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Finished Object Knitting

Weekender Sweater Pattern Review and FO

February 16, 2018
Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Hello Everyone! I hinted earlier this year that I was making scary progress on my New Years Resolutions. It’s been almost a week now so I can safely say: I got a new job!  I’ve been looking for a change for over a year now so I’m super excited about this. The best part? My commute is down to 5 minutes! Such freedom!

Has anyone else made progress on their new year’s resolutions? I know at McKinney Knittery I’ve been hearing a lot of “year of the sweater” talk. Some knitters are tackling their first ever sweaters this year! If you’re looking for an easy first sweater, allow me to recommend the Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry. I just finished mine in a few short weeks and it was a joy to make.

The Pattern

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Weekender by Andrea Mowry is a casual pullover with a few special features. Weekender is worked in stockinette, worn purl side out, with a slip stitched detail down the center front and center back. To add an extra layer of quality, Weekender features tubular cast ons (and cast offs) throughout the project. I was hesitant about the tubular cast on and off, since it seemed like an awful lot of fuss, but now that I see the finished project, I find that it adds a lot to the sweater.

In terms of difficulty, I found Weekender to be incredibly easy. Even though it’s worn purl side out, you don’t have to purl a whole sweater (thank GOODNESS!). Instead, you work the majority of the sweater inside out. Save for the little slipped stitch every other row, it’s just pure knitting in the round. Plus, the minimal shaping means that you’re less likely to suffer if you don’t get your gauge quite right. I am not exaggerating when I say that out of all my handknit sweaters, my Weekender fits me the best.

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

The pattern is amazing without modifications, but I did make a few modifications to the pattern. I changed the sleeves to make them tighter and shorter. When picking up the sleeves, I picked up 54 stitched, and decreased at the beginning and end of each round every 6th round until I had 42 stitches. I then worked the sleeves straight until they were 10 inches long. I switched to K1 P1 rib for 3.5 inches and finished the sleeves with a tubular bind off. 

I’m very happy with how my Weekender sweater turned out. The fit is amazing and it’s really easy and comfortable to wear. Sometimes I find that the neck rides up a little high for my taste, and I wonder if changing the short row shoulder shaping would make a difference in that. Despite that, I’ve still been dreaming of making another Weekender in another color and yarn. Maybe a nice millennial pink? I’ll keep you posted.

The Yarn

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Okay. You are going to laugh. I used Paton’s Classic Wool for this sweater. They have a few marled colors and it was buy 2 get 1 free and I just couldn’t wait. I did it and I don’t regret it. I only used 4 skeins of the light gray marl so this was a really cheap sweater. Sure it’s a little more itchy than I would normally like, but I wear a tank top under mine.

The Paton’s actually performed really well in this project. I had no issues with consistency and the finished project doesn’t look cheap at all. It does shed a little bit. That may improve over time. Because I knew I was dealing with a cheaper yarn, I used this project as an opportunity to try Eucalan for the first time! I figured that I nice soak, something I can neglect in my FOs, might add some softness to the rougher yarn. So I filled the sink with water and a few teaspoons of Eucalan and let it soak for an hour or so. After blocking, my Weekender is nice and smooth and comfortable to wear against the skin (though still very wooly). I will definitely use this product again to wash this sweater and others.

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

So there’s my first sweater of 2018. Do you have a sweater on the needles this year? Is one planned for later. I’ve got my eye on a few patterns. I’d love to see what you’re looking at as well. 

Finished Object Knitting

Rafa’s Hat Pattern Review and FO

January 18, 2018
Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

Hello again. We’re halfway through the month of January. How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? I’m making scary progress on some of mine, but it’s still too soon to talk about. Even though it’s the new year, I’m still working on showing you some of last year’s last minute FOs. Even though I thought that I had escaped the pressures of holiday knitting, I still squeeze in a few knitted gifts. Luckily, I had the good sense to limit myself to hats. Rafa’s Hat was one of these gifts. 

The Pattern

Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

Rafa’s Hat is a unisex ribbed beanie by Joji Locatelli. It’s meant to be a generic male hat pattern, for guys with “very little requirements”. This makes it a great gift hat. Rather than being a simple watchman’s cap (like the morning walk hat I did for The Hubs last year), Rafa’s Hat breaks up the ribbing with a purl ridge. It can be worn slouchy or folded, making it a fairly versatile pattern.

Rafa’s Hat is an easy pattern to follow. It’s only 2 pages long, and that’s being generous with the spacing. There’s not a lot of fancy technique, but it still results is an attractive hat. Rafa’s Hat is 1×1 ribbing throughout, but breaks the ribbing into several sections. This kept the project from feeling too tedious.

Those of you who know me will know that I hate 1×1 ribbing. I just can’t seem to find my rhythm. Plus it makes my hands sore about ten times faster than stockinette. Still, I endured for Rafa’s Hat because it is a really accessible pattern. The finished product is polished and reads well to the non-knitter (muggles). 

