Knitting is usually something I do more of during the colder months and conversely, sewing is something I do more of during the warmer months (like right now). I always associate knitting with projects like warm and cozy sweaters and scarves, and since I like to knit primarily with wool, it makes it difficult to sit underneath a growing wooly project in the summer when there’s no AC in my apartment. Yes, there’s cotton, but I’m not such a fan…
However, I’m absolutely in love with what I’m working with right now – Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo. Here’s four reasons from the label on why you should knit with Cotton Bam Boo:
- Uses a renewable resource
So far, I agree with all of the above! I found this yarn at Windsor Button in Boston when I went shopping with the girls from my knitting group and was searching for some kind of drapey yarn to make Gemini. It feels soft on my hands and isn’t abrasive at all like some cottons, and although it’s a little splitty, the stitches are quite defined as you can see above. I can tell that this is going to be comfortable and cool to wear on hot days this summer.
This is knitting up in a flash now that I’ve finished the lace, increases, and divided the sleeves from the body. I had to start this five times because of stupid mistakes like twisting the beginning of the round – rookie mistakes, yeesh! But now that all of the “complicated” parts are done, it’s smooth sailing from here just knitting rounds and rounds of stockinette, great for TV watching or chatting at knit night. This is definitely a project I’ll finish in time to wear this summer.
BTW – I’m a big Jane Richmond fan! Check out her original designs on her site and her blog for tutorials.
There are few things that terrify me when it comes to knitting, such as steeking (I could never cut my knitting!), size 0 needles (I’ll never finish anything on those teeny things), and skinny, laceweight yarn (goes hand in hand with the teeny needles). Taking on the Clapotis, a project that has been in my queue for years since it was published in Knitty, is tackling one of those fears: dropping stitches
Dropping stitches has a stigma attached to it: as new knitters, we learn to fear it because it seems like something that impossible to fix. To all knitters, it’s sign that oops, you made a mistake. So to incorporate the concept of intentionally dropping stitches into a design seemed to blow my mind. How could it be possible that doing that wouldn’t backfire and ruin a loved project?
The Clapotis is such a lovely scarf and oodles of knitters have made it in the last eight years since the pattern was published – that should be testament right there that this is a project with risks well worth the result. And you know what? Dropping that first stitch was ok. I may have panicked when I sent down the stitch to be dropped, watching as it created a ladder down the edge of my knitting. But when it got to the very end of the column and stopped unraveling, I breathed a sigh of relief that my knitting didn’t fall apart, that the pattern designer knew what she was doing when she wrote the pattern. Since then, I have sent many other stitches to their dropped-down fate and the outcome of each dropped stitch has been just right. I will say, there’s almost a rebellious feel to it – it’s making what would traditionally be a mistake into an intentional action. Take that, knitting perfectionists!
I can’t say that I’ll be tackling any of my other knitting fears soon…especially steeking. I shudder at the thought of taking my scissors to something that I spent hours working on.
So you know what mine are now – what are your knitting fears?
Pattern: Leaflet by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Osprey by Quince and Co. in Nasturtium
Needles: US 11 circs
Last week we felt our first really “cold” day of autumn in Boston, which reminded me that I needed to block this sweater and wear it before it’s no longer in season. I love how this sweater turned out – it’s the perfect fall color, the short sleeves make it a great layering piece, and the leaf pattern on the back is a nice surprise.
I had some trouble starting this sweater, as I wrote about here, due to my initial yarn selection. But once I got over the hump, the sweater flew off my needles and was a quick knit. I probably would have posted this sweater earlier but I was just too darn lazy to pick up the stitches around the neck and knit the ribbing. So it sat in my knitting basket, waiting, until one of the girls in my knitting group asked me how my sweater was coming along and wanted to see it the following week at our knitting night. It was some good motivation to get me to pick up all of those stitches around the neck, which I dreaded doing.
