Modifcation Monday: Anthro Cardigan

This is easily one of my favourite knits of the year. In the spring my LYS held a special kind of knit-along: an indie dyer knit along! It gave me a perfect excuse to continue my affection for Lichen and Lace’s single ply fingering weight (which some of you may remember was also the yarn used in my Devil’s Backbone shawl). I decided to go with the Anthro cardigan by Polish designer Hanna Maciejewska.

Anthro Cardigan knit in Lichen and Lace

The biggest reason I picked this pattern was because the waist shaping method is to place a gorgeous cable in the small of the back. No increasing and decreasing along the sides – just a cable! And what a lovely cable to boot. I love the texture, and how it played with the handpainted yarn.knit cable as waist shaping

I made a few modifications to the original pattern. The most significant being that I took the contrast colour that is supposed to be knit on the inside of the cuff and bottom band and flipped it. The main body is knit in the colourway rainy day and the contrasting colour is calm waters. I liked the look so much that I used calm waters for the button band and the collar.

I also added an inch or so to the body after the waist shaping so the bottom hem sits exactly where I’d like to. This meant I had needed even more buttons than the ten or so required.

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I found the buttons at a local shop in the market, and the sweater requires fourteen of them. I really like the pearly-stormy look, matching right in with my sea/sky theme that is threaded through the sweater.

I made a mistake modification with the sleeves. They’re 3/4 instead of full length (on purpose, I swear!) and the cable detail on the cuff is altered to make it tighter than the original.

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Now I did that by eliminating plain knit rows between cable rows. Which wasn’t originally my intention, but once I did it, I liked it so much that I mimicked it on the other side to match.

I was so pleased with the final product that I treated myself to some new wool-wash from Eucalan’s jasmine-oil infused Wrapture. (They didn’t even pay me to say that or anything. I just adore it.) The yarn bloomed very nicely, making the sweater very soft and easily washable. My Lichen and Lace obsession continues! I’m sure this won’t be the last project with it.

Thanks to my lovely Mama for the pictures. Happy Knitting, friends!

 

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Surprising Travel Knitting – my Regency Blouse

My latest knitting project is a new summer top: Regency Blouse from Jane Austen Knits 2014.

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Look at that photograph…I was helpless…

Honestly, I’d fallen in love with it from the minute I bought the magazine last year, and the NBK superwash merino fingering weight that I picked up recently was the perfect match for it. I wanted something with subtle colour variation, spring-like, but not too outside of my comfort zone. The yarn knit up beautifully (please ignore the wonky swatching…I’d never seen blocking pins before…) and I was smitten with the combo of pattern and yarn from the get-go.

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No photograph really does the colourway justice, but I tried.

I picked up 1400 yards, because the pattern called for 1200 and I didn’t want to be under and run out when there was no hope of getting more in the same colourway. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? Extra yarn in this beautiful colour? Not exactly what I’d call a problem…

Despite being a top, it’s deceptively simple, and once I got past the shoulder increases it was straight stockinette stitch for several inches, making it perfect to take on the train.

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My life is a walking advertisement for VIA Rail Canada.

All it now takes it one single stitch maker to mark the beginning of each round. And wouldn’t you know it? The stitch marker is also…purple.

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“I heard you liked purple, so I put some purple with your purple so you can purple while you”…wow this meme is old…

Because I knit it so much on the train, or perhaps in front of the TV (go Blackhawks! Sorry Tampa Bay…) it’s working up surprisingly fast. When I look down at it after the credits of the movie roll and the lights come on I’ve always forgotten how much work can get done when I’m not looking at it. We’re almost past half way!

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Is that a little bit of lace I see at the bottom?! And yes, I’m definitely still rocking the handmade Sesame Street Project bag made for me by Rachel!

My goal is to have it finished by the time NBK comes to visit my LYS in Toronto so I can show them how much I love their yarn. It’s some of the nicest stuff I’ve ever worked with, so I’m hoping I can do it justice!

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It’s So Pretty…

Sometimes with yarn, it really is love at first sight…

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Photo credit to Sylvie here. I resisted last week at Stitch Night, but this week that beautiful yarn was still there, hanging on the wall looking at me pleading, so out came my wallet. It’s warm and squishy and gorgeous, and as of right now the wound skein on the right belongs to me.

I don’t know what it will be yet…for now I get to revel the wonderful land of possibilities. *happy sigh*

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Baby’s “First” Gauge Swatch

I don’t swatch.

In eight years of knitting I have made a gauge swatch exactly once despite the fact that countless times it would have been prudent to do so. I blame Rachel, frankly, because she taught me almost all of my basic knitting skills and never once did swatching come into the picture. Her blog is even titled “Swatchless”, giving you a pretty good summary of her feelings on the subject. Swatching just wasn’t how things were done.

Times are a changing now though. I’m planning on knitting a vest for my grandmother for Christmas. When I was knitting sweater was for myself I never bothered with the fit too much, because the worst case scenario was that it might look badly on me (and some of those first monstrosities, did.) But now that it has to fit someone else by a deadline – not to mention the fact that the pattern calls for bulky and I’ve got super bulky lined up for it – swatching is starting to look like a good pretty idea. So here it is:

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11 rows = 2 inches, exactly as the pattern says, but strangely enough 8 stitches = 2.5 inches. Interesting. Some adjustments will have to be made.

The yarn is Patons Misty in Purple Fog. My mother spotted at KnitTraders and pointed out that it would be perfect for this project. Despite my synthetic snobbery, washability is critical since hand-washing it is not possible for Gram. She also doesn’t care much for 100% wool, even if it’s not going to sit against her skin, so that left me with some sort of synthetic yarn. She does, however, adore mohair and the colour purple. I couldn’t really argue with this yarn:

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48 % Acrylic, 32% Nylon, 10% Wool and 10% Mohair. I’m undecided on if I like it or not yet, but I know that she will love it, so I have seven skeins of it now.

The swatch doesn’t seem to have changed much post-washing (to the surprise of absolutely no one) so after a little math, I’m ready to cast on. Wish me luck!

The pattern name is called “Sequoia” so I’ve nicknamed the project Gram’s “Dawyck Purple Vest” after the beech tree, because they are a little more native here in Ontario than a Sequoia tree.

Four Seasons Garden
Photo Source: Four Seasons Garden
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