Tag: sweater

A Weasley Sweater for DUUUKE

This is my buddy, Duke. Duke is a fox terrier with a goofy smile, skinny legs and a pointy bum! Duke loves cuddles and any kind of attention he can get. And although Duke came from Alberta where the snow piles high and the temperature drops low, Duke lives in the temperate weather of Vancouver, and he gets cold!

Back when I first started knitting, I made myself a Weasley sweater which turned out so well everyone else wanted one too. 3 sweaters later, we decided that our family dog Pepper should have one. I made my first dog sweater in the same style, and this became our family go-to for Christmas and family photos.

Years later, Pepper is no longer with us, but I now make friends with all the furbabies I encounter. I am grateful for all the people who are kind enough to share their furry friends with me. I received special commission to make a sweater for Duke, and I was happy to oblige!

When you don’t have a dog to model, but you do have a ceramic polar bear…

The quality of my work has much improved since my early knitting days. Better materials, better workmanship, better outcome. I got to work with hand-dyed merino wool (courtesy of Duke’s momma aka Fidley Dyeworks), and tried my hand at fairisle knitting. I even have fancy fabric tags with my logo on it now!

Duke is a lovely customer. He absolutely returns all the love and looks super handsome and cozy. He’s probably the fanciest doggo in the park.

 

Bonus: found this cute little video of Pepper wanting all the attention. This is what knitting with a dog was like <3

Pender Cardigan (#wip pt. 3/3)

Glad to be getting back into weekly blogs. In the time I’ve been away, I’ve completed quite the number of projects, which you would have seen if you’re following me on instagram. If not, no worries! I will be rolling out new posts for old projects over the weeks to come!

First up is the final post of my Pender Cardigan wip…It’s complete!! I had originally intended to have another check-in post before the final product, but I got swept up with the website move and completed the cardigan without stopping to take photos.

I did take the time to note down my thoughts as I worked through it though, so here they are. To see the final product, skip to the bottom of the page.

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As I get closer to the end of a large project, I start to get nervous as to whether or not it will turn out like I imagined, particularly with knits that need to be blocked. It’s the point where I’ve already committed so much to it, that any changes that need to be made may involve significant backtracking.

After attaching the sleeves to the body as instructed in the pattern, I found it difficult to work with the rest of the garment because it became quite bulky. I have suspicions my sleeves ended up too long for my body, so I removed them and started putting together the collar first. I also ran into some issues with picking up stitches on the collar, so I went ahead and modified to achieve what I wanted (yet again, I have failed to complete a pattern the way it was instructed…oops). After trying it on at this point, I’ve fallen in love with it all over again! The stitch definition is looking so good and it is holding its shape incredibly well.

Here’s how it looked without the sleeves and hem. It looked so amazing I was almost tempted to leave it as a vest instead!

I went on to add the bottom hem, which I also shortened both length and widthwise to give a shorter and tighter look. Halfway through the hemline, I tried it on and got chills!

Full disclosure, I actually finished all the components within 3 weeks of starting, but left it sitting for another month because of my pure hatred of seaming. I found myself more enticed by other knitting projects that I never sat down to tidy up. Blocking was a whole other ordeal. I finally committed to finishing when my custom made ceramic buttons were finished. They really tied the piece together (literally.) so it was a perfect finish.

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Alas, all the coziness in a coat. It definitely turned out to be more of an outerwear style jacket than a cardigan. I’d love to remake the pattern in a worsted weight to see what it would look like. I do also wish there was one more button up top to close the neckline a little more. This just means another Pender Cardigan is in my future for 2018!

Ceramic buttons by One Bear Ceramics.

Get the pattern for yourself on Ravelry and check out Lindsay’s Instagram page for other amazing knits.

Pender Cardigan (#wip pt. 2/3)

Pender Cardigan (#wip pt. 2/3)

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This cardigan is working up much faster than I anticipated!

All of this past week, what got me through the day was knowing I was coming home to this project. Even after a long day of work, I somehow still had the brain capacity to decipher chart instructions.

