Tuesday, December 12, 2017

But That Cashmere Tho

So, I ripped out the cashmere glove. It was too big, and I didn't like it. But now what to make with this yarn?? I really wanted to make something for myself before Christmas, but I'm not sure that will happen, so maybe I can make something during Christmas "break" (not really a break, as I'm not working out of the house anymore, we have a 9-month-old, and we'll be traveling, but whatever) and call it a compromise.

Here's a swatch with the yarn, which if you've forgotten is Filatura di Crosa Solocashmere, and it's 100% cashmere, which you could have guessed because "solo" and "cashmere." The only place I could find to buy it online is here, but I think that's only because it's a new yarn? White yarn is a little hard to photograph, so here are two different angles.

On the top of the swatch, I used size 4 needles, which is smaller than the size recommended on the label, but I love how dense and luxurious the fabric feels at this gauge. On the bottom, I used size 7 needles- the recommended size. At the larger gauge it's basically like a fluffy cloud and I bet a sweater knitted at that gauge would feel like heaven. The yarn has a slight halo, but there's still good stitch definition. Do I make something that goes around my neck? The yarn is certainly soft enough for next-to-skin wear (again, duh, cashmere). Or do I try again with gloves or maybe mittens?

My sister loves orange, so I was actually thinking that maybe I'll do something with the orange and cream together, like striped wrist warmers. But I dunno, that would be *awfully* generous of me, seeing as how this is cashmere...

Again, thanks to Filatura di Crosa for the yarn for review.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Cashmere Gloves, or Maybe Not

Right now, the baby is totally happy sitting on the floor in her room, playing with toys. She doesn't crawl yet and she's perfectly stable, so I don't worry about toppling. I get to sit in the rocking chair and knit while she plays, and it's lovely. I don't think phase will last much longer because she's making motions like she wants to crawl, and then I'll never sit down again. But while she's still happy playing on the floor, I knit. I've gotten a ton of things made in playtime. It's awesome. My latest project is this cashmere glove, which if we're being honest is not great.

I'm using Filatura di Crosa Solocashmere, which is listed as a fingering weight 100% cashmere yarn. I don't think fingering is accurate for this yarn- depending on how dense you want the fabric to be it knits up at sport to DK weight gauge. The recommended needle size is 6 to 7 (4 to 4.5 mm) so maybe someone doesn't understand what "fingering" means?

I'm using my Anchors Aweigh glove pattern and making the second size, because according to my swatch my gauge was tighter than the pattern. The plan was that larger size + tighter gauge = the smaller size glove. That is not working. This glove is clearly too large in the hand and it's goofy. I keep thinking "clown glove" while I'm knitting so that's probably a sign that I need to cut my losses. I only have the tip of the middle finger and the cuff to go. Don't care, we're done here. Just to be clear, the issue here is a bad pattern/yarn combo. The pattern and yarn alone are great, but they don't want to be together, I don't think.

Sometimes with blog reviews, you get to pick the color and quantity of yarn you'd like, and sometimes you don't, and that's fine so long as you know about it. For this particular review, I asked for three balls of black because a) black gloves are classy as hell, and b) I thought (correctly) that I'd need more than one ball per glove to make a decent length cuff. Instead, I received two cream and one orange ball, but I was like whatever, I'm still making gloves because that was the original plan. I did a provisional cast on then went right into the thumb gusset part, because I wanted to use up every inch of one of the cream balls (which is 87 yards) for each glove. I was planning to knit the hand, then go back, undo the cast on, and knit the cuff down, using up all of the yarn. A good idea in theory.

The yarn is soooo soft. Duh, it's cashmere. It's a tiny bit splitty but really not bad. My only issue is the laddering. See here below, in the palm? I shifted around the dpns around every few rows, but no matter what I did the yarn laddered between dpns, then kept the ladder after I moved the needles around. Never experienced this before, but this is only my second 100% cashmere project, so maybe it's a cashmere thing? Anyone have ideas? Maybe it would fix itself with blocking.

But I'm going to rip this out and make something different. I finally admitted to myself this afternoon that I hate the way this is going. The hand is too big, and I can tell I wouldn't wear these. So now I'm not sure what I'll make with this yarn, but whatever it is it'll be luxurious, because cashmere.

Thank you to Filatura di Crosa for providing the yarn to me for a review. Opinions and rambling are my own as always.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Giftalong 2017

This is my fourth year participating in the Indie Designers' Giftalong on Ravelry. If you are unfamiliar, it's basically a big KAL/CAL (knitalong/crochetalong) that starts with a pattern sale, then continues on up to New Year's Eve. The sale starts on Tuesday November 21st and runs for a week. I've got 20 patterns included in the sale- check them out here. There are prizes like free patterns, yarn, and books for those who finish projects and post about them. Even though I don't generally get a chance to make anything during the Giftalong, I always discover a new-to-me designer or two, and my queue gets bigger every year.

Check out the patterns, and use coupon code giftalong2017 for 25% off from November 21st to 28th. Happy gifting!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Clover Club Hat

Remember a while ago when I posted about this hat, and how my color choices were questionable but I was probably gonna finish it anyway? Well I did. Color choices are still questionable. That pink reads as neon but maybe we'll just say it's FUN!

