Thursday, July 29, 2021

MOSTLY Finished Object! Spoopy Cardigan

Well, I bit the bullet and unraveled my ribbed edging of my Spoopy cardigan. At first I tried to talk myself into leaving it how it was, but who was I kidding: it was just not big enough to go around my body. So, I added two extra squares onto each front, plus I made a little triangle shaped wedge to create a sort of V-neck.

On one hand I kind of feel like it looks like a bikini top now, but on the other hand I am SO DONE working with these garish colors. So I am calling it good; I'm not even going to bother picking up and knitting a bottom border I am just setting it aside for a cold day.

All in all I'm really happy with:
1. the sleeves
2. the ugly colors
3. the snuggly warmth

My mom was a big fan of this sweater. She told me it doesn't look Halloween-y, though, that it just looks like an "outdoor sweater."

Before Halloween arrives, I might still pick up and knit the bottom border if I feel like it. After that it just needs patches, and possibly buttons. The patches I bought on Etsy are slowly starting to arrive, but I'm not sure yet how I intend to adhere them to the cardigan. I'd like them to be removable so I might use safety pins. For the buttons, I would have to do the kind that fasten with a loop because I didn't add buttonholes to the ribbing. I'm not sure whether it really needs buttons though. I like it how it is and for now it is "finished" enough.

My goal was to finish this by Friday and here we are on Thursday night. Now I can get back to work on some other projects! Tomorrow I should be getting a nice little package of yarn so I look forward to sharing that.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Another Spoopy Update

 Sometimes, I am a monogamous knitter. Even though I might have several projects on the needles, there is one that takes favor and I'll work on it until it's complete. I think that will be the case with my Spoopy Cardigan. It's quite fun to work on, because of all the colors and also because of the variety of ways to work on it. If I get bored of making squares I can start crocheting around them in black. If I get bored of crocheting around in black, I can weave in ends. If I don't feel like weaving in ends, I can seam. And by then, crocheting squares sounds fun again!

Yesterday I completed the other half of the front, and then picked up all the stitches around the front to make a ribbed border. 

It came out soft and squishy and lovely and I think I'm going to rip it all out.

The problem is that the fronts don't come around my body as much as I would like. Which, I knew this going into the project. I knew it wasn't going to close and I thought I was fine with it. After all, Kayla's sweater doesn't close! But unfortunately Kayla is skinnier than I am and could make a potato sack look good. Enjoy this still from the video:

Meanwhile, I've gained a bunch of quarantine weight and the small front just seems to highlight my belly.

So I think what I'm destined to do is rip out the ribbing and crochet two more full squares for each side, plus a half square to put in as a sort of V-neck shaping. Then of course pick up and re-knit the border. I think it will make it a much more wearable garment for me, and will be worth the time put in.

But before I do that, I have the second sleeve to finish. So far I have about 4 out of 9 squares for the sleeve. With any luck I can still finish this by Friday, when my next order of yarn arrives!

Happy knitting (or crocheting!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Spoopy Update!

 On Monday evenings I do a Big Book reading with one of my friends from Alcoholics Anonymous, and so I didn't get to work on my cardigan for very long yesterday.

But I did manage to finish the first sleeve and tell you what, I am in LOVE.

In order to get the bell sleeve effect what I ended up doing was crocheting around the wrist, doing one entire row of just sc2tog, and then I planned on doing crochet ribbing to finish it off. Unfortunately I'm still pretty new at crochet and I didn't have a locking stitch marker on me, and so my wrist kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller- and trying to do the rib stitch in crochet wasn't easy either. I re-did the wrist twice before giving up. Finally, I ended up ripping it out and doing the ribbing by knitting them on double pointed needles. I ended the cuff with a sewn bind-off and it's just perfect. To get the other sleeve to match I'll have to decrease down to 22 stitches.

So now I have one half of the cardigan almost complete! 

You can see that the fronts aren't going to close all the way, even after I add the ribbing. Which, I'm also going to do the ribbing around the fronts on my knitting needles instead of a crochet hook as well. It will just be a lot easier for me, and I think it will give a really cool effect having both crafts in one garment.

I'm loving the way it is turning out. I joke that I feel like someone's grandpa, but truly I adore it.

I went ahead and bought some patches off of Etsy, and once those arrive I'll be adhering them to various squares on the garment as well. Here are the ones I chose:

I'm seriously so psyched about this project.

1) it's my first adult crochet garment

2) Halloween spookiness

3) the sleeves!!!

4) the colors <3

Cannot wait to share the finished object with you guys.

I hope you're working on something you love just as much!

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Spoopy Cardigan: Work in Progress

So excited to share my newest project with you guys! The  Spoopy cardigan!

