2015, Cables, Child, Knitting, Knitting for Boys, New Design, New Pattern, seamless, Sweaters

New Pattern: Felber

Just in time before the spring arrives, here is another pattern release from my side. Felber is a circular yoke sweater with asymmetric cable on the yoke. The name Felber means bent, twisted to indicate the suppleness and I find it apt for the cables used in this sweater. It is worked top-down in the round, so no pesky seams to stitch up.

I used a new yarn (new to me) Jill Drape Makes Stuff Hudson – Made in USA. The yarn is soft and yummy and oh the colors are so rich and vibrant. I requested for a brown color which will suit a boy’s sweater. Jill picked out this one and I must say, I couldn’t have picked anything better. The yarn is so well plied, the cables just pop.

Felber is available at a promotional price of $3 until Mar 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

Ravelry Pattern: Felber by Anjali M.
Yarn SuggestedJill Draper Makes Stuff; Hudson – Made in USA
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm for the body

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2015, Child, Knitting, Knitting for Boys, New Design, New Pattern, seamless, Sweaters

New Pattern: Warrior Sweater

Every boy goes through a phase where he admires soldiers and warriors and aspires to be one. My son is in one such phase and naturally, he requested me to make a chest armor for him. I play with yarn, not metal, so I convinced him to settle for a “sweater chest armor”.

The dense, textured body of the sweater protects your little one from cold and wind. Sleeves are plain stockinette and the elbow patch using the same textured stitch adds a bit of style and interest. The sweater is worked from the top down, using raglan sleeves. Body and sleeves are worked in the round. The texture stitch is a easy to memorize and knit. The aran weight yarn makes the sweater cozy and quick to knit.

Warrior Sweater is available at a promotional price of $3 until Feb 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

Ravelry Pattern: Warrior Sweater by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Cascade Eco+
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm for the body

2015, Finished Object, Knitting, seamless, Sweaters

Done and Dusted

Remember The Husband’s Sweater Project I started way back in Feb last year? I gave myself 8-9 months to finish his sweater before his birthday in November. I worked on it on and off, in between other projects and pattern releases. It even came with me on a vacation where the needle snapped and I was stuck with no other knitting project. Even with all these expeditions, it still had a long way to go before I could call it done.

My husband had to travel for work for about 6 weeks. Even though I was acting as a single parent while he was away, I also got a lot of quiet nights and lazy weekends. I caught up on some long pending shows and movies and… you guessed it, lot of knitting. I decided to finish his sweater before he came back, else it would never get done. So, this was my only knitting project for a whole month.

Once I bound off the body, sleeves went relatively faster, despite hubby’s long, lanky hands. After both the sleeves were done, I gave it a good soak and man, what a difference it made. This is my first time working with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and I must say, the yarn bloomed after a wash.

The pullover fits well, albeit a bit too tight for my taste, but the wearer likes it. I will try to block it more aggressively next time to give it some positive ease. Sleeves were an inch too short (read the note about long hands) and I had to work on them again. The above photo was before I elongated the sleeves. The husband approves of it and has been putting the sweater to good use, now that there is a nip in the air.

Pattern: My own. Basic raglan, worked top down
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Needle: 4mm, circular

 

2014, Crochet, Knitting

Crochet illiterate

I have had this project in my to-do queue since ages. It is the popular Inga bag (I know that is not the name of the bag, but I prefer to call it Inga which is easy to type and pronounce) which looks stunning and apparently easy to make. You make a dozen or so granny squares and stitch them up as it says in the pattern. What could be so hard in that, right?

When one of the Ravelry groups announced a Bag KAL, I thought it to be the right time to work on my Inga. I had all the right materials and I started on my very first granny square. After a bazillion attempts and much frogging and recrocheting with a generous amount of cursing, I successfully crocheted my very first granny square.

grannysquare3_medium2It turned out to be too tight (so I was told by a crochet expert, I am sure she knew what she was talking about). For my second granny square, I decided to use a bigger hook. After making the first square, you would think I would have gotten a fair bit of practice and the second would be relatively smoother. Wrong. The second attempt was an utter failure. I had only 11 “sun spokes” the first time around. And the second time miraculously had 13 of them. I needed 12, but always ended up with a number which was definitely not 12. Now, if this was a knitting project, I could have done a k2tog or a kfb to get the right stitch count, but alas crocheting is not same as knitting the last time I checked. I made so many mistakes, I had to cut the yarn at one place because I somehow managed to create a knot while crocheting. I sincerely tried for two whole days and at the end of the second day when I did not have anything looking like a granny square, I finally gave up.

I can tackle complex knitting techniques. Throw at me intarsia, fair isle, purl 3 together through the back loop and I will master it (it might take a while but I will get there), but as soon as you say crochet, my mind closes up. After this incident, I have finally come to the conclusion that my brain doesn’t have the cells required to process crochet. I cannot follow a simple pattern and neither can I read what I have crocheted. So, the verdict is out. I am crochet illiterate.

