WIP Wednesday: So Close Yet So Far

The Cascades continues to grow but with 2 days until I leave for my girls’ weekend with my momma, time is shrinking.IMG_3198

Luckily the number of stitches on the needles is shrinking too. Not quite as fast as I’d prefer but it IS decreasing with every (other) round. At least the knitting is interesting, I do love the textures still and shaping is always a fun part of knitting for me.IMG_3203

I’ve had to mod the raglan decreases a tiny bit because of my need to make the arms a bit wider (I don’t like tight sleeves in the bicep area or tight underarms) but I think I’m on track to finish this up with the numbers for the smallest size. Fingers crossed I can bang it out before hitting the road and heading to Salida!

What are you working on this week?


Substituting Yarn

substituting yarnOne of the most common alterations made to any given pattern is when the knitter uses a different yarn than the one called for in the pattern. This can happen for a multitude of reasons – the knitter wants to use stashed yarn, the yarn isn’t available in his or her LYS, the knitter has an allergy – or maybe even just a preference – for a different fiber, the suggested yarn doesn’t come in the desired color, the suggested yarn has been discontinued – the list goes on and on. Whatever the reason, it’s a pretty safe bet that at some point in your knitting life, you’ll want or be forced to use a different yarn than recommended.

How do you know which yarns might be a suitable substitute?

There are a lot of things you should look at when choosing substitute yarn including:

  • Gauge. This one is very important. It is important to check gauge even if you ARE using the recommended yarn. Knitting is like handwriting, everyone’s is unique to them and even if you’re using the recommended yarn and needles, your gauge could be off no matter what and you’ll have to change something (usually needle size). When substituting a yarn, ALWAYS remember to double check your gauge.
  • Fiber content. Different fibers behave in different ways. They fall differently, have different memory capacities (this does not mean the yarn knows when your birthday is), block differently and react to wear in their own unique ways. If the yarn called for in the pattern is 100% wool, it’s unlikely that a 100% silk, even if in the recommended weight and even if the gauge swatch comes out perfectly, will be a perfect match because these two fibers produce completely different fabrics.
  • Yardage amounts. Just because the pattern recommends 5 skeins of the suggested yarn, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need 5 skeins of the yarn you’re substituting with. Check the yardage amounts per skein for the suggested yarn as well as your substituted yarn, you may find that you need twice as many skeins, or possibly half! (but who would complain about having “too much” yarn? I’m not sure that’s even a possibility.)

This is just a brief overview, but I hope it helps some of you make decisions regarding which materials to use in the future! Have you ever substituted yarn when working a pattern?  How did it turn out? How did YOU choose which yarn to work with?

Pattern Release: The Forest Cardigan

Happy Friday knitters! Today I’m excited to announce that the Forest Cardigan is available for download on Ravelry, LoveKnitting, Etsy and Craftsy!

The Forest Cardigan was inspired by my favorite place – the mountains (I try to be really creative with my pattern names, can you tell?). The colors in my original sample, the woolly texture of the yarn, the stitch patterns are all reminiscent of the rocks and trees that I love so much. My buttons even speak to the inspiration being made of wood!

This sweater is knit from the top down with raglan shaping, then stitches are picked up at the end for the button band and collar – no seams!

Worsted weight wool: 300 (350, 400, 450, 500, 550, 600, 650)yds in color A & 200 (250, 300, 350, 400, 450, 500, 550)yds in Color B
Size 9 (5.5 mm) circular needles (cir) 32-40” depending on size being made and set of double-pointed needles (dpn)
4 Stitch markers
Darning Needle
7 1.5”/3.75 cm buttons

What are the colors of your favorite places?

WIP Wednesday: Just the Yoke

I feel like I’ve finally made some interesting progress on the Cascades pullover! This past weekend I made it to the yoke and joined the sleeves to the body. It looks a little silly still but I feel like I’m finally on the homestretch with this project and I can’t wait to have it finished and in my closet!IMG_3182

My goal is to have it done within the next 2 weeks so I can wear it during a girl’s weekend with my momma and get some good photos of it in action. I think I can make that “deadline” ::knocksonwood::

What are you working on this week?

Purse Knitting

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you guys – your support on my last post means the world to me (as does your support, well, all the time) and I want you to know you’re special.

Now, onto today’s topic:

When one becomes a knitter, at some point in time – whether that be early on or later in the process – one generally wants to bring their projects with them. Always. Wherever they go. For most ladies and some gents, this is called “purse knitting” (or “backpack knitting” “satchel knitting” “whatever-you-carry-your-knitting-in knitting”). Frequently these projects are smaller than an afghan and don’t require constant chart-checking or fiddling. Many knitters like to use socks as their purse knitting, some prefer hats and a large group of folks are obsessed with blanket pieces (hexipuffs, mitred squares, etc).IMG_2379

Me? I take whatever the hell I’m working on in my purse. Luckily/unluckily I have a large purse which means that even big projects (like my Cascades) fit in it. On the one hand, this means that being a monogamous knitter is that much easier. On the other hand, I’m the crazy lady carrying around a sweater-in-progress in her purse and sometimes projects like that get heavy. IMG_2380

I also carry around a toolkit with small scissors, stitch markers, darning needles, scrap yarn, spare dpns, tape measure, stitch holders, needle gauge and small Eucalan samples – you just never know what you’re going to need. I grew up with Boyscout brothers and a Troop Leader Dad, I know how to be prepared. Some might say it’s overkill but if you get stuck in the mountains because of a winter storm you don’t want to need any of those things and NOT have them . Then you just end up doing stupid shit like using a safety pin as a “darning needle” because you’re too excited to wait to sew up the seams of your sleeves and ::cough:: ahem.

You just want to be prepared.

What does your purse knitting look like?