Posted in Current Projects

Jumper Cardigan and Cottage Garden

It’s amazing how quickly this summer has flown by, especially these last few weeks since I last posted. After all the shoulder problems, then out-of-nowhere back issues that suddenly disappeared as quickly as it had come, I decided I needed to get back to the exercises I’d been slacking off on for a number of months. After some talking with Matt about it, we joined a gym! It’s kept me fairly busy. I’ve been feeling sore and like I have less time to just be lazy, but overall I feel really great about going consistently for the last two and a half weeks that we’ve been members and like I’ve had more energy.

Around the same time we joined the gym, I saw a physical therapist about my shoulder problems. She gave me some exercises to do that I’ve kept up with and I haven’t had any problems since. I’ve been knitting the last couple weeks without much problem (a bit of soreness here and there, though that’s likely to the gym not a reoccurring shoulder issue!). I did start the Jumper Cardigan I talked about in my last post. I knit the right and left fronts and started the back.

Jumper Cardigan - Left/Right Fronts
Jumper Cardigan – Right and Left Fronts

Jumper Cardigan - Back
Jumper Cardigan – Back

The color isn’t very accurate. The swatch from my last post is much more accurate, though possibly just a smidge brighter. Speaking of color… the color combination started bothering me after I’d finished the fronts. I started the back anyhow, but had this nagging “These colors are so bright…” thing in the back of my mind. The color combination is great and I do really like it, however it’s just not very “me” and something that I would get a lot of wear out of. On top of that, I measured (my gauge didn’t change with the washing/blocking of the swatch) and it was going have about 4″ of positive ease in the bust without the additional 1 to 1.5 inches of the button band.

I thought about it for a day, but ultimately decided it had to go. I am going to knit this pattern again and try a smaller gauge for adjusting the size. I think I’d really love this in a light and dark grey yarn combination. If anyone has any yarn recommendations in sport or fingering weight that come in a dark and light grey, please leave me a comment! I’m still undecided on what yarn to use, though I haven’t searched that much for one yet. I figure I should probably get going on my Rhinebeck sweater before I start planning the next one! 😉

Since the Jumper Cardigan was going to be my Rhinebeck sweater, I was left trying to figure out what to knit instead or if I was going to knit anything at all. It’s only a little over 6 weeks until Rhinebeck after all! I hemmed and hawed for a few days. I wasn’t feeling totally sold on knitting Cottage Garden. I kept thinking “Would I wear it? It’s pretty, but it’s a pullover. I’ve only knit one pullover and generally prefer cardigans! What if it’s too hot to wear? What if…” and on and on. Of course some of these concerns, like the weather could be for any sweater! I looked at patterns and I looked at my queue on Ravelry. I looked at my stash. I went to the LYS and contemplated over patterns and yarns they had. I went back to my queue and stash at home. I felt a lot of sweater project withdrawal. I thought “Who needs a stinkin’ Rhinebeck sweater anyway?!?”…

Then I settled on a sweater: Cottage Garden. What sealed it for me was pulling out the yarn (such a soft wool/silk blend), thinking about how I bought it last year at Rhinebeck, and thinking “It would be great to wear the sweater I knit from yarn I bought last year!” So, I knit, washed, and blocked a swatch to check my gauge. This yarn? Brooks Farm Solo Silk? Amazingly soft and wonderful knit up. It was done – this had to be the next project I knit and it needed to be my Rhinebeck sweater.

My gauge was a little off, so I did some math and decided to knit one size down (42″ size). When I first started and was about 3 rows in, with 250+ stitches around, I found I’d some how twisted it when I joined in the round! I was able to save the cast on and first row without dropping any stitches, though. Last night I finished the second picot edge and now working on the body. Here’s a crappy cell phone picture of my current progress:

Cottage Garden
Cottage Garden

I’ve been working on the Maelstrom socks and now up to the heel on the second sock. I had some time between frogging the Jumper Cardigan and starting Cottage garden to finish up the leg since I was being indecisive about what to do. It’s been put aside to knit Cottage garden for the most part, though I’ve picked it up a few times while watching TV. Minty Fresh may well get frogged. I hibernated it because I lost interest and I don’t really have any plans to go back to it for now. We’ll see. Still have the Jaywalker socks on the needles, but I think I’m going to wait until the circular from Maelstrom is free or I break down and buy some more Knit Picks circulars in sock sizes to continue work on them.

Recently I’ve been rather slacking in the photo department. Just haven’t felt inspired to take photos when it’s been so hot and miserable out and if I don’t do them outside, I’m stuck with crappy indoor lighting since someone has taken over our “photo room” and my yellow craft room, while lovely, isn’t great for taking accurately colored photos. Hoping to get in some photo taking time soon, though. Alright – time to get off my butt and head to the gym! Happy Crafting all 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Knit Ramblings, Life, Spinning

Not Knitting, Upcoming Projects, and a SAL/KAL

Since my last post and my mention of my back hurting a bit, I’ve had some further injuries. My right wrist started hurting suddenly and I was getting a very sharp pain when I moved it. Along with that pain, I started having some pain in my right shoulder as well. After a few days and it not improving, I decided to haul myself to the doctor to get it checked out. Doc told me it was tendinitis, gave me a few prescriptions to help, and told me to rest my wrist and shoulder as much as possible. Since the pain in the wrist started, I put aside the knitting, crocheting, spinning, and limited my computer use. I’m right handed, so at work I started using the mouse with my left hand and using my right hand as little as possible and really just trying to do nothing while at home so I didn’t further injure myself. I’m not entirely sure what caused it other then overuse/repetitive motion. I had been using the mouse more at work since a particular program I use can really only be navigated by mouse or special voice software (which I don’t have), so the repetitive motion of that for 4-5 hours per day for 3+ weeks is likely what put me over the edge into the “wow that hurts and it’s not going away” territory. Before the wrist pain even started, I did have some on and off shoulder problems, but it wasn’t sticking around until after the wrist really hurt.