I'm following along with Kayla from Alt Knots to create this patchwork style cardigan.

Since it's nearing the end of July it is obviously time for Halloween decor and all things spoopy, and so I'm using classic Halloween colors: Black, Orange, Purple, & Green. Check out some of the patches.

For some reason, on my computer and phone the orange seems to look very reddish, but in person it is quite the pumpkin color. The yarn is Impeccable from Michaels' Loops & Threads line. It's 100% acrylic which is great for being machine washable and it's quite soft as well even before washing. I'm using a 6.5 mm hook so each square is worked up pretty quickly. I should have a total of 38 squares in order to complete the cardigan: 9 for each sleeve, 12 for the back, and 4 each for the fronts. So far, I've got the back and one front completed.

I am loving how much this sweater is going to make me feel like somebody's Grandpa. It's so outrageously ugly that I'm enamored with it.

My best friend said it looks like the kind of vest you put on someone who has a tendency to run off so that you'll never lose them. They don't see the glorious outcome I foresee, however. I've purchased a bunch of Halloween patches to decorate this thing with, and it is going to be so amazing. I can see myself never wanting to take it off because it's going to be like a big comfy blanket.

What do you think? Outrageously ugly? Or potentially a really rad Halloween sweater?

Finished Object! Skully Sweater

 Gotta love that bulky yarn! This project was done sooo quickly. I started it on Wednesday July 21st and completed it on Saturday July 24th. It was so great to look forward to my knitting every day while at the office. I was so eager to work on it, I knit on it in my car during my lunch breaks!

The yarn was Knit Picks Biggo and I used a size 10.5 (6.5 mm) needle just as the pattern called for. The pattern, Skully, was from the first Stitch n Bitch book by Debbie Stoller and the pattern itself was written by Samantha Bliss. I had planned on making 2 modifications: to taper the sleeves and to sew the shoulders together with mattress stitch instead of doing a 3-needle bind off. I ended up making neither of those modifications in the end, but I did change the sleeves to have ribbing instead of garter stitch at the ends.

The fit is actually spot on, which is great because for a moment there I thought the armscye seemed a bit shallow. I thought I was going to have to knit a gusset for the armpit, but luckily when I seamed it to try it on I had no issues. 

One thing that didn't turn out the way I had hoped was the neckline. Usually I would have picked up the stitches with a circular needle and knit a ribbed neckband. However, due to the move and all my knitting supplies being in storage, I didn't have a circular needle. Instead, I crocheted a border around the neck and it ends up almost like a boatneck, which I wasn't really hoping for.

But ultimately it doesn't really bother me and I may not even bother to fix it when I get all my stuff unpacked. I think it looks fine and it certainly fits fine. It's 100% superwash wool so it's certainly very warm, and I can always pair it with a scarf.

So enough said, here is the finished object!

Thank you for tuning in!
I also have been vlogging my adventures on Odysee and you can follow those here.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Skully Progress

 I really cranked out a lot of knitting yesterday!

This was about how much I was expecting to get done:

A little more than halfway down the back. (Yes my photo is upside down. Apologies.)

But, though my hands began to ache, I kept knitting! Of course, I stretched my wrists and fingers and shook out my hands every so often because ergonomics. But I'm really impressed with how much knitting I got done from the point I got off work until about midnight. I managed to complete the front on my lunch break and so I knitted the entire back AND got the shoulders together by the time I went to bed.

It's not much to look at yet, and I am a little worried that it is going to be a little smaller than I had intended. I cast on for the Medium 42" size, but I'm thinking since I wanted oversize I maybe should have gone for the 44." Thanks to the pandemic and my own laziness I am perhaps no longer a medium.
One possible fix I have considered is, after finishing the sleeves, going ahead and crocheting a side panel in. I just haven't decided how exactly I would do it since obviously I would want both sides to match, and I'm considering adding in a gusset to give my armpits a little more wiggle room. Either that, or deal with it being a tighter fitting sweater than I had really intended or worse ripping the whole thing out and starting over. The yarn, however, doesn't seem to rip out too nicely. A little bit sticky.

The way this sweater is constructed is kind of irritating: you pick up and knit the sleeves right onto the garment. I picked up the first sleeve last night and knit about an inch of stockinette before starting the chart. This is how the sleeve looks currently:

So far I haven't made any changes to the pattern. I was planning on binding off the sweater's shoulders and then seaming the tops together, but my seaming wasn't looking so pretty thanks to the weird needle I was using combined with the bulky yarn. So I ended up ripping out my bind off and doing as the pattern says: doing a 3-needle bind off to knit the shoulders together. 

