a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


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Summer Sweater KAL

A sweater? In the summer?

Well, in the summer it’ll be on the needles. The idea is it’ll be ready to wear by the fall, when the weather calls for it. And check out my yarn! I think it’s the perfect colour for fall. Reminds me of kicking my way through the crunchy, fallen leaves. Shown here are my five lovely skeins of Knit Picks’ Swish Tonal in Foliage (a colourway that’s now discontinued; thankfully I was able to catch it on sale on its way out). Dreamy.

And my pattern: the Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover by Jane Richmond. Looky here:

I’m planning to knit mine up with two inches of negative ease, so it’ll fit more snugly than the one shown above (which is knit with zero ease). What this means for me is knitting a size down from my actual measurements. But in the spirit of tweaking this sweater’s fit to be as close to exactly what I want as possible, I’m going to follow a tip I snagged from Jane herself and knit the body and sleeve lengths for my own (actual) size to accommodate my gangly arms and long torso. And guys? I even swatched properly (and blocked my swatch, I’m that serious) for this thing. I am the most on the ball I’ve ever been about getting the right fit. I’m not wasting my money and time on a garment like this only to end up with something that only fits ‘okay’ in the end. No no. Enough of that nonsense. This one will fit right and it will be glorious. Mantra.

I cast on the other day and have already made a bunch of progress! Thank you to CrazyBaby for going to bed pretty early the last couple of nights.

At that ‘all curled up’ stage. Hard to photograph, but you can get the idea.

And for the ‘KAL’ part: I’m knitting this as part of luvinthemommyhood‘s Summer Sweater Knit Along! I’m really looking forward to having this sweater on my needles over the summer and ending up with (hopefully, probably, LIKELY!) a wonderfully fitting and cozy sweater just in time for fall. And it’s orange! It’s orange. Eff yes! Orange sweater for me!

luvinthemommyhoodCome knit along with us!


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In progress: Shhhhh…

It’s a surprise!  But I can tell you it’s a hat. For someone. Not for me, and not for baby A. I just cast on today. Oh, the suspense is killing you, right?

I’m knitting it as part of the Warm Up to Winter knit along (KAL) over at luvinthemommyhood. If you want to join, you have until February 8th to do so. Just click on the handy button below for details.

luvinthemommyhood

Now, can I get my project done in time? I’ve come down with a serious case of ‘startitis’ and have three projects on the needles right now in what I call the ‘5% club’ — I’ve just barely started them and my Ravelry progress bars are all set at 5% completion. (I even have a sewing project very much in progress, to boot.)  I keep getting distracted by some new project that must be done right now and tossing the current project aside in favour of the new, shinier one. I think I have the knitter’s equivalent of the ‘eyes too big for your stomach’ thing. What would that be? Eyes too big for your borderline-arthritic finger joints? Doesn’t have the same ring to it…

But this KAL should keep me going. Deadlines are good for that. Plus, when this hat is done, it’s being sent out in the mail to its recipient (there is also a deadline for that, but more on that later). So my motivation may need to get comfortable hanging out with this one thing for a little while instead of doing its usual ADD thing.

Edit: Here are my other two ‘in progress’ babies:

Liesl by Cocoknits

An attempt to copycat my favourite (purchased) hat. See how far I got? So brave.

They all look sort of similar, don’t they?


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In progress: Manda Ruth baby sweater

Continuing on my mission to knit everything Jane Richmond has ever designed (I’m moooostly kidding), I’m now endeavouring to knit this adorable seed stitch baby sweater called Manda Ruth!

This is what I’ve got so far, friends:

I’m busy finishing up the raglan increases (so what you see here is the neck and yoke, with the mushed up bits being roughly in shoulder country. Make sense?). Seed stitch (that’s knit one, purl one, repeat forever) is sloooow going, but the look is lovely and smushy and soft, so I’m sticking it out.

I also think this is a great colour that could work for a boy or a girl, and would bring out those deep blue eyes babies have. Lovely!


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Feeling accomplished

Well, I’m feeling accomplished even though this project has yet to really be accomplished (i.e., finished).  My sense of accomplishment is coming from finishing the body of this sweater at long last!  It was a slog!

Note that I forgot to do photos before putting one sleeve’s stitches onto double-pointed needles… I am the borg!

I am proud to report I didn’t eff up the gull lace pattern ONCE while knitting it.  Which is good because I have no idea how I’d ever rectify a dropped stitch or a miscounted series of stitches in such a complicated pattern.  Phewf!  There is more gull lace to come for the sleeves, but somehow I think they’ll be more achievable with less chance of disaster.  If only because they are smaller — less stitches overall means less chance of distraction during a round.  I hope.

It looks like the drape is a bit funky so far (but overall is pretty good) — it bags a bit at the hips (as can be seen in the first picture above), which is probably due to my knit stitch being tighter than my purl stitch (the gull lace pattern has a purled row every other row, while the garter stitch hem band is all rows knitted).  This may rectify itself as the bottom (most recently knitted) bit gets a bit stretched out over time… or I may be able to block it to perfection?  Can you block knitted items that are knit with cotton blend yarn?  Is blocking unique to wool?  This is something I don’t know.

I really need to buy some sweet buttons for this sweater…


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Keep on keepin’ on

After having recently emerged from the frenetic land of wedding planning, I found that my other knitting (my me knitting, my deadline free knitting) was once again calling my name from the messy shelf in my closet where it had been hibernating. So today I decided to reacquaint myself with my good old friend the lady sweater.  And after only knitting two rows in 30 minutes, it hit me (okay, it re-hit me) that this sucker is gonna take an AGE to finish.  I started it in mid-March and it’s only about halfway done. But I felt it deserved a progress report, since the lace part is all new since I lasted posted about it. So check me out!

