12 sweaters in 2018: sweater #3

This week I finished my third sweater of 2018, my Carbeth cardigan. It needs a good blocking to smooth the button bands before I take some photos modeling it, but suffice to say I haven't really taken it off since I finished weaving in ends and sewed on buttons!

This pattern is knit with bulky yarn using LARGE needles (size 10.5). So this sweater should have been finished sooner--but I added length to the body and subsequently ran out of yarn. And then ran out of yarn again. So I'm calling this one my "big purple yarn eater." But the wait was definitely worth it. The best part of this pattern are the details. I'd never knit an i-cord edging on a ribbed button band before, but wow what a difference it makes. But my favorite detail is the collar. It's what makes this sweater super cozy and comforting--ribbing folded over on itself. It wraps your neck in a cozy hug. What drew me to the pattern were these structural details--the distinctive collar and decrease lines on the front and back of the sweater. I'm positive I'll be making this sweater again ... probably soon since I have another sweater quantity of Malabrigo Mecha sitting in my stash!

Pattern: Carbeth Cardigan (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 10.5 Addi Turbo's
Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha (colorway: dewberry), used 7.64 skeins (764 grams)
Mods: Added four inches in length to the body below the underarms (knit for 12" instead of the 8" pattern called for).
Verdict: PURE LOVE!

sunday's stitches 2018, vol. 4

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor
whatever your stitching on

See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

hitting snooze on my sweater

So I'm running out of yarn. Again. This sweater is turning into the big purple yarn eater. Now, I know that I created this yarn eating monster by adding a significant amount of length the body. The original pattern is cropped--but I'm just not a cropped sweater kind of girl. I measured my smallest favorite cardigan and the body length was 12 inches from under the armpit. This pattern calls for only 8 inches. Sooooo ... I added four inches of length to the body. And I loooooove it. But I'm ready to finish! So I've temporarily hit "snooze" while I wait for the extra skein of yarn to arrive. I'm tempted to finish off the remaining yarn I have, but .... common sense tells me the new yarn will be different and I'll want the option to alternate skeins. So I'm forcing myself to be patient.

In the meantime ... my crochet hook is calling me! This is an old WIP I started in December, my seventh time making Moogly's Artfully Simply Infinity Scarf. The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway Ruby River.

FO Friday: sweater #2 of 12

So in January I set a super crazy stretch goal for myself: to knit 12 sweaters this year. I promptly finished my Weekender sweater (which I'm still loving!), and then knit this sweater for my daughter during the Olympics. And then it sat, patiently waiting for buttons. For weeks. Ooops. This is a bigger version of the last sweater I made her, which she has worn since November 2015. I can't tell you how happy that makes me--a solid 2.5 years of wear! This one I knit purposely with ample room. With luck, it'll last a couple years as well. This project qualifies for my unofficial #knityourlibrary challenge for myself, since it uses a book I've owned since 2013. Ann Budd's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters. It's a great one if you like to make simple sweaters, top-down (with little seaming) and just want to buy yarn and do something straightforward with it.

Pattern:  Basic Raglan Sweater - Child by Ann Budd (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 8 Addi Turbo's
Yarn: 2.25 skeins of Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn (colorway: Fruit Salad)
Mods: None! Knit size 28" chest, using 5 stitches per inch gauge.

WIP Wednesday: sweater edition

Sadly, this is not all that I have on my needles at the moment. But this project is my top priority, as it is the closest to being finished! This will be #3 of the 12 sweaters in 2018 goal. The pattern is Carbeth Cardigan, and the yarn is yummy yummy Malabrigo Mecha in the Dewberry colorway. I should have finished this sweater last month--it's bulky yarn knit on size 10 needles! But I stalled out once I realized that I would need to buy additional yarn to finish this project. Being in denial, I waited a week or so before ordering more yarn. And then I needed to wind the yarn. And then it just sat there because I knew I would need to alternate skeins, since the new yarn does not match the old yarn. At all. (Hence the three balls of yarn you see in this photo--those are all attached to the body right now!). And let's face it, alternating skeins is annoying. But I have two sleeves done! And I'm a few short inches away from finishing the bottom of the body. So the end is definitely in sight! And I know I will love this sweater!  Linking up for old time's sake with Ginny at Yarn Along.

free quilt recipe: easy monogram baby quilt

It has been so long since I've sewn something--my best intentions to "sew something every month" have fallen by the wayside since I made that New Year's crafting goal. But when a dear friend requested something special for a newborn niece, I couldn't say no.

