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

 

New Pattern: Texo Shawl

This blog post is way too late, but better late than never, eh?

I was on cloud nine the whole of last week. My feet were barely touching the ground. And with good reason. I had a pattern published by Quince. drumroll. At this point in my designing career, this comes as a much needed opportunity to reach a wider audience and also to know how publishing works.

Quince and team (special mention to Jerusha for putting up with my too frequent mails) were so easy and helpful to work with. I was apprehensive since this was the first time I was working with them, but they never made me feel out of place. Jerusha, the lovely lady she is, always replied cheerfully to my emails, even when she had to give me a bad news.

This was also my first time working with Quince yarn and the experience was equally pleasant. Tern is perfect for texture and the color Quince chose for this design shows off the cable texture very well. Photos are gorgeous, as always with Quince.

Photo © Quince and Co.

Texo Shawl is knit using fingering weight yarn and is knit from the top down, starting from a garter stitch tab. The shawl shown in the photo is 60″ deep with 26″ wingspan. It is perfect for chilly summer evenings. A knitter on Ravelry is knitting this as a nursing cover! You can buy a copy of Texo Shawl on Ravelry or on Quince’s website.

New Pattern: Dyvest

Dyvest is a unisex vest with an attractive cable stitch pattern down the front. The Y-shaped staghorn cable divides into a similar half-staghorn stitch on either side of the V-neck, hence the name Dyvest.

Ravelry Pattern: Dyvest by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Bessie May Nettle in Coal colorway
[Aran/10 Ply; 70% Wool; 30% Plant Fiber; 87 yards/50 gms]
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm

The staghorn and half-staghorn are simple to knit with just 3 rows of cable and plain wrong side rows. Both cables are charted and written instructions are also provided.


The vest is knit bottom-up in round  until the armholes and then the fronts and back are knit flat. The shoulders are joined using three needle bind-off. Armbands and neckbands are knit after picking up stitches.

Gauge:
16 sts x 22 rows = 4″ in Stockinette Stitch
20 sts x 20 rows = 3.5″ in Staghorn Cable stitch pattern

Sizing:
Finished Chest Measurement:
17.5 [19.5, 21.5, 23.5] [25.5, 27.5, 29.5] inches
Vest is intended to be worn with 1-2″ of positive ease.

I knit the prototype using Bessie May Nettle, which is a blend of wool and plant fiber. This is the first time I worked with a plant fiber and I was blown away by the stitch definition – the cables are neat and crisp. I had to work on the fronts a dozen times, so I can vouch for ‘froggability’ of the yarn too, boys is it sturdy. With the main color as dark grey and the light grey heather, Coal colorway is an excellent choice for men’s and boys’ knits.

New Patterns: Punto Cowl & Hat

I am very happy to announce the release of Punto Cowl & Hat patterns which are released as part of Malabrigo Quickies. From Malabrigo Yarns website: Quickies are small, fast projects which require only one or two skeins of yarn. You could knit a small cowl and a hat in one skein each of MC and CC yarn. These patterns can be bought individually or as an ebook.

While I love variegated yarns,  I don’t like how muddy they look when used with cables or lace. I am not a big fan of pooling in stockinette stitch either, so the obvious step was to pair it with a plain yarn and make something colorful with it. Punto stitch pattern (as I would like to call it) is knit with one yarn per row (no carrying the other yarn) and the colorful CC yarn shows up as little specks or dots against the MC yarn.

Punto Cowl comes in 3 sizes. Small: 20 inches wide, a snug fit around your neck, Medium: 28 inches wide, a loose, comfortable fit around your neck and Long: 44 inches wide, where the cowl can be worn doubled up. All sizes are 8 inches high. Width and height can be easily modified by working more repeats of the stitch pattern.

Punto Hat comes in 4 sizes. S [M, L, XL]: 18 [20, 22, 24] inches. These are the finished sizes. Choose the size which give you no ease or an inch of negative ease.

Punto Hat
Punto Cowl

Punto ebook
Yarns Suggested: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Natural Colorway
Malabrigo Seleccion Privada in Code B Colorway
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm

New Pattern: Texo Pullover

Texo (Latin word Texo for ‘weave, twine together’) is a take on the traditional crewneck pullover with a cabled pouch added for extra warmth for the hands. The cabled pouch adds interest and texture to the otherwise plain pullover. The i-cord edges on the pouch give it a neat finishing touch. The top-down seamless construction makes this an ideal pullover to try it on as you go and also to modify the body and sleeves length.

Ravelry Pattern: Texo Pullover by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Knit Picks Swish DK
Needle Size: US #5 3.75 mm for the body
US #7 4.5 mm for the cable pouch

Sock knitting

I have been knitting only baby stuff these days. Continuing with the theme, I wanted to knit a baby cardigan. I received some sock yarn as gifts from Ravelers. We really don’t need socks in this part of the world, so I wanted to knit something else with the sock yarn. Guro’s Twinkle vintage baby cardigan pattern uses sock yarn, so was ideal for stash busting. It is also seamless, so that was another plus point.

I used Knitpicks Memories, Redwood Forest colorway, which was a gift from Jean. The pattern can be used as a template for a yoke cardigan. The body can be knit in plain stockinette or you can use any lace pattern of your own. I knit the vintage lace pattern given in the patterns page for the body. It turned out well but it is not clearly visible because of the multi-colored yarn. It would have looked better in a single colored yarn. I tried knitting the sleeves also in this pattern, but didn’t like the way it looked. Moreover, I thought the cardigan looked cuter without the sleeves, so I chopped them off. The cardigan now has a capped sleeves look which I hope is practical and actually looks like capped sleeves on the baby.
After the sweater was done, I was left with almost a whole ball of yarn. It was time for knitting baby socks. Judy’s Infant socks pattern looked good to me. I hadn’t knit socks before, so I wanted something simple and easy. The pattern is clear, but doesn’t explain the technical details like turning the heel, gusset and instep etc. I followed the Silver’s Sock tutorials which made it easier to follow the pattern. The first sock was done in less than an hour. Thankfully, I escaped from the second sock syndrome and finished the second sock in no time. The second sock is a bit smaller than the first one and I have no idea why. It is still a puzzle for me because at every step, I had the right number of stitch count and row count. Just a matter of gauge, may be?

Knitting socks was fun. After knitting the first sock, there was a feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Knitting socks is like nothing else – you have to knit socks at least once. The technicalities involved – the way you make the heel and then turn it, the way you join this longer heel with the rest of the sock and then knit as one entity – this is almost like magic. I am in awe of the knitter who came up with knitting socks seamlessly. I must say knitters are the smartest people on earth. Whoever said knitting is for old women didn’t know anything about knitting socks.