Friday, February 25, 2011

Eternalism "Earth" Vest

I am on a vest kick it seems and on mid-winter break so I am like a knitting machine! Another vest caught my eye recently out of Winter/Spring Knitscene 2011. The Eternalism Vest by Talitha Kuomi: The construction of the vest was intriguing. Done up in the most beautifully hued wooly yarn. I happened upon a completed sample vest at Serial Knitters in Kirkland and was able to try on the store sample and chat with the lady who knit it in this exact yarn. This was helpful to correctly assess my yardage.

Here is the scrumptious, yet expensive yarn, Schoppel Wolle PUR. Made in Germany and every gram is yummy. I loved this yarn at first sight in the magazine and was delighted to see it in person. It appears felted and is so soft that I want to walk barefoot in it. I love it so much! My husband took one look at it and said it looked cool. Indeed, it is very amazing yarn. It plumps up when you knit with it and then further after blocking. As I said, rather pricey. So I ended up returning to get just one more skein as my size is the 37 and would require about 2.5 skeins of goodness. I knit mine on size 10 needles. The pattern calls for 4 skeins in my size, however, as I mentioned mine is only taking 2.5. Each skein is 150 m. or about 165 yards. These are the same colorway, called "Earth", just different colors showing in my balls below:

The hemline is genius. After casting on and knitting a few rows, you make a purl ridge and then continue stockinette a few rows, then you turn the hem on the purl ridge and...

You pick up stitches on the cast on edge using a spare needle to coincide with the same number of cast on stitches. This is so you can then knit the folded hem, wrong sides together, right to your piece. Makes sense once you do it.

This produces the most substantial and cushy hemline. It gives it some weight and is neat, tidy and finished looking.

Here's the reverse side of my hemline.

Once you reach the top of the back piece, the stitches at back neck are placed on a holder.

Then you cast on for your right front of the vest, knitting upward to the armhole and then across the back of the neck...

You use a slip 2 purlwise, k1 at this portion and that is making these little ridges you see. Markers are placed at this back neck portion where you will later seam this to the back.

You continue merrily knitting along, now knitting down the left front of the vest and do a little reverse shaping as you reach the armhole and a bit of casting on and increases to do so.

As it appears this snowy and cold Seattle morning...Almost nearing the finishing stages.

I love this knitting weather and the results of this beautiful pattern and yarn! I love knitting with it SO much I don't want to be done with the last few rows. That's how much I LOVE this yarn. I love it so much I think I want to marry it! I don't want this project to end. I ended up with a half skein leftover, as you recall I omitted the patch pockets on the pattern. I may do a cute pair of fingerless gloves to match. Or just snuggle up with the yarn and sleep next to it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ubernatural Cardigan

Stefanie Japel's Ubernatural Cardigan: size 15 needles, size 13 for ribbing. 1 and 1/2 skeins Alpine chunky wool.
With a few more buttons "on order", I can still try it on with 6 sewn on!
My daughters says she likes it this way with just the top ones on and besides, I don't know if I will be able to button the lower ones anyway. Brrrrrrrrrrrr! It's cold out today for a photo shoot! Great knitting weather!

It is sweater weather and I'm loving being a knitter this time of year! This one, once I finally got going, went so fast due to the bulky yarn and needles. The concept behind this sweater is that it is topdown, raglan, knit with chunky yarn, with deep ribbing, and the contrast of the many buttons plays against the minimal neckline detail.
Using 1 1/2 skeins of chunky 14 ply Alpine wool, my Ubernatural Cardigan is based on the Stefanie Japel pattern. My color choice is about as icy tealy blue as a cold snap in Seattle. Which we are having right about now. Mine was made on size 15 needles for body, and 13 for ribbing. It has a million buttonholes. I changed mine to a K2, YO, K2tog. I also lengthened my sleeves a bit. I finished the bottom body ribbing after the 10th button. I just could not bring myself to knit yet another buttonhole so I knit a few more rows and bound off!

I made a few more increases rows than called for at the shoulders until I reached the underarms. That is the beauty of a topdown sweater that you can try on as you go.

Since my needles were chunky I had to resort to wine markers for stitch markers.

