Great Pattern, Not So Great Yarn

In May,  I was asked to test knit a sweater for Life is Cozy. I just happened to have 5 skeins of hot pink alpaca yarn (from my trip in Ecuador) that needed to be knitted up, so I said yes. I have test knit for this designer before and love her designs. They are simple constructions with interesting and delicate details. The Forever April Sweater was no exception. The design elements that caught my eye were the shaped waistline and the off the shoulder neckline.

The Forever April Sweater is a top down raglan sweater with bell shaped sleeves. I did bump up a needle size (US size 2 and 4) as my yarn was a little thicker than the recommended yarn. I didn’t want the piece to be too dense. The only other modification I made was to shorten the length of the sweater as the recipient is on the petite side. I ended up keeping all of the waist shaping increases and decreases and just began the ribbing 3 inches before my desired end length. 

So why does my title contain the words “not so good yarn”? Well this yarn was by far the worst yarn I have ever worked with. It shed EVERYWHERE! Anytime I worked on this sweater I would end up having a layer of hot pink fuzz covering me. This yarn was was also not very tightly wound. I have a pretty tight knitting tension so at one point I broke the yarn 4 times in one row 😫. To make matters worse I tried it on and it was SO itchy. Ugh! This “not so good yarn” made finishing this project a pain. 

Despite my dislike for the yarn, the sweater came out quite lovely. I made sure to give it a long soak and it doesn’t seem as itchy.  Buster (my “fur brother”) seemed to approve.

I am a little bummed that my yarn choice was a let down, however, The Forever April Sweater is a great pattern. It makes a lovely sweater for the spring or chilly summer nights. I highly recommend you head to Life is Cozy and download this free pattern.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Mini Flax Sweaters

The babies are coming! The babies are coming! Well that is at least what I have been chanting in my head. May I present my latest baby gifts…

Mini Flax Sweaters by Tin Can Knits. Tin Can Knits does a lovely job with creating everyday basics for the whole family. The tan sweater is sized 0-6mos and the red one is 6-12mos. I really love this pattern as it is free, well written, and has so much potential for variations. 

I used Patons Classic Wool Worsted for both sweaters. I made no modifications except using an alternative color on the neck, cuffs, and bottom edge of the tan sweater. I will say I had a little trouble with keeping the stitches even as I picked up additional stitches at the underarms. However, I went back and did some tightening up of the stitches with a tapestry needle and spare yarn.If you are in need of a quick and easy pattern, I highly recommend the Flax Sweater. Did I mention that they have a lightweight version too?  

The babies aren’t due till spring, but I am glad I can check these gifts off the list.

What is your go-to baby sweater pattern?

Until Next Time, 

-Whit-

FO: Red Rosina Sweater

Whew! She is done. Actually, she has been completed since mid-December, but I procrastinated on photographing her. The Rosina Pullover has been something in my Ravelry queue for quite a while. Originally, the lacework sleeves caught my eye. I loved how elegant and feminine they looked. I immediately clicked add to queue and there the pattern sat until 3 months ago.

I have to admit this sweater took a long while to make. Two and a half months to be exact.  The fingering weight yarn (Cascade 220 Fingering in Burgundy) and size US 2 needles made this project a slow burn. The stockinette section made for great TV/knitting group work, however, the lace portions required some significant concentration. There was many a time when some frogging action occurred. Looking back I should have worked a sleeve, then the body, and then the last sleeve. It would have given my mind a little break…and I also could have better binge watched Game of Thrones (haha).


Construction/ Pattern: The good thing about this pattern is all of the different sizing options. There are 10 different sizes one can choose from. As a knitter who hates math, this was perfect for me. I loved not having to rework the pattern calculations too much to ensure a proper fit. On the other hand, the number of sizing options made reading the pattern quite a challenge. I had to go through the whole pattern about 5 times and highlight the directions for my size to make sure I didn’t get off track. Once I got that worked out, the pattern was fairly easy to read.

Modifications: I did make some modifications to the original pattern. I skipped the lace section at the bottom and the flared sleeves and just replicated the neckline’s 1×1 ribbing. Both the flared sleeves and the lace bottom were a little too fussy for me.

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Fit: I was a little worried about the fit of this sweater. If you look at the pattern pictures the sweater is intended to fit on the snug side. I pretty consistently have issues with armholes. My shoulders and upper arms like to have lots of space so usually, I knit an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inches under the arm. This pattern was ideal for checking the fit as it is a top-down construction. I tried it on as a knit to make sure I had room to move.


Since finishing I have worn this sweater twice and people are amazed that I made it. To me, that is always a sign of a  handmade sweater that has hit the mark!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

P.S. I decided to devote an Instagram account specifically to the blog :). Follow me at knitsbywhitsf 

 

FO: Kōpekapeka Hat

Finally done and photographed!

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Kōpekapeka Hat, by Francoise Danoy, is a pretty enjoyable knit. I love classic shape and  unfussy texture.  The zig-zag pattern keeps this easy knit from getting stale, while not making the hat look too busy. I can certainly see this hat becoming a fall favorite.

I did add one modification, which was that I added an additional zig-zag repeat to make the body of the hat a little longer. I like to pull my hat down real low when the weather gets cold.img_3795

Location: Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, NH

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Royal Purple (100% wool)

Needles: US Size 6/ 4.0mm (Knitters Pride Dreamz)

A big shout out to my lovely sister for taking amazing photos. 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

 

Exciting News and Free Patterns!

Hey everyone! I am happy to announce that my Snuggly Loops Cowl pattern went live today. I am super pleased to have it had it published in Knotions Magazine’s November 2016 issue. Snuggly Loops is a quick knit that combines dropped stitches and interlocking loops. It will easily become one of your favorite go-to accessories for winter warmth. Since it is a bulky knit, the cowl would be a great holiday gift to whip up for someone special.

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Snuggly Loops Scarf by Whit

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If you don’t know, Knotions is now a monthly knitting and crochet magazine that not only contains really cute (and free patterns), but also has great tutorials. When you get the chance I suggest you head over to the website to check it out.

Until Next Time

-Whit-

 

Project Complete: Blueberry Waffle Socks

Right now I am a little bummed. I submitted applications to two local craft fairs and got two rejection emails. *sigh* I am going to keep looking, but as always rejection is a little hard on the ego.

On the positive side, I finished my first Christmas gift of 2016! Woot Woot! I knitted the Blueberry Waffle Socks using Viking of Norway‘s Babyull in Blue (328). They came out beautifully.

Normally, I make my socks using US Size 1 needles. I am in love with a tight knit form-fitting sock. However, the recipient of these socks has a much wider foot than I do as well as he/she lives in a much colder climate. So I chose this pattern as it uses bulkier yarn (fingering weight) and allows for a roomier fit. Given the gauge, these socks really flew off the needles!

The Blueberry Waffle Sock pattern is a cuff down pattern that includes a heel flap and use of the Kitchener’s stitch on the toe. The pattern is very repetitive without being tedious 👍🏾. As long as you know how to count your rows you are golden!

The yarn is definitely squishy and soft, which makes is pleasant to work with. Babyull is plied on the tighter side so it gives great stitch definition. I love how contrasted the purl and knit stitches came out within waffle pattern. I haven’t washed my FO, therefore, I cannot attest to if the color will bleed or shedding. Some reviews on Ravelry stated the yarn is itchy/coarse. I didn’t experience this. The reviews in questions are over 2 years old so maybe the brand has modified the yarn?

Until Next Time

-Whit-