Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Posts tagged ‘cardigan’

I finished something!

So, while I didn’t finish my cardigan last night, I did finish it this morning (and consequently had better lighting for photos!)

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This cardigan has been in the works for quite a while. I started it over a year ago (June 28th, according to ravelry!). The first blog post about it was July 5th. I’ve had ups and downs with it (remember when my sleeves were different sizes?). But it all came out right in the wash (and block). I asked peoples opinion on the number of buttons (and then promptly changed my mind and decided on 8 :P). And…now it’s finished.

It’s been a long road. The blog doesn’t really show all the sweat and tears that went into it, I think. I don’t want to start the next cardigan yet (which will involve steeks). Although this project has been picked up and put down quite a lot (lesson learnt- you can hide a multitude of sins with a good block), it’s still the end of an era. This was the first cardigan I started (and then ignored for NaNo last year…), and it’s taught me a lot. And now it needs to let me spread my wings and knit another 🙂

So, what have I learnt?

  • Blocking solves everything
  • I prefer my sleeves and body slightly longer than (this pattern, at least) calls for. At Christmas I’m going to get a complete set of body measurements for future reference
  • Next time I’m knitting the sleeves in the round, although they weren’t that bad to seam
  • Knitting all the body in 1 was an excellent idea 🙂
  • Sewing sleeves into shoulders isn’t that bad, just put in lots of stitch markers to line everything up nicely
  • The number of buttons the pattern calls for it probably the best number to go with
  • When going on a yarn crawl, take the thing you need buttons for!
  • I detest twisted rib, but the effect is *sigh* worth it
  • Holy wowsas I look good in fitted cardigans!
  • Knit the buttonholes closer to the body next time

I think I need to have a lie down now while I figure out what to do with the rest of my life!

Cardigan: the home stretch

I finally feel like this cardigan is nearly finished (after more than a year!)

I had to pick up for the button band on Sunday, and picking up 95 stitches evening is rather difficult! I make it slightly easier for myself, by adding stitch markers and even intervals:

cardigan13Instead of picking up 95 stitches, it became a case of picking up 12 (and one part of 11) stitches between each of the stitch markers!

I also went and got some buttons, what do you think?

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I got 7 (without reading how many the pattern suggested), and having tried 6 and 7, I decided that 8 would be a good number. So I went out and got another 2 (so I have a spare). I can’t believe how nearly finished it is now!

The next chapter in this cardigan saga…

…is that the sleeves are actually fine!

I finally got around to blocking the damn thing today, and the sleeves block out to the right size!!!

cardigan11 cardigan12Next step: ribbing the buttonbands and collar, and sewing it all together. Woot!

This damn cardigan (part 2)

So, this cardigan has been in the works for a while. I bought the yarn back in December 2013. I was a first year PhD student going back to Plymouth to collect some things from my ex, and since there was a rather good yarn shop, I stopped in a bought 2 sweaters worth of yarn.

I duly swatched, and cast on for my sleeves, in case my swatch was lying to me (they usually do, but whatever is going on with this cardigan, it’s a darn sight more interesting than a simple lie.) I started my first sleeve last July, almost a year ago now.

After finishing both sleeves, I realised that something really dodgy was going on with my gauge. The first sleeve was too small, but the second one was fine, so I just decided to ignore it for the time being, and get on with the body.

I decided to knit the body all in one piece, rather than doing the back and two sides separately, and then seaming.

Well, I have good news and bad news. The body of the cardigan is finished. I haven’t blocked it yet or anything (the sleeves are attached by safety pins), which is the good news. It’s very fitted, but I’m hoping to gain some ease with blocking. And it’s wool, I won’t need layers on underneath!

cardigan8cardigan9

And then, I got back on with making another sleeve. I found the right chart, and started knitting. The stopped, looked at what I was making, and at the sleeves. Knitted a bit more, and looked a bit more. Decided to check that this was going to work, and lined everything up. Nope. Not going to work. Not one little bit.

cardigan10

This sleeve is considerably too big. Either that, or both my other sleeves are too small. What on earth is going on with my gauge? It seems to be doing whatever it wants. *sigh* (I also can’t photograph this colour to save my life. It’s a gorgeous purple with flecks of other colours. I’m thinking that when it’s made, I’ll take some photos outside and hopefully that will help)

But anyway. Back to the main problem. My plan is to block everything (including the sleeve currently on the needles), and then figure out what needs doing. Unfortunately, that means I need to wait until September because the blocking mats are in Uni and I can’t get hold of them until then. *sigh* I guess I should get on with Christmas presents until then!

Knitting update

Work here is cutting into my free time again. Not too much- I am still knitting, and cross stitching, but other things (blogging, gaming, cycling…) are starting to creep back into the back seat again (story of everyone’s life, I’m sure!).