2014, Child, circular knitting, Finished Object, Knitting

Happy Feet

I had been away from the blogging world for a while now. Knitting world too! Can you believe it has been more than a month since I held knitting needles? .Twitch. I had to take up a certification exam which is essential for my career and considering how much it costs, I sat myself down for a serious study marathon. The last time I studied like this (as they say burning the midnight oil) was for graduation and that was a good decade ago, so I had to get used to this studying concept all over again. I am glad that is done and dusted and I can get back to my regular routine.

The last time I picked up my knitting needles was when I joined the Sock-Along in our very own SAC group. I had been wanting to make N a pair of socks forever now, so naturally I signed up. There was quite a big group of enthusiastic ladies who cheered one another. I have made a pair of socks earlier, so I knew what I was getting into. I chose a safe pattern (with ribs so that sizing does not become a huge issue) and a well know, tried and tested pattern: Susan Anderson’s Kids Ribbed Socks. (I actually typed that as Ribbed Kids Socks, that’s not the same thing, is it?)

I initially picked the cheerful Knit Picks Felici in Botany (of, I love those colors), but changed my in the last minute for two reasons. One, I wanted to play it safe by using a not-that-precious yarn for my first attempt and save the Felici for the second pair and two, which is more important, I couldn’t find the Felici for the life of me. (While I was knitting the socks, the mystery of the missing Felici was eating me away, so I did end up finding it). So, I chose Plymoth Yarn Sockotta. This was a gift from Rima, an SACer, so it made sense to use it for a SAC Along.

The first sock flew off my needles and to beat the notorious second sock syndrome, I cast on for the second sock as soon as I grafted the toe on the first one. The second one took its own sweet time and waited for me patiently to graft its toe shut, which, you will not believe, took me a whole month to get done. This was the time my studies peaked and every time I saw this poor little sock with its mouth wide open, I felt a pang of guilt, but exam was of higher priority. And finally when I did get it stitched up was on the last day of the Sock-Along. Huh.

So, here is the pair of sock modeled by happy, little feet who were too happy to wear handmade socks. Next up, he wants socks with a Mickey Mouse motif on it.

Knitting

Random Monday

1. The Husband’s Sweater Project is chugging along. I have split the body and sleeves and preparing myself for the imminent never-ending,  boring stockinette. No, don’t get me wrong, I love stockinette. It is mindless knitting which makes it perfect for multi-tasking with TV watching, but I shudder when I imagine how long the body needs to be (tall husband is tall).

2. A shawl design I had submitted for a collection didn’t work out. This was a first for me and I was very low. I learnt a lot of lessons from this experience. Good news is they are ready to publish this design outside of the collection, so all is not lost. But I wonder what they think of me. After all, first impression is the best one and I kind of messed it up.

3. I am switching jobs in 2 weeks time. My current job was great for me as a mother and a knitter. My office was 5 minutes away and I would come home for lunch to spend time with N. Short commuting time meant lot of knitting time at home. Alas, this luxury is coming to an end and I may not find any knitting time on weekdays. You must think I am crazy to quit such a great job, but there are other things to consider in a job than just the commuting time.

4. I have made absolutely no progress on the sewing and quilting front. This reminds me I still haven’t blogged about my drawstring bag.

5. You know the kid is a knitter’s kid when he says ‘Y for Yarn’ while playing the alphabets game. And his friends ask him what’s yarn and he goes on to explain what yarn is and what it is used for. Also the fact that he sees the merry-go-round in the play area and suddenly gets an idea that we can use that instead of the swift to wind yarn.

2014, circular knitting, Knitting

The Husband’s Sweater Project

My husband has been very supportive of my knitting hobby. He takes pleasure in being involved with my knitting in any way he can. He helps me winds yarn, comments on my knitting, gives his opinion when I can’t take decisions and in general is very appreciative of my hobby. When such a sweet guy requests you for a hand knit sweater, you don’t make him wait for 3 years, do you? Which is exactly what I did. Every year, his birthday whooshes by and I drown in my own guilt and vow to finish his sweater by his next birthday, only for it pass whooshing by without a completed sweater in my hand. I decided to take the bull by its horns and start working on it at the beginning of the year itself so that I have a good 11 months to knit this sweater.

Thus was born The Husband’s Sweater Project. After going over the Ravelry pattern database, I decided to make up my own pattern. Husband wants a plain pullover (cables would be nice, but I am bored of knitting cables), so I decided to make a basic top-down raglan. I love top-down because one can try them as you go and raglan is easy to calculate (for me).

Actual measurements:

Neck opening: 15″
Chest: 33″
Armhole Depth (Measured straight down the chest, not slanted): 9″
Upper arm circumference: 12.8″

I am planning a positive ease of 2-3 inches, so I am aiming for a finished measurement of 35-36 inches.

I made a swatch and got the gauge: 17 sts x 21 rows = 4″, post blocked.

Now that I had all the numbers I need, I opened up a spreadsheet and fed these numbers in.

After entering the standard raglan calculations, I ended up with these numbers.

This should give me a sweater with 16″ neck opening, 35.5″ chest and 9.8″ armhole depth. Next step is casting on. Stay tuned as I blog about my journey which I call The Husband’s Sweater Project.