Jen's 1st Quarter Knit Report
I decided I needed to knit this sweater after seeing Erica's beautiful version back in February of last year. I had to finish a few things up before starting, but cast on at the end of August. I definitely stalled out on this sweater part way through, somehow knitting double moss stitch in grey yarn was not the most compelling thing for me...especially when faced with pretty pretty Madelientosh sock yarns. Luckily once I start something I'm pretty good at forcing myself to finish, so on the last day of March, juuuuust before this first quarter ended, I cast off the neckline and wove in the last ends.
I made quite a few mods to this sweater. I don't like knitting in the round on a large project like this for a few reasons. First I don't enjoy the weight and it takes sooo much longer to complete a row. Also as a sewer and patternmaker, I really enjoy the stability that seams provide, so I knew that I'd be knitting this thing flat. The pattern already had a faux side seam rib so it was relatively easy to split it down the center of that section. Since I was knitting it flat I was also able to copy Erica's genius side seam split, which I think is a really nice touch on this design. I also lengthened the back hem ribbing on mine which I think looks better on me when there's a split hem since I'm always hunched forward from work.
The other mod I made besides knitting the entire sweater flat and seaming, and the side split hem was to omit the double fold neckline binding. I have small shoulders and features so when I tried it on it totally overwhelmed my entire body from the shoulders up. Really it looked clownish on me. I ripped the neckband back to the fold and did a loose cast of. So glad I did because it now looks like a pretty normal sweater on me.
Even though I really had to push myself through the actual knitting process on this one, I'm so in love with the result. I love how the color and texture of the yarn works with the double moss stitch. I feel like that texture is really showcased in this awkward accidental photo of me adjusting the aperture on my camera during my self timer photo sesh. Occasionally a dark yarn can cover texture but I really think this one sets it off very nicely. The moral of this sweater: sometimes you knit things because of how amazing the yarn is or how fun the pattern is, and sometimes you knit things for the finished product. It's amazing when all these combine into the perfect knitting experience but in the cases where they don't, it's still pretty nice when you get a sweater you know you're going to wear to death in the end.
I knit this hat to wear at my recent wedding since February is pretty cold here in Chicago and my existing hat was in really sad shape. I saw on Ravelry that many people found the hat much too large as written, something I found to be a problem with my Bray hat I knit a few years back. To remedy this I used a beautiful silvery grey yarn I bought last fall when teaching at Nutmeg in Nashville. This yarn has a slightly smaller gauge than the recommended Shelter, as well as much better recovery. I also went down a needle size to reflect the smaller gauge on the Heath yarn resulting in a hat with a great fit. I've worn this pretty much nonstop since the wedding - especially since it's perma-winter here in Chicago. I also need to give a shoutout to Sarah (who you've seen posting around these parts lately) for making that sweet pom. She's a serious pom wizard!
I've been really into knitting socks the past few years. Right now I'm 11 pairs deep, not counting the many pairs I've knit for my sister. I really enjoy knitting (and sewing) functional things that will get a lot of use and what better than socks? Socks are also great travel projects, of course, but are equally great for family gatherings at in-laws houses where you might only half remember all the members of your brother-in-law's family and need a conversation starter/something to do with your hands until the rest of the Krohns arrive. Haha! These are the same BFF socks I always knit. I love that the pattern is simple and unfussy, wears well inside of a shoe or boot, while also reall showing off a hand dyed yarn nicely, so I figure if it isn't broke...you know. Like my last few pairs, the yarn is Madelinetosh Twist Light. There are so many colorways I want to use that I'll probably just keep trucking along with these personal staples as long as I'm into them.
I have a really hard time finding gloves and mittens that fit my small hands so a few years ago I knit up a pair that was a perfect fit. Unfortunately I never wrote down the pattern (what was I thinking?!) and then ruined them last winter digging out our car. This fall I decided the only smart thing to do was to make up a pattern that was a perfect fit, and then write it down! It took me 4 gloves and 3 mitten caps to get to this finished pair but it was totally worth it.The design is nothing ground breaking, but I now have a perfect pattern ready for use with any sock yarn should these happen to meet the icy handle of a snow shovel. You may recognize the yarn from the feeds of almost every sewing knitter on Instagram, it's Optic by Madelinetosh. I really think this has to be the most Instagrammed colorway of the past year, collectively we were/are really into it - with good reason! I personally have socks and mittens made out of it, and I wouldn't be sad if something else just happened to end up in Optic!
As far as my next quarter knit plans, I've got this pair of socks on the needles and a pretty good start on this sweater. I'm not sure what's in the cards for me other than that, but we'll see what happens between now and then.
Do you guys have any great spring knits planned? Fill us in!
Lastly just a quick bit of housekeeping...I recently moved most of my knitting posting from the Grainline Instagram account over to my personal account. If you're in it for the knits and have been wondering where those went, you can find them here @jen_beeman.