The Yarn

Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

The pattern calls for 1 skein of Lush Worsted by The Uncommon Thread. I used one skein of Malabrigo Rios. I love Malabrigo in all of it’s forms and Rios was great for this project. It has great stitch definition to make all that ribbing pop. True to Malabrigo form, it’s extremely soft too! When I gifted the hat to it’s recipient, he could not believe how soft and warm it was. It was one of the coldest days of the season and he said his head was still toasty warm!

The tonal color of the Malabrigo Rios was great for this pattern too. The color wasn’t varied enough to be distracting, just enough to add some suble depth. Oddly enough, it’s very similar to the color of my morning walk hat, which was 2 different yarns held together! Malabrigo Rios was great to work with and looked beautiful. I would use it again in a heartbeat.

What have you finished recently? I’ve got some exciting new knits on the needles, including a Weekender Sweater! I’ve also been dipping my toes into some sewing projects. I’ll be sure to let you know about those if they go well!

 

Finished Object Knitting

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

December 7, 2017
Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

I finished my Find your Fade Shawl! After much agonizing over color choices, much knitting, and a last minute change the shawl is complete! As predicted, it’s huge. It’s also really really pretty. Let us discuss.

The Pattern

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

Find Your Fade is perhaps the most famous of Andrea Mowry’s patterns, and for good reason. It’s accessible to knitters of all levels, extremely versatile, and incredibly fun to knit. The shawl utilizes a creative shaping technique involving a center decrease line.

In the first half of the shawl, the center decrease is paired with increases on either side. Once the shawl reaches the halfway point, it changes to double increases on one side, and a dropped yarn over on the other. It’s a really interesting construction, and I didn’t really see how it was going to work until the very end.  On top of the shaping, Find Your Fade features lace sections and color changes.

I found the pattern to be fairly easy once you got going, though a bit intimidating with my planned deviations. I liked the garter stitch, which made for ideal travel knitting. The lace really only needed concentration around the center decrease line, and I’ll admit that it fudged that part throughout the whole pattern. What I liked about Find Your Fade it that there’s always something going on, whether its a new color to appreciate or a lace section. 

My Modifications

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

I made modifications to construction of the shawl because I chose to only increase to 223 stitches before switching to the 2nd half of the shaping. This made it very slightly smaller than the original. 

I modified the lace section, because I got rid of the double yarn over, and just did a regular yarn over instead.

The colors were modified as well, because I chose to only use 5 colors rather than the full 7 (cheaper this way).  I did this by combining colors B and C, along with combining colors D and E. There was just barely enough using one skein of Malabrigo sock to finish colors D and E. My other modifications helped sneak it by, but it was a close call. 

The Yarns

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

Listed as shown from left to right:

Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Thunderhead – Great, affordable fingering weight yarn. Not as soft as the others, but sturdy and consistent. The color worked well for this project. 

Primrose Yarn Co. Adelaide in Cosmos – I discovered this yarn at StevenBe in Minneapolis. The dye job on this skein is just amazing. The colors are complex and incredible. It’s a single ply and very soft. It seemed pretty sturdy for a single ply as well. If my swift can’t break it, it will probably stand up to whatever you can throw at it. I would love to work with this yarn again.

Malabrigo Sock in Candombe – What can I say about Malabrigo that hasn’t been said already? It’s amazing. Candombe is one of my all time favorite colors as well. It looks like oil on water or a black feather when the sun hits it just right. I was worried that it wouldn’t mesh well with the rest of the fade because it has more of a cooler tone, which the rest of the colors are warmer, but I think it does pretty well.

Dream in Color Jilly in Cabaret – I picked this yarn up during the DFW yarn crawl. I especially loved watching the color changes on this. I’ve been wanting to try Dream in Color for a while and the colors did not disappoint!It is a single ply as well, and though I never had issues with breakage, there were a few sections where the yarn got a little thicker or had a bit of a bump. It was pretty rare, but it happened at least twice in my knitting. 

Dream in Color Smooshy in Wineberry – This was a last minute game change. I was going to use a golden yarn to tie into some of the yellows if the Dream in Color Jilly, but once I got a few rows in, the yellow looked too green. We were visiting a few yarn stores in San Francisco, and I picked this skein up at one of those. My only complaint is that it’s very heavy of a fingering. It’s really more like a DK. Luckily it isn’t too noticeable a transition in the pattern, but everyone who saw me using it was surprised to hear it was a fingering weight.

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

What do you think? Inspired to try your own fade shawl? I’m extremely happy with mine, and since we’ve got a cold snap coming through Dallas, I’m going to need it! I’d love to see your favorite color combos for a fade. Who knows, maybe I’ll knit another someday!