WIP: First ever sweater

IT’S HAPPENING!

Next to socks, the project that I’ve been looking forward to the most since I started knitting has definitely been a sweater. I absolutely love bundling up in a nice, squishy sweater. And what could be better than wearing one that’s handknit!?

I wanted to start with a complicated pattern like the Jamestown pullover I mentioned in this post waaaaay back in 2016, but once the time came, I decided it’d be better if I used a simpler pattern until I figured out the basics. Enter Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui!

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I’ve finished the body of the sweater, and I’m more than halfway through the first sleeve now! In this pattern, the body is worked in two panels, front and back, and each sleeve is knit separate from the body and attached later. I know there are ways to make sweaters with no seams, but I thought that making each part of the sweater first and sewing them together would be a good way to help me understand the structure of a sweater before I try more complicated patterns.

One of my favorite things about this project is the yarn I chose. I loved working with Caron Cakes yarn in my Stitch Sampler Shawl, so I grabbed two skeins of Caron’s Big Cakes for my sweater project. The colorway is Pistachio Macaron, and it’s working up so nice!

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I knew that this was the perfect colorway for my project as soon as I saw it. It has all of my favorite colors, and I really love the way that it’s speckled throughout, especially in the grey sections! It’s also super soft, and since this pattern is knit on large needles, it has wonderful drape~

This yarn is also self-striping so when I worked the front panel of the body, I just let the yarn do its thing, but when I worked the back panel, I matched the stripes myself. It required a little bit of extra work, but I’m very happy with how it’s working out. I’m doing the same thing with the sleeves so hopefully it looks nice. -fingers crossed-

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Besides this, I have two other projects on my needles at the moment. This one has had my complete attention though. I can’t wait to finish it up, sew it together, and show it off! It’s too hot to wear it much now, but once fall comes around, I’m never going to take it off.

 

tl;dr

Yarn: Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron
Pattern: Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui

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FO: Wark!

Several years ago, I made some cactuar plushes as Christmas gifts for my brother-in-laws. They were a huge success so I wanted to add on to their growing plush collection this year with another set of iconic Final Fantasy creatures: chocobo!

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Aren’t they so adorable!? They were a little harder to make than I thought they would be, but I’m very satisfied with the finished product. I’m already planning on making a couple for me and T after my fingers recover. (The head feathers were so tiny, I could barely hold them when I was crocheting them. It was actually kind of painful!)

One of the reasons I’m so glad (and relieved) that they came out so well is because I had an accident while making them. I had thought that the pattern called for worsted weight yarn, but it was fingering weight! (Oops!) Since I only had worsted weight to work with, I just went ahead with the pattern. It was too late at that point to buy different yarn or find another project. (I seriously finished these little guys the day before I gifted them. It was a close call!)IMG_3262-1

When I did gift them, they were a huge hit! The recipients seemed super pleased and even took all the family Christmas photos with their chocobo. I was really excited to see how much they liked them.

If you’re interested in crocheting one these cuties, the pattern is Small Chocobo by Joey Kuan on Ravelry. I just used a bunch of yarn that I had sitting in my stash; a combination of Caron Simply Soft in Pumpkin, Sunshine, and White and Red Heart Super Saver in Cafe Latte. Even though the pattern calls for safety eyes, I couldn’t find any in time to attach them so I used bits of black yarn instead.

 

FO: Cutest jellyfish in the world

My project page on Ravelry just hit 50 unique projects! It’s so cool to be able to look back at everything I’ve made, from practical wool scarves and hats to cute plushes and cozies. Many of these items were made as gifts, but as I browsed through some of my past projects I realized that I hadn’t made anything for my sister yet!

January is her birthday month so I finally took the opportunity to make her a little something. She loves jellyfish and the color purple so I knew this would be the perfect gift.

Behold! The cutest jellyfish in the world!

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It only took me two evenings of crocheting to complete this project. I binge watched the first season of Sherlock as I worked, and the time flew right by. I really enjoyed working up this little guy. He is so adorable, I think I need one for myself. Just look at that little face!

If you are interested in crocheting one of these cuties for yourself, the pattern is Friendly Jellyfish by ChiWei Ranck. I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton in Amethyst and Rosey II. One skein of each was enough to finish with some left over. Thinking about making some washcloths with the remains. I could always use more washcloths…

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For the features, I used a pair of 9mm safety eyes, as the pattern called for them, and a bit of left over black fingering weight yarn for the mouth.

It took quite a bit of hunting before I found the 9mm eyes, so I’ll save you some time; Michael’s doesn’t carry them at all, but you can find them at Joann or Hobby Lobby in the aisle with the dolls and doll clothing. Or you can order them online, if neither of these stores are available to you.

FO: Ravenclaw Pride

Whew, 2017 was a doozy, wasn’t it? Maybe it’s just me, but I was pretty excited at the prospect of starting anew in 2018. And of course I made a couple resolutions for this year; I’ve decided to keep a bullet journal to help keep me focused on tasks that need to be done, including posting regularly in this blog again.

So, for my first post of the New Year, I want to share an FO from the end of 2017 that I think is my favorite project ever!

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This was my first ever stranded knitting project, Hogwarts During the Holidays by Emily Gaynier. It’s a free pattern that includes color charts for every Hogwarts house. Of course I had to have one to show my Ravenclaw pride, but I enjoyed knitting this so much that I almost want to make the other houses just for fun.

For this project, I used Patons Classic Wool Worsted; one 100g skein of each color was enough to finish the hat, add a cute pom-pom on top, and still have a little left over. I also altered the pattern a little. It called for one of those tucked brims, but I added visible ribbing instead. I liked the way it looked and it made the hat a little slouchier, which I thought was cute.

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I was so excited to try stranded knitting for the first time in a project. I’ve done little swatches to practice the technique before so I had a little confidence in my ability by the time I started this project. It still came out better than I thought it would! Even the inside of the hat came out nice and neat!

If you are interested in stranded knitting, but aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend the following videos:

VeryPink Knits Learn to Knit Fair Isle (3 part series)
Positioning the Yarns and Catching Long Floats by Knit Purl Hunter

I watched them when I was first dabbling in colorwork and again when I started to do this project. They really helped me wrap my head around what I was supposed to be doing.

I already have another couple projects lined up so I’ll be back soon with those!

Thanks for reading and happy new year! ❤

FO: Stitch Sampler Shawl

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Seriously, I’ve had this thing washed and blocked for ages, but I just haven’t had the time to take/post pictures of it yet! With the summer temperatures still stubbornly hanging in there, I didn’t dare wrap up in its squishy warmth. Instead, I draped it over some furniture, hoping to still catch the beautiful stitch variations.

I think this is probably one of my favorite projects to date. I enjoyed the heck out of this yarn, and the different stitches really kept it interesting. My finished piece measured a whopping 66″ x 16″. It was supposed to be close to 60″ x 13″, but I think the extra length and width just makes it that much more cozy.

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Hopefully the weather will start to cool down soon. I just can’t wait to wrap up in this smooshy baby and read a book or drink some tea.

Heck, why not both?

Yarn: Caron Cakes in Chocolate Mint
Pattern: Stitch Sampler Shawl