NaKniSweMo 2013 — Here I come!

Ginny's Owl Cardigan

I finally decide what I’m going to make for NaKniSweMo this year — the Ginny’s Owl Cardigan from The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits book from Interweave. I already have a sweater-quantity worth of Berocco Vintage DK in cracked pepper grey which I think will be perfect. I’ve got time this week to swatch and WASH MY SWATCH before November 1 and still finish my last class project for HPKCHC.

I’m not going to have another unfortunate “incredible growing sweater” incident. Yes, indeed I plan to WASH MY SWATCH.

Ginny Cardigan Detail

I freakin’ love the little patch pockets and the button band looks pretty sturdy. Very excited about this plan!

Ginny Cardigan pocket

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NaKniSweMo 2013 Ravatars!

nakniswemo-c

 

Its that time of year again. Time to get prepared for National Knit A Sweater in a Month (AKA NaKniSweMo). Starting November 1st, pick up those sticks and start knitting (or crocheting). These are the Ravatar icons I made for this year for the Ravelry group. I might add a few color variations in the next couple days. Holler if you have a recommendation and I’ll try to accommodate.

Feel free to download them and use them for your Ravatar if you’re participating.

nakniswemo-k

NaKniSweMo2013-martini NaKniSweMo2013-martini-c

 

For my pals who may be inspired to knit by alcohol rather than caffeine, and/or participating in the HPKCHC, here are a few other options:

nakniswemo-k-martini-g nakniswemo-k-martini-m nakniswemo-k-martini-y nakniswemo-k-martini2 nakniswemo-k-martininakniswemo-c-b nakniswemo-c-b2 nakniswemo-c-g nakniswemo-c-m nakniswemo-c-y nakniswemo-k-b nakniswemo-k-b2 nakniswemo-k-g nakniswemo-k-m nakniswemo-k-y

 

Here are specifically requested Ravs:

cobaltNaKniSweMo2013-DPF

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NaKniSweMo prep

nakniswemo-art

After my sweater OCD the other day, my friends reminded me of the impending NaKniSweMo in November so now I have a REAL reason to pick one of the six patterns and find some yarn. So I’ve narrowed down the list from six to two three and need to narrow down still.

sunniva2

Saturday was the big sale at KnitCraft in Independence, MO which is the best source for sweater-quantity yarns and I found yarn for Sunniva and then I worked a deal to trade a friend for his colorway of sock yarn which was a lovely vintage-y burgandy. WIN. But I’m not committed fully to Sunniva for my NaKniSweMo as I only have enough yarn for the short flutter sleeves and I am holding out hope that one of my pals will have a small quantity of white lace weight I can use for the collar.

maryjane2

I also have the yarn and pattern for Mary Jane and yarn and pattern for Levenwick — which is a NEW option! But I have a sweater’s quantity of Peace Fleece that is just calling out to be made into this funky little jacket!

levenwick

In the meantime, I fell in love with the Little Miss Rainbow cardigan and want to make one for myself (Big Miss Rainbow) and one for my niece. The only trouble is either buying a rainbow’s worth of yarn or finding a variegated like Crystal Palace Mini Mochi that’s not going to require that my poor sis- and bro-in-law have to handwash a cardigan for a toddler.

littlemissrainbow

I think the Daffodil pattern would be the perfect template to make a “big girl” rainbow cardi and I’m not averse to handwashing my own clothes. Maybe I should just knit mine first?

I’m feeling pretty ambitious but I don’t think I can knit fout adult sweaters and one child’s sweater in a month. How do I pick?!?!

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NaKniSweMo, Version 3.0

While others are madly tapping out their first novel for November’s Nanowrimo and others are growing out their beard in honor of Movemeber, I have been clicking my needles in honor of NaKniSweMo. This is my third NaKniSweMo November in the last four years.

This year, with help from my husband, I picked the free Paulie pattern. Its a simple, striped, top-down cardigan with a fold-over shawl collar. I have only five days left but having completed the body and half of one sleeve, but I’m feeling fairly confident that I might have the whole sweater completed  before Christmas, which for my record is an improvement. Last year’s NaKniSweMo sweater took me until February to finish. As I have THE PERFECT skirt to wear with the Paulie sweater, I suspect I’ll make every effort to finish it as quickly as possible in order to wear the full ensemble.

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I almost knit a sweater in a month

I started NaKniSweMo (a web-based effort to get lots of knitters to knit a sweater in the month of November) and I ran into all the snags (no pun intended). The pattern I chose was the Fitted Cardigan from Louise Harding’s Modern Classics. The delicious tweedy grey yarn I had chosen knit up to guage but when I started knitting, the size I had chosen was monumentally too large. How is that possible?

