80. I knit a lot of sweaters.

If you didn’t already know it, I am addicted to knitting sweaters.

I recently finished knitting the “Portage” cardigan by Melissa Schaschwary.  No photos yet, because I have to fix the pockets.  I seamed them before blocking and now they look weird.  C’est la vie.  I can’t wait to show you the final product, though, because other than the pockets, it’s a glorious sweater!

I’m currently working on two additional sweaters: “White Pine” by Amy Christoffers and “Cozy Neighborhood” by Joji Locatelli.  Both are gorgeous sweaters that I can’t wait to finish (and wear), especially Cozy because I used such pretty yarn.  Here’s a sneak peak (I’m further along now):

The Craft Queen

I’m using Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in the color “Glitter”.  The name is a bit confusing, because I’m not really sure how that corresponds to a colorway consisting of shades of brown.  Either way it’s super pretty!

If you don’t think I’m crazy already, I’m itching to start another sweater: Demi by Kim Hargreaves.  I’ve had the book in which it’s printed (Rowan Vintage Knits) for at least a few years, and I finally went ahead and bought the perfect yarn for this project: Plymouth Encore Tweed in the color “Grape Jam”.

The Craft Queen

Photo credit: yarn.com

Purple-y goodness, yes?  I’m especially excited for this sweater, the number one reason being this yarn is machine wash AND dry.  Scoreeeeeee.

So, what’s on your needles at the moment?

XO,
Gabriella

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78. Knitting: New Girl Skirt

My latest finished knitting project is New Girl, a skirt pattern by Allyson Dykhuizen.  The pattern is very well written, although I did make a mod.  I didn’t want to have to sew the waistband shut and thread the elastic through at the end, so I just picked up the cast-on row when the waistband was finished (closing in the elastic as I went).  I’ll admit this made knitting the increases for the body of the skirt a bit awkward, but I would still do it the same way if I were to knit this again.

I will say that all of that straight knitting was a bit boring, but I do like the finished product.  The daisy stitch at the bottom of the skirt also made my hands hurt, which doesn’t happen to me too often.  I had to take frequent breaks.

fullskirt

I finished this skirt a little while ago, but I didn’t get around to blocking in until last week.  I finally wore it today!  I really love how it turned out, don’t you?

FullSizeRender

FYI: The yarn I used is Quince & Co. Chickadee in the colors “Honey” and “Peacock”.  I knit the smallest size and used about 3.75 skeins of Honey and 1.5 skeins of Peacock.

I’ve got a few more finished knits that I’ll be sharing with you within the next few days, so stay tuned!

XO,
Gabriella

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57. Knitting: Double Knit Gingham Neck Warmer (free pattern!)

Remember that nifty new knitting project I showed you a few weeks ago?  Well, it’s all finished and I wrote up the pattern.  I considered putting it up for sale, but I ultimately decided it should be free!  This is the first pattern I’ve written in a while, so I thought it would be nice to give it to the knitting masses for nothing in return except awesome finished products.

So, without further ado, here it is!

Double Knit Gingham Neck Warmer

***Please note:  This pattern is worked in double knitting.  Although it is a good beginner project for this technique, I suggest you do a little practicing before diving into this pattern.  There is an excellent tutorial here. (Skip to about 2:55 to see the actual double knitting technique.)***

Materials
Knitpicks Swish DK in coal (2 skeins) and white (1 skein*)
16″ size US7 circular needle
stitch marker
tapestry needle

*If you do not reuse the white from the gauge swatch, you will need 2 skeins.  I had very little white yarn leftover at the end.

Gauge
18 sts x 25 rows = 4″ in double knit St st (UNBLOCKED)

Finished measurements = 8″ tall x 22″ circumference (UNBLOCKED)

Abbreviations
St st = stocking stitch
CO = cast on
pm = place marker
kfb = knit in front and back; knit into the front and back of the same stitch
ssk = slip slip knit; slip 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit together through the back of the loops

Instructions
CO 96 sts using the i-cord cast on method and coal yarn (or the darkest color yarn you will be working with); pm and join to begin working in the round.

