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I’m working on a pair of socks for a friend as part of a trade.

I’m using the Menehune Sock Pattern and Panda Cotton, since my friend is allergic to wool. I’m really enjoying this pattern, although the yarn is just a bit splitty. Instead of working the standard heel flap, though, I’ve decided to attempt a Cat Bordhi top-down technique. We’ll see how it turns out. Also, I am using my new Hiya Hiya circular and I love it! The cable is flexible enough to easily Magic Loop two socks at once!

For myself, I’m working on a Liesl using Dream in Color Classy in the Good Luck Jade colorway. It’s hard to photograph, but here’s a bad attempt:

This pattern is addictive and the yarn is just wonderful, but I’m not sure how I’ll like the finished product. However, the project is temporarily on hold while I decide whether I prefer long sleeves or a longer body – I am trying to keep it to a two-skein sweater.

I also have another sock and a sweater on hold, the sock (in Three Irish Girls’ Irish Sea on Kells) because I am working it at a tight gauge that hurts my wrists, and the sweater (in Three Irish Girls’ Fitzgerald and Spruce on Elenya Alpaca) because I need to convince myself the corrugated ribbing at the waist is too tight and needs to be ripped out.

I had a skein of some rather shockingly bright yarn hanging around, it was the December selection from the Three Irish Girls YOTM club.  I have to admit I thought it would be a bit more muted when I chose it, but I actually rather liked it when it arrived. 

(This is not quite as bright as it is in real life!)

I knew it would take a special project to pull off this level of brightness so when I learned that a friend is expecting a baby this September I came up with just the thing.  I have been wanting to try out Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) pattern for quite some time now, but haven’t had any babies to knit for, nor have I had the right yarn.  However, it turns out that using this Lancelot sport/DK weight yarn with size 3 needles produces just the right gauge to knit the BSJ pattern in a 3-6 month size – perfect for a September baby.  I still have to sew the shoulder seams and add buttons, but for the most part it is finished.  It’s a fascinating pattern and I cannot wait to make more.

Increases.

Decreases (it’s a straight line, I promise!)

Nearly finished, blob-like sweater (see my lifeline? I stuck that in there in case I ran out of yarn, so I could take out the five ridges of lengthening stitches easily).

Unseamed and unblocked – but still adorable! This yarn really works in this pattern, I think; there was not a ton of pooling thank goodness.

Leftover yarn – not much! I was getting a bit panicked toward the end; I only did 5 ridges of “lengthening” stitches to conserve yarn, and I’m glad I did. I should have enough to seam the shoulders, sew down buttons and possibly crochet an edging around the sweater.

How can you not love this yarn?  It is so beautiful.  It is soft, and drapes fabulously.  It has just the right amount of shine and halo. 

I count between 5.5-5.75 sts/inch.  22.5 sts/4″ to be precise.  Also, 32 rows/4″.  Neither of these fit the specs of Cardigan for Arwen (the intended project), but I am not afraid of math.  I am, however, afraid of getting the cables to line up properly!  I’m going to ball up a hank of the Spruce and do some swatching in the cable pattern to see what I get. 

I may end up doing something else, but, I think I really want to do this one.  I have to sit down with the pattern and see what I can sort out.  A small part of me just wants to do a simple, in-the-round striped raglan sweater. But…. well, we’ll see!

My sweater yarn has arrived and I have taken photos of it and it is beautiful. Excuse the poor lighting, it is December in Washington.

A sweater’s worth of yarn plus the little thank you note that came with it :)  7 skeins of the Fitzgerald, 3 of the coordinating spruce. Spruce for the trim/border/edges/cables-if-I-do-Arwen.

Sharon of Three Irish Girls did a fabulous job – they look great together!

Close-up of Fitzgerald, because it deserves it! Elenya Alpaca is a light worsted alpaca/merino blend. It is so soft!

I am working out an idea for a sweater in my mind.  It’s going to be a cardigan, a zippered one I am pretty sure.  It’ll be a little bit fitted and it MIGHT even have bust darts (that is a very tentative might). So, I’m looking for advice.

I am going to use yarn from Three Irish Girls, Elenya Alpaca to be exact, which is a light worsted-ish yarn.  I’m almost certain I’ll use Fitzgerald, with a coordinating solid in the Spruce color.  I still *might* use Carrick, with an undetermined coordinating solid.

Here are my ideas (please note that the yarn will not be exactly this splotchy, but the spraypaint tool was the easiest way to approximate variegated yarn with Paint):

1) Variegated body with contrast color at the neckline and zipper bands, and corrugated ribbing with the contrast color and variegated color at the waist and wrists.

2) Wide Stripes of variegated and contrast color, with contrast solid zipper bands.

3) Thin stripes of the contrast solid and thicker stripes of the variegated, with contrast solid button bands, and possibly corrugated ribbing at the waist and wrists.

So – what do you prefer, and why?

You would not believe how many ends I had to weave in. The sweater is really not lopsided, it just needs a good blocking. It’s very soft. I wish I had used a size smaller needle I think – but I wanted to make sure I had a nice soft floppy fabric, and I certainly do.
I was a little unsure of how the striping would look carrying on to the arm this way. I kind of like it. I don’t like the underarm area very much. It’s slightly choppy. It was my first time seaming in garter stitch and it was a bit tricky.
On the inside on one side I carried the yarn up the edge instead of cutting it for each color change. I tacked it all down so it wouldn’t have loose pieces to catch baby’s fingers on.
Here’s one of the side seams. Not bad for my first garter stitch seaming. Not perfect but I think it will do.

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Here’s the original MDK Baby Kimono. I was nearly finished with the first front when I realised 1) I was worried about running out of yarn and 2) the neckline was all wrong. I decided to rip all the way back to where I bound off for the neck. I knit one more stripe’s worth on the back before binding off.
Then I re-worked the front, making it a cardigan rather than a kimono. I worked four button holes by binding off one stitch and casting it back on in the next row. If I could do it again I would bind off two stitches and cast two back on, I think, but I was worried that would make TOO big of a hole.
The sleeves are 5″ wide at the armhole edge; I felt like the MDK pattern made sleeves that were just too skinny. I also made the sleeves a bit longer which required more increases/decreases so I spaced them out accordingly.

This is where I ended on Thursday when I just couldn’t look at it anymore!

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Yarn: Manos Cotton Stria

Colors: Pistachio, Orchid and Sky

Pattern: Modified Mason-Dixon Knitting Baby Kimono

Needles: Knitpicks Options size 6, 40″

Photos of the finished object to follow… just one front left to go. And of course, a million ends to weave in!

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The body of my Vanilla Spice cardigan is now finished. I am happy with it. This is a medium, although I stretched it a tiny bit so it is longer and not quite as wide. I think it is 39″ total not 41″. It is hard to tell exactly without buttons. I am not sure what kind of buttons to get. Something to break it up a little bit but not too busy.

I think the length is good. I do wish I had done waist shaping and bust shaping. I may make this again but I would add these modifications. The fabric is really nice though. Soft and squishable.

It is very blendy – I really need to pick buttons that make the front panel “pop”. I’m also not 100% in love with the ribbed edging. I think I will like it after blocking but I have a devil of a time keeping my slipped stitch edge nice and tight so I will have to fiddle with it a little bit.

You can just barely make out the seams along the shoulder. The pattern mentions that they are set back just slightly from the top of the shoulder and you can tell that here. I’m not sure why the pattern is written that way – maybe just to keep you from having to work a little bit longer straps on the back? I contemplated grafting instead of the 3-needle bind off but in the end decided it probably needs the 3-needle bind off for structural integrity. We shall see.

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