The sleeves are much smaller to knit than the front and back and so I definitely plan on finishing the first sleeve today. I haven't decided yet if I plan on tapering the sleeves or just decreasing sharply right before the ribbing. Because it is going to be ribbing although the pattern calls for a garter stitch edge.

In other crafty news, I discovered a new-to-me channel on YouTuber who I have absolutely fallen in love with. Her name is Kayla and she is a goth crocheter. Absolutely adorable. Her website is here and her channel is here. After I finish my Skully sweater, my You Are Enough Shawl, my Fairy Maiden socks, and actually finish moving and get to unpacking all my yarn I absolutely want to try my hand at one of her spooky designs.

OH SHOOT I ALMOST FORGOT TO MENTION!!!!! I shared my progress pic on Facebook and the guy I gave my 2nd Skully sweater to commented. He said "Built to last! I still wear mine!" You have to keep in mind- I made and gifted this sweater to him well over 12 years ago, so that really warmed my heart. <3

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Skully Sweater~ Numero Tres

 Did I ever tell the blog what happened to my first Skully sweater? Ah, probably not, perhaps another time. 

The second one I made, I drunkenly tussled with some fellows outside my apartment complex and tore a big hole in it. Rather than sewing it up, I gave it to my friend Trevor Twist who said he would sew it and wear it happily. As a result I have zero Skully sweaters.... Until now!

I ordered 9 skeins of Knit Picks Biggo in color "Asphault Heather," and they just arrived yesterday. I also got one skein of "Bare" for the skulls. I don't plan on making any changes to the sweater except to taper the sleeves slightly as I remember both times in the past my wrists were sort of overwhelmed by fabric.

I sat down and got to work, and let me tell you: Bulky yarn is amazing. After working on so many projects in fingering weight it's like I forgot how quickly the bulky knits up. It's been actually a quite long time since I've used a bulky yarn, maybe since 2017 when I made some mittens on the way up to Tahoe. So I sat down to start my sweater at around 6:30pm while waiting for a Zoom meeting. Respectfully, (and showing great restraint) I did not knit during the Zoom meeting, which means I picked it back up around 8:20pm and knit until around 12am at which point I realized I must go to sleep or else suffer during work the next day. This is how far I got:

Woah Nelly, is that almost the entire front of the sweater? Why, yes it is. I got all the way up past decreasing for the armholes, and I can't wait to pick it up again to finish up the front and start the back. I knit 2 whole balls of yarn into that thing!

 I don't have a meeting after work today, and I plan on knitting on my lunch. I do have to feed the guinea pigs I'm taking care of temporarily, which means driving over to my friend's place and caring for them and letting my daughter pet and play with them. That'll take a little bit of my precious knitting time, but all in all I think I can at least knit another 2 balls in which will take me up to the middle of the back at least.

My shawl and my socks and my crochet top (which I don't think I've shared yet) are all on the back burner now as I whip out this sweater. I'm having way too much fun to go back to those projects yet! Wait til I get to the intarsia <3


Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Works in Progress in July 2021

 Hi Blog!
It's been a while huh?

I recently picked up the needles again, and I'm working on some lovely socks. They are the Fairy Maiden Socks by This Handmade Life. The yarn is Urth brand's Harvest Fingering in the color Grape Leaf.

The yarn is a delight to work with - it's spun tightly so the stitch definition is really great. The cuff ended up a little tighter than my usual 64 st sock, but that's probably on account of the stitch pattern plus the fact that I went down a needle size to a size 1. (I usually use a 2 for socks)

I also recently finished two additional pairs of socks: one is a pretty blue and the other is bright pink. I'll share pictures next time around.

Another project I have on the go today is the You Are Enough shawl by Sarah B Abram. I went to Knitique yarns in Elk Grove and asked the ladies for help. See, I'm currently moving. I told the ladies, "I'm moving and I've packed up all my yarn! I need a project that can keep me busy for a month or two, preferably only a 1-2 skeins of fingering weight," and they showed me the shawl kit for You Are Enough. It is made of Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere and it feels heavenly.

I've made it into the lace portion and to the final colorway. Unfortunately, there I hit a brick wall. I set it down after 4 repeats of lace because I just got sick of it. Plus I made a mistake that is glaringly obvious to me, which I am too proud to rip out. 

I guess I've really caught the knitting bug again after months of my needles collecting dust, because I went to Webs and KnitPicks and made a few orders, too.

Some Biggo just arrived at my brother's house today (Did I ship the yarn to my brother's to hide it from my husband? Perhaps?) and I'm planning on casting on for a(nother) Skully Sweater from the original Stitch n Bitch book. And later on I'll be receiving a skein of sock yarn from Webs (I forgot just what brand) and another sweater's quantity of a wool whose name I also forgot. I'll be happy to share that next time too.