If you follow my Instagram feed, then you saw this quilt in progress last weekend. It came together super quickly--I pieced the top on a Friday, put the sandwich together on Sunday, and had the quilting done within four hours. With a sewn-on binding, this whole quilt took less than 12 hours. Ahhh, the speed of a crib-sized quilt with zero real piecing!

Hands down, this was the most successful and most "artistic" machine quilting I've ever done. The "M" is for Maeve. I started by taping out the M with washi tape (since that's what I had on hand). My plan was to quilt next to the washi tape, using it as my guide line. By pure luck I had picked a main fabric with a grid pattern--that helped a lot when mapping out the M. I measured the half-way point between my two vertical lines and used a ruler to eyeball equal angles on both sides. When I started quilting, the washi tape quickly detached. So I stopped and grabbed my disappearing ink embroidery pen and marked the corners of my M. Then I just used the pattern on the fabric as my guideline to create straight-ish lines. And breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when the first "M" was finished! From that point it was a lot less stressful, since I could follow my original M as my guideline. I alternated between approximately and 1/8" and 1/4" spacing for each subsequent line of the "M."

I've learned the hard way that if I don't record the details, I'll be sad later--little things like, how wide was that binding I cut? The fun part of this quilt was that it used stash fabrics--the zoo border fabric has been in my stash for almost ten years now.

Main background fabric: Heather Bailey Free Spirit fabrics, Nicey Jane Cherry Hop Dot (used approximately 1.25 yards)
Border strip fabric: Alexander Henry 2-D Zoo (used a little over 3/4 yard) 
Backing fabric: Heather Bailey Free Spirit fabrics, Nicey Jane Welcome Road (used approximately two yards)
Binding fabric: mystery hot pink and white polka dots (used approximately 1/2 yard)
Construction notes: Cut the border fabric into 7" strips. Cut binding fabric 3" wide. Used 1/2 inch seam allowances throughout. Quilted the M first, then did quilting around borders. Attached binding with 1/2" allowance from quilt edge (normally I attach at 1/4 inch allowance) with intention of wider visible binding on the front of the quilt. This did work, but left less material for sewing through on backside of quilt (and more stressful binding sewing). Next time will cut a wider binding (try 3.5 inch strip) if I attempt this again. 

washing up

Nothing says spring like spring cleaning, right? And what makes cleaning more fun? An adorable wash cloth! In all seriousness, I would never do grimy cleaning with washcloths that are this cute. These will be reserved for washing my face and light-duty cleaning! I seem to go in phases where I want to knit all the wash cloth patterns--these mosaic patterns knit up quickly and are super fun. If you are a beginner knitter and want to start playing with more than one color I cannot recommend mosaic knitting more as a way to get started. Your finished work will look impressive and complicated, but you are only using one color each row (you slip stitches to create the illusion of stranded colorwork!). No one will ever know that it wasn't as hard as it looks!

Pattern:  Bunny Nose Dishcloth by Cassandra Bibler (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 6 vintage straights
Yarn: 100 yards of cotton, this was Lily Sugar 'n Cream in Hot Pink and an unlabeled cone of white cotton.
Mods: None!
Finished size: 10 inches by 10 inches

(a peek at the backside)

Pattern: Frog Prince of the Pad by Amy Marie (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 6 vintage straights
Yarn: 43 yards of cotton, this was Peaches and Crème in Forest Green and an unlabeled cone of white cotton.
Mods: none!
Finished size: 8.5 inches by 8 inches

Two different designers, and two dramatically different wash cloth sizes! It amazes me how two inches difference in length and width meant that the bunny wash cloth required double the yardage. 

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...