Round 1 (double knit setup row):  Kfb to end. 192 sts.

Round 2:  Working in double knit, begin row 1 of the chart below.  Repeat this 16 stitch pattern to the end of row.

gingham knitting chart

Rounds 3-18: Work in St st according to chart.

Round 19-36: Work a full repeat the chart pattern.

Round 37-45: Complete chart row 1 through row 9 ONLY.

Round 46: Using coal yarn only, work one row in double knit.  Leave white yarn at inside of work.

Round 47: Continuing with coal yarn, ssk to end. 96 sts.

Bind off stitches using the i-cord bind off method.  Weave in ends.

gingham neck warmer pattern

And there you have it: a super chic (and completely reversible!) neck warmer that will keep you toasty and fashionable at the same time! Please let me know what you think, and feel free to ask me questions below! Happy knitting. 🙂

gingham neck warmer pattern
XO,
Gabriella

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45. Knitting: Update on sweater progress!

On Monday, I told you about my plans to create my very first sweater from scratch.  I’ve knit several sweaters from other designers’ patterns, but this is the first one that I’ve designed on my own.  I’m really happy with the results so far.

sweater progress

Ha, please excuse my crappy expression.  I’m really happy with how it’s turning out!  I should note that although the yarn hue looks a bit orange in the above photo (at least on my screen), it’s more of a honey gold.  The colorway is actually “Turmeric” from KnitPicks.

knit picks turmeric

Source: Knit Picks

You’ll have to use your imagination a bit to “see” the final product, but I also made a handy little drawing to provide you with a little more insight.

sweater design

The construction is fairly straightforward: top-down with raglan shaping.  I tend to gravitate towards this type of construction because it allows you to try on the garment as you go to get the best fit possible.  I am also in love with twisted rib, so that will be the only type of ribbing in the sweater.  Everything gets knit in one piece except for the button bands.  I hate finishing steps, so I tried to have as few as possible.

So, what do you think?

XO,
Gabriella

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44. Cold weather makes me knit. A lot.

As I write this, the current temperature in Milwaukee is -7°F (-22°C), with a windchill of -31°F (-35°C).  The word “cold” doesn’t really cut it!  Luckily, I live in a house and our energy tab is paid up, so I haven’t really had to experience it much yet…just the short trip from the house to a warm car, and from said warm car to my place of work.  I can’t even imagine what it must be like for those who are much less fortunate that I. 😦

Winter always gets me back in the knitting mood, mostly because I get the gratification of wearing the finished results just about as soon as they are completed.  I don’t just knit garter stitch scarves either; I’m the real deal!  I do knit scarves and cowls, but I have also made mittens, gloves, hats, stuffed toys, and my personal favorite, sweaters.  I’m actually wearing one of my handmade sweaters today.  It’s knit up in a super soft and warm baby alpaca.


If you are curious, the pattern I used for this sweater is Hannah Fettig’s Lightweight Pullover.  This was the first successful sweater I ever made!  It’s been finished for a few years now, but the style is timeless and the yarn I chose is wearing really well (i.e. not really at all).

Knitting up this sweater is what convinced I could start making patterns of my own.  So far, I have concocted three patterns: one infinity scarf, one cowl, and one hat.  You can find them all for sale on Ravelry, but if you really want to check them out, please feel free to use the direct links for each below.

Fantasia Infinity Scarf

infinity scarf
Isabella Neck Warmer

cowl, neckwarmer
Giana Slouchy Beret

hat, slouchy beret

I am also excited to announce that I’ve started working on my very first original sweater pattern!  I’ve knit enough of them now that I have the general construction methods down pat, so I figure it’s time to strike out on my own.  It’s a pullover with a short collar and button placket.  There will also be a small amount of twisted rib, which I love.  I’m working on the prototype now; as long as the initial measurements work out for my size (the smallest), I should be able to make the proper calculations for the remaining sizes.  I can’t wait to show it to you!

I hope you are warm and cozy!

XO,
Gabriella

P.S.  If you’d like to be my friend on Ravelry, my user ID is lapiumabella! 🙂

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