This yarn had alot of knots and puffy places in it, but knit up fast. There were a few errors in the pattern so I relied on Ravelry members to set me straight on the
corrections. Mainly that you knit 1 in between the two YO's that make the increases on the shoulders. That was a biggie... I only did one decrease row at the waistline,though did not like the slip1, knit1, pass slipped stitch over and how it looked in this chunky of a yarn. It shows up too much on the finished product. I would just do a ssk instead on one side and a k2tog on the other. And now to hunt for 10 buttons????

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Completed Mythos! The sweater is knit in two halves and grafted at the back seam. Showing grafted back here-not sure if I did it correctly, but I followed a tutorial online.I grafted the seam as follows:
Step 1: Insert needle into first stitch on front needle from back to front, as if to purl.
Step 2: Insert needle into first stitch on back needle from front to back, as if to knit. Drop first stitch from back needle.
Step 3: Insert needle into first stitch on back needle from back to front, as if to purl.
Step 4: Insert needle into first stitch on front needle from front to back, as if to knit. Drop first stitch from front needle.
Repeat steps 1-4 until all sts. have been grafted.

This came out a bit more stripey than I imagined, but the colors are pleasing. It can be pinned with a shawl pin as shown or hang loose and open.

Mythos here, blocking on a towel after turning garter edge under and tacking on wrong side. I finished off the front "flaps" with 3 rows stockinette:RS row, decrease one each end, purl row, repeat RS row decreases, then bound off on WS row. I turned the flap edge under also when I tacked down the garter edge along the rest of the sweater. The turning under of the "hem" gives a little stability to the edges of this cardigan.
The "making of Mythos":
My sockweight Mythos cardigan is coming along now. Mythos is worked flat on circular needles from the sleeve cuff over to the front/back, in a total of two identical sides or pieces. It is grafted together at the center back when completed. Shown here with left front and 1/2 back completed and on holders, and the beginnings of the right sleeve.
I'm using these lovely yarns on a size 7 circular. Used less than three skeins total.

Inspired by Busy Bea Knits (see my sidebar to go to her blog), and her very lovely rendition of the Mythos Cardigan, I decided I must try making one of my own. I love the look of sock yarn, but don't (as of yet) knit socks. I had wanted to try making a sweater out of beautiful sockweight yarn. Mythos is the perfect pattern to do just that.This time I had the yarn shop wind my yarn so that I would not end up with a tangled mess like last time when I bought this nice "lightweight" yarn! I am no fool! I still haven't untangled this mess yet, and it looks far worse now than this picture indicates. This was going to be a Whisper Cardigan....but it will wait:Instead I started Mythos. You begin with the right sleeve. I am alternating the two yarn colorways whenever I feel like changing colors. After the right sleeve you continue on same needles, and cast on for the right front and back sections and then do some short row shaping on the front and then decreases at the neckline. The back you knit 1/2 way across and end up putting on a holder for later, when you graft it together with the other side once completed.This shows the right sleeve, the right front and the very front of the flap that you put on a holder as well. The 1/2 back is laying behind and is also on a holder.
You then begin all over again, repeating this process creating the left sleeve, left front and back.
After these two sides are created, then the grafting of the back pieces, the sleeve and side seams will commence. While the stockinette can be rather tedious in this tiny yarn, and at times can feel boring, the variation in colors as I go and the changing back and forth of colorways is keeping me interested enough to plug along for the final outcome. And I can only hope it turns out as beautiful as my friend, Bea's beautiful Mythos...Go check hers out!

What I learned on this project: It allowed me to get better at doing "short rows and wraps". While it was somewhat alot of stockinette stitch, knitting a sweater with sockweight yarn requires patience, and patience pays off. This was a great project for doing during the Super Bowl and to take to knit night, and can be done while holding a decent coversation. And I learned how to "graft" the back seam. Though when I looked up a tutorial and actually did it, it seemed to be not as invisible as it should've been. But it worked, nonetheless.
I think my dyelots were a bit off on one of my skeins, therefore producing a bit of a defined "stripe" rather than a blended alternating of colors on one half of the cardigan. So it is a little whimsical in that regard.
All in all, a fun experience using sock yarn for a sweater!