So, here is the rest of the proof of where the time I would normally have spent sewing has gone, yet more knitting FOs! It is lovely, don’t get me wrong, to get things finished and be using yarn that in some cases has been waiting years for its turn. I do wish I could find some kind of balance though and my elusive desire to sew, it’s an odd thing to want to want to sew, maybe it’s the first step!
Anyway, I believe that this FO is my Hawaii Five-0 cardigan. It was a fast knit and there have only been 2 series of the remake so far. Steve McGarrett had my attention so I wanted something simple for my hands to do whilst my eyes were otherwise occupied!
Kemps reduced the Rowan Cotton Jeans to 99p a ball so I stashed yarn for 5 different projects using it, it’s not easy to find a marled yarn in cotton, the majority is solid shades. This colourway is Hessian, which in my mind is bizarre as surely Hessian should be brown and not green, but someone at Rowan must have had a reason for calling it that.
The pattern is Mia which is a very simple top down raglan. The only change I made to the pattern was to add 2″ to the length before starting the pockets as I thought the finished garment and the pocket placement would have been wrong on me at the stated length. However, there is no row gauge given for the pattern so mine may have been different than the yarn called for. I used 12 balls for the 40″ size. I thought the sleeves would be too tight but they are fine, they’re fitted rather than baggy, but not constricting. I also added a row of single crochet around the neckline as otherwise it would have gaped and stretched out. Not my bright idea, something I picked up from reading the notes of the Ravellers who’d already made this.
The pattern describes the back as having ‘walk away detailing’ which isn’t a phrase I’ve heard before and I’m not sure I want people staring at my ass which probably looks wider with the great big triangle over it… Anyway, the ‘detailing’ gives the finished garment nice swing and I’m really happy with the way it came out.
Another quick palate cleanser with this project. Does anyone else ever get a yarn stuck in their head and just want to make something with it NOW? I used to stash whatever took my fancy with no real plan for it, sort of like I do fabric, but yarn is often harder to match to a pattern than fabric is I’ve found so now I only let myself buy yarn when I have a pattern picked out for it (I have spent many MANY hours on Ravelry hunting for patterns to justify a purchase). The only yarn my rule doesn’t apply to is sock and shawl yarn, those I stock up on whenever I see them at a decent price and this one came to live here in December with a few of its friends. It’s a cotton slub yarn in a colourway called Circus, more girly than I tend to go, if I’m going pink I tend to go eye poppingly pink, but for some reason it wanted to be used and this was the pattern I found for it.
The pattern is called Summer Flies, the triangular sort of holes are supposed to be butterflies, don’t look like it to me but there you go. It was really easy to knit and had enough variety that it didn’t get boring. It was also written row by row which made it a doddle to pick up and put down.
The colours are lighter than they appear, it’s not all that bright here today but I was fed up of it being on the dressform waiting for its beauty shot! I used 4.5mm needles rather than 5mm as I thought it was too holey on the larger ones. Besides that no changes at all, I even did the odd picot cast off which took forever and a day. I can’t say I love this, but I do like it and I’m sure I’ll wear it now and again. Can’t have them all as total wins!
So, the latest Heidi Kirrmaier pattern to come off my needles was Vitamin D. This one came courtesy of a slight obsession with G. Callen in NCIS Los Angeles. Can’t say Chris O’Donnell ever came across my radar before and having looked at some pictures of him in his youth I personally think he’s far more attractive now (same with Gerard Butler, he’s improved with age). There were 3 seasons of the show available and I watched them all twice over a period of weeks (my reward for doing anything else at all was to watch another episode!). Ravelry says it took 2 months to make but that’s not true, I cast on and did the first set of yarn overs and then put it down for over a month while I worked on other things. Once I got going on this it didn’t take more than 3 weeks to get it done.
It’s not hanging quite right yet but it is hanging better than it was when I finished it so I will put it back on the dressform between wears to let it find its drape. The yarn is Twilleys Freedom Gorgeous which has been discontinued. When Kemps put this on sale I hit Ravelry hard and bought enough for 3 cardigans, it’s lovely stuff (bamboo/acrylic mix) and although it can be a tiny bit splitty (and the dark blue almost made me blind knitting it at night) I love working with it. I may go back and buy a bit more!
I am not a fan of short rows (don’t like toe-up socks either in case you’re interested) and I’m also a bit of a sloppy pattern reader. I read through the section that I’m working on and check for any ‘at the same time’s’ that might need my attention, but beyond that I tend to let the patter take me by surprise. I’m glad that I didn’t read ahead this time as had I seen to honking big sections of short rows I probably would have put off even casting on for this. But, once again, Heidi’s instructions are plain as anything and incredibly easy to follow, for once I felt in charge of the short rows rather than knitting them and hating every moment because they make me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. They create the lovely crescent shape at the front and give the cardigan all it’s swing, along with the yarn overs that come periodically.
When you get to the final rows they are very very very long, but so worth it once you’ve cast them off. Bonus with picking up stitches is that the front edges themselves are really short, and Heidi has you covered, no vague ‘pick up x stitches’ and leaving it to you, oh no, she tells you how many rows you pick up from and how many to skip and how to do it, yes indeed.
And like the other cardigan of Heidi’s that I knit, the sleeves are knit early on, no going back to do it later, so once you hit that bottom edge you’re home free.
So, enough gushing and onto the final FO. After knitting 12 pairs of socks last year I’m not surprised that it took me until June this year to finish my first pair, I was worn out!
These are the Fawkes socks, named after the Phoenix in Harry Potter. I was reading Jim the books (we’ve taken a break as after the first 4 we were a little Harry’d out) and when I saw this colourway from Yarntopia Treasures when it arrived here (bamboo cotton in Maple Leaves) it seemed like a perfect match to the pattern. I cast on and did 2/3 of the first sock when we went to Brighton in February and then let then sit until just before we went away last week, finished off the first and did the ribbing of the 2nd before departing and finished off the foot and toe after we got back. It’s a simple pattern, easy to follow and I love the finished result. They’re not quite this orange in real life, there is a wider variety of shades which you can see in the yarn photo on my Ravelry page for the socks.
My goal, for some unknown reason, was to finish off everything in my WIP list before casting on for anything new, and I was getting there. Then I let myself swatch for something that I am thinking about doing as my Ravelry Olympics project (one garment knit start to finish during the duration of the Games and a great excuse to enjoy as much of them as I can while they’re finally in my time zone) and I found yarn for another project while I was digging around and slipped and started it. Today I have a bad case of startitis, I have yarn sitting beside me for another shawlette and a pair of socks and I’m desperate to cast on for both RIGHT NOW. However, I have finally figured out the lace pattern for the yoke of Callie which has been in my knitting basket forever and a day waiting just for these 2 small pieces, bocking, seaming and a small collar so I want to try and finish those off before letting myself begin anything else. I also have Grenadine sitting here, I just need to get into knitting it and it’ll fly as the pattern isn’t hard and it’s on 4.5mm needles (more Rowan Cotton Jeans). But, knitting is supposed to be fun, it’s my hobby and these things will get done in the end, if I’m not enjoying it what’s the point in doing it?? I have a feeling something new is going to get on the needles tonight, that’s just the way it goes…