I just got through the largest and what appears to be the most difficult part of the pattern, the back. Now I can see the cardigan coming together! I have just casted on the first sleeve, feeling much more confident about what I am doing.

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The design on the back of this pattern is just dreamy. Without planning it, my last row happened to fall on the point of the diamond, which absolutely thrills my OCD mind. I was also a little bit concerned about the stiffness of the swatch because of my gauge, but now that the piece is so large, it’s actually turned out to hold its shape with just enough squishiness.

Next up, the sleeves and collar!

Pender Cardigan (#wip pt. 1/3)

Pender Cardigan (#wip pt. 1/3)

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I’ve been dreaming of this cardigan since the first photo I ever saw of it surfaced on Instagram. All the teasers and promotional pics really got me, and I anxiously awaited the pattern release at Knit City 2017.

The pattern was written over the summer by Lindsay of Standard Knits for the Hinterland Straits collection. Lindsay was one of the first local knitters I started following when I discovered the world of makers out there, so it seems fitting that her pattern be one of the first I ever buy and follow to a T. I’m notoriously bad at following other people’s patterns because I get so distracted by my own ideas and end up making alterations or creating my own design altogether. The amount of technical skill involved in this pattern forces me to stick to the instructions!

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So far I’ve already had to frog 2 pocket linings and half of a front panel because it took me THAT long to realize I was reading the charts wrong. I have avoided chart work through my entire knitting career, and every time I have attempted to learn, I gave up and managed to find some sort of written pattern instead. This time there is no escape. The second time through I already had an understanding of the concepts, so reading the charts became almost unnecessary, though now I can match the actual design to the chart to hopefully help me understand the rest of the cardigan. I should add that at this point I am only reading a 2 line chart… The learning curve is steep.

I have also had to frog another 8 rows or so because I missed a decrease in the pattern simply due to lack of attentiveness, and it took me awhile to realize why my stitch count wasn’t adding up.

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Now I’m back on track and will have an entire right front panel by the end of the day!

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Forest Dweller Chunky Crochet Cardi

Autumn is my favorite season–partially because Fall fashion is amazing! The color schemes, the styles, and the layering–I love it all.

Deep forest green has been my favorite color for a few years now, but is still severely lacking in my closet. I decided it was time to fix this by adding a new piece. I stumbled upon the perfect shade of yarn at Walmart while I was yarn shopping for a different project. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this large Bernat Premium skein in “Evergreen”, which is almost equivalent in yardage to the Red Heart Super Saver skeins. It was not only softer, but $1 cheaper! I found out later on that this particular yarn is sold exclusively at Walmart, and has now been discontinued (…so I went back to pick up a few more).

I’ve taken a greater interest in crochet over knitting recently, and since I have not been super happy with my knitted sweaters in the past, I thought I would give crochet a try. Finding a good looking free pattern was not easy, so after browsing a few different styles and concepts, I decided to go ahead and combine aspects to create my own. All the stitches and elements are basic, but I usually find that these simpler pieces turn out more functional anyway. My end result was a chunky yet cuddly cardigan I’m calling the “Forest Dweller Cardi”.

Pattern:

This sweater is made with 5 pieces seamed together and finished with a stockinette hem around the base, front pieces, sleeves, and collar. The design on the back is optional and could be anything. It is done with topstitching using a crochet hook or darning needle.

 Back:

Make one 49cm wide x 57 cm tall rectangle in hdc (or dimensions based on shoulder width and desired length).

Front:

Make two pieces in hdc that are the same height as back piece (57cm), 16cm wide at top (about 1/3 of total width) with increases until 20cm wide at bottom.

Seam front pieces to back piece at shoulders.

Sides:

Attach yarn at bottom corner of outer edge of front piece and work hdc until desired base of arm hole. Continue for about 3 more rows (5cm), decreasing one stitch per row at arm hole edge. Repeat for other front piece, and on either side of the back piece (4 total).