After reknitting the first couple inches of the back several times trying to get it to knit to size at the specified gauge, I finally pulled a sweater from my shelf that fit me well and laid it out and measured it. Hmmm…. so if this yarn knits to five-stitches-to-the-inch and the well-fitting sweater in my closet is 20 inches across at the widest spot, I should be casting on no more than 100 stitches, not 111. I took the too wide couple inches and laid it behind the proper fitting sweater and counted how many excess stitches I had — closer to 20 stitches extra (it was damned wide!) so I settled on casting on only a mere 91 stitches (which was labelled in the pattern as the 34″ size) and hoped it would work. Every few inches, I would hold it up to myself and pray it would fit. As you can tell from the photo, it did.

But you might be wondering, if I worked out all the sizing and gauge issues how come she couldn’t finish it in 30 days? Well, I came down with a nasty cold over Thanksgiving. So much so, that by the time I got home I was out for three days – flat on my back. Then I had to get back to work, still sick, which left me a shell when I got home. I would eat and sleep and work and that was it. Too tired to knit? Hard to believe, but its true. I watched as the calendar flipped to December and I was still a sleeve away from completion.

Then, I ran out of yarn. Was this project cursed?

I scampered back to the LYS where I had purchased the original balls just weeks before thinking surely they would have more. Nope. They suggested I try ebay. Ebay? I’d have to wait days, maybe even weeks to get some and there was no telling what dye lot I would get. I called another shop, five minutes before they were about to close and asked if they had what I needed. They did and I said, “I’ll be there first thing in the morning!” While I slept with dreams of finishing the last sleeve and seaming the sweater up bouding around in my head, the sky dumped several inches of snow on our fair city. Fates, what did I do to offend you?!?!

By mid-afternoon, I had convinced Bob it was safe to trek across town but his parents were due in for a visit and that would leave me no time to knit until Monday. We raced across town and I secured two precious balls, the right color and in the same dye lot! With the yarn safely stashed – enough to finish the sleeve and do all the seaming with plenty left over I resolved myself that I would be ready and rarin’ to go once the visiting was done.By mid-week, I got the sleeves done and followed the instructions to steam block the sweater and seam the shoulders together before adding the button band and neck finishing. Okay…? I seamed up the shoulders and started on the button band. There was a lot to seam up. No one ever warns you that a cardigan requires a lot of finishing. It was starting to wear down my resolve.

I needed moral support so I packed everything up and headed to my favorite LYS MisKnits for some company and morale boosting. Amber provided that in spades, made me coffee and even helped me seam up a sleeve. Four hours of chit chat and entertainment and I had everything done but the buttons.

Saturday, I bought buttons and Sunday morning I sat in bed while Bob read and sewed on the buttons, some more than once as my aim was sketchy at best. But finally, lo and behold, it was finished! My first cardigan and it fits perfectly, loose but shapely in a warm, soft (not scratchy) wool/silk/cashmere blend and its mine. All mine! I don’t think I’ll take it until May.

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What have you been doing?

Really, what have you been doing? I want to know.
While I wait to hear from you, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing…


I have been keeping myself pretty busy. The air has gotten crisp so the knitting is in full swing. I am almost done with Bob’s Crazy Carnival socks, knit up in Colinette Jitterbug (in the Mardi Gras color, if by some strange twist of fate you want to snap up a skein of this for youself. More than likely, you may just want to note the colorway to avoid it because it is crazy bright!) I also have been working on the second draft of the Erte Cloche which is also knit in Colinette Jitterbug but in the Bright Charcoal colorway. (Can you tell I am in love with this yarn?) For some reason, my initial gauge got tighter when I actually started knitting and I swear I swatched (cross my heart and kiss my elbow!). So after completing the hat once, I frogged it and started over. I am on the inside brim now so I should be done with it soon.

I’ve also decided that I don’t have enough projects going so I want to participate in NaKniSweMo, the National Knit-a-Sweater-in-a-Month. Yes, I know I’m being totally unreasonable seeing as how I’ve only ever finished one sweater in my whole knitting career but, the way I see it, the world was built on seemingly unattainable goals. I may not be trying to prove the world is round but I have to start somehwere.

Its been a bit of a frustrating process to choose yarn and a pattern that are actually willing to play nicely with one another. First, I chose the Easy V-Neck pattern from Glampyre Knits and swatched up no less than three different yarns with no less than two different needle size only to realize that me and the Easy V were not going to be fast friends. So I thought maybe I’d just try to finish the V-Neck cardigan that I’ve had on the needles since the summer but I knit a little further only to be dejected at the idea of finishing a mercerized cotton sweater in springy lime green just in time for Thanksgiving. Nope, that sweater is not getting done now right now.

I went back to my old faithful tome, Modern Classics by Louisa Harding to find a cardigan I could knit in a cuddly warm yarn ready for burrowing into the couch for the long winter. I was able to use two of the yarns I bought for the Easy V-Neck on two different cardigan patterns so which do I choose?

Choice A: the worsted cardie with seed stitch edging with a nubby grey Queensland Collection Kathmandu or…

Choice B: the twin set cardie in Rowan Calmer?
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