Anyhow… all of that to say for the last two weeks I haven’t been knitting which leaves me with very little blogging content! I have been reading, but I’m a fairly slow reader. When I put aside the knitting and spinning, I picked up a copy of Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross at the book store and I’m now roughly 70% through it. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. My book queue has grown quite a bit in the last two weeks, that’s for sure!

I do have a little bit of knitting to share. Before I wasn’t knitting, I started the Fresh Mint tank top out of Spa yarn.

Fresh Mint
Fresh Mint

I’ve already attached the top edges together where they should be to make it easier to try on as I go. I’ve also modified it a bit by doing the garter stitch border on the edge, doing a different increase in place of the yarn over increase row, and doing more increases after joining the front/back together to account for my 45″ bust (I’m knitting the 44″ size and there is no ease in the pattern). I also plan on adding waist shaping to it. This is really the only thing that saw any progress that I hadn’t yet showed on the blog! Both the socks I’m working on haven’t really seen much progress. The Jaywalker sock is slightly longer and I’ve done 5 rows of ribbing on sock number two of Maelstrom.

This “knitting break” has given me some time to think about the next things I’d like to knit. I’ve even started considering my Rhinebeck sweater for this year. I’m still not 100% decided and I think that the amount of time it takes to get back to my regular knitting will decide what my choice will be.

The two sweaters I’m looking most at knitting next are: Cottage Garden and Jumper Cardigan.

Cottage Garden and Jumper Cardigan

One of these will likely be my Rhinebeck sweater. I already have yarn in mind for both sweaters. For Cottage Garden I have two colors of purple from Brooks Farms Solo Silk.

Brooks Farm, Solo Silk
Brooks Farm Solo Silk

The Jumper Cardigan is a vintage pattern that only comes in one size, but I think I can upsize by adjusting the gauge and using a bit heavier weight yarn. I’ve decided I’d like to do it in this fantastic pink and green combination. I have 4 skeins of Vesper Sock Yarn “Quick Sock” in the Ivy League colorway (this was a club color, which I received, then collected 3 others from Ravelers destashing) and 2 skeins of The Plucky Knitter MCN in the Ellen Arden colorway (also a club colorway from The Plucky Knitter Classics Club, which I got in a destash on Ravelry – from my Spring Fling roomie, Lauren). When I got both of these colors together, I KNEW it needed to be a sweater.

Possible Sweater
Vesper Quick Sock in Ivy League and The Plucky Knitter MCN in Ellen Arden

I’ve even knit a swatch and it looks like a gauge change will be just what I need to upsize the pattern.

Sweater Swatch
Swatch for Jumper Cardigan

Currently I’m leaning towards the Jumper Cardigan because I’m really in love with the color combination. Still trying to decide, though, so any thoughts are always welcome! 🙂

Along with the wrist/shoulder thing, I also seem to be getting some tingling in both hands and both feet. Not really sure what’s going on, but I did get blood work done yesterday and have some doctors appointments scheduled to try and figure it out. Because of the tingling in my feet (which is pretty continuous, in the left foot more then the right), I’ve limited what spinning related things I do. I did try a little spinning yesterday. It seemed to be okay on the right side (I have a single treadle wheel), but when I switched to the left side, it caused some pain in my lower back. At that point I stopped spinning trying not to over do it. I was just happy to get in some spinning time after almost two weeks of no knitting or spinning!

After that I prepped the fiber I’m going to use for the SAL/KAL that’s going on in Zarzuela’s Fibers Junkies group on Ravelry. The SAL/KAL is to spin a specific weigh of yarn (your choice) then incorporate it into a sweater (also your choice). You can even combine what you’re spinning with a commercial yarn. I thought this would be a great challenge for me since I’ve never spun enough yarn for a sweater before! I recently purchased 8 ounces of two different colors from Zarzuela’s Fibers. It was tough to decide which to use because both are really pretty!

Targhee from Zarzuela's Fibers
Targhee in Orange Dream and Emeralds

I decided to spin the 8 ounces of Targhee in the Emeralds colorway, aim for a fingering weight yarn, and knit the Featherweight Cardigan. So far the first 4 ounces of fiber are prepped (pre-drafted). Now I just need to decide if I want to finish the current fiber on the wheel (Cheviot in DC Sunrise from Zarzuela’s Fibers) or to put that aside and get started on the Targhee in Emeralds. I’ve never worked with Targhee before, so I’m looking forward to trying something new. It’s really soft! Reminds me a little bit of merino when I was pre-drafting it.

Time to get off the computer for now and enjoy the weekend! Hope everyone has a good weekend 🙂