that as soon as we get around to it…

Evie and Netty

In the world of knitterings, I’ve been quite busy.  I knit both my mom and the older of my 2 younger sisters a sweater for Christmas, and my youngest sister got 2 hats, 2 cowls, and a plush purple penguin.  I’ve been knitting things for babies, as well as fingerless mitts for Alex, and sweaters for myself.  I ended up finishing out the year with 18 adult-sized sweaters completed, and only one of those was a project I started before 2010.  I have knit about 1/3 of my first sweater of 2011 already, as well as another pair of fingerless gloves, and have 7 or 8 other sweaters planned with yarn either in my stash on its way.  All I need now is a couple of massive blizzards to give me more time off work and more time for knitting.

Mary’s New York Christmas Cardigan

I guess the last mostly useless piece of information to note is that I have switched to a gluten-free diet due to the realization that gluten has been making me very itchy in the past 9 months.  I haven’t gone so far as to cut out food items labeled with “may contain [traces of] wheat ingredients” but I have gone so far as to order a 25 pound bag of gluten-free flour blend.  I’ll be ordering a 25 pound bag of gluten-free pancake mix as soon as it becomes available for a more reasonable price on Amazon again.  I mention this change in my diet to explain why future posts may contain such information as which recipes do / do not work well with gluten-free flour, and other similar topics.

They're gluten-free!

I hope the end of 2010 was relaxing and enjoyable for you, and that 2011 has many wonderful things in store for all of us.

Winter foliage

Previously Unbloggable Baby Things

Last week I sent out some baby items for one of my friends from undergrad’s new baby, and today I went to my first and second baby showers of my adult life, and gave the mothers-to-be their knitted baby things.  This means I can now blog about them!

More Knitterings!

Lately I’ve been working on lots of projects, but last night I finished one for myself that I love.  It’s the 13th adult-sized sweater I’ve knit so far in 2010, and I have plans to knit quite a few more before 2011.  (Too bad that pesky work will soon cut into my knitting time…)

This pattern was from the New England Knits book I recently posted about, and I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.  The sweater has a slight bit of prickle against my overly-sensitive skin, but it’s still very soft and lovely.  I still need to buy and add a small hook-and-eye closure, but I also like how it looks when worn open.

A Taste of New England in the “South”

My long-awaited copy of New England Knits has finally arrived, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it.  This is one of three knitting books I’d ever pre-ordered, meaning I was not able to do research on the included patterns to ensure they were worth purchasing ahead of time.  The first book I received from this experiment was a huge disappointment, and the last is still forthcoming.  New England Knits, however, is quite possibly my favorite knitting book in my entire (extensive) collection.  There are only two patterns in the whole book that I would not knit (without significant modifications, anyway) and all the rest are items I covet.  Here are a few favorites.

This is the Hampton Cardigan, which is knit from the bottom of the back, up to include the sleeves, over the shoulders, and down the front in one piece.  This creates the interesting effect of the vertical lace turning horizontal on the sleeves.  In the book the piece is knit with a decadent yak / cormo wool blend.  I started my own version in a silk / merino blend that is quite sumptuous itself.

Next is the Middlefield Pullover.  This sweater also has interesting construction, with parts knit from the top down and others knit side to side.  I love the multidirectional ribbing and the button details on the shoulder.

The Cranston Coat is another intriguing piece.  I’m normally not a big fan of bobbles, but this cardigan works so well because of them.  They represent berries amongst a background of leaf lace, which is always appealing to me.  Finally, the lace eyelet holes have a contrasting color of knitted fabric peeking through to give the whole piece a bit more attention to detail, as well as a way to keep the wind out.

The Chelsea Skirt is incredible.  I love the herringbone pattern that gives it an almost woven look, produces a flattering vertical linear pattern, as well as providing sturdiness that will prevent it from stretching with wear.  This is my favorite length for a skirt, and the contrasting lace is the icing on the cake that ensures a place for it in my wardrobe.  Finally, the button closure provides another opportunity for creativity and distinction.

There are 25 patterns in this book, and I’m planning on knitting almost all of them as quickly as I can.  I only wish this book had been published sooner so that I would have had the whole summer to work on knitting from it!

Seed Stitch & Steeked CardiCoat

I wanted to knit a cardigan / coat to wear in these transitional weeks (months?) between winter and spring, but did not like any of the patterns I found.  I decided to pose for myself this challenge: write a pattern for a top-down raglan knit in one piece, in the round, with seed stitch borders/ trim, employ steeking to create division between front panels, and dye the sweater after knitting.  So far, so good!  I’ve completed the writing of pattern except for the instructions for the sleeves and steeking, which you can download by clicking the link below.  I’m calling it a CardiCoat because of its heavy weight and slightly longer length.

View My Pattern!

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