The other nice thing about this cardigan is that there’s no buttons or buttonholes, hooray! Sometimes that can really ruin the look of the ribbing band around the front of a cardigan. I picked up a cute shawl pin at Webs in Northampton, MA that had a leaf decoration at the top, which seemed apropos for the sweater I was intending to use it for. Even more versatility with this sweater – easy to wear it open or closed.
I just can’t even begin to think about all the packing I have to do in preparation for moving at the end of the month. Granted I just have a bedroom in a Philadelphia style house and I’m only moving three minutes away to another apartment, but I have stuff.
Like, a lot of stuff.
I previously furnished a one bedroom apartment almost all by myself for my first two years in MA, but things happened and I’ve been subletting in the city for the past five months. I crammed just about all of my furniture in my room, my couch is down in the living room (the four boys I live with love it), and all of my pots, pans, dishes, and spices are in the kitchen. Not to mention I have all of my clothes, books, yarn, fabric…the list goes on. This will be my fourth move in the past three years, and I’m just tired of doing so. I guess you could say I’ve become an expert on moving.
So instead of packing, I’ve been making progress on my Leaflet. I brought it to work on at Pints and Purls at Gather Here
in Cambridge the other night and knitted to the point where you divide for the sleeves. I’m right now just about half way through the second of three leaves, which are so fun to see materialize throughout the process. The Boyfriend is always watching me knit this when we’re on the couch in front of the TV and I think he likes to see the leaves form as I knit, too. He was even suggesting the other night on how I could have mixed up the leaves, making each one look different. How can you not love a guy who is actually interested in what you’re making?
One thing I’ve noticed about this sweater on Ravelry is that, in my opinion, the sweaters made in the Osprey yarn look better/nicer than sweaters made from other yarns. Like I said, just my opinion, but it’s almost as if this sweater was made for this yarn. I had difficulties getting gauge when I tried using a different yarn than the one recommended and when using this yarn I can see why – it’s a yarn between a worsted and a bulky, and I really can’t think of another yarn that looks like this. So when sweaters are made from worsted yarn on 10US needles, the look is much more open and loose. I’m so happy I went with this yarn and colorway, plus it’s a dream to knit with. Plus, I’m certain at the rate I’m knitting that this will be done just in time for cool weather to set in. Which is not that far off in New England…
Let me tell you, I had a devil of a time trying to get gauge for this pattern. I first blogged about my plans for Leaflet
last month after returning from vacation and acquiring Valley Yarns Berkshire from Webs in Northampton, MA thinking that the weight would be appropriate for the sweater. I swatched on 10s like the pattern called for; no dice. I got 8 sts/2″ instead of 7.5 sts/2″ or the 15 sts/4″ as the pattern called for. So I switched to 10.5 needles – same result as the 10s. Then I tried 11s, but got 6 sts/2″ and the fabric was way too loose and airy looking. I was convinced that there was no way I could use a worsted weight yarn like Berkshire to achieve the stitch gauge that the pattern called for, so I broke down and bought the Osprey yarn like the pattern called for from Quince and Co
I’m glad I did – the yarn is a dream to work with. Sure, I wasn’t able to find a match to the wine colored yarn I originally planned on working with, but this Nasturtium color is a wonderfully rich red-orange color that I fell in love with as soon as I opened my package, perfect for fall and layering with thermal tees and boots. And orange is not a color that I’ve knitted with: when looking through my notebook on Ravelry
, I knit predominately with reds and pinks and purples, so this is a nice change from my usual go-to colors. I think a bulkier weight yarn instead of a worsted would have worked better with this pattern when substituting for the yarn, and when I swatched with it, I did have to go up to 11s instead of the 10s that the pattern recommends. I’m cruising right along with the pattern now, which is knitting up quickly, and I love how fun the leaf motif is to knit on the back. Yes, I know hand knitting is all about the process, but I can’t wait to get this sweater off my needles so I can wear it in the coming months!