The pattern is Clover Club Hat from Berroco's Portfolio Vol. 4, which also has my Millington Cardigan pattern (shameless plug.) The hat is fine. I like the pattern, but I wish that a) I had made better color choices, b) I had done twisted ribbing, because I think that no matter what, 1x1 ribbing that isn't twisted looks sloppy, and c) that I had lengthened the hat either in the pink part above the ribbing or the tan part above the colorwork. It's just a tad short on my head, and my ears aren't totally covered, and personally I find that unforgivable in a hat. 

The colorwork pattern is awesome-looking, but keep in mind that you do have to strand across like 9 stitches at some points. I personally dislike doing that, but to each his own. It's much easier to do in worsted than fingering, though, so there's that. I wouldn't do this hat as a first colorwork project.

The brim is knitted to twice the length then sewn to the inside to make it double thickness. This is the first time I'd done that and I like it. 

I will likely take this hat with me to the Midwest at Christmas and see if any family members want it. I actually have quite a collection of accessories that are looking for new homes. I just don't need much more than a fingering-weight hat and a pair of gloves down here in the Bayou. (Not that that's stopping me from knitting more hats and mittens and cowls, but.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zen Yarn Garden Quartet // So Faded Pint Sized

I understand now about fading. At first I was like "I don't get why everyone is SO OBSESSED with fading, I mean it's fine I guess" but now I want to fade everything, and I mean everything. It's addicting. I'm not one to jump on a bandwagon, but here we are.

I'm making a So Faded pint sized for baby Elaina with this Zen Yarn Garden Quartet. Once I'm done I simply must cast on for another one for her, and one for me too. Love the fade effect. I like the pattern, it's fine, but it's the fading that's got me. If you're not into fading, or want other ideas for this yarn set, Zen Yarn Garden has this helpful idea list for patterns that fall within the yardage of the gradient sets, which come in quartets, like I have, or trios.

How great is this fade?

I was offered this yarn as a blog review, and I knew right away that I wanted to make a So Faded for Elaina. The yardage (200 yards per skein, 4 skeins total, 800 yards) is great for a kid's sweater. For reasons that surely made sense at the time, I decided to make the size 4... for my 8-month-old. I guess we'll put it in storage once I'm done and pull it out in a few years. I claim mommy brain.

The yarn! It's really soft. It has a slight superwash stringy feel to it, but I suspect that will be remedied by 5 minutes in the dryer after I wash it. For babies it's so important that yarn for next-to-skin projects is really soft, and this definitely is. It's lovely to knit with, too- think of a sock yarn you really like, and that's this. No splitting, no snagging, smooth stitches.

As for the colors, I absolutely love how the teal, purple, and pink fade into one another. It's perfect. I'm less thrilled about the gray- if you look closely at the photo above, the gray has speckles that are cobalt blue and red. To really fade it should be teal and pink to match the other skeins. Also, I sort of wish for a color in between the gray and teal. The fade is a bit harsh between those two. I might just be picky though. It's a great gradient and I like that they take the guess work out of picking coordinating skeins. Plus the packaging is nice so it's totally giftable. See? Pretty.

Thank you to Zen Yarn Garden for providing the yarn for me to review. All opinions and rambling are my own.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Self-Patterning Socks

Finished these plain vanilla socks the other day. They don't match. I don't care. But also, I don't love them, and I do care about that.

After the flood, a bunch of wonderful souls sent me yarn, and an awful lot of it was sock yarn, including several balls of self-patterning yarn. Self-patterning yarn has never really been my thing, but sometimes I find myself in need of some vanilla socks on the needles, and self-patterning doesn't require winding, so... perhaps a touch of laziness wins out, and I cast on. 

This particular pair is maybe not my favorite, because the yarn isn't terribly soft and the socks aren't super warm (odd, for knitted wool socks) so I'm not sure I'll wear them a lot. Not that I get to wear my wool socks a lot anyhow, but. 

I've got all of this self-patterning in my sock yarn bin, courtesy of the aforementioned knitters. Do I keep on trying with self-patterning? Let it shuffle to the bottom of the bin?

Thoughts on self-patterning yarn?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Cardigan, just sneaking it in

I finished my October Cardigan from Knitscene Fall like, um, two months ago maybe? A little less? But today it occurred to me that I should take pictures and talk about it while we're still in October. Nothing like waiting until the very last minute.

Overall this is a simple cardigan with some fun details. It has welts across the upper back and front shoulders, and these nifty curved pockets. It's knitted in pieces and seamed, which I used to totally hate, but I'm coming around on it. 

I used Malabrigo Rios in the color Water Green that I got from someone's destash on Ravelry. I hadn't used this yarn before, but I'm glad I picked it out because I totally love it. It reminds me of Madelinetosh Vintage without the hefty price tag. It's a nice firm yarn, which is especially helpful if you're going to be doing a lot of seaming.

Didn't make any modifications, really. Size 37, and I think it took 6 skeins? Or 7? I've forgotten. It took one less than I bought. 

This was a nice, soothing knit, good for the few months post-baby when my brain wasn't on yet. Big swaths of stockinette to zone out to while basically just waiting for the baby to wake up, again. Luckily we're now past that stage, because wow does it suck being zombie tired literally all the time.

My Jack-O-Lantern baby is lurking in the background. Happy Halloween!