My First Perfect Sweater

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I’m excited to introduce my first sweater of 2013, and the first sweater I’ve made for myself in years.  I’ve learned so much about sweater knitting since my first sweaters, and now it really shows in my work.  The sweater fits perfectly in all of the right places and I can’t wait to begin breaking it in.

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The pattern was a test knit for Tin Can Knits for their new spring collection Handmade in the UK.  The pattern name is Windswept and it has a bit of a unique construction.  The sweater starts with the collar at the center back and works out from there.  Stitches are then picked up from the collar and the sweater is worked down from there.  I used Knit Picks Swish DK, a super soft superwash wool,  in Clematis Heather.

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I had to make quite a few modifications to get the sweater to fit my body.  I have a generous bosom and backside and a much smaller waist right underneath my bust that I have to accommodate in my sweater knitting, and the mods I made in this sweater hit them right on.  I added vertical darts in the bust, then added additional darts in the back of the sweater to get it down to my waist and over my tum and bum to the hemline.  A full list of my modifications can be found on my Ravelry page.  My hubby was nice enough to photograph me in the sweater a few days ago when it was cool enough to wear it outside.

Of course, I had to immediately cast on for another project right after finishing this sweater.  Unfortunately, its not for me,  its a sample for another designer, but I’m really excited to finally start to crack into some of the sweater quantities of yarn I have in my stash.  Which sweater should I knit next?

Goodies in the Mail!

So I realize I haven’t posted in awhile. I haven’t been trying to neglect my blog, but things have been very busy the past few months. Now, things are beginning to settle back down here in our household, and I can really begin to commit some time to this blog.

Yesterday I was delighted have a box show up at my door.  I always love when goodies finally show up at my door.  I immediately ripped open the packaging to find two new knitting books inside.

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Knit to Flatter is Amy Herzog’s new book, based on her original Fit to Flatter series.  I pre-ordered a little over a month ago, and I was anxiously awaiting its release and arrival.  A few weeks ago I finished her Craftsy class, which was amazing, so I couldn’t wait to begin reading the book that goes along with the class.  I don’t often find a book where I want to make every pattern inside of it, but I honestly want to knit every pattern in this book.  Lily Chin’s book is one I’ve wanted to add to my collection for quite some time, but am just now getting around to it.  I’ve only read a few pages out of it, but my mind is already starting to be blown.  I’m honestly glad to be able to add these two books to my knitting reference library.

Swatch Swatch Swatch

Stitches West is coming up next month, and after digging though my closet, I realized that I have absolutely no knitted/crocheted sweaters to wear to the event.  How in the heck did that happen?  So I frantically began digging through my pattern collection for a sweater that I could hopefully whip up in time for the event.  I landed on the Hourglass Jacket, which is a pattern I’ve made before, but not with much success.  It looked awful, and didn’t fit right at all.  Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot since those days, especially regarding gauge.  I used to be horrible about swatching and man did I pay for it.  I constantly had sweaters that were too big or too small because I didn’t know how to read a schematic correctly and I refused to gauge swatch.

Eventually I got absolutely tired of putting so much effort into my projects and them not coming out right, and I started to learn more about altering patterns and doing proper gauge swatches.  Craftsy has a few of my personal favorites (I’m a Craftsy class fanatic).   I took most of the information that I came across or learned from others and found what works for me.  So now I’m ready to really try this pattern again, and with some altering make it look just the way I want.

With pattern in hand, I went to dig through my stash to see what yarn I could use for this pattern.  I found 16 balls of KnitPicks Shine Sport, in a pretty deep red color that fit the bill for this jacket.  I immediately cracked out my brand new crochet hooks (Hamanaka Crochet Hooks from Japan, which I’ll review in a later post), and worked up a swatch.

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Once the swatch was complete I washed it in some Eucalan and hung it to dry.  I’ve found that when I’m making a garment, its important to hang the swatch to see how gravity will take hold on the yarn and stitch pattern.  I have to say I’m really happy with the way the stitch pattern looks with this yarn.  I had to go up a hook size from the pattern to get the gauge, but I’m happy with the completed swatch.  Now to get cracking on the actual jacket.  I’ll be sneaking a few minutes here and there on it in between caring for my son, and keeping my fingers crossed I can finish it in time to show it off at Stitches next month.  I’m looking forward to sharing its progress with everyone!

Meet Me

I’ve finally gone down the rabbit hole and started a blog.  I hesitated for years on starting one.  I thought, what could I possibly write about on a regular basis?  But here I am, writing my first post.

I figured a good starting place for a first post would be to tell ya’ll a little about myself and why I’m blogging.  First and foremost, I’m a mother and a wife.  I have an amazing husband and beautiful son who came into this world in August, and I truly wouldn’t be complete without either one of them.  They’re my boys and I love them both dearly.

But having my son definitely took its toll on my body.  I gained roughly 30 lbs while pregnant with my little man, and after I had him, the weight has sort of stuck around.  Now I’ve been a big girl most of my life and I’ve lost weight and put some back on, but the time has come for the weight to come off and STAY off.  I’ve enlisted the help of Weight Watchers to help me lose 100 lbs, and I’m hoping to occasionally use this blog as a place to share my progress (and occasionally my frustration).  I promise not to rant and rave about my bouts with the scale, but I will share a recipe every so often.

However, the main purpose of this blog, the meat of the content, will be about my love of the fiber arts.  I’m a knitter, crocheter and very occasional spinner and I’ve been hooked (literally) since childhood.  Well, technically that’s not right; I didn’t start knitting until I was in college, but I started crocheting as a child.  My yarn stash is growing out of everywhere, and its still never enough.  I really do have to start knitting down my stash…but lets not talk about that.  Anywhoo, I love picking up needles or a hook and crafting yarn into something pretty, usually for myself, and I’m excited to share my love with others.

So there you have it, I’m launching myself into this world of blogging.  Hopefully I can keep it up, and don’t beat me up if I miss a day (or two, or three).  I have a 4 month old who rules the house and can be quite demanding of my time :).  This is where I’ll leave you for today.  Until tomorrow!