Wearing Sweaters #4

I’ve got no FOs to share, so it’s time to continue the sweater parade.

This week started off really cold so I got to wear my Alec XL for the first time. I finished this in 2017. Like all my Alec XL sweaters I’ve made and will make in the future, the yarn of choice is Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. It’s a super wash yarn and holds up beautifully in the washing machine. Also, it’s worsted, which means if it isn’t cold enough outside you’ll get overheated in it quickly.

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When I finished this sweater I was slightly heavier than I am now and it doesn’t really matter, which is a shock for a raglan design. Usually, if the sweater is too big, you wind up with a glob of bunched-up fabric in the underarm. If it’s too small, you can’t get it past your shoulders. Over-sized, this sweater fits me like a modified drop crossed with a raglan. You can still see the raglan lines that trace the underarm, it’s just less dramatic. As a matter of fact, with a raglan fit, usually your eyes would be drawn to my underarm, but with more ease, like in the photo, it’s less glaringly attention-calling. It’s very comfortable.

On some of these very frigid winter evenings I’ve been able to fit a tee and long-sleeved button-down shirt under it and then just wear a light denim jacket over it, with or without a scarf. Sans scarf, I can roll up the collar and it protects my neck from the cold very well. Even though the color is a shade of brown (the color way is called “Oak”) it has a bit too many orange undertones for it to go with brighter blue colors, although with darker blue shades as well as less electric, light blues it works wonderfully.

This week there was no WIP Wednesday for me and, as is becoming a bad habit, no off-topic Monday, either. I am happy to say, though, that after working my rear off from Monday to Thursday I can have a nice three-day weekend to catch up with my on-going projects. I did find some time earlier this week to shop on line for cross stitch supplies, knit here and there on my St. Enda sweater, and cross stitch my Chinese dragon (he has a third claw!). It wasn’t blogging activity, but it sure was helpful to get me some energy to push through the rest of the week.

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A pair of socks is done

FO Friday is here and I have a finished object to share yet again. It’s a pair of “Widsith” socks.

I didn’t really follow the instructions in the pattern. I took the chart for the stitch pattern and slapped it on my vanilla sock formula. That’s how I don’t follow most sock patterns these days. These socks are a gift for someone special. I hope they use them a lot this winter.

FO Friday: “Denim wash” Alec XL

This sweater is finished.

It’s all washed and ready for its wearer to enjoy it. The only thing is: it isn’t cold enough to wear it. Also, I’m glad I had an FO for Friday because the alternative would be to talk about the sweaters I’m wearing. I’m not wearing sweaters so I would not have a Friday post without this Alec XL.

This is the second year in a row I have finished a sweater in January. It’s pleasant to start the new year with a finished sweater.

Wednesday WIP: Another Alec XL

I’m actually here to talk about a WIP for a change, as my morning lessons are canceled. I’m a pretty fast knitter so I thought I could get one of partner’s sweaters started and finished in time for January 6, the day in Spain when people often exchange Christmas gifts and the Three Magi come to leave presents for children.

My partner picked out the color for this one, which is called “Blue Wash” by Rowan Pure Wool Superwash. It’s a quick knit, but I just need to get the second sleeve, the collar, and the buttons done.

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I’m definitely getting my $7 or so worth of sweaters out of this pattern. It’s so much fun to knit. I’ve already made two and plan to make more in the future. It’s also fun to wear. It’s very comfortable when it’s a little bit over-sized. Of course, it’s also very warm in winter.

The issue with sweater wearing this year is that it’s an unusually warm winter. The temperatures aren’t as extremely cold as usual.

St. Enda has been placed on the back burner until I get this semi-Christmas gift done for my partner. I made a lot of progress on it before I cast on this Alec XL. In fact, I’m 3/4 of way done with the back so all that will be left to do – soon enough – will be the sleeves, seaming, and the collar.

Saturday is the new Friday

Yet again, having an FO, I missed FO Friday. So, now that I have absolutely nothing to do, here is my finished object:

sheephat

This is knit from the “Baa-ble Hat” pattern, which can be found here. My knitting group here in Valladolid did this as a KAL. I was so pleasantly surprised to see how other members of the group, who I have never seen do anything more than garter stitch or crocheted amigurumis, know how to knit in color. One person, a crocheter new to knitting, learned how to knit in color with this pattern. She also knit in the round for the very first time, too. Her hat came out really well and she was so proud to learn so many new things.

Knitting in color for me, as you know, is “old hat.” I whipped this up in about two days. I made the pompom with the Clover pompom maker. I have to tell you, it is really convenient and I recommend it to anyone who is shopping around for one.

Now I have to decide who this hat will be for. It isn’t exactly my style so it’s definitely going to be a gift for someone who needs to keep their head warm in winter.

Hitchhiking to Finishedville

I finished my Hitchhiker!!!

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If you have never knit a Martina Behm pattern, you are missing out on a lot of garter stitch enjoyment. Her patterns are reasonably priced and interesting while at the same time usually pretty simple. This is the third time I’ve gone with this pattern and it probably won’t be the last. In case anyone forgot, I used Malabrigo Sock in the color way “CaribeƱo.” It’s a warm and soft merino wool perfect for the weather I’m experiencing right now. I will wear it a lot this month with my Levi’s denim jacket.

WIP Wednesday: “St. Enda”

What a coincidence that today is All Souls Day and I have a Saint of my own hanging off my knitting needles! I may not be religious, but somehow I’ve managed to live a parallel life on this day after Halloween. I know! Halloween is over! Total bummer!

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I’m making a lot of progress on this Celtic saint. As you can see, I’ve got the front done and now I’m 2/3 of the way up the back. You can also observe that on the front I didn’t bind off my remaining stitches, I just left them “live.” I’m not following the directions, which instruct the knitter to bind it all off. My reason is simple: when I knit the sleeves I shall simply knit the saddle onto the shoulders. Yes, I’m an evil genius who wishes to sew as little as possible. I suppose some people take great pleasure in sewing saddles onto shoulders. I do not.

I’ve also very cleverly put garter stitch selvage edges on my pieces. I’ll do the same on the sleeves. This way, I can mattress stitch the body together very easily and also crochet the sleeves to the body. I’ll more than likely mattress stitch the sleeves together, though, so they match the body seams.

A lot of people think that crocheted seams are too bulky. This is simply not true. Mattress stitch, actually, can leave more bulk than a slip-stitched seam. I’ve experimented a lot with crocheting my knits together and I’ve discovered that if you’ve got a textured stitch pattern, like on this sweater here, a garter stitch selvage that is slip stitched together on the wrong side blends in very well. It’s far less annoying than doing that silly “fake grafting” thing on bound-off edges. It looks neat and professional, without all the “take the tapestry needle this way, then around, then that way, try fudging a little, rip it out and try again” nonsense.

The cold weather is approaching. As a matter of fact, we are almost on the verge of turning the heat on. The temperature is wicked cold in the morning, rises to room temperature or slightly less by noon, and then drops quickly back to wicked cold at sunset. Needless to say, I was very happy and content to watch Stranger Things, season two on Sunday, knitting a cowl and hiding under my bulky crochet afghan.

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I snapped the photo with my iPhone on Sunday afternoon just in case I wanted to document this WIP on the blog. You can’t see my legs because they’re under my afghan. When I finish this cowl I’ll still have plenty of purple Cascade 220 Super Wash Quatro to make a scarf for a Christmas gift. So, a long time ago I bought a ton of purple yarn, that’s for sure! I got a cardigan for myself out of it and now I’m going to knock some Christmas gifts out of it, too! By the way, the cowl is still a WIP. I started it and stopped knitting on it on Sunday.