It’s really too bad that, since a couple of other Thursday night commitments have come up in the past month or two, I haven’t been to my sister-in-law’s craft night in quite a while… so I’m missing out on these great 3+ hour chunks of time that would be otherwise devoted more or less entirely to knitting!  And thus, progress has really slowed down.  Oh, and there was that wedding, too.  Right.

But I suppose knitting is meant to be a bit of an exercise in patience, especially with larger projects like this one. I will try to remember that, and try to curb my impatience.  My next project(s) will probably be smaller scale, though, to satisfy my need for more immediate gratification.  (Cue the bug-eyed stares of a drug addict…)


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Crafting ADD

I haven’t posted much lately on any completed projects, because there aren’t any!  I am currently knitting three (yes, three) different projects, and working on sewing neckties for the fellas to wear in our wedding (which is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY OMG HYPERVENTILATE!)… so I do apologize for the lack of real meaty posts (uh, ew).

I seem to be starting a million things lately and not really completing any of them before starting the next thing.  It probably has to do with me realizing that the wedding-related crafts are a priority (given we’re running out of time), and thus putting the fun ones on hold has gotten pretty commonplace.  But dang!  It makes me feel a bit like I have some kind of crafting-related attention deficit.  But you know, I’m comforted to know that this is common amongst crafters… there is a whole movement of “stash-busting” where crafters vow to use up the materials they currently have rather than buying new ones, which just goes to show how easy it is to have a lot of things on-the-go, or in progress, or planned and ready but not quite started.  I am not alone, in other words.  Phewf!


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In progress: lady sweater

In particular, this pattern is called the February Lady Sweater, by Pamela Wynne of Flint Knits. I love how her voice comes through in this pattern.  Some examples: “A swingy lace cardigan, made to fit a grown-ass woman”, “Finishing: block. Sew on buttons. Strut your stuff.”  I think if I were to ever venture to write a pattern I’d like it to be a sassy pattern.

So this is my first ‘big’ project, I’d say. An entire article of full-sized grown-up clothing (the shrug doesn’t count, since it was small small small). Part of me is annoyed by how long it’s taking (a single row takes about 10 minutes), but part of me is also really excited to see what the end product will look like.

Beginning of yoke

Nearly finished yoke (off needles for the purpose of trying it on to see if it the sizing was wildly wrong).

It’s so hard to tell what the finished size of something will be when you’re knitting on a circular needle… especially when you have a ton of stitches and it’s all bunched up and chaotic. You can’t just stretch out the garment-in-progress because it’ll pop off the two ends of the needle, so my solution was to take the time to get the needle out of the way entirely, and I carefully threaded some scrap yarn through all 260-odd stitches before yanking the needle out.  I’m glad I did, though, because I found out that the sizing was shaping up to be pretty okay!  The bunched up chaos on the needle was deceiving.  I thought for sure it’d be way too big, but it wasn’t at all.  So, hooray for that!

This one is gonna take me a bit longer to complete than my usual ‘woops-I-knitted-this-in-three-days’ projects, so stay tuned for updates!


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Four needles

… is just way too many needles.

But the idea is they will eventually be pants.  I hope I can get through both legs on the double-pointed needles before my hands fall off.  So awkward!

EDIT: Much less awkward once I made my way down the leg a bit — those first few rounds were tough since the leg wanted to pull open at the flimsy inner seam.  Now that the seam is a lot more substantial, it’s way easier to handle!  Phewf!


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In progress: Baby’s first circular project

Well, after some serious mishaps, I’ve finally made a solid start on the Jane hat. What were the mishaps?  First, my shortest cable for my circular needles was too long.  Second, I found out they don’t make a shorter one for the needles I had, so I would have to buy all new needles with a permanently-attached cable.  Third, I accidentally (in a hurry) purchased two huge balls of yarn that ended up being way way too chunky for the project/needles. While I suspected this was the case as soon as I started knitting, I really wanted to use the yarn (it was such a pretty blue/purple colour that my friend Nathan kept saying made my eyes pop)… which leads me to my fourth mishap: I knitted the entire brim of the hat with it before fully acknowledging how stiff/hot it would be to wear (and that I would loathe knitting the entire thing since it was hurting my fingers so much already) before deciding to rip it out and start with new yarn.  Fifth, I carefully cast on all 85 stitches in a much lighter-weight yarn (navy blue, decidedly less exciting), then proceeded to lose a couple stitches while joining the project in the round, and then it was so irretrievably screwed up that I had to start all over again.  Nightmare!

But this third time seems to have been the proverbial charm.  I got it going properly!  And I am so happy I changed my wool.  My knitting experience went from the slow-and-painful category to the quick-and-smooth category right away.  And isn’t that the point of knitting, mostly?  To enjoy it?

Maybe it’s just synthetic happiness, but I am liking the navy blue more and more…

I knit this much up last night. It was actually pretty quick to get this far.  It’s about three inches long so far?  Another 1.5″ and the brim will be done (it gets folded under).


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Knit knit knit

I can’t stop knitting!

I just started this project yesterday on my new 3.75mm needles. I managed to teach myself how to purl, and how to knit/purl two stitches together (k2tog, p2tog), which decreases your number of stitches (in this case, making the sides of the work slant inwards slowly).  I learned that alternating knitted rows with purled rows creates the stockinette stitch, which can be seen in this picture (sort of chevron-shaped stitches).

Want to know what I’m making?  You’ll have to wait and see…