Sleeves:

Attach yarn at top corner of side piece and work hdc along edge to other side around the arm hole, forming the sleeve. Calculate the number of stitches needed to obtain desired cuff circumference at wrist bone (or length before cuff) and spread decreases evenly throughout the length of the sleeve. Repeat for other side.

Cuffs/Hems/Finishing:

With knitting needles one size smaller, pick up stitches along the edge of the sleeve and knit the stockinette hem to the desired length. Repeat for other sleeve. Seam the sides of the sweater together from sleeve cuff to base on each side.

Pick up stitches along the base of the sweater and knit the stockinette hem to desired length. Repeat for the inside edge of the front pieces and around collar.

*Note: Do these steps very loosely! I always find I stitch pieces together too tightly, which doesn’t allow the final product to stretch consistently when wearing.

Final notes:

I don’t have the specific details for this project as I made it up on the go, but it’s quite basic so you could easily create your own. The design on the back was something I chose to add at the very end once the cardigan was complete, giving it its name. I wanted to add a creative touch to it (I guess I was going for an…ugly yet so hipster it’s kind of cool look?). Pockets are also something I may want to add in the future, though I would recommend making pocket pieces and stitching them in at the side seams rather than making patch pockets, unless you like the look of visible pockets in the front.

Crochet is faster than knitting in my opinion, however the final result tends to be bulkier. This is the perfect chunky, warm, cuddle sweater, though it isn’t as refined as if I had done it with knitting. I do really enjoy the shape of it though, which I describe as a varsity/sports meets oversized denim jacket. I want to attempt a knitting replica, possibly in a smaller gauge to make something more cardigan-esque for springtime. In the mean time, this sweater is keeping me warm on these chilly autumn days

Weasley Sweaters

Harry Potter was one of the franchises I grew up with. Although I was never a huge fan of reading, I thoroughly enjoyed the films (probably because I was never spoiled by the books). At the time when ugly sweaters became popular, I really wanted to get on that fad, but all the sweaters I tried on seemed to be too ugly, too expensive for an ugly sweater, or just…not me? This was disappointing.

When I actually broke down what it is that made ugly sweaters so fashionable, I decided that they were really just oversized, knitted, and a little rough around the edges. In fact, they were very basic. I started looking up patterns online and flipping through old knitting pattern books where really, all the sweaters were “ugly”. I stumbled upon this Weasley sweater pattern which was a very simple 4-piece design with some stitching for the letter in the front.

I bought my yarn (Loops & Threads Impeccable) and got started. I actually ended up adapting my initial sweater multiple times as I improved my technique. By the end, I not only had 3 different adult women’s size sweaters, but even a small dog sweater to match (from a different pattern, obviously).

The pattern gave the option of using the intarsia method to put in the design, or simply to stitch it over the sweater with a darning needle at the end. I wasn’t motivated to learn the intarsia method, so I chose the second option. It still turned out great, and I liked that I could make adjustments if I decided I didn’t like the position of the lettering or a particular stitch. It wasn’t too much extra bulk, although in certain places if you didn’t stitch it right, some of the background color may peek through, which was annoying. I found that it helped reduce this problem if you did the stitches in rows back and forth from top to bottom. It was also important that you at least somewhat plan out your design before starting, including where you would start, end, and connect the stitches in tricky areas (ie. the curve of the J). The pattern provided a guide for doing the standard H design, but for all other letters you were on your own. All the more reason why I wasn’t ready to do the intarsia method.

Overall it’s a pretty good project for beginners who have mastered the knit and purl stitches and are looking to try following a pattern, assuming you have the patience to follow through on the whole project as it is quite large. Although I did incorporate my own little techniques like grafting and adjustments to the collar, this isn’t necessary and following the pattern as is suffices just fine.

I love wearing this sweater now, and I always get compliments on it. It’s quirky but still cute and VERY warm. The only downside is I have to wait ’til the really cold winter months to wear it.