Blushing Lauriel…

What’s this?  Another post?  So soon?  You betcha!  I’m playing catch-up, big time.  For example, the cardigan I’m going to show you here?  Made this baby for a wedding at the end of September.  Mind you, I was not entirely successful and was actually knitting while at the wedding but just saying…  I made this awhile ago!  Scratch that!  I made most of it awhile ago! As some fellow bloggers can tell you, I’ve been wearing this around for the last couple of months with half of the snaps sewn on and only two buttons.  I’ve got a real problem with finishing shit lately!  If I showed you my knitting WIP drawer, you’d probably wince.  I do. Every time I see, which is often as the drawer is so overflowing that I can’t close it! Nonetheless, I powered through some hand sewing last night and finished sewing on buttons and snaps!  A real chore, I tell you.  Big time sucker.  Anyway, with no further ado…  my awesome and amazing Lauriel cardigan!  And a wee warning… this post contains a lot of PINK!

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This design was brought to us by the lovely knitwear designer extraordinaire, Ysolda Teague. This was my first time trying one of her patterns but it most definitely will not be my last!  I am in love with this make and wear if often… even when it only has two buttons and mismatched snaps!  I haven’t been knitting for long and so am still discovering what suits me and what I will get the most use out of.  For example, I’m drawn to pullover patterns but I rarely end up wearing the ones that I’ve made.  I’ve kept a few of my favourites but have given the rest away. Cardigans, on the other hand, get worn almost daily!  Love them!  And while I never imagined that there was a place for shorter or cropped cardigans in my wardrobe, this make has proven me wrong!  I made it specifically to go over my green silk Anna dress (will post that make eventually) and thought it would look ridiculous layered over the long T-shirts that I tend to wear.  You tell me.  Ridiculous? I don’t think so.  Or I really just don’t care!

(I’m going to pick new glasses tomorrow, which is clearly on my mind!)

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I made this using a merino/cashmere/silk blend so as you can well imagine, it’s pretty lovely to wear.  It’s a slightly garish colour but I find that my dk and sport weight wool options are limited…  especially when you’re looking for a sweaters worth of yarn in the sale bins at Romni wool!  Nonetheless, I’m kind of in love with shades of pink, fuchsia and red right now, which is extremely obvious if you’re looking at my Ravelry project page!  And yellow.  Lots and lots of unflattering yellow (will also address this unfortunate love affair when I get to a t-shirt post).

This pattern has some lovely details on the yoke that are repeated at the waist and on the cuffs. Really quick and easy to knit and a feature that I enjoy.  They also helps break up the mindless stockinette stitch that makes up most of this sweater.  And while twisted stitches make me grumble and groan, I love them here!  They really make the ribbing stand out.

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Another new feature for me in this pattern was the shaping at the bust.  Genius!  This really allows for a great fit overall and I’ll be looking for this feature in other sweater patterns.

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(yes, I am making your looks at the bewbs.  Get over it!)

However, a real downside to this pattern (at least for relative knitting newbies) is that it was part of a book and some some of her pattern extras were unavailable to you if you purchased only the single pattern.  I have no real problem with that but it would have been nice to know up front so that I could decide if it was worth it to buy it all.  Anyway, as you can see from the pictures below (ignore the cheese and awkward poses and focus on the bewbs, peeps!), the bust shaping is not perfect on me and it sits too high.  Clearly I would have benefitted from some bust darts but I had no idea how to do them and those instruction were not included. I did email Ysolda about this and someone eventually emailed me back with a link to a knitty tutorial (this one, which I have also linked to on my Ravelry page should anyone else encounter this problem) but it was too late for me to use.  I was on a *failed* wedding deadline after all!  But if I use this pattern again, then I will add some small bust darts.

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Another new favourite of mine for cardigans is the use of grosgrain ribbon (or petersham ribbon if you prefer) to stabilize the button bands.  I used this previously for my Neon cardigan. However, this time I also added snaps to the equation and I quite love the convenience of them! The ribbon is also an excellent way to add some fun and/or contrast to your make!

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And for the usual posing cheesiness, I give you the following.  Alisha told me to sit.  And so I did…

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(Trying to look all scholarly, prim and proper…)

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(and then looking slightly less dignified!) 

Then she told me to stop being ridiculous and that maybe I should stand.  Anyone else have a habit of looking at the ground?  Or off into the distance?  Although in this case the ground was kind of awesome (colourful and squishy) and I think that an ambulance was going by resulting in my “off in the distance” pose.  Yup. An excellent reason to look far, far away.

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(clearly the ground was fascinating!  And something awesome was going on in the distance!)

And that’s pretty much it folks.  Should you be interested, you can find my Ravelry project page here. And for a little more Lauriel inspiration, take a look at this fucking amazing version by Tasia.  I still want to make it again in this exact colourway.  One day!

Over and out.

Sara

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Gramps Cardigan

There have been a lot of babies arriving in the last year.  And I do mean A LOT!  Which is fun and fantastic but last January, when I was anticipating the arrival of 11 babies in a three month stretch (both friends and family), I had not a clue what to do about baby gifts.  That was a lot to manage on a postdoc salary!  I knew that the parents of all of these babies would understand and be fine with nothing more than a visit from their “Auntie” Sara but I still wanted to celebrate their arrival in some way.  This is a long way of saying that I decided I should learn how to knit!  It didn’t seem at all unreasonable to learn how to knit and to make 11 gifts in a couple of months!  And it turns out that as ambitious as this plan was, it was possible!  With the help of youtube and tutorials available on this fantastic website, I quickly cast on my first project (the obligatory garter stitch scarf in a truly appalling shade of green) and I did mange to make 11 sets of baby socks with matching hats… albeit not all on time!  This was the start of my love affair with yarn, knitting and all things fibre-related.  My knitting needles and I have since had a very fun and prolific year!

Available to feed the addiction of all fibre fiends is Ravelry.  Sigh.  Ravelry.  Now this a place to get lost!  I spent many an hour perusing patterns and projects on this site while I was thinking about knitting and seeing this project made up my mind!  I had to knit this sweater …  which meant that I had to learn how to knit!  It took me a few months to gain the skills (aka the confidence) to cast this one on but a visit to meet my adorable nephew Daxton at Christmas was the perfect excuse.  Since the colourway that Thao713 chose was much of what I loved about her project, I ordered the Madeline Tosh yarn in Grasshopper (how fun is that name?!) from eatsleepknit.com in Georgia and cast this on within an hour of this yarn arriving at my door!  Of no surprise to anyone who knows me, this was not done in time for my trip to Vancouver!  In fact, I think I finished knitting this on Christmas Day!

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This is, by far, my favourite finished project to date!  I love it as much as I thought I would and Dax is adorable in it!  Though he is always adorable.  This is one happy baby, folks!

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I wanted this to fit Daxton for awhile so I made it a bit big for him but judging from the pictures above (taken yesterday by his very obliging parents) he is growing into it quickly!  I hope he gets another season out of this!

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Hugs from big sister (in her Christmas sweater… to be saved for another post)

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Sibling love!

This is the Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates.  I did make a few modifications to the pattern based on comments that other people had made in their project notes.  I made it longer than suggested with the hope that Dax could wear it for a couple of years.  I also made the sleeves slightly wider than suggested.  You can find my project notes here.

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Cause I can’t resist pictures of these two…!

Cheers!

Sara

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