But I am still working on my cardigan- I’ve reaching the armhole shaping now!

cardigan7It’s strange, but this is excellent relaxing knitting. The cables are technical but not difficult, and now I’ve (finally) learnt the cable pattern, I don’t need to check three different pages of charts every other row!

However, now I’m only working on one bit a time (starting with the left side), and doing things on both sides independently of each other. This might get more challenging!

This damn cardigan

Okay, so I mentioned in my last post that the cardigan has had some gauge issues. Well, more than that, it’s had a rather checkered history all over!

According to ravelry, I started this in June last year. Wow! I first mentioned it on here in July, when I was at a conference in Warwick. It then got put on hold, first for Christmas presents, and then my November sweater. (I figured that I would be hard pressed to get all the cables done in a month! And then the seaming…). And then it was Christmas, and I wasn’t going to knit it when I was around people, too complicated!

So then I picked it up again in January, when I posted about the finished sleeve, and started the other. Which got under-way fine. But then my little nagging voice at the back of my mind started saying something about how it felt a bit looser than the previous one… so I finished up the increases, and measured the cabled section against each other.

cardigan5

Yep, my gauge, somewhere, somewhen had changed. I was definitely looser than before. *sighs*.

At this point, I was prepared to start the sleeve again, but cooler heads at my knittng club prevailed, and I worked on my socks for a while, until I felt better prepared to actually look at what was going on.

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It wasn’t the sleeve I was currently working on that had the faulty gauge… That sleeve had the same size for the cabled bit all the way through. So my first sleeve somehow got tighter part way through. No idea how that one happened, but ok. So, when I’ve finished this sleeve, I need to figure out where my tension changed, and frog back to there. Great.

But, on the other hand, this second sleeve is nearly finished!

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Organisation: crafting

As most of you already know, this year my buzzword is organise. Something I’ve been really struggling with this year is a rotation, as I have so many things I want to do! Last year, Christmas presents during the week and then my SALs over the weekend worked well, but now I’m not doing any SALs, and I don’t have any Christmas presents to make (yet…they’re all planned), and, well, it’s easier to just waste my time on the internet than pick up something to make.

*sighs*.

So, at the moment, I’m organising my WIPs so I can easily pick them up. I figure that the easier they are to pick up and start, the more likely I am to actually work on them!First of all, I need something very basic for my breaks when I’m sat at my desk. Well, actually, firstly, I needed to clean my desk up… but that’s done now, and I think it looks pretty tidy right now :)(No, you don’t get to see a before pic!). You can see my weekly planner in front of me, which is a very helpful reminder of what I’m having for dinner every day, and what I need to be in Uni for etc. I’m still finding my way around the notes section, but I’ll be sure to let you all know when I figure out what suits me for it.You can also see my half-finished juggling balls there, on the left. Having them right there (and not buried under a pile of work!) is making it very easy to pick them up and sew a line when I’m not working, or waiting for inspiration. I used to have a small box of embroidery threads on my right, when I was cross stitching small cards, but I’ve moved that out of the way into my cross stitching drawer. I’ve been finding that it was unnecessary (my cross stitching stuff is all in the drawer, so having it out doesn’t make me more likely to pick up something to stitch) and I was always worried that I would knock it off with my right arm while working. Which isn’t exactly productive for working!

organise

You can also see some scrap paper on the left, for sudden list-making. And a little jotter pad for a daily routine (times and what I’m supposed to be doing, very handy). On the right, I still have my pot of pens, and also a little container for ‘all sorts’. It gets emptied from time to time, when it gets too full.

organise2

At the moment, you can see the thread I’m using for my juggling balls, the thread I’m using for some repair work on my jeans, the beads I had been using on my socks, my USB stick and some other useful bits and bobs.

I’ve also started carting around some knitted socks for when I’m at Uni sitting around not doing anything (I work at a maths drop in place which isn’t exactly popular!), and therefore needed a container of some description to keep everything neatly together 🙂 I found this make up case in Superdrug, and it just about fits 200g of yarn (you can see that I knit TAAT different socks!).

socks

I’ve kept the cardboard insert in to help it keep it’s shape as I take loads of weird stuff in my bag, and I don’t want it to catch on anything when I pull it out (remember, we’re trying to make my crafting as accessible as possible!). I would quite like the handle to lie completely flat, but it works pretty well. At some point I’m going to embroider the directions for my vanilla socks (including lengths) on the outside so I have no excuse to not knit socks!

I also now have a proper knitting bag!

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At the moment it just has my cardigan in it (more on that in a later post, my gauge issues are rather amusing!), and the pattern. Saves lots of swearing when I turn up to knitsoc without the pattern! It also has my notions wallet in it, and my tape measure. And some sweets, and when I remember a drink as well, so I don’t get too hungry when knitting 🙂 I probably ought to add some plasters as well, just in case!So, what do you all do to help keep you crafting at all times? I’d love to read a post about your crafting organisation, even if it is a simple ‘here is my craft room’ post! 🙂

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